Since I started reviewing games for Nerd Bacon, I haven’t posted many reviews in this blog. I can’t recall even mentioning what I’ve recently played or writing any video game related posts. There are some games that I don’t think I could review for Nerd Bacon, mainly because they’re heavily geared for online, multiplayer play. I don’t normally play games with or against other people online. For one, I have the reflexes of a 40+ year old man (because I am one). Also I had a fair amount of negative experiences playing online when I was younger, and I never thought the fun outweighed the juvenile, even abusive, behavior. That said, I don’t think it’s fair of me to review a game when I haven’t tried the core aspects of it. The single-player campaigns of these games, if they have them, are often short and wouldn’t supply me enough for a whole review, but here are some I’ve played in the past few months that are worth noting.
Destiny got a lot of hype, and most of it was deserved. The big Bungie project reveal looked incredible when I saw trailers, and with a teen rating it was acceptable to buy for my son to play on our new Xbox One. It is undeniably beautiful, with impressively crafted environments, alien races, and a mind-bending variety of weapons, armor, and spaceships. I was disappointed that the spaceships weren’t for players to pilot, only for travel during cut scenes, and the land vehicles were limited to hover-bike type vehicles and occasionally a hover-tank when it was available to steal from enemies. The missions soon became repetitive, but I still find myself returning to the game. It’s fun, no doubt, and its heroic elements and challenging play are a welcome addition to my game collection. The always-online play allows complete strangers to cooperate during sandbox play and to be matched up for tougher missions, and these experiences have only been positive for me. There’s been a heap of DLC for the game, and I’ve enjoyed most of it, though I haven’t purchased the latest update. The game is just not compelling enough for me to shell out the asking price so close to its launch. Eventually I will probably buy it, since my son and I both enjoy the game.
Star Wars Battlefront was another game I bought primarily for my son. OK, fine, it triggered my nostalgia button big time. From the opening screen, when the music started, I was entranced. All the familiar battlegrounds were available, if I was willing to shell out additional money for them, but I was happy to play those that came with the basic version of the game. The split-screen, cooperative modes are my favorites, because my son and I can fend off waves of Stormtroopers and other Imperials together. Playing as one of the heroes or villains, like Vader, Luke, Boba Fett, or Han Solo, wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be, but that has been pretty typical of most Star Wars games I’ve played where that’s been an option. The online battles are massive, and weren’t much fun for me, though I appreciate the chance to pilot a Tie Fighter, X-wing, or AT-ST. If you’re a fan of the movies and like co-op play, I recommend the game, though I find its replay value limited and wish there were a single-player campaign.
The Division is one of only several military-style, first-person shooters I think I have ever purchased. I’m just not big on games where I semi-realistically kill human characters. Of course, all the humans killed in this game are bad guys: murderous looters, vigilantes, criminals, and terrorists. Your role is like that of Judge Dredd and less like a police officer. I bought the game to play online with a friend, but we’ve only managed to do so a few times. The game really pushes cooperative play, going as far as dedicated match-up mechanics at checkpoints throughout the game’s environment. While there is a single-player campaign mode, the story was lost on me most of the time. It was so difficult to get very far in the story as a single player, that I often lost track of what was happening with the story. Many of my play sessions were spent randomly fighting with opponents around the city to claim gear I could sell. This allowed me to eventually obtain new gear and weapons that could hurt my enemies, villains who could withstand hundreds and hundreds of rounds before succumbing to their wounds. I enjoyed the challenge of more realistic movement and tactics than in games like Destiny, but I have found little reason to return to the game after finishing the campaign. The DLC holds no real interest for me. I imagine I will return to it, once the opportunity arises to play with my friend but not before. I can’t really recommend the game, especially after experiencing buggy play and connectivity issues with the Ubisoft servers nearly every time I started it. Since an internet connection is required to play, it seems like they would have worked harder to iron out such a wrinkle by the time I had started playing, months after release.
What am I playing now? I’m attempting, with disappointing results, to replay Dying Light on the “hard” difficulty setting. I wanted to see if there would be better gear unlocked by the difficulty change, but it looks like it will all be the same. I plan to return to the game, Styx, a dark fantasy game heavy on stealth and black humor. That’s a title that I hope to review for Nerd Bacon in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that. Red Dead Redemption has also been tempting me to finish it, and I will likely start it over again since it’s been so long since I played.
What are you playing that you would recommend? Leave me a comment and let me know!