So as promised I am back on topic after my self-indulgent warble regaling you all about my knackered body. This year has been skipping along at a jolly pace which has caught me a little off guard if I’m honest. I had visions of me sinking into many open world games as the last efforts of winter kept us all huddling indoors. Alas, the bastard sun has been out for some fairly substantial periods this year, which has forced me (blinking like a mole) out into the sunshine.
While rooting (apparently this means sex in Australia) around my games library I clocked that all the planned DLC is now out for both Wolfenstein 2 and Assassins Creed Origins. It feels like it could be time to revisit at least one of these games before things get crazy next month but we will see what games I get sent in the next week. Another thought that also factors into this decision is that come August the plan is to be in full upgrade mode, with a new GPU at the centre of whatever nuclear-powered rig we bolt together. So any game that will look a bit special on a new system, is one I might want to hold off playing until then. Indeed upgrading is by far one of the best times for PC gamers because pretty much every game in your library runs and looks ten times better. It is also with some cautious relief that PC gamers have been watching GPU prices fall back down to relatively normal price brackets after the fuckery that has been the GPU drought.
We’re now just entering the parabola of E3 and the hype is growing with each day. As is always the case, some games are gathering speed towards their official unveiling and others have already dropped out of the race, by confirming they will be getting delayed and/or not showing up at all. Like Jerry Maguire once said, it’s like popcorn in the pan, some pop... some don't. In fact, rumours and leaks are flying out of the machine so fast I've had to put off publishing this blog post twice.
I was actually considering doing a ‘my most anticipated games’ article for E3 but if I’m honest, it will be a better use of my time to focus on the event as it unfolds. Two games I was very much looking forward to seeing was Borderlands 3 and Metro Exodus, both have now been confirmed to be delayed until next year which is a disappointment. However, I would always rather see a delay than a game pulled out of the oven too early.
Out of all the other rumours floating around, there are some that have me really excited. The prospect of a new Splinter Cell game is a welcome one, not least because Micheal Ironside is now back playing Sam Fisher in other games and it would be a complete own goal not to use him in the next full Splinter Cell outing. I did enjoy the newer games for sure, however, I get the feeling we will be seeing a return to where the series performs best, skulking around in the shadows with the latest Razor peripherals strapped to our back. Other rumours and leaks have all but guaranteed a new Just Cause game, which is fine by me as long as the PC version gets some love this time around. I was halfway through Just Cause 3 earlier this year and after a blue screen my entire save was nuked, a common problem apparently. It also was notorious for running like a crippled sloth so I really hope Avalanche Studios pull their finger out this time and do some real testing.
Watchdogs 3 has also been whispered about and this could be bittersweet for me. If there is one thing Ubisoft has done right recently it is taking the Assassins Creed series back to the drawing board and giving the development team an extra year to make it sing. I worry that if we really do have a new Watchdogs set to be unveiled, it would not have been given the same treatment and would indicate that Ubisoft has still not learned their lesson. I will say that I loved Watchdogs 2 and so I hold off on judgement until we know more. One rumour I think we can all annotate as fact is that we will be getting some DLC for Prey and that it will involve the old cheese ball in the sky. Prey is currently sitting at a respectable 82% on Metacritic and yet I personally see this title as being woefully underrated: regardless, a new chapter in this tangled story would be fantastic. One last rumour for the pot is my hopes that we see whatever it is that Rocksteady has been working on since Arkaham Knight landed at our feet. I certainly have a love-hate relationship with this game because I could be one of the Arkham series biggest fans; so to see the way PC gamers were treated with the Arkham Knight port was galling. In case you don’t recall, it was one of the worst PC ports we have seen in recent years, so bad they had to take it off Steam and Warner Bros had to do a lot of grovelling. A shame really because once I got it running it was by far my favourite title out of the series and one that I thought brought the Arkham formula to its ultimate conclusion. With speculation that Superman might be involved with this new game, I am chomping at the bit to see how this might play out.
Over the next two weeks, I am planning on reviewing Vampyr which should keep me busy until E3 week. Vampyr is a stylish take on (shocker) the story of a newly turned vampire, who also happens to be a talented doctor. Set in 1918, I love the idea of this conflict between a vampires need to kill and a doctors oath to heal: it could be a corker. Despite having a quiet few months I have still been working and my most recent was on a game called FAR: Lone Sails. I highly recommend you take a look at this beautiful adventure game, of course, the review is spoiler free. Last but by no means least I’d like to mention a little game I’ve been meaning to dig into for months, Oxygen not Included from the amazing team over at Klei studios. You can expect to see my thoughts on this in ‘The Oven’ very soon.
Just as I was editing this post I saw the heartbreaking news that John Blain aka Total Biscuit aka the Cynical Brit has passed away. After a brave fight with cancer, he eventually lost that battle and sadly left us. John didn’t change my life directly but he was a beacon of moral fibre in an industry that often needs someone to stand up and tell it how it is. There are also many content creators out there who did start reviewing games after being inspired by his work so for that I am also grateful. As is always the case, when you stick to a strong set of morals there will always be those you rub the wrong way but that is, in fact, one of the things I loved about him the most; he gave his opinion and you could take it or leave it. I will sorely miss hearing his voice, listening to him thunder away at many of the bad elements in the games industry and seeing him standing up for the little guy/gal. I wish all of his close friends and family my deepest sympathy for their loss. Rest in Peace John and thank you for everything you did for us.