Video games are awesome! I love them, they provide great escapism where you can play a large part in the story and it’s a great way to get fully immersed into a world that in real life you could only wish to be a part of. Also it’s a great opportunity to mess around for several hours with what the game gives you.
For this post I will give some brief thoughts on games that I played that came out last year. I didn’t play enough games to make any top 10 list because I’m more of a movie guy and these 5 games I mostly just played in my free time. So good news is I didn’t play any crap games because wasting my money on bad games isn’t the same as wasting it on bad movies. So anyway, enough rambling, and I’ll now show off the games I played.
Here is the only movie game on this list. It plays out as more of a cinematic movie than an actual game, but I still like it. Detroit, Become Human is a choose your own adventure movie game and it was written and directed by David Cage who is a bit of a controversial person and most of the fun you get from his games is seeing what stupid ideas he comes up with.
So the story of this game is set about 20 years into the future where robotic androids are running about the place helping out mankind and you play as not one but three robot people. There is Kara a robot nanny who looks after a little girl and this plot line plays out like a friendly robot movie. Markus a robot who breaks his programming and then finds other broken robots and they form a robot revolution and this plot line is obviously heavy inspired by Westworld. Then we’ve got the best character in the game when you play as Connor, a robot detective who hunts replicants, I mean malfunctioning robots. He and his human partner Hank work together to solve this big robot malfunctioning case.
The story of this game is a bit of a mixed bag as some parts are emotionally powerful and other parts are just so unbelievably corny. This is mainly the case with Markus as I liked everything building up to his revolution but once he is the leader of the revolution it’s so up it’s own behind with its messages on slavery and civil rights. Connor’s is the most compelling as I really got behind his relationship with Hank as they made a cute odd couple and I liked his ongoing internal battle between following his core programming and his friendship with Hank.
As this is a choose your own adventure story what you do will affect the story in some sort of way, and I was kind of shocked with all the different outcomes you could go for. At the end of each chapter the game shows you a tree of all the different paths you could have taken which is a great way to encourage you to try out all the paths. It’ll tell you how positive or negative your relationship is with someone, if you have a specific item on you, it’ll tell you when you messed up and got your character killed. Gameplay is pretty limited as in the moving sections you move at a sluggish pace looking around to click on stuff. The only action you get is in quick time events which, like other David Cage games, involves you physically moving the controller about the place which always makes me feel I must look like a complete idiot doing.
Depending on how much you put into it you’ll probably get about over 8 to 10 hours out of it. I enjoyed myself, it’s fairly well acted, the game looks gorgeous for a PS4 exclusive and probably the main problem would be that the story is a bit inconsistent and some parts of it are a bit cheesy. (Also the controls kind of suck.) 6/10, next game!
Of course I played the Game of the Year game. I’m not too familiar with the God of War franchise but before it was titled Game of the Year I played it because I was hearing great reviews about it and it’s another PS4 exclusive so I thought it should be alright.
So in this reboot of the beloved franchise our hero Kratos is old and buggered. He wants to live a peaceful life with his son Artreus. But after the death of his wife, Kratos and his son go on a journey to reach the tallest mountain in the realm to spread her ashes but along the way obstacles get in their way so that a game can happen. The main plot line is mostly sidelined so they can build on the relationship between the brooding old guy and the curious little boy, which I quite enjoyed for a good chunk of the game.
Along the way you meet some interesting side characters such as this talking head who joins up with Kratos and his son on their adventure and we learn a lot about the world and lore from him and he also makes a pretty good comedic relief. I enjoyed the dwarf brothers who you can visit to upgrade your gear and weapons and the main villain of the game I found pretty entertaining, especially his boss fights. Finally, not being overly familiar with Kratos, I really enjoyed learning about his hidden past as it slowly creeps back into his life. It’s quite similar to what happened to Wolverine and Luke in their movies with the difference being that I’m more familiar with those characters than I am with Kratos.
As far as gameplay goes most of the game involves an excessive amount of walking, running, climbing, rowing and travelling to different realms but once you reach the action the game normally chucks a couple of enemies in your path to spice things up. There are fisty enemies with different skins, shooty enemies with different skins and different type of shooty enemies, like this annoying teleport witch thing who really pushed my patience to breaking point. Your arsenal consists of your fist, your really cool magic flying axe, another weapon that is a bit of a spoiler and your son who can help you out in battle which is great. For the most part the combat is really good though I did get sick of it at some points and when I could I just zoomed past all of the baddies.
There are bosses in the game which consists of very awesome battles against other gods. But that is very rare, most of the time you’re fighting giant trolls with different coloured skins and giant monsters with bullseyes painted on their chests. There are also tons of puzzles throughout the game which if you complete give you an upgrade in your health or give you legendary gear. There are also side missions you can do, which I was never motivated enough to get around to.
So is God of War worthy of the Game of the Year title? I don’t know, I only played a handful of games. From what I played I enjoyed myself, good story, good combat, good characters, good soundtrack etc. It’s definitely a 10/10 in the graphics department as it’s easily the most breathtaking game of the year. Score is 7 or 8/10. Nothing compels me to raise my score any higher.
I really enjoyed the first Hitman (the 2016 Hitman, not the old one). It was a good reboot of Hitman: Blood Money as it’s perfectly adapted to the new generation giving you large detailed sandboxes to mess around with and giving the levels a lot of replay value.
Hitman 2 is pretty much just an expansion pack to the first game as it gives you more detailed levels and more reasons to mess about in the levels which doesn’t bother me. This time you get one tutorial mission, 5 new locations, a sniper level and if you buy or own Hitman GOTY edition you get all the levels from the first game. (Free storage space is a win in my book.)
There is a story to this game which is so boring that I kind of regret watching it in the first place. The fun part is the missions so, trust me, skip the story. Each mission gives you 2 or 3 targets to eliminate which I never really gave a damn who I was after as they all felt the same. Evil person who did evil stuff for main plot and I get to come in and kill them. Rinse and repeat.
What I noticed while playing is that it really caters to new players (sometimes to my annoyance) as the game will offer you these mission stories to try out, which leads you on a guided path to your target and offers you a unique and often hilarious way to axe them off. If you want you can ignore this and just do what you like. If you get bored of that the escalations are back, which are just small challenge things that give you a set of objectives to do, which are pretty cool.
Every once in a while you can do an Elusive Target where you’re given one shot to kill a target on the map, mess up and you don’t get another chance, another cool novelty. There is also an online co-op mode which I never got around to playing because I work alone. It’s worth pointing out that this game is always online so if you want to try out 75% of this stuff you’ll need a stable internet connection, which I honestly don’t see the point of.
Overall a good expansion of the first game but doesn’t really offer anything new so I’m not going to give it a score as I don’t really count it as a brand new Hitman game.
It’s been a great year for Spider-Man. He’s had a great animated movie, he had a great team-up movie and he’s also died in these two movies. I haven’t played too many Spider-Man games in my time but I remember the last one I played was The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on PS3 and that game was just awful. But luckily Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 blows that game all the way into the sun as this is easily the best Spider-Man game I’ve ever played.
So this Spider-Man has been on the job for a long time now so the origin story is out of the way and throughout the game you can learn more about the pre-game history to connect all the dots. The main story has Spider-Man stopping his arch nemesis Wilson Fisk and throwing him in the slammer but then a new bad guy rocks up (I’m serious, this was the only bad guy in the whole game that I have never heard of) to cause some chaos and you have to stop him.
This is another Spider-Man property that absolutely nails Spider-Man/Peter Parker perfectly. It didn’t take me very long to fall in love with this character. He is very charismatic, very relatable, he’s kind of awkward too and what shocked me the most is how funny he is because throughout the game Spider-Man is making quips at the bad guys and it’s not like in that other Spider-Man game where he says the same 3 lines on loop, but I was so impressed that he always has something new to say which is so awesome!!
There are other great characters too. I liked Peter’s relationship with Mary Jane and that’s where my love for Mary Jane ends. J Jonah Jameson has a podcast you can listen to while you swing about the city which is also really funny. Another great character is Otto Octavius and you’re probably familiar with what he eventually turns into. The game spends a lot of time developing his relationship with Peter and the build up to his eventual downfall is just so tragic.
Moving on to gameplay, once you dive into this open world it’s just amazing. Swinging across the city as Spider-Man is as satisfying as gliding across Gotham Rooftops as Batman. There are tons of things to do in the city like stopping crimes, attacking enemy bases, collecting these backpacks that add to Peter’s character and many more other side activities to keep you occupied for hours. The reward of completing these side activities is that you can upgrade your gadgets or upgrade your suit power or even try on the different Spider-Man outfits. This is awesome, I loved this system, I spent more time doing this than the main quests. It’s all completely optional too, unlike another game I can think of where it’s the complete opposite.
Combat is kind of like the Arkham games while also not being a complete rip-off. I think I prefer this over Arkham as I found myself experimenting more with the different moves and gadgets in this than I would’ve in Arkham. But both versions do a great job at making you feel superior to your competition. This is a really good game but I do have some negatives and that’s mainly to do with stealth. It’s fun sneaking around stringing people up but if you get caught there is no point hiding because they know where you are and there really is no point to sneak around in the base sections when the game forces you to fight. I dreaded all of the Mary Jane sections – walking around the boring lifeless environments and sneaking around brain dead guards just isn’t fun. They do try to spice things up by giving you some tools to use, but it’s too late game, when do I get to play as Spider-Man again!!!!
Overall I loved it! 9/10, remove the stupid Mary Jane sections and it’s a solid game with a compelling story, great dialogue, writing, soundtrack, You’ll get tons of hours out of it and this is an Amazing Spider-Man! (Bad pun, here’s the last game.)
Our final game of the day was my most anticipated game of last year and that’s Red Dead Redemption II, and boy does it deliver!!
I played the first Red Dead about 2 years ago and it was great and when I heard about a sequel over a year ago, I was pumped! I played this game for about 3 months and my first impression was that there is so much to do!!!
So the story of Red Dead II takes place about a decade before the events of the first game where it’s the beginning of the end for the wild west and the birth of modern day America. You play as Arthur Morgan, right hand man to Dutch Van der Linde, who’s the leader of of a infamous outlaw gang. So Dutch and his gang travel across the west to escape the law so they can pull off one last big score before disappearing into the west for good. But things don’t go according to plan, even though Dutch keeps telling me he has a plan!
It takes awhile to get into it but once it picks up I was swept away by the deeply engaging story and the well developed characters. It also took me a bit of time to fall in with Arthur but when I did he became my favourite protagonist that I’ve played in a game all year. A very flawed man with a rough past but his eventual turnover is very satisfying to see played out. This game also features my favourite antagonist of the year, Dutch, whose ego, fantasised ideals on life and slow fall from grace makes him such a fascinating villain. The gang is littered with interesting well developed characters such as John Marston, Sadie, Trelawny, Uncle, etc. The only character I absolutely grew to loathe was Micah and if you have played the game you would get where I’m coming from.
I just realised I haven’t even discussed the game yet. It’s bloody huge as it combines the map of the first game along with this brand new one and there is an overwhelming amount of stuff to do. There are mini games, there are tons of side missions, tons of random chance encounters, animals to hunt, things to rob and all of this and more is a 100% guarantee of over 100 hours+ of gameplay. I was about 10 or 12 hours in when I remember feeling like I had barely scratched the surface. There is alot of personification in this game, to the clothes, to your horse, to your tent, to your guns, to your saddle, to your outhouse. The most impressive feature I found is that I can make myself look like a feral hobo as you can grow a Santa Claus beard and then you customize that when you have enough hair.
Combat can be a mixed bag as aiming in stressful situations can be annoying, so you’re best to just stick with a rifle on auto aim so you can pretend you’re playing one of those old western shooting games. Using a gun is very satisfying but getting into cover and crouching into the spot you want or accidentally ending up in the crossfire can be very frustrating. There is also the return of the dead eye which is great to use.
This game treats you like a real person. You get tired, you need to eat, a couple of shots and you’re dead, same for your horse. Everything being so realistic adds alot of weight but it’s also very annoying. I noticed Arthur sucks at navigating in tight environments as he either get stuck or makes it extremely difficult to get into the right position, in brawls my gun kept popping out instead of my fists and I also found that my horse makes the greatest stuntman alive as I found myself constantly colliding into everything in my path. I accidentally committed two murders by ramming my horse into another horse. A popup message showed up telling me how to rob a train when I was heading to an objective, the game thought I wanted to rob a train and my horse ran into the train. (Thanks!)
I could really go on as there is so much to talk about. So to sum it up, this game is flawed but it really is fantastic and you should definitely play it yourself and you won’t be disappointed. 8 or 9/10, maybe one day I’ll do a follow-up on this game because this game rightfully deserves it’s own post.
This post is just my little experiment as maybe this year I might do more game reviews, old or new. It’ll be fun. So if you enjoyed this then make sure you tell me because I can’t read your mind! (Though it would be very useful if I could.) That’s it for now, so I have been The Blog Complainer and maybe next time I’ll talk about movies. Signing Out.