THE year was 2012 and the world had not yet burst into flames. It was a simpler time. It was also the year one of my favourite RPGs came out, amidst a bunch of drama surrounding its development owing to the fact that Rhode Island had helped fund the game’s creation. 38 Studios was founded by former Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling with the aim of turning his gaming hobby into something more, and to create awesome new RPGs with the help of Todd McFarlane and R.A. Salvatore. He succeeded: Amalur is excellent, and in some alternate reality its sequels would have kicked ass. But despite solid sales of 1.2-million copies, too much money had been spent on development. Payments weren’t made on time, 38 Studios began to collapse. It would take near four years for the court case between Rhode Island, 38 Studios and Curt Schilling to be settled. So it’s something of a miracle that eight years later we have Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-reckoning, a remaster of the original game and a spark of hope that we might still yet get a sequel.
The Dirt series has had a bit of trouble settling on an identity, with DiRT 2.0 being the pure rally sim and then DiRT 4 trying to juggle rallying and a bunch of other stuff on the side. But now it seems like Codemasters might be settling into a rhythm because DiRT 5 is on the opposite end of the spectrum from DiRT 2.0. The colours are vibrant, the music is loud and the focus is on jumps, bumps and wheel-to-wheel racing. We don’t even know if there will be any regular rally stages. With around a month until launch, Codemasters offered me a preview build of their newest mode: Playgrounds, a place where you can make your own events and share them with the world.
The “beta” (Read; demo) for Crystal Dynamics forthcoming Avengers game was open to everyone to play over the weekend, so I jumped in and spent some time smashing stuff as the Hulk, flying around as Iron-Man, kicking ass as Black Widow and generally avoiding playing as the annoying Kamala Khan as much as possible. With less than a month until the Avengers is out, this demo is our chance to see if we’re going to get an awesome new superhero game that can stand with Marvel’s Spider-Man and the Arkham games.
“Wake the fuck up Samurai, we have a city to burn.” Ah wait, that’s the wrong game. Despite not featuring the shining excellence of Keenu Reeves, being overshadowed by The Last of Us Part 2 and getting considerably less attention from Sony than Naughty Dog’s long-awaited disappointment, Ghost of Tsushima has ended up being a fantastic end to the Playstation 4’s long line of strong exclusive games. Ghost of Tsushima is selling great and breaking records, and it thoroughly deserves to. Marvel’s Spider-Man let us be the web-slinger. Red Dead Redemption 2 let us live our cowboy fantasies. Ghost of Tsushima lets us live with honor as Samurai.
The classic fetch quest is a staple of gaming, typically found in RPGs that want to pad out their length by sending players scurrying back and forth carrying useless tat. In the case of Death Stranding however, the entire game is a seemingly never-ending series of fetch quests. It’s like Kojima only just discovered them, and after completing a few in other games branded them the greatest thing in the history of videogames ever and built an entire new game around them. As Sam Porter Bridges you are a courier, tasked with lugging cargo of all types across a bleak post-apocolyptic world where the majority of people are hunkered down in bunkers. Chiral printing lets them create a lot of what they need, but there’s also a lot of stuff that still needs to be transported the good old fashioned way: on Sam’s back. In this 40+ hour game the majority of your time will be spent going back and forth, delivering parcels. Exactly how something so utterly boring wound up being so utterly absorbing is a mystery.
We live in a time where all sorts of games are getting a chance to be remastered, remade or even to get a sequel. Some make sense, and some are genuinely surprising choices. I’d say Destroy All Humans is the second one. Originally released in 2005 it did […]
The Internet is never short on people going back and forth over games. However, the release of The Last of Us Part 2 might be the most divided and chaotic I’ve ever seen, with what feels like an all-out war raging between critics and gamers, and between gamers and gamers. Few games have ever warranted this much conversation, some of it healthy and some of it outright horrid. Its even got to the point where one of the game’s actors received threats, which is disgusting. So, I’m going to attempt to coral my thoughts and feelings about The Last of Us Part 2 into some semblance of coherence in the next 4,000+ words. Yup, it’s going to be a long one, folks.
So, we’ve managed to officially make it past the half-way points of this utterly crazy year. Putting aside all the madness, that means we’re half-way to the traditional Game of the Year lists where we can gush about the games we love, argue about what we didn’t and remind ourselves why our hobby is awesome. That’s another 6-months away though, and I’m impatient, so just like last year I’m going to do the best games of the year, so far.
Obviously the world has been a bit of a crazy place lately, so it’s hardly Codemasters’ fault that F1 2020 isn’t as authentic as last year’s game. A day one update will remove the Rokit sponsorship from the Williams car, but Mercedez sexy black livery is going to take a bit longer. And owing to the Formula 1 season starting four months late brand new tracks Zandvoort and Hanoi are in the game but won’t get seen in real-life until the 2021 season. Meanwhile, last minute changes to the calender mean circuits such as Mugello and Imola could potentially get used, neither of which are in the game. Exactly how Codemasters intend on handling all of this remains to be seen, but I think we can forgive the lack of authenticity this year, eh?
Assetto Corsa Competizione boasts the official Blancpain license, and that means you get to drive the wicked GT machines from the likes of McLaren, Porsche, Nissan and Audi. Meanwhile the selection of 11 tracks might sound too limiting but each one has been laser scanned and is thus about as accurate to real-life as we can get without actually driving around them in real-life. It also means you get sprint races, night racing and endurance events, all featuring the drivers from the real Blancpain series. Sim racing on console is a niche genre, so when a new game arrives it’s an exciting time.