Another week done, and there’s been plenty of Geeky activity this week with the Video Game Awards and PlayStation Experience. This marks the first year in which I haven’t stayed up to watch them live, which is a shame, especially in the case of the VGA’s as there were some pretty nice surprises. I have watched PSX since and was pretty impressed with the change of format which has had a lot of negativity. I’ve mentioned a bit of PSX below, but you can find my late summary of the event here. Here’s a round up of the week.
Call of Duty WW2: Winter Siege
The first major update for COD: WW2 went live last week. Activision have launched a 4 week period featuring a new game mode called Gun Game, a new map, Double XP playlists and new weapons that can be earned from winter supply drops. New winter gear can also be attained from the drops. If you complete enough tasks you unlock these special weapons full time and keep them after the Winter Siege.
So about that new map. Carentan. WOW. I’ve missed this level so much. I felt so familiar when playing it for the first time in lost count how many years. I was thinking while playing it some of the players playing this map wouldn’t have ever experienced the level from it’s original form way back when on the first Call of Duty. I absolutely loved it. So far the winter siege supply drops have been a bit hit and miss, I’ve unlocked some special winter siege emblems, but nothing worth changing my current emblem for and no new weapons as of yet. It’s a very good free update though from Activision, just a shame it’s not a permanent one.
Aside from the Winter Siege we’ve all managed to get on a fair amount and have been loving the evenings together. We’ve still yet to get all 6 of us on as a team yet. It’ll happen soon I’m sure.
I’ve also since posted my highest kill score this week, finally breaking the 50 kills in a round barrier. A momentous occasion.
Wipeout Omega Collection
I’ve had this game since the end of Summer, and played it a little bit on single player. I then removed it to clear space for all the winter games that I was buying. One of my friends and fellow BBDL representative bought Omega Collection in the Black Friday deals. We decided to give the multiplayer a go, only creating a private race for the 2 of us. It started out quite slow in all honesty, we were finishing races with relative ease and enjoying it, but didn’t get the sense of speed that you’d expect from Wipeout, but then I realised I hadn’t selected the fastest settings, so we gave it another whirl once I’d amended the game setup. Holy Shit. This suddenly got a lot more fun, and a lot more like the Wipeout I remember. We were laughing our heads off as we were actively trying to avoid speed boosters to ensure we progressed around a corner without actually smashing into it. I ended up winning our final race of the evening some 30 seconds ahead. It was all in good fun though and I’m keen to play it again.
PlayStation Experience 2017
So as mentioned this is the first time that I’ve not watched the Experience live. There was a lot of uncertainty around PlayStation Experience this year as people were suggesting that major announcements had been moved forward to Paris Games Week, and Sony themselves told us to keep our expectations in check for the PSX event. It wasn’t your typical PSX conference with game trailer after game trailer and new games being announced left, right and centre. This had more of a developers panel vibe to it, and that’s exactly what it was. I actually quite enjoyed this. They brought out a representative of the majority of Sony’s first party developers to discuss how the progress of their current project is going or to discuss how it was like to work on a project in the case of Guerilla Games. And there was some exceptional banter between the devs as they all had little pot shots at EA and the Battlefront 2 Fiasco, and also all had a good exchange with Shawn Layden. Especially God of War developer Cory Barlog who questioned Shawn why he’s under so much pressure to get GOW out next year with only 5 years development time while Guerilla Games, Media Molecule and Quantic Dreams all had 7 years development time for Horizon: Zero Dawn, Dreams and Detroit: Become Human.
Another entertaining section was when Kojima was introduced by Mark Cerny and Andrew House, a standard Q&A session with him, with one question from Cerny to Kojima…”Where had Death Stranding come from” it was asked shortly after a brief chat mentioning Norman Reedus who stars in the game. Well there was a moment of awkward silence and Cerny swiftly moved on saying “Never mind, we all know the reason”. If you weren’t sure it was a slight dig at the Konami & Kojima fiasco in which Konami and Kojima parted ways, and the game Silent Hills originally featuring Norman Reedus being cancelled by Konami.
There weren’t megatons, but there were some new game reveals that look particularly entertaining. And actually, I take back the no megatons, as the last thing Shawn Layden did was announce a Medievil Remaster for PS4. Oh and if you want chills, check out this video of the voice actors for the Ellie & Joel from The Last of Us as they took to the stage.
You might have noticed last wee that Gloomhaven finally arrived at my house, Rejoice! Well, I got to sit down and have my first ever play through of it this weekend and, well, it’s a big ol’ game.
Learning the rules took a long time and I still probably only know half of what I’m doing, almost every turn we were having to check the rule book for clarification on little details, but that’s fine, I was expecting that, I was expecting this game to take a long time to master. After all it does have over 90 scenarios to play through in the campaign.
Our starting party consisted of three players with me picking the Spellweaver who is more of a ranged attacker with firey spells to cast upon your foes. The spellweaver has quite a small amount of health meaning getting up close and personal is a dangerous prospect. She also has a fairly small deck of cards to play with when in combat, meaning you’ll need to keep a close on eye on what you’re using and how effectively you’re using them.
Gloomhaven is all about card management when in combat, as if you use all your cards you become exhausted and are out of the game. Thankfully you can take rests to gain cards back and you might also have some abilities that allow you to recover cards too. Very quickly on I realised I was running out of cards – whilst still in our first room, and I was wondering how I was ever going to make it to the end of the scenario, but I soon got used to the mechanics and was able to take advantage of some rests and get my cards back and battle on.
Whilst in total it took us about 4 hours to get everything set up, party created, characters chosen and to play through the first scenario, I don’t think it ever felt like it took that long, and I don’t actually think it was that challenging either – although we played on the easiest level. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they’ve failed scenarios a few times and I was kind of expecting it to be a little tougher, but maybe we just got lucky. I’m sure it will become harder as we progress.
There is almost an overwhelming amount of stuff in Gloomhaven, but that also means that there’s almost an overwhelming amount of things to do! So I can’t wait to get stuck further in to the game.
If you follow PUBG at all then you’ll probably be aware that the new map is on it’s way and is currently available on the test servers. On Sunday I spent a couple of hours playing on the map and I have to say I’m impressed. Miramar is the name of the new map and it’s set in the desert to it has a completely different feel to it. There’s no more crawling along in the long grass to avoid detection, its now hills and rocky ledges that you can run between and poke your head out of to peak at enemy locations. It makes you play the game very differently, especially in the closing stages of a game.
Sometimes with big open maps like this you might see assets being reused in places, but it seems like almost everything in this map is completely knew. I don’t think I saw one building type that I’ve seen on the first map. It also runs a lot better than it used to so it looks like some good optimisation progress is being made.
But, one of the main improvements to the game is the introduction of the vaulting mechanic, it’s a game changer. You can now access so many other areas, quickly escape buildings, climb to strategic advantages to get the drop on others. It’s great and it seems to be working really well from what I’ve played.
I think it’s pretty clear that the new map is going to breathe some new life in to the game and it will probably continue with its meteoric rise through the rankings of having a massive player base.