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What We Played #345 – Age of Empires, Metal Gear Survive & SoulCalibur VI

A busy week.

It’s been a busy week – we’re having our pub refurbished – which has meant much less time for gaming than normal. Unfortunately my gaming time has mostly been dedicated to playing the Secret of Mana remake. I did not particularly enjoy it. Mind you, I did enjoy Age of Empires Definitive Edition, which – unlike Secret of Mana –  is a great nostalgia trip with gameplay that still holds up today. I’m now making a start on Sword Art Online : Fatal Bullet which I’m hoping is a bit better. We shall see!

Kris is first this week and he played Binding of Isaac for the first time ever, after watching a friend play it a bunch. His hot take is, “It’s quite good and very odd”. Aran meanwhile has played more Persona 5 in the brief interludes where he’s not working or studying. “Have done 16 hours so far and am at the second main boss.”

Miguel has played a little more Dandara, a big helping of Metal Gear Survive – his review isn’t ready yet, but he’s got some handy hints for you – and a little bit of Dragon Quest Builders on the Switch. He’s also once more succumbed to Fire Emblem Heroes! Tuffcub has played more of The Witcher 3, though it may be a bit bigger than he was expecting. “Apparently I’m about a third of the way through – it does seem to be going on forever.”

Steve has been plugging away at Monster Hunter World “which continues to be amazing.” He’s also put a few more hours into World of Final Fantasy and apparently it’s beginning to open up a little. He also bought a few twitch games in the sale and is reintroducing himself to the amazing Geometry Wars 3. He’s also umming and ahhing over Polybius and Thumper but he’s not sure if they’re worth it without VR. Thumper definitely is with a good pair of headphones on!

Shockingly Jim hasn’t touched Overwatch or Monster Hunter World at all this week. Instead he found himself glued to Ni No Kuni. “Perhaps more shocking is that I managed to beat it too! After five years of on-and-off, I tore through the latter half of the game to make sure I’d be ready for this year’s sequel.” Besides that he’s taken part in plenty of VR antics, including Sprint Vector, Drunkn Bar Fight, and Knockout League.

Ade forgave Horizon Zero Dawn for making him so angry last week and has been steadily making his way through the main quest. He’s looking forward to giving the latest expansion for Battlefield 1 a go at some point too. He adds that “the Discovery Tour for Assassin’s Creed Origins is a fantastic tool too!”

Meanwhile, Dave has also played Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, though of course he’s wrong. He said, “While I don’t think it’s quite as good as Dom says it is, there is definite room for the developers – Forgotten Empires – to create new campaigns and civilisations to augment this release.” He’s also played a game called Mulaka on the Switch, but more on that next week.

Tef’s been a busy little bee, going back and forth to various events this week. That included a visit to Ubisoft to play Assassin’s Creed Origins’ upcoming Curse of the Pharaohs DLC, he also visited the Square Enix Collective to see a couple of their upcoming games, went and played SoulCalibur VI at Bandai Namco, a few other things he’s not really allowed to talk about yet, and revisited Rime, Mercenary Kings and Payday 2 on Switch.

So, what have you played?

  1. tactical20
    Since: May 2010

    Played through the CoD Advanced Warfare campaign, which made the CoD Infinite Warfare campaign that I played the week before seem pretty respectable! AW wasn’t great. I’d give IW 5/10 and AW 3/10. Now I just need to find Black Ops 3 to complete my trilogy of 99p eBay CoD purchases!

    Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 18:12.
  2. MrYd
    Since: Mar 2011

    Lots of things this week.

    Got the Platinum for Assassin’s Creed Oranges, which means I’ll never have to see another question mark again, or make the Origins/Oranges joke, which even I’m getting bored of now. Had a little look at the history tour thing. It lacks both violent stabbings and question marks, which is a shame. And the people reading all the interesting facts about Egypt! Sounds like some dodgy sat nav which has been set to “cheap documentary voice over” mode.

    And some Star Wars BF2. Fun, but not as good as the first one. Looks nice though. Single player campaign is definitely just bolted on because people complained it wasn’t there last time.

    Plus some Battlefield 1 with the new DLC. Quite like the new maps. Mud, trenches, flames and smoke everywhere.

    Gran Turismo Sport is driving me mad trying to get all the golds in the single player modes. Especially being just a bit too slow on a lap of the Nurburgring. Which is far too long.

    Oh, and a bit too long with Thumper in VR. Which is on sale at the moment and highly recommended. Finally did the last level. The last boss took me about an hour of just repeating it until I got it right. And it’s only about 2 minutes long. It just messes with the tempo too much for that 1 bit of the game, slowing everything down just before you press a button. Just need to get S rank on all the levels now, which might be a challenge. And the music still sounds like someone put 3 drum kits and a few other bits in a tumble dryer. In a good way, I guess.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 18:21.
    • B_Cambo
      Since: Oct 2012

      I quite enjoyed looking for the ? Marks although i was helped my Mr Jack Daniels most of the time 😂

      Totally agree with Star Wars BF2 much prefer the first!

      Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 20:50.
      • MrYd
        Since: Mar 2011

        Oh, sure. They’re fun to start with. And then you realise there’s twelvetybillion of them and you start to lose the will to live.

        Almost as annoying as running in circles in a desert to get the last trophy for hallucinating a rain of beetles. Which seems to be totally random and not working in my favour.

        Glad I’m not the only one that prefers the first SWBF. Something not right about it (not just the stupid card nonsense). But still fun. Although apparently not as much fun to watch me play it. That’s the only reason I can come up with for why Phil wasn’t laughing every time I shouted “I’ve bent my wookie!”

        Or it might have been that he was playing with his phone in one of those Google Daydream headsets. (Surprisingly good VR experience for strapping a phone to your face, actually)

        Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 22:22.
  3. Crazy_Del
    Since: Jul 2009

    Played quite a few actually… still play Fifa 18 4 matches a day for Squad Battles.
    Still play Friday the 13th there and there.
    Bought Late Shift for £3.49 and nabbed the Platinum #334 fun wee relaxing game and i just used a back up save to change all endings to save me another playthrough…. 3 was enough.
    Played Rime from this month PS Plus and nabbed the Platinum #335 the game is beautiful and I like the well it’s not really a story but more of the journey of the game. I quite enjoyed that.
    Went back on to my backlog The Evil Within 2 and finally got the Platinum #336 and man Classic Difficulty with just 7 saves only was very challenging and I am glad its done brilliant game and I am very certain the first one on Akuma difficulty was way more challenging than this 2nd game.
    Tried to go back to VR with Mortal Blitz and damn I can’t complete a mission on Nightmare difficulty and I can’t stop sweating from my forehead that made the googles/glasses of the VR foggy lol
    And finally I managed to start Call of Duty: World at War II Campaign and completed it earlier today on Veteran Difficulty. Really enjoyed the campaign and the difficulty wasn’t bad and not at all challenging. Either I became awesome or they lowered the difficulty down a bit. Need to replay a few for mission trophies and collectibles which I only missed like 12 and thankfully they are tracked in the missions select.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 18:30.
    • JR.
      Since: Apr 2013

      Platinum #336 :O that’s awesome! You’re like 200 platinums ahead of where I am.

      Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 20:22.
  4. JR.
    Since: Apr 2013

    Mostly The Evil Within 2 this week.

    I feel bad because I was kinda hard on this game based on my early impressions. I think maybe I was still harbouring some ill-feelings towards the first game, which I didn’t enjoy one bit. Well, ten hours in and I’ve realised how foolish it was to judge the game so unfairly and prematurely. The Evil Within 2 is a huge improvement over the original and fixes almost everything I didn’t like about the first game.

    Once you arrive in Union (the Town where most of the game takes place), the game becomes a little more open-world and this is where it shines. Sneaking around abandoned streets and vacant buildings, trying to avoid ‘the Lost’ (think, the infected from The Last of Us) and other mutated nasties, was reminiscent of Silent Hill 2 (minus the fog).

    Combat is extremely satisfying and once you unlock a few skills / upgrade a few weapons, you’ll be pulling off headshots and clearing out ‘the Lost’ like John Wick on E. That is, on the Casual difficulty setting. I’ve heard it’s much tougher on the higher difficulties, which could be a good thing depending on how you like to play these kinds of games.

    The story is much more straightforward this time. You’re basically trying to rescue your daughter from inside a Matrix-like simulation that’s become corrupt for unknown reasons. Other agents were ‘sent in’ to investigate the cause but communications have gone dark. You uncover the fate of these agents as you explore the simulation. The game is still a bit ‘trippy’ in places but it isn’t nearly as crazy (or annoying) as the first game. The environments are also much more ‘pleasant’ as opposed to the drab, dingy corridors of the Mental hospital in the original game.

    I still find the shaky, over the shoulder POV a little awkward (although I am used to it now) and I think maybe the basic movement is a little on the slow side. You can upgrade your crouching speed and sprinting/stamina gauge as the game progresses but I feel the normal movement speed could have been a little pacier from the start.

    Overall, The Evil Within 2 is pretty awesome. I went in with the lowest expectations and it really surprised me. I’d go as far as to say it’s my favourite game in it’s genre (this gen) and one of the better games I’ve played in a long time.

    If I had to describe this game, I’d say it’s a little bit Silent Hill 2, a little bit Resi 4 and a little bit The Last of Us. I’m sure most will agree, these are three incredible games from which to draw inspiration from.

    Sadly, I don’t think it sold very well. Probably because, like me, people assumed it would be awful like the first game. It would be a huge shame if there wasn’t a third entry after this. I’d love them to go fully open-world because those parts work so well in this game.

    I can’t recommend this game highly enough. If, like me, you thought the first game was pants – give the sequel a chance. I don’t even think you need to play the first game (I know I didn’t finish it). It could almost be treated as a standalone entry.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 18:44.
    • Crazy_Del
      Since: Jul 2009

      Evil Within 1 and 2 are awesome I enjoyed both of these games. I agree about the open world and the improvements from the first.

      Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 19:33.
      • JR.
        Since: Apr 2013

        I think if I played the first game again after I finish the second, I’d probably appreciate it more. My expectations were so high with the first game, maybe that was part of the problem. I do hate overly hallucinogenic games though. And The Evil Within was like tripping on acid. It’s one of my pet peeves. I will give it another go though.

        Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 20:28.
  5. ron_mcphatty
    Since: Sep 2008

    Not very much for me to report compared to the rest of you! A few more hours of Red Dead Redemption for me, I shamelessly took advantage of the multiplayer glitch to grab a few trophies. I’ll definitely be digging into the mp a bit, it’s got an appealing simplicity to it compared to GTA V. The single player continues to impress, I’ve just arrived in Blackwater after roaming that gorgeous Mexican desert, the lush rolling fields are beautiful.
    I’ve just booked the Secrets of The Empire Void VR experience up in Shepherds Bush for next weekend, I’ve heard it’s mind blowing so it’ll be great to see how good VR gets! And more Star Wars can’t be a bad thing.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 19:21.
  6. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    GTA V and i’m back up to where i left off on PS3 but not sure if i’ll get any further. Currently on a flying mission where i have to keep low and i think playing in 1st person may have been a mistake, need to try again in 3rd person.

    That’s if i can drag myself away from Dark Souls 3 which i’m enjoying almost as much as Bloodborne. There’s just nothing like gathering umpteen souls and then feverishly searching for a bonfire or shortcut so you can ferret them away before – aaargh, you died. And then of course running all the way back to retrieve those lost souls – gathering another umpteen along the way, then once you’ve retrieved the lost souls you decide to just explore a little further and … aaargh , you died again. and then running back and repeating all that and – joy oh joy – this time you find a shortcut and leg it back to trade in your accumulated umpteen² souls! One boss down and now i’ll farm the early stages for some easy leveling up and get a bit more skills practise in before facing the next boss.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 19:51.
  7. B_Cambo
    Since: Oct 2012

    Played Get Even this week and finally got the platinum after cleaning up for collectibles.
    An embarrassing moment for me when I thought the game had glitched on me and wasn’t registering a piece of evidence needed for a trophy in which i picked up. I even took to Twitter to expose my disappointment about the glitch only to discover it was the wrong thing … enough said about that (face Palm)

    Anyway finally got it to take my Platinum count up to 90 hopefully get to that magic 100 soon xD

    Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 20:46.
  8. Andrewww
    Since: Jan 2010

    I finally started playing Assassins Creed 2 on my PS3, which sat on my backlog for ages. After only a few hours in, I’m already rather bored. I’m not sure it hasn’t aged well, or Assassins Creed is generally not my game series (I pretty much hated the first one, after a bad difficulty spike made me rage quit). I’ll give it another go, but if it doesn’t seriously improve, it’ll be ticked off quite quickly from my backlog list.

    What interrupted me was that I found out there’s a spin-off of the excellent TV series The Walking Dead, so I started watching ‘Fear the Walking Dead’, which is not too bad.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 21:45.
    • MrYd
      Since: Mar 2011

      How can you say Fear the Walking Dead is “not too bad” if you’ve only just started watching it? The first series is terrible.

      It gets better though, and that first one is only 6 episodes. And by the 3rd series, it’s possibly better than the tedious mess the main show has become.

      Comment posted on 23/02/2018 at 22:30.
      • Andrewww
        Since: Jan 2010

        Oops, that should’ve been an answer to you…

        Comment posted on 24/02/2018 at 01:15.
  9. Andrewww
    Since: Jan 2010

    I got through the first season of 6 episodes, and was actually surprised how good it is, as it’s much more about building up believable characters than just mindless zombie slashing. So, for me it started off very promising, but if it gets even better after that, I’m in.

    I just recently had this free Netflix month, during which I was zapping through some series. I was generally surprised about the sometimes grotesquely low quality of them, like sending a bunch of teenage wannabe-stars back to postapocalyptic earth (‘The 100’).
    Compared to all that, Fear the Walking Dead is really good.

    Comment posted on 24/02/2018 at 01:12.
    • MrYd
      Since: Mar 2011

      The problem I had was that none of the characters are particularly interesting, believable or that likeable. If The Walking Dead killed off Daryl or Carol, everyone would be melting the internet in seconds. If Fear TWD killed off Nick, everyone would be “Yay! He was pointless and annoying”.

      But after that first series it gets better. Everyone’s less annoying, lots more of Victor Strand (I just like that character), and the zombies get better. Not as good as the main show, where the zombies just keep getting better after all those years of falling apart.

      And The 100 isn’t bad if you accept it might be aimed at a younger audience and ignore the fact that someone was obviously asked to do some science research and clearly replied “Can I just read the first paragraph of a bunch of wikipedia articles instead?”

      Comment posted on 24/02/2018 at 11:14.
  10. Steelhead
    Since: Oct 2013

    More Persona 5 and some Fast RMX, which I think is the same entry I’ve made for about 4 weeks now.

    Comment posted on 24/02/2018 at 08:22.

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