Our Week in Games – Week 112

Our Week in Games – Week 112

Nvidia have found themselves in the news again with the issues surrounding the business of actually getting your hands on one of their new cards. The 3080 in particular has reportedly not had the best launch, with multiple outlets being hit by purchase bots (makes one wonder just how effective those ‘captcha’s’ are……) only for units to be appearing on auction-sites for ten-times the list price. Interestingly there do appear to be people that insane, desperate, mad invested in the tech to be willing to pay those prices. Unless of course that’s all part of the con.

It’s a shame. A number of retailers and Nvidia themselves have published press-releases stating that they are working around the clock to ensure the orders go into the hands of people who are, you know, actually going to use their cards, down to and not excluding the possibility of chasing up each order one at a time to check it’s a genuine purchase. Their dedication is admirable but I don’t envy them that job.

I suppose, when you’ve just released what is arguably the biggest step forward in graphics technology this decade, coupled with an almost unbelievably low price-tag, you can bet they’ll want to get it right.

Intros by Jon

Chris

So, I only went and pre-ordered a PlayStation 5 this week. I wasn’t in much doubt that I would be looking forward to jumping up to Sony’s new machine, the main question in my mind was financials. The deals Microsoft have offered with the two Series machines are mighty impressive, going a long way to making the purchase of a new machine both affordable, and sensible when bundled with Game Pass.

Sony’s offering (£360 for the digital, £449 for the disc versions) is a formidable prospect of an initial outlay, but having skipped the PlayStation 4 Pro due to financial and 4K TV timings, I find myself in a position where with some trade-in assistance, the PlayStation 5 is realistic option. The launch titles are limited, but I’ve plumped for Demon Souls and Sackboy, while I will be bringing much of my PlayStation 4 back catalogue forwards with me. I don’t mind that my old titles might not experience any performance boosts when it comes to playing them on the new machine, but being able to play them at all is good enough for me.

While some will throw barbs at one company or the other around things like the naming convention of the generation and power differences of the Xbox machines, or towards Sony for going back on their claims for having clearly differentiated console generations, I’m just feeling very happy that I’m able to enter a new console generation from day one.

Judging by the queues at GAME on Thursday morning, there are many out there excited for the new generation to finally arrive. Bring on November!

p.s I’ve been losing hours upon hours to Crusader Kings III. What a gem that is!

Kevin

What can I say, I caught the writing bug again and it’s been a busy gaming week! I finished up my review for BPM: Bullets Per Minute, a challenging rogue-like where you can only shoot in time with some awesome hard rock tracks! I also started, finished and wrote up a review for The Suicide of Rachel Foster. I then started writing a preview for Partisans: 1941, a real-time tactical game set in WWII which should be ready in a few days time! Whew, that’s a lot of writing for me!

On top of that I just bought Fall Guys and have been playing that plus the usual Tarkov with friends. I’ve also still been doing the odd mission in Red Dead Redemption 2, but that’s definitely on the backburner for now.

There’s been a lot of console related news recently and with the prices and specs for the PS5 and XBox S/X now released it makes me wonder if I even want a new console at all. I’ve been with Xbox for the past two generations, but with Games Pass on PC now, I don’t see why I would need one any more. My Xbox One has basically become a DVD player!

You never know though, there could be a timed exclusive or extra special deal on either side that tempts me into buying, but for now it seems that I will stick with PC.

Jon

I officially hit the ennui point with Tarkov last night. A series of raids with deaths of, shall we say ‘questionable’ legitimacy (cheating *******s) have robbed me of any drive to go back and play it. Let’s see what the next wipe holds.

That though, gives me an issue as Tarkov is my go-to streaming game. I spent a worrying amount of time staring at my steam library to identify anything I could muster the interest to re-install. So, happily a new massive update for Left 4 Dead 2, one of the best co-op multiplayer games ever is coming soon. Seems the community got tired of waiting for L4D3 so decided to go back and update/overhaul the seminal game. And I couldn’t be more excited. I have sunk an ungodly amount of time into those games and the idea of the community returning and getting stuck into a new version of the Valve classis is something I’m very keen to get my hands on.

Details are here and we’ll see what it’s like when it’s released later this month.

Nick

 

This week the search and rescue simulator Stormworks has hit version 1.0 to a somewhat rough reception. Several promised features including logistics and shipping containers aren’t working, refuelling stations aren’t powered and the ability to load missions appears to be completely missing. The discord channel and Steam forums have been up in arms about changes to the career system, but I’ve not been that concerned.

For me, Stormworks is the Thunderbirds simulator I always wanted as a child. Last night I received a distress signal from a ship on fire off the coast of a small island. Immediately, I fired up the engines of my HUBRO T18, a powerful VTOL jet from the Steam workshop that I’ve repainted to resemble Thunderbird 1. After a long search around the ship’s last known location I finally spotted smoke on the horizon. Moments later, I was hovering over the ship, water jets suppressing the flames even as I winched down to rescue the terrified crew.

No the game isn’t perfect and yes the developers have a lot to do right now to redeem themselves in the eyes of the community, but until another game allows me to scratch my International Rescue itch, Stormworks will remain a frequent stop in my Steam library.

Ross

Which one of you stole my save files, eh? Fess up!

The past week has, by and large, been devoted to Wasteland 3 (in-between not one but two instances of reformatting my main HD!). It got off to a rocky start – after three hours of acclimatising myself to a genre I was quite unfamiliar with, the game erased my save files (not, as I learned, an isolated phenomenon…). I was uncertain as to whether I’d go on at that point, but I was intrigued enough to delve back in, shaking off any knocks to my objectivity and determined to give the game a fair shake.

Well, reader, I’m now 27 hours in. The review should land tomorrow or Tuesday. There’s quite a bit to say. It’s been – let’s say an experience. Yes, let’s say that.

I’ve also continued my journey through the Quake series. This week I wrapped the first mission pack, Scourge of Armagon. I remember liking Scourge the first time I played it, but I was unprepared for just how much I’d love it the second time.

It was developed by Hipnotic Interactive in 1997, who would soon after become Ritual Entertainment and deliver their own slice of first-person shooter history with 1998’s SiN. It’s not hard to see how one led to the other – Scourge, their very first title, is aggressively experimental in its approach to Quake’s formula, earning it a respectable place in the series’ history.

Hipnotic’s enthusiasm for Quake is palpable, aping the original’s brazen and brutal ferocity to a tee. If you loved Quake, you’ll love this. As per the expansion pack template, Scourge is roughly half the length of its progenitor with generally shorter missions, throwing three new enemies and three new weapons into the mix.

A moment of pure cinema – a perfect encapsulation of Scourge of Armagon’s intense, frenetic action

It helps that the game is held together by a stronger sense of what’s driving it than Quake was. So, rather than a distinct set of realms created by separate designers, Scourge follows a linear mission structure with escalating narrative stakes. It’s mostly to the game’s benefit, but it does mean it lacks some of Quake’s reckless spirit.

It’s no easy feat creating a sequel to one of the greatest games ever made, especially on a studio’s first outing. But somehow Hipnotic managed it, and if it’s more Quake you want then Scourge of Armagon is what you’re looking for. What a treat, then, it manages to be just that little bit more.

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