Monday, 16 June 2014

Watch Dogs - Xbox One

It's been a busy few weeks here, but I have actually managed to fit in some game time! And for the past couple of weeks I've mostly been playing Watch Dogs, so I thought I'd pop by and give you my thoughts...

Watch Dogs was incredibly hyped last year, you couldn't hear mention of the next generation of consoles without someone citing Watch Dogs. It was earmarked from the beginning as the game to have on the next gen. It seems to have taken an age for it to be released, but when it came around we bought it, an early Fathers Day present for the other half (although I have actually played more of it!).

So firstly lets discuss the graphics. The intro video looks amazing, but I feel like after that some of it looks pretty shoddy. Aiden looks good, but the rest of the character models look pretty tired really, and don't really look like I thought the 'next-gen' would. Cars look good, buildings look good and the environment as a whole looks alright. But nothing special. Graphically it definitely doesn't blow me away.

A LOT of people have likened this game to Grand Theft Auto, something I find quite annoying. Why is it that when a game features an open world it is inevitably compared to either GTA or Skyrim? I don't see any similarity past the fact that they both occur in an open world city and feature cars and guns. Oh and a male protagonist, maybe I don't read enough into these things but for me this doesn't mean anything - MOST games feature a male protagonist yet we're not constantly comparing them. And lets be honest, the shooting in Watch Dogs is not so good. But thankfully we can be sneaky, which I believe is the way in which this game is supposed to be played. I'm not too far into the story yet, but I have been running around unlocking all of the ctOS towers and am yet to fire my gun.

The sneaking system in this game is fantastic. I love being able to press A on the next cover and Aiden will automatically dart there. It feels good, unlike the driving which I find incredibly arcade-y. There seems to be no logic to it, with the heavy vehicles being able to make corners neatly at speed, but the motorbikes mostly missing the corner and diving into a nearby wall instead. Which doesn't knock you off the bike, or even noticeably damage it.

The Fixer Contracts are a massive bone of contention for me. It feels like they cheapen the game a little, if only for just how many there are! Don't get me wrong I don't hate them quite as much as i first did, when on the first one I'd randomly chosen it turned out to be the hardest I have done so far and sits still unfinished.

This is far from an in-depth review, more just a little post collecting my initial thoughts. I'll probably post back with a proper one at some point in the future. But for now I'd say it's definitely worth getting. There still aren't enough games on the One in my opinion for you to be able to overlook this. The hacking is good and some of the phone calls you can hack into are hilarious, as well as some of the intrusion scenes. Don't take in all the hype, don't expect too much from it and above all just play it for a laugh and I believe you'll have a great experience with this game.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Next Gen

So what did you all plump for? I waited and waited and waited and never really knew which one to get. My heart for this gen was totally with Xbox 360 I adored my machine and spent many hours with it. PS3 never really floated my boat, some of the games were AMAZING - Heavy Rain and The Last of Us I'm looking at you - but I felt like I was constantly battling with the interface and controller.

As any of you that read my musings on the Xbox One at the time will know I wasn't particularly impressed with either at the time. But as I researched them more I started to lean more towards the PS4, much to my partner's disgust - he is and always will be a Microsoft fanboy and literally recoils at the sight of me on my Macbook - but that system just seemed to be aimed more towards the gamers.

We left it for awhile and for a good while it was easy to ignore the next gen. The friends we had who had preordered the Xbox One (interestingly we had none that had preordered the PS4) liked it enough but didn't really rave about it. They had all kept their 360, a console we still have plenty of games left to play, for instance I STILL have not completed Skyrim, despite being 150 hours in...I just love exploring a little too much. We didn't feel like we were missing out at all really.

Christmas came and went, we got our children's birthdays out of the way and then it was getting closer and closer to the release date of Watch Dogs. Yes it was coming out on the last gen too, but who really wants to buy a new game on an old console?

So we finally plumped for...

The Xbox One. I know, I know. I HATED it at last years E3, but after waiting awhile it became more and more apparent that, for us, for our gaming preferences it HAD to be the One. The exclusives, the promise of future releases and above all the games currently available on it swung it for us. So now we have a One proudly sat underneath the TV next to its older (and more loved) brother.

It is good. Not mind-blowing, and certainly not game-changing yet. Maybe it will be in the future, but for now, for me at least it's a means to an end. I needed it to play Watch Dogs, Plants vs Zombies split screen and RYSE. But it's not earned my heart yet.

I'll be posting some opinions on the games I've been playing recently in due course.

Keep Gaming!

I can't seem to drop this...

Since I last posted here, with my hastily written goodbye, I have done nothing but think of the fond memories I have of this blog. I LOVED IT! It was like my third baby, albeit a very neglected one! But my goodbye came at a time where I just found myself floundering, I guess I was kinda struggling with my online identity. I'm a mother, a baker, a crafter and a gamer (amongst many other things!) and these things don't necessarily go hand in hand online.

So when I decided to close this account, it was under the proviso that I would set up a new blog that would marry all the things that make me me under one virtual roof. But as alluded to above, these things just wouldn't work together. Can you imagine, my dear gamers, being forced to read a new recipe I'd found, or a DRESS pattern. Eurgh. So that blog then fell by the wayside too, as I felt unable to put my readers through that torment.

As some of you may know, I have finished my English degree and I am now throwing myself into gaining a career in teaching, BUT my dream, my passion has always been and will always be writing.  And I miss this blog so much...and I've had a few people, I admit not many, but a few telling me they miss it.

SO my new idea is this...

I'm thinking of bringing this blog back. Mostly just for the joy of it for me, so it'll be a little less structured, a little more opinion based, and just a little less time consuming. And to fill my need to blog abut my family life I'll start a separate one for anyone who wants to read it!

Does that sound ok?

Like I said in my goodbye post, I'm always floating about on Twitter, and still available at the danniekittengaming@gmaildotcom email address. In short I'm here for any chats you want to include me in. But from now on I'm going to be talking at you again on here.

I'm hoping to do this justice, I may not see the same readership as I did before but that's ok. I game because I love it and I write because I love it. So read it if you want to. But for me it just feels good to be home.