The Division

Overjoyed with my recent paycheck, I thought I’d treat myself to Ubisoft’s The Division. Spoiler alert, I returned The Division within an hour and a half of playtime – you’ll find out more about that in this (relatively short and sweet) post.

When The Division was released in March, I largely ignored it. I’d enjoyed Destiny in the past, but I didn’t think that Ubisoft’s attempt at an MMO third person shooter would be particularly good. Their push toward the ‘Ubiworld’ style of game is off-putting, with most games (including a particular favourite of mine, Assassin’s Creed) being a slightly different world with the same objectives; short introduction to the world with control tutorial, large blacked out map that you reveal by attacking and conquering outposts, then fast travel between each one to run between mission markers.

The Divison screenshot
It begins so well…
From Ubiblog

When this genre of MMO third person shooter had been done so well by Destiny, it felt like a cash-in on Ubisoft’s part.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

In the world of nerdism, you’d be hard pushed to place anything above Lord of the Rings as ‘the nerdiest thing ever’ – a rich, detailed world that essentially defined fantasy genre, that has entertained generations of readers. It should be the perfect setting for a game, probably the best fantasy game you can imagine, but designers have stumbled while bringing Middle-earth to life. Lord of the Rings Online was, thankfully, the last time I had a go at becoming a Hobbit and going on an adventure.

In September 2014, Monolith Productions took a shot at the Middle-earth mythos with Shadow of Mordor. The first that a lot of people saw was a gameplay video that was very reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed, with a focus on stealth, sneaky kills and free-running; there were some other controversies there as well, through some shady actions on Warner Brothers’ part, but we’ll leave that to Google to remember.

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Evolve: Stage 2

Whenever I see a game becoming over-hyped, I can’t help but think “you are going to fail and it will be hilarious”. A few big launches have turned out this way and I can’t help but think I have a pretty awesome superpower. One day in the future, I’ll talk about the remnants of Wildstar, Elder Scrolls Online and SimCity, but today I will focus on Evolve.

Or, as it has been rebranded now – Evolve: Stage 2.

Evolve immediately turned me off at announcement, when the developers seemed to spend more of their time plugging the downloadable content as opposed to actually programming their game – granted, the downloadable content made up 95% of the game, so maybe they just had a lot of spare time. Monster packs, hunters, weapons, all sorts of shill were thrown up on websites and at conventions as a way to entice their audience – the game was a shopfront for a load of assets they were throwing together.

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GTA Online

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a write-off, with unexpected circumstances preventing anything substantial from being posted. I’ve also been dropping in and out of different games in that time, thanks to a new group of friends with a hugely varied Steam library between us.

A lot of time has been spent in the impressively criminal state of San Andreas, where up to 30 maniacs armed to the teeth can cause havoc across the city of Los Santos (and surrounding areas). For the longest time, I’d created a guy who looked scarily similar to me and took after my greatest trait: staying inside for fear of being murdered. However, with the occasional support of a group of slightly less insane people, I’ve ventured into the world and committed a whole lot of crime.

GTA Online 1

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Guest Post: Overwatch

I’m happy to announce that this week, we have a guest post from a friend of mine – Aidan Parr! This is an unprecedented change and I can only assume he wants all of my ‘fame’ and ‘money’, but I’ll let it slide (this time). So, for your reading pleasure, please enjoy Aidan’s review of Overwatch on the PS4!

Having your own flat is full of little freedoms that you don’t expect, little freedoms that mean spending a large portion of your monthly income for the next 30 years on your mortgage seems slightly more worth it. These little freedoms include not having to queue for the shower in the morning, having pop-tarts for dinner, and having your own internet connection.

You see, this internet connection, this marvellous fibre optic connection, means online gaming is actually worthwhile for the first time in my life. I don’t have lag, I don’t have to wait seven hundred and thirty two hours for a PlayStation update to download (now it’s an even two hundred hours, seriously Sony, what’s up with that?) and it means I can try Overwatch.

Overwatch Characters.png

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

I’ve tried to write this review several times over the past two weeks with, as you can probably tell, little to no success. It’s difficult for me to properly express my experience with Uncharted 2, especially in a balanced and thoughtful manner.

among thieves 1.jpg

Naughty Dog have done a brilliant job in getting the most out of the consoles, although I’ve been playing the Remastered version so I can’t really say that it looked great on the PS3. They did a great job with their environments and scenery, which has been the major selling point of Uncharted since day 1 – everything will look great, you’ll climb over some of it and shoot most of the rest. Away from the lush, open forests of faraway islands, Uncharted 2 is more focussed on cities and towns and you’ll find yourself on top of buildings to gaze upon the world more often than not.

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Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark: Survival Evolved might seem like your run of the mill sandbox survival games, but it has dinosaurs! I had all too easily passed over Ark when it had first come out as another offshoot of the survival simulation genre, which I could easily experience by booting up Minecraft. However, it was on the Steam Summer Sale so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Ark Survival Evolved title
Olgrey / youtube.com

You wake up on an island, with a loud and unskippable cutscene, looking at a thing embedded in your arm. Don’t worry if you missed it first time though because it plays every time you have to respawn which, if you’re as bad at surviving as I apparently am, you’ll do a lot. As per survival sim tradition, your first objective as a newly awoken test subject in the wild is to punch a tree for some wood, pick up some stones and fashion some sort of crude tool so you can hatchet trees instead!

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