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What We Played #364 – Black Ops 4, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider & Labo

A week for bad thigh-slapping.

I’m scratching my head wondering where the week has gone here. I think that, if I go over each day one at a time, I can remember what happened, but not through being excessively busy, this week has flown.

Either way, that still makes it time for What We Played, and this week’s biggest time sink has been Black Ops 4’s Blackout beta, which is fast, slick, and technically just a very impressive and polished Battle Royale. Kudos to Treyarch and their support studios for nailing it first time, even if they’re not creating the absolute latest trends in multiplayer.

Last weekend was all about Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which turns in a good if fairly unremarkable modern era Tomb Raider game – sadly, that’s right on the button for what people were expecting. I’ve also dabbled with Destiny 2: Forsaken, but have struggled in recent times to get regular playtime into a single game so am lagging behind, got some quick hands on with Cities: Skylines on Switch now that it’s out (to go alongside my Gamescom hands on time), and played a couple of quick matches in the other major beta of Battlefield V, over which I’m having increasingly mixed thoughts.

Dom’s last minute change of plans meant that he’s not writing this feature, but he’s played games this week. He joined me for the odd bit of Blackout, got Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit in for review, and is getting to grips with Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Torna The Golden Country DLC.

Joining him with Labo and Xenoblade is Jason, who says that the Vehicle Kit is his favourite so far, while Aran’s game time has literally just been Jurassic World Evolution: “I decided that Velociraptors are too smart for their own good, continuously breaking out and eating my customers. Other than that my first park seems to be running smoothly, it’s the next one with the storms that is being finicky.”

Tuff has played Destiny 2 and Bubble Bobble, while Miguel’s been stacked with college work, so only managed to squeeze in a little Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate and some Azure Reflections and the thigh-slappingly bad Senran Kagura Reflexions for review.

Jim’s been loving his time exploring Manhattan in Spider-Man, saying that “It’s not GOTY material for me but is still extremely good and will definitely shift some PS4s.” He also played more of Firewall: Zero Hour, and tried once again to get into Spelunky, but can only get past the first few stages.

Finally, Steve’s had tonsillitis, so he’s been playing Dragon Quest VIII on his 3DS while he recuperated. He’s managed to muster the strength to finish Planet Alpha and Tyler: Model 005, while making good progress in The King’s Bird, all of which are for review. Finally, he deliriously decided to play Anima: Gate of Memories: “It’s ok but has some terrible jumping sections. Feels like an even lower budget Nier: Gestalt, which makes it pound shop level, but the combat and lore are keeping me interested enough.”

Now then, what have you all been playing this past week?

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17 Comments
  1. gernboes
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    This week it’s pretty straightforward for me, single player I played only Spider-Man, which is great, but I don’t need to tell you that.
    Multiplayer, I played only Destiny 2 which I picked up with PS+, together with a handful of friends of mine. So far its good fun, let’s see how long it lasts.

    ANd on my vacation, I played a bit of Danganronpa V3 on my VITA.

    Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 17:15.
  2. MrYd
    Member
    Since: Mar 2011

    Plenty of Firewall again. Another couple of hundred hours and it’ll catch up to Bridge Crew for my most played VR game. I can see that happening quite easily. It’s just too addictive. Even when you’re up against a better team and keep losing, there’s a certain amount of “We’ll get them this time!”, usually repeated many times for 3 hours.

    And it was also “try and clear some of the backlog” time. Sadly this didn’t go to plan, since half my backlog consists of massive long RPGs. About 60% of the main story in Rainbow Skies done now. At the point where you’ve got a choice between “dying quickly”, “spending an annoying amount of time grinding to make it too easy”, or “the minimum grinding necessary along with a mix of luck and realising what you did wrong before”.

    They’ve got the difficulty just right there. No need for excessive grinding, and you can make things harder if you want, but you can’t make it too hard without providing proof of your skills. Quite a clever difficulty setting, really. Bump it up one level, and then you have to do a certain number of battles before you can raise it further.

    The backlog plan also failed further when I decided another RPG would be a good thing to get in whatever they’re calling the current PSN sale. Battle Chasers: Nightwar for £7.50 or something.

    Not sure it’d be worth the full £25, but with 70% off? Bargain. Looks quite nice, has a decent turn-based battle system with some nice touches. Bit more to it than just spam your most powerful attacks, heal when necessary and apply buffs when things get really tricky.

    It’s not the greatest or most original thing ever, but it’s a very competent RPG if you like that sort of thing. And turn-based too, which is fairly rare these days.

    Oh, and a bit of the Trials Rising beta I’d forgotten I’d signed up for until Ubisoft sent a code. It’s a Trials game. As annoying as ever. And as fun as ever too. And only 44Gb to download. Seems remarkably huge for a game like that. (And people have said it’s 60something if you’ve got a Pro)

    Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 17:39.
    • MrYd
      Member
      Since: Mar 2011

      I forgot. If anyone wants to give Trials Rising a go (the beta lasts until sometime on Monday, I think)…

      Go to http://trialsgame.com/beta_redeem and enter one of these codes…

      CAY8JZRMMXBE
      CAZ6NEQLPKL3
      CB4ELMGZB6FT
      CB774Q727LP9

      (You need to log in to an Ubisoft account, select a platform and they’ll email a different code)

      Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 20:02.
      • Pixel_nme
        Member
        Since: Mar 2014

        Bottom code redeemed,just waiting on email,Thanks muchly

        Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 20:51.
  3. aerobes
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Played a decent chunk of Spiderman.
    Enjoyable story, unnecessarily complicated combat and tedious traversal.
    I’ll complete the story but that’s it.

    Completed the main story on Witcher 3 for the umpteenth time, now on to the DLC for the umpteenth time. Then I’ll start it all over again. :)

    Going to rent SotTR this weekend, be good to get back into Laras world.

    Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 17:50.
  4. tactical20
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Hungry Shark World. Absolutely love it! My son does too, so really enjoying playing it with him.

    Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 17:51.
  5. JR.
    Member
    Since: Apr 2013

    Mostly Spider-Man for me this week. Really enjoying it but I don’t think it’s had quite the same impact on me as the Arkham games did. I know I shouldn’t compare because they’re so different but I’ve heard a few people say or hope that this would be ‘this gens Arkham’, myself included. It’s still a fantastic game, no doubt about it, but I do feel there are some minor issues here and there.

    For starters, I’m not a fan of the human character models – Peter Parker in particular. There’s just something off about the facial animations and the hair (oh the hair). It could just be that it isn’t Toby Maguire or Tom Holland, I don’t know. But Aunt May doesn’t look right to me either, or MJ. Although MJ’s not quite as distracting as the others.

    I’m also feeling slightly indifferent to the story. It’s not bad but it isn’t mind-blowing either. I like what they’re doing with Octavius (definitely not going to end well) but I’m not finding the Fisk/Demon stuff particularly interesting. I’m only half way through the story though (I think), so there’s still time for it to pick up. I didn’t watch any trailers so I have no idea who or what’s coming next.

    Of course, the star of the show is the city itself. The attention to detail is crazy impressive and graphics wise, it’s absolutely stunning. It’s probably the best open-world Spider-man game we’ll ever get and Insomniac should be proud of themselves. It really does look and feel like New York. I’m a little disappointed that you can’t travel to Liberty Island (unless this comes later? I really hope it does). It would be a real shame if you can’t visit one of New York’s most famous landmarks.

    The only other thing that stands out as being odd are the Ferry’s on the Hudson/East rivers – they kind of look like 2D cut-outs moving across the water. Most people probably wouldn’t notice but they really stand out to me. Still, it’s a tiny blemish on an otherwise flawless reimagining/recreation of the Big Apple.

    One big plus (for me at least) are the swinging mechanics. There are a range of moves to master, which help you zip across the city quickly and efficiently. At first I thought it was unnecessarily complex but it totally makes sense now. Traversing the city never gets dull because there is actually some skill and effort involved – you’re not simply using one button for everything. It’s so good, I haven’t even been tempted to use fast travel and I’m well over 20hrs in now, doing a lot of the side stuff (including all 55 backpacks across the map).

    One thing that does seem kind of strange is that I haven’t spotted any references to Insomniac’s previous works. I thought I’d find hidden references to Ratchet & Clank, Resistance and Spyro etc. all over the place, but there’s nothing. A licensing issue maybe?

    Come to think of it, there’s very little of Insomniac’s personality in here at all really – aside from being a very well made and entertaining game. When I think ‘Insomniac’, I think crazy weapons, quirky characters and shocking story revelations but this is very much a straight-laced Spider-Man game, as opposed to an Insomniac game. I imagine they were quite restricted with what they could and couldn’t do with the property licences. I mean, they’ve done an amazing job but I can’t help feel that the game would have benefited from a big injection of Insomniacs crazy trademark flare.

    Probably coming across more critical than I mean to, because overall I’m really happy with how it turned out. Yeah, the story could be better and the character models are weird, but that last point at least is down to personal preference. Where the game shines – and it really does shine – is by allowing you to ‘be’ Spider-Man. Insomniac got this part – arguably the most important part – spot on. Just being Spider-Man and having this huge, beautiful city to explore, has never been so much fun.

    Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 18:35.
    • Crazy_Del
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Fantastic read that was xD

      Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 19:49.
    • ron_mcphatty
      Member
      Since: Sep 2008

      Seconded, great review! What’s your score out of ten then?

      Comment posted on 15/09/2018 at 07:17.
    • JR.
      Member
      Since: Apr 2013

      Thanks guys, I can’t give a final verdict just yet but I’d say it’s an 8.5 – 9 up to now. Great game. Enjoying it more, the further I get into it.

      Comment posted on 15/09/2018 at 19:28.
  6. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    On PSVR i completed Fated : Silent Oath, played the Transference demo which provided a suitably creepy atmosphere and some jump scares, played a chunk of Here They Lie but i don’t think i’ll bother with the rest of it – weird and a bit nasty in the vein of Manhunt rather than creepy or scary.

    On PS4 i’ve jumped into God of War 3 remaster – it’s previous gen roots are noticeable – just about – but the action sequences are still quite stunning. And of course, a good few more hours in NMS.

    Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 19:55.
  7. Crazy_Del
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Played Spiderman to death as soon at it was released and got the Platinum on Monday. Fantastic game and I cannot wait for New Game plus and the The City That Never Sleeps DLC next month.
    Got my VR back from my mate and bought Firewall: Zero Hour…. what a fantastic VR game and that is the way it should be as I was very disappointed with Bravo.
    I have no idea how many hour I have sunk in with this Firewall, even got the rare trophy which I am proud of ^^ (Hunter Silver Trophy) the description is take out 4 players as the only survivor in Defend Mode. Chuffed to bits with that!
    And lastly…. Playstation VR has given me a free code of a game called DARK ECLIPSE (PS4 first ever VR MOBA) they want me to test it out ahead of launch. Will do that this weekend! Hopefully it’s good.

    Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 19:56.
    • MrYd
      Member
      Since: Mar 2011

      Well done on that Hunter trophy for FZH.

      Best I’ve managed so far is to kill 3 of the attackers. But that was after the entire defending team, including myself, was wiped out. That was with a single mine near the laptop.

      So obviously I’m on a quest to take out all 4 of the attackers after we’re all wiped out. The trophy description doesn’t say anything about you having to be alive as well, so it should count.

      And everyone got a code for Dark Eclipse. I can see some people liking it. The nicest thing I can say about it is “it’s free”.

      Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 20:07.
      • Crazy_Del
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Didn’t know everyone got it. I’ve yet to play it so will see if I like it or not lol
        And thanks :) I am loving Firewall man so much fun!

        Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 20:40.
  8. ron_mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    I’ve sunk a fair few hours into EverSpace this week, managing to nab a few trophies including one for a hard run and finishing the game after finishing the game. There’s still a few to go before the plat but it’s well within reach, not one I thought I’d get! The game has been superb, the feeling of progression after every death is noticeable and gives the game a big one-more-go addiction factor. Unlocking the ridiculous overpowered ancient weapon didn’t make the game instantly easy either, that’s a whole new beast to learn to use especially against the frigates. I think it deserves shouting about a lot, the only bad thing about the game is that boosting is L3, that’s it!!

    Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 20:22.
  9. Andrewww
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    Been playing some more HZD, and some Rocket League with the kids.
    Oh, and I installed the new firmware and hoped so much it would solve this damn startup problem of mine, that this stupid piece of a console always shows the login of the wrong account. So annoying, and I’ve not found a solution for months now. If anyone has an idea, please let me know.

    Comment posted on 14/09/2018 at 21:34.
  10. Jag
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    I platinumed Spidey early in the week, it has to be my quickest platinum in that it took 4 days and even the Telltale games took me more sessions to complete.
    The gameplay was so moreish and swinging around the city always put a smile on my face.
    I literally couldn’t put the game down and only stopped myself from starting another play through straight away because I heard about New Game Plus coming soon.
    So after that I jumped back into the Curse of the Pharaohs expansion for AC Origins.
    It’s such a huge dlc that feels like it could be a game in its own right. I want to complete it before Odyssey comes out.
    Finally this weekend I tried the Horizon 4 demo and will be playing F1 2018 and the Trials beta.

    Comment posted on 15/09/2018 at 00:55.

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