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Games Later Generations

A session to remember

I haven’t really felt like playing games lately. Before I always had a couple of games ready to play when I was ready for the next one. Nowadays I’m struggling to find a game that really hooks me.

I have to be really stubborn to keep playing, as was the case with Alwa’s Awakening. A game I enjoyed the beginning and end of, but I hated the ending story-wise.

Enter Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. A game which I had anticipated long before it was released since I love Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Aria of Sorrow.

I bought it on Saturday morning and the first session ended around midnight the same da, which just smaller breaks for food. The longest gaming session since February last year when I beat The Last Guardian in one sitting, approximately 14-15 hours.

Right after starting playing I was hooked. The feel is just right for a Igavania. The graphics isn’t amazing but I think it’s secondary to gameplay which is exactly right.

The next day I started the day by playing Bloodstained and didn’t end before 8 hours had passed. The game had me hooked for sure. It was almost scary.

I have some more stuff to do in the game (on final boss otherwise) . Unfortunately I feel a bit burned out at the moment due to the long sessions prior. I am excited to soon be finishing this great game.

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Games Later Generations

God of War (PS4)

One of the most anticipated games in 2018. A reboot that people were a bit nervous about since it’s so different from the original games. From being a pure hack ‘n’ slack with hordes of enemies to slash through in an almost wave-like fashion. I did prioritise Spider-Man over God of War in 2018, but in early 2019 I went on a journey that I would remember.

With God of War (4) being my first experience with the series other than quick glimpses from the speedruns of the first two games, I was completely oblivious what was in store for me. I just knew that I liked third-person action/adventure games, and boy did God of War not disappoint!

Kratos is a very likeable character even though you really feel the burden he bears from his past. Especially though his relationship with his son Atreus. One of the more wild card factors in this reboot. Atreus is a key point story-wise but also in combat. The whole story revolves around Kratos and Atreus journey to release the ashes of Kratos’ wife at the worlds highest peak.

In a beautiful world inspired by the Norse mythology and environments mostly associated with Norway, with vast mountains and beautiful streams. The mix of Greek and Norse mythology is something fresh, and even though it doesn’t follow the the lore of the Norse mythology, but Santa Monica Studio made it work.

From what I’ve gathered from the earlier entries in the series, it’s the combat that’s in focus and not the story. This time it’s flipped, but that doesn’t mean the combat is forgotten. You really feel every slash and chop. The Leviathan is a wonderful weapon, and the choice to being able to throw it really adds to the combat.

The Leviathan isn’t just a good weapon for cleaving draugr, it’s also an excellent way to solve puzzles, and there are plenty of them. Most of them are optional, but I would say they are vital since solving puzzles unlocks chests and chests contain weapon and health upgrades.

After playing the game I do have mostly good memories. That said I actually though it was pretty boring the first four-five hours. I pretty much knew that everything a group of enemies came towards me, I was gonna die. After getting the hang of the controls and also exploring the skill tree and customising it to my style of play, it went better and better. This feeling of progression really added to the experience, so I’m happy it was a slam dunk from the start. The game made me work for it and really awarded me for it!

I liked the game so much so I actually played it though 100% and got the Platinum throphy. Something I just do with games that I really like.

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Games Later Generations

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (PS4)

After rejecting the franchise for many many years, I late 2017 reluctantly bought the Ezio Collection for PS4. This opened up a new world of games for me.

After playing through the whole Ezio story in less than a month, I knew that I liked the narrative and the feel of the Assassin’s Creed games. I did however not, dive into more traditional AC games except a short dive into Assassin’s Creed III. After playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn and The Witcher 3, I had found an appetite for open-world games. After a friend saying [about HZD] “Amazing game, probably ties for GOTY last year with Assassins Creed: Origins”, that really piqued my interest to take a deeper dive into the franchise. Its newer open-world concept that seemed to fit me perfectly.

After playing Origins, which I liked very much, enough to put over 100 hours into as well as getting the Platinum Trophy, I started Odyssey. 15 hours in I lost interest. The shift to more decision-making in conversations and the – boat/ship/whatever – didn’t do it for me. I ended up upsetting the guards and spent most of my time trying to kick soldiers off roofs until I died to a mercenary stronger than me. It wasn’t much fun.

This takes us back to the present, when over 115 hours has been invested in this huge adventure. Odyssey was easier to appreciate after a hiatus from Origins.

I like Odyssey very much, but it’s far from a perfect game. The sea combat is still one of the weaker points in the franchise as a whole, and it’s the same for this game. The story is good, but with the vast world and many targets it does get tedious at times. I didn’t feel it became grindy, I always had something to do, side quests or other objective to gain experience in a way that felt worth my time.

I do understand the critique with the game being to big for its own good, but for me that want a relaxing experience that doesn’t end too quickly it was a very pleasant journey.

Kassandra does feel a bit rigid and bland, but the story around her is full of life. With multiple choices the experience is a bit more taxing on the player, since some of the choices aren’t easy. The problem is that it doesn’t feel like the choices really matter. The dialogue options leading to the different outcomes are also not always conveyed in a way to the player knows what outcome each option leads to.

Ubisoft has always been good at the visuals, be it 2D or 3D. Odyssey is no exception. The scenery is amazing and one point that really trumps Origins, where the environment can be described as:

Sand, sand, sand, sand, gravel and dust, what a f***ing country. It’s the desert!

Crude Translation of Robert Broberg’s song “Öken”

The islands are beautiful, so is the ocean. Finding synchronisation points are always a joy since they often overlook a very stunning view. This is probably the main advantage Odyssey has over Origins, its more pleasing locale and scenery.

I am currently playing the first DLC, Legacy of the Blade. Which seems to tie the rather non-Assassin’s Creed-like game that Odyssey to earlier games. In what extent I do not yet know. It’s possible that I will write about my experiences in the DLCs aswell. But at a later date.

I do recommend people to play this game if open-world games are your cup of tea and you aren’t too tired of the UbiTower concept.

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Games Later Generations

Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)

One of my favourite games for the PS4. Horizon Zero Dawn is a game I would’ve completely missed it if my girlfriend hadn’t bought a PS4 Slim early 2017. Also my brother-in-law persuaded me to play it. For that I am grateful. This was the second modern open world game I played, and afterwards I was hooked.

Horizon Zero Dawn offers beautiful sunny vistas

A beautiful game with a unique story and setting. The narration is formed the way so the protagonist and tribesman Aloy discovers the mysterious world together with the player which highly enhances the experience. Aloy, a young woman brought up as an outcast outside the warmth of the tribe goes on an adventure like you have never seen before.

A great number of robotic animals molded after real and now extinct counterparts roam the forests and riversides. Among these animals is what Horizon Zero Dawn is the most famous for, robotic dinosaurs like the raptor-like Watcher, the majestic Tallneck or the scary T-rex-look-a-like, the mighty Thunderjaw.

Aloy riding a Strider towards a Stormbird

Engaging story, combat and world filled with machines grazing, hunting and living amongst humans. Something has happened since the world is very technological sophisticated, yet humans live in tribes. It is somehow connected to Aloy in a way that makes it dangerous to not be on your guard. This makes the player want to find out more about this world, and why it is the way it is.

There are vast mountains in Horizon Zero Dawn

The visuals are striking and become even more beautiful in HDR. Guerilla Games has really done something special with Horizon, and I am really looking forward to the sequel.

IF you haven’t played this I highly recommend you to, as it is one of the most enjoyable experiences on the Playstation 4.

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Games Later Generations

Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)

Superheroes has always interested me. Even though I don’t read comic books myself, I have always greatly appreciated superhero stories in moving format. Doesn’t have to be movies, games work as well.

Among the best superhero experiences I have had besides the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Insomniac’s Spider-Man game for Playstation 4. Insomniac being a studio that i really like after playing games like Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive. The latter being my favourite game on Xbox One.

In Spider-Man the similarities are striking, using the same engine, now running on a competing system, the tempo is the same and also the ease of manoeuvring in the big sandbox that is Manhattan. I would say that Insomniac was the perfect match for the Spider-Man franchise and I am very much looking forward to the sequel that is romoured to be in the works.

The story is also interesting, and the villain cast is brilliant. There are few things so tellingof my enjoyment of the game than that I never used the fast travelling system. I find it so much fun swinging though Manhattan at a brisk pace, listening in on the police radio, helping the neighbourhood as well as I can.