When you look back at the history of video-based media, how many games
or movies come to your mind with such an iconic theme song that it
always evokes a particular feeling whenever you hear it? A theme that
you immediately recognize and that conjures specific scenes or
gameplay moments you are so fond of? Off the top of my head, I can
think of two: The Imperial March from Star Wars and Halo’s
invigorating battle soundtrack. Halo is back, infinitely better
than Halo 5, and along with it, its recognizable music. I suggest you
set the perfect mood and open the link above, and then come back and
read my review of Halo Infinite. Start from the beginning because I
linked directly to the battle music part (but that is also a good
Now, is it even worth getting in the mood? If you ask yourself, I hope
you do not mean my writing 😉. I hope you ask that question because
you are anxious for a good game but afraid you might get disappointed.
When I read and watched many reviews from known media outlets, I found
very different opinions and wasn’t sure what to think. IGN mainly had
positive things to say and was very upbeat in their Halo Infinite
podcast episode. In contrast, the Germany-based Golem.de
website found rather harsh words for some parts, mainly
storytelling and the new AI (more on that later). The most common
denominator among all of them was the excellent feeling combat.
Looking at the complete experience, I think I land somewhere in the
middle between Great and Mediocre, and if you are still curious, I
will tell you why.
Do you know the feeling that you occasionally get when watching a gameplay trailer, and you immediately want to get your hands on the game? Like, right now? This sensation does not come around too often for me, and two games managed to do just that last year. One was Outriders and the other one The Ascent, which I am discussing today. I am not sure what exactly did it for me, but probably because it reminded me of something I played in my youth. In 1999, a game named Expendable made the rounds, primarily due to its stunning visuals at the time. Back then, it demonstrated the power of a graphics feature called Environment Mapped Bump Mapping to enamor the game’s textures with depth information and more perceived detail. The core visuals will not excite anyone in 2021, but that game was full of effects and did not hold them back. Expandable still puts on quite a show.
Games like this are a rare breed and seem to catch my eye whenever one pops up. A more recent example of this type of game that I am aware of is Halo Spartan Assault and Halo Spartan Strike – of which I played the first one. Combine this with stunning visuals in a futuristic, gritty, cyberpunk-themed world, and you get The Ascent. Because it is 2021, no game can make do without some RPG elements. Thus, you get to create your character, level up, and collect loot along the way, making shooting stuff more enjoyable.
And enjoyable it is. Once you get to the point where your brain can cope with the twin-stick-shooting mechanics, and you start to both move and aim in the right direction, The Ascent begins to make a lot of fun – especially in Coop. I discovered how the game works with another player, which is always more motivating than figuring out weird concepts alone. After a while, it started to feel right, and I wanted to continue playing weekend after weekend until we had beaten the game – and that is a good sign.
Here is my report on The Ascent in Coop mode: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
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?
I recently purchased the smaller of the Xbox Series, and it came in a
bundle with three months of Game Pass Ultimate. As part of Game Pass
Ultimate, you get access to EA Play games and, therefore, some of the
Battlefield franchise. Since I have never played this game before, and
I was in the mood for a simple shooter, I wanted to try it out. I am
only interested in the single-player campaign and have no interest in
the multiplayer modes. Hence, I base my thoughts on the single-player
The idea of the introduction is not bad. You find yourself trapped in
a car with the rest of your squad. It is apparent that there was an
accident, and one of your buddies is badly injured or trapped and
cannot get out. The situation is intense because the car is sinking in
a lake or river or some other large body of water. Panic starts to
break out, especially since your leader wants you to leave him behind.
He hands you his handgun and orders you to shoot the windows so you
and your fellow soldiers can get out. They, on the other hand, do not
want to leave him behind. And from there, the game rewinds to where it
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.
It was a dark night. Rain was pouring relentlessly from the heavens as a helicopter made its way across the border to Bolivia, going unnoticed against the black clouds. Any of the chopper’s noises were suppressed by the droning rain and constant thunder in the sky. Its destination was a remote location, a secret safe house where an equally secret meeting will be held. The helicopter’s passengers were a group of well-trained covert operatives and their handler. These were the kind of people you only call upon in dire need, when circumstances don’t allow anything other than an elite group of soldiers that can get any job done regardless of difficulty or danger. And all that without ever being noticed. They are effectively ghosts and haunt whomever they have been unleashed on. This time around their target is El Sueño, the biggest and most ruthless drug lord in Bolivia.
And this is where you as the player come in. The story is nothing particularly spectacular, but it provides a good enough canvas for an entertaining open world action game that justifies why you do what you do. I’ve played this game all the way to end in coop mode and this my review of the roughly 75 hours it took.
Wolfenstein Youngblood follows in the same footsteps as its three predecessors that sucessfully revived the series in 2009. Having liked Wolfenstein, The New Order and The New Colossus I thought that sharing that kind of game with a friend in Coop would be even better. This is the first installement in this series that allows you to do that and I’m a big fan of Coop gameplay. And by Coop I mean playing the regular campaign with a fellow gamer, not some unrelated multiplayer map or basic PvP action. I want to experience the story with somebody, have a ton of fun and discuss the game while playing it.