Our Week in Games – Week 38
I’ve been doing some behind the scenes work over the past couple of days, and it struck me that The Reticule has been around in some form for four and half years. You can find a heap of very old stuff here. Don’t get too bogged down in the site layout, it is simply one of the early prototypes we used, but you might find some nuggets of interesting pieces in there. I would also like to thank everyone who wrote for the site back then, and everyone currently writing for the site. We will never mix it with the big boys of websites, but we enjoy what we do, and I certainly hope you all do too.
With that though, on with Our Week in Games.
As part of my behind the scenes work, I’ve been dabbling into creating videos over on our YouTube channel. Most of the stuff on there at the moment is simply videos sent out by PR’s for various games which are easier to upload ourselves then use other links from. However, you will start to see videos created by ourselves appear on there from now on as well. I’m not making any promises for how regularly content will appear on our Channel, but we will endeavour to spread the word in the usual ways.
Of course, being a relative newb with this video creation malarky, issues arise. My first video was just gameplay footage without any narration. My second attempt saw me talking over a pre-recorded video, poor sound quality and not doing a great job of describing what was happening. My third, and best attempt, which you can see below, is a brief beginners guide to Don’t Starve. I’ll tip my hat off to some of the videos Matt Lees has done recently as my inspiration for doing this. He has been doing quality stuff for a while now and it is worth checking out his stuff on Videogamer.com. If I could create videos even half as good as his, I would be extremely pleased with myself. As it is, enjoy this little piece of Welsh magic.
I enjoyed Dishonored and this new DLC is more of the same, but for some reason The Knife of Dunwall isn’t entirely clicking with me. Maybe I should’ve waited until it was cheaper? Or something?
You play Daud, the assassin who killed the Empress in the core campaign and therefore set in motion Corvo’s fall from grace. Michael Madsen recorded new dialogue for his interactions with principle characters, but the gameplay itself never feels particularly Daudy. And I’m pretty sure some of the pain/death sounds are the default which… kind of jars.
Time now freezes for mid-air Blink teleports, and the new ability to summon an apprentice assassin to your side is a nice touch: the crowded areas make a lethal playthrough much more visceral (which is maybe to the taste of actual-assassin Daud over assassin-by-necessity Corvo). The locations are the strongest part of the DLC by far, with a particularly eye-opening segment set in a whale slaughterhouse. The inflated guard populations also make ghosting harder overall than much of Dishonored, although maybe that’s lack of practise talking.
Granted, Daud and Corvo share an underlying powerset, courtesy of gifts bestowed by the ever-enigmatic Outsider, but I never felt things were distinct enough. There’s new items, a new enemy type, and the maps have as much depth and optional side-stuff as ever. I just felt like something integral was missing, something more than the conspicuously absent possession and rat swarm powers. The Knife of Dunwall comes recommended, but with a blinking backstabbing proviso: the gameplay remains solid, as does the architecture, but somehow I’m left feeling like I’m not Daud. I’m just Corvo doing an impression, and every time I hear Daud speak I feel like the whole situation is just a framing device absently draped over a few disparate missions. Intensely playable missions, at least.
This week saw Project Zomboid finally receiving a much anticipated update. I was expecting to have a playthrough video up by the end of this week, but long work hours followed by even longer hours of being a parent made that pretty much impossible.
My first thoughts are a little bit of disappointment. One of the big pushes of this update was the first playable look at Project Zomboid’s game world. Whilst the landscape of Knox County is based, albeit loosely on its real-life counterpart, the resulting map is currently a lot sparser and less interesting than the original test map people have been playing for over a year. I appreciate it’s still a work in progress, but I was looking forward to fleeing from the living dead in a new environment, and was expecting something with a little more character.
Despite this, Project Zomboid still remains one of the finest simulators of post-apocalyptic life I’ve ever played. As I flee from a horde of the living dead armed only with a blunt kitchen knife, the game is a powerful contrast to the absurd power fantasies of games like the Walking Dead: Survival Instinct and Dead Island.