Geekly Review #247

August passes us by, and with that both our birthdays pass by and we class that as the death of Summer. All hail September the start of Autumn & Winter and the season the game releases ramp up. We’re less than a week away from Spider-Man’s launch on PS4. But here’s what we’ve been up to the last week.

Formula 1 2018

As mentioned above, both of our Birthdays passed by in August, Will’s Birthday being 6 days before mine. I had asked my wife for F1 2018 for PS4. She delivered the goods and then some. More on that later, but firstly I got to grips with F1 2018. Now I haven’t owned an F1 game this generation of consoles, but the games that were released on Xbox 360 and PS3 were great fun, but were quite challenging, so I was expecting the challenge to be there still with this generations iteration of the series. Turns out that you can make the AI difficulty as easy or tough as you can which was quite pleasing to see. Given this was my first F1 game since 2012 I took the easy route and put the slider down to very easy. To give myself more of a challenge though I opted to start with McLaren.

So my first career Gran Prix starts at the almighty Melbourne track in Australia. I get to grips with the R&D tree and see what packages are available to purchase with the teams current funds. I opt to go for free practice one on the track once ordering my vehicle package upgrades that are due to be installed in time for Bahrain. So in my head now I’m thinking Australia is a throw away race with nothing much to worry about, just try and aim for points. In the practice sessions you can select objectives to try and hit which if completed as good or optimum will reward your team with some financial aid for additional R&D points to spend. So I try to tackle some of these objectives in FP1 (Free Practice 1). First test is track acclimatisation in which you need to tackle corners on the track at speeds by driving through markers. This was quite a nice comfortable way to break into F1 aiding you to get used to the speeds you travel through the apex’s of the track. It’s also quite an easy R&D objective. I next try the objective called Qualification settings in which the car is setup with qualification intentions. So it’s essentially a free trial at setting a qualification paced lap which is a good indicator of how fast to aim for on the qualification day. I actually smashed this in the McLaren setting the fastest lap of the day in FP1. Now usually practice sessions fastest laps count for nothing as the big boys don’t usually push it to the limits in practice sessions, so I didn’t take this fast pace setting as gospel.

Being eager to play properly I skipped FP2 & FP3 (Free practice 2 & 3), and moved onto qualification. I set quali up to be a short session which gave me 15 minutes to set my time. I head to the track with a flying lap and begin my first qualification time. I’m hampered as I’m stuck behind Gasly from Torro Rosso who is very slow on the corners. I set a time and end up 4th place. Not bad for a McLaren, but I know there is more so I head to pit, get my car reset up for another lap with new tyres and fuel and head out on a flying lap again. This time the road ahead is clear and I own the track, I blitz the time set by Vettel and take pole position with my McLaren on my first Gran Prix.

Onto race day and the nerves are there. Vettel next to me, Hamilton behind me, I’ve got to make a good start. Unfortunately for McLaren it doesn’t matter how great your reactions off the lights are, the car is not as fast as the Ferrari or Mercedes and instantly Vettel gets past me, Hamilton makes a move but I make my one defensive move and park in front of him, he can’t get round. Kimi in the 2nd Ferrari tries to seize the space I’ve left but we’re all at turn one and I manage to hit the breaking zone incredibly late but it’s enough to edge back past the Ferrari of Vettel and retake first place. Now I just need to hold on. I’ve got race settings on short distance, so this race is 15 laps, but still requires a pit stop. My pit window is lap 7. However as the race progresses I begin to leave the pack behind. By my pit stop I’m some 11 seconds ahead. I come out of the pits in 9th place and know that the guys ahead of me all still have to pit. They do next lap so I regain first with ease and continue to dominate creating a larger gap. In the end It’s a comfortable first race win weekend for me.

I continued with Mclaren and this career for 4 more races dominating them all. You cannot adjust settings once in a career so I started a 2nd with the difficulty slider at 40% which classed as medium and starting with Williams. Without going into details I can say that I still qualified first place and won the first race albeit a lot closer than with McLaren though.

I’ll need to play with the difficulty to find one that suits, cause at it is, I’m finding it easier than I thought I ever would.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – SWITCH

As well as F1 2018, my incredible wife bought me a Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If you’ve been reading the Geekly Reviews last year, you’d see how much I loved this game on the Wii U, so getting to play it again on Switch with improved visuals Is something I was looking forward to.

I made a start on it last night and it’s all come flooding back so quickly. I’ve completed the great plateux a lot quicker than I did a year ago, and have already since cleared 8 shrines increasing my heart’s by one and the stamina wheel by one fraction. I remember getting some 70 hours into BotW on Wii U last year. Given the amount of times I’ve just stopped playing and admired the beauty of the game it’s no wonder why. Between this and Spider-Man coming out end of the week, I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied till Red Dead Redemption 2 in October. Oh, and I completed Shenmue 1 just in time for Zelda.

-Murr

SCUM

We have another multiplayer open world survival game in early access. But Scum is actually pretty damn good! I’ve had my eye half on Scum for quite some time now, it has been looking good for a while and the developers have actually done a great job on keeping quiet and working away on the game to make sure it’s in a decent state when they did finally release it and you can tell, the early signs are really promising, plus they have the backing of Devolver Digital as publishers so they’re in pretty good hands.

A lot of comparisons are being drawn between Scum and DayZ and it’s easy to see why. As soon as you start playing you get a very strong DayZ vibe from the game, except Scum seems to have a lot more optimisation – it’s not perfect, heavy rain made my FPS drop quite a lot, but I’m still getting a decent 40-50 FPS in most cases.

The premise of the game is that you play as a prisoner on an island and have to survive, it’s kind of a bit like the Hunger Games in that it’s alluded that there are others watching you and there are also giant mechs wondering around guarding places who will shoot you should you  get too close – these are usually the best loot places. There are also zombies which are meant to be reanimated corpses of inmates. It’s a lot more hardcore than your normal survival game with entire screen full of stats that tracks all manner of things including how much you need to pee. I’ve not really looked in to it that much or paid much attention to the detail of those stats, it’s pretty overwhelming. For the most part I just pay attention to the stats of the HUD and they seem to keep me alive.

I’ve only played for a handful of hours so far, but I’ve been really impressed with it and at the moment I kind of feel like it could be a  better DayZ, but I think it’s a little too early to say for certain – I’m a lover of DayZ in case you didn’t know. The game looks great visually in a lot of places, it has a huge map with lots to see and explore with more grassy plains in the south and dense forests in the north, the weather effects are impressive – if a little taxing on the FPS and generally it just feels good to play. I’m excited for the future of the game!

Hypergun

With a name like Hypergun you’d probably expect something pretty over the top and mad and you’d be bang on. Hypergun is a fast paced Rouge-lite FPS where you will fight your way through futuristic simulation dungeons against hordes of enemies in a bid to collect and build the Hypergun with over 150 different attachments to collect.

It’s a bit of an odd concept and setup, but it’s pretty good fun to play just blasting your way through the levels. If you’ve ever played something like Darkest Dungeon you’ll understand how the dungeon system works. You move from room to room clearing out  the enemies and collecting loot along the way eventually coming up against a boss.

The idea of the game is that you’re working to create the Hypergun to fight off real life enemies who have invaded earth and you work for this top secret facility where you run simulations against the aliens. It’s a fun back story that I actually think fits pretty well within the game. It almost has an aperture science feel to it at times, just less humour and more neon.

It can be pretty challenging at times with the sheer amount of enemies that spawn and essentially you’re going to have to rely on good movement in order to succeed, thankfully there are a range of perks that you can use to your advantage on the battlefield to give you the edge.

Sure it’s a bit silly, but it’s pretty good senseless fun.

Hunt: Showdown

Something a little more serious now. Hunt: Showdown is a game I played way back in it’s beta earlier this year, I liked what I played, but I just didn’t end up buying it until recently. In Hunt you play as bounty hunters tasked with banishing demons back to hell and then cashing in on those bounties to buy upgrades and basically get better. Other players are also on the hunt for both bounties and you – so it’s essentially a competitive bounty hunting game where you can kill your competition.

This last week the developers introduced a solo event – finally a chance for me to play on a even playing field. I’d previously only played solo in the duos queue as there was no solo mode. It’s only running for a week, but I feel like they’re testing to see whether to make it a permanent mode.

I jumped in to a few games over the weekend and finally got my first bounty extraction and it was an awesome experience. I’d started the round searching for clues for the butcher – one of the demons, and had narrowed down his position to an imposing looking barn house. After dealing with a few nearby enemies and another player I decided to make my way inside the barn as I could hear the hulking beast lumbering around. I very quickly regretted my decision as the butcher quickly took away 90% of my health as I was trying to jump out of a window. I hid for a little bit like a coward and decided to not bother going back in because he would definitely kill me.

At that moment a notification popped up about the other bounty for the Spider – the other demon you can hunt, being killed and it’s banishing starting. I made a decision to head to that seeing as it was already dead and I’d only have to kill players guarding it.

As I approached the area I noticed it was a church and that it was completely on fire – a pretty awesome spectacle, the visuals and atmosphere in general in this game are amazing. I climibed in through a window and headed to the basement to the area where the banishing was happening. I waited for it to finish and grabbed the bounty when I could, at that moment another player popped out and shot at me – he clearly knew I was about and was hiding. I shot back and turned and ran. I quickly lost him in the woods and managed to escape with the bounty and all it’s rewards. It was awesome and I now love this game!

Destiny 2 Gambit

Destiny 2’s biggest expansion to date is upon us – Forsaken is dropping 4th September and I for one am very excited. Over the weekend Bungie let players try out the new hybrid multiplayer PVE mode Gambit for free.

Gambit pre-match

In Gambit you compete against another team – in a separate map, in a race to summon a Prime Evil enemy and defeat it. Waves of enemies will spawn and when you kill them you can collect motes that can be deposited, when you have deposited enough you will summon the final boss. At times you a teleporter will appear and one player can invade the other teams game for a short period of time. You can also bank motes to summon blockers of various sizes to appear in the enemies game, these will block the ‘station’ where you bank motes until they kill it. The more motes you bank the tougher the blocker with 5 motes being small, 10 being medium etc…

It’s a really fun game mode that it fast and frantic, it’s a nice change of pace to normal PVP and normal PVE. I can see me playing it quite a lot when it fully releases with Forsaken!

 

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