Batman: The Telltale Series

I’ve played the majority of Telltale games, but in recent years have definitely started feeling Telltale fatigue. I think the last one I played was their Game of Thrones game, which I did quite like, but I played it well after it was released. I’d heard good things about their Batman game, and so finally got to check it out this week, and I’ve found myself enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I’ve played through the first 3 episodes (of 5), pretty much playing an episode a night, and I really can’t wait to finish the whole thing. The story is really interesting, and the game looks pretty damn good when played on a PS4 — I know there’s always a lot of criticism for their engine, with a lot of their games having serious issues on some platforms, but this one has been a smooth experience for me. I also like the Batman-y things they’ve done to spice up the gameplay, with the detective sequences, and it’s pretty interesting/shocking to see how they’ve taken liberties with what we’re used to seeing in the Batman universe (the way certain characters are usually portrayed). It’s made me want to play the Guardians of the Galaxy game too, although I think I’d rather wait for all episodes to be out before I play through it. My wish is still for Telltale to make a James Bond game though.

Just Cause 3

I started playing this over the past week — it’s part of this month’s PlayStation Plus offerings, which was finally the excuse I needed to get around to playing it, but it is in fact something I’d been wanting to play since it came out (almost two years ago now, man). I found Just Cause 2 to be pretty fun, but the game in this genre that I really loved was Mercenaries 2, and that’s what it really reminds me of. I’ve played a few hours now, and I am having a lot of fun with it — sure, it’s dumb fun, but sometimes that’s what you want, to just move around a giant map and make shit go boom. It can be a bit janky at times — I’ve experiences slowdowns quite a few times when there’s a lot of action on the screen — and I do find it frustrating sometimes when I’m in the process of liberating a town, and it takes me forever to find that last element or two that you need to destroy to complete it. I can’t really say if it’s going to keep me engaged enough to get to the end, but for now I’m having a lot of fun with it.

Final Fantasy XV

A few weeks ago I finally got around to playing this, renting it from our studio’s game library. I played about 20 hours (was at Chapter 10) before having to return it. I liked it enough that I do want to rent it again to finish it, but it’s definitely far from being a phenomenal game for me. It took me quite a few hours before really finding the fun — I found the early hours to be a chore when it came to travelling, and I’m just not a fan of the combat system, finding it to be too chaotic, to a point where I never feel like I’m in full control of what’s going on (I’d prefer some sort of menu-based combat system). Also, although the interactions between the main characters can be fun, I don’t like their design at all, and that kinda turns me off. But, despite all that, it’s an absolutely gorgeous game, and I loved being in that world, and discovering it bit by bit (and the travelling does get much easier eventually).

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky just isn’t for me. I finally gave it a try this past week, and although my first night of playing (over a couple of hours) was pretty engaging, when I sat down the following evening to play some more, and I realized that I was just entering in a loop of going to a planet to gather resources (an activity I don’t find to be particularly fun) to then sell them and progress, I just didn’t want to play anymore. I still think it’s a neat game, and I dig the art direction and the idea behind it, and it’s quite possible that it gets much more interesting once you progress more, but I just couldn’t convince myself to care enough to get back into the act of gathering resources in order to progress.

Yakuza 0

It’s been a while since I’ve played a Yakuza game — the last one I played was the 4th one, and I didn’t finish it — but with the release this week of Yakuza 0 and seeing screenshots from what friends were seeing while playing (as they share them on Twitter), I got the itch to enter that world again. I started playing it this morning, and had such a blast — I was transfixed enough to play straight through the first chapter (and only stopped then because I had to go out to run errands). I think it was good to take a break, and now I’m back to loving this series, and I’m absolutely wowed by how it looks on PS4. Makes me excited for the upcoming Yakuza 6 as well.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

I haven’t played a Call of Duty game in years (I think the last one was the first Black Ops game), but I kept hearing really good things about the campaign on this, and I did quite like the sci-fi setting I saw in the trailers, and so I decided to give it a try. 1-2 hours in, I gotta say I’m having an absolute blast playing this. I do quite like the setting – feels like a refreshingly more grounded sci-fi environment, not sleek and smooth like we usually get – and I do believe the space shooting segments are the most fun I’ve had in a space shooter in what feels like forever. I’m only playing this for the campaign (have no interest in the multiplayer), and it’s certainly satisfying so far on that end.

Unravel

The last of the 5 games I bought this past week during the PSN sale is Unravel, and it’s another fantastic experience I had to add to my year’s list of favorite games (as an honorable mention). I’m indeed a sucker for a good 2D platformer, and not only does this bring in the fun yarn string mechanic to deal with (for climbing, swinging, etc.) but it’s also beautifully presented in an idyllic setting. Loving it.

Inside

So yet another game I just played this week and had to add to my top 5 of the year (along with Virginia, and so taking out Rise of the Tomb Raider and Watch Dogs 2). I knew this was something I’d enjoy, as I was a huge fan of Limbo. It did not disappoint, and although I’m just halfway through (played one session, will finish it in another session), I was constantly enchanted by the admittedly dark visuals and fun puzzles. 

Virginia

I played this in one sitting yesterday, and I have to say, I think I can safely say it’s my favorite gaming experience of the year (and so I had to update my top 5 list). I was completely and utterly mesmerized by the oddly constructed narrative, beautiful score, and lovely aesthetic. As soon as I was finished I went online to read up on what people thought was the meaning of the ending (this Polygon article is pretty good), which is something not a lot of games make me do. Can’t recommend it enough, even though I think it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. 

Tharsis

I just started playing it a bit last night, and so I’m still in the process of wrapping my head around how best to deal with stuff, but so far I’m already digging the dice mechanics (you roll dice to accomplish various things in the game, from dealing with events, to dealing with your crew by reducing stress, researching projects, etc.) I’m of course partial to games with dice, but I think there’s a lot to like here, including the presentation – although the text can be a bit tough for me to read on my “small” 32″ TV (I’m playing it on PS4, it’s maybe more suited for PC screens).