Our Week in Games – Week 121
This is the way we reach the next generation, not with a bang, but with a squabble between GAME and Yodel, and amazon delivering pet food not consoles (Chris Evans, November 2020).
Ok, so maybe we shouldn’t try to rip off T.S Eliot again (that’s an understatement – Ed), but following the launch of the PlayStation 5 this past Thursday we are now officially into the next generation with all of the new machines from Sony and Microsoft now available…stock permitting. This though might be one of the longest transitions between generations we’ll have witnessed for many years. By my reckoning there are only two new-gen exclusive titles (Astro’s Playroom and Demon’s Souls on the PlayStation 5), with many other big hitters such as Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty appearing across the generational divide, and you have to wonder how long it will take until support for the older consoles starts to fall away.
They’re perhaps thoughts for another time, but for now, let’s get on with Our Week in Games…
My week has been one of highs a lows, and not all of them regarding games. The start of the week I was away with my girlfriend enjoying the delights of mid-Wales and getting into Assassin’s Creed III again on the Switch. It has been a while since I finished Black Flag and started it’s predecessor, but the introduction of Connor’s (Ratonhnhaké:ton’) father and his heel turn was a right old drag. Fortunately I have reached the stage where Connor is now able to explore Boston in true Assassin’s style and things have certainly picked up. The relaxtion and gaming was spoilt by learning that the proposed buyer of my property had to withdraw their offer which has led to a mad few days of getting the flat back into a suitable condition for further viewings.
Between that news and Thursday’s launch of the PlayStation 5 I was able to finally finish off Gears Tactics. How much I get stuck into the end-game (or the Jacked-up campaign) is up for debate, but I found that the story came to a welcome conclusion. At times in the third act it felt that the obligatory side missions were merely padding things out, but the last few main campaign missions were well worth the slog. As the game has received a mega update to coincide with the Xbox Series release, it will be interesting to see how much traction it gets on the console. I hope it does well and a sequel is in the works, I’d certainly be checking that out.
Thursday afternoon was the moment though where I collected my PlayStation 5 from GAME. I was fortunate enough (and comfortable enough with the safety measures) to get an in-store pre-order, and I am certainly excited to get into a new console generation on day one for the first time. I’ll need some more time to gather my thoughts on the new machine and Demon’s Souls, so look out for more from me over the next week.
This week I re-watched Cars with my children. That‘s the 2006 Pixar movie, not the 1977 film The Car, which features a self-driving mysterious car which goes on a murderous rampage, terrorizing the residents of a small town, but you’d be forgiven for confusing the two.
Cars is all about a hot-shot race-car who’s lost confidence in himself and his ability to drive very quickly around a circular race-track. Spoiler warning: the secret is something about believing in yourself and the friends you meet along the way.
Having taken these important life lessons on board, I took another dive back into Project Cars II, convinced I now had the skills necessary to take on any challenges the racing circuit had to throw at me.
It turns out that self-belief and friendship will only get you so far. A large part of winning races also involves not hitting the perimeter wall at nearly two hundred miles an hour, somersaulting across the track wiping out three other cars and watching what remains of your car rolling slowly to a halt.
Who’d have thought it?
I’ve been a bit unwell recently, and when that happens I tend to seek out my ‘comfort zone’, game-wise. So, having been reading a bit of Vampire: The Masquerade over November, I decided to revisit one of my favourite games: Troika’s flawed, unfinished masterpiece, Bloodlines.
Troika’s game has been kept alive and made playable by the work of a devoted and talented community of fans. If you want to play it—and you should—then you’re going to need to install an unofficial patch. It’s simple and easy.
Bloodlines is a rich, complex, and difficult game, resistant to judgement due to the circumstances of its creation and release. It is certain the game would have been superior had it been given the time it needed to realise its ambitions, although the whole thing is a bit “written by men, for men”, and nothing was going to fix that.
Still, with the cult following and critical reappraisal it has accrued since 2004, Bloodlines looks to have earned a shot at immortality. It deserves it, and I can’t wait to see what Bloodlines 2 has in store.
Introductions and awful interpretations of legendary quotes by Chris.