Hello again my friends, enemies and people that I barely care about. The weekend has been and gone yet again, leaving in its wake a trail of unconscious bodies.
Just one review this week which was of The Sinking City, a new open-world detective game from Frogware based upon the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. Frogware previous made some pretty good Sherlock Holmes games and The Sinking City uses some of the same concepts when it comes to figuring stuff out. It’s the Lovecraftian horror where Frogware kind of struggled, I think, especially the weedy combat. Still, it was an enjoyable game that a niche audience will probably love.
More than anything The Sinking City got me thinking about the continued popularity of Lovecraft. Now that his work is public domain Cthulhu and his cosmic brethren keep popping up all over the place. The cynical side of me can’t help but think that the appeal is less Lovecraft’s intriguing writings and more the fact that developers get access to a massive wealth of lore, characters and a huge fanbase without all the work of creating those things.
A lot of the reason I think that way is because nobody seems to be doing anything interesting with the Lovecraft theme, keeping in mind that I’ve definitely not played or read everything that uses it. It always comes down to “urgh, cosmic horrors! OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” which is absolutely the gist of Lovecraft’s work, but it’s also the same thing that happens every single time. I want to see some fun new takes on the Lovecraft lore. Cosmic horror is great and all, but it also lets writers get away with some lazy writing. Why did that thing happen? Because weird stuff!
I’ll have my review of F1 2019 up in the next few days hopefully. But for now my general impressions are that it’s the best game in the franchise, but may not be worth buying if you already own F1 2018.
As for other reviews, I’ve still got My Friend Pedro to do, as well as Crash Team Racing Nitro Fuelled and a pile of tech that’s sitting in the corner of my room. I really need to learn to say no to stuff. Or I need to hire minions. One or the other.
I’m still playing Mordhau almost every day. While the developers haven’t added any new maps to the slim roster they have put out some updates, including tweaks to the divisive Crossroads map. Now, spawn points aren’t in the middle of a field where players could get immediately tramped by horses upon spawning in. It’s better, though still far from good.
I think what is keeping me playing is the comedy that comes from having 64 players all running around in armor and trying to beat the crap out of each other. At one point a team-mate of mine was being taunted by an enemy standing atop something. He was throwing rocks at my team-mate who knew he couldn’t do anything, but also didn’t want to just walk away. Unbeknown to the annoying rock-throwing chap, though, I was coming up behind him. I lifted up my maul, brought it down and basically exploded the poor bastard’s head. Me and my team-mate shared a moment where we stared at the body, nodded to each other and then went our seperate ways.
Mordhau has a lot of these fun moments, like squaring off against an enemy only for a horse to just come galloping past and obliterate them. Or when a body just randomly splats into the ground because there was a fight going on above. At one point me and an enemy were in a stand-off over a small gap. They knew I couldn’t jump over because they could just kick me in mid-air, so they were taunting me. And taunting me some more. So I threw my massive axe straight into their head for an insta-kill and laughed myself stupid. Almost every match I’ve played has at least a few moments that left me chuckling or properly laughing, and that’s more than enough to keep me playing.
Oh, and something I forgot in my review was that Mordhau has one of the best features I’ve ever seen: motivational mute. I freaking love this idea. Rather than just muting a player, motivational mute replaces all their on-screen messages with motivational ones instead, like, ” You’re better than this, don’t give up!” More games need this absolutely fantastic mechanic.
This week I also got back into playing Peggle 2. If you didn’t know it’s a game about shooting at pegs to score points. It’s simple stuff but immensely satisfying. But what I really wanted to talk about is how Peggle 2 makes victory feel like the greatest thing ever. When your ball nears that final red peg the game zooms in, slows down time and you wait with bated breath. When it hits the game goes crazy, blasting out Beethoven’s 9th Symphony while your cute animal guide celebrates. The bright colors, the music and the points piling up make me feel like I’m the greatest thing on this whole planet.
Though it’s quite old I’d highly recommend checking out Polygon’s article about the making of Peggle 2.
Speaking of stuff I’d recommend, check out this bloody awesome mini-documenary discussing Dragon Age 2, a beautiful, horrible, amazing, terrible mess of a game that I kind of love.
You could also watch this week’s lengthy JimQuisition episode talking about issues surrounding video game addiction, loot boxes and EA’s recent antics defending their “SURPRISE MECHANICS!”
And that’s it for this week. As always I deeply appreciate that you took the time to read my ramblings, and if you feel like you can support the site then please do make a donation via the Paypal button below. I spend my own limited funds on picking up a lot of stuff for review, so every penny genuinely does help a lot.
Until next time.