Category: Now playing

  • Now playing: Control

    I started, then bounced off Control back when the Ultimate Edition first went on sale.

    At the time, I recall, there was a dire lack of save points in the game – which meant early on when I found a difficult room, I had to run down 8 hallways to get back to the death-room just to die all over again.

    Maybe I was getting frustrated, or maybe I was just worse at gaming (probably both), but that experience was enough to send me looking for something else to play.

    So after I finished Jedi Survivor I decided to forgo the enticing call of Diablo IV and head to The Oldest House instead.

    Well, I love it.

    It’s conceptually deep, with fun combat and a unique way of presenting the world. It’s probably my favourite game I’ve played this year so far.

    Let’s see how it holds up.


  • Now Playing: Planet of Lana

    Planet of Lana wears it’s inspirations on its sleeve, but isn’t bound by them.

    As a huge (huge) fan of INSIDE and the Ori games, I wondered if PoL wouldn’t quite do enough to break free of the outrageous standard of quality and polish those games have set the genre. And while it doesn’t quite hit those lofty heights, in my experience so far it is at least in the conversation, which is a huge compliment.

    Dense but clear environments, a wonderful soundscape, and thoughtful level design are the standouts so far. I wondered if the puzzling would end up overly simplistic or stale, but the first full cave section has alleviated my worries.

    I’ll likely complete Planet of Lana in the next day or two. More soon…


  • Now playing: Jedi Survivor

    Like what I assume is half the world, I’m playing Jedi Survivor at the moment.

    It’s incredible, taking everything from Fallen Order and dialling it up to 11 – the action, presentation, cutscenes, systems, stories, animation, environments. It’s very, very impressive.

    I’m playing at 30fps, quality mode. It does take some time to get used to, but the presentation is fantastic, the frame rate is solid, and UE4’s motion blur helps a lot.

    I get the feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time with this one.


  • Now playing Redfall + the reviews are in

    I have to admit, after seeing gameplay leaks and slight hints of what the reviews would look like, I installed Redfall this morning to check it out for myself.

    Even with the middling reviews, everything people have been saying – even the not-so-great stuff – the idea of the game kinda started roping me in.

    I’ll point you at these two reviews, which I feel are even handed and point out exactly how the game fails to land the more lacklustre aspects.

    For myself, I’m bummed that 60fps is missing at launch, as I could really settle into the world I’ve seen so far. Hopefully that feature is weeks, not months, away.


  • Now playing: Minecraft Legends

    I’m not sure about this one… Yet!

    I’m a few hours in, and I still feel like I need a few more to really settle into the gameplay loop.

    Great:

    • Somehow the Renderdragon engine looks… great!?
    • Great environments
    • Plenty of charm
    • Systems feel robust

    But:

    • The loop could be explained better
    • The 1080p cutscenes feel jarring
    • This is too complicated for my kids, so who is this for?

    All that said, it’s giving me enough to want to finish the campaign. Maybe I’ll check back in here after beating the first boss.


  • Now Playing: Dredge

    It’s safer in daytime.

    I’m a few hours into Dredge – the first game from indie studio Black Salt Games, from Christchurch NZ.

    The gameplay loop and various tensions (time, materials, fishing/dollars, upgrades, story quests, day vs night) feel very well balanced so far.

    Keep reading


  • Now playing (always playing): Sea of Thieves

    Today (ish, depending on your timezone), Sea of Thieves turned five.

    After a few seasons of taking some time away from the seas, I returned late last week with the Season 9 update. It feels almost at the same level of invigoration as the Shrouded Spoils update, with more world events, more lures for pulling players together, more fog, more megs, more… well, everything!

    Keep reading


  • Now playing: Atomic Heart

    Mustachioed robots and crispy critters.

    Despite the wide range of critical reactions to Atomic Heart, Game Pass proves it’s value once again with a Day One release.

    First impressions

    Firstly, the game is gorgeous. It’s certainly on the short list of most impressive Unreal 4 games to date, and – aside from a few hiccups – runs at what feels like a rock solid 60fps on Series X.

    Keep reading


  • Now playing: Hi-Fi RUSH

    Chai-Fi.

    Xbox shadow dropped a new game from Tango Gameworks at their Developer_Direct: Hi-Fi RUSH.

    It’s absolutely gorgeous, dripping with style and personality and a ton of fun. The rhythmic gameplay is forgiving, but rewards good timing, and the combination of platforming, exploration and combat is paced perfectly.

    More thoughts on the game, and how it released, soon…


  • Now Playing: Gears 5

    Grab a pint.

    I haven’t played Gears 4, so I’m a little behind the story beats, but Gears 5 is an interesting journey so far.

    The environment and character work is excellent, but I do have some hangups with the core gameplay and systems. More soon…


  • Now playing: It Takes Two

    Stirring up the nest.

    I’m playing with my daughter, and we’re about three quarters of the way through. I have thoughts… to be continued…


  • Now Playing: High on Life

    A quiet moment.

    Like apparently everyone else with Game Pass, I’m playing High on Life. More fun, colourful game worlds please, I mean look at that!!

    Still playing: Eastward.