Welcome to the third episode of Games We’ve Been Playing Recently. This is where we comment on a particular game that we’ve been playing recently, be it bad, good, or just a bit ‘meh?’ Not going to be full reviews, but just might give you an idea as to if it’s a game you might like.
And as always, leave your comments on our selections or your own recommendations in the comments.
Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4, X1, PS3, 360 & PC): I have to admit, I had no interest in this game, it looked like another shooter. And then I read a lot of very positive recommendations from other gamers and decided ‘why not?’ Oh my, this is a pleasure, from the very first opening mission, to the eventual climax, this game was an utter joy an a pleasure. If you think the FPS genre is dead or repetitive, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a game which will remind you just how awesome this genre once was.
It’s very easy to throw around terms like ‘this is the best FPS in years’ or ‘this is a GOTY’ so I’m going to be a bit more careful… This is the best Single Player campaign in a FPS game that I’ve played for a very long time. Yup, I include Half Life 2, Singularity, Metro, Resistance, Doom in that list.
I won’t spoil too much of the plot but if you’re a fan of these ‘alternative history’ type games, you will utterly love this, and if you don’t enjoy that kind of story, stick with it, it’s done very well. Not only that but the story is very well written, characters are well rounded and the voice acting is sublime.
But how does it play… Oh god it’s so much fun. If you like games where you can carry tons of weapons around with you, with weapons that each have a specific use, strengths weaknesses, not this modern ‘hey here’s a machine gun exactly like all the other ones’ foolishness. Weapons are a lot of fun, enemies react as expected to where you shoot them and what you shoot them with. It feels so satisfying shooting in this game, you feel like you’re really holding those weapons and each time you get a kill, you can almost feel the impact.
The fun factor is very high with this one, virtually every weapon can be dual wielded, including sniper rifles. Whilst it’s ridiculous and totally unrealistic, I fail to care when I’m having so much fun running around with dual shotguns. Level design is also a huge positive in this game, yes there’s objectives, but the game allows you to explore, you can go off course and you can get to your destination via different routes and methods.
Definitely recommend this one, one of the best FPS’ for years and possibly the best single player campaign for decades.
Version played: PS4.
Pokemon Colosseum (GC): I’ve been on a bit of a Pokemon extravaganza recently, and decided to go back and replay many titles in excitement for the upcoming generation three remakes. As part of this, I wanted to dig up my Gamecube and give the two Shadow Pokemon titles a go. As of this, I’ve just about finished Colosseum’s main campaign. Honestly? It’s nowhere as good as I remember, but that’s nostalgia for you.
First up is that the way I play Pokemon has changed a lot. Back in the day I used to just raise Espeon and Umbreon so they were overwhelmingly tough and could basically take on anyone. This time, I wanted to raise a team, and it became apparent quickly how overwhelmingly… unbalanced (?) the game feels. You could barely keep up with the common Pokemon trainers, Cipher Admins were overwhelmingly tough, there’s not enough variety in Pokemon to raise – and even beside that, it’s difficult to raise your Pokemon in the first place since trainers are your only income of EXP.
The visuals are nice enough for the day, but compared to Pokemon XD its severely outclassed. Everything looks and feels quite rough. The models themselves are alright, especially for the Pokemon and their animations for attacks, some of which I feel are superior to that seen in the recent Pokemon X/Y. I might be biased in this, but I feel the music is one of the stronger points. It’s very catchy and memorable, but since I grew up with this title that might be the only reason why. The story had a lot of potential too but it never really feels like it takes off. The concept of Shadow Pokemon is great but the game relies too much on battle after battle, complete with cheesy dialogue and two enemy teams who are never really used to the full. Team Snagem only appears briefly at the start of the game and then ends with a battle with the leader out of nowhere.
I still enjoyed (for the most part) playing through Colosseum despite the occasional frustration, but it definitely has nothing on its sequel. Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness took everything Colosseum built and made it so much more enjoyable in every way. That said, this is still a solid title and worth a Pokemon fan’s time. Just try not to get too mad at some of the double battle mechanics here.
EVE Online (Windows/Mac): I was initially a bit skeptical about this game, partly because of it’s (somewhat deserved) reputation and partly due to a general aversion to pay-to-play MMOs, but I gave it a shot during the last Steam Summer Sale. Once downloaded, I began my trial planning to spend only a couple hours inside. The next thing I know, 16 hours elapsed, my stomach was grumbling massively, and I was figuring out which skill track I wanted to take while I made an ungodly sum of in-game currency from mining ore and refining it. There are many paths to take in the game, but there are a lot of dangers in it as well, including from other players, and very little in the way of policing from developers, but surprisingly it works.
I’ll close this blurb by saying this: there are wags across the spectrum who say that Somalia is the embodiment of libertarianism. In my opinion, EVE Online makes Somalia look like a nanny state.
What games you guys been playing recently? Let us know in the comment box. Good or bad we don’t care, just tell us about games.