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The Reticule Guide to Isolation Gaming

The Reticule Guide to Isolation Gaming

We all know that things out there in the real world are scary right now, and many of us are entering into social distancing and isolation. But, games are here to help you get through these tough times, and we here at The Reticule have no shame in offering some thoughts on the games to play in these troubled times.

Grand Strategy Fun

My first choice here would be Hearts of Day, but you can substitute it with any number of Paradox Interactive’s other grand strategy titles, they all offer similar thrills. Hell, if you are feeling bold you could start with Imperator: Rome, hit Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis (and maybe even Victoria) before finishing up with World War Two.

The hours you can while away with these are immense, but you don’t need to do it alone. They all offer some level of multiplayer action, and I had a very enjoyable campaign some years ago with friend of The Reticule and ex-Gaming Daily editor Craig Lager in Europa Universalis.

Find yourself a Discord server with some friends, and get stuck in. The intrigue of building alliances and waiting for a stab in the back will make or break your friendships…well, hopefully make them. The pace of the games also ensure that they are a good social space allowing for plenty of time for general chit chat amongst the empire building.

If the Paradox titles lack the fighting that you desire, the Total War games are quite an attractive alternative.

Football Manager

It was only a couple of weeks ago that I talked about the wonders of a long-term game in Football Manager 2020, but you can also take it online with some friends. Draft a squad of superstars and create a mini tournament to battle for managerial supremacy.

If you have family members indoors with you, then simply add another manager and take it in turns managing your team. Take charge of two teams in the National League and see who can take them all the way to the top. It’s a perfect game for multiple ways of play.

Twitch and eSports

I’m not one for Twitch, but Jon runs regular sessions on Escape from Tarkov while a friend who regularly plays retro classic Age of Empires 2 revealed that a recent tournament had 32,000 people watching. Twitch really is a great source of social community interaction, and with Half-Life Alyx coming out this week, many more will be signing in to experience Valve’s latest.

Even Formula 1, the most steeped in tradition of sports is going online with a virtual series to replace the real world action. Surely that will appeal to both gamers and F1 fans?

Battlefield 2

I’m going classic with this one, but you can replace this with the modern games or something like Call of Duty. But for me, BF2 is the one. While it requires some third party support these days, there are still plenty of servers active, and the squad play is like nothing else out there. Find five friends, grab a Discord server and take to the battle. Playing as a squad in this game is like nothing else out there, and it runs on old enough kit to pull your PC out of the loft and still get into the action.

The Sims

All by yourself and missing your friends, family and work colleagues? Build your own little community and embrace your nice…or not so nice side!

Switch Games

The Switch has a brilliant library of games, both first party and third party. If your TV is being taken over with some Netflix bingeing, then take your Switch out of its dock and dive into a deep RPG like Skyrim or The Witcher 3, or get the family involved in a Mario Party game.

The online setup on the Switch isn’t great, but great times can be had with a combination of face time and Mario Kart.

The New Releases

Doom and Animal Crossing have just come out. Rumour is they’re both a bit good.

Stay Safe!

All told, please…stay safe.

Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand – Early Thoughts

Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand – Early Thoughts

The Back to Karkand DLC for Battlefield 3 hit the PC and 360 yesterday while PS3 owners got it last week. (damn exclusivity deals) If you pre-ordered the game you will get free access to the pack which re-imagines four maps from the brilliant Battlefield 2 and also throws in a handful of new unlockable weapons and some new vehicles to play with. If you didn’t pre-order you can get the DLC for £11.99. A steep price, but quite possibly worth it. Hit the jump for some thoughts.

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Gulf of Oman shown in new Strike at Karkand DLC Video

Gulf of Oman shown in new Strike at Karkand DLC Video

Gulf of Oman was one of the best maps from Battlefield 2, hell the majority of the maps in that game were awesome and still blow away anything from Battlefield 3. So it is nice to see that the map that started it all with the Battlefield 2 demo is coming back in the Strike at Karkand DLC for the newest title in the series. Those classic vehicles are going to be wonderful to play with. Now for some maps from Battlefield 1942 to appear….

Personal Note – Clan Gaming With -=256=-

Personal Note – Clan Gaming With -=256=-

This is a story of how I joined the -=256=- clan and formed some life long friendships. It is a personal note that I want to share with the world.

Back in the summer of 2005 I was merrily playing Counter-Strike: Source, I frequented a group of servers frequently and formed a loose connection with the other regulars. There was a forum we chatted on, but there wasn’t a tight knit bond between us. It was a casual fling.

That summer saw the release of Battlefield 2, a game which sits comfortably in my personal top five. I had read good things about it in magazines like PC Gamer and I had quite enjoyed the demo of the Gulf of Oman map. The game was released and I started to play it in between my Counter-Strike sessions, I was oblivious to how my gaming habits were about to change.

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The Battlefield Stats Conundrum

The Battlefield Stats Conundrum

Forgive me a moment if I reminisce about a simpler time, a time when a kill in a game lke Battlefield 2 would result in a nice and easy two points. Getting a kill damage assist would grant you a point. Everyone knew where they were at, but now, you look at the beta for Battlefield 3 and people are racking up thousands of points in a round.

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Alpha Project Mod for Battlefield 2 Out Now

Alpha Project Mod for Battlefield 2 Out Now

Who needs Battlefield 3 eh? We still have the classic Battlefield 2, and hell, people are still releasing mods for it. That’s right, there is a new mod in town, called the Alpha Project Mod it aims to bring back some of the early features from Battlefield 2 such as 3D-iron sights, civilian vehicles that you can drive and the map Divided City that was in the Alpha for the original game.

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The Egoist – Ruining Our Online Games

The Egoist – Ruining Our Online Games

There is a player style in many an online shooter which I have started to refer to as the ‘egoist’, these are the people who are, and have been for a while, bringing down the quality of online gaming. In particular, I reference first person shooters.

I first saw this phrase appear in a game of Battlefield 2. When a player connected to the server, there was an automatic server side script which analysed that persons’ play statistics and came out with a phrase to describe them. This person was listed as favouring the sniper kit, the tank for when he wanted some vehicular action. He was also shown to be a lone-wolf more often than not ignoring the squads which form the backbone of a great game of Battlefield 2. From these bits of data, he was given the tag of ‘egoist’.

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