The forested world is your oyster in the latest game I've played from the so called "walking sim" genre. I'm rather a big fan of games like Firewatch, the two that immediately spring to mind are Gone Home and Everybody's Gone To The Rapture, both of which have had a lasting impact on the way I view stories in games. The huge downside of this genre, is that the narrative must be superb, there is nothing for the story to hide behind, other than perhaps a visually arresting world. This I feel is the downfall of Firewatch, the heart of this game, the story, has such an underwhelming finale that since beating the game I have only thought about the narrative opportunities that it missed in the closing moments of this game; rather than some of the amazing dialogue and character building that came before it. I won't be spoiling any of the lacklustre ending, but I will say that for the first 5 of the 6 or so hours this game lasts I was in love with it. The game was asking questions of the world that I enjoyed guessing at, as well as a fantastic physiological analysis of the two main characters. I felt very connected to both of the characters, but especially Henry, who we play as, because we are given dialogue options throughout the whole game via the walkie-talkie communication between the two characters. This trend of choosing the what kind of man Henry is starts with the opening 10 minutes or so of the game being purely text based. Campo Santo, the developers, utilise this rare approach to opening a game to great effect, I was almost moved to tears with the emotions and choices the game gave me so skilfully and so quickly, setting the emotional tone for the first few hours of the game. I say the first few hours, because there is a very clever emotional shift that subtly occurs during the course of the game, I won't spoil the arc of this shift, but I can definitely recognise, looking back, that in a relatively short space of time, Henry evolves.
Why then is the ending such a let down? It is conceivable that I was looking for something in the game that was never on offer in the first place, yes I admit the fault could lay at my door, was I expecting a result from the story that was never built towards? This I can not answer until I play it again with the foresight of how the game concludes. At the time I felt like the mystery the story was setting up was heading in a certain direction, and because I played it over the course of 3 or 4 days, I had plenty of time in between playing the game, for my mind to run wild with where the story may go. The ending not withstanding, I want to mention briefly the voice acting, which is fantastic, though nearly the whole game takes place with just two people communicating back and forth with each other via a walkie-talkie. For such a simple system, the emotion that grows and connection with the characters that is established is incredible, whether it be the sarcastic quips or sombre moments that are almost too difficult to listen too, the way the lines are delivered are a triumph. The score also adds to this emotional feeling of the game, though to a more subtle note than the two main characters.
Traversal of the game is simplistic, with walking, jogging and ascending or descending rope lines being the extent of your movement options. This is mirror with the ability to pick up and inspect many of the items in the game, some have weight based on the story or dialogue at that time, others are simply there to successfully make the world feel lived in.
To conclude, this is a game that I am very glad I have played, and would also recommend you all play it, just try not to allow your mind to run wild with the possibilities of where the story may take you, that excitement will only detract from your enjoyment. To break this game down into three segments, the opening is sublime, and worth playing the game for alone, the middle built up the suspense of the story while expanding the characters I grew to feel very close to. Then the end is easily the low point of Firewatch, or at least it was for me, the end did its job in that it wrapped the story to a conclusion, but both left me disappointed with the narrative conclusion, and also wanting more at the same time.
Thanks for reading,
I'm back! It's been such a long time since I last wrote about gaming for you all, and it feels so good to be back! I thought I would run you through what I've been playing since my last post, for my return!
- Bloodborne; perhaps my most notable game during my absence has been Bloodborne. What a magnificent game this is! I played it after beating Dark Souls 2 and 3 so the genre and style of the games wasn't new to me, but this game still surprised me at every turn. From the faster style of combat where offence was as good a defence as is required, to the amazing Gothic visuals that never ceased to amaze me. I beat this game and then simply needed to play more, so I beat all the optional bosses, as well as carved my way through the Chalice Dungeons to come out with the Platinum! As of writing I have 11 Platinum Trophies, and not one of them comes close to Bloodborne in terms of the challenge as well as the rewarding completion. In the months since beating everything in the base game I have bought the DLC and am waiting for a spare few weeks to slice my way through the last droplets of one of my favourite games ever made!
- Indie Games; I've paid particular focus to finishing some of the indie games on my back log in these last few months, a quick list for you: Everybody's Gone To The Rapture(9/10), Tales From Borderlands(9/10), Gone Home(9/10), Day of The Tentacle Remastered(7.5/10),Hitman Go(7/10), Colour Guardians(6/10) and Deadly Tower of Monsters(4/10). Everybody's Gone To The Rapture and Gone Home have both been two of the very best stories I've ever seen in games, and have really opened my eyes to the hidden gems that rest in the Digital Store! I have also started playing Stardew Valley, and while I'm not far enough in to the game to form a final opinion, I can say that I'm enjoying my time with it immensely and I can't wait to see how my years progress!
- Watch Dogs 2, this was a real gem of a game, that while it didn't break the bank in any particular area, it did everything well. The world is fun to explore, the graphics are great, the music flows well, combat is solid and satisfying, finally the hacking is actually wonderful and easily leagues ahead of Watch Dogs 1! It is certainly the most I have enjoyed a Ubisoft game in quite a few years! I'd say this is an 8.5/10!
- Destiny, I need to quickly mention that I have, as I have always done, put a decent amount of time into Destiny. I did the new raid several times, as well as Vault of Glass and Crota's End at 390 a few times, generally just enjoyed the last burst of activity on Destiny 1, whilst also getting excited for Destiny 2!
- Overwatch, I've been playing an increasing amount of Overwatch in these last few months, ever since the Arcade Mode was added I have constantly been chipping away and now I'm sitting at Level 68! I love this game so much, I would easily say it is the best multiplayer shooter I've ever played, it is a pared down PvP masterpiece, where everything works beautifully together. To round it all out all the new content such as maps, modes and new heroes are added for free, there is no divide in the community a year after launch, when Call of Duty and Battlefield split their player base within a few months of release. A true breath of fresh air!
- Dishonored 2, I started and finished this since last we spoke, I'm rather torn on it I don't mind saying, there were elements that were fantastic, I would say that it is better than the first in nearly every way. However when I finished the first game I went on to play all the DLC, and start a second High Chaos Playthrough, but with Dishonored 2 I just haven't wanted to, even though I haven't played Emily at all. I'm just not excited by the idea of going back and playing it all again with slightly different abilities. My main problem is the unsatisfying method of unlocking perks, namely by using Runes that you collect in the large slices of open world that forms missions. For the first 4 or 5 missions I played very slowly and collected as much as I could, so I have a good range of Bonecharms, and quite a lot of Runes. There was an element of boredom on my part as I was being so meticulous to go to nearly every corner of the map to collect everything. Then it dawned on me, I'd pretty much bought every perk I wanted, and seeing as I was playing purely Low Chaos, Stealth, a lot of the perks there meaningless to me. So then for the last 4 or 5 missions, I didn't feel inclined to go in search of Runes and Bonecharms, as I had already got a build of charms and perks that did everything I wanted it too! So feeling like I had nothing left to do but the objective, the last couple of missions felt decidedly empty and often shorter than I would have liked. This led in to the final "boss" fight, which is horrendously designed if you are playing stealth, and made the very final moment of the game somewhat sour for me. This game started so well, but petered off more than I can forgive for a game that I had such high hopes for! I would give this game a 7.5/10
There you go then guys, all the big gaming moments that have taken place while I haven't been writing here, for you all. I'm sorry that I have been away for so long, I really have missed writing my thoughts on our world of gaming. I'll see you back here soon after E3!
Thank you very much for reading,
I've been away for quite a long time now. I never intended for a break of any length, but as I started the new University Year last October, I have been pretty swamped. As you will know if you follow me on Twitter, I haven't gone anywhere I just haven't been posting, not for a lack of ideas I might add. This year of my degree is Creative Writing which is the first time I've ever studied the art of writing in any kind of a serious way and there is a very big difference between how I write for my course and how I write to you all, here. I have been unhappy with the lack of content on this site for quite some time now. I have come to the decision that rather than force myself to write hear, at the expense of experimenting with creative writing, that I shall focus on what I am enjoying doing at the moment, which is creative writing. By no means does this signal the end of this website, I am very passionate to write about gaming and the games industry, just not for the next few months. Rest assured I will be back at an undetermined time in the future, despite it being a very, very large window of time I can only say that I will be picking up where I have left off this year. It could be a matter of weeks, it could be a few months, at this point in time I just don't know, and I apologise to you all for the lack of specifics, but I just ask your patience for a little while longer while I focus on my Degree.
If you want to stay up to date with what I'm playing and when I'll be writing, then Twitter is the place to be!
Thank you very much,
Another year has rolled round in the Destiny calender and that can mean only one thing, a new expansion. Since last years expansion titled The Taken King, the Destiny community has been crying out for new content to play. The only answer to this calling was the freely released “April Update” which included a new strike, a remastered strike and the reintroduction of the Prison of Elders. This went a ways towards appeasing the communities never ending need for new content, but hasn't proved enough to maintain a substantial player base through the thinnest of content times. This so called drought of content has come to an end with the release of Rise of Iron, the latest release in the Destiny franchise! I'm here today having spent a lot of time with the game, I have played everything this expansion has to offer including the Raid, so I'm here today to bring you my review!
First up let's talk about the story, I have seen quite a bit of criticism that the story missions in Rise of Iron are too short, and in total amount to a very short campaign, and on paper they are short. There is no doubt that if you are at the appropriate level for the missions you will finish the campaign quest chain in a matter of hours. On a slight side note I have gone back and played the campaign again on another character(that was admittedly incredibly over levelled for the content) and with the expressed wish of clearing the content as quickly as possible, I spent around 40 minutes on all of the story missions! However I do not think that these missions are too short, I think they are collectively the perfect size for this expansion, baring in mind that no one is still playing Destiny for the story content. I liked the way it introduced new characters, though felt the conspicuous absence of our old friends(apart from our trust Ghost), it set up our battle against the new enemy, SIVA, very well. The whole thing felt like the story missions from The Taken King, but with some of the bells and whistles taken off. When you do finish the story missions though, you are immediately welcomed to the proper new content with a host of 6 new Quests, some of which are short some are longer, with many more quests to be found by knowing the right place to look. Case in point, it has recently been found that a Raid based puzzle leads to an Exotic quest that is taking people hours upon hours to complete! This is where the “story” of Destiny comes alive.
Now, let's talk about the new Strikes introduced with Rise of Iron, there are three in total, with the Summoning Pits and Sepiks Prime being brought up to date with a SIVA remastering, and a new one by the name of The Wretched Eye! I will admit that it is a shame that there is only one new strike, that being said I do think it is a fantastic strike. The only caveat to that being that the boss encounter is definitely fun, but also one of the tougher Strike bosses that you can come across in the Strike Playlist! I would put this down to the lack of substantial cover in the boss room, when there is the boss with a lethal laser weapon, a blind ogre that will come and stomp all over you, and then intermittent additional enemies that spawn, it can go wrong very quickly! That being said there is also a distinct satisfaction to completing the strike, I certainly would welcome the Strikes moving more in that direction!
Next I would like to talk about Archons Forge, the new patrol activity that is a cross between the Court of Oryx and Prison of Elders, I personally think that this mode is fantastic and is both highly enjoyable and also a change of pace from the rest of the activities. A lot of people have been complaining about the fact that you can't stack the offerings required to start this activity, and I would fully agree with this issue. The lack of ability hold multiple offerings means that even with a “full” team of three people on patrol it is still possible that you will need to go and farm random enemies in order to continue playing the Archons Forge. That being said Bungie have gone a way to fixing this issue by increasing the drop rate of offerings within the Forge itself, meaning that it is easier to stay within the Forge and not need to leave! One of the beauties of the Forge is that different offerings initiate different encounters, based on the offering that you use, there are several different enemy types that the encounter can be based around. So there are different difficulties that can spawn, as well as different enemy types, which lends itself to a very diverse range of gameplay encounters!
Now for the biggest PvE activity, the Raid! I've completed the raid once, but got up to the final boss on two other occasions, so I would say I'm rather well equated with the raid to tell you my thoughts. All in all I think it is a fantastic and incredibly fun Raid, it takes a nice length of time, and has a suitable difficulty so as not to put too many people off. My only criticism with the whole raid is the final boss, Aksis is a superbly designed fight, but it feels at odds with the rest of the raid. Both times I've cleared the raid up to the final boss my team(gathered through LFG sites) have had a team wipe once and three times on the different runs, but then Aksis requires so much communication that he is and will be the stumbling block for many people. Let me be clear, I don't have a problem with the fight at all, it is well designed, and totally enjoyable with a good team. My problem is that the Raid is rather easy for the first 3 encounters(including Aksis phase 1) and then suddenly it gets notably more difficult at the last hurdle. I have thought back to last year where the bosses gradually got harder, with the War Priest being relatively easy to do in a couple of attempts, Golgoroth being a step up from that, then there were the daughters to introduce the Oryx mechanics, then Oryx was another step up from that. In Wrath of the Machine, the first boss Vosiks is, I would say, very easy. Then there is the Death Zamboni, or Siege Machine as it is officially, which is a small step up in difficulty, but nothing 3 or 4 attempts shouldn't best. Finally Aksis phase 1 is the Daughters equivalent from Kings Fall, with it introducing the mechanics of the final fight. I almost feel like Bungie accidentally put the Heroic version of Aksis into normal mode! Obviously this isn't the case but I do feel like it is deserving of Heroic mode when compared to the rest of the raid!
Last but not least I'd like to talk to you about my experiences with the PvP side of the game in Rise of Iron. There is a new game mode called Supremacy which serves as the Kill Confirmed game type from Call of Duty, for the large part it is a decent new game mode, though I personally think the PvP in Destiny shines at its best with 3v3 and 4v4 game types. I think my problem is that during the time I spent with Supremacy I was experiencing bouts of rather extreme lag, seeing as I haven't experienced this in other game types I am left to assume that because of the extra Crests(the items dropped upon death) on the map, the servers are having to cope with more than they ideally would have too. I had to play a lot of Supremacy when Iron Banner was recently this new game mode and I can't tell you the relief to go back to a "normal" PvP game mode! It is so shotgun orientated due to the very nature that if you kill someone from afar you are running the risk that the other team could pick that crest up and the enemy will gain a point! I think for the main I will only be playing Supremacy whenever is is in Iron Banner, and little besides! The supremacy game mode aside the four new maps that have been introduced with Rise of Iron are superb, I think Skyline has some flow issues around the staircase in the middle but the rest are very nice additions!
There you go guys my final review of what I'm sure will be the last expansion to Destiny until Destiny 2 and what an expansion it has been. Only time will tell how the so called "drought of content" will effect Year 3 of Destiny! Though I am very much looking forward to the return on Festival of the Lost and Sparrow Racing League(SRL) before the end of the year.
Thanks for reading,
I've been toying with how to write this review for some time now, partly because I had so much hope that this game would succeed, I didn't know where to start talking about my sheer disappointment with it. I'm not one of those people who expected the world of the game, just loved the look of what the game was, and exploration game set in the biggest world ever known to a console gamer. I wasn't expecting features that were never shown or talked about, I wasn't expecting the hand crafted brilliance of a Naughty Dog game, nor the open world adventures that can be found in Bethesda's games. I just went in excited for the game, exactly as it had been shown before. Even then I couldn't have anticipated the level of disappointment that would slowly creep up on me during my 20 or so hours with the game.
I will admit that I did have one expectation going into the game, that I would be playing this for tens(dare I hope hundreds?) of hours to come, I never occurred to me that after merely 20 hours I would feel that I'd seen everything this game has to offer, and then some. Maybe I was just slow of the mark in seeing the game for what it is, tiny. You may feel like with over 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets that the game couldn't possibly be tiny, but I assure you it is. Within maybe a dozen hours I had found and bought my way to a maximum slot inventory and Multi-Tool, at the time I thought that would be the true start of my adventure! It turns out that it was as close to the end as I am ever like to get. I have earned and crafted all of the Multi-Tool and Inventory technologies that I want, my mining laser is so fast that even the largest of Crystals can be harvested with the smallest of taps of R2. So after as little as 12 hours every Multi-Tool station I saw was 100% redundant because it was a fact that I'd learned all the technologies. If you want to fly over the surface of a planet then you will see a wide variety of small bases set up by aliens(almost too many considering how largely empty these planets are of NPSs) but these rarely house more than a Multi-Tool upgrade, maybe it's an observatory you land at, well you're in luck as this will allow you to discover a Ruin which when located will teach you a new word for the aliens that inhabit that System. This is a problem in itself, the languages in this game have been designed in such a way that once you learn enough words(again something I have done in the time with the game) you don't really need to learn any more, at least to achieve what the languages set out to give you. I think they set out to allow you to gain new and desirable rewards from foreign alien races. In reality it doesn't take long for you to learn enough words to know exactly what the alien is seeking, then selecting the option feels empty, almost like I didn't really earn the right to speak with these unfathomable aliens.
At the end of the day I was hoping that No Man's Sky would be a game to look back on for years to come as the defining moment in procedural generation, the spotlight was undeniably squarely on the small UK development team forming Hello Games. This was going to be a game discussed for years to come, about the aliens you met, planets discovered, and space explored. Instead people will, for the large part, simply remember that game that had so much promise yet behind the curtain of development seemingly fell at every hurdle without letting on. I think this game will still cause debates, but not the ones everyone was expecting, there will be few discussions about the beauty and majesty of the game. In this place will be discussions of how everyone felt they had been mislead by a developer to the point that their game was arguably the most anticipated game so far of the generation.
It is a saddening, not enlightening, experience to fly from planet to planet, with little to no anticipation of what you will find on the next one after an all too short period of time. I know this review is both shorter and very different when compared to my other reviews, this is largely because I always like to focus on what I like, but also what I don't like whilst suggesting ways that these issues could be improved. However I find myself with this game in the very rare position of believing that this can't can't be tweaked to anywhere near perfection. It can maybe get a little less repetitive, but at its core this is just quite frankly not a good game. I feel there is a real debate to be had over the price point, and whether many people(myself included) would consider if such a failure if we had only paid £15-20 for it. This is a debate that I passionately want to have with you all so do check back soon for my thoughts on that. At the end of the day however, I am here to review the product in front of me, No Man's Sky is clearly a game that thinks its self a AAA game, but fall so far short in both quality and quantity that it is staggering. While I have been thinking about how to write this review, I have obviously also been considering what I will score it. So it is time to finish my review of No Man's Sky, not as an excited space explorer, but as a crestfallen gamer. I give No Man's Sky
Thank you very much for reading, I will be back soon with my thoughts on Battlefield 1!
It is finally here, No Man's Sky is one week away from release. To celebrate this fact I wanted to spend some time talking about the game, interspersed with some of the amazing trailers and screenshots we have seen!
So while we don't exactly know how the game opens, we do know that we all start with a basic ship, exo suit(don't worry it isn't like Call of Duty) and a starter weapon. These three aspects of the game will form the core of your upgrading with better ships offering a better hyper drive, letting you warp to planets of a greater distance away. You will be upgrading your suit, to allow you to brave harsh planets, such as those with radioactive rain, or perhaps extreme temperate both high and low. There are also toxic planets, which should be taken no less seriously than some of the hostile creatures that inhabit them. These fearsome foes will be part of the reason you will want to upgrade you weapon, and also to gather more materials. These materials will in turn feed back into the upgrading process, so from what we know, it might be a good idea to upgrade your weapon first, so you can collect more natural resources from the planets you visit, which will then make upgrading your ship and suit easier; in theory.
So the main selling point of No Man's Sky is that it is procedurally generated, this means that every time you get close to a planet, it will randomly make that planet based on a series of factors. However you may not know that this procedural generation applies to nearly everything in the game. The developers at Hello Games have made a series of different types of animals, such as birds, lizards, sea animals and more, they have then fed this information into their game engine, which generates a near infinite different number of animal variants. The same theory has been applies to the weapons and ships in the game, so while upgrading your ship will get you so far, you will probably also need to buy a new one at some point, so you are almost guaranteed never to see the same ship twice!
Next I want to talk about the trading in No Man's Sky, this won't operate anywhere near to what you are used to from other games. There are different races in the Universe of No Man's Sky, and each one of these races has a unique language, by learning languages of specific races you will be held in higher favour. As a result of this increased favour, you are more likely to get better deals on buying and selling, as well as a greater number of items for sale. You can learn these new languages one word at a time by scanning Monoliths(pictured below) and over time you will be able to get the best possible prices from the different races. I don't know if it will be possible to focus on one of these languages at a time, or whether each Monolith you come too could have a new word for different languages. That isn't to say that learning a language via these Monoliths is the only way to increase favour with specific factions and races, though this hasn't been touched on much by Sean Murray(Lead Programmer), he has hinted that actions such as intervening when a faction is being attacked in space will increase your favour. Only time will tell the lengths we will be going to in order to gain a closer bond with the different races in the Universe!
To trade resources, you will need to be able to craft them, and for this you will require gather and craft them. From what we have seen I believe that your weapon will have two firing modes, one which is for the combat against hostile creatures etc. and also a laser beam firing mode which allows the gathering of planetary materials. In some of the early gameplay shown simply shooting an ore would make it disappear and the materials appear in your inventory, but as the game development has progressed the ores now shatter into little pieces and those pieces are pulled towards your weapon, and thus your inventory. Now these ores are not simply the ones you might find on our planet, no there is a whole new periodic table that has been designed specifically by the Hello Games team for No Man's Sky. So while we have seen more recognisable elements such as Iron or Plutonium, there are also elements specific to the game such as Heridium or a twist on a known element, Oxycen. I am assuming different elements will have different densities, so that will be something we can upgrade our weapon to be able to destroy stronger elements, so if I'm right there will be a progressive order in which some of the elements can be gathered. This is pure supposition so, it is possible that mining upgrades only effect speed and other factors like that. In one of the recent trailer we are shown a weapon upgrade that will allow you to mine two ores at once if they are close enough together.
So there you go guys, the cores bases of the game covered, No Man's Sky is a game I have been excited about for years since it was announced. So to be writing this only a week away from release in incredibly exciting! Be sure to check back soon for more coverage of No Man's Sky once I have my hands on the game, exciting times ahead!
Thanks for reading
With E3 2016 just around the corner I thought I would bring everything together that we have seen so far, here are my favourite trailers and rumours that have surfaced so far!
First up we have the announcement that XCOM 2 will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in September this year, the highly acclaimed strategy game is finally coming to console and I personally couldn't be more excited if I tried. Take a look at the trailer announcing it:
Next we have the Injustice 2 trailer that has just been released, it features Batman, Superman, Flash, Aquaman and Superman. Although the trailer is spectacular, it doesn't really excite me due to the fact that I personally don't enjoy 2D fighting games such as this one will be. Regardless check out the trailer:
Next we have the incredible looking Horizon Zero Dawn, with a new Story Trailer to feast our eyes on, I am very excited to see more of this during Sony's Conference!
So they are the trailers that have caught my eye so far, now let's take a look at some of the juicy information that has been leaked so far.
First up we have the Rise of Iron, this is something that has had the above artwork leaked, as well as Bungie trademarking the name Rise of Iron, so I personally would put money on the next expansion to Destiny being called Rise of Iron. The picture doesn't tell us much, and while speculation is very fun, it is even more fun to consider that Bungie are hosting a stream on Thursday evening to show us the future. I will be tuning in, and if you are a fan of Destiny, then I would recommend you do to! I will be hosted over at Bungie's Twitch Page.
Last but very much not least, this is by far the most rumoured game on this list. It has been leaked from several sources. This is something that I would welcome with open arms, the idea of being able to go back to the world of Skyrim, to revisit the characters, locations and enemies that I can remember, would be incredible. I really think that this is something that Bethesda would do, and if this is revealed during their conference, I would reckon that it will be released later this year, similarly to how Fallout 4 was revealed last year!
There you go guys, a recap of the trailers and rumours that have peaked my interest for one reason or another, all the conference are just around the corner, so check back soon for more coverage of the games that we get a better look of!
Thanks for reading,
Today I want to talk to you about some of the small things that I think would make Destiny a generally better game. I wouldn't say these are as small as quality of life, but they aren't DLC sized changes, let's get into them!
So first there are a few bounty related additions that I would like to see, firstly is a weekly Vanguard Bounty, I would like it to operate similarly to the Crucible Bounty, but instead of Nightfall tier rewards, the reward is instead a reward similar to a Vanguard reward. I think this would be a nice additional thing to offer PvE players, and perhaps it could only be available to complete in the same window that Trials of Osiris is open. My second bounty related thought is to do with Raid bounties, these could be handed out in the Tower and are there to encourage a different approach to the Raid. My thoughts were ranging from the simple, "Kill 150 enemies in a Raid" or "Get 20 consecutive headshot kills in a Raid", up to Challenge Mode style bounties such as having different gaze holders on Golgoroth, or something personal like don't get hit by a sniper during the Daughters encounter. Then a bigger bounty that is rewarded for going through a whole raid without deploying a Ward of Dawn, using a Tether or activating Self Revive. I think it only fair that these bounties give good rewards so I was thinking that for the simple killing bounties you get 5 Mouldering Shards, for the encounter specific bounties a guaranteed item from that encounter. Then for the biggest bounty, two guaranteed higher/maximum light level items from the whole raid. So it could be a helmet, sniper, hand cannon etc. This would be a nice addition to make playing the now 8 month old raid still relevant to play(aside from the ability to earn 335 light gear). My last bounty request is just to have more daily bounties in rotation, very few new ones have been added since the game launched, and they are really quite repetitive to achieve. So my thoughts were:
Hit 10 enemies with a sparrow whilst on Patrol
Get 5 double kills with Scatter Grenades
Get 5 shoulder charge kills in 90 seconds
Tether 10 or more foes with one single tether
Deal the killing blow to a boss with a Super
I can think of others but for the sake of time, you get my point. There could be so much more diversity to bounties that would require so little involvement from Bungie to implement.
Two changes I would like to see in respect of Nightfalls are matchmaking at character locks. So firstly I see no reason what so ever that this shouldn't be in the game, there is matchmaking for Heroic strikes, so Nightfalls should be made easier by implementing matchmaking! My other idea for Nightfalls is that the rewards are moved from 3 per week per character to 3 per week per account, basically the same change that has also been made to Heroic Legendary Mark rewards. So if I choose I can do all 3 nightfalls on one character, as a Titan player who doesn't mind a Hunter and can't stand playing Warlock this would be a nice increase to loot!
Next we have difficulty scaling for patrols, this was something that was promised for patrol on the Dreadnaught, but as soon as you hit level 40, it was no longer a challenge to simply walk around these areas. I think it is stupid that Bungie has made the huge sections of the 5 worlds, but there is no incentive to go out and explore them, partly because the node bounties are boring and yield tiny rewards, but also because you walk all over the enemies. I suspect that the reason this hasn't been done is because it will make seeing other players rarer, as there are more matchmaking restrictions for finding you a patrol. To this I say that you see few players already, so what is the harm in reducing this further, and also even when you do see other players, you rarely interact with them, as there is nothing to be gained from doing so!
Lastly I would like it if Sparrow Racing League(SRL) was a monthly occurrence. If we could get this, and put it in a good place in the month, we could have SRL one week, a week off, then Iron Banner another week off then the cycle repeats. This would be such a welcome addition to the game for me and many others who miss SRL. I left this until last because it could be done with little effort from Bungie, by simply bringing back the two existing maps and putting it in rotation every month. While this would be acceptable to me, I would like to see more maps added into the playlist to increase the variety.
There you go guys, my largely simple additions to Destiny that I think would bring a welcome change of pace to the game until the leaked Rise of Iron launches in September. Let me know what you think of these ideas either in the comments of this post, or on Twitter.
Thanks for reading,
Uncharted 4 has just been released, and while I haven't played Uncharted 4 yet(that comes in a few days) I want to look back at my time with the series just before I embark on the last iteration. I will say know there will be spoilers of some nature for Uncharted 1, 2 and 3 but absolutely none what so ever for Uncharted 4.
So let me lay the ground work first, I played Uncharted 3 first back on the PS3, loved it but never got around to playing 1 and 2. Then the Nathan Drake Collection was released on the PS4 with all 3 in and I picked it up, and since then I have played 1 and 2 as well as replayed 3, so without further ado, here is my history with Uncharted.
So this first adventure sees Nate team up with Sully and at times Elena to find El Dorado. I enjoyed this game, but wasn't blown away by it, the environments were pretty similar throughout and the set pieces weren't as big as I'd been led to expect. Where this game did excel for me was the combat, I haven't played it in a month or two know but I hold the shooting in Uncharted 1 above the other two. I liked the way it felt, and that with accuracy I could just use my pistol and go for one shot kill headshots. There was one particular segment in which Nate and Elena take to a Jet Ski to traverse the island which is a really, really bad point for the game, none of it works well and it was a chore to get through. Other than that the climbing was fun, the traditional Naughty Dog cinematography was clear to see and enriched the game ten fold. Although I think Uncharted 1 had its flaws, I do see how at the time is could spawn a franchise that has come to represent the PlayStation name!
Now Uncharted 2 is where things really start to get going for me, the environments are gorgeously diverse, the set pieces are far, far better than in the first, and just generally it is a superb game. The opening to this game with the collapsing train is as breath taking and exhilarating as you could possibly ask for. There is intrigue about what led him to be in this position, and there are more of the amazing cinematic camera angles. The finale(which I won't spoil just in case you haven't played it) is a super intense fight which I will remember for a good while to come. Obviously Uncharted 2 is possibly most famously known for the train sections, which are impressive today, never mind about when it was released! The scenery changes and speeds by you creating some of the best moments of the game. As I said the shooting was, for me, at its best in Uncharted 1 and that does detract ever so slightly from this one, but nothing big at all. There are some amazing plot twists which I also won't mention, and while the characters are generally better in Uncharted 2, for some reason I can't stand Chloe. I would have infinitely preferred if Elena had been in a more prominent position compared to Chloe, but that is personal opinion.
Here we go, this is the pinnacle of an action adventure game, this has it all. The best set pieces of the series, the best puzzles, environments, characters it really does have it all. There are so many iconic and intensely memorable scenes and action. There is more character development of these characters that you have grown to love, and even playing this as the first one is my series I still could grow attached to these characters very quickly. While the shooting isn't as comfortable for me as Uncharted 1, it does feel more realistic here, with all of the weapons feeling more hefty. There is of course the section of the game where you play as Nate as a child which is a superb way for you to feel more attached to your friends, and further apart from your enemies.
There you go guys, my two cents on the Uncharted series up to now, I will of course have coverage of Uncharted 4 in the coming weeks and months, there may even be a gallery in there! That being said I do have a very busy personal time approaching, so content on here may not be as frequent as it has been. Rest assured though that I will be back soon with new content for you.
Thanks for reading,
Today I want to talk to you about my first 15 hours or so with Dark Souls 2 on the PlayStation 4. I can truly say it is a game like no other I have ever played, that isn't to say it will be everyone's cup of tea, I myself have avoided the series for a long while as I thought it wasn't what I was looking for in a game. However I bit the bullet, so to speak, and here I am, an enlightened man, someone who has come out the proverbial tunnel and seen the light. Dark Souls 2 took my by surprise(and continues to do so) like nothing I was expecting. When I hear that a game doesn't hold your hand, I usually expect no tutorials, or a game that makes it hard to discern where to go next. However Dark Souls 2, really doesn't hold your hand, even after 15 hours of playing, I don't feel much more enlightened about the "story" than after I watched the intro cutscene. I thought this would be something that I wouldn't like, however I don't think a game like this would suit a traditional narrative story line, instead what you will fill your hours with is exploration and trying new theories of how to achieve something. Again I thought I would find this hands off approach from the games narrative annoying, however it just works. I know as a games journalist I should be able to put my finger more on why it works, but it just does. You will, as I have, lose hours into the same environment progressing bit by bit, until your heart lifts at the sight of a Bonfire. These act as the fast travel points in the game, and also resting at them refreshes you health and Estus Flasks(the games main source of health regeneration), but also resets the enemies. So if you want to explore further into an area but are out of Estus Flasks, then you need to weigh up your options about whether you go back to a bonfire at the cost of resetting all the enemies, or continue on and risk death in a hard to reach area.
I wish to put forth to you a fly-less ointment, so to speak, this game does have its problems, namely how damned hard it is, I don't mind dying to an enemy stronger than me, I don't mind making a mistake that costs me my life. What I do occasionally get frustrated with, however, is the fact that death doesn't merely set you back to the last Bonfire you rested on, no. It takes away some of your health bar so you are weaker, it will take all your souls off you and leave them on the spot where you died, and you will not get back any items you used in your previous life. It is perhaps this last point that I have the largest gripe with, as I have never liked a game where it feels like you collect all these resources, then risk losing them every time you want to use them. What I would like instead, is your health still goes down per death, you still drop your Souls on the place of your death, but any items used since your last Bonfire visit are replenished. This would mean that if I haven't used any Throwing Knives in a few hours and have built up a dozen or so, if I want to experiment by trying to take down a boss from a safe distance with said knives, those few hours of collecting aren't lost if I die to that boss. That is the only thing that I would like to see implemented to make the game a touch easier and also a tad more enjoyable I might think.
The environments and level design are some of the features of the Dark Souls series that I had heard most about. This also has lived up to expectations, there is one area, which I won't spoil other than to say it is Pirate themed, which upon first discovering, I didn't like going to, this was due to the fact that I felt very uncomfortable there, it is a dark environment(as many of them are) and enemies would leap out of said darkness and scare the living proverbial out of me. However as I have conquered this area, I now feel perfectly at ease with my environment. I have explored every nook and cranny, and defeated the boss that is lying in wait. I have triggered one of the secrets which has made the area much more pleasant to wander around. So now it is a the stage where it is one of my favourite places in the game so far, because the ambience of the area has been totally nailed by the developer, From Software. So far, I have defeated 7 bosses, and I am aware of the location of an additional 3 bosses, all of which have been very unique, and the environments they are in, are simply wondrous. There have been 2 boss encounters that I have come across so far, that I am aware of the fact that by exploring the surrounding locale, you can make the plain of engagement a notably easier one. However some, or even most people may not find these features, and that goes to show how the game feels about exploration, it is necessary, without the game telling you this.
Don't get me wrong, despite the fact that I have been gushing about this amazing game, it is still a brutally hard one, at the time of writing I have died over 200 times in those 15 hours! The learning curve is so steep that I wouldn't think less of someone for leaving the game because of it. Within the first 4 hours along, I went from thinking, this is a really good game, onto thinking it had been a mistake to buy the game, then sure it had been a mistake to buy the game, then after 4 hours, and I had defeated the first boss on my second attempt, I was hooked. There may be ups and downs in the game, but I believe on balance Dark Souls 2 is an amazing game, that I would recommend anyone at least trying. These are my impressions after 15 hours with Dark Souls 2, I do hope you check back in the future to read more coverage as I play through more, and eventually leading to my full review.
Thanks for reading,
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!