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…
This week I returned to Police Stories, a top-down tactical action game by Mighty Morgan. While it may look reminiscent of Hotline Miami, bursting through doors and firing wildly will lead to nothing more than a stern ticking off by your police chief. It turns out that police officers are expected to at least try and bring people in alive, so pepper spray, tear gas and even good old fashioned ‘yelling at people’ are also tactics at your disposal.
Shooting an unarmed suspect will cost you points. Even shooting someone holding a gun that doesn’t have it pointed in your direction can count against you, so it’s important to stay focused at all times. The difficulty comes in Police Stories’ low resolution top-down viewpoint, which can make it difficult to tell when someone’s reaching for a gun or merely scratching a rather inconvenient itch. I’ve found the best tactic is often to burst into any room with pepper-spray in hand and applying liberal doses of the chemical to everyone present. They probably won’t be nominating me for any Police Officer of the Year awards, but at least the worst damage I’m inflicting on unfortunate civilians is some rather inconvenient temporary blindness.
Inspired by the Noclip documentary about the Dishonored series, this past week I took a trip back to the first game. You might remember that last year I analysed the opening prison break, so the joys of Dunwall were still in the back of my mind.
Taking to the first proper mission to eliminate High Overseer Campbell, I was immediately drawn into the richness of the world. The idle chatter of NPCs, the warning messages from the loudspeakers, the books and audio logs scattered throughout. They all work to help you understand what is happening in Dunwall.
I completed the mission without killing anyone, but it is sorely tempting to give this opener another playthrough in a high chaos style by mixing up the more exciting powers.
I still can’t imagine what it would be like to play Dishonored as a straight up shooter. Running and gunning through the levels would leave you to miss so much, and I wonder how many people missed the point of Dishonored when they originally played it. It’s a great shame if people played the first without realising the range of playstyles available, and then passed by buying the sequel.
Largely down-and-out with the symptoms of abdominal adhesions (quite unpleasant!) my week has been a relatively quiet one, gaming-wise. I holed up briefly with a six-hour trip to Raccoon City, the night before it was vaporised in nuclear fire – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis continues to be one of the series’ finest, as a compelling blend of survival horror, action, and Jill Valentine.
That puts me in a strange place. So far this year I have replayed Resident Evil (2002) twice (both as Jill and Chris), Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil – CODE: Veronica, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and, for the first time, Village.
I think that’s a lot Resident Evil. Perhaps too much. I’d call it quits, but I’d like to play Revelations 2 at some point, and a return visit to the village is most definitely on the cards. You know when you’ve just finished a new game, and could just immediately jump back in? That’s where I am with Village. I really wanna go back.
Soon. But first, Essays on Empathy.