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Our Week in Games – Week 145

Our Week in Games – Week 145

We might be a day late with the 145th edition of Our Week in Games, but the delay was perfectly timed as news about Sony’s plans for the cross-gen update for Ghost of Tsushima’s broke. While Eurogamer have all the details, it is frankly shocking that if you buy the Director’s Cut edition of Ghost of Tsushima on the PlayStation 4 and then want to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version, you’ll have to fork out £9 for the privilege.

If you hit the break, you’ll find out about how Chris has been experiencing and exploring the wonders of Xbox Game Pass, and how it compares with Sony’s offerings. The latest palaver around Tsushima shows that Sony are out of touch with much more than just how PlayStation Plus compares with Microsoft’s offering.

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Our Week in Games – Week 144

Our Week in Games – Week 144

The week after E3, and all is quiet in the land of video games. Well, things have obviously been happening but beyond Microsoft unveiling Windows 11, it’s been pretty quiet. We can expect things to pick up again in the next few weeks as EA hold some events, with rumours of Dead Space making a return.

While the industry might have been taking a break in general, the Steam Summer Sale has kicked off leading to bonkers price reductions, and bulging backlogs. It’s always a fun time of year. so let us know in the comments what you’ve picked up.

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Our Week in Games – Week 143

Our Week in Games – Week 143

While people are picking over the still-twitching carcass of E3, one major story flew, haphazardly out of the gore (I have no idea where I’m going with this metaphor); the Xbox Exclusivity of Bethesda’s hotly anticipated Starfield is generated some controversy. While we still know little about the game aside from a prerendered cinematic and the usual PR ‘Gumf’ about ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’, the news that Playstation owners will not be able to get hold of it, predictably, hasn’t gone down well.  While platform exclusives have always been a thing, this somehow seems different and even as a PC player who’s confident that whatever happens in the console wars I’ll eventually get to play any exclusive, I feel bad for the PlayStation owners.

It also raises tantalising questions about the platform-availability of the next Elder Scrolls game….

Stalker 2, the sequel to what I think are some of the most underrated games of all time has received it’s first major trailer and it looks stunning. Details are sparse, but the recommendation for a Geforce 2070 (or equivalent) have certainly grabbed my attention. It’s not hard to see why this is required either as the game looks incredible in the trailer. It may be time to retire my trustworthy 1070 as this is not a game I think anyone should be missing out on. Luckily GPU’s are really easy to get hold of at the moment…..

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Our Week in Games – Week 142

Our Week in Games – Week 142

E3 is lumbering out of view like an asthmatic brontosaurus who’s late for his first job interview following a particularly dry season. While many people are starting to question the relevance of such events certainly in a post(we hope) pandemic world, it’s hard to argue against it’s impact.

This year we’ve been sideswiped by news of an Avatar game (Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora), pulled-into a dark alley by Rainbow 6 Siege: Quarantine Extraction, a title that seems to be pulling the series in a direction that it may not be best suited to, and then, frankly, given the wrong directions by a Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle sequel Sparks of Hope. 

Three titles that I wasn’t expecting- and at a time when a bit of gaming fatigue was setting in, it’s welcome news. Expect more updates to follow in the coming day(s) as we digest the revelations and we update you on anything that particularly caught our fancy.

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Our Week in Games – Week 141

Our Week in Games – Week 141

Once upon a time, The Reticule was a PC only site, that was until 2011 when the site was relaunched as a multiplatform site. The relaunch saw the original content archived, but some WordPress magic now sees that original content here on the main site.

We hope you enjoy reading our history, for now though hit the break for a review of Our Week in Games.

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Our Week in Games – Week 140

Our Week in Games – Week 140

It’s been a quiet week for us at The Reticule, in which we’ve indulged some older and beloved titles. I think that’s important, though – something perhaps few of us make time for, given the ever-increasing length of the so-called ‘backlog’. But the backlog never ends; there’s no wrapping up that list, not with so many new titles making their way onto storefronts on a weekly basis. None of us can reasonably be expected to keep up with the pace of releases, but sometimes that pursuit prohibits us from indulging replays, and that’s just no good. So, this week we put aside our misplaced guilt, and delved back into the past…

In gaming news more broadly, though, Sam Machkovech at Ars Technica dropped the news that Valve have been working behind the scenes on a “Switch-like portable PC”, that may be released at the end of this year. Given Valve’s previous forays into hardware (VR aside), it’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out. My Steam controller and Steam link are around here somewhere…

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Our Week in Games – Week 138

Our Week in Games – Week 138

Resident Evil Village had finally dropped, to mostly good reviews. The more action-centric affair is building upon its excellent predecessor, to the apparent consternation of a group of ‘core’ fans; though I think the move is smart.  Having only played the demo I can only talk to this point so much, but the balance seems good. The atmosphere is electric and I’m constantly thinking ‘danger danger’. Bonus points for anyone who got that reference.

I will say though that the boxart for Village drives me mad- why the Dickins did they not align the lycan’s chin with his???! Gah. Board decisions be damned- someone needed to take a stand on this one. 1/10, completely unplayable.

In other gaming news, Hardspace: Shipbreaker has had it’s biggest update to, erm, date. Adding a whole host of quality of life adjustments and a crew (gadzooks!) to flesh out the story. This is one of those games that I know I will love. I know I should play, yet for some reason I have not, despite Nick’s Verdict from last year. Following this update I plan to rectify that.

Finally any hope of getting hold of an ever-elusive 30-series GeForce’s card was dashed last-month when nVidia announced that supply-disruption is likely to last until 2022. The fact that AMD haven’t been able to exploit this ‘lag’ speaks to a wider supply problem that I’m afraid probably extends past COIVD-related disruption. Personally I’m convinced that the PlayStation 5 and the 30-series are the adult-equivalent of the Tooth Fairy; you’re told they exist… but have you actually met anyone who’s got one…? Didn’t think so….

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Our Week in Games – Week 137

Our Week in Games – Week 137

As Chris crawls back towards the eternal light of games, he makes his triumphant return to Our Week in Games. Well, triumphant is an exaggeration for a handful of words. It’s a Bank Holiday Monday though, so read on and enjoy what the team have to share.

Chris

Among all the stress and effort of moving house, I was ready to settle in for a session of Outriders this week. The trouble was, a massive update was required.

So I booted up Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and focused on taking out one of the Cultists. There are so many strands to the RPG era of Assassin’s Creed games, and hunting down Cultists can be done through the main story or by yourself. While deciding to hunt one down for myself, I came across one of the millions of side quests, this time the One Really Bad Day quest line.

I don’t often remember many quests in Odyssey, but this one was a standout with a perfect blend of action and humour.

What a game.

Ross

This week I finally, finally got around to playing Arkane Studios’ Dishonored. And I have thoughts.

It’s the true successor to Looking Glass Studios’ immersive sims, most notably Thief, of which this feels like a spiritual sequel in many ways, from its sneaky gameplay to its strange fusion of industry and magic. I count those immersive sims as some of my absolute favourite games, so it’s a mystery as to why I’ve only now, almost a decade later, gotten around to playing Dishonored.

Because we’re basically made for one another…

…but we make an odd couple.

There is so much that I love about this game. I was compelled to complete it within days, which is likely the highest compliment I can gift Arkane Studios’ work. Dishonored is compulsively enjoyable; if its goal was to create the feeling of being a master assassin (which, yes, it was), then it succeeded. Life as Corvo Attano in Dunwall is one of supernatural power and it’s incredibly fun. It’s near seamless in its ability to create this perception of power, and each mission offers new opportunities to exercise it, from sumptuous masked balls to gaudy brothels.

Much has been made of Dishonored’s world-building. It’s true that it crafts a distinctive world with texture and grit, but I don’t think it ever truly digs beneath its own surface. At least not enough to matter. And world-building is no substitute for a compelling story filled with interesting characters, which is the game’s foremost shortcoming.

The story it tells is inadequate to the talents of those who penned it. There are some whip smart people behind this game, developers I love and respect – folks like Harvey Smith, Terri Brosius, and Austin Grossman. But somehow they mismanage the telling of this tale in a way that I’m still trying to wrap my head around.

It’s a story where nothing happens until two thirds of the way through, in an almost identical error in pacing to Bioshock. You know what that turning point is by virtue of the fact that, owing to a lack of development and character drama, only one thing can happen (for a lesson in how to avoid this, see the original Deus Ex).

It’s a problem with a lot of gaming narratives; they eschew the ebb and flow of drama that makes stories worth following in favour of piling everything into a single big twist, doing nothing either side of it. I’m astounded that the terrific folks behind this tale both got away with it and that gaming culture at large let them. Is it a problem with how we look at narrative in games? Maybe. But I really don’t think this is how it should be done.

It’s a shame; the premise is so good. It works its way to an effective and powerful final scene, but I find it hard not to feel disappointment at what that scene could have been if the game had bothered to do the dramatic legwork leading up to it. Of course, lots of people disagree with me, and that’s fine. I’m not trying to set myself up as some kind of arbiter on how things Ought to be Done. But I can at least try and convey how I feel, and I know I’ve experienced better than this by its genius developers.

Luckily for Dishonored every other part of it is exemplary. It’s a beautiful game, something like a water colour painting – clouds etched across the horizon, dazzling reds and oranges dusting a world made of blackened stone and rusting metal.

There’s more here that works than doesn’t, and it nails the bit that matters – namely the act of playing. With that, I’m looking forward to its sequel.

Our Week in Games – Week 135

Our Week in Games – Week 135

I’ll be perfectly honest, this week I’ve paid absolutely no attention to the gaming news, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that three things have definitely happened.

Firstly, a game featuring a gruff man carrying a large gun has been announced. The cover image is probably blue and yellow and there’s a colon in the title.

Secondly, another game everyone’s been excited about has sadly been delayed. The developers have said it’s definitely not been cancelled.

Thirdly, that Kickstarter you’ve been really excited about still hasn’t been completed yet. The developers were last seen driving very expensive cars and not updating the progress page on their website.

So now that we’re all caught up, what have we been playing this week?

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