Well, my intentions to get out a February update were there but sadly did not happen. So I am going to give a mid-month update now as I fear I am going to be in the same boat come end of month again. So, with out further ado, let’s get to it.
First game that hit my completion list since last update is a media darling known as Sunset Overdrive. Made by Insomniac Games, this little gem is a visual treat using wonderful vibrant colors and comic book like art style of characters and explosions that deliver a truly unique game that puts you in an open world action game. Featuring a fictional world where an energy drink called Overdrive has created a bizarre mutant reaction, its up to your customized character to set things right again.
Control and game play wise this game reminded me a lot of games like Infamous Second Son or Jet Set Radio. Grinding along rails is your primary mode to get around and its done well. Traversal in this game becomes a real treat once you learn the in’s and out’s of what you can do as well as gain some additional powers that compliment the system well. Combat though is where this game falls down and unfortunately its a big piece of the puzzle. You see in S.O. the game forces you to conduct 99% of your combat while moving along rails and jumping to and fro. If you are flat footed on the ground you are likely dead in just a min regardless of what weapon you have out. Enemies will swarm you and overwhelm you regardless of what weapons you have. This is the rub. Because we play 99% of all our shooters on foot in more traditional ways it makes making this switch to a new way of shooting really counter intuitive. So much so that it really will rub most the wrong way. It’s a shame really, because one of the highlights to the game is the vast arsenal of weapons that Insomniac made for this game. The guns are really good too, and range from standard machine guns to things like a Teddy Bear Bomb Launcher. When you play a shooter with cool guns, you want to use them and see their destructive force and results. Unfortunately you have to constantly move along and platform and rail ride around to avoid being killed and thus miss most of the cool effects.
Now, I know I said the shooting was horrible and it more or less derails this rail riding shooter but there is a saving grace. That is that even though it falls flat on the shooting, the movement & platforming along with its bizarre and fun sense of dark humor had me entertained enough to say I enjoyed my time with it. This game is a visual and unique experience and if you can get it on the cheap, which you should be able to, I think its well worth a look.
So, I save the best for last. X-com 2 is a game I absolutely love and would recommend to any gamer who enjoys strategy games & challenge. The premise behind X-com 2 is this: We the humans of Earth lost the war against the alien invaders of the first game X-com Enemy Unknown. In the wake of that terrible news a resistance movement has taken hold and you are once again the commander who’s primary goal is to push back against these alien invaders and free the Earth from their shackles.
As in previous X-com games (this is a long running IP that started back in 1991) you have an army that you will develop skills for individual soldiers as well as weapons, upgrades, building a base and deploying a squad to fight through turn based play. Its a game that delivers a unique twist on turn-based play as when you give orders not only will you see your character do that order, but there is a cinematic flair to it that keeps the game from feeling too board game like. In X-com 2 all the maps are procedural in how the are generated so your experience on replays always feels fresh. Visually it looks good but this is a demanding game, and so likely whether you are on PC or Console you will see frame rate hiccups. But, that really isn’t that big of a deal given all combat takes place in a turn based environment.
The story is solid and there is a healthy mod community for the PC version and some decent DLC for the console version. The game offers a deep RPG system for your soldiers as well as the base building so you will be constantly working those systems to deploy the best squads possible as well as become somewhat emotionally attached to the soldiers themselves. An added bonus of the X-com series has always been the ability to customize your soldiers to have names of family & friends. When you do this, you will suddenly notice how much more you will care if a certain soldier makes it out or not.
You can sink 100+ of hours into X-com 2 if you are not careful but I say that is the icing on the cake. It’s game that offers up a very different experience than the avalanche of shooters, plat-former and driving sims we have in the market. This one gets highpraise from me, so I implore you to get your strategy on and help save planet Earth!
That just leaves me to talk about what is next. Well the Division and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain are both on tap for YOLG. I should be able to get the Division cleared by end of month (March) but I think MGS5 will be a long term project. I had planned on buying Ghost Recon Wildlands with some gift money but decided to cancel in the week prior to launch after playing the beta and instead have put those funds toward Mass Effect Andromeda. Below is the recap of my YOLG list and my budget:
Cheers – Greg aka Murphys Law.