It’s Monday, so you know what time it is!
The For Honor open beta hit last week and naturally I had to give it a go. I thought the game looked interesting and it was nice to see a new IP from a big company like Ubisoft. For Honor is an action fighting game where you play as either Knights, Vikings or Samurai who’ve been at war for a blooming long time after a natural catastrophe and Warlord Apollyon is sticking her nose in to keep them all fighting amongst themselves.
I really only played the multiplayer and I found it quite fun. The combat is interesting and something new, where you basically lock on to an enemy player and can attack from the left, right or above and subsequently block in by mirroring the attack position. There is obviously a little more to it than that, but that’s it in a nutshell. It can lead to some nice tactical plays but with the bigger player battles the tactical nature of it can go a little out the window as you can quickly become surrounded and it can also be difficult to focus on one player when you’ve got multiple people around you.
Parts of the game I enjoyed and parts were a little frustrating like the aforementioned ‘facing off against multiple players’, the loads times were also horrendous, to the point where I thought the game had crashed because it was taking so long.
Visually the game is very good looking but, like Ghost Recon Wildlands this Beta has not convinced me enough to make me want to part with £40, I can see the game being fun for a little while, but I’d question the longevity of it.
Miscreated is a game I’ve actually had for a long time – I think I bought it at the beginning of last summer in the sales, but I’ve not really put much time in to it. I’m looking to change that though as I always hear a lot of positive things about it and from what I’ve played it seems really good.
In a world brimming with Early Access Survival games, Miscreated has quietly worked away and made something that has a lot of potential to succeed. The atmosphere of the game is great, and the look and feel of Orca Island I find really immersive. Houses feel abandoned rather than empty like in other games, they feel like people used to live there. The weather effects – especially the fog, are really good and can really change the feel of the map when it suddenly changes.
But the one thing that really stands out to me is the player base, whenever I play it only ever takes me a few minutes before I seem to find other players, and 80% of the time they seem to be friendly. This is something I’m not used to playing games like Rust and DayZ, but it’s nice, it’s refreshing and generally I end up teaming up with other random fresh spawns for a little while.
When I was playing the other day I spawned about 50 metres away from someone, we started chatting and 2 minutes later someone else turned up, we formed a noob group and set off. After about 15 minutes a geared guy appeared shotgun in hand and asked us to join him on his run in to one of the big towns, Pinecrest. He was seeking some attackers who’d recently killed him and even though none of us had weapons we decided to help him.
We all got massacred but it was good fun and I’m really looking forward to playing it more.
Last week I was fortunate enough to get a code for a Space Station building game named Stable Orbit from Codalyn. Codalyn is a studio that run by Jim Offerman. In Stable Orbit your task is to create a functional space station that can sustain enough energy, power and resources to keep it ticking over and over. You begin with a single pod that has the ability to be expanded onto. You need to think carefully what to add in the beginning stages of this game as you are only given a budget of $7500m to begin with. While that amount sounds a lot, space station development is not cheap. So carefully plan your initial build. The only way currently to attain funds is to have a labs on your space station and astronauts working in the labs. 1 Astronaut produces $10m per hour and can work limited hours in a row before needing to rest, eat and importantly sleep.
You need to ensure that your space station has enough capability to power the whole station, store power for when the in the dark spells of your orbit, enough radiators to maintain a temperature that both cools down the station when during sunny orbits and warm during dark orbital periods. Don’t forget to ensure you’re providing enough oxygen and can store enough food and liquid. More docking stations result in more supplies being delivered, but more docking stations requires more power, which requires more solar panels, which require more radiators to ensure the space station doesn’t over heat, see where this is going?
Eventually though it all does click, and you can design some massive space stations. And money comes in so frequently you simply won’t have enough to buy to dent it. In 2 hours of playing I managed to build a space station large enough to employ 12 astronauts who would work 4 at a time resulting in $40m every hour. Based on the shifts I set them to work I was never not earning $40m an hour, so the money rapidly grew and grew and there wasn’t anything further to purchase to make the station any different other than expanding it and adding more of what was already available.
Strangely addictive little game though, but looking forward to more things to become available. It is currently only in early access, so it’s forgivable that there isn’t loads to purchase for the space station yet. But there is plenty planned for it over the future.
Hidden Figures & Moonlight
I’ve been watching a lot more films at the start of this year, and this continued over the weekend as I watched 2 films with award aspirations Hidden Figures and Moonlight.
I’m sure you’re already aware of the background to Hidden Figures, but just in case, it’s about female African-American mathematicians working at NASA during the great space race of the 1960’s. Of course during that time was the rise of the civil rights movements with American states still segregating every day life between white and black citizens. Based on true events the film tells the story of how 3 women within the coloured section of NASA employees progressed through the ranks to play pivotal roles in the success of Project Mercury the first human spaceflight and orbit of earth. That’s pretty much the plot for you, but the film is incredible showing the rise of these women, having to deal with sexism, racism and all with a smile on their face as they strive to help the United States to one of the most important victories of the cold war, the space race.
The other film Moonlight I was interested in seeing purely based on the fact that Mahershala Ali was nominated for best supporting actor at the Oscars based on his performance in this film, and since seeing his work in Luke Cage as cottonmouth I’m keen to see more of his acting work as I really enjoyed his performance in the Marvel / Netflix show. I had no real idea what this film was about though to be honest, other than knowing it was also up for multiple awards at the BAFTA’s and Oscars.It was completely different to what I had expected. It’s a 3 chapter film based on the growing up of one child named Little/Chiron/Black (all name’s he’s referred to as, but his real name is Chiron). His mother is a drug addict, and as a child he’s not the biggest of the kids so is often picked on or beaten up (Little). He run’s away from his bullies only for Juan (Ali) to witness his chasing and go and help him. You see Juan and his girlfriend Teresa take on sort of acquired parents role during his growing up as he often goes back to them to get away from his mother. However Juan’s main source of income is as a drug dealer, and one of his major customers is Little’s mum. It adds an awkward fracture in Little and Juan’s relationship, as-well as with Little and his own mothers relationship.
Once chapter 2 begins you never see Juan again, but Little now known as his real name Chiron still actively visits Teresa. Chapter 2 see’s Chrion continue to take abuse till he no longer can and retaliates, I admit at this point I was glad to see his reaction and had wanted him to stand up for himself like this throughout.
The final chapter sees a hardened and grown up Chrion who is now known as Black, he’s taken inspiration from Juan clearly at this stage of his life and has made choices that you can clearly see Juan was the inspiration for.
It was an entertaining film, but perhaps based on all the praise and award buzz I’d expected more and something completely different. It slow burner of a film, with a small script. Oddly enough the more I wrote about the film here, the more I thought back about the film, and the more I started to think I enjoyed it more than I initially did while watching it? It’s one of those films that when you think back on and reflect back on you enjoy it more. Give it a shot if you’ve got 2 hours to spare, but don’t go in expecting it to be an action packed criminal or gangster film. It’s about the growing up of a kid you really want to support.