Another week rolls by here at The Reticule, and all is quiet. Well, it was until Jon returned!
As we explained last week, we are still looking for new diverse voices to join our motley crew. Even if you aren’t looking to write with us, feel free to join our Discord server to hang out and talk about whatever takes your fancy. With that, on with Our Week in Games.
It turns out that saving the world from an alien invasion with super powers isn’t particularly difficult. What is hard, however, is saving the world from an alien invasion with super powers without accidentally slaughtering hundreds of civilians in the process.
I’m not even sure what’s going on. A while ago I just kind of sprang into super-being before a floating omnipotent cube announced I had to save humanity from an alien menace. I wondered briefly if diplomacy might be a possibility before one of the alien ships turned into a rotating saw blade and proceeded to slice its way through the residential district. Now I’m no expert in xeno-linguistics, but even I’m relatively certain that’s not an acceptable way to say ‘we come in peace’.
So down I flew, called forth my mighty and inexplicable powers and disintegrated the alien ship, several cars and three nearby buildings.
In my defence, laser vision and energy bolts don’t come with a user manual. They should definitely carry warnings like ‘do not use in enclosed spaces or around small children.’ Hindsight and learning by doing are wonderful things, but when you learn your mistake only after sawing an entire skyscraper in half with your eyes, then perhaps a more sensible method of training is required.
Megaton Rainfall is a delightfully silly game, a game in which you can fly to a distant planet orbiting a distant star in another galaxy, carve your initials in the alien rock before dashing back to Earth in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea.
I’m back!!! People rejoice, villages have put bunting up and someone, somewhere is dusting-off Bono. What a time to be alive.
Doubly so as I’m one of the few people who got a key for Turtle Rocks new game, Back4Blood; the spiritual successor to Left4Dead2. It’s safe to say it’s got a lot to live up to.
How’s it fairing? Well, it’s a very competent game. There’s a lot going on; in such that there’s now a mission hub, and there’s trading cards and mods and mutations and… well, there’s a lot going on. I’m planning to squeeze as much time out of the beta as I can, and you’ll see words around the very same up on the site very soon.
Am I enjoying it so far? I think so…
Past that, I’ve been playing a lot of Hitman 3 and thoroughly enjoying it. It is every bit as murder-y and simulator-y as I’d hoped- only with more polish. Mmmm. Murder.
When is Manchester United not Manchester United? In a future Football Manager that is as the famous club and Sega have resolved a trade mark dispute around the club appearing in the game. Sega and Sports Interactive have decided that moving forward Manchester United will be known in-game as Manchester UFC or Man UFC, with their decision to change the name of the club made on a goodwill basis to resolve the dispute without any admission of wrong doing. You can find out more about the legalese of this over on Eurogamer, but its an event which just goes to show how tricky licencing, copyright and trade mark things can be in the games industry, especially in sports and motor racing games.
Football is well and truly back though as I made my way to the Cardiff City stadium this weekend to watch some live football for the first time since before Covid-19 struck. Getting back into real football might spark my enthusiasm for playing Football Manager once again. While that might happen soon, this week I’ve been playing Mini Motorways on the laptop, and Minecraft Dungeons on my phone thanks to Xbox remote play.
It’s been an erratic gaming week. I haven’t had the time to really sink into anything, instead dipping in and out of various titles.
I recently decided (just before the Steam Deck was officially announced, which I have also pre-ordered) to pick up the new OLED Switch upon release, and figured it wouldn’t hurt to give my housemate’s model a try. Honestly, I think it’s a great handheld and I wish I’d picked one up sooner. A few weeks ago I played Super Metroid (piece coming soon!) and it honestly blew me away with its strange and surreal world – to say nothing of its subtle, emotive storytelling.
But more on that in a later piece.
This week I – forgive me – switched between Doom 3 and its expansion pack, Resurrection of Evil. I really wanted to know how a first-person game, my most played genre, felt on a handheld. So far? Pretty good! It took about fifteen minutes to acclimatise to the controls, then it was relatively plain sailing. I have a complicated relationship to id’s third entry, preferring Nerve Software’s vastly superior follow-up. But in this instance, Doom 3 is the smoother experience on the Switch. RoE’s most innovative and compelling components – namely the Grabber and its time-bending Artefact – don’t lend themselves well to the control setup of the Switch, and I found myself playing the game in a different way to my usual style. I imagine the Deck will offer the opposite experience, given its purpose.
Fortunately, that’s not at all what I intend to use my eventual Switch for. Like many, all my eyes are on the upcoming Metroid Dread.