Winter is well and truly setting in with the rain coming thick and fast, so it’s the perfect time to sit down, get comfy and play video games! Here’s what we’ve been getting up to over the last few days.
Plant Coaster has finally released! I’ve been getting stuck in to the sandbox mode to try and get the creative juices flowing and see what I can come up with. I’ve hit around 10 hours play time and I’m pretty sure most of that time has been spent making scenery for my park.
Planet Coaster really does seem like a creative persons dream, there is so much potential for what you can build that at times it’s almost tough to know where to even begin. My first sandbox park has been themed around fantasy and medieval and it’s been an absolute blast making it so far. I’m nowhere near done with it and I’d like to create a number of areas each with different themes so I can see myself spending a lot of time on this park.
I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out so far but I’ve no doubt that I will be making changes as I go along learning new things.
The open beta came out Friday and I have to say that during the brief amount of time I had on it I though it was a lot of fun. I wasn’t really expecting much from it and mainly downloaded it because it was a free chance to try it out.
You can Snowboard, Ski, Para-glide and use a wingsuit. You can also go pretty much where ever you want, finding your own routes down the mountains. It feels very open and I like that you have a lot of options to explore and multiple routes to find.
Both the Snowboarding and Skiing felt very satisfying to me, doing tricks was fun but wasn’t over the top and carving out lines in the snow was really enjoyable. There is obviously a pretty big gap in the market for a game like this at the moment and I can see it performing pretty well, but I don’t think it’s going to be a game that I get, not because I didn’t like it, but simply because there are others I’d rather prioritise.
Murr has some more thoughts on Steep below!
Deep Rock Galactic
Our latest ‘One to watch‘ comes from Ghost Ship Games in the form of Deep Rock Galactic. Over the weekend they released a new trailer ahead of the games planned closed Alpha testing, check it out below!
Steep – Again
Like Will I too took advantage of the open Beta of Steep but went with the PS4 version. I’ve been skiing multiple times and really enjoy the atmosphere of being midway down a mountain with the sun shining, stopping into a chalet grabbing a beer, watching the steam rise from our ski gear as we just take a half hour break before going flat out again for the rest of the afternoon. Equally I’ve also really enjoyed snowboard and skiing games in the past like the cool boarders franchise way back on PS1, SSX and the more recent Shaun White snowboarding and the sort of reboot of SSX back in 2012.
With all that said you can probably guess that I was actually looking forward to Steep. The surprise announcement from Ubisoft at E3 this year.
So first up, the game even in beta looks pretty damn amazing. I will be slightly nit picky that the trees looks a little flat, and given how I’ve been spoiled in terms of foliage in games as of late with the Skyrim remaster I noticed the tree detail surprisingly and sadly pretty quick. But moving on, the first things you do are walk to a deck and prepare to dive off in a wing suit. The first steps in the knee deep snow hearing the familiar sounds of creaking of the boots and stepping through the snow are great. And the sun is shining and gives glare off the snow which again looks pretty damn amazing. So visually some roughness that can be forgiven as its still in Beta, but for the most part it looks pretty incredible and captures that feel of being up in the mountains to a tee. I especially enjoyed skiing past areas that had chalets and small villages in the mountains as it felt very familiar.
The amount of variety in getting from the top of the mountain to the bottom is great too. Snowboard, Skis, Parachute and wingsuits. It provides some fun ways to make your journey. The beta makes you partake in tutorial to start off which makes sense, but it’s also a little frustrating being told to do one of each type of activity to start with. I just wanted to get to the top of the mountain and bomb it down on my skis.
I’ve also found the controls a little confusing too. Using both analogue sticks forward to go down, while it sounds simple it’s a bit weird, like … why both? Also when trying to jump and do tricks in that part of the tutorial I was finding the timing of the jumps a little frustrating to pull off. Maybe again I can blame this on the state of the beta, or maybe I’m just god damn awful at this game?
It was only a brief amount of time I spent on this beta before getting myself back into Skyrim. It didn’t really do enough to make me warrant buying it on day one at full price. But It’s something I would potentially consider picking up later on down the road when the price drops a bit. It’s a different style of game that’s taking a risk in launching in Q4 when the bombardment of other massive sellers normally launch. Based on the beta it didn’t do enough to convince me to pick this up over any of the other year end titles that get launched, so I wonder if other people will feel the same? And The Last Guardian is still my main priority December release game.
Small Radios Big Televisions
I was fortunate enough to get a copy of Small Radios Big Televisions from Fire Face who are a small game developer from Canada.
The game is an adventure mystery title in which you search unoccupied factories in search of cassette tapes. Each tape has a world inside in which you need to attain a gem like object. The factories that you explore require you to enter these hidden worlds in the tapes to aid your progression through the factory. The tapes initially contain beautiful colourful worlds, but each factory contains an area of magnetic strip. On some instances you need to drop the tapes you’ve collected into these magnetic strips therefore corrupting them. This then changes the atmosphere of these once pleasant worlds inside the tapes to more twisted, dark and depressing settings. But in some cases this is needed to be done in order to progress through the factory you’re exploring. Once the tapes are run through the magnetic field, once vibrant forestry areas change to dead forests with trees with no leaves on them, the brightness and colourful areas turn dull and depressing.
The puzzles in the first 2 factories are good introductions into what to expect for the remainder of the game. I’ve not yet progressed further but will be carrying on with this game. It’s quite stress free aside from maybe going through the wrong door in one of the factories and loading into the wrong room. That’s down to me though forgetting which room is behind which door.
So far so good though, and looking forward to getting more time on it.
UK Weekly Sales Continue to be low
Another week and another AAA game launched. Last week saw the release of Watch_dogs 2. Two years ago when the first Watch_dogs game launched it had a huge reception, some 300+k sales in the opening week. It ended up being a record for a debut of a new series and still sits respectably as one of the biggest new franchises this generation. So with that in mind Ubisoft would have had high hopes for WD2’s reception which actually does look pretty damn fun.
Unfortunately the game debuted to roughly 80k opening week, which is a huge drop from it’s predecessor. But it should be noted that a lot of the largest AAA franchises that have seen new installments run this year have been sub par to their predecessor. Dishonoured 2, Titanfall 2, Gears of War 4, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare have all seen significant drops in sales. So Watch_dogs appears to be joining that list of troubled releases.