My State of Decay Review

Yes, the wait was long, but Microsoft Studios and the Undead Labs are back with a bang! The sequel to one of the finest zombie survival game ever made. No prizes for guessing, State of Decay 2 it is! It was back in 2013 when we witnessed the first part of this action-horror survival game.

There has been quite a lot of games in this genre before, but nothing came close to it in terms of Gameplay or realism. From the bone-chilling scavenging missions deep inside zombie infected territories to Morale boosting group events, it had it all. This is one of those games that provide a truly immersive gaming experience. You can interact with other characters. switch amongst other characters and every action taken in this game has its own effect. Unlike most games, once a character dies, it cannot be respawned. Although this is considered as an unwanted realism by few, to us the hardcore survival gaming freaks, this feature adds to the charm.

Coming back to the latest edition, this video game news is doing its rounds for quite some time. Although many say that this version has not hit the benchmark set by its predecessor, I beg to differ. This game comes in Xbox One, Play Station as well as for Windows. Released on 22, May 2018 this open world third person RPG has made its mark. This version also comes with the option of cooperative, that allows you and your buddies to wreak havoc amongst Zombies or to help each other survive in the post-apocalyptic environment.

Coming to the reception of this game, I personally feel it is criticized may too much. IGN and Destructoid come with a 7.5 and 8 rating for this title, whereas GameSpot awards it a mere 5 out of 10. Yes, the initial versions were a bit buggy but they came up with patches. The Graphics have been significantly improved from the previous versions. One of the criticism, states this game to be way too realistic and puts on the harsh truth of real survival. If you want a true survival game, just go for it.
If we talk about its commercial success, by the mid of 2018, SOD 2 already had more than 3 million players. Moreover, it has gained more than 3.5 million hours of online gameplay streaming on popular websites like Youtube within a month.

The Key developments that separate this version from the previous one are few significant upgrades. Unlike the older version, this one comes with Co-Op mode, which I have explained earlier. Here the community system is much more evolved and the players have to move up the ranks from being a ‘recruit’ to a ‘Hero’. Each community can now elect their own leader, each with their own distinct style of governing. There are primarily four different types of leaders, ‘Warlord’, ‘Sheriff’, ‘Trader’ and ‘Builder’. Graphics is again a major upgrade apart from in-game communication and combat mechanism. Much of the former can be attributed to the use of Unreal Engine 4. I personally love this genre and would like you all to give it a shot.

My Review of Fortnite

Fortnite is one of the most popular games in the world currently since its shooting into fame in 2017. The game is action packed with many innovative ideas that differ from the usual action games of the battle royale genre. Rather than take the often used military battle setting, Fortnite gets inventive and allows the players themselves to build up structures in the battleground while fighting off other characters or teams in the game with the aim of being the last one standing.

The setting for the game is a beautiful island with vivid colors. The island is not too big such that a player can navigate it conveniently without getting lost like in other action games. The island is divided into different cities with varying settings to bring in variety. Each city has its own different challenges and therefore the advantages and disadvantages vary according to the venue and opponents one is fighting.

In terms of inventory, Fortnite offers the player a simple management option where they have to balance everything in five slots. These slots are used for lives, weapons, and explosives, making it necessary for a player to think about what they need most in their inventory so that they can balance them. The game offers a great variety of weapons that keep the player adequately armed to go into battle. Some weapons are more exciting than others, but all are quite convenient and a player cannot be left powerless in any battle.

Fights in Fortnite are highly dynamic depending on the approach the player takes. According to this style, a fight can end in seconds or last longer. It all depends on the approach and tactics used according to the opposition. The fights in Fortnite are not just about aiming and shooting at the opponent, there needs to be a strategy that considers different options and anticipates the reaction of the opposition. Getting a rhythm of attacking and keeping safe is crucial to avoid getting killed quickly.

Fortnite’s most unique feature is the building system that is not seen in other games. During the game, one can mine for stone, wood, or steel from different structures and keep this in store for later use. The mined resources can then be used to build walls, floors, and stairs in any place on the map. This feature opens up incredible opportunities to create complex structures that can be a huge advantage when it comes to battle. Experienced players usually create massive structures that can be difficult to get around and this offers them an advantage in fighting as the structures protect them.

The innovation behind the setting of Fortnite has made it one of the top games in recent times. The setup of the game in terms of fighting is incredible and beats many of its rival games. However, the winning factor of Fortnite is the building feature that takes the game a level higher. This innovative combination of building and shooting is intriguing and captures gamers all over the world to play for hours on end. Fortnite really is one of the best games of recent times and playing it shows you just why this is so.

My Most Anticipated Games for 2019

There are a lot of games that so far entertained us this year; 2018. Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, Far Cry 5, Battlefield 5 and Call of Duty Black Ops 4 are examples of the best games we can now play so far. But, what is the latest news, updates, or predictions for the upcoming year?

Today we’ll be talking about the best video games that different game developers are going to be released on next year; 2019. These games may be an online game or a single player game. It may be in genres of Action RPG, Simulation Games, RTS games or Virtual Reality. Here are some of the best games we should look at:

1. Gears 5
It is an action-packed third-person 3D shooter game made and developed by Epic Games and managed by the Coalition. It is the 6th chapter of the Gears of War series that is scheduled for release in 2019. It is fully developed to be played on Windows PC and for Xbox One that can be played with single player campaign mode or multiplayer mode that can be played online. The game is the prequel of Gears of War 4. The Gears of War series centered to the story of a protagonist named Marcus Fenix. He is a soldier of the Coalition of Ordered Governments tasked to end the tyranny of Locust Horde and save humanity.

2. Rage 2
This game is a first-person single-player shooter game that can be played on a post-apocalyptic scenario of a world. It was developed by Avalanche Studios and ID Softwares with the coordination of Bethesda Softworks as a publisher. It is a sequel of the first game Rage that is released in 2010. This is set to release in 2019 and can be played through Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Windows PC. The players are assumed to be a Ranger and have the ability to wander around an open-world environment. They can have the weapons they can have and ride different kinds of vehicles to survive.

3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
This game is an action-adventure 3rd person 3D game that is developed by FromSoftware with Activision as the publisher. This game revolves around the story of a Shinobi named Sekiro as he struggles on saving his kidnapped lord from the hands of a Samurai. It can only be played in story-based single-player mode. This game is set to be played for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Windows PC this 2019.

4. Skull and Bones
This is an action-adventure 3rd person single player naval simulation game that is scheduled for release this 2019. It was developed by one of the top performing video game developers, Ubisoft. In this game, players are given the role to become pirates and command their own ship in naval adventures. The player may become pirates; to plunder, treasure hunt, or to destroy ships. This game is developed to fit of Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC. Much of the game story is still vague and spoils the Ubisoft fans until its initial release.

These are just some of the anticipated video games to be released in 2019. There are current announcements that tease the public about the release of other games like Devil May Cry 5, Kingdom Hearts 3, and Resident Evil 2 Remake which may or not be released on 2019. We still don’t know yet until it was released since it was just a teaser for us to follow their developments.

The Newest Cowboy in Town

I did say I was going to play more Overwatch, so here I am again!

A new hero has been introduced to Overwatch. For a game like Blizzard’s Overwatch this is a momentous occasion. These new characters are usually given their backstory through animated shorts, in game interactions and comics. Overwatch and games of the same ilk, grow with the introduction of a new character. This is due to the fact that the environment is altered to create a different playing atmosphere. Subsequently it also differentiates them from other first-person shooter games in the market.

As it was illustrated earlier Overwatch is not a narrative based game and as such it requires the developers to relate the characters to the players through animations, sound and actions instead of conversations and cut scenes. Hence this makes it a concerted effort from all involved instead of it being solely under the direction of writers and artists.

The new character Ashe is a red eyed, no nonsense cowboy heroine from the Deadlock gang. As the Deadlock gang’s leader she shares some history with McCree which was implied in the short video “Reunion”. She is a valued member of the criminal underworld. Ashe was born into a wealthy family and as such lived a charmed life. Both her parents were prominent business consultants and so didn’t have time to spend with their daughter. Instead they left Ashe in the care of their omnic butler B.O.B. Ashe is the kind of character players have been waiting for. She is not an entry level character due to the fact that she is a character focused on weapons skills rather than abilities.

She carries a lever-action rifle with speedy firing mode as her primary weapon. As her secondary weapon she has a sawed off shotgun. She can also throw a stick of dynamite with a delayed fuse. Or if needed it can be manually detonated by being shot at, however this is not as easy as it sounds. Finally her Ultimate ability is her robot butler known as B.O.B. B.O.B can knock everyone around him down and then retreat and deal out damage through his arm canon. B.O.B can be nanoboosted or healed but can’t be resurrected. Finally B.O.B can contest a payload or a point. Thereby making Ashe a tough character to go up against.

According to assistant art director Andrew Tsang there is no one single way in creating a character. Its often a mixture of gameplay design, art and story. Ashe in this case is unique because she was first crafted by the cinematics team. After creating the short that introduced McCree the cinematics team wanted to set up a backstory to the Deadlock gang. Consequently they knew that they would have to create a leader that could stand up to McCree and hence Ashe was born. However it was only after the gameplay team realised that Ashe fit into the weapons based hero they had been trying to craft that Ashe’s fate on the roster was secured.

Again, I ran into some trouble playing solo ranked matched, so like I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve employed the help of some friendly duo partners with the help of Boosting Hero’s Overwatch boost services!

Overwatch is in a league of its own when it comes to the fans obsessing over the lore of the game more than the game itself. The animated short that comes out with every release of a new hero gives them plenty to ruminate over.

The Overwatch Experience

Overwatch is an absorbing first-person-shooter and the team-based game released in may 2016 by blizzard entertainment. It can be played on different platforms which include personal computers, PlayStation consoles, X-box amongst many others. The game consists of a number of playing modes that support competitive modes, ranked play and casual play.

Just a side note, I’ve tried out the game’s ranked mode and it’s really pretty damn hard to win games. I couldn’t help myself but I tried out Boosting Hero’s Overwatch boosting services, and I have to say, it’s made the game so much easier and fun to play. Now back to the topic at hand —

In overwatch, your objective in the three gameplay modes is to kill the opposing team. You begin by choosing your hero- this is solely dependent on what you like; the heroes you find interesting.

However, you are advised to survey the map carefully, speak with your team members and take a look at the enemies’ setup before picking your heroes. If the team you play in is on the defense, You are required to choose more of the defense heroes for example bastion and Junkrat.

As the game progresses and there is a change in the tactical condition in a match, you might see the need to change your heroes. You can select your new hero. The only downside is that your ultimate level of ability charge will be reset. There is a variety of unique characters featured in the game. you may choose from the defense, offense, tank or support in order to help make your team victorious.

Controlling the common-totting or wielding the genetically engineered ape, Winston, from the moon, might appeal to you. Also, it may be the teleporting and time-traveling freedom fighter that delights you. whichever it is, you decide!
After you have chosen your hero, then, you are ready to battle for the win.

Overwatch features multiple gameplay modes. You play in an intense 6-team competitive match to finish all the objectives and emerge victoriously.
The extent of damage that a hero can absorb before dying is represented as their health. And, as the game advances you can collect several health packs to improve and recover your health. You can find health packs in specific locations of the map. The support heroes possess special abilities to locate health packs. If a hero’s health reaches zero, they die. When a hero dies they would come back to life after a short while. While you wait for your team member to respawn you are outnumbered and are at a great disadvantage. Therefore you should struggle to keep yourself and your teammates from dying. In addition to health and health packs, the armor and shield help you to prevent a certain extent of damage from getting to your health. The armor and shield absorb the damage for some time, after which, they start getting to your health.

In Overwatch, you do matches in diverse locations around the world so you can expect to play in a wide variety of maps as heroes take-off from around the world. Each map posses its own layouts and specific conditions that your team is expected to meet for them to emerge as the winner. Capture the enemies flag, while you defend your own team’s flag. go for deathmatch in a free-for-all match or play any other exciting mode that you like.

Overall, a pretty cool game I would play during my free time.

The Beginner’s Guide: An Overview

Before I get started let’s go over a few disclaimers: First, this article isn’t actually a guide for anything – it’s discussing the game titled “The Beginner’s Guide”. Second, this game is 100% story driven, so while I’m going to do my best not to reveal anything too critical, it’s pretty much impossible for me to completely avoid spoilers. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Many gamers are familiar with “The Stanley Parable”, the small yet compelling meta-game created by indie developer Davey Wreden. Its dry humor and unique way of turning gameplay and storytelling tropes in on themselves captured people’s hearts in a fun way that made us all think about the games we play and the stories we consume. What some people may not realize is that several years later Mr. Wreden released another title to the masses – “The Beginner’s Guide”.

The Beginner’s Guide isn’t truly a “game” in the classic sense of the word – it’s what has come to be known as an “environmental narrative” or (more perjoratively) a “walking simulator.” If you’re not familiar with either of those terms all it means is that instead of a “normal” gameplay objective like solving puzzles or defeating enemies, you are instead immersed in an environment and invited to experience a story first hand from the protagonist’s eyes. Other examples might be Firewatch or “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture” – they blur the line between a video game and a more static form of media such as a movie.

But let’s not quibble over terminology, let’s talk about the game itself: In the Beginner’s Guide, a possibly-fictionalized version of Davey narrates for you as he presents you with small “games” that his possibly-fictional friend Coda had created. Early on Davey informs us that Coda really only makes these games for himself – he has little interest in creating something fit to be released to the public. The game maps that we’re shown at the beginning appear to fit this narrative: they’re full of bugs sloppily placed assets, and some of them aren’t even playable without Davey “fixing” them for you in the background. Davey invites us to view each of the games and attempt to try to understand Coda through them. If that all sounds very high-concept and artsy then you’re right – it is. But it does have a purpose: as we continue on the games appear to take on a darker and darker tone, and Davey reveals to us that there may be more going on than just Coda being introverted.

Unfortunately, I can’t really say more about the plot without spoiling the entire thing for you, and I REALLY want to encourage you all to play it for yourself, or at the very least watch one of the countless Let’s Plays that youtubers have done. It is one of the most raw and emotional experiences I’ve had with a video game, and it’s the ONLY game that’s ever compelled me to spend hours after the fact reading up on art theory and discussing with others the various ways the story might be interpreted. Even if you’re not the artsy type and even if you prefer your games not be so dense, you still owe it to yourself to experience The Beginner’s Guide at least once. Seriously – it’s only an hour and a half long, what do you have to lose?

Musings of an old gamer

Gamers… where did I get lost? The other day I bought myself a magazine, a gaming magazine. Being slightly more mature now I have not perused the pages of this particular magazine for some time. Nor have I spent any meaningful time behind any type of console either.

In the last few years I have missed out, I have gotten so lost in the fray of new development that I feel like a newbie, rather than alumni. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining at all. I am marveling at the amazing advancements and graphic and the content!

My last complete emersion in this world was with Metal Gear Solid on PS2… yes, I know it’s been awhile since then! I thought it was DA BOMB!! However, when I saw the clarity and vastness of the new games I was blown away! But what got to me the most was the complexity and intelligence of the intricate strategies and techniques that you needed to be in any way a good player, let alone a master.

I can remember telling myself “just shoot whatever is in front of you John” but now it’s more than just a game… it’s a new universe of complicated intertwined strategies and threats that you must manage on in your head!! No wonder my 10 year-old son can whoop my backside without breaking a sweat!

Gaming theory or strategy has come a loooong long way in a very short time. A good thing I think. As the world gets more connected and races along the technology highway, it’s easy to become brain lazy, more and more things are being done automatically for us by technology. What struck me the most is that being a gadget fanatic, I have just about every little thing that the mind can conjure and money can buy, and its cool yeah? But I realised that I have become brain-lazy because when I played a game with my boy, I had to push my brain to work harder… which made me go out an buy the latest Metal Gear game (PS4) and it was with a sad heart that I had to admit defeat to a 10-year-old considering that he had also not ever played it before.

So, what is the moral of the story, you might ask? Well firstly, I am amazed at the level of lateral cognitive thinking that is required to play these games successfully. If only my little monster could be that cognitive in school work?? Secondly, I am keen to see the VR developments in a format that is more accessible to my humble wallet. Because I think the full emersion is going blow minds more than people are expecting.

Thirdly, and maybe most importantly. Is there a gaming company out there that is brave enough to develop a game that will not only develop the fighting, warring modality, but will push that superior cognitive strategic thinking in new directions for the players? Maybe towards societal interaction or better cohesion amongst more than just the gaming fraternity? Not to sound like an old fart but the world needs these brilliant minds working on the complicated problems of the world.

So… any takers?

This was more of a writing muse than anything else. I’ll start blogging more about gaming in the coming months (I hope). Been playing too much Overwatch lately. Maybe I’ll write about that.