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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


Keyboard’s not really an option on PS4. I don’t think it’s the game’s fault (though there’s a direction precision option I’ve not tinkered with) just the Dualshock’s d-pad and moreso its face buttons, which are nice enough, but don’t quite feel right for a fighter.


yeah no I meant that using arrow keys is flawless, so using a D-pad shouldn’t be an issue (the game doesn’t rely on quarter circle motions and that sort of stuff where a stick really comes in handy)…


Well, as it’s the MHW Appreciation Fest , I’ve been doing minor or easy quests to nab the Appreciation Tickets while it’s on.

One big and unexpected surprise was taking out Deviljho in an expedition! This is despite the game deciding that said creature is a 3,000Ib pirouetting ballerina of death and violence. You will never see a creature so damn massive evade so many hits. Combine that with bastard-size hitboxes and I was pretty certain he was going to play the ‘Lo! I wil now bugger off as you have failed to kill me’ card. Fortunately, due this thing picking fights with everyone, I was able to actually get him down to the skull stage. It involved a lot of deaths, nope, not deaths, ‘faints’, ‘faints’, yes. I then managed to get to his lair in time to tranq and shock trap his cheatin’ arse. Whammo! Captured.

Then, just to finish a time-limited bounty, only applies to the day, I went and booted up an Event quest to bash the crap out of Barroth. Only downside was I ran out of carve time to get the tail I’d lopped off of him. On the other hand, nabbed a Miasma jewel from the rewards which was neat.


First 6 minutes is on the VR headset lenses. The rest is a game review.


It’s amazing how many games, once they hit their end game patch, tend to go off the rails.

Case in point AC Origins - I do a quest that was quite good up until the end, whereupon it does a boss fight. The whole time it has them talking instead of fighting which just doesn’t work. Sure, I killed him but it wasn’t a smart or fun engagement.

It then did another sea mission - which in this game just aren’t that good. It boiled down to Brace, shoot - even though you can’t really tell where you’re aiming or if you hit, save for the health meter going down and the boss ship? Was a case of sail at distance and pepper with catapult, straight forward yes but not that thrilling either.

And then there is Aya. Next was a mission where you play as, instead of Bayek. As part of the trade-off you lose Senu, lose ability to change weapons and I get in return? Not much. I’ve seen the idea that they were doing a riff on Ciri in Witcher 3. Well, if that was the aim, they failed completely. When I played Ciri, the character felt great to control, I looked forward to her levels - to put it simply, Aya is no Ciri. I didn’t enjoy playing the character, she was far too limited.

Still, did that mision - back to Bayek. Wait, it’s an on-rails section? Why these are in still games when they are too often complete crap I have no idea. Cue a few minutes of total tedium while the game desperately tries to convince me it’s a thrilling sequence. It failed. After that? It’s Bayek vs an Elephant, a strangely muted boss fight. Septimius the turned up, it was a half decent fight but what really did the damage is that he gets to live after it. Yep, you watch Bayek slice him up in the finale sequence - arms, body, throat - all get slashed open but this guy? Oh yeah, this guy gets to live! Just no.

Fortunately, the sequences that followed this - where Bayek basically declares the start of the Assassin brotherhood and then goes after Flavius gets the game back on track. Though I suspect Flavius is Bayek’s final foe, as Aya’s going after Septimius… Yay.

There’s also some weird stuff that goes on with Aya’s mission - like the fact she tears through a load of guys, carries someone out of a temple that has to be more than her own bodyweight and then in cutscenes, she struggles to life this door bar and a normal soldier gets the drop on her at the top of the Pharos. How? Given what you’ve done with her in the game neither of these scenes should play out as they do.


So, AC Origins - the endgame is here and it was… well, shite.

First, the Flavius boss fight is an abomination. How the hell this was thought up, coded, play-tested and then approved is a mystery beyond me. A time-freezing, teleporting arse of a boss coupled with him being able to walk through every attack you do to hit you. Still, eventually, after a whole lot of tedium, killed him. The Pax Romana quest and its prececessor were far, far better. When sidequests are kicking the crap out of your main quest, you know something’s gone wrong. Oh and they screwed up the death scene for Flavius by being far too sympathetic to him. This should have been the moment where Bayek went medieval and dismembered Flavius soul body leaving him as but a head, but nope.

Next, they do a resolution to Bayek and Aya story by having them split up. This was one of the points that felt hackneyed and stereotypical. One such stereotype is the male character will be the romantic one, while the woman is all about the mission at all costs. This is also the point where the game ends for Bayek and I can see why it left a sour taste in the mouth for some players and this is without what happens next.

The game never gives the player a reason to be interested in Aya as a character. She’s instead a plot / progression cypher. So, getting to play as her feels less like a cool moment and more like the game taking you away from Bayek, who you have skilled up, upgraded the gear of and chosen the weapon to specialise in. With Aya there’s none of this sense of investment - you get stuck with dual swords that you can’t upgrade, you don’t have Senu either.

So, onto the next bit - yay, another ship battle. Fuck. It starts off OK and then has fireships turn up. The problem is the field of vision is insufficient for you to judge distance, never mind get them all. Throughout the sea mission it is find of playing narration over the playing which makes for one hell of a distraction. It then culminates in a King-Fuck-You boss battle where you have to deal with 2 Octoremes that have, no joke, one-hit kill attacks. Combined with the fact there is no map indicator, the ship sails slowly and the speed of the bastards is off the scale and you’ve a perfect recipe for a very, very un-fun mission. I managed to do it on the third try because they didn’t split up, but the outcome is very much dependent on luck.

And then there is he-who-should-be-dead Septimius. Another boss fight and he also this freeze time ability. It was the absolute opposite of epic. You just dodge and hit him to get the life meter down. The final bit is assassinating Caeser and it, too, was a misfire. Some of pieces of the cutscenes, where it is talked of the Assassin’s Creed are quite cool, but overall, it’s a weak endgame.

What was far, far more fun was starting the Hidden Ones DLC, travelling to Sinai, getting a new set of quests and off we go.

The weak endgame notwithstanding, it is an excellent game. A very well-depicted world of incredible size that rewards exploration. Sidequests were frequently superior to the main quest line. By the end I had completed 125 quests - that’s an awful lot of content and there’s post-game stuff to do as well, plus the Arena fights and Hippodrome races. My play time for the main game is in the region of 92-94 hours. Although, I was taking my time and exploring everywhere, completing locations as I went.


Played the Anthem demo over the weekend. For people who like Destiny, I would think they’d enjoy this. I had fun with it, but question how much (re)play-ability it actually has. Because yes, it was pretty fun to customize your suit (of which I’m sure the main game will have tons of options) and then fly around like Iron Man and shoot stuff, but how long that remains fun is the big question. Granted, I only got to try out two of the four suit types but I’m generally into BioWare games for the characters and story, and I feel like that will be lacking in Anthem.

I have a feeling it might be on deep discount a few months after release. At that point I might grab it if I can find a friend or two also willing to jump in and fly around for a bit. But it seems unlikely that it’s worth $60 (plus whatever DLC might cost to make it actually playable long term).


I finally finished Witcher 3
I must have been battling my way through it for a little over a year
Fisnihed every quest and every question mark and it took hooouuuurrrrsss
Overall I felt it was a good game, but not a great one. Some of the quests are particularly fantastic, as many have said, pretty much the best ever conceived in an RPG.
I found the entire combat engine just totally dull though, and very minmally challenging. I could pretty much Dodge and block my way through any battle. I guess I probably backed out of about 10 fights throughout the whole game, which I had to level up and return to, because the enemies were just far too levelled or too swarmy for my level.
And by God the load times were just horrendous on PS4.
Overall a very mixed experience for me, and I think I need to consider if these kinds of open world, huge investment games are really what I should be trying to play these days given the amount of gaming time I get.


Congrats on making it to the finish line.

If you want a couple of far more compact, pick-up-and-play games there are two I recommend:

  • Steep - Snowboarding fun and lots of other stuff. Do as much or as little as you like whenever you like.#

  • RedOut - Really insane, really fun future racing with the next track design I’ve ever seen. It is impossible to play this for long without your eyes rebelling!

Tonight I’ve been exploring central and southern Sinai in AC Origins: The Hidden Ones. For what is considered a ‘small’ DLC - which I nabbed for £3.99 - it’s astonishing how much is here. I’ve still the northern part to go through. What’s left in the south are two forts, but I took out the Phylake.

Considering game size a bit more and we’ve ended up in the situation of having more games than people have time to play! I think this is playing into, along with Microsoft doing it first, the rumoured backwards compatibility for PS5. The chances of everyone exhausting all the games for PS4 in the next two years is pretty low. At the same time, you can just about justify having PS3 and PS4, but right now, as a separate system, with no announced, big exclusives, PS5 is a hard sell. Multi-generation backwards compatibility changes that.


Interesting. Now that I read this post I believe I’ve played 3 Assassin’s Creed games and haven’t come close to finishing any of them. I always lose interest somewhere on the way.

Odyssey is next in my gaming queue and I fully intend to play it on the easy setting just to see how far I get into it.


Yeah honestly, even though I have oodles of free time, even I’m really hesitant to start one of those games at this point. I’ve been playing more short games and stuff like fighting games where you just hop in for a couple of on-line matches and hop out…

These open world games are getting super daunting… I remember I started Shadow of War and just stopped 'cause I felt overwhelmed by everything that was in there.


I think this is free on ps+ at the moment. Might check it out


I will second it as a great game. Lots of brilliant extra content has been added recently and I think things like the jet pack are now included and not paid dlc


So… I’ve been planing Conan Exiles… a lot. I mean, hours and hours. I fully expected to hate the hell out of this game. A fantasy survival game with no zap magic? Not for me thanks! Tons of pvp? Hell no.

It’s like someone crossed, surface level Conan stuff, with Pokemon, and a Post-Apocalyptic game to create a single player sandbox survival experience that, even after three re-starts, has me obsessively engrossed. I don’t play on any of the servers and I don’t have the Battle Eye anti-cheating software installed. And to be clear, I’ve only restarted because I wanted to vary my experience. The first was set on absolute easy, just to get my feet wet. The second was a little bit harder, and the third I put on the hardest setting, then I went into the admin panel and toned a few things down because I do not want every fight to feel like a boss fight and go through food like I have a stomach full of tape worms.

The Pokemon portion comes from the Thrall system. There are some very “magic like” effects and they come from using the an enhanced version of the basic crafting system that involves capturing people from the sandbox, breaking them in Wheels of Pain, and putting them to work in your crafting stations. The Thralls’ levels vary from 1 to 4 with an even higher quality thrall from Purge events. I’ll get back to the Purge later. Each faction/ethnic group has their own series of thralls, the higher quality, the more faction/ethnic recipes they have . If you are going to finish the thin plot or explore the entire arc, you are pretty much pushed into the Thrall system. You need Thralls to craft and repair Perfect and Flawless versions of armor and weapons. You need them to craft magic food that lets you operate in the volcanic portion of the map and in the frozen mountains and caves. More importantly, there is “corruption” around old sites on the map and the more corruption you collect, the lower your hit points and stamina, which you really really need. The ONLY way to get rid of corruption is by being “entertained” by an entertainer. The only “free” entertainers are in a “friendly” city way the hell and gone from anywhere in a high level area. You have to catch your own entertainers to operate with any flexibility. More enticingly, high level entertainers also give bonuses to hit point regeneration.

I mention Post Apocalyptic as a part of its selling point for me is that the sand box is in the ruins of a kingdom of Snakemen, and it’s very Fantasy Mad Max. I’ve wasted so much time crawling random giant towers just to see what’s up there. Combined with ancient enchanted tablets, pulsing at you like wan computers, to tell you stories about the Empire’s fall, the setting kind of gets under my skin. Throw in random ghost sightings that point you in the direction of certain things, like journals, and notes, I find that I’m never bored, even when running around looking for that Zammoran Armorer III (I need that guy for making sexy dancer clothes for my entertainer dudes. It’s quality of life man!)

Now, I don’t consider this a spoiler, but I will share where I got over my “MUST HAVE MAGIC” hump. When the game starts, you heal by eating. You can gain abilities as you level up by spending attribute points. One one of the ability tracks, you gain continuous-self healing. That ability changes my entire outlook on the game. I tend to play with corpse runs turned off and for me, that is another “magical” part of game play, especially when I do my “death teleport” back to my save points. (I figure this is why my Thralls obey me. They are scared to death of me). Being a regenerative axe wielding necromancer (in my mind) is awesome, and that’s not counting on the actual Alchemy crafting that’s available.

While I would like to have a fireball or a lightning bolt, this works, and hacking up skeletons, demons, and sewer snake monsters is pretty fun. The only things that unnerve me are the hordes of giant spiders that lurk on the map. I hate those things!


I find my sweet spot right now is stuff like Arkham, Spiderman, tomb raider type games.
So they are not small, and there is some open world like concepts of optional.quests and extras, but the game is generally more manageable in size and I can play for like 90 to 120 minutes and feel I acheived some progress.

I could spend days in Witcher just going from question mark to question mark, killing random monsters and collecting loot.

It was so big that it distracted from the main story, and even the scripted side quests.


I think I have a slightly different take on how these games now work. For me just exploring this massive world combined with the sheer abilities of the character is very satisfying. For instance, I might ride from one location to the next, come to a river, get off the horse, find a boat, start sailing to the other side, get attacked by a croc, the boat is taken out, Bayek takes out the croc, swims to shore, continues on.

In games past it would have been: No, you can’t swim. No, you can’t climb. No, your mount is unavailable. You may only use one weapon, not two out of eight categories or long-range weaponry from out of four categories. No, you do not get to also use grenades.

Then there’s the day and night cycle, weather effects etc.

One thing that No Man’s Sky showed up for me is that you do need that minimal structure of main quests / sidequests for these kind of games. NMS doesn’t really have it, instead going for the ‘make your own fun’ approach - it works for a good while but eventually I noticed the absence of structure.

Oh, sounds like I need to boot it up once more then.


Oh, I forgot something.

So, as you’re building your little empire, the game will periodically send things to sweep your burgeoning empire off of the map. It’s called The Purge. Not only is this even a reason to constantly improve the materials of your palace/city/hall of naughtiness it is an opportunity to capture Purge Thralls, Rank 4 thralls that only appear in Purges.

So, it is Armageddon, and a shopping opportunity all in one.


I’m still slogging my way through Red Dead Redemption 2. I say slogging, I am enjoying it. But it’s so big (especially with all the side quests) and my backlog of unplayed games is comparably big leaving me torn between savouring it and wanting it done.

I’m on chapter 5 now, which hasn’t helped the wanting it done side. The extended sojourn to a Caribbean island was more annoying than entertaining, feeling a lot like padding. That whole section really robs you of the open world nature of the game, which rankles and I’m disappointed that all the camp social elements seem to have been ditched now. It’s especially made buying and crafting all those upgrades feel a bit pointless.

I’m finally back in the main swing of things, although have just done the mission A Fork In The Road, which is a real blow and not what I was expecting for Arthur’s fate. Although I suppose there’s still chance for him to get shot before he dies of TB.

My main hopes for the rest of the story are that nothing bad happens to Mary Beth, who’s too sweet for the life of crime and that Sadie continues to be awesome right up to the end. (Well, actually, I’m hoping that she is the inevitable replacement main character for the post-story game, like Jack was in RDR1, but I doubt it. I suspect it’ll be John or at a push Mary’s idiot brother.) No spoilers though please.



For Honor is free on ps+ this month but it’s ‘online only’. It’s trying to get me to sign up for an Ubisoft account which I don’t want. Do I seriously have to do this to play the game?