Here’s our latest round up of what we’ve been playing or watching the last week.
Obvious one this, but yep, I’m still plugging away on Spider-Man for PlayStation 4. I’ve progressed a little further with the story now since last week, and have just completed a mission in which you take control of Mary Jane while exploring an estate of Fisk that’ll be auctioning some of his items due to his arrest. It was a pretty nice addition to play some of the game as her and I wonder if there will be other missions later on playing as her or other none super characters. Aside from getting this far I have been continuing with the collectables within Manhattan and trying to clear up sub tasks from each district of the city such as the Fisk mob bases and petty crimes in each area. I’ve also since completed all the landmark pictures which was once again an enjoyable collectable or side mission to take part in due to the settings of this game. Visiting famous real landmarks and some fictitious landmarks from the Marvel Cinematic Universe were great fun. Given that there is such a nod to a lot of the Netflix shows in this game and tying them up with larger film nods such as Avengers Tower and Doctor Strange’s Sanctum it’s annoys you that the films and shows don’t tie together more in the connected film universe.
While last week I was pretty focused on swinging through the city and seeing the sites from above, as I’ve been partaking in the Landmarks quest I’ve been on ground level a lot more, and my word this work done by Insomniac games is even more impressive when exploring at this level of the city. The game looks absolutely stunning.
Not much more to add story wise though as said, progression on that is slow due to the volume of side tasks and collectables to take part in. Though I was really happy with a certain cameo appearance from some after finishing the Mary Jane level. I won’t spoil this though.
Formula 1 2018
After a bit of time away from this due to Spider-Man I found myself Saturday afternoon through to the night completely hooked back onto this again participating in 5 race weekends, involving all 3 free practice sessions, all 3 stages of qualification and races for each of those 5 race weekends. To say I’ve got the F1 bug again would be correct.
Now I mentioned how that despite increasing the difficulty I had been still finding myself comfortably qualifying and winning. Well that script went out the window with some excellent fun races in China and Monaco. First up let’s retell China.
Practice and qualification had gone to plan. I still ended up sitting in P1 for the race which is awesome. Mclaren are still struggling in R&D so despite this I know I’m in for a tough start off the line as Ferrari and Mercedes still zoom past by the first corner. But never mind. The race progresses and the scheduled pit stops all go routine. I find myself in first place with 6 laps remaining, but disaster occurs and one of the Williams crashes out resorting in deployment of the Safety Car. This is my first race with Safety Car in use, and I’m leading the pack, so it’s up to me to follow the SC pace when behind him and then restart the race upon him heading back to the pit lane. No problems, I got this, but then as the SC heads back to the pit, during the laps following the car the weather has turned and the skies are grey. A message comes in on the radio that we are expecting rain in the next lap or two. I’ve still got laps to go and I’m on yellow striped soft tyre at this point, as are all the cars though.
With the safety car heading into the pit, I dive into the pit and change my tyres for intermediates. No one else does, I exit the pit lane pretty much back of the pack thanks to the bunch up of the safety car and furious at myself for reacting too quickly for intermediates when I might have been able to see the race out on Softs. However the heavens then open and still with some 4 laps to go, the rain comes down. I catch up reasonably quickly, the back of the pack are struggling, the Saubers, Williams, Torro Rosso’s are passed with relative ease and the struggle for them is very apparent, As I head onto the next lap and down the finish straight I can see the big guns react and dart to the pit. By lap 13 of 14, everyone else has pitted and swapped tyres, albeit too late for them as my call to pit that lap sooner paid off. I felt like a fucking king. Those moments you see on actual F1 races where Hamilton will take a punt coming in and making his own strategy, I did that and it paid off, It felt pretty amazing to win this race with my first Safety Car incident and my first ever break strategy call.
This is the glitz and glamour of the F1 calendar. Monza & Spa have the history and are some of the most stunning races, but Monaco is up there with the big races to have a winners trophy for. It’s tight roads make overtaking near impossible and the tight corners make it one of the slowest races on the calendar. I wanted to make a splash here, I’ve won it all so far, but Monaco is the one to take home with you. Qualifying came round and it was hammering it down. I finished in my lowest position so far of 7th. Alonso my team mate didn’t even get into qualifying session 2. It was looking to be a miserable Monaco for Mclaren.
When race day came, the weather had turned and it was a sunny dry day. So the tyres were much quicker and I felt optimistic that I could capitalise on the dry race. Unfortunately so did everyone else and I while I did peak to 6th place I could not find the pace to catch the Ferrari’s and Mercedes ahead. Another safety car was called into action which gave us the opportunity to pack together again. Confident of my tactical genius from China I darted into pit lane again on the safety car to get a fresh set of tyres on and try to get a jump on the competitions scheduled pit stops. However on this occasion this was not the best call for, well not least for me anyways. However my team mate Alonso benefited from this. Alonso was ahead of a lot of the competition somehow from after the safety car returned to the pits, and as I made my leap up the field overtaking cars, this would slow them down thus giving Alonso more time to worry about putting fast laps in rather than defending who was behind him gunning for him. The scheduled pit stops occurred for the other teams and I stayed out, I ended up back in 6th place once the shuffle had finished, but thanks to the stop I’d made and slowing down the back table / mid table competition, somehow Alonso made his way to 3rd place, and held onto it. So Mclaren still got a healthy score of constructors points even if I did take a hit in the drivers championship. All worth it though.
I’ve just negotiated my contract and have increased R&D points per race incoming now depending on how I do. I’ve officially entered a rivalry with Vettel too which also bags R&D points if you beat him in certain aspects on race weekends. With all that increase in points, the Mclaren has seen some great improvements on it’s engine, chassis and aerodynamics departments. The reliability has improved too, but I’ve just had to fit my first new gearbox of the season as by the end of Canada the car was sounding horrendous and the speed was not there when shifting gears. The season on this difficulty has been great though, while there have been wins, they haven’t all been comfortable, Baku was won ahead of Hamilton and Bottas by a margin of 2 seconds, the pace the competition show on straights compared to the Mclaren will always result in tight races and at the end of it they are close to you, which has been the case in the races. Pit strategy and weather are all factors and this season so far has been incredibly fun and stressful.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout
I’m sure most people will be aware that the Battle Royale mode for the next Call of Duty game had an open beta this weekend. I got to play a little of it on Sunday and I have to say that I was expecting to not like it, but actually came away thinking it was pretty decent.
In terms of the game mode there isn’t’ really anything new in this version of Battle Royale, it’s your usual fight to the death whilst a zone periodically shrinks around you. But there is lots different with the loot. As with pretty much all modern COD games you get access to perks to use whilst fighting it out. You randomly pick them up as they’re scattered around the map like all the other loot and they will give you boost to things like how long you can hold your breath, how loud you are when you move, you can also get perks that let you see people through walls and even loot through walls.
The performance of the game was excellent and it’s incredibly well optimised, but to be honest I would expect this of such a big studio with a game that hasn’t seemed to change all that much over the years in terms of the engine. Personally I didn’t think it looked that great, everything felt way to bright and certain parts like the grass looked really weird. It still has that COD feel to the gameplay which is why I stopped playing it, I just don’t like it all that much anymore, but for people who like it then you will be happy! I just feel like it’s always felt a bit light weight and arcade like.
But with the game being spread out over a large map, it didn’t have the same intensity to what I remember from COD multiplayer, which I was happy about. Individual fights can be fairly intense, but as it’s all spread out it’s obviously not as frequent. With the longer time to kill fights can feel fairly drawn out at times, especially if you or your enemy is wearing body armour. I felt like a lot of the weapons didn’t seem very effective at longer ranges, but then the sniper rifles can easily one shot you. It seems like it could be balanced a little better, but it’s not game breakingly bad.
Overall I enjoyed playing it, but not enough to make me want to drop £50 on the whole game, if it were available as a separate purchase for around £20 then I could probably be persuaded. But as it stands I don’t see me getting it. I do however think it will be a massive success, a lot of people are already talking very positively about it and you will already have the standard COD player base getting the game, so I think it will be played a lot and will actually take some players away from games like PUBG and possibly Fortnite.