The news that Nvidia are releasing a new set of GPU’s labelled ’30-series’ has been a hot topic over the past week or so. Having built my last two PC’s I like to keep up to date with the new tech but try not to get too excited because I know deep down I don’t have enough cash to upgrade every time something new is released. The starting price of £469 for the RTX 3070 in the UK is very tempting however and much cheaper than I’d have imagined a card that outpaces the 1080 Ti to be.
Oh, and there was also the small matter of the Xbox Series reveals and Nintendo stealthily unveiling some more Zelda.
This week I’ve not been playing Tarkov at all…
…I almost had you going there, right? It’s true that I’ve slowed down on that front but I’ve still been plugging away at it, trying to finish that final Punisher quest so I can collect my Epsilon container. Only 7 more kills!
But you want to hear my thoughts on the Xbox news I hear you say. Well here’s my no holds barred first impressions, hold on tight!
On one hand we’ve got what I can quite honestly say is one of the ugliest and worst designed consoles I’ve ever laid eyes on, the Xbox Series X. In case you haven’t seen it imagine if your fridge was black… bingo, that’s the Xbox Series X, no thanks. I’m a long time Xbox gamer and this just doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. £429 is the reported price at launch and while that is a little lower than I’d maybe imagined, it’s not enough to pull me away from my PC.
On the other hand we have the Xbox Series S. The smallest Xbox console ever, digital only gaming, £249 reported launch price, not shaped like a fridge. Well blow me down, just when I thought Microsoft had blown it they pull this out the bag. For me, this is big news and almost exactly what I would be looking for in a casual next-gen console.
I’ve mostly been wrestling with server issues and bugs in Dual Universe. Unfortunately not the crawling, slithering fire-spitting kind; but more the CTD and incomplete level loading type.
There’s a decent game there underneath it all, but i’m yet to decide how I feel about it. Expect initial impressions up early next week.
Aside from that, I’ve been logging into Tarkov to collect my bitcoins and scav cases and to set the odd manufacturing process going. Just haven’t quite had the temptation to click the ‘start raid’ button yet. Maybe that’s this wipe done for me? Only time will tell.
Finally I met another XCOM2 ‘nut’ in my Dual Universe corporation. So let’s face it… you should probably expect some more XCOM2 content in the near future….
I woke up one day earlier this week (I want to say it was Tuesday, but the days blend into one) to see tweets flying around about a big Microsoft leak. A shower later and I checked back to Twitter to see the Xbox Series S had been confirmed by Microsoft. I think everyone knew that something like the S was in the works, but seeing it confirmed for a mid-gen price cut level of £249 was shocking. Combined with the All Access deal where you can get a next gen machine for £20 a month and you have game changer.
Sony will respond in some way, and I have no doubt that the PlayStation 5 will be able to compete with the Series X on price. But for those many people out there gaming on a budget? The Series S will be a tantalising proposition.
Of course Nintendo didn’t have a quiet week. Hot on the tails of the Mario anniversary announcements they came out with word on a new Zelda game. It’s not Breath of the Wild 2 just yet, but it shows Nintendo aren’t going to go quietly into night with the Switch. Will we see a new model announcement soon? I wouldn’t be surprised.
All in all, I’m glad we aren’t a news focused site, instead bringing you great content like Our Week in Games.
What did I play? Well I lost quite a few hours to Crusader Kings.
So, this week my gaming experiences have been split between two very different titles: Quake and Wasteland 3. I’m not going to talk about Wasteland 3 because the review will be landing some time next week, but it’s definitely quite a bit different from my usual stomping grounds, so that’s been…a thing. I’m looking forward to writing about it (and indeed getting a little further into the meat of the game).
Quake, on the other hand, is very familiar to me. I revisit the game every few years, and even if each successive playthrough takes me further from that sublime first trip, I’m never not in awe of the game’s frenetic mix of FPS action and macabre horror. There’s just something about Quake that grabs me by the scruff of the neck and refuses to let go.
Quake wants to maim you. It’s a game that gleefully forces you into a small container to travel through an underwater passage, keeping you submerged long enough to run out of air and sustain damage. That’s Quake.
It’ll dangle the level exit in front of you, only to unleash a torrent of powerful enemies and sadistically refuse to open the exit gate unless you trigger a set of switches in obscure places. That, too, is Quake.
You’ll be crossing a bridge to acquire the rune at its centre, and the moment you pick it up the game will spawn enemies in front and behind where you precariously stand, strong-arming you into making a costly choice: face the enemies and see your HP take a beating, or drop from the bridge and be required to trudge through the better half of the level again?
It’s tough, it’s brutal, and it’s unforgiving. But it’s also a total blast. Quake has so much fun being Quake it’s impossible not to enjoy every minute of the experience. This is a sub-Lovecraftian D&D fever dream, made with an ‘all in’ approach to the fantastical batshittery of its world.
id declined to carry its story and world over to the sequel, but I believe the original was made available for free during this year’s QuakeCon, which raised a few eyebrows…is there a DOOM-style remake waiting in the wings? I’d be so down for that, but I won’t get my hopes up. Too much, anyway.
I absolutely love Alan Hazelden’s puzzle games. They are without exception cute, easy to pick up and bring a simple joy to exploration and puzzle solving. I also absolutely hate them. Behind the cutesy facade and friendly demeanour lies an inevitable point where I push and pull at a puzzle for two minute before declaring it completely and utterly impossible. Sokobond, A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build, they all sucked me in and they all proved too much for me.
A Monster’s Expedition is a game where you roll little tree trunks around little islands and that’s it. Only it’s not, because Alan’s games never are. Those tree trunks are going to get lost, stuck in the wrong orientation or get wedged behind a rock and there’s going to be absolutely no way I going to be clever enough to figure out what I’ve done wrong.
I haven’t quite hit that point yet with A Monster’s Expedition, but I know it’s coming. At some point I’m going to give up, but for now I’m happy to wander the cute little islands and investigate the cute little exhibits, all the while pretending to myself that there’s not a cold, black cloud of a difficulty spike waiting to make me cry.