Geekly Review #287

Another week down and it looks like summer might finally be here, time to close the curtains when you’re playing games! Let’s check in on what we’ve been up to.

F1 2019

It’s been a few years since I last played a F1 game, but being a fan of the sport and regularly watching it on TV means  every so often I will get that itch to play it, and I feel like it’s the kind of game where you can skip one of its yearly cycles and not miss too much. F1 2019 is almost upon – releasing 28th June, and whilst we’re right in the middle of probably the most boring and predictable F1 season in a long time, there is lots of adrenaline fuelled fun to be had in the virtual world of Formula 1.

Every time I play a new racing game I’m always blown away by how good they look and F1 2019 is no different, it looks stunning and at times it can look like the real thing.

I’m still fairly early on in my new F1 career after signing with Redbull Racing, but the early signs are very positive for how the game plays. I don’t know how things were in 2018, but this year the career mode features a rival for you to ‘fight’ against, and you both start the game in Formula 2, where you play out a few races across that season to help cement the rivalry between the two of you. I honestly have found a little bit odd so far and maybe a bit too Hollywood, I’m not sure whether the game needs this, but as I’ve said I’m still in the early stages so I will see how it develops.

What you really want from F1 is fast, on the edge of your seat racing where you can tweak and tinker with your racing setup, and a lot of that is there in this game. You can play around with your setups for races; get stuck in to practice sessions where you can try out different engine setups, fuel loads, tyre types all that stuff you’d expect to see in the game.

For me in racing games I’ve always struggled to get the difficulty balance right, it’s either been too hard or too easy. I’m currently set on a medium difficulty and whilst I’ve been able to win, its not been a walk in the park every time, I’ve felt like I’ve had to work for it, without needing to be flawless, which is good for someone with my ability in racing games.

Risk of Rain 2

I picked up Risk of Rain 2 a couple of months back and have already talked about it a little before in Geekly Reviews, and we also covered it during the #LoveIndies event, I’m still playing it and having an absolute blast with it, I’ve now got to the point where I’ve unlocked all the current characters with the Artificer being the last one I unlocked. From what I had heard, this Artificer was the least liked character, but after playing with the class for a few games I actually really like them. The main downside to them is their lack of manoeuvrability, meaning that if you get swarmed it can be a little tricky to make it out alive, but their attacks and abilities are fun to use and play around with.

This week will also see the first major update to the game with a new stage being added, complete with a new ‘unique to that stage’ boss and a new playable character too. There are some other changes coming to the game and I know one of which is a bit of a buff to the Artificer giving them a passive ability that allows them to hover, hopefully this will make them a little less vulnerable and a bit more for other to play.  I’ve already said it before, but Risk of Rain 2 has been a surprise package for me and is easily on my list for game of the year.

– Will

Ruiner

Ages ago I purchased a physical copy of a game I’d played only briefly at EGX Rezzed, that game was Ruiner. I’ve got to the point in my PS4 collection where I’m close to clearing my back log up (really, it’s unbelievable) with only a few smaller games left to finish. One of those being Ruiner.

I really wish I hadn’t hesitated so long to play this. It is an incredible experience.

The game gave me a huge Cyberpunk vibe from the off. It’s a really stylish looking game with an equally incredible soundtrack that compliments the tone of the game perfectly.

The game-play itself a almost top down dual sticks shooter affair is great fun and the control mechanics once grasping it correctly works really well. I regrettably did play through and complete the game on the easiest setting however, and I’ve read a lot more fun can be found in the game from higher difficulty settings, but for now I’m happy with my completed run, happy that I got to enjoy the striking visuals and even a rather compelling story to be honest, Much more so than I was expecting.

Tokyo 42

And another game that I also had the opportunity to play at EGX Rezzed a while back and eventually purchased a limited physical copy of.

I picked up Tokyo 42 and approached the game all kinds of wrong initially. Ignoring the option for stealth and sneaking around missions I went in guns blazing which would more often than not end in a restart of the mission. Once I’d adopted the stealth approach the game just changed completely. I was loving following the enemies patrol routes, sneaking around areas and just out of sight of them whilst taking out any guards that might stray off alone with my katana.

And this approach served me very well, especially in the latter stages of the game until the final 2 missions.

The 2nd from last mission pits you in a one vs one battle with someone (who for sake of spoilers I’ll refrain from saying) who has what seems like unlimited grenades and moves around the map at an incredible pace. It was a tough battle and was a lesson within itself of dropping all stealth elements that had been mastered to revert back to running, covering and gunning.

As for the final mission, well I’m sad to say that after 4 hours of trying it, I gave up, and vented my frustration on twitter calling the developers out. They rather incredibly replied to me and took my criticism positively, which I then went on to feel tremendously guilty about. So apologies if you read this SMAC_Games. Your game was incredible, and I did enjoy it, but the last level defeated and deflated me.

– Murr

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