Weekend Whammy: Skate 3 & The Bloody Rose Band

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Why, hello there fine people! Come in, come! Fancy a cuppa? I hope you guys are keeping well and playing hard. There’s a fair few games out at the moment, so we aren’t lacking in choice. Anyway, let’s chat about what I’ve been playing, and please do let me know what you’ve been playing and what you think of it.

So, this week I put out a pretty long review of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 which I ultimately gave a 4 out of 5 too. I was really impressed by how much of an improvement it is over the first game, and how thoroughly it kicked Anthem’s backside. A satisfying swathe of main missions, great loot system and solid end-game all create a game that actually feels good at launch rather than trying to persuade people it’ll be good in the future. The Division 2 is good now, and will hopefully only grow and get better with time.

I’m still playing The Division 2 as well, which says something about the strength of its combat and looting. At the moment I’m gearing myself up for the release of World Tier 5 and the new Stronghold in April. I’m looking forward to it, which is a lot better than with the first game which I basically ditched entirely not long after launch. I didn’t go back to it until a month or so ago when I wrote that little article on it.

I also put out my thoughts on the HyperX Cloud Mix, a rather pricey headset offering up wired and Bluetooth connections. I had some issues with it, such as a lack of Bluetooth adapter in the box, but the sound quality was rock-solid and the headset itself is comfy.

I finished reading Halo: Renegades and need to start work on the review for it. The first chunk of the book was a bit of struggle due to it being rooted heavily in past events, but then it got out of that and started focusing on its own story a lot more. It was a rather enjoyable read.

In terms of upcoming reviews I’ve still got The Wizards: Enhanced Edition to do, plus Generation Zero and Tropico 6.

Recently I’ve been firing up Skate 3, a classic that me and my best friend have spent hundreds of hours playing. It has missions to complete and a storyline to follow but the true joy is found in just skating around, discovering new spots that are worth spending 20 or 30 minutes on. An interesting gap or feature can lead to some inventive skating, and there’s a simple pleasure in trying to nail a smooth trick or seeing if a line you spotted will work. It’s one of the few older games that I still find myself gravitating to, especially when a few friends are round. We can kick back, relax, laugh at failures and revel in crazy tricks.

Another game in a similar vein I’ve been playing is Ubisoft’s Steep, an open-world extreme sports game where you can ski, snowboard, parachute, glide and smash into rocks. My best friend is a skier and as I already said I like the simple pleasures of finding spots and seeing what can be done, so we’ve spent a lot of happy hours cruising around the vast mountains of Steep. It’s a game that I think got sort of overlooked. It certainly isn’t for everyone, and the Ubisoft template of having icons all over the bloody map is a bit annoying, but the core gameplay is a lot of fun.

Of course, Borderlands 3 got announced this week. It’s going to be fun seeing the king of the looter-shooter genre making a comeback in an era of Destiny, The Division and Anthem. Borderlands 2 is one of my favorite games of all time, and still does the genre better than a lot of modern attempts. Still, a lot of time has passed between then and now and the formula is going to need to be changed. I don’t just wanted Borderlands 2 but shinier. Hell, we’re already getting that as apparently we’re getting a Borderlands remake as well as 4k texture updates for the existing games.

I’ve been reading a new book this week named Bloody Roses: The Band. It’s book two in a series about a fantasy world where “bands” of mercenaries are viewed the same level of adulation our modern rockstars are. It’s a brilliant idea and the first book was a stellar, funny read. You don’t need to have read it to jump into book 2, though, which tells the story of Tam, a young girl who idolizes the Bloody Roses and jumps at the chance to join them. I’m not far enough to properly judge the book, but so far it has been a great read. The sense of humour, violence, gore and swearing all create a unique tone and the characters are a likeable bunch. So far I’d recommend giving it a whirl, or picking up the first book Kings of the Wyld.

Right, I’m going to sign off now. As always if you fancy supporting the site you can donate a few pennies via Paypal by clicking below. As always I appreciate all you guys who stop by to read my ramblings, and love it even more if you drop me a comment.

So, what have you been playing this week?

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