Tuesday 22 March 2016

Blake's 2016 Video Game Roundup (To Date)

For those who are fortunate enough to have Blake on their Facebook, you'll no doubt be familiar with the fact that he completes a pretty decent volume of games on a regular basis. Recently, he was kind enough to share with E14 a few thoughts on some of the stuff he's been playing over the last couple of months, so we thought we'd round it up for you here! Enjoy!

Black Ops 3: A stronger entry in contrast with the slow decline of the franchise over the last few years. There's a lot more content to keep people entertained here in comparison to the stripped down, DLC-heavy Advanced Warfare that was released the previous year. The plot is ludicrous but enjoyable and the return of zombies is always welcome (especially with the addition of Jeff Goldblum and Ron P...).

Chuck in a Zombie campaign and a free-running mode and you get a pretty good all-round package in addition to the usual multiplayer thrills. Worth picking up if you like your shooters or are a continued fan of the series, I also recommend people give this one a try if they have gone off COD over the last couple of years. Sure, it's not ground-breaking, but its fun, and that's what matters.

Fallout 4: There are some people who whinge that Fallout 4 hasn't evolved enough from Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. To those people I say "If it isn't broke, don't fix it". There are, it's true, the usual bugs and glitches that come with a Bethesda game, and some of the standard faction missions are a bit repetive. However, there was a reason I was so hyped for this game when it was announced, and I wasn't disappointed.

The ability to build settlements was a nice touch but wasn't essential if it wasn't your bag. Crafting in the game is like crack and kept me tinkering with my weapons and power armour for many an hour. However, it was the exploration, the stories and the atmosphere of the world that kept me sucked in for well over 100 hours and also leading me to platinum the game on PS4. If you are a fan of fallout or other Bethesda games, you need this in your life!

60 Seconds!: Enjoyable FTL-style roguelike with a twist. At the start of the game you have 60 seconds to grab as much as you can (food, water, equipment, loved ones) and chuck it in the shelter before the bombs go off. Then, you have to survive as long as you can with this equipment until the army arrives to save you. Like other roguelikes such as FTL, this is heavily based on luck but is still comical and fun throughout. A few more events that didn't reoccur as often would have been nice. But for a budget indie title on Steam this was great fun. Definitely worth picking up next time there is a sale.

The Order 1886: A beautiful game graphically in a very intresting world, which is sadly not explored enough in this third-person cover shooter. Despite its interesting steampunk premise and gothic monster plot, the combat is average, certain aspects of the game seem unneccessary (did I need to look at an apple for 20 seconds?) and the short game length make this is a wasted opportunity. The story is left open for a sequel where, if it does get made, means the series could show it's true potential. However this now seems unlikely.

Halo - Spartan Assault: Fast and frenetic twin stick shooter set in the halo universe. The short missions make this ideal for handheld play on the go and the addition of choosing weapon and skill loadouts adds replayability. The controls are a bit fiddly on a touchscreeen (I played this on Ipad) but this is still highly recommended in any case.

The Stanley Parable: A fantastic exploration game that is both extremely funny and clever. Sure the game isn't very long even when it is intended for multiple play throughs. However, this is highly recommended and is quite possibly an early contender for game of the year despite it only being February when I finished it. If you haven't played it, I thoroughly recommend picking it up through Steam.

Tales From The Borderlands: A fantastic episodic adventure series that is throughly funny and entertaining throughout. The characters are fun and interesting with characters from the Borderlands series returning such as Handsome Jack and Scooter. Sure, there are a few graphical bugs like in other Telltale adventures but they don't distract from the main meat of the game which is the story and your choices on how the outcome is affected. Highly recommended if you are a fan of the humour and characters of Borderlands and if you like Telltale games.

Mad Max: Enjoyable post-apocalyptic adventure with great car combat and a simple yet suitable plot for the franchise. Sadly the game feels very repetitive by the end (especially if you decide to do most of the side quests) and the race sections are atrocious. However, if you are a fan of Mad Max, this feels like a lost story from the lore (it definitely put me in the mood to watch Fury Road again) and what it does offer it does well. Worth picking up in a sale or second hand but not essential enough to recommend paying full price for.

Stay tuned to E14 for more from Blake Harmer in the near future, and follow him on Twitter @FuckSakeBlake

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