What I’ll be doing in October, November, December, and beyond…

There is so much gaming goodness coming our way! Among the titles I’m most looking forward to are the usual suspects: another Fallout, more Assassin’s Creed, anything related to The Witcher, and a follow up to The Last of Us. With E3 wrapped, I’ve been watching videos and reading up about the games I’m most excited about. Here, in no particular order, are my top four.

*game links refer back to reviews and rambles on this blog

The Last of Us Part II

Okay, I lie. This is the game I’m most looking forward to, so I’m going to talk about it first. The Last of Us was my favourite game last year and is in my top five games ever. It’s also the game that affected me the most emotionally, just eclipsing Dragon Age: Origins by a single box of tissues. (Damn you, Alistair!)

What I’m looking for in the sequel is that same emotional impact along with a story that isn’t just another run through the wasteland of a zombie apocalypse. I also have questions I’d like to see answered—which I’ll try to allude to without spoiling the first game. For those of you who have played: remember the scene at the end when Ellie asks Joel if he’s lying? I want to know if that is going to come back to haunt us. Developer Neil Druckmann has confirmed that Joel and Ellie will continue to be central to the game, though Ellie will be the only playable character. So however it plays out, we’re only going to get one point of view.

After watching the recent gameplay trailer, I’m also really excited about the combat tweaks. The Last of Us is already nail-biting and edge-of-your-seat when it comes to the fight scenes, with the scarcity of resources, smart opponents, and no two scenarios playing out the same way. Now it looks as though combat will become more dynamic, taking the environment into account in ways I haven’t seen before.

What I’ll mostly be playing for, though, is the story. Fingers crossed it’ll be a good one, and that Joel will get enough screen time. For lots and lots of story discussion, including hints and theories, visit this fantastic article https://www.usgamer.net/articles/22-06-2018-the-last-of-us-part-2-release-date-characters-story-trailer-everything-we-know

 

Fallout 76

The Fallout games have some of the most immersive worlds I’ve played in. Even months after I’ve finished the main quest, I’ll find myself thinking about other parts of the map—mini quests I stumbled across, the quirky side characters, and the unique and diverse environments from each game. To this day, I cannot travel the Metro in D.C. without having a Fallout 3 flashback—and an overwhelming urge to play. I adored the faithful rendering of the environment in New Vegas, which reminded me so much of the real place, and when I’m out hiking and find abandoned and broken down buildings, I’m instantly in one of my favourite games—thankfully without a marauding population of radscorpions.

Fallout 76 is exciting for a number of reasons.

  • It’s another Fallout. Duh.
  • It might be set in West Virginia (or neighboring Virginia). I’m not as familiar with that environment as I have been D.C., Vegas, and Boston, but “Take Me Home, Country Roads” took me right there.
  • It’s going to have base building. Yes! One of my favourite parts of Fallout 4 was building towns. It was a new addition to the Fallout activity roster and even though I eventually tuned my radio away from the Minutemen because, oh my God, those towns always needed rescuing from something or other, I did enjoy dotting the map with several iterations of Kellyville.
  • It’s going to be online…

My excitement skids to a slow halt about here because I’m pretty much over multiplayer online games. Recovering WoW addict, here. Also, I just don’t have the time to compete with other players in a persistent world. I am always going to be behind and playing catch up isn’t the same as playing a game. But, it has been confirmed that you can play solo, so I’m hoping the experience will be similar to BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic, which I mostly played solo, co-oping now and again to complete difficult quests.

I will say that having other players inhabit the roles usually reserved for NPCs—from vendors to raiders—could make the game more dynamic. I’m hoping the PVP aspects will be flexible, though, so that I’m not spending all of my time dodging other players.

Despite this bump in the road, I am still really looking forward to this game.

 

Cyberpunk 2077

I’ve been interested in this one since I finished The Witcher 3 and started poking around the internet for hints as to what the team at CD Projekt Red might do next. Though slightly disappointed that it wouldn’t be another Witcher game, I found it hard not to be excited by the early concept art and gameplay descriptions for a near future cyber thriller type of game in my favourite setting: an open world.

After watching available trailers and cutscenes for Cyberpunk 2077, my number one impression of the game is that it’s going to be fun. I get a Mass Effect crossed with Saint’s Row vibe from the world, which is exactly the sort of game I’ve been hanging out for. I was seriously disappointed by Mass Effect: Andromeda—mostly due to story issues. But I miss the “feel” of a sci-fi game. Mash that up with an interactive environment, new and interesting combat models, and multiple mission approaches, and Cyberpunk promises not to be boring.

Check out this article for a full list of what we’re looking forward to http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/06/12/e3-2018-first-cyberpunk-2077-details-game-is-a-first-person-rpg-more

 

Red Dead Redemption 2

This one’s easy:

  • It’s a western
  • It’s the sequel to Red Dead Redemption
  • It’ll be available for PlayStation as well as Xbox! (And maybe even PC.)

The release date for Red Dead Redemption 2 has been pushed back so many times I’ve often wondered if we’ll ever get to play it. But this trailer keeps the home fires burning.

 

But wait, there’s more…

I am, of course, looking forward to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but Ubisoft releases new adventures in this franchise so regularly and reliably, I hardly have time to build up a proper flail. The trailer is pretty exciting, though!

I’m interested in Days Gone, even though I’ve been reading some pretty lackluster reviews of the gameplay. One player compared it to Far Cry, which honestly didn’t turn me off because, even though the Far Cry games are variations on a single, oft-repeated theme, sometimes I crave that. A simple story that’s just engaging enough to carry the action, and a world open to the havoc I can bring. Plus, Days Gone has zombies.

Which upcoming games are you most looking forward to?

 

My Favourite Things: 2013

2013 GraphicEveryone else is doing it! Not sticking their head in ovens, publishing lists of their favourites. So, here’s mine. Highlighted entries point to reviews and ramblings on this blog.

Books

I awarded thirteen five star ratings this year. That’s out of a total ninety-seven books read. I’ve picked five to post here, which will represent five different categories.  Yes, I just love to break things down. It has been mentioned before—on this blog—that I keep lists of my lists.

Science Fiction: Leviathan Wakes by S.A. Corey

Space opera, creepy alien technology, politics, a small lesson in sociology, lots of blam blam and fisticuffs and two at-odds heroes to choose from. I loved them both.

Fantasy: Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrobmie

Bloody and brilliant. I think my friends are tired of hearing me talk about this book. Two of them are reading it right now. They probably think doing so will shut me up. It won’t. When they’re done, we’ll all talk about it together.

Fiction: Hawk Quest* by Robert Lyndon

I got lost in this book. I lived and breathed it. I squealed with delight when I discovered Lyndon was working on a sequel. Engrossing historical fiction.

Romance: Private Dicks by Katie Allen

Is it perverted of me to admit that I really like reading male/male romance novels? (Two penises are better than one!) Erotic content aside, this is a really fun read. The characters are engaging and endearing. They’re guys, through and through, and the angst isn’t overwritten.

Art Book: Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter* by Dan Luvisi

This is another book my friends are tired of hearing about. Sucks to be them.

(Books marked with a * were published in 2013)

Movies

I saw a lot of movies this year, in theatres and safely ensconced in my own couch. I did say in. My couch is the enveloping sort. And it has a name. On to the movies.

In Theatres: Star Trek: Into DarknessAmerican Hustle

Until I saw American Hustle (the day after I drafted this post), Star Trek:  Into Darkness was easily my favourite film of 2013. Loved the reboot, loved Into Darkness more. I enjoyed the plot, but what really made this film work for me was the exploration of the characters. Relationships were tested and deepened. Abrams took the strands of what he created and thickened them. Gave them substance. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this crew.

I can’t say enough about American Hustle. I went to see it because I am a dedicated Christian Bale fan. The story also appealed, as did the return to the seventies, including hair, outfits and music. The hair. Oh my God, the hair. The outfits. The music. The science oven! The accents. I loved everything about this movie, from beginning to end. The story hooked me, but what kept me entertained was the performances of each actor, all of whom embraced their roles in such a way they ceased to be people I recognised.

On DVD:  Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Django Unchained, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, The Great Gatsby, Chasing Mavericks

As these were the only movies I rated with five stars, I decided to list them all. Also, the odd mix of titles makes me smile. There, encapsulated, is the wide range of movies I like to watch. Also: Leo.

TV

I both do and do not watch a lot of TV. I tend to follow series one by one, watching recordings and back episodes at lunch. Highlights this year were Dexter, the final season, and Spartacus: War of the Damned, which also served as a final season. It’s hard to let both shows go, but in my opinion, they ended well.

I’ve picked up a couple of new shows this year. The two I’m most excited about are Almost Human and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.

Games

It was a good year for games, for me. I only played two that were published in 2013. I’m kinda slow. I replayed Mass Effect 1-3. I played Fall Out: New Vegas. I finally got through Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and then went back to play Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood. I finished the big quest in Skyrim! I bought Red Dead Redemption and wondered what all the fuss was about. Loving Borderlands 2. Oh, and Tomb Raider. I got a lot of joy out of watching myself get impaled in 101 imaginative ways. It’s tempting to name Mass Effect 3 my favourite game, for the second year running, but I had a lot of fun with a lesser known title out of Russia.

Favourite Game: Metro: Last Light

The sound track got me first. It’s not symphonic, it’s a haunting, bluesy guitar. The story is integral to the game play experience, not just a framework from which to hang events. I achieved total immersion, which is always a plus in an RPG. The graphics were really nice (pretend I inserted some technical jargon here to tell you just how nice). What I liked most, aside from the story, was fact you could play this game in several ways. You could hack and slash your way through using a number of tactics and weapons. But you could also sneak past the guards, or choose to knock them unconscious. There were also a number of quests that didn’t focus on killing and collecting. Also: it’s a post apocalyptic world, which I’m always a total sucker for, but it’s not just zombies. There’s something else going on. It’s a really cool game.

Music

Oh, yeah, we’re (me, myself and I) listing it all. Long live the list!

Favourite Album:  2nd Law by Muse.

Yep, it was released in 2012. Who cares? I bought it in 2013 and I thrashed it. In fact, I played it so much, my audio player is convinced I cannot live without a daily dose of muse. The shuffle function now sorts between the Muse albums, throwing in the occasional Philip Philips song just to keep it real.

Favourte Song: Stay by Rihanna (ft. Mikky Ekko)

Makes me shiver and weep. Not all the time? But… You get the idea.

Food

Sure, why not. It’s nearly lunchtime (as I write this) and I cooked up some fabulous new food this year.

Favourite Recipe: Penang Hokkien Noodles

The sounds my husband and I made while consuming these noodles were rude. Very, very rude. Hot, spicy and delicious!

Activity

My favourite? Sleeping. What I did a lot of? Sleeping. I also wrote a lot. I really enjoyed tending my blog this year. I can’t say I enjoyed having my novella published; it was nerve-wracking in the extreme. I did love writing it, though. I’m enjoying writing the sequel. I also wrote three short stories this year, and another novella length fan fiction. Oh, and I finished editing a book I wrote last year. So, when not sleeping…

Favourite Activity: Writing

Okay, I’m done. Hope you enjoyed the list.