It’s that time of the week again already! I’ve been down to the capital this week to talk to Naoki Yoshida about all things Final Fantasy XIV, and while I was there I had a mooch around, including some shopping in Oxford Circus. It’s clear that as far as the shops are concerned, Christmas is well and truly here, and really as far as the game world is concerned, there’s not too much left to come now. Largely you’ll have decided what you want from your significant others – Assassin’s Creed Origins and South Park: The Fractured But Whole, if my wife happens to glance at this screen – and we can all sit and merrily wait for the 25th of December. Or… you can do what I did and buy a “gift to yourself” which turned out to be an Xbox One X, causing much grumbling about “having nothing to buy you for Christmas”.
I’ve been playing Need for Speed Payback, though the surprisingly long story means that it’ll be next week for our review. It’s pretty fun, but not likely to be challenging anyone for best racer of the year. I’ve also been diving into some of the 4K stuff on the One X, including a return to Halo 5. It looks pretty amazing, and reminded me just how much I like Halo multiplayer. Besides that I’ve also been taking a look at the updated Zoo Tycoon with my son, and continuing to enjoy Super Mario Odyssey.
Tuffcub has played Destiny 2 a bit with Tony, Geoff and a few others, but still hasn’t done the raid as he can’t find enough people to do it. He’s also played Kholat, and was hoping that two years on they’d have fixed the performance issues that were mentioned in our review. Apparently they have not. He played for ten minutes, put back in the envelope and returned it like a boomerang. Finally, he’s been mopping up collectibles and trophies in Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, where the new trials are ridiculous hard compared to the ones found in the orginal game!
Jake has played lots of Super Mario Odyssey yet again this week, but has also slipped back into Darksiders II Definitive Edition and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Aran meanwhile has played Wolfenstein 2’s first DLC content which is seemingly a good introduction to where Machine Games are taking the franchise. He’s also finished Nier Automata, getting all five main endings as well as a few optional ones, and started Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice as well, which so far is very interesting.
Jim has been more or less dedicated to Call of Duty: WWII. He flew through the campaign first (on Veteran) which is good but nothing particularly ground-breaking for the series. It’s multiplayer where WWII really shines, and proves that sometimes less can often be more. There are one or two maps he’s already come to loathe, but for the most part it’s been great. He’s also been playing Overwatch at the same time which probably hasn’t done it any favours despite Sledgehammer’s efforts to change things up a bit.
Miguel has started Destiny 2 on PC, and it’s Destiny. On PC. He also started playing Just Cause 3 on PS4 expecting it to be a broken mess so he could finally delete it, but while there’s been a crash, a freeze, and some slowdown, he’s honestly been having a bunch of fun with it! Dave hasn’t had a stellar week, as Sonic Forces was probably the best thing he played, despite it being an utterly forgettable game as a whole. He also finally managed to finish Morphite which in hindsight was probably not ideal to play on Switch. The handheld also some action for Doom, though it just reminded him why he can’t properly play first-person shooters at 30FPS. Finally there was Kirby Battle Royale which he would be finished with if it wasn’t for a punishing final challenge.
Steve has hand plenty to play this week;
Polished off the traumatic Senua’s Sacrifice which was a superb ludic treatment of mental illness and a beautiful game. The audio design when played through headphones is up there with Doom as the best I’ve experienced. I also rattled through Samus Returns which was fun but a little generic (ironically); cementing my preference for the Prime series over the 2d ones.
Following those I’ve been replaying The Last of Us for an academic paper I’m writing on fungal zombies, which is still impressive graphically but feels somewhat dated in its pseudo-stealth and waist high walls everywhere. Still far more charm on display than the trailer has shown of 2 so far which seems to be going for ‘grimdark’. Also putting some time into Elex which is the very definition of a ‘you’ll like this if you like this kind of game’; fortunately for me, I do.
Lastly we have Tef, who’s been playing a bunch of Star Wars Battlefront II ahead of our review next week. He’s also continued to play around with the Xbox One X, exploring the games that have been enhanced for the system, and popped into Super Mario Odyssey for a few more moon hunting sessions.
Now then, what have you played?