The temperature’s rising. The barometer’s getting low. According to all sources, a darkened room is the place to go, because video game season is upon us once more!
May seems to have been a busy time for video game releases, what with Uncharted 4, Doom, Battleborn and Overwatch all either released, or teetering on the edge of being out. But have the wonderful, charismatic and charming heroes and heroines of Power Up Gaming been playing them? Let’s find out.
Not many can do what Naughty Dog does. The team’s spirit, whether through loop-de-loop action, snippets of wit or gripping violence, refuses to wane, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End continues this streak with vigour.
Presenting you with an older Nathan Drake establishes this game as a grown-up Uncharted. Not that the fun is missing, however, as plenty of quips and flippant action sequences pepper the proceedings. No, instead, this game has weight. It has a sombre tone that questions the validity of the pirate lifestyle. It puts each character in danger. The Last of Us taught Naughty Dog that not everyone is always going to be okay. This ethos has made its way into Uncharted 4, making it the most emotionally resonant of the series.
It is also one of the most beautiful games ever to grace that parallelogram-shaped box of a console. A plethora of locations, from the plains of Madagascar, to tropical islands, to African cities have varying totes of realism and depth that make these places feel truly alive. Exploring them is an adventurers dream. Drake himself looks equally stunning, and his half-tuck is once more marvellous.
Look out for my full review soon!
In an effort to clear down some of the PS Plus titles building up in my library, this week I’ve put some time into Zombi, the PS4 version of the previously Wii U exclusive. Judging by the trophies, I’d say I’m closing in on the end, but the game is a lot more linear than I’d anticipated. Perhaps it opens up towards the second half, but so far, even the outdoor sections have deliberate corridors carved through the wreckage of civilisation. That’s always a problem with games set in any apocalyptic scenario, but in Zombi it seems so much more apparent. I also haven’t found much cause to use anything other than the cricket bat yet. I can kite enemies towards me, finish them off with a few swings from ol’ faithful, or just run past zombies if I’m bored of fighting them. Maybe it will click with me once I finish up, but so far I’m not overly enthused by it.
On the overwhelming positivity that the game has garnered around these parts, I’ve also made a start on Galak-Z. So far it seems to be a rather difficult affair and the AI has been giving me a pounding, so this has taken a slight backseat while I finish up Zombi for the time being. I will say however that the art style is excellent. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a pause screen as much as the 80’s paused-video-tape vibe this one has. I’m sure I’ll have a more rounded opinion next week.
After returning from a trip to Japan, I really wanted to play a Pokemon game. I’ve opted for Soul Silver, seeing as how I haven’t played it since the original release of Pokemon Gold/Silver all those years ago. Needless to say, I’ve forgotten pretty much everything about the Johto region and, as such, will be going through completely blind.
Regardless of its age, Pokemon has always been fun and full of strategy, as well as being easy to pick-up and just play; it’s still a really reliable role-playing game. I’ve always opted for a bit of challenge with my Pokemon games, whether it be choosing a more difficult starter or some unusual choices for my top six – or a combination of both.
After choosing Cyndaquil and toppling the first two Gym Leaders without much trouble, even I was surprised at how my current top six is shaping up. Upon entering Goldenrod City, with my Cyndaquil now a Level 19 Quilava, I’ve kept Pidgeotto and Flaaffy in there for familiarity and reliability. On the flip side, I have a Geodude, Bellsprout and a Drowzee, of all Pokemon.
Replacing my Beedrill with Drowzee took lots of thought. Despite a lack of speed, Drowzee has a high Special Defense stat with Headbutt, Disable and Confusion in its move set. Even though it takes a lot of experience points to level up, Drowzee has been a good choice so far, brushing off any bug, grass and fighting-types that come its way. I have no recollection of what awaits me after Goldenrod City, but I’m excited to find out all over again.
Feeling in the mood for some bleak survivalism and characters narrating their thought processes, I’ve jumped back into Telltale’s The Walking Dead, from the beginning. Once again, I’m fully supporting (and emulating) Kenny, with all the hot-headed, foul-mouthed and occasionally pragmatic behaviour that entails. I had intended to support Lily and Jane on my second run, but I wasn’t quite happy with all of my decisions the first time round, so this time I’m doing it right.
I’ve also gone back on a pinky swear I made to myself by getting back into Payday 2. With over 560 hours clocked, you’d think I’d have seen and done all this game has to offer, but there are still a few missions, characters, weapons and builds I haven’t tried out yet. I’m enjoying using the Gambler perk deck, which gives health and extra ammo to you and your crew members when you run over enemies’ dropped ammo packs. Unlike other perk decks where you can be more defensive, you need to get in the thick of it and move quickly to make the most of Gambler, making it a fittingly high-stakes build to play.