Following up on greatness is never easy. Santa Monica had the element of surprise when they revived God of War in 2018 and so when the world got to experience the epic return of Kratos it became a hit of Godlike proportions, selling millions of copies, snatching up awards like Kratos grabbing Hacksilver and becoming one of the most beloved Playstation games in history. But God of War: Ragnarock doesn’t have the element of surprise; we know what to expect now, what Santa Monica can do with the Ghost of Sparta. So after a 4-year wait, has God of War: Ragnarock delivered the epic climax we were all hoping for?
For months we’ve been hearing rumours and reading reports that Sony was going to be launching some kind of new service. Allegedly codenamed “Spartacus” the new service was heavily speculated to be Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s Game Pass, a subscription service boasting an absurdly huge library of games, including first-party titles, for one very low price. However, numerous people have claimed that Game Pass is not profitable and that Microsoft is actually losing money by offering the service, begging a simple question; would Sony really attempt something similar, especially since they aren’t even in the same financial ballpark as Microsoft?
Horizon: Zero Dawn was the surprise of 2017, in many ways. It’s not like people weren’t excited about the prospect of a new game from the developers of the Killzone franchise, but a new IP is always risky and Guerilla was taking a sizable step out of their comfort zone, going from a first-person shooter to a third-person action-adventure set in a massive open world. Any doubts were quickly smashed into pieces though, as Forbidden west sold over 2.5.-million copies in just the first two weeks, and as I write this that number is now over 20-million. Clearly, Sony had a new franchise on its hands and a sequel was all but inevitable, especially as Guerilla had carefully laid the foundations for Aloy’s next adventure. Half a decade later that sequel has finally arrived, and while it’s not a true PS5 exclusive, Horizon: Forbidden West is a safe, solid follow-up that will doubtless sell millions more copies before the series disappears for another 5-years.
Having been battered by two separate storms that decided to form a tag-team over the course of two days, I’ve been stuck without any power for around 60-hours now in a freezing cold house and a manic German Shepard that freaks out as soon as the wind gusts more than jogging speed. Needless to say, it hasn’t been fun. Mobile signal has been patchy at best, so I’ve been out of the gaming news loop for a while. But surely nothing too big could have happened in such a small time-frame, right? I mean, Microsoft just bought Activision-Blizzard for an obscene amount of cash, so surely that’s all the big news for now? Nope. You lose power for a few days and suddenly Sony buys Bungie. Bloody hell. What, you couldn’t wait a few days Sony? Gits.
It’s another episode of the podcast that has absolutely zero consistent release schedule. This time I cover the games I’m playing plus some news, so here the notes I take and then use when recording and the podcast itself.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart opens with a celebration of our two titular heroes, a parade thrown in their honour. As the duo make their way through parade floats that reference their prior adventures Ratchet points out that it has been years since they’ve even done anything vaguely heroic, so why are they being celebrated? And do they really still have it? Are they still capable of daring-do and heroic heroism? Of course, as per the unwritten rules of video games things quickly go wrong; Dr Nefarious arrives just in time to steal the Dimensionator which Crank was going to gift to his friend in the hopes of letting him find his lost people, and the very fabric of space and time begins to rip apart.
Days Gone has ridden onto Steam as the latest Playstation exclusive to make it onto PC, opening up Bend Studio’s work to a whole new audience. I reviewed Days Gone when it first launched on the PS4 back in 2018 and found it to be entertaining to play with a strong lead character. A couple of years on my initial thoughts haven’t changed too much, so you can check out the original review for those. Now, though, we the recent news of a potential sequel being turned down by Sony it’s interesting to revisit Days Gone and see why I think it does deserve one to fulfil all the potential it has. And if you just want an idea of how good the PC port is, jump down toward the end of the review.
Welcome back to another Weekend Whammy, my friends. Hopefully you’re doing good, having fun, staying safe and all that good stuff. This week I’m chatting a bit about my initial impressions of Returnal, a bit of Titanfall 2 and then jump into the news where we have some interesting Microsoft insights to chat about, Sony financials, a Sony-Discord deal and more.
Y’know the expression, life kicking you when you’re down? I realized it isn’t so much life somehow getting worse, but more that relatively small problems feel so much worse because you’re already stressed and angry. I’m encountering this right now. On my post where I talked about taking a quick break I mentioned some…personal family troubles we’re going through regarding my sibling. Things are still rough at the moment, and while I don’t mean to diminish how bad it is for my sibling, the stress and stuff does transfer over. I’m not sleeping well, I’m worried, I’m tired, I’m angry, hence the need for a break. But anyway, back to the point: it looks like my power supply in my PC is on the fritz, and so it just feels like life has stuck on its steel-capped work boots, taken a few steps back so it can get a proper run up and has kicked me right in the ribcage. Of course, that’s not the case. I think it’s more that my power supply dying isn’t a huge problem, or at least not one I’d stress over this much normally. Sure, I don’t have the cash to replace it, but normally I’d get annoyed, shrug it off and just accept that these things happen and that my computer could end up being out of action for a short while in the near future. But because of everything else, I’ve taken this whole power supply like a personal affront to my existence as if God himself emerged from the clouds and broke it. It’s like an entirely unjustifiable feeling of anger I have toward my power supply right now. Like, if it was a person I’d kick it in the balls and make some sort of joke about its mamma.
The audio version of this week’s Weekend Whammy is finally up, so kick back and listen to my dumb voice rambling about Game Pass being awesome for multiplayer, getting annoyed at Sony for not warning Vita developers about the story shutting down, loot boxes being linked to gambling AGAIN and loads more.