Gaming: Dishonored

December 28, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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So I played Dishonored and while it’s been well received I didn’t really enjoy it. It’s a stealth game set in a steampunk world suffering from a plague and an assassinated empress. You’ve been wrongly accused and spend the game seeking out the conspirators and putting the rightful heir onto the throne.

The game promotes stealth (which is a game style I’m not a fan of) but also offers many different violence options and upgrades for those too. However using them could impact the chaos level which leads to a “bad” ending. Throughout each mission there’s no indication of how close you are to tipping over to a higher chaos level so for me I opted to be more cautious which led to way too many restarts in an attempt to limit confrontations and ultimately reduced the flow and fun of the game.

A twitter friend advised after the fact that they’d used a mix of violence and stealth and still got the “good” ending which further reinforces the need to have something show this chaos level inside each mission.

Secondly there was a key mechanic allowing you to travel great distances and at least for me it never seemed to “lock on” to the correct spot. Of course this could be a poor player but as I’m the player I’d like to say it’s a limitation of the device. Even making it glow a different colour when it was “safe” might have been useful.

OK so there are issues but generally the story is interesting and I was happy to proceed and find out what was happening. Although it suffers from the same problem as many games where characters start talking but are drowned out by other ambient noises or generally can’t be heard. Presumably an audio option could fix it here and on other games I’d just like the defaults to work better.

Would I recommend it? If you’re a fan of stealth and steam punk sure. If you’re keen to try a more aggressive approach then maybe google what the chaos levels are or just do whatever you want and watch the endings on youtube.

Lastly, if you don’t like rats then this may not be for you.

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Gaming: XCOM Enemy Unknown

December 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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Played XCOM Enemy Unknown. It was a fun turn based strategy game although I did it wrong by re-loading my games frequently when my characters died off. When you name them it’s easy to get attached! Some of the elements could have been clearer particularly using Satellites for money but all worked out in the end and I saved the world. I guess.

Max Payne 3

December 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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Played Max Payne 3 a few months ago after finding it for £5 on Amazon. That was a good deal. Still a good deal at £10 but any more than that and I’d not enjoy it.

Caveat: I’ve not played any others in the series and the closest I got was watching the movie.

After a few people suggested changing difficulty to easy and I won’t lie that did make it easy. For a player like me the flow was constantly being stymied by dying. I appreciate that a human should after being shot a few times, but I don’t always play games for realism. I’ll leave it up to you whether I’m a bad player or not for not being able to stick with the grind on normal.

My other criticism is that the cut scenes were a bit too long and kept me out of the game.

Overall I felt obliged to play the game (and because I didn’t have any others) but didn’t really enjoy it. Possibly just my play style another one for you to ponder.

The Last of Us

November 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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The Last of Us was another stellar game. Testing the limits of friendship, trust and what it means to survive.

While the ending was as dramatic as it was confusing the journey to get there was emotionally tense and engaging. Our protagonists had character and believable story arcs.

Gameplay wise as in any limited supply game I held off using my full arsenal in case more (or stronger) enemies were around the next corner which I think hampered full enjoyment.

It also took a while to realise that the developers kept the attacks to a minimum, presumably to improve the sense of anxiety over when the next assault would come and to heighten the sense of solitude that the characters faced.

Overall another game to play!

Catching up, catching up…

Uncharted

November 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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Played all of the Uncharted PS games. People had recommended starting at #2 but I opted to go through them chronologically. Yes the first is the weakest and two probably was the strongest and three is also very enjoyable.

The seamless transitions between chapters means limited breaks in the action (so putting the controller down and going off to have a life is a challenge) mean that things continue apace.

Having said that, it does mean that the action is limited in scope. So how big is the island you’re walking around? By the third game they did manage a few more environments which helped quite a bit.

I also appreciate that Nathan and Elena have a relationship and it’s not just a different girl for every game. A refreshing change.

Overall very fun game! Looking forward to #4.

Catching up continues…

Tomb Raider

November 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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Finished playing Tomb Raider recently. I enjoyed it! Nothing like jumping around and fending off the bad guys. Yes some of the puzzles and quick time events were frustrating but that didn’t detract from the overall performance. I’ve never played any of the other games in the series so I can’t compare to that experience but this was definitely a fun action puzzler.

There were probably other gripes but in a short and dirty comment like this they don’t spring to mind so are likely not that detrimental.

Catching up continues apace.

Final Fantasy 8

November 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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Years after its release and when I gave up on Final Fantasy VIII I finally finished it (after buying it on the PS Store).

Was it worth the wait?

Well if I hadn’t played it previously the blocky animation style (on a large modern TV) would have made it a tough sell. Although the full motion videos still look quite good.

The resolution of the story was good. I’m glad I played through. If you’re a fan of time intensive RPGs then you’ll like it (though you’ve probably played it already!).

Catching up continues….

Bioshock Infinite

November 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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Bioshock Infinite is in the same continuum of the other Bioshock games but was lacking something. Think one of those was user based and the other was due to the initial story. The main plot was fine if a little telegraphed but not reaching the heights of the first (I probably was keeping an eye out for those sorts of things since the original game).

So user error first. In earlier games when changing powers you had to access set points to do so, in Infinite you could do this any time via a menu. I’m sure this must have been explained I just missed it so spent most of the game only using the most recently acquired powers. Once I finally realised I powered through the levels much easier (too easily?).

Gameplay/story wise in the earlier games you start the action pretty quickly having been thrown into the worlds. In Infinite you spend a substantial amount of time immersing yourself in the world. I understand that it’s to show you the utopia before it collapses and that this gives the story weight. I just wasn’t expecting it.

Overall I didn’t mind it. Not rushing back though (although never played any of the games twice).

Catching up continues!

Far Cry 3 and Blood Dragon

November 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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Far Cry 3 is a fun open world adventure. There are weaknesses particularly in the narrative but not enough to significantly detract. Gameplay wise it’s enjoyable tooling around in vehicles, completing missions and dodging tigers. If that sounds engaging then give it a go.

Blood Dragon is a DLC but it’s also stand alone content (ie you don’t need the original game). It’s a beautiful throw back to over the top 80s action movies. It’s completely ridiculous but it’s done very well.

Catch up posts continue!

Assassins Creed

November 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment
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Played the first three plus the incidental games of Assassins Creed in fairly short order, well as quickly as you can when you get OCD about being completionist.

By the final games though I was much more interested in the “real world” plot than the historical story. Although jumping around and the missions could be quite fun and I didn’t mind Connor and building up my homestead.

I’m undecided if I’ll play Black Flag. If I do I’d have to restrict myself to only doing the minimum.

Yep that’s the comment/review. It’s short to help clear the backlog!

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