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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


Your half-life 3 is dead, son


Yeah, tell me about it. At least the previous instalment didn’t end on a cliffhanger… :confounded:


Quite seriously, it is a crappy way of going on.

Back to Victorian London - nope, sorry, Croydon - and it’s a dump. So, no change since then either. :wink:

Finished the intro sequence for Evie and she’s every bit as a good a character as Jacob. What’s also great is how all the guards are total bastards, it’s cathartic to kill the buggers.

Graphically, it’s amazing and this is a two-year old game no less.

Going to be fun exploring the game’s recreation of London… once it’s downloaded enough.


I played through a majority of Syndicate as Evie. She played a bit more smoothly than Jacob and while not as powerful she was definitely better at stealth (which was how ideas trying to play through the game).


So I just found out that in the new God of War, Kratos is voiced by…

Christopher Judge! Aka Teal’c!

The alt-right will go nuts over this. So damn cool.


Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds

So, after a 7 month break, I returned to this tonight.

The practice run of re-acquainting myself with the world involving killing 4 Glinthawks, 3 Watchers, 3 Scrappers and 3 Flinthorns - I had forgotten just how much arse Aloy can deck when she gets going.

Then, entered the new area and had that Daemonic Scorcher fight…

Frankly, it was hugely, fucking irritating - the thing ignored every single thing the focus flagged up - Freeze arrows? No effect. Load of electric wires to stun? Had bugger all effect. It was a frustrating pile o’ bullcrap and it really cast a pall over the DLC in the immediate term. Problem being that this is the first fight you have, is it representative of all that is come? If it is, I’m not going to get far here.

Fortunately, it slowly recovered - had conversations, various quests got added and I decided to go straight for the Tallneck. It made for an excellent quest, tracking down the machine parts - turns out Aloy was fine dealing with Daemonic Scrappers and Watchers. Tormenting the former with an array of blast wires was highly fun. Then I took out a normal Scorcher and a few Glinthawks, before hoping onto the Tallneck when I had activated it. That remains one of HZD’s signatures - how do you make tower climbing exciting? You render it as a giant, non-hostile and mobile robot.

After that, decided to make my way to the town on the eastern edge of the map and ended up tangling with control towers. I had feared they would make these towers indestructable, with only over-ride being temporary, you know, for the “challenge”. Fortunately, nope, once over-riden, you can destroy them. One seemed fairly straight-forward, as did another, there was only Watchers, daemonic variety yes, but still Watchers. Nope, not just Watchers, Daemonic Stalkers too! That ended up being quite the punch-up.

Before I took out the third control tower, I took on Daemonic Scorcher - well hello bastard, I know how to kill you now - and a pair of Daemonic Longlegs - then did the tower and called it a night.

It sounds nuts to say this, because HZD is an incredibly good looking game, but Frozen Wilds takes it to a new level. The snowfield effects on the Tallneck quest were amazing.

Have only done exploring, found that Aloy can deck the various Daemonic versions, but not done any quests or got any new weaponry.

It is a big, big expansion, with the same stunning, dense design that made HZD’s world stand out.



The last time I played thsi was several years ago and I stuck at some part I couldn’t think how to get ovet so I deleted the game. Now, I am blazing in full glory.

This third-person shooter certainly isn’t the game to remember. Graphics are truly slick and glossy, a real holiday to eyes. However, levels design are anything but exciting (monastery, refinery, steelworks and now aircraft carrier). Plot follows the same pattern between good and evil, but this time with unique twist as you are actually former Heaven’s agent, now working for the Boss, and against your former employers.
However, things go down when it comes to shooting. The gameplay is boring and repetitive, shooting mechanics are rushed. True, there are occasional puzzles and boss fights that break down the monotony (boss fights in particular), however shooting itself is huge let down. Aiming is bad and there is always shortage of ammo. On top of that, the Boss grants you several powers, one of which is draining the souls of guys you killed, however all process lasts for 5 secs and it’s no pleasure at all when you storm the room and then proceed to drain to recuperate your health (which sometimes goes down quickly) and ammo, which for aforementioned reason is a must. It’s shame really; this game really had potential.


For all that I find the combat hugely variable, so very Black Flag, and at times, the game is ludicrous, with free-running cops no less! Syndicate does have some amazing aesthetics:

And yes, I got the St Pauls’ viewpoint earlier, quite the coup. The recreation of London is very well done - the problem is the game is at pains to stop either Frye from just slaughtering everyone. So, while you may just walk up and stab someone in the street and instantly kill, get in a fight and away go the knives. Suddenly it’s all Marquis of Queensbury rules when it should be ‘hidden blade to the eyes’, you know, like an assassin.

Back in HZD: Frozen Wilds, I have killed my first Frostclaw! It was after the complete pile o’ arse that was the Pilgrim’s Path quest. Killed a second some time later by ‘encouraging’ it to run into 12 blast wires. Also took out a set of 3 control towers, guarded by Daemonic Snapmaws, Longlegs and Scrappers. Giving a Snapmaw a fusillade of fire arrows to the extent it explodes is both nuts and hugely satisfying.


Finally, Syndicate’s feeling far better - only took a pile of skill, gear and weapon upgrades and 1-2 level superiority to do so, but it has improved. Ended up doing my first killstreak, which was suitably impressive.

There is some total bullshit in the game’s “challenges”, like not going beneath a certain altitude on a mission, but you have no way of telling how high you are. Or that you kidnap a guy, no one knows you did it, but as soon as you throw 'em in a carriage and start driving, the bad guys instantly know. That comes across as pointless, cheap crap.

The big improvement is the zipline. Getting this transforms the game - you have an expanded set of offensive options and exploration opens up completely, as you can avoid the streets, with the assortment of psychopath filth that are everywhere. Went around both Westminster and the Strand, nabbing viewpoints with ease.

The one big disappointment was the Whitechapel finale of “gang war”, which is basically a big punch-up and little more. I would have liked this to have been more creative, like assaulting Keylock’s base of operations, either stealth or full force, but nope.

Still, the combat’s now much better, I can get around easily and I’m starting to feel it was worth the bargain price I got it for.


I’ve jumped back on God of War III this evening, to get me in the mood for the new game coming out at the end of this week.

I’d forgotten how much (mindless) fun it is. That opening half-hour or so with Poseidon is a wonderful sequence from beginning to end.


This is a week bookended by badarse games with hard bastard characters:

  • 17 April: Yakuza 6

  • 20 April: God of War

It’s pretty much accepted the delay they hit on Yakuza, ended up putting it up against GOW, which it ain’t going to win against! I love the Yakuza series but let’s be realistic, it wasn’t happening before and it certainly ain’t happening now.


I really liked Syndicate. I skipped Black flag, unity and rogue
As I had no interest in pirates or the other settings. So I hadnt played an AC for a while before Syndicate, which helped. I pretty much pick and choose based on the settings now. London was a great one And very well realised. Im skipping origins as well since egyot looks like a yawn fest.


You’re a freaking hero for getting that many moons, wow.

I think odyssey and Zelda Breath of Wild were the most revolutionary console games to come out in years, maybe since GTA 3.

They both broadly operate the same way — you can “finish” the game quickly if you like, consider it beaten and move on, or spend literally hundreds of hours trying to do 100%…or, something in between.

Zelda is more of a sandbox game than Mario (and I don’t particularly like sandbox games), but so much of Odyssey is optional. I’ve struggled with both conceptually but I’m making my peace with them.

I view it as the game design inherently has the difficulty levels: you want Easy, just play straight through and you’re done; Extra Hard is 100% etc. It’s really amazing when you think about it and feels like a departure from almost any game that’s come before.

I still have issues with both — I’m finding Zelda too non-linear at times and Mario gets excessive if I play it for too many days in a row. But both games are terrific fun to play, and I’m getting comfortable just ignoring the stuff I consider unfairly hard or boring and taking what I want from them. So far I’ve clocked over 80 hours in both games and I’m nowhere near done with either. It’s pretty incredible, really.

I’m looking forward to the next iterations of these style of games, when hopefully they’ll take he concept and make it even better.


That’s also how the Batman Arkham games always felt for me.


IHaving had Bloodbourne on the hard drive unplayed for what seems like an age I thought I should give it a spin. Wow.

Let me just jump in here and say that pretty much throughout my gaming career I would always put games on the hardest settings partly to get my monies worth by making it last longer but also to prove to myself I was a good gamer. That trend continued for about 15 years (I’m still proud of having completed the first 5 Halo games on legendary) before I lost patience and realised there were other things to do in life than just play video games. At this point I looked to just play on ‘normal’ difficulty settings.

Which brings us back to Bloodbourne. I truly hate this game. I’m a good gamer, I know I am, but this was thoroughly unenjoyable. I know it’s known for being hard and I knew to expect a certain level of ‘argh, you dirty mother f****r’ and I knew that was all part of the design but it just didn’t work for me. It made me so angry, if I met the game designer I’d likely punch him/her in the face. Part of me also has a spot of dislike for people who actually like the game as well.

If it was a physical copy I would have snapped the disc but as it is I will have to be content to uninstall and delete.

In a way I’m glad I played it as I know to avoid any such game type in future.

Edit - I just started Bayonetta 2 which I bought a Wii U for about 2 years ago but never played til tonight. Wow, I love it. Batshit crazy just like the first.


I don’t have much time for stupidly hard games. I like a good challenge as it’s satisfying to beat a hard part of a game, but if I have a few goes at something and feel like I’m getting nowhere then I get bored quickly and move on to something else. It’s usually an indication that the game’s learning curve is wonky, as much as anything.

One of the trends I’ve been happy to see in recent games generations is the recognition that macho super-hard difficulty levels aren’t the be-all and end-all. I feel like it’s far more commonplace now to have a really broad range of difficulties - from the non-challenging almost entirely narrative-driven difficulty level all the way up to the ridiculously hard ones (like the ones that make you play through an entire game on one life, with no restarts - was that a Batman/Arkham one?).


Bayonetta 2 is even more crazy than the first. Going to be interesting to see what they do for the third on the Switch.

I don’t particularly object to the Souls / Nioh / Bloodborne style games because they’re honest in their marketing. You can’t buy one of those games and not know you’re buying a hard bastard of a game.

The nearest I’ve gone on that type of game was Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. I played it on easy, somehow completed it once, probably wouldn’t be able to replicate that either.


Ha! I love BB, it’s my favorite game of this generation. It does start off hard and you have to grind up for a while, but I think it’s always fair and once you’re in the swing of it, it’s an experience like nothing else. The tension and atmosphere are just mind-bendingly good.

(And I’ll add that some of the levels that @MartinSmith talked about in Mario Odyssey are harder than anything in Bloodborne)


Those games have lots of busywork, and admittedly some are trickier than others, but they’re incidental. With the Switch games they’re core elements of gameplay, it’s just the difficulty grading varies.


I finally won a copy of Final Fantasy III (the SNES one that is actually Final Fantasy VI) on eBay last night. US SNES copy, to be reshelled into the cheap Japanese one I got, so I can play it on my multi-region SNES. Now, as far as I can tell from the eBay listing, it seems legit (and I’m decent enough at spotting fakes) but there were very few bids and I only ended up paying £10, when the usual going price for a copy already in the UK is well over £50.

So, did I get extremely lucky? Or is it going to turn out to be a bootleg? Cast your votes!