Horizon: Forbidden West (Review)

Horizon: Forbidden West is an action-adventure RPG released on the 18th of February 2022. It is the sequel to the acclaimed Horizon: Zero Dawn. Much like its predecessor Forbidden West sees you in control of main character Aloy as she traverses a land ravaged by machines and rogue AI from a terraforming system that was meant to protect the world and save the human race. This sequel sees Aloy travel west into forbidden lands, after the events of the first game, to follow the AI known as Hades, where new machines, bandits and challenges await.

The gameplay for Forbidden West is very similar to that of the first game. You control Aloy and mainly use your bow for combat alongside a couple of other tools. As you progress, you can spend skill points in skill trees that improve things like your skill in combat, stealth, potions, and control over the machines you discover. You can choose to take part in many challenges, such as hunting grounds, cauldrons, contracts for salvagers, and melee combat rings. There are a few differences, though; for example, you get the ability to glide using a holographic paraglider which can help you reach difficult areas of terrain or get you down from high up places. This is quite a good addition as you no longer have to worry all that much about fall damage. The other notable addition is the Pullcaster which allows you to pull down walls and move objects around the environment to help you climb harder to reach places. Of course, you still have the same traps, trip wires, and potions available to you that unlock as you progress through the game. Alongside the main story quest, there are plenty of sidequests that will keep you busy, some longer than others. They really add to the narrative and help you feel more immersed in Aloy’s world.

Graphically there isn’t much difference between Zero Dawn and Forbidden West. However, there are noticeable improvements to environmental locations and character design, and it has been advanced for the PS5 version. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a gorgeous game, and navigating through the different environments is amazing; it just feels like it’s not really been built on from the last game.

Like the graphics, the voice acting in Zero Dawn was top-notch, and it’s the same in Forbidden West; it’s great to see some characters return and have more of a part to play. I’ve found that some of the side characters have a little more personality though now, some characters felt a bit wooden at times in the first games.

One issue that I have found is that the camera can be a bit fiddly at times, especially when you’re trying to jump to something behind you. It tends to flick from one side to another, and you end up missing the ledge and dropping down, so you have to do the entire thing again. But having said that, there really isn’t anything to complain about in this game. So far, I’m around 12 hours into it, and I’ve been loving every minute–except those damn ledges that I mentioned.

Overall I’m going to give Forbidden West a 9/10; what it lacks in some areas, it more than makes up for in others. If you enjoyed Zero Dawn, then you’ll enjoy Forbidden West. But if you haven’t, I would advise that you go back and play it, as a lot of what is going on in this sequel directly results from actions taken in the first game. I know that I’ll be playing this game for many hours/days/weeks to come, and I look forward to how the story evolves.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening – 2019 (Review)

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is an action-adventure game that was released in September 2019 for Nintendo Switch, it’s a remake of the 1993 version that was released in 1993 on the Nintendo Gameboy.

This game sees Link washed up on the shore of Koholint Island after his ship is caught in a storm and destroyed. Link soon embarks on a quest to retrieve the eight musical instruments of the Sirens and to awaken the legendary Wind Fish in order for him to leave the island. This remake has updated visuals in a top-down cartoony style that lends it a certain charm. One addition to this game that wasn’t in the original is the ability to create your own dungeons and complete them for rewards.

Link’s Awakening is in a style that will be familiar to fans of the series. You are able to explore an open world and battle through dungeons to gain hearts and gear. Each dungeon has a number of puzzles for you to complete as well as bosses to fight.

I’ve been a fan of the Zelda series of games for most of my life, but somehow I missed the original version of Link’s Awakening on the Gameboy so I went into this game with an open mind with none of the nostalgia that other players might. I’ve always preferred the top-down Zelda games, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy the 3D games like Twilight Princess or Breath of the Wild, but there’s something about the top-down perspective that I love, it dates back to A Link to the Past which, if you follow my blogs, you will know is one of my favourite games of all time. The design of the game is, let’s say, cute, but this cartoon-like style works so well, it’s not a million miles away from the way it looked on the Gameboy (obviously it has more colour), and so takes me back to the older games in a similar way that A Link Between Worlds did.

The gameplay is similar to pretty much every other Zelda game – other than maybe Breath of the Wild ­– in that, you explore the world freely, but mainly have to hop from dungeon to dungeon and defeat bosses while gaining gear to open up other areas of the map and dungeons. Some players might feel like it’s a tired format, but it works, and if it works then where’s the problem? One thing I did enjoy about this game is the references to the Mario games. It ranges from images or objects of characters/enemies, to side-scrolling sections that look like small Mario levels. It’s a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it does have a decent story that keeps you playing.

I’m pretty biased as far as Zelda games go, I’ll always play them where I can and generally enjoy them. I say this despite the fact that it did take a little while to finally get into Breath of the Wild and I couldn’t really tell you why. But Link’s Awakening brings the games back to the style of games that I grew up with and will always go back to. This game deserves a 10/10 from me and a definite recommendation.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Review)

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an action-adventure game released in September 2021 for PlayStation 4, Playstation 5 and PC.

In the game, you control Kena, a young spirit guide travelling to a sacred mountain shrine. Throughout the game, she collects little fuzzy spirit companions called Rot, who help her solve puzzles and traverse the environment. In order to be allowed to have safe passage to the shrine, a masked spirit tells her that she must help several trapped spirits throughout the land.

Kena is a game that Alex first noticed and told me about; although I liked the sound of it and couldn’t deny it looked like it would be a good game, I still wasn’t sold on it, but I ended up buying it for Alex at Christmas, and it wasn’t long before we were both well into the game. The design of the game was excellent, the environments were beautiful, and the levels were well designed. Unlike some games in a similar vein, the puzzles weren’t too complicated, and you could tell it was probably designed for the lower age groups of players, but that’s not to say that adults can’t find something to love in it. One thing that I think everyone will love, I know Alex and I do, are the Rots. The Rots are small fuzzy black creatures that follow you around the game and are used to perform certain actions like opening doors or moving objects and within battles performing certain attacks. The little buggers are so cute and lovable, and the fact that you can buy them all sorts of hatsꟷyes, hatsꟷthat don’t do anything of real value, they just make the Rots even cuter. The hats range from elf hats to pumpkin tops, mushrooms and various masks, and they add to the charm of the game.

The gameplay mechanics are quite simple and easy to grasp, so there’s no time spent frustratingly trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Even if you put the game down and come back a few days later, it’s easy to pick back up where you left off. The puzzles aren’t of a high level of difficulty either, and most involve getting your Rots to do something like moving rocks to deflect the magic from your cane or pots to stand on to reach higher levels. But this simplicity isn’t a bad thing; in a way, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a game that’s too overly complicated and makes you want to angrily throw your controller at the screen.

The characters are well crafted, and besides, the high quality of voice acting allows you to be further immersed into a world where you’re surrounded by spirits, good and bad.

The combat at times is a bit clunky and difficult to control; the camera spins around in a way that means you can’t see what’s going on. Although it’s easily rectified, it can be a bit annoying. But with the assistance of your little Rot dudes, the foes can be defeated

There is a lot in this game to love; even I, who isn’t the biggest fan of 3D platformers, which this game is at a base level, enjoyed this game. It’s not a long game, so if you have a couple of decent game sessions, you’ll probably finish it quite quickly, but there is quite a bit to do other than the main story, such as collecting “spirit mail” this is mail that you have to deliver to the home in the town it’s meant for and therefore allowing more spirits to rest. You can also try to find all the flower shrines, cursed chests and Rot hats; this alone will take you a few hours.

I wasn’t sure about this game, to begin with, but I’m glad that I gave it a chance, and although there could have been a little bit more to it, it’s still a fun game and well deserves a rating of 8/10. I would recommend this to anyone, and I’m sure if you’ve got kids, they would love it too.

Addition:

For the trophy hunters out there, most of the trophies are easy to obtain; they’re either from completing sections of the story, collecting all of something, e.g. Rot hats, or performing certain moves or attacks within battles. The one that is the killer is finishing the game on “master” difficulty. Some of the battles are hard when playing it on the normal setting, but on master, they feel almost impossible at times. But, if you keep chipping away at it, you’ll get it done.

Single Player or Multiplayer?

Video games have been around for a long time now and in that time they’ve evolved in many different ways. One noticeable difference is the prevalence of multiplayer modes or just flat out multiplayer games.

Back in the day when multiplayer meant you plugged two controllers into the console or if you were fancy and having a party, you’d have a multi-tap, and I was there for that. There’s something very nostalgic about your 14 inch TV screen being split in half and having to squint to see what was going on on your side. I feel like we’ve lost that now. It’s very rare that you get a game that does local split-screen or even on the same screen as is the case in many sidescrollers, these days they favour online multiplayer and that just doesn’t have the same appeal to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I have and do enjoy the odd online multiplayer. For example I spent years living in World of Warcraft, and even games like The Division and Destiny have good memories for me. But it’s just not the same.

For a start you don’t know most of the players that you play with. I know if you have friends on your given console you can, but in the most part it’s strangers. There’s no longer that thrill of sitting on your bedroom or living room floor, next to your friend and trying to screw up their game by messing with consoles.

Another issue for me is just how toxic online multiplayer can be. There’s always that one git who thinks it’s clever to tell you he “f*cked your mum” or if you if you beat them that they hope you “get cancer and die”, I mean, there’s really no need, is there? I know that this may be a minority of wankers that do this, but it does ruin the experience for those who just want to play the game for fun without being insulted.

I don’t like the way that online multiplayer is also just forced into a game for no reason other than to prolong the life of the game. Like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V have it and I don’t see the point. It doesn’t even make sense for it to be there. Plus, if you’re a trophy hunter, these online modes have their own trophies that are part of the main game. So if you don’t want to play online, you’ve got no chance of getting those elusive platinums or 100%. Again this can ruin the experience for some players. This could easily be solved by having them as a separated DLC kind of thing that keeps them away from the main list. But, that’s just me being picky.

Then you have games like Call of Duty. I won’t go into my opinion of these games (let’s just say it’s not favourable); I’ll just say what bugs me about the multiplayer. Now, I’ve not played a CoD game in a while, the last time I did, it still had local multiplayer, and that was fine. My brother and I used to play it together on occasion. But what’s been the same for as long as the games have been about is that they’re weighted towards those that play the game constantly. Because the games are very similar, as soon as a new game comes out, some players are a million times better than everyone else. These players aren’t put into their own groups together so they can piss each other off; no, they’re put with the new or casual players that then get annihilated and then insulted – more than likely, purely because they have a life outside of CoD.

Some games have multiplayer thrown in because the main single-player game is so damn short. For me, it would make more sense to expand the main game rather than duct taping multiplayer onto it like some kind of half-fix. Sometimes, when this is done, it ruins both aspects of play.

As I said at the beginning, I’m not against multiplayer games, but if it’s done wrong or it’s all there is, then I just don’t see the point. For me, it just seems like a money-making exercise so the publisher/developer can sell pointless little loot boxes or kinds for characters that you’ll never see because it’s a first-person game. I’d be far happier if more games had local multiplayer or co-op modes.

Awkward Trophies: The Last of Us Part II Edition

I’ve done a couple of these posts relating to some of the more finicky trophies to get on certain games. You can find the Vampyr, Skyrim, and Fallout 4 one by clicking on them here.

In this edition, I’ll be taking you through some of the more confusing trophies in The Last of Us Part II.

Looks Good On You – Put a hat on your companion

This is easy to miss. Earned in the “Birthday Gift” flashback, to obtain this trophy you must pick up one of the hats dotted around the entrance to the dinosaur museum, which will cause Ellie to place it on her head.

In the second room of the museum, you can interact with the dinosaur skeletons and place the hat on their skulls. You want to do this twice with differing skeletons, which will cause an interaction icon to appear above Joel’s head. Go over to him and place the hat on his head to be rewarded with the trophy.

Put My Name Up – Earn the high score in the archery game

This trophy is self-explanatory and takes place in the aquarium when you are in control of Abby during one of her flashbacks.

All the targets are in the same room but there are quite a few of them so take the time to familiarise yourself with their locations before you begin the challenge.

For the below collectibles we used the guide over on Powerpyx

Arms master – Fully upgrade all weapons

Archivist – Find all artefacts and journal entries

Master set – Find all trading cards

Numismatist – Find all coins

Prepared For The Worst – Find all workbenches

Safecracker – Unlock every safe

Journeyman – Find all the training manuals

Survival Expert – Learn all player upgrades

High Calibre – Find all weapons

If you enjoy a scavenge for your trophies, then The Last of Us: Part II does not disappoint with many of the trophies following a similar mechanic to those in the original.

The difference in the sequel, however, is that there are certain collectibles, weapons and player upgrades that are specific to either Ellie or Abby, making it harder to keep up with what you have or haven’t got.

Honestly, you could try and collect all these organically, but if you’re in the mood for a trophy hunt you may be better off finding a guide to help you find all of the locations.

We personally did one playthrough collecting what we could naturally and then did a second run to mop up what we missed.  This way your first playthrough can be spent enjoying (I use this term loosely, here’s looking at you Rat King) the story, while the second allows you to focus on other aspects of the game, unlocking different dialogue and combat options through the collectibles that you may not have experienced in the first playthrough.

Love or Hate: Open World Games

Open-world games are one of many genres of video game that is out there. These days there are many massive games where you can freely explore a map as long as you want without it having an adverse effect on the story. I asked my gamer followers on Twitter if they enjoyed open-world games or if they preferred a more linear experience; below are some of the responses:

Open-world games aren’t just a recent evolution of gaming. They have been around since the 70s, with the game Western Gun being released in 1975. In this game, you controlled one of two gunmen that could openly explore the game map while trying to shoot the other player. Western Gun might not be on the same scale as open-world games are now, but it is nevertheless the origin.

Over the years, this type of game evolved, bringing a larger map for exploration – like in the original Legend of Zelda for the NES – all the way up to games like GTA V, Assassin’s Creed, and Fallout. Each world allowing the player to complete quests from far and wide alongside the main story quests, as well as collecting items or just exploring to see what the map has to offer.

As seen in the response from gamers above, some people enjoy open-world games, others not so much. For me, I’ve always gravitated towards open-world games over the more linear ones. I relished the challenge of completing quests from the arse-end of the map or exploring some of the hidden places that others might not venture to. I enjoyed spending hours inside a game, seeing everything that it had to offer. Over the past couple of years, however, as much as I still enjoy a massive game, I find that I haven’t got the patience to explore as much as I would have done previously. Doing all of what I said above has somewhat lost its shine, and I find myself getting bored with wandering and then just running through the main questline. For some – I’m looking at you Skyrim – this will cut the game down to a matter of a few hours rather than hundreds, and it leaves a bitter taste because of missing out on so much.

Some open-world games are easier to play than others. Games like Death Stranding are amazingly beautiful to look at, and that makes you want to explore more of the environment. I find myself wandering just to see the prettiness of the map. For others, that just isn’t enough. For example, I really enjoy the Assassin’s Creed games – I know they’re all very similar – but recently, I was playing Odyssey, and I just can’t get into it. Now, it might be for a combination of things, but it’s a huge game that I just can’t be bothered to explore and I think that’s my main issue with it. I feel like if it’s a big game then I should be doing as much as possible in it. Maybe if I’d played it a few years ago, it might have been different; who can say. I just know that I’ve tried to get into it a few times and just can’t. Maybe if it was a smaller game, I’d find it easier to play.

For some open-world games, looking good just isn’t enough. If it has a character that you just can’t connect with, has overly complicated mechanics or just too much going on, this can also put me off it as a playable game. Linear, more story-oriented games sometimes have the same issues, but I can forgive most of them for it because they’re generally pretty short games, and they don’t usually take much brainpower – which on some days, let’s be honest, who needs that.

Like with most things in this world, it all comes down to personal preference. As I said in my last blog, don’t let someone make you feel bad because you can’t be bothered spending days in a game or if you just want to wander and explore some beautiful locations. Play as you want.

Why Play Video Games?

Video games have been around for many years now, from Pong to Mario Bros. to Skyrim; they have captured our imaginations and, for some of us, have been a part of daily life for as long as we can remember. But why do we play video games? I recently posed this question to my followers on Twitter. Below are some of the replies:

For some lure of video games is to escape into a world where you be and do anything. For others, it’s a coping mechanism for when the real world gets. And still others, it’s purely for fun. All of these, of course, are valid, and it’s not up to anyone to tell other people why to play. Whether you’re male or female, video games are there for everyone.

For me, video games are something that I think I will always rely on in times of crisis or even just downtime. Each game has a different effect and purpose, and it depends on the way that I’m feeling as to what I will play. For example, if I’m feeling down or I’m unable to concentrate, I might go back to some old favourites like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I’ve played that game so much that it doesn’t require much thought, and no matter where I’m up to, I can jump straight into my saved games and play until my brain feels better. If I’m feeling angry or upset, then I might try something like a shooter a la Bulletstorm. Again this doesn’t really require much thought, but it’s something that I can take some of my frustration out on without externally expressing my emotions. However, I play a lot of games for the experience as, at a base level, this is what all games are. They are an experience to be enjoyed (if frustratingly at times. I’m looking at you Crash Bandicoot) and are designed to stimulate you in the same way as movies or books – some games now are pretty much a cinematic experience, for example, Heavy Rain or Detroit: Become Human. This is made all the more true by the graphics capabilities of systems these days.

I’ve played video games for most of my life, but my tastes haven’t always stayed the same. Like the games themselves, my tastes evolve over time. I used to love playing side scroller platformers and shooters, but now they tend to infuriate me more than anything. I’ve historically been really bad at finishing horror games, but recently I’ve been able to play them without any issues – maybe I’m getting braver, I don’t know. Likewise, my reason for playing them has changed. When I was younger, I would play them mainly for fun, I didn’t have the same worries and whatnot back then, so there was no need to use them as a coping mechanism. Whereas now, as I said above, I play them for many different reasons. And in the future, my reasons will probably change again.

If there were no video games, then I would probably turn to something else to get me through tough times, perhaps books. Whereas as much as I love books now, they will always play second fiddle to video games. Both for the effect they have on my and the experience that I have while playing them.

There are many different genres out there, so there is something for everyone, but I perfectly understand those people that choose not to play them. Maybe they don’t have time, or just don’t want to and prefer to do other things – God forbid, outside! The fact is they’re not for everyone, and that’s okay. I see a lot of things being thrown around these by people who think that if you’re a gamer, you should play all the time, or you should/shouldn’t like a particular game (but let’s be honest, Call of Duty is a bit wank), Or that if you don’t game at all, then you’ve got no right to an opinion on anything. This is what I like to call “bullshit”. Game or don’t game, it’s up to you, and if you do, it’s up to you how you play them and why.

Gaming is a hobby. Enjoy it however you want.

Awkward Trophies: Skyrim Edition

If you read my gaming blogs you’ll already know that I’m always up for a good trophy hunt, especially if some of those trophies are a but of a pain in the arse to get. I recently posted about some awkward trophies in the games Vampyr and Fallout 4.

Below are a selection of the more awkward trophies that are up for grabs in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Thief – Pick 50 locks and 50 pockets


Locks are easy enough, pockets on the other hand are not! Easiest way to get your pickpocket number is (bear in mind that only successful pickpockets count) by training your pickpocket level with the trainers dotted about. For pickpocket, the Expert trainer is Silda the Unseen, a homeless beggar who can be found wandering around outside of Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm. In addition to Silda, there is also Vipir the Fleet, a Master trainer who can be found frequenting The Ragged Flagon in Riftin. Training with them will grant you a higher skill level in pickpocket, therefore giving you a higher chance percentage for a successful pickpocket. Worth keeping in mind, training will get increasingly more expensive to complete the higher your skill level is, and you can only train 5 levels in one day.


Master criminal – Bounty of 1000 gold in all 9 holds


This is tricky because you have to have a bounty of 1000 gold in all 9 holds at the same time. The easiest way to do this is to cause chaos in all 9 holds one after the other. Something to note; once you’ve gotten the trophy, make sure that your inventory is clear of all stolen items before you go to clear each bounty, otherwise you’ll end up losing them when you go to jail/pay off the bounty.


Golden Touch – Have 100,000 gold


This is a slog. If you like smithing, having a high level of this skill will make obtaining this trophy so much easier for you as armour and weapons (especially the dragonbone/scale and daedric sets) sell for a ridiculous amount of septims. It’s also worth noting that enchanted armour and weapons, and armour and weapons that have been “improved” further, e.g Exquisite, Epic, and Legendary, sell for more than your bog-standard forged armour and weapons. The higher your smithing skill level also dictates the amount that you can improve items, so smithing isn’t a bad skill to try and obtain Skill Master with (more about that particular trophy below).


Delver – Clear 50 dungeons


You clear a fair few just progressing through the game, but this will take some wandering around and clearing whatever you’ve missed. The map is useful here as it will come up with “cleared” next to any locations that you’ve been through.


Skill Master – Get a skill to 100


Unsurprisingly this is a slog, as mentioned above, you can kill two birds with one stone and work on Golden Touch and Skill Master in tandem.


Explorer – Discover 100 locations


If you don’t naturally wander around and explore while playing games this will be a slog. Not so bad if you spend some time walking from place to place, exploring as you go. I mean, come on, it’s Skyrim, it’s practically made to be explored!


Reader – Read 50 skill books


Once again, the theme of a Skyrim trophy is slogging away. Read (i.e open) all books you come across, especially if the value of the book is high. That’s generally a good indicator that it’s a skill book and will cause you to level up, as well as contributing to this trophy.

Oblivion Walker – Collect 15 Daedric Artifacts


This involves completing ALL of the Daedric quests. Most you can trigger just from playing the game but a couple start in strange and unexpected places, such as “A Night to Remember” which starts with the dragonborn (you) entering into a drinking contest with Sam Guevenne. Guevenne will spawn in the tavern of the town closest to you upon reaching level 14. If you’ve played through Skyrim before but largely ignored the Daedric quests it’s worth another playthrough just to complete them all. The vast majority are completely batshit, and the artifacts that you receive at the end of each quest are bizarre but, in the most part, really useful.

Master – Reach level 50


Last but by no means least; Master. This is yet another slog, but luckily you get a lot of it done just by completing the main quest lines and mopping up a few miscellaneous objectives along the way. A super sneaky (not so) secret way to make obtaining this trophy easier is by completing the above mentioned Skill Master, and then proceeding to make that skill “legendary”. This will allow you to retrieve the skill points that you invested into that given skill, as well as allowing you to level it back up, gaining additional xp as you go along.

And there you have it. If you can unlock these trophies you should be well on your way to the elusive platinum (or 100%, whatever).

Going Around in Circles: Deathloop (Review)

Deathloop is a first-person shooter that was released in September 2021 for PS5 and PC. It was developed by Arkane Studios, who also made Dishonored and Prey – two excellent games.

The idea of this game is very unique. You play as Colt, who one day wakes up on the beach of an island only to find out that he has died and come back to life. The aim of the game is to assassinate a number of people – known as “Visionaries” –to stop the “loop”, which just repeats the same day over and over. As you play, you use a combination of skills such as stealth, attacks, parkour, gadgets to hack tech, guns, and powers to investigate ways to get to all of the people who are based in separate sections of the map during different times of the day. You learn their schedules and weaknesses to work out a way to kill them all on the same day.

Dishonored is one of the best series of games that I’ve played, so anything that this studio makes is always something that’s on my list to play. The first trailer for Deathloop looked insane. You tell that it was done by the same people that made Dishonored – some powers are pretty much the same, and the overall look looked very familiar. The gameplay looked amazing, and the idea looked so unique and different that I knew I had to play it.

As a starting university gift for myself, I recently picked up my copy and got stuck right in. From the very beginning, you know that there’s going to be a lot to this game, and it’s not going to be something that you quickly play through from start to finish.

For a start, you can play as two characters; Colt or Julianna. Although Julianna only becomes available once you’ve played through with Colt. From the off, things appeared really complicated, and I started to wonder if I would be able to keep track of what I was doing as things aren’t as straightforward as they are with other games. Getting to grips with the time system and what you can do and when takes a little while, but you get into the rhythm after a couple of hours of playing.

As you fight – or stealth – your way through the different areas, you learn more about the characters involved and what methods you should use to kill them. I quickly learned how best to organise tasks so that I could do the maximum number of things in the given day. It’s a bit of a shock at first when you’ve played through a day, got loads of weapons and powers and then it all gets reset when the day ends. Luckily though, despite everything being reset, the knowledge you gain during each day stays with you, so when it comes to luring the Visionaries out, it gets a lot easier and killing them can be a quick thing. You’re also able to use objects from the environment to take out your foes, These range from explosive barrels, gas pipes and even bubble-gum machines! (You can spill them on the floor and use them to trip up enemies.)

While you traverse the different locations, you will also see bright written messages that will give you hints as to what you can do or what will happen in that location. These can range from telling you how to take out an enemy to telling you which way you should go. Along with these messages are some which just look to be put in as a laugh.

As far as my progress into the game goes, I’ve managed to kill a few of the Visionaries on different days and have found ways to get them where I want them, and so far, I’m really enjoying it.

One of the issues that I’ve run into is that some of the puzzles seem overly complicated and involve you going to several different places and finding things before bringing your knowledge back to the original location. This, at times, can be pretty frustrating as you find yourself going around in circles trying to find what you need.

That being said, I can’t complain about this game too much. It’s very different, and it plays to its strengths. It’s good that there’s a new game that doesn’t just follow the usual formula for first-person shooters, and that uniqueness keeps you coming back to the game. The graphics are top-notch and give you that retro 60’s/70’s feel reminiscent of We Happy Few.

Despite the differences, if you’re a fan of Dishonored, I think you’ll probably like Deathloop.

I’ve said I’ve not yet finished the game, but I’m quite confident that my playing experience will only improve.

I’m going to give Deathloop a 9/10; I’m taking a point off purely for the confusing aspect of some of the puzzles, but other than that, it’s an excellent game that I can’t recommend enough.

Death Stranding: Delivering Packages with a Twist (Review)

Death Stranding is a third-person adventure game that was released in November 2019 for the PlayStation 4. It was later released in July 2020 for PC. A director’s cut of the game was released in September 2021 for the Playstation 5.

The game follows main character Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus) as he traverses the US after a cataclysmic event that has caused destructive creatures – known as BTs – to roam the earth. As Sam, you are tasked with delivering supplies to isolated settlements and connecting them up to a wireless network so they can work together to rebuild. The game has a stellar cast, including Mads Milkelsen, Troy Baker and Léa Seydoux.

Like most people, when this game was announced, I was still reeling from the cancellation of the Silent Hills project that would see Norman Reedus, Guillermo del Toro, and Hideo Kojima reinvent the series, so I was eager for another project where they would work together. It wasn’t long at this that Death Stranding was announced with possibly the weirdest game trailer I’d ever seen – Reedus naked on a beach holding a creepy looking baby. This being said, there was still something that made me want to play the game. Over the next couple of months, more was released about it, but no one was able to truly explain what it was all about, and I don’t think I found out until I actually played it.

When you start the game, you’re thrown into the decimated landscape that, although it looks beautiful, you know something just isn’t right. From the very beginning, there is a lot going on. You have to learn about the event that caused the destruction, as well as the entities that are tied to it, as well as trying to work out just what the hell you’re supposed to do. I mean, you had a baby (BB) in an artificial womb attached to the front of you that can detect the BTs, which if they catch you will cause a huge explosion and not actually kill you…yeah.

I can understand why many people give up on this game quite early on. You’re not doing a great deal aside from trekking miles to deliver a package, only to have to turn around and deliver one to where you started. I’m guilty of being one of the players that almost gave up on it – the constant walking just didn’t do it for me (just like real life). But once I finally got into it – despite still having no real idea of what was going on – I was drawn into the story, the gorgeous locations and the amazing soundtrack. This is a game that just wants you to keep playing, and if you do, you’ll be rewarded.

After a while, you feel the need to continue playing, even if it’s just because you’ve still got some deliveries to make.

After a couple of months of playing, we ended up getting the platinum trophy and leaving the game behind. As beautiful as it was, there wasn’t anything to come back for after that. However, when a director’s cut of the game was announced, we knew that we wanted to play it again.

We picked up the director’s cut version of the game on release day as there was an upgrade path available to us because we still had our copy of the original. To upgrade our physical PS4 version to PS5, it would only cost us £5 – miles better than having to play nearly £50 for another disc version.

Once the download was done, we were in.

As soon as the game starts, you see that what was an amazingly gorgeous game, to begin with, has gotten even better. The colours are more vibrant, and the textures look altogether more realistic. But this isn’t all the director’s cut has to offer.

This version of the game makes excellent use of the haptic feedback and the adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller. The haptic feedback allows you to feel every bump on your path, and the adaptive triggers allow you to feel just how heavy your cargo is – the heavier your load, the harder you need to press the buttons. All of this just makes you feel more in tune with Sam and BB.

There are a number of new music tracks added to the already brilliant score and extra jobs that Sam can pick up as he makes his way across the country (some of these jobs were previously only available in the PC version).

Another great feature is the fact that you can go on your trophy hunt once again, as all the trophies make a return if you start a new game.

Death Stranding is an excellent game, and if I had reviewed the original, I would have given it 10/10, so the fact that the director’s cut is even better makes me want to break my scale and give it 15/10, it’s just that good.

Have you played Death Stranding? What did are your thoughts of it?