The weekend has somehow been and gone yet again, leaving me naked in a puddle with no idea who I am, why I am or just why in general. To be fair, though, it isn’t just the weekend that has this effect on me. Mondays do, too, as well as Tuesdays. Wednesdays as well, now that I think about it. And Thursdays. Oh, and Fridays.
So this week I put out a review of Weedcraft Inc which proved to be a fun little strategy game about growing cannabis and selling it on for a profit. As much as I enjoyed the game, though, I found myself more intrigued by the story of how publishing it was a pain in the arse. Devolver Digital spoke to Techcrunch and said: This is definitely the hardest game I’ve had to market, and that’s saying something. It has been a fucking nightmare. The fact that we’re still so afraid of a topic like weed instead of the murder simulators you can market any time, anywhere, it’s shocking.”
He’s not wrong. Devolver Digital has faced problems with social media bans and Youtube videos being demonetized, yet incredibly violent games don’t even raise an eyebrow. But the game industry as a whole has always been rather strange: shooting is fine, but sex is terrifying! While the movie industry has no problems with things like sex, violence, drugs, booze and other things, the gaming industry continues to shy away from topics like those. It holds back games as a whole. Thankfully while console platforms informed Devolver Digital that their game would never hit the “featured” parts of their stores (which is a death sentence, really) Steam and GOG didn’t have any objections.
The point is, there’s still a fear within gaming to explore topics and ideas that have long been widely accepted within other industries. Maybe there’s still a feeling that gaming is for children, hence Sony and Microsoft’s dislike of anything remotely risqué. It’s something we need to get past, though. If mowing down dozens of people in shooters, running over people in cars and other acts of violence are perfectly okay, why isn’t sex? Or weed?
I also got sent a copy of World War Z for review, a new co-op third-person shooter based on the film from a few years back. It draws plenty of inspiration from Left 4 Dead. And really there’s not a lot to say about it: it’s basic gaming action, but has a few cool things I’ll detail in my review.
Anno 1800 also came in for review. Last week I mentioned that I had no prior experience with the series and due to a lack of funds I wasn’t going to be covering it, but with review code available I fired it up and…I dunno where my life went. I love a good city-builder and by god Anno 1800 is a good city-builder. There’s a lot of information and concepts to absorb, though, and the campaign doesn’t do a great a job of explaining a lot of it. For any readers out there already playing Anno 1800 I’d suggest checking this video out if you’re struggling.
I’ve also started working on my review for the HyperX Alloy Core which has thus far proven itself to be an exceptionally nice membrane keyboard. Keep in mind that I bloody love mechanical keyboards. I adore my Razer Blackwidow. But the Alloy Core has a nice, consistent feel to the keys and a pleasing muted thud that makes me smile when I’m typing. Yes, one of the reasons I love mechanical keyboards is that satisfying noise they make as I write the drivel I call reviews. So far the only thing I don’t like about the Alloy Core is that it isn’t ten-keyless. And that’s just personal preference.
Something quite cool popped into my Inbox this week from Koch Media. Basically, Koch, Deep Silver and Nvidia got together to show off Nvidia’s ray-tracing technology and Metro: Exodus. They gave Dylan Furst (who is apparently a big name on Instagram, but I wouldn’t know) a fancy Asus ROG Zephyrus S laptop complete with a Nvidia GTX 2080 and sent him to Chernobyl, Ukraine in order to grab some images to compare to Metro’s postapocolyptic lands. Check the pictures from Chernobyl and Metro: Exodus out below. I reckon they look pretty damn nice.
Before I wrap this up I wanted to mention a film that I’ve been meaning to watch for ages and finally got around to. I’m talking about Overlord, a movie about Nazi zombies. I know, I know, but it’s actually surprisingly good. It’s everything good about a B-Movie but done with a much bigger budget and some strong visuals. The 4k Blu Ray looks absolutely beautiful at times with loads of detail and the HDR which helps create some amazing lighting. Overlord is by no means a fantastic movie or anything, but it’s a really fun romp that genuinely surprised me. I wasn’t expecting much from it.
Right, I’m gonna end this here. As always if you fancy supporting the site and keeping me fed with things that aren’t just Pot Noodles then donate via Paypal below.
And I’d love to hear what you guys have been playing, watching, reading and listening to this week in the commends down below.