The world might be in the middle of a pandemic that’s forced us all to huddle inside while stuffing our faces and watching Netflix, but there’s one glowing beacon of hope: thirteen years after the last adventures of Gordon Freeman we have finally got a new Half-Life. Except, it’s not Half-Life 3, it’s a prequel. And it’s in VR, so you might not be able to play it. What we have is Half-Life: Alyx, a prequel to Half-Life 2 and a very obvious passion project from Valve. This is a game designed for virtual reality and built to the highest standards. I’d actually be surprised if Valve made a profit on Half Life: Alyx because it looks and feels like a lot of money was sunk into its creation, versus the relatively small audience that can buy it. But that doesn’t matter right now. All we need to know is just how good is Half-Life: Alyx?
Somehow we’ve made it into a whole new decade. It’s 2020 now, and that’s problematic because I’m still struggling to remember that it’s not the early 2000’s. But anyway, with the coming of a new year means reflection on the last one. I’ve seen some people who appear quite disappointed with 2019, and while I’d certainly agree it wasn’t a vintage year there were still a lot of awesome games released. And I’m going to subject you to the horror of having to read my list of which ones I thought were the best of the best, the creme of the crop, the champions of 2019.
First, a very happy New Year to everyone out there! And if you don’t celebrate New Year, then I hope you have a very happy whatever day this is. It’s honestly boggling my mind that we’re moving into a whole new decade. Hell, I still think 2000 was like ten years ago. It’s an exciting, crazy time. I’ve been reflecting a little on what the last decade has brought in gaming, from the good to the bad. We’ve seen the rise of loot boxes, season passes and various other forms of monetization, the domination of games like Fortnite and wonderful pieces of art like God of War, The Last of Us and The Witcher 3. And of course in 2020 we’re going see the new generation of consoles hitting the market.
The seething mass of bodies all packed into one place is a stark reminder of just how big games have become since I was but a lad in the ’90s where it was still seen, along with comics, as a geeky hobby. Now it seems everyone plays games, either casually on a phone or tablet for a few minutes a day or on a custom PC that costs a terrifying amount of money. Games are just part of everyday life now, and conventions are springing up all over the place. Now there are people from all walks of life celebrating a medium that has gone from strength to strength. Walking the concrete floors are kids, teenagers, moms, dads, businessmen, grandfathers, grandmothers and more. There are no barriers now that games have gotten almost complete mainstream acceptance, and it’s amazing to see.
In the past, I’ve often failed to see the appeal of gaming orientated laptops, largely because their battery life is so short that taking one on a train journey or something seems a bit pointless if there’s no nearby wall socket handy. Still, sitting in the middle of the woods playing The Witcher 3 is kind of cool. The laptop I was using to do this is the ST-Plus from Thunderobot, a predominantly western company who are now seeking to move into the eastern market with their products. As this is my first laptop review let’s see if I can muddle through this with my already limited dignity intact.
I’ll be the first to admit that while I previously found the idea of a mat for boardgames appealing it was never something I considered actually owning for myself because it always felt like a frivolous purchase made by people who have far more disposable income than myself. Now, though, I have to admit that having a mat made gaming a lot more comfortable. So let’s check out the Big Viking Mat, eh?
The Mass Effect franchise is important to me, perhaps even more so than my own nieces. Given the choice between Mass Effect 2 and my nieces I’d be clutching that box to my heart faster than you could call social services. Sure, like most people I was left somewhat aghast at how the third game wrapped up the entire story, and to this day I’ve still only played Mass Effect 3 twice, despite it having numerous great moments leading up to that controversial finish. However, I’ve played Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 about a dozen times each, equalling hundreds of hours spent saving the galaxy and hanging out with a crew of characters that have become ingrained in my mind. A new entry in this beloved series, then, is one hell of an exciting prospect for me and to legions of fans everywhere. It has been five years since Bioware capped the original trilogy and there’s a lot of expectation for this fresh take. Have they screwed it up? A little bit, yup.
Who are you, and what do you do? I’m Daniel Charbit, UK consumer brand & category merchandising manager at Dell By the time this Q&A gets published you’ll be on the floor of PC Gamer Weekender! Feeling excited? Will you be very busy across the weekend? I’m really excited! […]
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4 Reviewed On: PC Developer: Dambuster Studios Publisher: Deep Silver Singleplayer: Yes Multiplayer: Co-op Review code provided free of charge by the publisher. The Homefront license isn’t one I saw coming back, despite the fact that it seemed to have some potential. The first […]
Offworld Trading Company is the very first game from Mohawk Games. A company’s first attempt is always interesting because you’re seeing the birth of a potential new giant in the land of videogame development, or the inevitable sinking of yet another company doomed to fail. But of course many first attempts tend to be rough around the edges, perhaps showing signs of what the team is capable of years down the road but ultimately lacking in the here and now. Offworld Trading Company, though, is brilliant.