What We Played #86: Hitman: Absolution, Infinity Blade, ZombiU

Happy New Year! Right, with that perfunctory greeting over with let’s get straight to the games shall we? Josh has been busy playing Xmas goodies bought for or by himself. Assassin’s Creed: Liberation was completed in a matter of days and he’s tagged it as his personal GotY and best AC game since Brotherhood.

There’s nothing like raining arrows down from the rooftops for the first time apparently.

He bought Hitman: Absorption (as I heard it described at EGX) and is really enjoying it, and based on that enjoyment is considering picking up the upcoming HD trilogy.

[drop2]”My one complaint”, he adds lest we think it’s all roses in the garden of bald-headed, barcoded hitmen, “is that a couple of the missions so far have had scripted endings, and it’s kinda cheap when you’ve spent an hour perfectly creeping round to your objective just for the game to go to a cutscene where you bust into a room noisily and get discovered”.

Sounds like a Mass Effect 3 Ending-style protest should be called for or has “teh internetz” done that already so it’s boring?

Aside from that Josh has been doing a bit of mixing and resampling of some of Rockstar’s biggest hits,GTA III, GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption, “switching whenever I’m up to an annoying mission in each game”. He notes that that makes “the upgrades in IV really stand out compared to the PS2 games playing them back to back”. And he now feels he should get around to playing the Episodes DLC before GTAV comes out. Before or after the Hitman trilogy Josh?

Jim’s ushering the new year with a couple of changes to his gaming habits. ”First off I’ve become somewhat enamoured with my newly-purchased iPad Mini.” While his iPod Touch and iPad 2 never quite made it to gaming essential status his Mini is getting there:

Its slightly scaled-down size makes it the perfect fit for games I’ve often struggled with in the past. Infinity Blade, for example, requires two-thumb control; on the iPod such a control scheme would result in blotting out half of the screen with my podgy digits. The iPad fared a little better though I often found myself straining to hold it in comfortable position for too long. The iPad Mini, however, establishes an optimum middle ground. Other titles I’ve been playing on the device include Bastion, RAD Soldiers, Pudding Monsters and Spider HD, all of which speak to the diversity of the iTunes catalogue.

Having almost given up on the game he’s delved back into SMITE. “Developed by the same guys behind the superb Tribes: Ascend, this MOBA pits two teams of real-world ancient deities against one another whilst adopting a nifty third person camera.” Anyone else having trouble with the concept of “real world deities”? Nope, just me then. ”It’s far from blasphemous”, Jim continues, “in fact, I’d even say its the best DOTA clone on the market”.

He’s also had a crack at Hitman: Absolution. Though he admits to imperfect recollection he says that “this latest instalment definitely feels rather different in comparison to Blood Money, Contracts, etc.”. He notes that each mission’s slow start, with you having to recon the area first, can be a bit of a bore but “once you’ve devised the perfect kill, Absolution really comes into its own”.

[drop]The Walking Dead may well describe the state of many on New Year’s Day but it’s also how Aran decided to see out 2012. It seems to have made something of an impact on him too as he says it’s one of the best gaming experiences he’s ever had. He cites the strength of the story, how it made him care for the safety of a character and how that emotional attachment became the game’s key motivator.

“The whole thing was an emotional roller coaster and I dare anyone who plays to not be moved to tears in the final scenes.” If you know anyone without tear ducts there’s an easy dare for them there. Let us know how you get on.

Like many of you I suspect, he hopes it’s not the last we hear from Telltale and The Walking Dead. There are plenty more stories to be told in that world the key will be making them all stand on their own merits.

He’s also spent time with the “pretty addictive” Far Cry 3, though like others has found the the game’s many diversions more interesting. “I spent an hour just playing the poker mini game. I haven’t really bothered with the main story. I’m happy just hunting and taking over outposts.” While he knows Mass Effect’s story he’s finding it “nice” to be back in that universe again. And similar to Far Cry 3 he’s mostly just “wasting time” exploring the galaxy and doing the various little side missions.

Tuffcub has finished Need For Speed:The Run which he found “very enjoyable”. Perhaps unusually for a racing game he “really liked the story” and says that it is a shame that a sequel never made it to the shelves. Reportedly he’s also been “sliding about on [his] rocket powered arse in Vanquish, trying not to stab the annoying voice over bloke in Big Sky: Infinity on PS Vita” and when the rigours of gaming become too much, “staring at [his] new Kylie calender”. Now there’s a thought, aren’t calendars on sale at knock down prices at this time of year…

As he’s taking a well-earned break from work, Peter has yet to start looking for new excuses to procrastinate! With his wife still off too he’s finding that his game playing time “continues to be a bit limited”. Using young relatives as an excuse is allowing him to get some gaming in though so “some more New Super Mario Bros U and a little bit of NSMB on the DS with my 3 year old nephew” have featured. “He really only lets me play until I get the mushroom to make Mario into the giant Mario and then the DS is snatched from my hands so that my nephew can stomp around smashing things up.”

All the fun with none of the work, sounds like Peter’s nephew has got it sorted.

I’ve also played a very small bit of ZombiU, which seems really excellent. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to tell you about playing all the games I’ve bought in the Steam winter sale… I’m scared to look at the list of games I’ve bought so far.

I’ve managed to escape the seasonal perils of Steam’s winter sale by the simple expedient of not having time to look. How have you fared? Are you too busy buying cheap games to actually play them?



  1. Happy new year guys!!

    Been playing burn the rope on the vita, addictive I tell you, also got a free game on the vita jet backpack something like that good game. Been playing some need for speed most wanted, I’m not a fan of racing games but this game is awesome on the vita.

    My ps3 is currently broke only get used for Netflix till I sort it out, also if anyone know about ps3 hard drive I want to buy one, any recommendations & what makes I should get

    • Any 2.5″ 9.5mm high drive will do. Western Digital Scorpio Blue or Seagate Momentus are both grand.

      • Thanks Tef

      • @Taylor A search on Amazon for “PS3 Hard Drives” will display pages of compatible HDD devices, and also customer ratings for purchased models so that you can judge for yourself which might suit.

  2. Well, I’ve been burning through FarCry 3 mainly, although it gets a little boring after the first half due to the repetition. I also got Tokyo jungle out of curiosity and it’s great besides the awful, awful save system in place. Besides gaming I finally finished ‘Heroes’ on Netflix and I thought it ended well on volume 5, and the beginning of volume 6 just felt unnecessary, not that it matters since it didn’t get re-commissioned…
    Got Guardians of middle earth from Plus but I honestly thought it was crap, haven’t had a chance to try out GCI or MK yet, but I’ve still got to get through Vanquish and all the rest!

  3. Christmas was hectic this year so I didn’t get to play as much as I would have liked (welcome to parenthood I guess… lol).

    Still, Santa was kind enough to get me a copy of Hitman Absolution, which seems pretty good so far, though I will probably stick to the Contracts mode so I don’t have to listen to the terrible narrative and voice acting.
    Other than that I picked up a copy of Lego LotR for the Mrs which has been brilliant so far and is jam-packed with (albeit familiar) content. I shudder to think how long the 100% achievement is going to take this time, lol.
    I also played a few quick rounds of BLOPS2, mopping up a few of the zombie achievements.

    My copy of Guitar Hero should arrive this weekend so hopefully the Wii will get some attention again :-)

  4. Mainly Vita as I was away over the New Year – Uncharted: Fight for Fortune which is excellent, there’s a lot of game for £3.99 there. Also Need for Speed Most Wanted on Vita – it looks fantastic but is a little bit repetitive.

    Before going away I managed some PS3 – I completed Machinarium which I liked, but I didn’t think it was anything amazing (with the exception of the artwork). It did remind me of my old Amiga point-and-click games). Then I’ve made decent progress on my Ultra Nightmare playthrough of Rage (after finishing the rest of the DLC) – I’ve been spending a lot of time in Wellspring’s “Jackpots” casino playing poker so that I can increase my stash of Pop Rockets, Fat Mamas and Sentry Bots in preparation for the rest of the game!

    • I love Rage. One of my favourite games this generation to be fair, even though a lot of people are dissapointed by it.

      • I can see why some people didn’t like it (lack of engaging story, game length), but it was refreshing to have a FPS/RPG where you just blast from the hip, none of this aiming down sight or V.A.T.S. nonsense! And I like how the mutant enemies swing and climb towards you using the environment. Visually it was excellent, and it was incredibly smooth, just a shame about the texture pop-up! I think it’s a decent game, but perhaps a little rushed.

      • Game length wasn’t an issue for me, I know it wasn’t the most open world of games, but if you didn’t rush through it you could get a good play time out of it. My first run through of it (on normal difficulty) took me 19 hours. Thats excluding the co-op and multiplayer car combat – both of which I thought were good, even if the car combat was a little barebones in terms of unlocks/depth. Your right about the story though, it wasn’t engaging at all. Shame too, because from the stories introduction movie I thought we could be in for an emotional story about humanitys twisted remnants after Apophis.

        Still, I’d be up for sequel for sure.

  5. Tuffcub might have fallen for the charms of Christina Hendricks ( the redhead bombshell from Mad men) who plays a part in that game. She is just lovely.

    • Is she the velvet voiced lovely who pops on a video screen now and then to tell the driver to get his bum in gear?

      • I think so, I’ve never played the game. But I know she’s plays a character in it. I searched on her name and need for speed it got plenty of hits

  6. I’ve been working a hell of a lot over the Christmas period so I’ve only had brief moments to play games in the last week. I’ve still managed to play Mass Effect 3, Sonic Racing Transformed, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and some New Super Mario Bros U with my wife though.

    She seems to have really taken to playing the boost mode with the gamepad, as apparently it takes all the pressure off her of having to make jumps that I’ve already done! Either way it’s a great Mario game – and we’ll hopefully have finished it just in time for Rayman (who is her favourite character ever!).

    I also watched the intro movie of Pokemon Conquest, put my name in and then promptly shut my DS and haven’t yet returned to it. I’m sure that I’ll get stuck into it soon though

  7. Happy New Year!

    Been tearing through Need For Speed: Most Wanted on Vita. Got it for Xmas and struggled to put it down for the next week. Started Hitman: Absolution on PS3 and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation on Vita so lots of sneaking around. Finally, gave in and got Stranger’s Wrath for Vita even though I have it on PS3. More of this for Vita please!!!

  8. Still playing DAO. Got bored of my Dwarven warrior so now, i’m an elven mage. Originally was going to have him as a spirit mage but i have decided to use 75% of the school and may use primal or entrophy to fill the rest. Plan on romancing Morrigan. Will use Herbalism a lot and my mage has the heal talent so i will always have a healer thus meaning more health potions left thus meaning no more “oh shit, I’M OUT OF FECKING POTIONS AND HAVE NOT SAVED AND HAVE COCKED UP, CRAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPP” moments. Did forget to move my Elven mage away from an enemy but luckily it wasn’t a deadly mistake. Have recruited the Marbari which i have named Barkspawn. May develop Morrigan into a primal Entropy magic and have her as a crowd controller. My Mage is a bit overpowered due to one spell. Virulent Walking Bomb and is getting more kills then i had intended for him to get. It’s gotten to the point where i’m having trouble trying to get Alistair to get kills to get XP to level up. :O

    Did the one thing that no sane gamer would do, bought Demon Souls. It’s actually not that hard and is in fact, easier then begining of Dark Souls. In Dark Souls, the cruel sods toss up into a boss battle with only your starting equipment which you recover and only get a small amount of time to practice. Although doing the plunging attack for the first time is always statifying. :D Demon Souls, seems to be more lenient. Will mostl likely regret saying this as it will kick my arse later on. If it doesn’t, i will be disappointed. If i find out there is a Bed Of Chaos boss, i may snap the disc in half as i despised that boss in Dark Souls. They rushed that boss and instead of doing what you usually do, plan your attacks, you have to charge in and hope for the best. Must have died 20-30 times to that boss.

    Also watched POP:SOT(the film) and it barely resembles the game. Where were the sand monsters? the prince trying to survive? I don’t recall POP:SOT being able a prince who was framed by his uncle who happens to pick up the dagger of time. I do recall that the prince found the dagger of time, was tricked into opening the sands of time, turning everyone into sand monsters thus trying to undo his mistake. I really hope they won’t do Warrior Within as that ties in with the first game thus would make little to no sense if they based it on the the film. They should have just done a CGI film,fleshed out the dialogue, add some minor subplots, focus on the Prince trying to surive and how he is coping with it etc..

    Oh and if you think you can just hack and slash your way through Demon/Dark Souls, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  9. I played quite a mixture of stuff again this week, first I got the Platinum for uDraw Instant Artist (a whole 10 minutes into 2013). Besides that I’ve been swapping between DOA5, Fifa 13, PSASBR, Rock Band 3 (as I picked up the keyboard for 18 quid) and I just recently started playing through Catherine.

    • You’re in for a treat with Catherine. Some of the trophies are a pain to get but, providing you like anime, the storyline is excellent.

      • I’m up to stage 5 so far. It’s an interesting puzzle game but it does have some pretty nasty difficulty spikes … even on normal.

      • So you did get past your own unborne … R1MJAW … I haven’t tried in a while now.

  10. Appart from watching “Arrested Development” on Netflix, I mainly played DOA5 together with R1MJAW. I fear he might platinum DOA 5 before me. I also spend a lot of time in Home during the holidays and spoke to many strangers with candy.

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