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Editorials

Our Week in Games – Week 158

Our Week in Games – Week 158

Microsoft are buying up Activision Blizzard. Just like that, for nearly $70bn Microsoft will own the IP for Call of DutyWorld of Warcraft and Spyro amongst numerous others. It’s a massive industry shaking move, one that will have unforseen ramifications in over the course of the 12-months or so that we’ll be waiting until the acquisition is complete. It’s an event which has already led to $20bn being wiped off value of Sony, but when you’re talking about such sums which have little to no bearing on profit and loss it can all become a bit of a blur.

Needless to say, there are plenty of questions about what this means for console exclusives, the future of Game Pass and whether this was just a route into the mobile market by way of King. What was most striking about this news though was that Microsoft still expect to be the third largest player in the games industry behind Tencent and Sony. Part of me wonders whether this is truly a play at challenging Sony for the console marketplace, or whether there’s a bigger picture at play to further strengthen the wider corporate interests of Microsoft when pitched against Amazon which is making its own moves into the games industry.

Time will tell, but be sure to let us know your thoughts on all this in the comments.

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The Reticule Presents – Our Games of the Year 2021 – Chris

The Reticule Presents – Our Games of the Year 2021 – Chris

I’ve done a review of my gaming year, something which has been helpful in focusing my mind on what my Games of the Year are. As I’ve explained in my review of my past year, I’ve probably spent more time working through games from my backlog, or dipping in and out of titles to have played enough of this year’s top tier releases to do this list justice. Saying that, I wouldn’t be much of a games critic if I didn’t give it a go.

I’ve split this year’s edition into three parts. The unplayed looks at three titles which would have been fighting for top honours…if only I had played them! The contenders sees three wonderful games get highlighted, but small, self-imposed “rules” of what my Games of the Year should be prevent these making my Top 3. These are three games which I have been hugely impressed by and are worth anyone spending some time with, regardless of the order in which I’ve written about them.

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Our 2021 in Games – Chris

Our 2021 in Games – Chris

As I started my draft for this article, I immediately looked through our archives to see how many Our Week in Games features we’d published in 2021. My sums showed that as a collective we shared thoughts on what we’d been playing that past week 34 times, which is decent going for our rag-tag bunch of part-timers.

Those weekly recaps of ours are really helpful in charting our adventures through the video gaming landscape over the course of the year. What is also apparent is that I regularly make promises of writing about one game or another in more depth, or stating my intention of completing something else.

In the ethos of those weekly features, in this piece I won’t be listing my favourite games that were released in 2021, rather I’ll take a flying review of what this past year has been like for me.

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Our Week in Games – Week 157

Our Week in Games – Week 157

The Steam Autumn Sale lumbers into life like a predictably re-animated zombie corpse that is clumsily foreshadowed at the start of an 80’s B-movie. Or something.

Gone are the days when my wallet would be denuded by the wares on display- 33% off here, 50% off there, even- some say in hushed whispers… 75% off in some cases. Yet, I find myself resisting and not forking out- despite a number of games from my wishlist being on (rather good) sale. This coupled with Black Friday and the cornucopia of tech-deals available (Elgato have some particularly good deals if you’re that way inclined good reader) means the pre-Xmass assault on our finances has a worryingly co-ordinated feel to it.  But we here at Reticule Towers believe in you, you’ve got this.

Perhaps the sale is part of the reason Steam recorded 27 million concurrent users recently; a record that is slightly mind boggling to think about.

In more gaming-gaming news; Battlefield 2042 has had a…. wobbly start. The predictable (though still painful) server issues aside, players are reporting stability issues with a LOT of rubber-banding, very suspect hit-box registration, and bugs a plenty. My current favourite being the ability to affix a grappling-hook to a cloud of smoke… or even tornadoes.

You spin me right round, baby right round.

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Our Week in Games – Week 156

Our Week in Games – Week 156

Lo, we are still here! After a few weeks of real life (and games, of course) taking priority, we’re back with another Our Week in Games. These past few weeks have been dominated by the fall from grace of Activision, but more specifically their CEO Bobby Kotick. It’s a fiasco which is eerily reminiscent of Succession, the prestige drama from HBO that parodies the likes of FOX and other media conglomerates, where the board and other senior leaders are massively out of touch with the real world, and either ignorant or culpable for the culture within their organisations.

If you want some serious analysis of this situation, check out this piece over on GI.biz. Once you’ve perused that, hit the break for the lowdown on Our Week in Games.

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Our Week in Games – Week 154

Our Week in Games – Week 154

FIFA the governing body of world football, and FIFA the football series from EA have long gone hand-in-hand, with many probably only knowing of it as the game. But it appears the governing body and EA are heading for divorce. FIFA are looking to diversify their licensing agreements, while EA are actively discussing renaming the franchise. The game series itself is coming under increasingly heavy criticism for the continued use of loot boxes in the Ultimate Team mode.

Wesley Yin-Poole on Eurogamer has a fantastic interview with EA Chief Experience Officer Chris Bruzzo. It’s an insightful interview and shows that EA will continue to use loot boxes in Ultimate Team as part of the FIFA franchise, but if the franchise was to change name, I wonder whether EA would change their approach and introduce monetisation more akin to a season pass.

While we ponder the future of one football franchise, its worth thinking about the disastrous launch that eFootball has had. The successor to Pro Evo Soccer, this one has gone down like a lead balloon, even if the live service football theory might be one EA follow themselves. Time will tell!

In the meantime, hit the jump for Our Week in Games.

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Our Week in Games – Week 153

Our Week in Games – Week 153

The big news last week was Nintendo surprise dropping a new Nintendo Direct. Those rumours of a Switch Pro still aren’t turning into anything substantial, but Nintendo did reveal that in late October they will be releasing an “expansion” to their Nintendo Online offering. This will bring a range of N64 and Sega Mega Drive titles to the service.

For some serious analysis of this change, take a look at this piece on GI.biz then hit the break for Our Week in Games.

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Boyfriend Dungeon – The Verdict

Boyfriend Dungeon – The Verdict

“We’re just too hot for this old rickety thing to handle.”

Verona Beach – a chill place to spend the summer. Especially in a rent-free apartment previously occupied by your cousin. Kind of him to offer you the space, even if he’s one of the most obnoxious and interfering people you’ll ever meet. But hey, families – can’t pick ‘em.

But you can pick lovers, and that’s part of the reason you’re here. See, you’ve never had a date. Not even once. Your cousin, under some duress from your mother, has been assigned your wingman, but it won’t be long before you’re able to make connections at your own pace. Connections that have some very interesting quirks…

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Clearing the Backlog – The Last of Us Part II

Clearing the Backlog – The Last of Us Part II

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II might have launched last year to critical acclaim, and plenty of in-depth critique, but I purposefully left it to one side. I didn’t want to rush into what I knew would be an emotionally draining game, especially not in the middle of a global pandemic. I did eventually make a start on it towards the end of 2020, with my PlayStation 4 straining at the seams to run the game.

A house move later and an upgrade to running TLoU2 on a PlayStation 5, and I finally found the time, and mental energy, to finish it. And what a roller coaster ride of a game it is.

What follows will include major spoilers, so please don’t read on if you intend to play this afresh.

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