Firewatch is supposed to be a story driven, first person game where you’re a firewatch in a national park somewhere. From what I understand, you walk around doing stuff while communicating with your boss or whatever, and the dialogue is supposed to be really good. People in Steam reviews whine about the ending being crap, also calling this an “expensive walking simulator”. Since I don’t trust shitty kids on Steam, I’ve gotta try this out for myself.

Stages of the game

First impressions

Graphics are very mediocre. The park as such looks pretty okay, but you know, it’s a national park. They are beautiful. Hard to fuck that up, I imagine.

The prologue is pretty intense, even if it’s just a bunch of text mixed with a little bit of gameplay. Seems good enough, though. Controls are somewhat limited. climbing rocks is painfully slow. It doesn’t have to me Mirror’s Edge, but c’mon, if the game is really just running around the park, at least it should be easy and painless getting around the park.

The dialogue is really good. For once I agree with the shitty kids writing reviews on Steam.

Somewhere in the middle

I am hooked right now. The story escalates pretty quickly and is now really exciting. Navigating with the map and compass is pretty fun, I think. For once we’re not spoiled with fancy auto GPS features and stuff.

I find myself really wanting to radio stuff in to my boss so I can hear a bit more of the dialogue. I will surely finish this.

After finishing the game

Yeah, so.. the ending actually did disappoint me. There was such tension in this game. It really kept me on the edge of my seat, and then, in the end, I was more like “..okay then”.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but I think they could have done something different with the ending. I am not sure how much it would have mattered though. It was still just as exciting to play through. But I don’t know, maybe you shouldn’t listen to me. I am, after all, the only one to ever finish the Mass Effect trilogy without bitching and moaning online about the ending afterwards.

So yeah, play this. It’s not very long, but it doesn’t have to be. It is a really exciting, beautiful and original game.

Verdict

Play!

I never played the old school XCOM games from way back. I did, however, play the reboot (XCOM: Enemy Unknown) and it was pretty damn awesome. I am afraid this will be too much of the same thing though. Let’s hope I am wrong.

Stages of the game

First impressions

My initial thoughts, in order:

  1. Performance is pretty bad
  2. It looks and acts very much like its predecessor (Enemy Unknown/Within)
  3. HOLY SHIT THIS IS DIFFICULT

Yeah, it is difficult for sure. I am so outgunned it’s not even funny. I did not have this much trouble playing Enemy Unknown. I am even playing on the “normal” setting. The timed missions give you way too few turns to complete the mission. I actually went and install a mod for that from the Steam workshop (I’d recommend you do the same).

This game really has me biting my nails because it’s so stupidly hard. And the fucking aim is broken as shit. I miss way too often.

I can appreciate that the game is challenging, because it feels pretty awesome when I do complete missions. It sucks that I have to resort to save scumming (you know, saving/reloading all the time to get the outcome I want) so much though. And it’s still fucking too difficult.

Oh, by the way, I found out that the excruciatingly long loading times when returning from missons can be drastically shorted (almost completely eliminated) by pressing caps lock. What. The. Fuck?

My experience with this game can go two ways. Either I keep balancing on the edge of losing (yeah, there’s a doomsday meter in this game too, just like in Enemy Unknown) and have a really good time with this very cool game, or the doomsday meter fills up, my campaign is over and I’ll never play this piss pool of a game again.

Somewhere in the middle

 

Nope. Nope nope nope nope.

The fucking doomsday was filled. I managed to push it back a little, but apparently I communicated with other countries too late. How was I supposed to know?

Let me be perfectly clear. This game is awesome in so many ways, but as a grown up person with a girlfriend, job and other hobbies than playing video games, I don’t have the time to look through a bunch of YouTube videos just to figure out how to play a game without being fucked in the bum ten hours in. I don’t have a problem at all with the combat. That challenge I appreciate. But I feel like I just threw a lot of time out the window. The damn doomsday meter also filled up on what was in otherwise a bad day for me, so it hit me right in the feels.

I still recommend this game and I will pick it up again sometime later when I have more time to spare, but if you play this, just be prepared for a very challening game that just might throw a “game over” at you after many hours of playing it.

Verdict

Play!

I played a lot of WWE: Day of Reckoning for the Gamecube during my younger days. I also watched a lot of WWE, RoH, TNA, PWG and other wrestling humbug. I’ve not heard good things about WWE 2k15, but hey, it’s not very expensive and it’s really the only WWE game available for PC (I don’t have a PS4 just yet I am afraid).

My expectation is that this game will be better than my expectation… if that makes sense. I mean, I expect a pretty shitty game, but I think it will be better than that at the same time. Quite contradictory, but we’ll just have to find out.

Stages of the game

First impressions

This music. Seriously. Is this what the cool kids listen to nowadays? Awful, auto-tuned, feminine sounding male voices with crazy bass drops. And don’t get me started on the god damn menus. Every menu entry has an associated picture that has nothing to do with that particular option. Like, the settings option has a picture of the pale, Irish guy Sheamus flexing his muscles. What?! You’d expect a cog or maybe a wrench. I guess Sheamus is ye olde settings master here.

The create-a-wrestler mode doesn’t seem to have evolved very much since the last wrestling game I played (Day of Reckoning 2 for the Gamecube.) I do what I always do in this mode and create a big, black wrestler called Barry White with an, for his size, unnaturally acrobatic move set.

The gameplay is fucking awful. It’s so unresponsive, slow and I don’t fully grasp the controls. Why does this play slower than the old Gamecube WWE games I am familiar with? Hell, even Def Jam: Vendetta for the Gamecube has way better gameplay.

I should have trusted all the bad reviews.

Somewhere in the middle

I’ve been playing the career mode a bit. I became NXT Champion and moved on to Superstars. At that point, I couldn’t bear playing this any longer. This is the worst piece of shit I’ve played in quite a while.

The game does introduce some (at least for me) new features that are pretty cool, but that does not matter as long as the gameplay is this bad. How could they release a game like this? I will not be playing this any more.

I used to be a pretty hardcore wrestling fan (I still watch some PWG and that kind of indy wrestling at times) and I still hate this game. There is absolutely no chance in hell that anyone who is not a die-hard fan would want to play this. None.

It’s good that a WWE game was finally released for PC, but this does not cut it. It’s like if I’m starving, that doesn’t mean I’d be thrilled when being fed fucking poison. Stay away from this. Seriously.

Verdict

Don’t play!

Like everyone else, I love the Telltale games (especially The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. Most movies and a lot of TV series lately bore me. It’s like I’ve seen it all. Telltale’s games, however, have very much managed to keep me interested and invested all the way, and that really means something to me. When you find good shit, you stick with it, and Life is strange is supposed to be a similar kind of interactive story. I can’t wait.

Stages of the game

First impressions

I’m a hip girl with an old Polaroid camera who goes to some fancy private school or something (hey, don’t hang me, I’m not familiar with the ‘murican school system) to learn how to take good pictures, I guess. Apparently I consider myself a geek and make awkward references all the time. In real life, I am starting to feel old at times, but this game makes me feel younger than I’ve felt in years – I actually understand these stupid Internet references. Not only does it make me feel young: it also makes me kind of sick to my stomach. I’m a pathetic old man (26 years old lol AWESOMESAUCE*).

Pretty soon I find out that I have this magic ability to reverse time (just like Square Enix must have done when they went back to the ’90s to steal the graphics for this game.) Any conversations I participate in, I can just undo whenever I feel I got the wrong reactions to whatever crazy shit I just said. Quite a bit of an unfair advantage, but hey, it’s epic win**, right?

Honestly, the first two hours or so did not leave much hope for the game to really catch my attention. The protagonist hipster girl is a little bit annoying methinks, the graphics are not very good honestly (neither are Telltale’s games graphics, but they’re cel-shaded and so get away with a more cartoonish look) and the story did not interest me.

I did keep playing because that is my duty after all (look at me, thinking anyone actually reads this crap!) and because the time reversal magic seems like an interesting concept, and now I can see it’s actually starting to pay off. Some pretty fucked up stuff, story-wise, is starting to surface. I think I will be happy with this.

* Actually used term in this game
** Frequently used term in this game

Square Enix, oh you...

It was at this point I realized that Max must be fucked in the head.

Somewhere in the middle

I am just totally caught up in this web of lies I created. No matter how I try making the right choices, shit just turns intro crap. There does not seem to be any right or wrong choices. All good things lead up to bad things and vice versa.

This is a pretty emotional story, I have to say. I am glad that I’m playing this as an adult and not a teen. Teen me would have probably not been able to process all these feels. thi

So, I have noticed that they choices I make in the game actually matter.  In the TellTale games, no matter how you try dealing with situations, shit always hits the proverbial fan any way. All choices really lead up to the same ending, with only minor differences along the way. In Life Is Strange, I’m not so sure that’s the case. I am guessing the tree of events that can potentially take place must be a whole lot more complex in this game, and I am loving it.

Does the game have bad parts? Sure. I hate how Max (the protagonist) keeps referring to herself as a “geek”. She’s trying so hard to be a hipster geek girl it makes me cringe. Also, some parts are pretty tedious (like where Max has to look for five bottles at a junkyard) but those are not common.

I will keep playing this, and I very much see myself recommending it to people.

I quite like the boss battles. They are very much “hey, just stand in this corner and fire and you’ll be fine” but it does take some effort to find that sweet spot. I have read some complaints online about this, but they people complaining must not have played many older games. The bosses are all patterns in old NES games, and I’d much rather have that than random bosses shooting projectiles and fire all over, making me feel clumsy and bad at the game.

I’d say it’d take something very drastic to keep me from recommending this game to everyone in the end. It’s just great.

After finishing the game

I’m not a religious man, but jesus christ. This game is heavy stuff. It seems so innocent in the beginning but it gets a lot darker for sure.

I mean, here’s some of the stuff this game deals with:

  • Psychopath murderers
  • Bullying
  • Suicide
  • Drugs
  • Euthanasia (or assisted suicide or whatever you want to call it)
  • A family’s struggle with crippling medical bills
  • Full body paralysis
  • Choices leading to your best friend’s death – over and over again

I totally fell in love with Life Is Strange and just wasted a weekend playing it, but I sure had a blast. The last episode was a bit tedious at times (including the awfully overused nightmare sequence where previous parts of the games was re-played but in a twisted, fucked up kind of way), but the other episodes were quality throughout.

Definitely play this, because this shit is awesomesauce!

Verdict

Play!

Just having finished the first Witcher game, I have quite high expectations for this one. I expect the combat will be more slick (I certainly hope so, at least), the graphics to be better and the alchemy crafting system to be more refined.

I also expect this tale will be longer than having to sit through someone explaining the dreams they had last night (I really despise having to listen to that).

I read somewhere that it’s possible to import the best sword in the first game into this one. If so, let’s go kick some monster butt!

Stages of the game

First impressions

This sequel sure looks different from its predecessor. The graphics are better, but the the game runs way slower than is should. I mean, this game is not by any means new, and I can play the newest games on ultra settings with my machine. After fiddling with the settings and disabling motion blur, it’s strangely much smoother now. The game must be poorly programmed for the performance to be this bad.

The combat is much more challenging than in the first game as well. I’m sure I’ll get into it. I completed some tutorial, and based on the results (i.e. I died pretty much instantly) the game suggested the easy difficulty setting. What an insult. I manually set it to normal.

I haven’t really gotten into the game still. So far I’m not too impressed though. Inexplicably bad performance (that I managed to make better by tweaking) and a strange, not very smooth combat system. Let’s see if it gets better after I get used to it.

Somewhere in the middle

Yeah okay, so I have changed my mind. This game is great. Very pleasing visuals, more graphic sex scenes (yay!) and the combat system is actually quite cool once you get the hang of it.

The difficulty, I find, is very uneven however. The first boss of the game still is the one I had to retry the most times so far. I guess it’s a combination of me slowly getting better at the game, and also my character leveling and acquiring new skills.

The story telling is very nice in this game. Most of the bad things from the predecessor have been fixed this time. The combat system is better (you pretty much have to use all spells, or signs as they are called, whereas in the first game I only ever used two out of five), the graphics are much better, there are many more NPC models etc.

Let’s see if this is as long a game as the first Witcher. I sure wouldn’t complain.

After finishing the game

So yeah, this game is difficult on kind of a Dark Souls level. I did not expect that. It does, however, with dignity continue the Witcher series.

In retrospect, what bothered me the most was the gameplay mechanics that I didn’t even need to use. Like, I could put out bombs and traps, but I never saw a need to do so. Just dodge, stab, rinse and repeat until dead. Also, the game is maybe a little bit linear, but hey, it tells a great story and is definitely one of the best games I’ve played (well, at least top 20 somewhere I guess).

Verdict

Play!

I once googled “what is the best looking game ever?” and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt came up as one of the contenders (along with my  pet peeve Watch Dogs which doesn’t even look that good to me). I know nothing about the game, or the franchise whatsoever. So, hey, why not randomly throw away my money and by the entire trilogy on Steam for a hefty 70€?

Being who I am, I can’t play the third game in a series without having played the other two first, so I will start out of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition. Someone in the comments for the game on Steam wrote “if you like games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, do yourself a favor and buy this game”. Well, mr Sir, I sure do like the games you mentioned so I hope you’re right about this.

Stages of the game

First impressions

Why can’t I use a gamepad in this game? I hate playing this kind of game with keyboard and mouse. Oh well.

So apparently I’m a Witcher with amnesia. I have been mutated to become some kind of superhuman that kills monsters in a world full of elves and shit. Elves, amnesia, monster killing – in a game?! How original! </sarcasm>

The combat is quite fun. I think I am going to like this game. It does remind me of Mass Effect/Dragon Age a lot and that’s a good thing.

Somewhere in the middle

I just learned that this game was developed in Poland. I guess that’s why it’s so Polished. Ha-ha-ha. Hah. Seriously though, it is interesting playing a game developed in Poland because I don’t think I’ve ever done so before. The fact that the game is good makes it even more interesting.

There is something about this game and its atmosphere that just drags me in and makes me want to play more. This is true even though the main character sounds like Duke Nukem when he talks. Also, for some reason it’s possible to sleep with some female NPCs, and once you do, you get something like a collector’s card with a picture of the lady you just plowed (yeah, they call it “plowing” in this game). Very weird, very sexist and very hilarious.

The combat is pretty cool, the graphics are alright, the story keeps me interested, the character design is quite cool and there are some pretty fun bugs (the hair on some NPCs flap around like crazy sometimes; just wait until you see this happen to the Reverend’s long beard…)

Everything is not rainbows and sunshine on a stick, however. The game crashes for no reason a lot. If happens maybe once every other hour or so. It’s manageable if saving is performed frequently, however. Also, there is so much running back and forth, even without doing all the side quests that are available.

Altogether this is a big surprise for me. So much better than I came in expecting and I see much self finishing this, wanting the sequel.

Awesome character design

The characters, man.. the characters. Damn. A work of art for sure.

After finishing the game

This was a pretty long game, but I did not mind. I had a blast playing this and I wonder why I hadn’t even heard of it before.

Although the combat system is a little clunky it’s still good fun. The music, as previously mentioned, is fantastic. This game also features pretty much the only crafting system I’ve enjoyed at all, in any game. What’s pretty sad, however, is that I’ve noticed there are maybe five or so different NPC models that are re-used, again and again. Sometimes that can be fine, but when they look as eccentric as the fat man with the bell around his neck (see picture above) it’s pretty hard to swallow.

If the sequels have improved from this game, then they can only be electrifyingly awesome.

Verdict

Play!

So, I just bought a gaming PC that was too expensive, and that I’ve so far only used to play really old games that don’t even come close to fully utilizing the awesome powerz that be inside my computer machine. I’ve heard that Watch Dogs (or is it Watch:Dogs? Watch_Dogs?) is supposed to look pretty hot, so hey, let’s give it a go.

I don’t know a lot about this game, other than the fact that it’s Ubisoft, which can’t possibly be a good thing. The hacking seems pretty cool, but altogether I think it will turn out to be a mixture of other Ubisoft overrated games (Farcry and Assassin’s Creed to be specific). I think I’ll have fun anyway though, and hopefully my sweet, sweet computer will get a run for its money.

Stages of the game

First impressions

The game looks good for sure (I am playing on Ultra settings). The hacking is really cool, although I have not seen its full potential yet, I’m guessing. Or maybe I have and it’s only cool in the beginning. We’ll see.

The cars handle like crap, which makes driving a choir rather than something fun. Also, why can I steal them with a ton of witnesses without any repercussions?

The most interesting aspect of the game so far is the ability to see all the NPCs’ yearly salaries, occupations and random facts. It makes them a bit more human, I guess.

Somewhere in the middle

I find it interesting how this game has a karma system, but completely clearing someone’s bank account does not affect it.

Playing side quests in this game is very boring. I almost gave up on the damn game, until I decided to stop doing side quests and carry on with the campaign missions. This made it more bearable.

What bores me is that it’s all the same, and that same is not very good. The game does not excel at driving, shooting, stealthing or anything else basically.

I still somewhat enjoy Watch Dogs, but right now I would not recommend it to anyone. The hacking was cool to start with, but I realize now that after the first couple of missions I’ve seen all it can do and I am not really amused.

After finishing the game

Meh, just really, really meh. Also, meh. Did I mention meh?!

This game can’t hold my attention. I can’t bear finishing this game right now. This is everything that is wrong with so many games today. Fancy graphics, costs millions of dollars and a shitload for people to develop, and then just meh. The story is bland (I’m a cool hacker and my mysterious online friend turns out to be a super hot goth chick because LADIES CAN BE HACKERS TO DAMNIT!) and the gameplay isn’t that good. Just like I thought from the beginning, lots of elements are just copied from other Ubisoft franchises. Franchises that I, of course, don’t like.

Ubisoft, don’t you think that something is wrong with your game if I’d rather play something like Super Meat Boy which costs roughly as much as two cartons of milk and took two people to develop?

Verdict

Don’t play!