The last three weeks have seen a new event added to the Kings Fall Raid in Destiny, Challenge Mode, which has changed the way you need to kill one of the three main bosses. Today I want to do a recap of the three challenges, and talk about whether they are worth doing, and how challenging they actually are.
So in the first week we had the War Priest, which needed to be killed after the Aura was held with a different person every time. The Aura holder being the first person to step on the last plate. This was a rather disappointing challenge, as many people did it with either no change or little change to how they normally did the encounter. The team I did it with had no challenge what so ever completing it on Hard, and the reward was the 48th Calcified Fragment, an Emblem(only on Hard Mode), a guaranteed 320 on Hard, 310 on Normal, weapon to drop and a guaranteed 320 Hard or 310 Normal Arfifact to drop. By completing it on Hard Mode for the first time that week on any one character, you would you Normal and Hard Raid rewards, as well as Normal and Hard Challenge mode rewards. So I got a 320 Sniper, 310 Rocket launcher, a 320 and 310 Artifact along side the random rewards for completing the encounter for the first time on that character in the week. So looking back it was a disappointing change to the boss, but exceptional loot for those around light level 300 or 310. So people geared up and prepared for the Golgoroth Challenge the following week.
Golgoroth came around and was far more challenging that War Priest.... for the first few hours, then people worked out a way to make the encounter much easier, whilst still completing the challenge, which was that everyone had to hold Golgoroths gaze at least once per cycle. So what people worked out you could do, is the normal one Orb strategy where everyone drops down into the pool and does damage on the boss, they rather that doing damage for the following 5 gaze fazes, it is simply passed around safely from the side of the pit. I would be very surprised in Bungie intended this, as they said in a weekly update, "but apologies in advance to those that run the single-pool strat for Golgoroth"(full article). Anyway Bungies intentions aside this was much closer to what I had been imagining, it took me around about 2 hours to complete it, though I did need to find a second group to attempt it with, as I couldn't get it done with the first group. The rewards for Golgoroth followed a similar pattern to War Priest, with a guaranteed 320(Hard) or 310(Normal) piece of Armour, along with an emblem if completed on Hard, the 49th Calcified Fragment, and an artifact or two depending on difficulty. People then moved their sights to Oryx Challenge Mode, and speculation was everywhere as to what the challenge would be!
The following Tuesday rolled around and this one took a little longer for people to work out the challenge, people came to the conclusion, still only hours after the challenge was pushed live, that you would have to detonate all 16 orbs at once to complete the challenge. Many people, myself very much included, were very surprised by this, as when this strategy was first found a few months ago, many people could show that it crashed a lot of peoples consoles. Clearly hidden in one of the patches since these reports, that was fixed, and now people knew how to complete the final challenge. What you have to do, is save up four bombs in each area, totally 16, and then detonate them all at once, taking Oryx down to his last stand in one foul swoop. By doing this you will face 3 Shades of Oryx, as you won't need to run after the first cycle as there will be no damage done to Oryx. This challenge was by far the hardest for me to pull off, I attempted it with several groups, the majority of which disbanded due to the difficulty, however I eventually bested Oryx and claimed my prize, of either a Primary Weapon or Helmet at 320(Hard) or 310(Normal) Light Level, then the now standard 320/310 Artifact, an emblem(Hard Mode only) a new awesome Ship(Hard Mode only) and the much coveted 50th Calcified Fragment. Now assuming you have earned all the previous 49 fragments(as I had done), many people assumed there would be an amazing reward for collecting every fragment, after all it is a very hard thing to collect them all. What did we get I hear you ask? A Shader. Nothing more, nothing less. This has angered many people, myself included to some extent, and while some believe that there will be an Exotic quest that unlocks after a certain amount of time, I myself believe that we have had our reward, and will earn nothing further from the fragment collection. I'm okay with this, as the journey those 50 fragments took me on, was an amazing one, and while it was occasionally gruelling, it was worth it in the end, even if it all led to a Shader, we all will still have the tale of the 50.
Thank you very much for reading, I will post again after Christmas now, so I hope you have a wonderful time!
Today I want to bring you my favourite games that have been released in 2015, I will say now though that this list may change slightly, I haven't played Just Cause 3 or Fallout 4 yet, either of which may well be on this list, but due to their late releases may be featured in next years list. So here we go, the best of the best games that have been released in 2015(that I have played). There will be games on this list, and I will count them down in descending order, starting with.....
Assassin's Creed Syndicate takes the number 7 spot on my GOTY Awards, Syndicate is a very good game, with superb characters and amazing visuals and the missions are designed perfectly. You will be taken from the mud filled workhouses to places of much greater affluency, which will remain nameless due to spoilers. The reason this game has only reached 7th place is two fold, firstly the franchise needs to take a break, let me explain, while this is a very good Assassin's game, the formula that governs this game, is still far too close to the last entry, Unity. The second reason is that the free running still hasn't been fine tuned, this would be acceptable on the first or second, even the third entry, but on the ninth, it is unacceptable that one of the core mechanics of the series still hasn't been improved enough with each passing year. There were still many occasions when I wanted to go somewhere, or climb something, but my character would either get stuck mere inches from the top, or simply refuse to climb it. Combine this with section(though few are still present) when you need to chase and catch an enemy, as you may be able to imagine, this often does not turn out well! Those are the reasons Assassin's Creed Syndicate got number 7 on my GOTY list, onto number 6!
Borderlands The Handsome Collection packages together Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel along with all the DLC that has been released for both games. While The Pre-Sequel is a somewhat lacklustre game, Borderlands 2 is one of my favourite games of all time. So to have the opportunity to play it again, with all of the DLC I never picked up on the PS3 was a chance I couldn't pass up. There are 4 Campaign based DLCs for Borderlands 2 and 1 for The Pre-Sequel, along with a large collection of smaller bit of DLC, which can be just as good as the high standard set from the main DLCs. Tiny Tina's Assault of Dragon Keep(the final Campaign DLC released for Borderlands 2) is the second best DLC I've ever played, beaten only by The Last of Us Left Behind, it is a 5-7 hour campaign that all Borderlands fans should take the time to play! All in all Borderlands The Handsome Collection has taken many, many hours from me, and it still a joy to go back to every now and then. With a diverse range of classes, and more guns that any single person could count, Borderlands is a fantastic game, even under the scrutiny of time!
Call of Duty Black Ops 3, this years franchise entry from Treyarch, and it is easily my favourite Call of Duty since Black Op 2, and it could well surpass that! With is subtle tweaks on the movement system, there to help with traversal but not used as frequently in fire fights as Advanced Warfare. There is quite frankly superb weapon balance; I have always thought that the tell of a well balanced game, is when you can Google what the most powerful weapon is, and come up with tens of ideas on what it is. I personally have gravitated towards a few of them, but I know I could do just as well if I wanted to spread out and use other weapons. I will admit that I haven't even touch the campaign yet, but I have sunk a decent amount of time into Shadows of Evil, the new Zombies map, which it perhaps too complicated to want to get into on a very regular basis, but has enough hidden secrets that it still brings me back to it from time to time. There is also the Free Run mode, which I dismissed as a tiny tag on, and while it is very small(I completed all the tracks in around 25 minutes) it has continued to bring me back to beat my previous best times. Looking at the bigger picture of Black Ops 3, it is the complete package, with a superb multiplayer and enough other activities to keep you going even if and when you get bored of the multiplayer. Black Ops 3 has definitely earned 4th place in my best Games of the Year.
Coming into the podium positions, we have the Dark Knight himself Batman Arkham Knight. The Arkham Trilogy is one of my favourite series, and Rocksteady finished it of with style and poise. While I am aware that many people correctly guessed and were disappointed with the identity of the Arkham Knight, I was blissfully aware until the moment of reveal. I think this game gets an unnecessary amount bad press because of the quite frankly atrocious version of the game on PC, but because of this I think many people don't give this game the credit it deserves. This game wraps up the Batman games with what is in my opinion the best story to date, set it the best and most detailed world yet. One controversial addition to the game was the Batmobile, I think for 90% of the time it fits in very well, but it is that remaining 10% that causes people varying levels of grief.
Other that the occasionally sloppy use of the Batmobile Arkham Knight is a game that should be celebrated and played, in previous years this game might have topped my list, but it was beaten out by some tough competition!
Now we come to a truly stunning game, and one that has taken the number 2 spot in my heart this year; Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. Unlike some of the people playing Witcher 3, I hadn't played any of the previous games, so I was a little daunted when I first started playing, but I soon got to grips with the story and mechanics. This isn't a perfect game, in fact there are some level balance issues which really annoy me, but when this game does something right, it blows you away. Whether it be the best Quests I have ever played, or the vistas that just make you want to put your controller down and enjoy. Witcher 3 is one of those games that pulls you back in from time to time and reminds you how a game should be made. Although it isn't my favourite game ever made, I have no hesitation in saying that it is my favourite Fantasy game, even topping the spectacular Skyrim! High praise indeed!
Was there ever any doubt? The game that I have put the most hours into, thought about or played every day since launch, and the driving force of content since release on this website. Destiny The Taken King is my favourite game released in 2015. You might argue that it is a DLC and not a game, but it changed the whole game, and in my opinion was how the game should have launched last year, so yes it is a game, and a fantastic one at that. I could write about Destiny until I wear my keyboard down, but let me just run you through some of the things that make this game so amazing. The campaign, although far shorter than I was expecting, was filled with more details of the characters I had grown to love over the last year, and all of it was paced superbly, it actually feels like you are fighting a war against the Taken. There is also the Raid, Kings Fall in hands down the greatest single experience I've ever had in a game, I have played all of the previous Raids many times, but Kings Fall seems a more developed experience. From the platforming to the mechanics, it is a fluid and fantastic experience, and something that should be commended.
So there you go guys, my favourite games that have been released in 2015, I truly think that has been an amazing year for gaming, and one that we will look back on in future years and marvel at. Now you know what my favourite games are, I want to know yours, let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter!This won't be the last you hear of me in 2015, but I'm already planning some exciting things for 2016, I hope you are as excited as I am!
Thanks for reading,
So last night(depending on your time zone) PlayStation hosted their now annual PlayStation Experience(or PSX) and during the conference to open the weekend event, a new 3 week long event was announced for Destiny. So starting on Tuesday(8th of December) and running until Tuesday the 29th of December, all owners of The Taken King will be able to take part in Sparrow Racing League for free! During the event, Amanda Holiday will have a reputation meter to fill up, which sounds to be very similar to Iron Banner, in that the higher your rank, the better rewards you will get from completing matches. You will be pitted against 5 other players, all of whom will have the same kind of sparrow, so don't worry if you don't have a Raid Sparrow, the theory of the races are that everyone is on a level playing field. It will come down to who can drive through the most boost gates to get into the lead. There will be two tracks available at the start(though I wouldn't be surprised to see at least one more added later on) one on Mars which has been described as the easy one, and one on Venus which is being called the hard track.
There will be new Sparrows, new armour pieces which will offer perks specific to Sparrow Racing, and also a new gear slot which is a Sparrow horn! These seem to act similarly to the masks during the Halloween event recently, in that rare ones will expire after the event, but legendary ones appear not to. There are also a bunch of new emotes that will replace the ones currently on sale, so be ware of that as well! We will also have the first "Private Match" type event with racing, as you are allowed to go into a race filled with just your 6 person fire team, so we should get some interesting results from that!
Bungie haven't made any promises as to if the Sparrow Racing League will ever return, but they have said that if fans like it they will put more time into the idea of it, where as if players aren't particularly fussed by the idea of it, then they will put their energy into other things. I personally really like the idea of it, I'm just not sure if I would prefer Bungie working on bigger content, such as the next Raid or batch of Story Missions. Either way I'm excited for this limited time event, and I want to know what you guys think of the latest addition to the Destiny Universe, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter. I will leave you know with the trailer for the Sparrow Racing League, launching on December 8th!
As always, 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!