2021 has been a challenging year, for obvious reasons, but also in other personal aspects that are not part of this little essay. Despite all the trials and tribulations, I have probably never played so many games in just one year – some of them in Coop and others all on my lonesome. Many of them I finished, others I, or we, aborted. But not only that, I have also managed to transition from PC gaming to console gaming – a long-held goal of mine.
As always, I am pretty late to the party because I have trouble motivating myself to write stuff, despite having the ideas and mentally developing concepts for them. Much thinking, few doing. One of my 2021 issues.
(I am surprised I managed to get this huge Halo Infinite review out the door.)Here is how this will go. I am starting with a story about why I replaced my gaming PC with consoles and a laptop. Then I transition into my experience with said consoles, and I conclude this gaming year review with the list of games I have played in lonely-mode or Coop. Don’t worry. I didn’t go Halo Infinite on every game. I kept it short-ish because the list is astonishingly long.
It has been a long time since I have played a first-person shooter in
single-player mode. The last playthrough was probably the original
Half-Life as a Let’s Play on YouTube about three years ago (I expected
it to be longer, though). Since then, it has mainly been 3rd person
shooters or action adventures. The majority of 1st person shooting
games I have played are the Borderlands franchise and Counter-Strike
until version 1.6. There have been a couple of others, of course; big
names like Half-Life 2, Doom, Unreal (Tournament), Serious Sam, and so
on. But that was at a time I would now call my youth. I like the skill
aspect of shooters, but other than that, I have not found many that
got me interested in a way that made me want to continue to play them.
I have barely played through any of the previous games (Half-Life 2
being the exception 😉). In the here and now, I am looking for a
well-told story and character development. And by that, I mean the
main character’s personality and the relations the character has with
others, not a role-playing system.
I have heard many praises about the quality of Titanfall 2, despite it
not being a huge hit. When I discovered this game for a whopping 2.99€
in the Xbox game store, I figured why not try it out. Since I usually
try to write reviews for games I find noteworthy in a specific way, be
it good or bad, there must be something about Titanfall 2 that made me
mash some keys on my keyboard and publish it on the Internet. Is it a
Witcher 3 or a Battlefield 4? Curious?
Germany-based company Crytek is best known for its Crysis and early
Far Cry games and the CryEngine technology. Ryse: Son of Rome is
probably not as well-known, and it certainly is not very popular. The
game’s Metacritic score is 61, and the user score is 6.8. The
biggest complaint I was able to ascertain was a lack of freedom and
extreme repetitiveness. While I cannot argue with that, I also see it
as a strength instead of a weakness. If you want to know why I
encourage you to continue reading.
It was until the end of 2019 when the Star Wars franchise was blessed
with another game that truly deserves to be part of the Star Wars
universe. The last good Star Wars game I played was Bioware’s
Knights of the Old Republic – and that was 2004! There were a few
others in between and I may have played some. None left a lasting
impression though, or otherwise I might still remember bits and
pieces of them. And what did players get in recent history?
Battlefront is what comes to mind. Well, it may have the Star Wars
branding and characters and weapons and sounds. But to me, Star Wars
is about a science-fiction fantasy story, a fairy tale if you will. I
am not interested in a multiplayer shooter when I think about a Star
Wars game. I am interested in an adventure and an adventure is what
you get with Jedi Fallen Order. Is it a good adventure? Well, that is
what I am here to tell you about.
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order is a story driven, 3rd person action
adventure. You play as a young Jedi that is hiding on a scrap planet
until one day the Empire arrives and turns his life upside down. From
there you fight your way through imperial troops, wildlife, and some
zombies. Kind of.
The Far Cry series has been going on for several years now without changing too much of the core game mechanics since the first Far Cry I have played – which was Far Cry 3. What’s new in FC5 is a coop mode that lets you play the main campaign with a buddy. Far Cry 3 had some form of coop as well, but it worked differently by presenting a story unrelated to the game’s single player campaign. I’m not sure how version 4 handled multiplayer, but to my knowledge Far Cry 5 is the first Far Cry to support coop gameplay. It has a few quirks though, which unfortunately still doesn’t make it a 100% coop enabled game. We nevertheless decided to give it a spin and here are my thoughts about the game, its story and gameplay and how the coop experience was.
Released in 2015, The Witcher 3 quickly advanced to become the new high standard of action role playing games – of all times. CD Project Red, a polish studio, created a masterpiece of a video game based on the characters of novels by polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. This game eats away at your time and is an amazing ending to the great Witcher Trilogy. Such high praise cannot be given to every game – although there are some out there. In fact, I’ve written about one of them in the past, Dragon Age Origins. But, despite all the praise, there are also some things wrong with this game and I’ll address them as well. Unfortunately, it was one of the core elements that didn’t really resonate with me at all, the combat. Let’s get this out of the way so we can focus on the good parts and end on a high note, shall we? Read More »
Almost everybody knows Lara Croft, even those people that don’t really play games. At least they have heard that name before, probably through the movies with Angelina Jolie. In 2013 Square Enix rebooted the whole series and created a game that is so immersive beyond just the exploring of dungeons and ruins. It depicts how the Lara Croft of old, the tough archeologist, came to be. I know the old games, I played a few, but they never really hooked me. If it had not been for a promo code that came with an AMD video card I probably wouldn’t even own Tomb Raider.Read More »
The last time that I’ve written about a computer game dates quite a while back. I don’t know what took me so long, but I guess I was simply busy playing the games rather than writing about them. Dragon Age Origins, however, made me feel about a game like no other did before and I just have to tell you about this.Read More »
Iced Earth – Dystopia
(Power / Thrash Metal)
Iced Earth is a band with a lot of history: Founded as Purgatory in 1984 and then renamed to Iced Earth, 11 albums (excluding the Live albums) and six different vocalists (counting Matt Barlow twice). Dystopia is the debut of the sixth named Stu Block after Matt Barlow unfortunately retired a second time. How does the Canadian fare following the footsteps of his predecessor and the legacy he left behind? The other question is: how’s the music now, after the two Something wicked-storyline concept albums Framing armageddon and The crucible of man, which, in their own right, have been good, but different and somehow like a musical, figuratively. Read More »
Dimmu Borgir – In sorte diaboli
(Melodic Black Metal)
This band from Norway has established itself as one of the pillars of the blackened Metal scene over the course of the past 15 years, starting with their third release “Enthrone darkness triumphant”. However, they are not entirely without controversy because of their commercial success. To some this may seem untrve. But, and this is much to their credit, not all artists stick to one way of doing music but instead evolve their style. The first two albums “For all tid” and “Stormblast” had norwegian lyrics and as of “Enthrone darkness triumphant” it has been english lyrics ever since. They also considerably increased the overall speed of the music. Read More »