I’m back with yet another Weekend Whammy that is absolutely, 100% nowhere near actually being on a weekend! At least I’m consistently crap, right? That has to count for something.
Still no reviews, but that will be changing soon! But, I did park myself behind the keyboard and typed out a little piece about nine games I’d love to see get remastered, so go and check that out! I think there might be a couple of unusual, fun picks, too.
I mentioned reviews, so let’s chat about those. Usually I don’t bother reviewing DLC but the start of the year is always a little lean in terms of games being released, so when I got offered some code for the latest Frostpunk DLC, how could I refuse? Of course, it helps that Frostpunk is a game I bloody love, which is probably why it was on my list of favourite games in 2018 and why I gave it a glowing review. It’s a stellar strategy game about building a colony in freezing cold conditions, and is filled full of intriguing choices like whether sending kids to the mines was justified. It totally was. Trust me on this.
Anyway, the new DLC shakes everything up by introducing…well, colour. Not everything is covered in snow any more, and that promises to change how the whole game plays. Expect a review soon-ish. Once I’ve figured out how to send kids to the mines again. I can still do that, right?
Code also came in for Journey to the Savage Planet, which describes itself as, “AN UPBEAT CO-OP ADVENTURE GAME SET IN A BRIGHT AND COLORFUL ALIEN WORLD FILLED WITH WEIRD AND WONDERFUL CREATURES.” Yes, the use of capitals does make it sound like the description is yelling. It certainly looks bright and cheerful, and even somewhat resembles No Man’s Sky. The early previews for Savage Planet weren’t too promising, but I’m hoping for a pleasant surprise when I fire it up and start savaging some planets.
I’m also planning on reviewing Darksiders: Genesis, the top-down brawler that released last year and which stands as the fourth game in the series, and the fourth very different style. I’ve only gotten through the first hour but so far my impressions are surprisingly good. Darksiders 3 was a real mixed bag, but Genesis seems to be a much more solid game overall.
As for what I’ve just been playing in general, the sounds of meaty engines and tortured tyres have been filling my room thanks to Forza Horizon 4. I’m not sure what made me fire Horizon 4 back up, though I think it might be because I’ve recently been catching up on The Grand Tour and fancied playing about with some cars I’ll never been able to afford in real life.
Jumping back in I was impressed to see how strong the game is still going: there were loads of people playing, and I found myself in the middle of a Forzathon event. It was actually a bit daunting because there were loads of challenges vying for my attention, all promising special points that I could spend on special cars in the special shop.
So I ignored all that and just went out driving. God, I had forgotten just how beautifully Horizon 4 drives, nicely balancing itself between the more realistic slant of the main Forza series without feeling too arcadey. In other words, you can believe that real cars behave like they do in Horizon 4, even when you know for a fact that they don’t.
Once I got back into the game and got a feel for everything again I started jumping into the challenges. They aren’t anything special; buy a GT car and then win a few races in it, own a cult car and so own, but they bring some extra focus, giving players something to chase
There’s a lot of DLC out for Horizon 4 now, too, including an actual Lego expansion that looks utterly barmy. Not sure if I’m planning on spending enough time racing around to justify spending so more money yet, but it’s certainly tempting.
But anyway, Forza Horizon 4 is bloody brilliant, it really is. I’m pretty excited about the idea of a Forza Horizon 5, although I’d like for them to wait a few years before bringing it out. In the mean time, you could always read my review of Forza Horizon 4.
I also finally got back around to playing The Outer Worlds. I had played about twenty minutes before Christmas before turning it off and forgetting about it. The thing about games like The Outer Worlds is that the first hour or even the first couple aren’t good at grabbing the player’s attention, so I sat down with the intent on sinking at least ten hours into the game to see if it could suck me in. It did. Oh, baby, it did.
The first thing that hit me was how right all the reviews were: The Outer Worlds has a very Bethesda feel to it, especially when the camera zooms into a character’s face when they are speaking. But this is the kind of game we all kept hoping Bethesda would make but never did. That isn’t to say Skyrim wasn’t amazing or anything of the such, but recently Bethesda have lost their way. The Outer Worlds is a product of the team who make Fallout: New Vegas; Obsidian Entertainment. The same team, in fact, who missed out on their bonus from Bethesda because New Vegas got 84 on Metacritic instead of 85. That Bethesda DNA can be felt everywhere. It’s still firmly Obsidian’s game, though, and one hell of a way to end their independence as they move into their Microsoft exclusive future.
The second thing that hit me were the companions. The eight or so hours I’ve played so far have been filled with solid gunplay and standard missions mixed with a brilliant sense of humour and wonderful world design. But the companions are what have hooked me, especially the first one. Parvati is her name and she’s like this naive but strong girl with a talent for fixing stuff. She’s amazingly well written and acted, and I immediately found myself treating her like a little sister, wanting to just give her a hug then watch her go and check out all this cool stuff. Yeah, Parvati, you go ask that nice Jun-Lei chick out on a date. Sure, I’ll fly across the freaking galaxy just to gather up some stuff to help you plan a romantic date. Why not? She looks for the best in people, and I don’t. We all need that balancing force.
Aside from Parvati I’m flying around with a strange priest who I don’t exactly like but that I’m intrigued by, the happy-go-lucky Felix and the morally ambiguous Ellie. They are an interesting bunch, a crew that I don’t think I’ve been quite so invested in since Mass Effect 2’s motley band of weirdos. I’m desperately hoping Obsidian keeps it up across the other companions. And indeed, manage to keep up the excellent humour and fun stories.
I’m not sure I’m going to review it, though. Mostly because I’m enjoying just taking my time with The Outer Worlds.
Anyway, that should do it for this week, friends. Reviews will be coming now that we’re getting a bit more into the year. As always, let me know what you’ve been playing!