As we trundle ever closer to Christmas, it is of course time for another edition of Our Year in Games here at Reticule Towers. Read on to see what other tales from our past year we have to share.
I think this year, or at least the past few months, have been fairly well defined by my re-found appreciation for console gaming. I talked last week about the Wii U, and this week I want to touch on the PlayStation 4.
I only bought the console at the tail end of July, and my initial purchases weren’t all that great. Watch_Dogs came with the console in a bundle, and I ground my way through Call of Duty: Ghosts. Things started to pick up though with one of the finest games of the last generation, which I sadly didn’t play back then. I’m talking about The Last of Us which was wonderfully updated for the new console and which I awarded the hallowed Red Mist to.
I dived into Battlefield 4 with some old work friends and had a cracking time being able to play the game without the awful performance that I witnessed on the PC. Before getting involved in Destiny, I had the pleasure of taking a crack at Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition which was a wonderful transformation of what had been a cracking PC title. While it now sits slightly behind the PC version when it comes to features, it is a wonderful title.
I loved Destiny, but that is a game which has been talked about to death elsewhere. I think it is amazing, but I know it divides opinion like few other AAA titles from this year. Yet, behind the blockbusters there are wonderful indie titles like SteamWorld Dig which have shown their face on the PlayStation+ scheme.
In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve spent as much time in these few short months playing on the PlayStation 4 than I ever did on its predecessor. The last console which really got me involved for length periods of time was the PlayStation 2. Does the fact that my PC is getting close to retirement age play a part in how much I’ve been using it? Without a doubt, but the PlayStation 4 is now a key part of my gaming life.
It’s quite hard looking back over the year and trying to remember just what it was that i’d played. Especially given my predilection for playing the same few games over and over. One of the titles that does stick with me though was Thief. Not because it was a great title, on my god it had it’s issues, but because of what it nearly was. There were moments of brilliance in that game, in between the shonky A.I. and deplorable QTE’s,that made me pine for an earlier time were games were more complex. Thief was bound from the start to miss the heights it had set itself, the issues weren’t necessarily bugs or technical problems (though it wasn’t optimsed that well), it was the design decisions. There were, shall we say, compromises made, for one reason or another, that robbed the game of it’s greatness. Which was a shame, as it had the potential to be something special.
Another game that stuck out for me was Watch Dogs. I know i’m probably the person here at Reticule Towers that has the fondest memories of this game, as others have said they didn’t get on with it, but I’m unashamed to say that I loved it. The world was a believable place, the interactions were great and contrary to just being a gimmick, I though the ‘hacking’ elements were implemented well in the context of that universe. I also enjoyed the gun-play, the driving and the way it looked. The less said about Aiden Pearce though the better…
The other title that I remember is RetroBooster. It was a lovely little arcadey shoot-em-up come-puzzle game that managed to scratch a nice little itch for me. I thought the graphics and animation too, were superb. In particular, the whorls of smoke as your ship flew through them always made me smile. It’s a simple detail, but it works so so well. In fact i may just go have a blast on it now….