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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


Grab Odyssey and acquire the remastered version of Ac3 that they’re doing that way.

Wait, someone liked Desmond?


Matthew has bought Fifa19 for switch with his birthday money. I was slightly wary but its actually quite a bit of fun so far, little Alex, Matthew and I can all play together and we are universallly terrible so far.

Not helped by the commentators declaring me rubbish for shooting from outside the box all the time, much to the amusement of my mini-mes.


Be very wary of the FIFA Ultimate Team strand.


So having got massively cheesed off with the area limitation, the difficulty of using mortars in the actual mission - plus the sheer hits from the fort, it was to my considerable surprise that I took out two more forts in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag . It’s far easier when you don’t have to worry about desynchronisation instant death if you sail too far away. Very satisfying that taking out the fort removes an entire restricted area off the map. So I now have a quarter of the Caribbean freed up - sailing around in those areas is now far more fun.

I also managed to capture a Brig and a Frigate and send both to Kenway’s Fleet! I actually have a pair of serious ships now.

I also got hugely irritated over a cadaver hunt - the solution of which was bloody stupid. One of the big recurring failings of the game is it blurs what you can and can’t interact with. There was also an insane bit in a ship fight where I’m hitting a guy from behind but the game has applied total defence to him. It was very bad and farcical. Combat remains a bit of a farce too, with Kenway being far, far too gentlemenly, he duels every chance he gets when he should be kicking men in the balls and stabbing them in the throat! Even so, he did get to do his best impression of Indy Jones on a brute enemy.

Still, that was made up for by a couple of warehouse raids, couple of upgrades and a raid on Tortuga that saw me blast my way in and take a Frigate.


I finished the main story of Red Dead Redemption 2 last night and am now on the epilogue. I’ll spoiler tag.

The end of Arthur’s story was good. It held few surprises, but that’s not really a problem. Part of the strength of the game’s story has been the crushing inevitability of events. That said, the game has at times suffered from being a prequel because, having played the original, I know that nothing is going to happen to certain characters (having John assumed dead for a bit in the final mission, for instance, was an odd move given there’s no way he was).
I was a bit narked to find, once I got control of John for the epilogue, that most of my stuff had gone, including all my horses, it seems (and man, the horse dying in the finale was a bit gut-wrenching). Ok, it makes sense story-wise, but the game breaks that by letting you keep all the random unique items Arthur had, so not getting to keep all the materials I had is annoying. And the $3000 Arthur had unspent. Now I’ve only got $11, though I suppose that is a good push to do more of the black hat stuff I avoided with Arthur, like the bandit challenges, to get the money back.
I’m hoping the epilogue picks up some of the loose ends from the main story. I assume it’s going to be, at least partially, about killing Micah, but it’d be nice to know what happened to some of the other gang members, who either upped and left (like Pearson and Mary Beth) or Tilly and Sadie who were with John and Abigail at the end of the main story. Especially Sadie, who was my favourite character in the game. Although I suspected from the off that you’d play as John in the post-game (confirmed by the game erroneously loading some of his small talk sound files while I was playing as Arthur), I had held out hope that maybe they let you play as Sadie instead. Ah well.


AC Origins
Forza 4 Seasons


Still playing Assassins Creed Origins. Typical conversation with the wofe about it goes like this:

How many hours into it are you now?

Nearly 24 hrs.

Done any more story mission?

sheepishly Uhhhhh…

What have you done?

Pissed about bothering soldiers, hunting deer, and climbing shit.


Yep - you can do tons in the game without touching the story for ages.

At the start, always do Reda’s mission - you can get some very cool stuff very easily.


I’m having loads of fun in Spiderman.
After the seemingly endless and slow progress of Witcher 3, it’s nice to have something I can pick up for 40 minutes and make some real progress on.
Production values seem super high as well. Combat took a bit of getting used to, as my Arkham muscle memory kept trying to kick in and it is not exactly the same idea. Spidey is much more fragile than bats was, much more dodging needed.


AC Black Flag last night: Kenway with hidden blade kills sweet feck all in combat, gets killed far too easily and is bloody awful to control.

AC Black flag tonight: Equip swords - slaughter-thon ensues.

The bigger coup tonight was also hitting New Bone, by infiltrating via a 1.3km swim, cleaning out the warehouse, chests and animus fragments. It’s deep in a restricted area crawling with Man o’ War ships I really don’t want to tangle with.

Also got the other island and a couple of viewpoints and Mayan Steles.

Can’t say I care about the main campaign due to the experience of Sequences 3-4, it’s irredeemably awful - at least doing the Forts mission, for all its crappiness unlocked a cool part of the game. From what I can tell there is no such upcoming sequence on the cards so there’s no point to continuing with it - not that I care about the characters or plot either.

The real selling point of the game is everything to do with the seas and the ships, which often looks amazing. Similarly some of the jungle islands are incredible for a 5-year old game.


This was one of the main things I liked about Spidey. I don’t always/often/ever have time to spends several hours solid on a gaming session these days, so it’s nice to have a game that you can incrementally work through in relatively short blasts.

There’s a nice pick-up-and-play quality to it, whereas with other games it takes me half an hour just to remember what all the controls are.


I’m deeper into the post-game/epilogue of RDR2 now. I had wondered how certain elements from the main game would work post-game, mainly the camp crafting stuff. Would it persist, would it get a direct equivalent? Turns out (I’m spoiler tagging this but it might be useful to know before you finish the main story) it’s just abandoned. The satchels you didn’t manage to get from Pearson can just be purchased from a fence, without the need to get the skins. Which on the one hand feels like a massive cop-out, but on the other, is so much easier. I do wonder how you were supposed to get the panther skin for the Legend of the East satchel without access to New Austin though.


A cool run on Black Flag tonight.

Took out the biggest fortress so far and a Medium one but that had 7 defences. In itself, that would have been just about OK, it didn’t have support ships either. However… First time I tried it a storm came in, complete with waterspouts - OK, fine, can play a long game, except this storm and the waterspouts never ended! Of all the stuff I expected a 17th century fort to have in the way of defence, I wasn’t expecting weather! Second time, no storm so I blew the fuck out of it.

Took out the last Easy fort which gives me a good third of the map as open water. Grabbing the mortar storage up to 20 was well worth it, as was getting some new swords and pistols.

Did the Sacrifice Island treasure but none of it ended being all that good.

Also took several ships, including a couple of Brig slaughters - where a couple of mortars and a cannon blast, they were ready for boarding!

Going to try and get the locations, the Mayan armor and a fully upgraded Jackdaw and I’ll be happy with that for this one.


Well, bugger - the crafty bastards went and locked the Mayan armour behind three campaign-only accessible locations, but the campaign missions in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag are irredeemably awful. Still, that was the only bad point in a quite epic session tonight:

  • Took out three more forts - turns out the seven defences one I did yesterday was actually a Hard-level fort, with three officers to kill, as all the ones I did tonight had two officers only. It also got very surreal, as in one fort I somehow got a killstreak going - might be working out the combat, 20 hours in no less! - and the game kept spawning officers, Kenway kept killing them - there should have been far more corpses on the ground than there were!

  • On one fort is had an array of gunboats protecting it. Er, yeah, gunboats - they were cannon fodder. A couple of Schooners crashed the party, they didn’t last long, but this time I kept those in reserve as health refills - board, repair, go back to mortaring the fort. It was a very sweet fight.

  • Did a number of stealth incursions, involving a lot of swimming, but have visited all the islands across the map, including the bottom section. That area of the map, more than any other, gives you the info on how the game does progression. You might see Brigs and Frigates that Level 17-20 or 20-23 in the top half . two-thirds but those same ships here will be Level 29 and Level 38! And there are bigger, heavier bastard Man O’ War vessels with a crazy high detection cone too. Oh yeah, it’s also a fuckin’ war zone for England and France! So hugely dangerous - won’t be going back there until I’ve seriously upgraded the Jackdaw.

I’ve got 30% sync, which ain’t bad as I was never going to get it that high.


Well, whoever decided that in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag that some upgrades require you to do the harpooning minigame is a sicko on two counts:

  1. The game itself is crap. You never have an accurate sense of where the harpoon will go from the HUD, so it’s often luck as to whether you get it.
  2. Second, killing whales feels awful. Did it to get the upgrades but that’s all.

Have gotten a little better at the combat but the problem remains that the moves are too flashy and the camera not clear enough for you to tell when the move has finished, as there’s no cancelling. So you wait a second too late and Brute gets to whack a third of your health off. At the same time kills are done by pulling off hits in sequence, so you do that, get interrupted by another enemy, it resets. It’s all very haphazard and unreliable.

On the other hand, pulled off a titanic scrap with three Frigates! Took one out, used it to repair, then just about did the other, while the third got the ship down to 2.5 bars of health, a quick repair got it back to 2/3 with 10 bars, killed the last one. It was pretty damn epic.

Then I went and upgraded the cannons! They now can take out Schooners with one volley if it hits right, Brigs don’t last that long after 2-3 good volleys, Frigates are still more resistant but fall more easily. Oh, just before finishing, I upgraded the mortars! God only knows what damage they’ll be doing.


Alien Isolation and the remastered versions of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have recently been added to Xbox gamepass.

I am about to give isolation a try.


Ah fuck… I guess I didn’t need money anyway.


In the mail.


I finally finished the adventure mode of Smash Bros Ultimate today. It’s a bit like the last Lord of the Rings film, in that I continually thought I’d reached the end and then it wheeled out some more. Still, considering it’s just a load of specialist Smash battles, it’s a surprisingly versatile and entertaining mode, moreso than the more bespoke adventure mode in Brawl. The final battle, where you’re stuck between two big bosses as they fight each other is very clever and you even get to play as Master Hand at one point which is really fun.
That said, it’s a shame there’s nothing in it story-wise as impressive as that opening cutscene. I’m not sure I even really understood the ending, it’s all pretty glitzy with no substance. I’d hoped for more of a narrative given all the dialogue in the opening. I mean they even cast a new, better voice for Zelda for it and then did nothing else beyond that one line.


Alien: Isolation

Well they certainly do a good job of ramping up the tension. I have played about an hour so far and with the exception of one brief and bloody glimpse haven’t seen the alien yet.
There are lots of great little techniques being used throughout the game to keep you on your toes. For example, in one early section you pass a trolley in a corridor. When you come back past, a minute or two later it is overturned. The corridor it is in is your only way back to the main hub of the level. You know this thing might me somewhere on your path but no idea where. You are also aware that there are human enemies too so can’t even be certain it was the alien that caused the disturbance.
The game has a couple of neat Kinect features too.
The first tracks your head movement as part of the peaking mechanism. When in peak mode your character will lean the direction you move your head to glance around objects.
The second uses the microphone, it picks up background noises and translated this to character noises which can either attract or alert enemies. I was playing late at night in a quiet house so didn’t see the effect of it but I can imagine a particularly good jump scare coupled with a roaming enemy could cause issues. Or playing while there is something making lots of noise in the house.
I’m looking forward to playing more.


With a more powered up Jackdaw, Black Flag has gone insane in the best way possible. How? Well, it goes like this:

  • Get in a scrap with a frigate, pound the hell out of it.
  • A schooner and gunboat or two join in - forward cannons blast one gunboat to scrap, a side volley takes out the schooner.
  • A brig turns up, that gets one-shotted by the mortar.
  • Two schooners come over, one cannon broadside kills both ships.

In the space of 5-6 minutes, there’s now about 5-6 ships I can board, send to the fleet, let go or use as repair material. When I went to Kenway’s Fleet after a couple of hours, it had 25 vessels I had to go through!

Aim now is to gradually acquire the elite upgrade materials and money and then? Well, then it’ll be time to try and take out the remaining forts, and all their friends, plus taking on the Man o’ Wars.