I’ve always had to be discerning with the games I purchase for the simple fact that–with the exception of additional funding received on special occasions such as Christmas and Birthdays–I have a limited financial capacity to be truly frivolous. So I’m dictated by measures of compatibility that reflect my current mood, applying prejudice with detailed specifications so I can amiably conduct an elaborate search for a game that meets a criteria most conducive to my needs, or merely hopeful that a game has reduced in price enough for me to take interest. I utilise reviews, fan opinion and even my own subjective opinions to coordinate a regulated view that justifies the spending of my hard earned pennies. That’s why it has taken me so long to buy Fallout 4. The main point of contention for me not buying it sooner wasn’t down to price, but rather my indifference towards Fallout 3 and by association, New Vegas. I am one of the few people that didn’t really enjoy my tenure through the capital wasteland. I get that that it’s supposed to be a solemn world deprived of civility, steeped in an ambient hue of radiation and acrid elemental stagnation caused by the, you know “Fallout” of the atomic war, that has reduced buildings once flourishing with activity to hollow structures bereft of life. With the rubble and plunging concrete representing the decaying husks of a bygone era of society vigour. The world’s bleak ambience is an integral part of the Fallout mythology, as is shooting rabid canines in each of their appendages with the accuracy of a chip guided into Sam Allardyce gullet, and I get that. But being at the mercy of the aggressive rules and regulations that govern these hostile and desolate lands never captivated me for long, without it feeling repetitious. Yet despite Fallout 4 adhering to a similarly grim structure I’m actually quite enjoying it for a number of different reasons.
Bethesda have always been a rather clumsy developer in my opinion, seeking to create expansive, customisable environments with more bugs than rats mattress. But Fallout 4 actually works…..and well?! There’s a fluidity, a consistency with the games performance, an ability to traverse for more than 5 seconds without the ground swelling and dropping me into a pixilated abyss?! In fairness it has been available for about a year which is maybe enough time for them to fix the litany of discrepancies that were likely present at launch. What really benefits this iteration more than Fallout 3 is a genuinely harrowing sense of loss. For me Fallout 3 focused too heavily on the characters sense of isolation and abandonment, which always made my journey to find my father a little sterile. Here you experience the trauma of loss right in front of you as you *spoiler* watch helplessly as your wife/husband is murdered and your son is taken from you. The fact that I am a father only accentuated the trauma, with the love I have for my daughter reciprocated here.
I’ve never been particularly sensitive to such harrowing events, nor particularly effusive about fictional kidnapping. I don’t have a tendency to moralise such unspeakable acts of treachery either but because I can identify with the character my empathy translates into affirmative actualisation, as I’m compelled to find my kidnapped son. Perhaps I’m just getting old but that kind of moment really did tug at the heartstrings. Well, that is until I realise that I can rebuild settlements in a way that suits my needs and availability. Come on, when I find my son he’s going to need somewhere to live!
I’ve put the game on a difficulty that not only reflects my competency as a competitive player but also admirably describes my ex girlfriend; very easy. By doing so I’m granted a far less arduous journey to facilitate my hermetic need to pick up every piece of scrap I stumble onto. And I’m actually enjoying gathering materials from every shop or derelict residencies, crafting these pilfered items into vital utilities such as shelters, beds, sustainable water supplies and other invaluable resources for my colonised settlements. And believe me they are “my” settlements as no one else lifts a finger to help me! You’d think a 200 year old man would be treated with a little more respect? I’m actively restoring unused space into affordable shelters for my ever growing community, that is both functional and in keeping with the towns rustic aesthetic. When I’m not on an expedition to scavenge more steel I’m eradicating drifting bands of raiders, harvesting crops for other communities and generally protecting the sovereignty and prosperity of fallout communities. It’s a simple yet effective method of immersion that was never really present in its predecessors.
I guess what makes these banal moments so compelling is the gradual accumulation of trash that can be converted into treasure, making thrift exploration of every building worthwhile. Building habitable structures for use as temporary homes or places for merchants to barter creates a distinctive economy through the fastidious gathering of surplus resources, that is only hindered by the limitations of your perception is an auxiliary component that gives my expedient play some substance, a sense of purpose and an overall feeling of contentment. As I sip a refreshing Nuka-Cola on my own personal balcony, watching the sun diminish on the horizon I contemplate the next……Oh crap! I forgot that my son’s been kidnapped?! I’m coming Shaun!……
What game are you playing that you are “late to the party” for? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
I’ve just pre-ordered Skyrim Remastered on the PS4 (yes I’m immediately aware of the controversy surrounding Sony’s refusal to incorporate mods into their version and I don’t care…..much). It’s been a number of years since I last explored the vaguely racist continent of Skyrim and though I own the PS3 version, I felt like this was an opportune moment to revisit the verdant pastures, snow peaked mountains and subterranean musk of Skyrim. With my knee suitably healed from an arrow wound sustained from a previous adventure and the allure of improved environmental visuals and additional features I missed from its initial release, the compulsion to once again establish myself as an aggressive, woodcutting, book collecting pyromaniac, betrothed to some tavern wench with ample *cough* “dragon tamers” and flays his own adopted children was too much to resist. I am once again relishing the challenge of the adventure. That is until it gets too challenging and I finally decide to reduce the difficulty in tiny increments at regular intervals when the challenge will be easier than surviving a Marvel movie. For me in my twilight years of gaming buying a remastered game with proven credentials is a far safer purchase than new unproven material. The limitations related to my depleted resources belies my eagerness to engage with every and all original content released, but sadly I’m constrained by the bonds of parental responsibility. I have to be certain that what I’m buying is not only good but great. There are no guarantees, no quality control and I cannot afford to squander what little finances I have on an insufficient game. The wounds of games riding high on the crest of expectation yet failing to capitalise on it, conferring only brazen complacency are all too frequent. Rather ironically applying a degree of cynicism is an invaluable asset in the ever damaging fight against consumerism.
The trend of recyclable content, regurgitated for the purpose of expanding and consolidating residuals on an already established product with little effort is something I’ve been eagerly critical of in the past. And Skyrim adheres to that formula. But like I’ve said money is the priority and the certainty of liking a game increases exponentially if you’ve played it before. So it is easy to understand why so many popular titles have been “remastered” and also why they sell so well. Most new games require a great deal of risk. Convincing potential candidates to part with their hard earned money necessitates that the buyer is fully complicit in the generated marketing. Whether a game is good or not is of secondary consideration for the publisher and probably for the developer too. Beyond Good And Evil was a great game, that financially flopped. As was Okami, a game of considerable originality, sadly ignored. So we as consumers have to participate in this theatrical parlance with significant caution, yet a willing desire that the product might actually be good. I’ve made questionable purchases purely on a whim and liberated by uninhibited ambition. But with Skyrim, despite the repetition of playing a game I’ve already completed (not that you can ever really finish a game of this scale) I know it will be as good as I remember. Having said, that opinions expressed here are subject to drastic revision.
Do you think there are too many remastered titles released? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
There is one consensual and unifying abnormality in gaming right now called apathy. The complete legitimized reservation to discharge any enamoured response to a source that demands such extrovert reactions. We are intolerant to excitement, with our formative response to stimulation one of perfunctory caution. Anticipation has been the secondary composite of the more primary expectation; Hope. The hope that expectations can be fulfilled. The hope that the game imparts a world that functions. The hope, that above all, it doesn’t suck harder than a Katie Price vacuum cleaner. So it’s good to see The Witcher 3 has arrived with all the placid equanimity of hurricane in a music shop. I’m seldom compliant to the restraints of expectant conformity, still exhuming those surreptitious butterflies that flutter in my stomach with expeditious intensity whenever images or discussions concerning the Witcher are shared. And I know I shouldn’t because I’ve been hurt so many times before! I’ve been besieging it to be good. Please, please be good! After receiving the game through my letterbox, I pierced its cloistered packaging and roused its gilded stature from the shroud of its encompassing restraints and l was immediately excited by the tangible manual, containing actual definition and specifications on how to do things! It’s a conceit displaced by the temperance of progression. To include a physical booklet that explains individual buttons and their specific actions was such a minimalist inclusion, but one of such apparent care that I couldn’t help but feel at ease. Of course it isn’t about its assented finery but the game itself and most individual’s would be overwhelmed with the compulsion to play. Me, I wanted to look at the thing. Look at trees, the grass, the sky, the sea. Branch off through the venerable fertility of a continent that looks like it’s been curated by an obsessive compulsive, omnipotent being. There’s a vast range acquitted with esoteric propagation that is only limited by your desires rather than allowance.
So few games can generate such sensory acuity without it becoming fake, especially one so extensively mailable. Tree branches are bristled by the vapid exchanges of errant wind. Swamps are precipitated bogs writhing in pestilential death and reclusive threats. Villages are bastions of functionality, bustling with commerce and not merely staged apparatus. The inhabitants feel genuine, as though they are living organic lives that isn’t concerned with awaiting your prestigious arrival. It doesn’t convey a civilisation on a timed router, walking back and forth between a tavern and the vestiges of some hearth. Whether its tending to livestock or reprimanding their children, everything, no matter how innocuous appears real, brimming with harmonised society replete with actualized activity. They even react to your arrival with benign hostility. Due to the much reviled reputation of Witchers, you stride into a tavern receiving looks of incredulity like Clint Eastwood in a western. The rueful barbs directed at your kind is only abated by swift exit or even swifter executions. But this just provides further advocacy to explore the blooming tapestry of dense woodland set against the rich canopy of deep blue skies, emblazoned with lingering clouds that don’t convene to a shapeless form. Sorry I was lost there for a second. Even the most vestigial of environments convene with congenial liberation. Trees appear rooted as though they haven’t simply been placed by some technical advisor but is actually years of growth. Peaks mounted by glinting snow, splayed and wilted by reticulated ravines looks as though its been carved by natural erosion rather than some guy tapping on a keyboard. Some people would feel obliged to compare its unblemished ambiance to that of painting, remarking on the subtle brush strokes that appear indistinct. For me it’s like that moment when you first see a woman’s boobs, and you just hear an inverted chorus of angelic harmonies. Of course the densely expansive environments aren’t without perils, as it’s a world populated by a bevy of carnivorous beasts.
Wolves, feral canines, also referred to as dogs of death! (probably), composite mythological creatures such as Griffins. Peasants and vagrants mobilised by survival, even restless apparitions once derived from brides will endeavour to castigate you as you traverse the unexplored reaches. These confrontations never feel randomized but more of voluntary migration of wildlife. And because of the uncertainty of what precise combatants will attempt to harvest your organs for digestion, excursions become wholly unnerving. Your be cantering through some auspicious pasture, presumably harvesting flowers for alchemy only to hear the rasping tremor of some distant beast, startling your mare as it begins naaying in startled fear, rearing its hind legs in protest. Linger too long and your horse will simply flip you and flee. Damn the self-preservation of your not so trusted stead! You have to be smart. Utilise the beastality, a ledger that documents the weaknesses of specific enemies and spam it for your own protection. Go into confrontations, even randomized encounters in your excursions without the expressed strategic advantage, then be prepared to lose. Combatants are scrupulously terse, often garrisoned by surreptitious companions that will suddenly envelope you with brazen ferocity. Adaptive transitions are imperative, flitting between attack, parrying and evasion. Substituting overt attacks for optimised magical professions is also necessary. Conjuring some pyromantic incantation to engulf a partially annoying adversary is immediately gratifying, as you can almost feel the plume of incinerating flesh extracted from its flailing body. You need to harness your combative strategies efficiently. Know when to dodge, when to parry and when to run! Constant passive tuition is initiated through your own complacency, so your always learning from your mistakes. You pause, re-evaluate, think. Don’t run at them, disperse them, utilise igni and replenish health accordingly. Oh and don’t expect to simply abscond from a particularly vicious liaison and rejuvenate health, as virility regenerates at a staggering pedantic pace. On easier levels you can meditate to restore lost health, but on harder difficulties you will resent its absence.
There are ample suppositories, restorative rations and potions that can be concocted or purchased from the various peddlers throughout The Witcher. There’s a functionality to common implements you scavenge too. They can be sold for meagre sum, or fashioned into customisable supplements to improve the quality of your weapons and armour. Griffin heads and other ghastly aberrations that you’ll inherit through victories over specific beats are gifted parlances for your dowries, as you reap significant monetary replenishment for your privation. You can go anywhere, do anything, all without limitations until you literally reach the very end of the world. What more is there to say, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the personification of perfection. Yep, perfect in every respect. Perfect, perfect, perfect…….almost.
The game always struggles for narrative purchase. Though hardly inept, it does commit to a stringent series of padded futilities, structured in such conveniences that you’d mistake your ordinances for a road trip, travelling from place to place just because? And I mean come on, who wants to traverse such an uninhibited land anyway? The combat isn’t as intuitive as you’d expect when expedient diplomacy is required, with sword strokes and parry’s are perpetrated with restrained versatility, as your character responds to your commands as though his submerged in jam. The text is often illegible, reduced to such small words that you’d be forgiven for thinking that your consulting an ophthalmologist’s eye chart. Gwent, one of many extraneous activities is an intricate card game which can be played at any time during your adventure. Trouble is its like your father saying “Hey son, how do you feel about having a kick about?” only for you to reply “No thanks dad, I’m going to play Fifa.” There are textural hindrances, frame rate issues, loading screens seemingly borrowed from BloodBorne, the game even froze and stopped working completely only 10 minutes in! Though I’m pleased to report no further interruptions. But my biggest and most unexpected grievance is The Witcher himself.
You first encounter Geralt of Rivia (also dubbed Gerald by myself) bathing in suds, reclined, beard matted and ridden with lice, with his little Witcher obscured by conveniently situated objects with only the suggestion of female anatomy. Take that misogyny! It’s soon revealed that he’s a seasoned professional tutoring at an academy of sorts, with a capacity for distributing leniency or aggressive retaliation. He’s as moralistic as you wish him to be, as prompted decisions are decided by your own proclivities. He’s burdened by prophecies, extends no-nonsense courtesy to those that obstruct his goals. He’s quick, vigilant, and even refrains from celibacy, discovering alternate helms to sheath his sword if you catch my drift (wink, wink!). In short his a bad ass and certainly not to be trifled with. But it doesn’t leave much retributive personality, for me at least, to empathise with. Perhaps it’s my lack of knowledge concerning the overarching lineage of series, where others more acquainted will be more lenient. Maybe his dogged determination constitutes as suitable reparation for his latent charisma. Maybe I’m just so fatigued by the vapid candour of reviewers praising this game, that I feel inclined to puncture holes where there are none. I really couldn’t say.
What is evident is that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt provides immersive province’s delegated by political disparity, that you can completely ignore because you’ve discovered a cave ripe for pillaging or an adorable bunny rabbit to devour. And make no mistake that the discrepancies I’ve exerted are negligible. You will adore the open world created here (apparently 20% bigger than Skyrim) replete in a hue of vibrancy that begs to be discovered, scavenged and drenched in the blood of vanquished foes. Take note Bethesda; THIS is how you do it!
What did you think of The Witcher 3? Let me hear your thoughts. Cheers.
You stand here today accused of gross negligence, dereliction of duty, insufferable arrogance, a referral of ignorance and blatant contempt for both your loyally resilient fans and progeny. Your submitted plea of not guilty is further corroborating proof of your benign consideration as both accusers and your peers have gathered here today to brandish their united solidarity against you. Your assertive rise to prevalence and continued dominating popularity requires your full attentive compliance when dealing with grievances referred to by fans, fans that you have negligently disregarded. Your latency and total lack of empathy in amending these numerable issues is frankly startling, so its with a measurable amount of pleasure that our meticulously convened adjudicators composed of thoroughly impartially gathered individuals, that just conveniently happen to be disgruntled fans have unanimously adjudged you guilty of all charges which is frankly the only possible recourse, inevitable to everyone but yourself. Your publicly perceived consultancy is regarded as flippant with all the comparable transparency of mud. Your status as the leading competitive gaming publisher has hereby been revoked until suitable assurances have been made regarding your woefully inconsistent servers. Never in all my years as a gamer have I witnessed such pronounced apathy for the very people they are assigned to serve.
For your crimes you will be reprimanded under section 69 of the mental health act and sanctioned at a correctional facility localised in the Arklay mountains, just West of pleasant little hamlet called Raccoon City. Currently industrialised by a respected conglomerate known as Umbrella who will conduct singular cognitive examination on your employees, most will be rectally invasive simply to confidently affirm the legitimacy of your humanity (and for a laugh), all under the cursory tutelage of Dr William Burkin, who will also be tending to the aggrieved associates you have belittled, castrated and shamed including Battlefield and Need For Speed. You will be monitored to ensure that your oppressive motives cannot inflict any further pain on your released content. So any perpetual loading screens, crashes, visual imperfections, frame rate latency and rubber-banding are strictly prohibited. Mild sedatives will be administered as a preliminary measure to prevent you from releasing a duplicate iteration of FIFA again with only the packaging and numerical differentiate from last years version. Also, once your recuperation has been successful and verified by the proper medical examiners, you will be forced to compensate your clients for any monetary transactions that has resulted in individuals acquiring James “potato Head” Milner for the 7th time in one of your loosely cultivated gold packs, or inability to even load The Simpsons Tapped Out for than 5 seconds. You will also be sentenced to 100,000 of years of community service, accumulated from backdated time wasted on static loading screens and incurred on those rare occasions that I was actually the most proficient player of Battlefield 4, only for my affluent position to be rendered mute when it crashes. You will serve under these proclamations until such a time that your perpetual abstinence from fan rebuke has been suitably amended and numerable transgressions have been addressed.
You’re a publisher that helps generate incredibly exciting games……and then ruins them. Do you have anything to say in your defence?……..No. I though not. *brings down gavel*
“Next case in session. Bethesda intend to sue RockStar over copyright infringement that states only “they” are entitled to delay and screw up a great game and its additional contents.” Court adjourned for now. This could take some time.
Motivation is an important sustenance when attempting to complete a potentially stubborn game, which requires an abundance of mental flexibility, a frightening degree of patience and an attitude of unrelenting desire. Without the stimulation to achieve your aspiring intentions, your concentration will likely wane and the enthusiasm that was so apparent initially, clearly dictating your propensity to succeed will dissipate, on account of the seemingly hopeless display of stubborn, relentless retaliation from your game. Theres almost a blind ignorant determination from you that generates a powerful sense of euphoria and aptitude for domination, like a bitter boxer attempting to reclaim his respective belt from an inferior, less worthy opponent, at least that’s a similar experience to what I’ve been engaged in recently.
A couple of months ago, prior to my PS3’s expectant demise, and the acquiring of a new more sophisticated version, I declined the option of transferring my previous saved data, partly due to my moralistic desire to begin everything fresh and not a scrambled mess of incomplete data, but mainly because of some irrational, inexplicable notion that the transferring of data from one console to another, was some form of technological interpretation of how sperm enters the uterus, like some kind sick, violating explicit transference of data (I am currently seeking professional assistance with this). But despite a couple of successes in obtaining Platinums (Sleeping Dogs/ Resident Evil 5), Skyrim is proving to be a highly disobedient title to dominate.
It’s not necessarily the level of difficulty, which is easily manipulated to suite your approach, nor is the exploring the plethora of rapturous locations which is simplicity itself, but more the recurring magnitude of crippling glitches that still force me to return to 5 hour outdated files, because a person of interest has somehow become lodged inside an impassable chasm, due to a previous dragon attack. I’m in constant danger, not from deplorable dragons, ice wraith or any number fictitious antagonists, but from glitches that could impede my process and prevent me from obtaining my third platinum. Theres an overwhelming sense of failure which needlessly summons me like some promiscuous vixen, beckoning me with her enticing voluptuous cleavage, whilst leaning on bars of gold bullion and holding a box full of Jaffa cakes. Perseverance is more imperative now than it has ever been if I’m to succeed in obtaining my third platinum, that and an astute mastery of probability. Note to Bethesda: Skyrim doesn’t need patches, it requires urgent but efficient medical resuscetation….preferably from the cast of scrubs.
Have you overcome challenges or glitches presented by a game? And are you as embittered by Skyrim as I am? Let me know what you think.
Glitches have become a significant occurrence in the gaming industry, one that many of us have adapted to accept, and for much of it, obtuse sensibilities is a satisfying deterrent, until the little bugs and glitches that were once irrelevant and unassuming, suddenly become more pronounced and insipid. It’s an unconscious sensation, born out unbeknownst resentment. Vaguely tolerable circumstances that you barely comprehended before, are suddenly infuriatingly clear. You maintained a constant vigilance on accomplishing your required conclusion, that any deviation was of a secondary concern. But somehow, through some kind of desperate, inconceivable notion to disappoint, Bethesda created glitches beyond the simple pails of this world. Somehow procuring the aid of Lucifer himself in the creation of some of the most conceptually genius creations, and transforming them into heinous acts of ignorance and callous stupidity, unheard of since the city of Troy graciously accepted the Trojan horse with great sincerity, from the apparent generosity of the Greeks, rather than adopt a sense of speculative curiosity and inspect their newly acquired trophy.
That’s what their games should be to them, trophies. Such a blatant disregard for quality is so apparent that its offensive. It’s as though Bethesda, nearing the completion of their products, as the game testers are reciting the numerous, amalgamated errors that need adjusting or just neutralised entirely. Bethesda rapidly place their ignorant fingers into their ears, in an attempt to disregard the countless faults. Fallout 3 was derided for its inconsistencies on the PS3 on initial release. From blurry textures, infinite cap bugs (useful, but inappropriate) and general freezing which accompanies so many games, but nothing truly detrimental to your progress. Fallout: New Vegas, which was arguably more enjoyable than its predecessor, but its enduring legacy will be far less grandeurs than the vast desolate land it conveyed. Bethesda failed, or indeed ignored the crippling glitches that were so blatant in Fallout 3, and instead decided to puncture widening, penetrative holes into their credibility.
Tarnished by more punctual proficient, glitches that would persuade a rehabilitated drug addict to relapse. New Vegas was a haven for Doctors with necks of such flexible dexterity, that their face can perform a 360 more efficiently, that even an owl would hoot in approval. Riddled with textural anomalies, characters seemingly typing on ghostly typewriters, moon walking hounds, or inexplicable, visual misdemeanors that culminate in you plummeting into randomly recurring vortexes, that leave you spiralling helplessly into pixellated oblivion. But readers who regularly frequent my blog will already be well aware of both my admiration, and disdain that I possess for Skyrim. The grievances and misdemeanors perpetrated by this potential game of the year, are beyond reprehensible.
Bethesda’s inefficiency to craft a game without incessant glitches is one thing; you learn from your mistakes and move on, but you don’t then continue to incorporate the same obtrusive monstrosities, so conspicuously apparent throughout previous titles. Your tolerances are further tested, when reducing the space on your PS3 to accommodate Skyrim, is the equivalent of trying squeeze Antony Worrall Thompson into a pint glass. But you carry on regardless, hoping beyond all reasonable hope for a reprieve, stubbornly persevering, scouting for any tangible clarity amongst a the siege of pixellated travesties, determined to succeed despite the fragmented world seemingly crashing around my Nord. I’m not aggrieved by the discernible lack of content available, I couldn’t be more indifferent about the eventual release of Dawnguard; just grant me a world without slain, enemies torso’s that periodically spasm, dragons flying in reverse, or having to reload to the game due to the unforseen complications when attempting to access a door!
Many of the most notable lags and glitches have now been removed from these games (though Skyrim is still far from perfected), with no discernible effects on gameplay, but this it what it should have been like to begin with. Perhaps I’m just venting concentrated frustration, and demonstrating a merciless assessment, of an undoubtedly talented developer, but I would be surprised if I was the only one throughly exasperated* by Bethesda lethargic approach.
(Or conversely, replace this word with a profanity of your choice.)
How have you been affected by glitches? Or can you ignore them? (If so, please tell me how!)