Can you believe our last edition of ‘Our Week In Games’ was way back in 2014? Well after a rather long hiatus in one of our filing cabinets it has triumphantly returned to bring you the weekly gaming news from the writers here at The Reticule and the wider world. Hurrah!
A surprise Spelunky update was the highlight of the news week for me. It’s been a while since anything Spelunky related has crossed my path and only having to wait until September for a full release on PS4 is great. Fingers crossed the PC version follows very quickly.
In other news Horizon Zero Dawn has had a rocky start to it’s life on PC with many people complaining about game crashes and even being unable to play the game at all. It’s a shame that one of the standout former exclusives on PS4 couldn’t make a smoother transition over to PC as I’ve heard nothing but praise for it in the past.
Escape From Tarkov has dominated my gaming life recently. I’ve barely had the time or inclination to play anything else for nearly three months now. For once it’s not because I’m hopelessly addicted either, instead EFT has captured my attention like no other game since my days of World of Warcraft and it was fully unexpected.
It’s exactly the hardcore experience I didn’t know I had been looking for in a shooter for a long time now. It rewards the player for advanced planning, for patience and for game knowledge and has reinvigorated a genre that for me was bland and oversaturated with copycat games.
The EFT ‘experience’ is only just beginning to mature, with much more content planned over the coming months (and probably years) and it’s a game that I can see myself enjoying for a long time to come.
Much like Kevin, the majority of my time recently has been spent playing Tarkov. I’ve just reached the point in the game where my (substantial) investment in the Hideout is beginning to pay off, and I’m starting to make a passive income from it. This is freeing me up to be a bit more daring in combat, which has upped my effectiveness. As a result, I’m having an absolute blast hunting people down. Them… not so much.
Otherwise I’ve been exploring a number of space-sim games. In particular those with a survival bent. Space Colony and Dual Universe have both captured my attention, so expect something on those coming up soon (ish).
Editors Note: Check out Jon’s Escape From Tarkov Guide Series.
I’ve been struggling to get anything written recently, a nature of the long lockdown and constant presence being sat at my desk at home? Or writers block? Who knows, but when Kevin dropped a note in our Discord server about bringing back Our Week in Games, I was all over it, and am so pleased that our little weekly baby is back.
My week has been focused on The Persistence which I have just delivered my Verdict on, and that was a hell of a ride. It made me realise how far I have come as a gamer from the days when I couldn’t play Doom 3 without turning on god mode, to diving into a sci-fi horror like The Persistence and just getting stuck in. Anyway, it’s great to see such an exhilerating game spread its wings beyond the VR audience, though it does make me yearn for Sony to say something, anything, about what their PSVR support will look like on the PlayStation 5.
Aside from that, I finally finished off a game I first reviewed seven years ago and picked up again on the Switch at the start of lockdown. I am of course talking about Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, and I am so pleased that I got through to the end. I haven’t finished an Assassin’s Creed game since Syndicate with performance issues (and sheer size of things) holding me back from getting through Origins and Odyssey more recently. Of course, being able to play something like Assassin’s Creed on the Switch is great fun, you can pick off bits and pieces around the edges of the main experience during snatches of gameplay here and there. I was going to pick up Xenoblade Chronicles 2 again once the credits finished rolling….but instead I started Connor’s adventures in America in Assassin’s Creed III. It will be interesting to see what I make of it considering the negative reception it received at release.
My week in gaming has, without question, been something of a sad failure. I’m supposed to be knee-deep in snow with the terrific-looking adventure game Röki from Polygon Treehouse. Instead I’ve been caught between two far older titles, both of which are certifiably great – Beyond Good and Evil (2003) and Half-Life (1998).
They’re two of my favourite games, for very different reasons.
I was pulled back into Beyond Good and Evil after learning of Netflix’s plan to adapt it to film. It had been maybe seven, eight years since I’d last visited Hillys, and I had legitimately forgotten how incredible and delightful Ubisoft’s action-adventure was. I’m done not yet, but expect a write-up of some description about Jade’s journey to expose a corrupt regime that cries ‘fake news’ whenever she lands a blow in the next week or so.
Half-Life. Do I really need to be playing Half-Life again? No, no not really, but I’ve been performing a written commentary of the whole series, and it was the last one on my list. After this, I will have to shelve it for at least a decade.
I also dove into a few of the Half-Life series’ mods, such as the curious and ambitious Point of View, in which you play as a vortigaunt during the Black Mesa Incident, and Transmissions: Element 120 for Half-Life 2, which is about as good as experimental gameplay gets – it’s City 17 by way of Carol Reed’s The Third Man. A smart, creepy delight. I’d also really like to get around to exploring some of Alyx’s fan-made content, which is increasing in volume at a rapid pace. (enough hinting about Half-Life words, we need a deep dive into why Opposing Force was the best of the bunch – Ed)
To my infinite surprise I appear to have found a football game I actually enjoy. I don’t think this has happened since I tried Sensible Soccer in 1992.
Well, I say a football game. Behold The Kickmen is Dan Marshall’s rather loose interpretation of the funny old game, featuring oval pitches, all the 4,4,2’s you can want and if you’re really lucky the referee will give you a kiss when you do a goal.
Dan Marshall may have been aiming for comedy with Behold The Kickmen, but I can’t help but feel that a lot of his changes make sense. For example – the pitch has been made round, with barriers surrounding the exterior meaning the ball never goes out of play. As a result, there are no throw-ins or corners and the game proceeds at a faster and more exciting pace.
The offside rule is also given a much needed face-lift. At random intervals, one entire side of the pitch is deemed out of bounds for a short period, forcing players to quickly adapt their tactics and not relying on a single wing of the pitch.
This isn’t comedy, this is genius. It also happens to be just £1.39 on Steam.