May of 2014 was the hottest May in more than 130 years of recorded Mays. This could be a coincidence, or it could be that global warming has triggered a colossal change in climate that will inevitably result in the UK becoming a desert, the artic becoming a warm sea rather than the cold giant ice cube it currently is, and hopefully it’ll defrost Russia so Putin can see some sunshine and lighten up a bit. Considering that four of the five hottest Mays ever have been in the last five years it seems the latter is more likely, which is good news for Ukraine.
The hot May weather likely didn’t bother gamers not because it was only patched in a couple of months after release, but because May played host to more than its fair share of releases. Two underwhelming releases kicked off the month. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 released on the 2nd in the EU, grabbing a slightly-above-average 6/10, but the score didn’t stop it from spinning its web at the top of the UK charts, most likely because being Spider-Man is the second most fun form of swinging. Many RPG fans emerged only to be disappointed once they discovered that Bound by Flame was slightly above average at best, condemning them to wait until November to ask some old dragons a few questions.
Those same gamers (possibly) then left the shadows once more after playing Outlast’s Whistleblower DLC. Dan said that this DLC was even scarier than the main game, to the point where he was afraid of the dark in his own home. Don’t worry though, Red Barrels Studio wouldn’t release the criminally insane into customers’ houses. It’d be a PR nightmare. Transistor was the first truly great full release in May, getting a well deserved 9/10 from Stefan. It probably helped that there was a woman with a disdain for appropriate clothing who you can see ripping up a perfectly good outfit at the beginning of this trailer, if that’s your thing. You could also watch it because it’s a really good trailer, or I’ve just provided you with an excellent excuse.
Somehow May also played host to a new Wolfenstein release that turned out to be really quite good. Peter gave it a 7/10 as it was let down graphically and suffered from some old fashioned design in places. I quite liked the German version of House of the Rising Sun you can stumble across, as well as this homage to Wolfenstein 3D. Also, dual wielding automatic shotguns.
The following week had two big releases, Watch Dogs and Mario Kart 8, with the former picking up an 8 thanks to an absurd amount of content and the simple but useful/fun hacking mechanic. Mario Kart 8 drove Blair up the wall in a more literal and positive way than that phrase usually implies, with it picking up a 9/10 before proceeding to throw it at a fellow racer. The new gen consoles then developed a case of Worms Battlegrounds and was prescribed an 8/10 by our resident GP Dr. Aran Suddi after a thorough prostate exam and litigation.
News certainly wasn’t sparse in May either, with plenty rumours that turned out to be pretty much true as well as a sprinkling of controversy to spice things up a bit. First up we have some downloadable high quality Driveclub gameplay for those of you who, like me, are still waiting for that PlayStation Plus edition to stare at longingly while stroking the screen. Controversy then sprang up around Tomodachi Life, where Nintendo disabled same sex relationships in its exaggerated, eminently Japanese life sim. On the 8th, they said in no uncertain terms that it would not be patched in, and that they “never intended to make any form of social commentary“. Four days later, they had an oral footectomy and released another statement apologising for the whole thing.
Also on the 8th, Sony explained why I have to put up with the blue reflection from my controller in my TV whenever I’m playing my PS4 in the dark and it turns out it’s used for Project Morpheus, Sony’s VR headset that will be coming to PS4 eventually. This doesn’t explain why it needs to be on all the time whatsoever, but at least I can hold it over my eyes like a visor and pretend I’m Cyclops from X-men. It’s hours of fun and also helps you find your remote at night.
This year’s Annual Alliteration Award (which I just made up) goes to The Division Dawdles Over Due Date Delays, but since Stefan isn’t here to collect the award I’ll spend the £20 award money on something for myself and remember him when I use it. Perhaps some expensive soap. Now for those rumours I mentioned earlier, starting with the rumour that Google would be buying the game streaming service Twitch.tv for $1 billion. Apparently that deal fell through though, as Amazon ended up buying them for $970 million. Which must mean Amazon is better at haggling than Google. Now we know.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection was first rumoured in May, though it was referred to as the Halo Collection, so we were way off. It has since released to a chorus of matchmaking issues plaguing its multiplayer, both from the game and from Xbox Live itself, but a rocky launch doesn’t seem too uncommon lately. The only trailer I’m going to bother mentioning here is that first gameplay for Batman: Arkham Knight, which looks predictably gorgeous and made many Batman fans’ pants feel a bit tighter after they’d seen it. You can finally drive the batmobile and Troy Baker (Joel from The Last of Us) is voicing the Arkham Knight. I predict that the batgasms will be numerous and powerful so you’d better keep the batnapkins handy. Feel free to add your own terrible batjokes here, best one in the comments gets a reward that they won’t be here to collect.
Well that is May 2014 for you, all wrapped up in a nice pretty bow. It was quite a good month, all things considered, with some great games, a bit of controversy to enjoy with popcorn, and a huge purchase for an obscene amount of money. I’ll make some predictions for May of 2015:
- Peter Molyneux quits gaming and becomes a politician, finally finding a profession where not following through on promises is accepted practice.
- Nintendo announce a bleeding edge console called Woo Wii, running an OS called Woo Wii UI, that transforms into a full sized Lamborghini Gallardo to encourage people to take their console to friends’ houses for local multiplayer.
- Sony finally releases Driveclub PlayStation Plus edition with no server issues whatsoever.
That last prediction is a bit of a pipe dream, but I’m pretty confident about the other two.