Geekly Review #262

Just over one week to go until Christmas is here and I’m starting to get pretty excited. But before we stuff our faces with more mince pies than Father Christmas making the rounds, let’s see what we’ve been playing! 

Last week my PC’s graphics card broke – not the best timing what with Christmas around the corner and me currently going through redundancy. But I can’t really do much without a fully functioning PC so I had to get it sorted, I managed to find a good deal on a 6GB GTX 1060 and am now back up and running. Just in time too, because another on of my most anticipated games of the year just released. 

Below

Below feels like it’s been coming for years and it kind of has, it was shown years ago at E3 very briefly and since then I’ve been dying to play it. Well, now I have and I must say that the opening hour or so is everything I was hoping it would be. 

Before you get in to the game there is – like most games, an opening cut scene, but this one is a little different, it’s just the sea rolling in a storm. But slowly, and I mean slowly the game zooms in and you start to see a little ship, it’s our ship, with our tiny adventurer on it on his way to the mystery island. 

It’s a drawn out opening, slow paced, ominous and foreboding, and I loved it. 

There is an amazing sense of wonder about this lonely island, one that slowly drip feeds you enemies and caves to explore, it’s a solitary experience and feels very deliberate in it’s pacing as you slowly descend further in to the caves. There are multiple paths that you can take and that will reward you for your efforts with loot or new access points to certain levels and even early on I’ve found myself loving the way in which the caves and pathways join up to places I wasn’t expecting. 

To me Below kind of feels like nothing I’ve played before, it’s got survival elements to it with hunger, thirst and warmth, although none of it is over bearing. It’s got dungeon crawling and, dare I say it, a dark souls vibe to it. But it also has a great sense of adventure to it like some kind of Zelda game or something similar. 

I’m playing it on my YouTube channel if you’d like to come and check it out and join me on my adventure! 

Insurgency: Sandstorm

Slight change of pace now… I love an online FPS game, something about going to toe to toe with other people gives me a buzz. I’ve been keen to try out Insurgency for a while with it’s more ‘hardcore’ and tactical stance on the genre. 

I’ve been playing for a handfull of hours over the weekend and I’m loving it. Is it weird to say that it’s feels really satisfying to get kills in this game? Because it really does. I think part of that is due to the very quick time to kill and partly due to there being no kill feed. You kind of have to confirm the kill yourself visually or just hope you got it and I really like that. 

The gameplay strikes up this really nice balance of being fast paced in certain moments, but also measured and tactical at other times. Battles kind of peak and trough throughout the rounds. I actually think I like it a lot more than Battlefield 5 right now and can see myself playing it a lot more – I just need a few more friend to get in on the action too!

-Will

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