Control Ultimate Edition. Everyone needs a second chance

Looks like I have another confession to make.

The first time I played Control was with a PS4 using the PS Now Subscription over wi-fi. I now know, this was a mistake. It was a mistake because the base PS4 simply doesn’t want to run the game. It doesn’t want to the player to enjoy a smooth, glitch free environment. What the PS4 does want when you try to run Control is a broken experience. An experience full of slowdown and crashes. A game where enemies can simply jump in and out of existence at the will of the console. It was horrible. Plus because I am an idiot, I didn’t download it. I simply played it over wi-fi which, made all the bugs, crashes and everything else wrong with the game so much worse.

But, as they say you can never put a good horse down and with the release of Control Ultimate Edition on the PS5 I decided to give the game another go.

I am so glad I did. It’s simply a different experience. Gone are the long loading screens, the enemies don’t simply pop in and out of existence and it looks incredible. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have jumped at seeing my own reflection in one of the office windows. It looks incredible.

Anyway back to the game. The world in Control feels, alive, feels as if it’s a living breathing…thing. The Oldest House, the setting for Control. Feels almost sentient, it’s as if it is simply letting the Bureau use part of the building until the Oldest House gets bored of them and then turfs them out.

The story is interesting, gives it’s self time to breath and lets the player explore as much or as little of the world as they see fit, even them more is hidden in plain site with extra story content revealed through collectibles that must be read or watched to give you a full picture of what is going on. Spoiler You will want to read these collectibles, they reveal a world that is slowly going crazy, slipping through into another dimension, maybe even another time. It’s incredible a sort of Star Trek story from the 60’s transplanted into our time. It’s a world filled with altered items for instance you will come across a fridge that has been possessed and must be fought, a traffic light that wants nothing more than to become it’s higher purpose for everything to become stop, wait or go.

The combat is similarly interesting another spoiler you can are given an incredible option of ways to fight you can shoot with a gun you find early in the game, although no ordinary gun, this gun is only part in our world you will see it change shape depending on what upgrades you have. It can shoot conventional bullets but can also be upgraded to be a shot gun or either a laser, but why stop with a gun? Some of the powers Jess gets through her run also include the ability to pick up and throw anything from rubbish bins to eventually whole enemies, the ability to control enemies to have them turn to your side, to even being able to create a shield made out of the debris you find around you.

This is simply an excellent, if quite wacky game. Well worth a play πŸ™‚

Is Days Gone ready for cult status?

Days Gone originally released on the the of April 2019, and yet somehow it feels like it’s a recent release. A game that somehow missed the cultural beat of its time and only now, found it’s market. Back in 2019 it was just another in a long line of Zombie based apocalypses, in a market already over saturated with them and suffered from some very cruel reviews in some of the bigger games publications. The game was simple, you either loved it or bounced straight of it. I was in the later camp. The game didn’t seem to do anything new. It felt over stretched, one good idea, stretched across a thin open world. The opening hours are quite dull, they were made to be suffered through and suffer is something you didn’t want to in a world that was under populated and quite generic. I quickly traded it in.

Then something happened. Sony decided that more people should play it. A PC release was announced, it joined the PS Collection on PS5 (with added 60FPS) and more importantly Sony decided to include it as part of April’s PS Plus selection of games. Soon a whole number of players, players who didn’t have to pay for it, started to play it and the reviews of the started to appear, people who hadn’t heard of it before now had the opportunity to play it. With the current, slow release of new games, people were able to give it the time the Sony Bend had wanted people to give to it. An old game became a fresh new game and I had to replay it. Here are my thoughts

Story

With Days Gone being a single player adventure the story really does have to keep invested and this is initially something Days struggles with after an opening cinematic and interesting opening level that teaches the controls, I had high hopes, I thought we were in for an interesting romp through a Zombie infested world. We are not. We spend the next tens of hours, being showing where camps our (camps are were survivors live) how to get jobs, how to drive around, how to put petrol in our metal horse ( motorbike) and so on. I can see why many people give up here. The first, maybe ten hours, just feel slow, boring and meandering with a completion rate of only 32% and that’s just the story none of the side content, Sony Bend should have thought more about making an interesting story from the beginning. I know players like to get a hang of the controls and the world around them before the hand holding ends, but it juts goes on so long here and it’s a shame as the story, eventually get’s good – even if it is very much a B-movie clichΓ© and you (now this is really silly) have to complete the game and then go back and play it again for a while before getting the true additional end. Crazy. It’s a very long time, perhaps 80 hours of game play and it feels like it. With games like Ghost of Tsushima and the Last of Us 2 being completable in around 40-50 hours. Days Gone is far, far too long

Gameplay

If the story is too long then the gameplay is just the opposite it sits perfectly within the games atheistic, there is not much variation, which isn’t great, but the genres template gameplay elements are all accounted for there are your fetch quests, the shoot this and shoot that quests, the save that survivor quests and shoot these others because we don’t like what they are doing quests. It does have one-stand out gameplay element though and that is the Hordes. Put simply the hordes are vast units of enemy freaks. Freaks being what the game has chosen to call Zombies. These hordes all act on the one-mind principle and can number anywhere up from a few dozen to a few hundred. Simply put they are terrifying as if you make a sound or one of them catch you, there is nothing you can do but run, jump on your motorbike and drive far away as hundreds of the undead run sever towards you hunting your blood. This is the standout element of the game and one that kept me coming back way after the credits had rolled. Now instead of running away I was over powered and could just about stay in front of the hordes. They hideouts becoming little more than playgrounds for me to practice my killing techniques. Would I let them chase me through a petrol station just to see how many I could kill with a well timed explosive or would I kill them with a timed bomb strapped to a petrol pump? It was a good time.

Characters Another place where a story based game can sink or swim is it’s characters. Days Gone is no different in this respect and as is the case with most of the games similar to this Days Gone’s characters are a real mixed bag. It suffers terribly by having a few of the main characters being nothing more than one dimensional beings you have the token religious Zealot, the crazy cult leader and others that simply want nothing more than endless bloodshed. It is somewhat redeemed by the main characters bromance with his best friend and his relationship with some minor characters but in the whole, the cast is hard to love. Although the voice work is excellent.

Graphics First played on the original PS4 the game struggled to run as the developers intended. A point I think that also serves for other PlayStation big hitters like God of War and Ghost of Tsushima. Simply put all three of these games look good on the standard PS4 but on the PS5 they simply shine. I wouldn’t recommend you buy a PS5 just to play these games but the addition of 60FPS is a real game changer in these titles that demand quick reflexes the fight’s in all three now feel silky smooth and look wonderful. In the case of Days Gone the sight of 400 freakers now streaming down a hill towards you is terrifying. I almost wished that they would suffer a bit of a slowdown similar to how I first saw them on the PS4. The rest of Days looks great. Its set in Oregon in the United States a world of open pastures, mountain tops and waterfalls. It all looks lovely. A place you could almost go on holiday too. As long as you got rid of the Zombies first.

Conclusion I still don’t know how I feel about the game. I can’t fully recommend it, it is far too long. But if you have time for it. It could be worth it, its something you could go back to, dip in and out a horde here a mission there. However I would be interested in playing a sequel if it’s ever announced.

On a side note. It is a very easy ( if long) platinum trophy. You don’t even need to complete the game more than once:)

Five games for when you are short on time

Games are great aren’t they? They let you escape to places you will never visit, be someone you could never be and have powers more in common with fiction than reality. In short games are great aren’t they? In fact, one of the only criticisms you can really lay on Video Games is that they aren’t the greatest respecters of the players time. Even then you could say that a lot of that is based on the price vs time spent playing a game that some people use to say wether or not a game is worth their time.

Still, sometimes it’s good to sit down and know that your going to complete the game you have your eye on and not in hundreds of hours, not in tens of hours but simply in a few.

Here are some of my favourites:

Firewatch is primarily this game is about the day job, The job of looking out for wildfires in one of America’s National Parks, about telling off stupid adults as they litter or get drunk and then go swimming. It’s also more than that, it’s about loneliness, about finding yourself in the middle of nowhere, it’s about solving a mystery, starting again and helping others. Through the game you will only talk to one other person and that person you will only ever talk to over a radio, and yet even though you will never see them ,you will fuse a bond so strong, that it will feel like you have known them for a life time. It also helps that the game is utterly gorgeous to look at and doesn’t punish you for just walking, just taking it all in. For loosing yourself in your surroundings

A lovely view
It’s cold down here

Dear Esther

Be careful with this one. Again, on paper it’s another game picked from the walking simulator genre. In reality it’s a game about loss and depression about wanting it all to be over. This is not a happy game – at least I didn’t find it to be. I played it one New Years Eve as everyone I knew was out partying, I was sat at home, not feeling great and feeling very sorry for myself. Not the state you want to be when you start this game. It starts hopefully enough. You are just walking about a small Island taking everything in. It’s nice tranquil, the perfect game to play, when you’re not feeling your best. It’s only later, once the story starts to kick in, does the game start to begin. It’s not very happy. However it is a great game and one that you should be played. Just know that you won’t come away laughing.

Portal.

Time to walk away from the sad train now. Time to test our brains and what better way to do that then by playing the ever popular and still brilliant Portal. Yes it may be old now and yes I have only just completed it but, is it ever still as witty, original and striking as you remember. It’s one to get out and play whenever you have a few spare hours and fancy firing that Portal gun again.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Like many people I accidently completed this game in one sitting and like many people I didn’t mean to. The game is simply fun to play and very short. In fact I think it is only about an hour and fifteen minutes long. Perfect for when you want a gaming fix but don’t have time to dedicate anything longer This game is simply popcorn. Gaming popcorn, it’s bright, colourful and if you could eat it, would probably contain noting good for you. It’s just a good time, with a catchy soundtrack.

Superhot

Superhot Another game that can be completed in an hour or one that could take over your entire gaming life as you try and get all the achievements/ trophies available. It’s a game with a striking look and a singular game mechanic. The elevator pitch is simple. Time only moves when you do. If you stand still nothing happens. It’s only when you move, do your opponents move. At first its startling as you try and get to grips with the controls you die. You die a lot. But, just when you think you will never get it, something clicks. Your brain starts to understand how the game wants to be played. You limit your movements. You play more aggressively. You learn, if you get hit by anything from a first to a snooker cue you die. One hit. Game Over. Then you move up a level. You improve the way you play. You realise this isn’t a game about killing everyone in the room. The room is a puzzle, yes you the objective is to kill and kill again but you can’t go in guns blazing, that’s not an advantage you have. The Advantage you have is time, time to pick your shot, to think about your next move, learning the room to perfection and then striking like a Shark.

If you have anything to add to this list please do πŸ™‚

#MaybeinMarch: Star Wars Battlefront 2

Thanks to an excellent prompt by the wonderful bloggers at Later Levels – XP comes with age and #LoveYourBacklog 2021: My Stuff! – Visceral Video Game Gabbing (aceasunder.com) a prompt that wanted you too finally, finally complete the oldest game in your gaming collection. I finally took the chance to play the, (quite good) Star Wars: Battlefront 2.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 isn’t the oldest game in the world having released in 2017 but it was the oldest game in my collection. A fact that was new to me. I thought I had much, much older games hanging around but somehow they have all been completed recently or were just too bad/hard to play through to the end. Somehow, I even managed to complete everything in my Steam Library! so Star Wars it had to be. Plus I gave myself a bonus backlog point for having this game still sitting on the shelf and still in it’s plastic wrapping. What a waste of money πŸ™‚

I like to think of this as somewhat of a stand against the gaming practices of the time. At the time of this games release it was common practice for games to release for full price ands then be stocked full of micro transactions. Micro transactions that directly helped you win the game. Completely giving players a pay-to-win mentality. A practice that I don’t enjoy. I had also heard that the single player campaign wasn’t all that good and so at the time I decided to give it a miss. Until now

Playing the game in 2021 the games a different beast. The dreaded micro-transactions have vanished, I am happy to announce and so we players are free to entertain ourselves in any way we see fit whether it be in large all out large scale wars of up to 40 players or smaller scale matches between just a few players or if you fancy playing as one of the heros or villains of the franchise you can either in specially made hero’s vs Villains matches or in the sky for the game lets you take to the universes sky’s as well this time letting you pilot all of the universes greatest ships from the X-Wing to the Millenium Falcon there all here and mainly available from the start and that’s what makes the multiplayer compotent of this title so fun to play. Nothing is hidden behind a paywall now. It lets you play with all of it’s toys from the start. Yes some of the heros and Villians may only be available in the main multiplayer compartment after a few kills and a few points are added to your score but, it’s nothing like what it was before. Now you don’t need to pay to win, you don’t need to get the credit card out have a good time. The only thing stopping you from winning is your skill and of course the squad level of your team. Remember” a good squad sticks together”

If only the single player section was as good as the multiplayer part. It simply isn’t. It’s not as if the title doesn’t try. In fact so much has been put into the presentation that I almost feel sorry for EA and DICE. the game sounds as you would want a Star Wars game to sound the sound effects are perfect, everything sounds as if you are in the Star Wars universe the blaster bolts have the same sound as in the movies and the lightsabre’s fizz and hiss perfectly through the air – a simple childhood fantasy made real. It’s just a shame that the game suffers from a very generic story and the characters are mostly from the uncanny valley school of videogame characters. Although I would like to say that Iden Versio the main protagonist voiced and modelled on Janina Gavankar looks incredible. Still for as good/slightly scary looking as the title is and even with perfect sound effects the game is still missing something and I think it’s missing a core. It is all very mechanical, all very much by the numbers. It’s a game that takes no risks, no chances. Its as if the developers made a decision to make sure it ticked all the Star Wars references. With every box ticked they forgot to breath life into their creation. It’s a Frankenstein’s monster without that one important ingredient. They forgot to give it life, that one spark of electricity, the electricity of life is missing

Games for when you want to relax

Sometimes all you want to do is relax. Kick back, put your feet up and forget about your troubles. And you know what that’s fine. We all have day’s like that.

It’s just that when I have a day like that I still want to play video games and these are my favourites

Flow. Originally released as a free flash game in 2006 by Jenova Chen to accompany his masters degree . Flow was then reworked and given a full release in 2007 by his development company; thatgamecompany. Flow is a simple game about the Flow of life about starting out as almost nothing. A tiny entity that can be eaten by almost any of the other, slightly bigger entities that inhabit the same space as you, Not enemies but simple beings that happen to live in the same space as you. As you play through the game taking other beings into you as you go through the game you grow ever so larger you become more able to defend yourself, more likely to stay alive. Less likely to be attacked or need to attack and as this happens the game changes, evolves with it and becomes less about survival and moves into a more relaxing experience, a more tranquil experience. The games ”final form” sees it slowly morphing into a meditative experience full of wonderful colours and an incredibly ambient music. It hits a switch somewhere in my brain and I just sink into the flow experience an experience that stays with you long after the game has been completed. link here Welcome to Flow in Games (jenovachen.com)

Seyonara Wild Hearts Now for a game with a little bit more action Seyonara Wild Hearts is a game that will have you running, flying, dancing and even skating through psychedelic pop worlds filled with colours. Bright, neon colours all bursting at the seems to pop out of their world and into yours. Yes Seyonara is a bit similar to an endless runner but, you will forgive it as an intriguing story that is coupled with a fantastic soundtrack that makes you want to see what’s around the next corner making the end of the game come a lot sooner than you expect. Your time will be short, the games only as long as the average music album but it will leave a bubble gum flavour on your tongue that will have you humming the soundtrack long after the credits have rolled.

Available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch

We Love Katamari is probably the most bonkers game on this list. It’s probably the most bonkers game on any list- It’s nuts. Originally released on the PS2 a long time ago. In an era when Vib-Ribbon was king and games like PaRappa the Rapper weren’t seen as strange relics from another time but games people were exited to play. We Love Katamari was something of an oddity even then, for it’s a game all about collecting things and I mean ALL of the things. It was all the fault of a God – isn’t it always! they had accidentally( after a drinking binge) destroyed the universe or something like that. And you playing as his son has to put it all back together – Actually I don’t really think the story counts. Just know that’s it’s as bonkers as the rest of the game and go with it. Soon you will be given your ball. A magic ball to help you on your quest. Your quest to pick up everything. Everything and anything. For example a level could have you starting out with your ball looking quite small, small enough to only pick up the tiniest of objects but as you pick up these objects they won’t be swallowed by the ball but become stuck to it making the ball bigger and as the ball grows larger in size you can pick up bigger things. A levels that starts with you collecting flowers will end with you collecting people, cows and even houses and as you go you can see all of the these different items pocking out of your ball in some sort of random order. If you fancy playing this little game of chaos a remake is out now on the Switch and PS4

Proteus A surrealist exploration game is something you don’t come across everyday but, today is that day and Proteus is that game. There are no goals in this game. The game’s only purpose is for you to wonder. Wonder around this magical island, watching the islands flora and fauna coming to life emitting dynamic shifts in audio as they go all based entirely on where you are, what your surroundings are and what season the game is currently in. it’s a lovely little experience, completion coming in about an hour. Currently available on most platforms

Journey I tried to not make this a thatgamecompany love in. But they make games that are so good, so relaxing and such fun to play I couldn’t leave this one out. Journey is game about discovery, about finding yourself and maybe even saving yourself and a game that I must admit I completely bounced of the first time I played it. I just didn’t get it. It wasn’t until maybe a year later when, on a whim I decided to reinstall it. to see if I could say what all the fuss was about, and I was so glad I did. For this time the game just clicked, it became more than a sand simulator. I suddenly didn’t want to rush to the end. Now I wanted to explore the land to see what was hidden just beneath the surface and there looking around me I stumbled across another play doing the same as me – just stumbling along enjoying their walk across the sand. Soon we walked to one another are separate walks became one, we fell into step. We couldn’t talk to each other. Journey doesn’t allow in-game communication. Until you complete the game you can’t even see the other players name, all it allows is for the player to make a small ”cheep” to get the other players attention but in that cheep we both found a way of connecting of somehow gathering together our shared experience of the game. The end goal became something for a later time what mattered to us was the Journey.

I still don’t know who the other player was and in some strange way I hope I never do. We have had all the time we needed to spend together.

Anything I have missed? I am sure there are loads πŸ™‚

Grab those Aviator’s we’re going to the Danger Zone

Dear fellow virtual reality flight-enthusiasts. Hello and welcome to a tale about Ace Combat 7 on PSVR

Let me tell you about one of the strangest video game sensation’s in my life.

The tale of how my eyes tried to remove themselves from my face via my nose.

Let me set the scene.

It’s early on a Saturday morning. Early enough for the rest of my household to still be a sleep. So I take a chance, the same chance as any other man-child would, and decide to play some video games.

Now, from past experience I know I have to be very careful and very, very quite in these near dawn gaming sessions. If I even so much as make a sound I will wake my cat and then the game is up. For my cat, full of anger from being woken from one of it’s many, many naps will decide to get even with me in the only way it knows how. The little Flea bag will wake my wife and then well. It’s GAME OVER. so as I crept around my living room making less noise than a dust bunny I tried to work out what to play;

Online gaming was out. An over exuberant whoop of celebration or the (much) more likely tears of defeat would give them game away far too quickly so I looked for something else, something that would give me enjoyment without making a sound

As I stumbled around my front room in near darkness, I tripped upon the perfect solution, VR. deciding that I could wear headphones for the sound and wrap myself in a blanket to hopefully mask that tell-tell clickity click of the controllers, I settled down to play Ace Combat 7

Now Ace Combat is a series that may be well known to some of you. It is after all a series that has been around longer than time but, somehow I hadn’t stumbled across it before now and where I found the traditional non-VR gameplay slightly uninteresting I had been told (quite sternly) to go back and play the VR section of the game as this is where it really shines.

So on that cold Saturday morning, wrapped in a blanket from head to toe, looking like a ghost that had run out of white sheets and with a gap in the blanket big enough for the PlayStation camera and lightbar on the PS4 controller to make that all important connection. I said down to play Ace Combat 7 and let me tell you

At first It’s wonderful. From the very first moment of lift off, it’s a pure adrenalin rush as your fighter jet races along the tarmac of the transport carrier, to the moment the jet tore up into the sky my heart tore along with it. As I pulled back ever tighter on the elevation and sored higher into the sky, it was for a moment as if a dream had come true – I was flying. It was great

But then the cold hard grip of reality tug on my heart strings and pulled me back to reality for as I flew along to meet up with my fellow crew I started to feel bored. I was flying at close to two thousand miles an hour but, it didn’t feel as if I was flying that fast. The ground below me didn’t whizz past, the clouds above my head didn’t vanish before my eyes. Nothing really made me feel as I if was in control of a state of the art military jet. It could of been anything. The plane just seemed to toddle along, not a care in the world. then I met up with my squad

Then I met up with my squad. This is where things changed again. Suddenly the game felt real again. Suddenly where only mere moments ago, it felt as if I was out for a nice Sunday afternoon fly, now I had to be careful, careful of not flying into my squad mates. Careful of not somehow flying into the sea, which now seemed to be moving with me. As I flew ever faster the sea too flashed before my eyes ever quicker. Then we met our enemy and the game started to slow down again, before suddenly and without warning handing me back the reigns and letting me fly, and fly I did with crazy abandon and utter ignorance of the laws of physics.

Turns out, this was a mistake.

Obvious really but, as I dog fought with my enemy, whipping through the clouds, with nothing but a blanket on my back and a smile on my face, I started to get cocky and cocky dear reader is something you should never do in VR. Not unless you have an iron congestion and a pretty strong stomach – two things I lack

But as, I flew through the clouds I started to grow ever bolder ever cockier, I started to barrel roll – it felt good. Started to do loop the loop – that felt great. Then my eyes and brain started to have a conversation. Brain said ”are we up side down” Eyes replied ” yes, wait, no. Yes I think so”. Brain ” can you check again? It’s quite important” Eyes ” okay, we’re sitting down, looking straight ahead” Me deciding to now fly the plane upside down. Eyes ” wait he’s done something, strange, we’re upside down but… sitting normally, straight up” Brain ” I don’t like it”. Eyes ”I know, I feel…” Brain” hold it in soldier!” Eyes ”I can’t” Brain ”be strong” Eyes ”I don’t know where I am” Brain (panicking) ”hold it together” Eyes ” I have to go”

The next thing sensation I feel is one of utter terror, of shame, panic all rolled up into one. Followed so closely by a feeling of nausea so strong that it makes gag out loud. Causing me to panic. In a frantic hope that I haven’t woken anyone up with that sound. A sound so disturbing I wouldn’t want to wake anyone up with it. Let alone the people I live with, quickly I try to tear the headset from face, momentarily causing another wave of nausea to rush through my body as a Brain still trying to come to grips with flying upside down is suddenly faced with a new reality. A reality that in the rush to be free of the PSVR headset has now managed to wrap a headphone cable around his neck and in the half light of an ever approaching dawn is now frantically trying to free himself along with trying to not be sick. It’s not a pretty sight but in seconds that felt like hours I am free. I stand up, stumble to the bathroom, not turning the light in a last ditch attempt to not disturb any of the household with the noise of the extractor fan connected to the light switch.

I think too my self. ” that could have gone worse”

and then I hear the meow.

Bugger

P.S Despite all my troubles, feline and otherwise. Ace Combat is a blast in PSVR. The VR really adds to the immersion of being in the plane, in flight. The only downsides are that you need to have some pretty strong VR legs and that the whole experience is about 30 minutes long. Although there are varying difficulty levels

P.P.S Top Gun soundtrack is optional but, brilliant to have on as you tear through the sky πŸ™‚

Biomutant finally a release date!

It look’s like Biomutant the game that has been ”about to be released” since 2018. Has finally got a release date and that date is the 25th of May 2021. Celebration indeed

For those of us unaware what all the fuss is about. Biomutant is an open world game set in what looks like the far future. A future where humanity has ceased to be. A future where all that is left of us is rubble and waste. Abounded shops, derelict apartment blocks and the occasional downed plane littler the world. A world that has slowly returned to nature. A nature that is starting to see it’s next dominant creatures. This time the dominant force’s in the world have decided not to throw all their eggs in one basket as they do with humanity but have gone with a much more varied response. For it look’s like all the animals in this world from mice to turtles are now sentient. All trying to life their lives as well as they can.

The gameplay of Biomutant seems to be similar to that of the Monster Hunter Series. Where everything you see has a goal a life it’s living and it’s up to you to try and mess that up. It also looks stunningly gorgeous

It’s also an RPG. Everything now seems to have some of RPG element doesn’t it? So of course you can create your character. Tailoring it’s needs to your specific playstyle. You can craft your look making it feel like your very own character. All the while being careful of the RPG mechanics. Basically everything has an effect on your precious stats.

In fact the only thing that puts me off this game. A game that looks good enough to be a AAA game is that the animals you come across in the game seem to see so very much alive. Their animations are so fluid, the colours so vivid. In fact my only reservation about playing this game is that the game might, and I really hope it doesn’t make me kill them. I know this is silly they are after all only computer generated images. But as much as I watch the trailer. I can’t see one of them, that I don’t want to turn into a cuddly toy and there is no way that I could kill a teddy.

Have a look at the gameplay below

Biomutant – Gameplay Trailer 2020 – YouTube

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Dear Reader,

Spider-Man: Miles Morales, is a game about becoming a hero, not being a hero, working your way up to it. Learning as you swing, it’s about finding your feet, finding your self but also loosing people along the way, It’s a game about finding trust in yourself along with trusting other people.

So with that little lot out of the way let me try and explain why I think Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Is a great Spider-Man game, Beware spoilers ahead.

Story:

The story is a very, very obvious too anyone with even a passing interest in previous Spider-Man stories. Its a corny tale, of friendship and family mixed in with a high-stakes game of city wide destruction. A perfect Saturday morning Spidey cartoon, given enough life to make you care about the main players in the campaign without ever really feeling ”padded out” or stretched. Plus you can even dip straight into this, if you haven’t had a chance to play the original game as there is a handy story re-cap available from the start screen

Gameplay:

I can’t really credit Spider-Man any higher than say the game is a joy to play. Of course your playing Miles Morales in this game not the Peter Parker of the original game and it shows in everything from Miles does from swinging around the city, much less confidently than the older Spider- Man to the way Miles fights through out the game. His moves just don’t feel as fluid as the original’s and is a little disconcerting , when you first get to control Miles through the city, his jerking awkward style is just so different from the original Spider-Man game and took me a few minutes to really get the hang off. I was expecting him to control as well as my Peter Parker had done at the end of his game, but once I remembered that Peter had, had to learn all the techniques had during his adventure and it was unfair of me to expect a new character and one literally learning on the job to be as good as someone who had spent literal years practising their art I relaxed and started to enjoy this new style, it looks and feels dangerous at first. I was really worried for the safety of the both of us a I careered into building after building. Luckily neither of us were in any real danger. Soon I was diving from the highest of highest, tricking my way down again. A big smile on my face .It’s safe to say that he fights much better than he at first swings. He’s confident when he goes into a battle, initially with fists, feet and web but, soon his arsenal grows into powers that include (spoilers) Mile’s very own Spider power the power to not only use Venom a sort of Electric force power that charges through his body giving you the power to smash players up into the air or just crash into a powerful or group of enemies at once, dealing a large portion of damage to the group. These powers are supplemented with the ability to absorb the power of generators leading to some spectacular shots of Miles releasing this energy as it charges through him. This is all sublimated by another power, which I used through most of my time playing this game. As Miles discovers this power during a pivotal moment in the story. I won’t spoil it here. It is safe to say that it got me through many tuff spots. With all this power it is safe to say that by the time the credit’s roll your Spider-Man will be a Spider-Ninja a one man army ready to tackle what ever threatens him.

Open World:

It is safe to say that the open world aspect of this game is most people’s major criticism of the game. It is also safe to say that it is not one of mine. Yes, you could complete the main game in a few hours, but that isn’t what this game is all about. Sure the main story is fun but, where the main action is, is the side-quests. These side quests really help flesh out the game. The bring life to characters that would otherwise be quite one-dimensional and that is before the side missions on the Spider-Man app are put into the picture. These missions add another layer of complexity to the title as you swing from one criminal outbreak to the next, these small, but varied little quests really help bring life to the city itself and as the missions can be re-played again and again with added incentives such as knocking a few enemies off a roof or completing a combo with a certain number of hits, you will come back to them again and again trying out new strategies or practicing new skills learnt through completing the various training missions dotted about the city scape and if you couple all of that with the added mission you get only after the main story has been completed, you find a game that’s bigger than the sum of it’s parts. Yes the main story is small and fairly quick to finish but, by doing just that you miss out on what really brings the city and it’s people to life. To really feel like the new hero on the block finish as many missions as you can. It easily add’s another five or six hours to the game.

Graphics

A game’s graphics are the last part of any game to talk about. Who cares if the game is nothing but a shiny picture. Stunning too look at but, not devoid of any game play. I am happy to say that Spider-Man: Miles Morales, is a very pretty picture to look at a stunning series of set-pieces await your eyes even if, like me you are playing the game on a PS4. Yes the game may have been created for the PS5 but, it still looks absolutely stunning on the PS4. from sunsets across Manhattan, with the sun setting just out to see or the incredible light show whenever you get to unleash a venom power, the game is stunning a technical marvel. One that had me stopping and staring in wonder more than once.

If you play it. Watch out for the extra credit seen once the credits roll. There is more to come.

Cybercade

I don’t know where I am. I know, I’m not at home. It’s dark. I’m alone, woken up yet I’m somehow not in my bed, Suddenly, I hear a beat, an infectious rhythm that takes over my senses and as my feet tap and my head moves in time with the synth-wave soundtrack now taking over my body, my eyes close. closing more in the hope that the next time I open them again, everything will be back to normal. I will be back at home in my bed, this strange dream coming to and end. Of course I know it won’t, Nothing can save me now. I’m trapped. I know it. As I open my eyes this time, they readjust to the gloom and I notice the things I didn’t see before. I see the GUNS!

Dear reader this isn’t the start to some sc-fi novel this is is my imagined intro into the game VR game Cybercade. A game I just stumbled across on the Sidequest store. Now back to the guns!

As my focus settles upon them I notice that there are three to choose from a small pistol, a larger comedy type pistol and something that looks very much like an Uzi. So with my selection made ( always the Uzi) I move onto to selecting one of the two difficulty options casual or standard. I always choose casual as this gives me unlimited lives but, for the more advanced player there is a standard mode that gives you only three lives, Now it’s onto the level select, With the game being not yet a finished product we are promoted to play any of the four available levels in any order they range from a Robot Factory to a Night Market. Each level is displayed in a futuristic neon style. The neon lights seeming to dance in time with the beat as you move from section to section, shooting against a seemingly never ending swarm of enemies. All sworn to one code. That you must be killed and so the battle rages. You against the robots, the machine, the odds, even the occasional flying car.

Luckily you have one trick up your sleeve. You see this game is playable on the Oculus Quest and this is where this game comes alive. Without the distraction or limitations of a traditional gaming set up you are free to move out of the way of gunfire, to hide behind walls, to crouch behind cover. You will need this advantage as the game is unrelenting in it’s pursuit of your death. Bullets fly at you in a fury, you will need to duck, dodge and even weave to make it out alive.

It’s a game to make you hot, to make you sweat but also one to make you smile. It’s a lot of fun. It reminds me most of Time Crisis. the gameplay follows the same formula. You shoot, you hide. They shoot they hide. It’s an interesting title that I am really looking forward to seeing the final version off.

Have you tried Cybercade? Did you know you can online with a friend?

The Last Campfire

Afternoon. As we all know the only way to finish something is too start it. So with eyes firmly closed, finger hovering over the X button on the Dual Shock controller I took the plunge and picked a random game from the backlog to play.

That game dear reader was none other than the Last Campfire. A puzzle platformer from the mind’s at Hello Games. The developer responsible for No Man’s Sky.

The Last Campfire has you controlling a small, adorable creature called an Ember and you must control this Ember as he or she makes there way through the between worlds a kind of limbo, as you progress through this Limbo you will come across others of your kind. Others who have become lost along their own journeys and in becoming lost have given up all hope of ever reaching their goal, with there hope having left them they become Forlorn. These Forlorn are shells of their former selves. With their hope now lost, they have given up completely and now sit as still as stone, waiting for the end.

Fear not for these little creatures though as it is up to you as you progress through a magical land of giant talking frogs, enormous pigs that want nothing but to eat, eat and eat again and sad fisherman to find each lost Ember/Forlorn and try to restore their hope. To help them toward their goal.

It sounds easy, doesn’t it? All you have to do is find a cute little blue thing and make them happy again. If only it was this easy for each tiny Ember has locked their hope away in the form of a puzzle a puzzle that must be solved for the Ember to be free. The puzzles are not generally that hard and generally fall into a few categories: they either involve you manipulating light, manipulating water or steam or a mixture of all the above. There are a few that break from that tradition but I won’t spoil them for you hear. The puzzles are fun, light hearted and are for everybody. There is nothing Witness-esque in these puzzles they are all taxing up to a point and family friendly

The main problem I had with the game was just finding each of the puzzle rooms, there is a light story current running through the game and whilst the world created does feel alive with characters that have made a home for themselves in this this world between worlds. Embers that have not yet fallen into the trap of becoming Forlorn and loosing their hope, will stop and talk to you as you go about your day, Other creatures that happen to live in this world, will ask you for favours or just add a bit of background colour and all this does help create a vibrant world that does feel alive but, I just couldn’t navigate it very well. I am sure this is down to my own stupidity. I have a terrible sense of direction but, I just felt that the guidance to some of the more obscure puzzles could have been a bit easier to navigate.

Over all this is a lovely game. One me and my wife were happy to devote an evening too and did I mention the Platinum trophy at the end of it? No, well let me just say that this game has a very, easy Platinum we were awarded it simply by playing the game as we would normally do – that may explain why some of the puzzles were a bit out of the way. But it’s very easy none the less. We didn’t have to do anything silly like complete the game twice or complete all the puzzles whilst standing on our heads. No special instructions needed just make sure you get all of the Forlorn in each game world. There will be a count of how many you need in the campfire around each level. It’s not many something like seven in each game hub. With the rest of the trophies being story based.

Have you tried the Last Campfire?