I managed to work up the courage to play some more Prey Sunday night. I didn’t play much (the game still freaks me out), but I’m still blown away by how good the game looks every time I play it.
I’ve heard nothing but good things about NieR: Automata (mostly from Giant Bomb), but I hadn’t gotten around to checking it out until this past weekend. So far I’ve been nothing but impressed with the game, which features one of the strongest opening segments in all of video games. I was blown away from the start, and I only hope that the rest of the game lives up to the intense opening sequence.
I’m looking forward to playing more, but at this point I’m only creating a backlog of games that will be practically impossible to conquer (Fallout 4, Gears 4, Halo 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Persona 5, Tales of Berseria, Prey… not to mention ongoing games such like Battlegrounds…)
Watching me player PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS is probably like watching paint dry. I tend to make a beeline for a building, stock up on whatever’s inside, and then find somewhere to hide in a cowardly manner for as long as humanly possible. This strategy has worked in my favor more often than it seems like it should, as I’ve often gotten lucky and ended up well inside the circle early on. In tonight’s game I scored 3 kills, my highest yet, but unfortunately I’m still terrible once I get out into the open as the circle contracts toward the end, and this is where I always meet my fate.
As boring as it is to watch, I love playing this way. It’s incredibly tense. In tonight’s game I heard someone pull up in a vehicle, get out and open the door downstairs. The footsteps got closer and closer and I felt sure they were going to burst through the door and kill me at any moment. Then, for whatever reason, they turned around, went back downstairs, got into their vehicle and drove off. My heart was racing as I stood up to watch them drive away.
The next person to enter the house wasn’t so lucky. Unfortunately, I eventually had to leave my shelter (I probably could’ve stayed awhile longer) and work my way toward the new safe zone and my ultimate death.
I remember playing a little bit of Bulletstorm when it came out for the Xbox 360 in 2011, however it never hooked me and I didn’t spend a lot of time with it. After seeing some coverage of the remaster that released earlier this year I decided I wanted to give it a second chance. I’ve played for an hour or two so far and have really enjoyed my time with it. It certainly feels like a 360 shooter, but that older gameplay and style feel somewhat refreshing in 2017.
The shooting is satisfying, as is the grapple hook which allows you to fling enemies around and pull off sweet moves such as pulling an enemy toward you and kicking them into exposed electrical wires. The text on screen that describes and scores each kill is also quite satisfying. In most shooters your only concern is mowing down enemies as quickly as possible, but in Bulletstorm you get rewarded for killing with style. You use the points you earn to upgrade your weapons and abilities which allow you to take down your enemies in more exciting ways.
The game looks great and plays smoothly on the Xbox One, and never seems to drop in frame rate no matter how many enemies and explosions are on screen. I’m really enjoying the game, and it’s definitely worth picking up if you passed on it during its initial release. The singleplayer campaign will take most players around eight hours to complete, so the $60 price might not justified for some people, but if you happen to find it on sale for around $30 I wouldn’t pass it up.
I’ve never been a huge Zelda fan, but with the release of the Switch and the huge amount of hype leading up to the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I figured I needed to see what all the excitement was about. I never did get into Ocarina of Time on the N64. I rented it a few times, but as an impatient eleven year old I never could figure out what I was supposed to be doing. Even in recent years I’ve tried to give it another shot, but often found myself running in circles trying to figure out what to do, or if I did find myself headed in the right direction I would repeatedly die at the hands of the enemies I’d encounter.
My time with Breath of the Wild so far has been pretty positive. First off it looks great, with a beautifully unique art style and it runs relatively smoothly even on the Wii U. I absolutely love the way they handle the map in the game, where you do all of the icon placement yourself. This keeps the map from becoming overwhelming early on, as you can climb a tower, mark a few things on your map and then set out to see what you’ll find there. That doesn’t mean you won’t get sidetracked along the way, however. I’ve found myself headed toward a tower or shrine, only to veer off in a different direction when a camp of enemies catches my eye.
The game has a reputation for being a little difficult, and that may prove to push me away from the game eventually. I’ve died a handful of times in my first hour or so with the game, but the quick reloads into a recent autosave make it more bearable. Oftentimes I’ve found that I died because I’m rushing into combat with multiple enemies and missing a way to use the environment to my advantage.
One other minor gripe, is that the Wii U version completely ignores the gamepad. I assume it’s because Nintendo has basically abandoned the Wii U at this point, which is a shame, because there are many ways they could have effectively used the gamepad, and therefore justified its existence one last time. Of course you can play the game on the gamepad (though I’ve found this seriously detracts from the game’s beauty), but otherwise you’ll just get a black screen with a message telling you that you can play on the gamepad.
I’m looking forward to spending more time with Breath of the Wild, but at the same time Horizon Zero Dawn is also calling my name (and Mass Effect Andromeda is quickly approaching). If you have a Wii U and want to dust it off one last time, I can definitely recommend picking up Breath of the Wild for it.
Last night after work I played about an hour and a half of Horizon Zero Dawn, and I’m pretty impressed so far. It looks downright amazing on a PS4 Pro and a 4K HDR TV. I also really like how they try to make the tutorial into something that actually has a narrative, and is more interesting than following prompts on screen. Things really get fun once you’re given control over the adult Aloy, and I’m really enjoying the combat so far. The bow feels like it has real impact when you land a shot on a critical part, and everything just looks and sounds great during combat. It’s especially thrilling to get into a scuffle with several enemies as once, and the music during these instances works to amp up the adrenaline as enemies close in on you.
I’m looking forward to putting some more time into Horizon Zero Dawn as the week goes on, but I can already tell it’s going to be a great time. The last thing I’ll say is that the game has a real polish, and I’ve run into zero bugs or hiccups so far which is rare for games on their release days lately. I can’t wait to play more!