Game Talk – End of Year and Festive Finds

 

With the festive season (and festive sales) coming to an end. I thought this would be a good time to talk about a few games I have either bought or been given over the past month. I’ll tell you the pros and cons of each game as well as telling you whether or not I recommend buying it (and how much I got it for). So here we go then:

 

Bloodborne

So, this year, Playstation had a huge end of year/January sale. And this was the first game I bought from it. Was it a mistake? It would seem so. I had the choice between Metal Gear Solid or Bloodborne. Both for around £14.99, I thought Bloodborne seemed most like The Witcher 3 (another game I’ve found to be entertaining) and so I naturally figure I’d like it the most…I was wrong. Admittedly the game is quite difficult, I died about five time trying to get past one monster, but difficulty is something I can deal with – after all a game would get boring if it was too easy (looking at you No Mans Sky) – what I couldn’t deal with however was the lack of instructions. The game just throws you into this world with no guidance what-so-ever. I was confused and frustrated, didn’t know where to go and the most annoying thing of all is the semi-permadeath that throws you right back to the last checkpoint every time you die, having to do everything all over again.

I may be giving this a hard time, as I’ve not played it too much (mostly down to frustration), but right now this game seems like a bit of a waste of money and it’s not as if I can just trade-in the game as I bought it from the Playstation Store. But ah well, maybe I’ll pick it up again and enjoy it another day.

 

Bioshock: The Collection

This, this has to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. I walked into game, Christmas money in hand, and said “right, I’m not leaving until I’ve bought myself a new game”. The options? Watchdogs 2, Battlefield 1, Bioshock and Uncharted 4. All of these games were on sale, all of them within my price range (though some were quite a bit more pricey than the rest). So after heavy deliberation, and discussion with my girlfriend, I settled on Bioshock. Why? Well, I’d played Bioshock Infinite before (only for 5 minutes mind) and I knew the games were loved by many fans and had a decent story line. It cost me around £24.99, not bad for 3 games in 1.

I got home, installed the game, and off I went, into this mad, sci-fi underwater world filled with intrigue. I love this game(s). The story is compelling, the combat is interesting and I can even stomach the odd jump scare here and there. Although every time you die you go back to a certain checkpoint, it’s not as bad as Bloodborne. The checkpoints are only locations, not points in time, so when you respawn the enemy is in exactly the same position and health that it was when you died so you can continue on from where you left off. Cheating? Maybe, but I can live with the guilt. Overall I’m really enjoying Bioshock and I can’t wait to keep playing it.

 

Guitar Hero Live

I considered buying this on Black Friday when it was on sale for £35 (I understand it’s still at that price on Amazon) but instead I recieved it for Christmas. It came with the base game, some dlc and two guitars (yeah you read right, two!). I’d been a huge fan of the old Guitar Hero and when this new one came out a couple of years back I was semi-interested. I understand that it didn’t get the release figure it wanted for a returning game but it did have some issues (the starting price being one of them). But with the game being reduced to such a low price why not take the risk?

I won’t lie, it is a flawed game. First of all it strays away from the iconic coloured buttons of the past in favour of 6 plain buttons, 3 on top of 3, much like a real guitar. However, this did make it feel a little bit more realistic. What made it feel more realistic? Well, that would be the lack of crappy animation. The game no longer has the weird animated people on the screen and instead puts you on a stage with a live action band and a live action crowd making you feel like you’re performing at a real concert. As for the music, yes there are some great ones (The Kill by Thirty Seconds To Mars being one of them) but most are duds, but that’s where the new Guitar Hero TV comes in. GHTV allows you to play along with any music video they have in their database and compete with other people in the leader boards. One drawback however, is that you only get a set number of ‘plays’ to play these songs, then you have to get more from the shop where you spend your in game money. But you may have to spend some real money to get more in game money to get more plays (love me some micro-transactions). But overall, if you enjoyed the old Guitar Hero I’m sure, like myself, you’ll enjoy this one.

 

Overwatch

Another Christmas gift (though available for £25 on amazon), Overwatch is a fun multiplayer first person shooter. However, it does lack a decent single player mode. There is no story behind this game, its just an online shooter. Admittedly it does have some good characters (and some bad) and the game play and environments are really interesting to play in. But I just felt a little bit let down. I thought this game would have at least something to set up this huge abundance of characters you’d be playing with, but all it had was a quick tutorial and then you were thrust into the online community.

So yeah, it’s a meh game. It’s fun and you can easily kill a few hours playing on it, but don’t go in expecting a story rich single player mode, because you won’t get it.

 

Stardew Valley 

Ah Steam, I buy so many games from you, yet my laptop can’t handle half of them. Stardew Valley, however, is a game my laptop can handle. I had this on my wishlist for quite a while, and when Steams annual Winter Sale came around I finally picked it up for about £8.

It’s a cute little game about you inheriting a farm in Stardew Valley. You have to grow your farm, grow food on your farm, grow your house, and grow your reputation around the town. Not only is it a nice little farming simulator but it’s also an RPG, something which makes for a really cute game that’s mildly addictive and easy to pick up any time you want.

Battlefield 1

Another game I picked up from Playsation in their sale was Battlefield 1 (deluxe edition) for £35. Another game that was unbelievable hyped up, but I had my doubts. Not only because of my bad experiences with EA and DICE’s last game (read that here) but because it seemed to me just to be EA capitalising on Call of Duty’s recent future fetish. And essentially that’s what it is. But it is a good game. Not only does this have a solid single player campaign but it also has a wide variety of online multiplayer matches that you can play.

However, it does have some issues. The first one is the weapons. The starting weapons are so poor I can barely kill 3 people a game, and yes that may be my fault, but right now I’m gunna blame it on the weapons. As well as that, the way you unlock new weapons online is quite confusing. To unlock weapons you need to gain War Bonds. And to gain War Bonds you need to level up (at least that’s the only way I’ve got some) and even then you don’t get many. A new weapon costs 100WB and when you first level up you only recieve 90. Maybe this is an incentive for you to keep playing and keep getting better but it’s putting my right off. Despite all this, I am enjoying the game, and for £35 it was a steal. Also, the look of the home screens and the inclusion of a campaign mode gives me a lot of hope for Star Wars Battlefront 2 (due out sometime this year.

 

Right then, that’s it from the games I’ve bought. I have enjoyed most of these games in some small way or another, but there are some games which have quickly become a favourite of mine. Overall, if you’re gunna buy anything from this list I would thoroughly recommend either Bioshock, Stardew Valley or Guitar Hero Live.

 

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