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Antonio Bileci

Marvel’s Spider-Man Review: Can web swinging be considered therapeutic?

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“Best Superhero Game of the Decade”

Marvel’s Spider-Man is an action-adventure game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4, based on the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man. Released worldwide on September 7, 2018, it was the first licensed game developed by Insomniac. 

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can… maybe an outdated Spider-Man, but not 2018 Spider-Man. 2018 Spider-Man can easily get out of a bath tub/sink, wouldn’t fit under an egg cup and probably won’t get eaten if MJ & him decide to get a little frisky. I digress, let’s get to the review.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, there’s been a myriad of Spider-Man games throughout the past couple of decades. Some being flops, some being pretty amazing – namely Spider-Man (2000) on PS1. Those were the days of simple games. Games with no complex stories that need neural links to film adaptations or pop culture. A time where you play, just for the moment, a break from your busy life (back then I was 8 years old – so my busy life consisted of homework or annoying my younger brother).

The most recent Spider-Man games between then and this latest entry were released when Spider-Man films were on cinema screens. Producers probably thought; hey let’s try make an extra buck from the fame of the movies – like 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I’m going to be frank, I didn’t play this game, probably never will. Same thing happened when I heard Marvel’s Spider-Man game was coming out.

I thought it was going to be some sort of pro-story, Marvel Universe Spider-Man game mimicking what happened in the movie (I liked the movie though). It wasn’t until a few friends of mine showed me the trailer of the game and a video of a bunch of guys, similar to myself from IGN talking about the game that I had some hope for this latest entry to the game series. Something which also moved me from a talk I heard about the game was that Spider-Man won’t be a game which robs me – meaning no micro-transactions etc. (apart from the DLCs of course).

So, for the past couple of months I’ve been asking my friends to lend me this game so I can try it out, most of them telling me they’ll let me borrow it once they finish it. Two months after its release for a 25 hour long story game doesn’t really sound right. So, F them, I went and bought it off Amazon. Took me around 5 days to complete the story, got all the gadgets and the secret picture locations. Absolutely awesome – so much so, I listed it in the Top 10 games to play this Christmas.

The Game –  

How can I put this? Spider-Man is one hell of a game *cough* better than the Batman games *cough*. I’m not just talking about game mechanics, but also storyline. You know that Insomniac Games made this masterpiece to appeal to the bigger single player audience, rather than just those standard Spider-Man fans – from traversing across an uninterrupted Manhattan skyline to bursting some bad guy’s bubble with your multi-functional web shooters.

Many critics felt that the cinematic sequences were a bit jarring, and sometimes that was true, especially when your blood is pumping to continue the game in an urgent time and place and you’re stuck talking to Aunt May about what you’re going to eat. But hey, that’s Spider-Man, and that’s also something that I loved about the game – keeping true to the prose. Although, the critics are correct with regard to quick-time events when achieving the most dramatic and sensational feats. For example – stopping a helicopter from crashing down on Manhattan all happens during the cinematic sequence, while I appreciate the spectacle, it makes the player feel like a witness rather than the hero. What I feel compliments this cinematic experience is when you take on any of Spider-Man’s main villains. Fights with bad guys like Scorpion or Kingpin often rely on one sequence of moves, with Kingpin it was: Web him up, zip in close and repeatedly pummel the square button until he regains his consciousness. This is where you’d have to flip a few metres away and repeat the sequence again. When you’re battling TWO of your core enemies at once it can get a little difficult, but for most of the boss fights I didn’t feel that much of a challenge.

Moving away from boss battles, combat in other sections of the game, when fighting ‘pawns’ or ‘soldiers’ can be pretty rewarding, especially when you’ve unlocked a bunch of wicked new moves and gadgets. Apart from the awesome damage you can do with these moves, it’s pretty cool to watch how Insomniac really made his combat super fluid. Swing-kicking into a group of enemies, disarming them and throwing their weapon back at them, zipping back to the enemy shooting them in the air, ripping them apart with some sick combos and then web throwing them to the ground can make you feel pretty invincible. Suit powers and gadgets can be pretty handy – my favourite ‘load-out’ was the spider-bro as a suit power with the impact web. While this was not the best load-out for all the fights I encountered, this was my most used by far. Nevertheless, finding the right suit power and gadget that suits your play-style is imperative. Every time I unlocked one of these upgrades I always spent around 15 minutes using them or doing a side-mission to understand their strengths.

Apart from the superb, and gripping main story of the game I found side missions very entertaining and challenging. From tracking a fake Spider-Man, solving crimes, doing those pesky Taskmaster challenges, chasing pigeons or completing tasks from the research station I always had stuff to do when I wanted some time away from the core story.

Something I really enjoyed within the game were the gang hideouts – finding yourself surrounded by enemies and using all your moves and skills in tandem to defeat each of them started looking like a combat-based symphony of sorts. These henchmen base missions are critical, especially if you want to unlock the game’s multitude of extra costumes, almost all of which have a unique power affiliated to them. Every side objective rewards the player with tokens that can also be cashed in for suits and gadget upgrades – while these aren’t really needed to progress through the story wearing something different and gaining a new ability to defeat enemies really does spice things up.

The World: Manhattan –  

The big apple, the city that never sleeps and the city of dreams – New York City. This version of Spider-Man is set in present-day New York City, and run by Mayor Norman Osborn. 23 year-old Peter Parker at this point in his life has already put away villains like Electro, Rhino, and Vulture and has a friendly relationship with the police. He works as a research assistant, has his own cardboard-box sized apartment in Manhattan and is on the fritz with the lovely MJ who is working as a reporter with the Daily Bugle. After a brief prologue in the start where you take down one of the Spider-Verse’s most infamous characters you are let loose on the whole city – giving you the chance to view the whole of Manhattan from the start.

Like most open world games nowadays, producers included Fast Travel within the game to save players time when traversing from one point of interest to the other. Strangely, like Red Dead Redemption 2, in Marvel’s Spider-Man I preferred getting to my destination by swinging there. Spider-Man’s Manhattan captures the city’s beauty perfectly. Immediately after ending the prologue, as previous discussed, you are able to swing freely, making astounding web arcs to transport yourself through the city’s avenues. It’s pretty easy to get a hang of the game’s smooth web-based movement. Most times I felt like getting to my location the old fashioned way while listening to good old JJ Jameson complain about Spider-Man while finding helping out that one-off civilian in need made me feel more like a web-slinging crime fighter. From the get-go, to see the whole of Manhattan you’ll need to unscramble a few broken radio towers in each section of town – sounds similar doesn’t it?

Traveling to different zones doesn’t really change the game’s difficulty. From my experience I pretty much got them out of the way in the beginning of the game, since really and truly these felt like a task rather than part of the game itself. Nonetheless, I still urge players to use Fast-Travel, especially when changing suits, during travel time you’ll likely see Spider-Man catching the subway in his suit often confusing other passengers on the tube trying to understand what he’s doing on his phone or being fallen asleep on – great stuff Insomniac!

Something which I really liked about the game was that the game producers really got the picture straight on what modern day Spider-Man would experience if he was fighting crime in 2018 – especially when taking into consideration the in-game social media feed found on the screen.

The City That Never Sleeps DLC:

The Heist – 

The Heist certainly sets up a pretty good story and a couple of characters to start off the ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ DLC. The character development is once again top class, and left me wanting to see more. New gameplay ideas were pretty good, albeit others being pretty frustrating – especially a new baddy with a chain gun which was pretty tough when playing the game in Spectacular Mode. I mean hordes of these guys can make you rage. The emphasis of the roughly three-hour DLC really is on the story, in which Black Cat immediately makes an indelible mark on this world.

Turf Wars – 

The Heist was fun, but Turf Wars feels like Insomniac really put more effort into this one, despite it being a continuation with regard to the story. Turf Wars takes a classic, old school Spidey Nemesis, pushes the boundaries on making him a modern bad guy, but with elements seen in previous Spider-Man villains – using new faces to stir things up.

Silver Lining – 

Silver Lining’s story and gameplay is where the game’s DLC trilogy really comes into play. Insomniac ties everything together beautifully, and in doing so gives some weight to what might have otherwise been optional challenges. With diverse missions, Silver Sable’s return and a clear sense of resolution, Silver Lining is a rewarding end and an exciting tease for what is to come with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Conclusion

Some gamers criticize the game’s predictability; regarding its open world and its linear story (their words, not mine). I found the game to be pretty astounding. Action sequences are breathless and remarkable. Each main game encounter feels absolutely cinematic, to the point where you can actually put some pieces together and publish it as another entry in the MCU. If, like me, you spent your childhood watching Spider-Man cartoons – while sometimes watching them again in the morning before school just for kicks then you’ll truly appreciate the Spidey lore this game is packed with.

The biggest moments in Spider-Man are as varied as they are dramatic. From scaling buildings through its elevator shafts, to covertly webbing snipers up from a lamp post and chasing helicopters while dragging a crane through NYC’s skyscrapers while dodging missiles – this game really makes you feel like your friendly neighborhood Spider-man. In my opinion, this has to be the greatest superhero game of this decade.

Favourite Pastime:

  • Web slinging across the NYC skyline.

Favourite Spider-Man suit:

  • Cyborg Spider-Man Suit (Only available with Silver Lining DLC)

Things I Hated:

  • The lack of cinematic when changing from one time of day to the next (literally changing the gradient of the sky with no movement, come on Insomniac, you’re better than that!)

Pro-active tips:

Repair the Security Towers ASAP

I usually do this in all open-world games, the sooner you repair all the Oscorp security towers, the better. Like this, you’ll finish this task earlier on as to not annoy you with a fuzzy map.

Diversify your Activities

As you complete side activities and nab more of the game’s collectibles, you’ll earn special tokens used to upgrade Spider-Man’s gadgets and craft new suit mods and powers. These upgrade require all manner of tokens to unlock, so when you’re out in the world, try do a bunch of side objectives to better Spider-Man’s arsenal and then use them in your main story mission.

Try walking around New York for a while

This is something I found out half way through the game. As much fun as it is to swing through the city, there’s a whole world out there on the sidewalks of New York to explore. Give people high fives, eavesdrop on the chatter, check out and take photos of Manhattan landmarks or even the Daily Bugle!

Pros:

  • Web swinging is awesome
  • Very fluid and smooth combat
  • Storyline is fantastic
  • UI is very easy
  • Voice acting and soundtrack are well done

Cons:

  • Awkward camera movements
  • MJ sequences were boring
  • Boss fights were too easy

Verdict:

Devil May Cry 5: An Emo, a Metal Head and Justin Bieber walk into the Underworld

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Good old Uncle Dante and his Nephews…

Devil May Cry 5 is an upcoming action-adventure hack and slash video game developed and published by Capcom. It is the fifth instalment of the mainline Devil May Cry series, and is scheduled to be released on 8 March 2019.

DMC is coming back baby! With more demon blowing carnage, cooler hair styles and the power of modern gaming technology. With a series that boasts over 16 million sales worldwide over 17 years it’s no surprise the game is ready to enter the modern world of gaming. This game being the first of the popular series to make its debut in the current generation – bringing back all the things us gamers love like awesome looking mayhem against them Devil hunters with scourging demon blood in their veins.

I remember playing Devil May Cry 1 back in 2002 on my uncle’s PS2, I was ten at the time, with my aunt telling me this game will fry your mind. I fell in love with that statement, and wanted my brain to turn into that McDonalds nugget if it meant me playing more of this dark and entertaining game. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until Devil May Cry 4 that I actually started understanding the story further-ish. My brain is still fried, in a good way.

It’s taken a long time for Capcom to bring back the Devil May Cry series, but finally it’s happening. After many rumours and speculation, DMC5 made its debut during the E3 2018 press conference with a staggering trailer as seen above. The game is set for a worldwide release on March 8th, 2019 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. This next major entry has a few different aspects to game, like multiple playable characters and new, upgraded weaponry. This is the game we’ve all been waiting for.

Since it’s been quite some time since the other Devil May Cry games many fans don’t really know what’s going on with this new game, with some fans losing touch with the series and forgetting some major aspects. Well fret not woe demon hunters, we’re here to keep you updated. Here we go.

Also, if you’d like to check out all Monsoon Gaming’s favourite upcoming games of 2019 check them out here.

What is Devil May Cry 5?

Devil May Cry 5 is an upcoming action-adventure game. Developed by Capcom, the long-running DMC series has always been about fast, stylish action while using a variety of unique weapons. Over the last 17 years, the series has gone on to inspire a particular brand of action gameplay, where fast-paced action and challenging battles go hand-in-hand. With every game, the stakes and scope of the series has grown, and DMC5 looks to be the most detailed and elaborate entry yet – obviously.

As most of you know, in DMC4 you played as Dante & Nero, this time there’s someone new you’ll be playing with alongside your white haired demon hunters, the newcomer V. Running on the state of the art RE Engine, the same framework power games like Resident Evil 7 and the Resident Evil 2 remake, the game will surely blow our mind with outstanding graphics and exceptional detail.

Cool stuff, but if I never played the previous games how am I going to catch up?

Damn right there are multiple ways to catch up and play them previous games you so dearly miss. You can check out the DMC HD Collection with the first 3 games in one. DMC4 Special Edition is also available on all modern platforms. Also, as an added extra, if you want to play Ninja Theory’s DMC which, although is not part of the Capcom series, is an awesome entry into the mix you can do so on PS4 and Xbox One, sadly no PC release.

Can I start the series with this game? 

 

Now generally I always advise to play all the other games of the series, and for this one, I’m not changing my mind sadly. Now there is chatter that this game just references storylines and characters of the series within its 16 year history some are saying that it is totally possible to jump straight into Devil May Cry 5. I’m sure the game will get you up to speed of what’s happened and who’s who since this game will work as a ‘standalone’ but nonetheless I do not advise it. Knowing the whole story presume will make your experience playing this game ten times better especially if you’re a demonic diehard fan of the series.

DMC5 will act as a standalone sequel to the events of DMC4 where Nero and Danta fought against the likes of Sanctus and the Order of Sparda. Ironically, next to the other games which barely referenced their predecessors, DMC5 will explain quite a bit on the DMC series, for example like explaining who crafted Dante’s iconic weapons with some DMC2 in this mix as well. Just for you to know this is the proper chronoligcal order for the series of games:

  1. Devil May Cry 3
  2. Devil May Cry 1
  3. Devil May Cry 4
  4. Devil May Cry 2
  5. Devil May Cry 5

So what will I be expecting from DMC5?

Wouldn’t you like to know? Most details at the moment are *hush hush* but from what we know the game will focus on some awesome and thrilling action sequences. In addition to the new weapons and characters as listed above, this game will also include an online co-op mode. Apart from this, DMC5 will boast a training room called – VOID MODE where the player can learn all the different moves and weapons available for the three playable characters.

Who are the playable characters like now?

Nero AKA Justin Bieber

Our lovely demon duelling Nero from DMC4 is back, and one of the main playable leads in DMC5. However, some things have changed, for started his hair, but let’s not get into that. Start from his moves – still utilising is Blue Rose Revolver and Red Queen charged up sword, it’s pretty much the same from that end. However, his cloudy weird demonic ‘Devil Bringer’ hand is gone so instead he’ll be utilising this new ‘Devil Breaker System’ as seen in trailers.

Within the game you’ll be able to purchase upgrades and new enhanced ‘Devil Breakers’ from newcomer Nico’s shop at the game’s mobile headquarters. Essentially, these will be disposable arms that will offer Nero different skills and modifiers to his move-set – for example the Gerbera arm will shoot lazers, the Tomboy will help Nero’s sword become more awesome and the Buster arm will act like the previous game’s Devil Bringer. However, these arms have an element of wear and tear, especially since you’ll be using them to battle huge and enormously powerful enemies. So at one point or another these Devil Breakers will break. Nonetheless, from what is being heard at the moment there will be plenty of arms scattered around the game so finding a new arm along the way will be easy.

Dante AKA Rocker Jeff Bridges

Our old looking devil hunter friend is back, while he doesn’t look the same like in previous games Dante is ever the demon killer we know and love. With a huge variety of weapons, Dante is the superpower when it comes to killing demons. Utilising an array of swords, firearms and gauntlets he’ll quickly makes ends-meet of his fiendish foes. From what we’re understanding Dante will still have the power of ‘Devil Trigger’ significantly amplifying his strengths and abilities. From what is stated, throughout the game Dante will continue acquiring new weapons as he defeats demon bosses and gaining different combat styles ultimately complimenting his status as the strongest demon slayer.

One of the newer innovations for Dante is the option to customize specific loadouts for his melee and firearms. In the pre-mission menu, you can choose which weapons you want to bring with you in mission. If you want to come in fully armed – with up to four melee and firearms each – then you can do so. But if you’re feeling more traditional and want to stick with one melee and firearm, you can do that too. Dante will also be able to use his different combat styles – Swordmaster, Gunslinger, Trickster and Royal Guard – which can open up new moves to use for his weapons.

V AKA Emo Ezra Miller

So, who is this V everyone’s talking about? Well, it wasn’t until the ‘The Game Awards 2018’ trailer that we finally saw what DMC5’s new playable character V can do. Unlike Nero and Dante’s white ‘Sephiroth’ looking hair, V’s look is particularly different, it seems like when he switches to demon killing mode his hair turns white. I guess in the DMC world it’s like going Super Saiyan. Dissimilar to the other two demon slayers, V’s combat will focus primarily on summoning demonic familiars to do his fighting, familiars like in DMC1. Within the trailer we see V summoning demonic monsters like Nightmares, Shadows and Griffons with Emo Ezra Miller chilling at a distance, probably tweeting about his new Fantastic Beasts movie.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, from what is seen in the trailer V can still put up a fight on his own. With his cane he is seen finishing off weakened demons and mounting some large beasts as well. We still don’t know much about him but it will be pretty interesting seeing a character which will probably differ in fighting style from the usual hack and slash type fighting we know from the DMC series.

So how will Co-Op work with DMC5?

DMC5 will feature a new mechanic called the CAMEO System, this will allow players to team up online. This is the second time co-op has appeared in the series, the first being in DMC3 for a particular boss battle. Throughout the campaign and at certain stages within the game, when online, this system will allow other players to choose from the 3 characters to join you on your quest with each of the MAX 3 players each picking different characters, allowing you to complete the level together. Once you’ve completed the level you can even rate their performance. If you decide to play offline, the game’s AI will then control the other characters instead.

How can I try this game before its release? Is there a demo?

Oh yes, there is a demo, but only for Xbox One right now, however in the coming months a second demo will be made available for fans and prospects on multiple platforms. This demo, as seen in Gamescom 2018 and PAX West 2018, will consist of a short mission with Nero fighting his way through the streets, culminating in a boss fight against Goliath.

Just Cause 4: Did I buy Just Cause 4, just ‘cause Just Cause 3 was a just cause?

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Should you buy Just Cause 4? 

“I live for levitating animals, tornadoes, big guns and chaos.”

Just Cause 4 is an action-adventure game developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Square Enix. It is the fourth game in the Just Cause series and the sequel to 2015’s Just Cause 3. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

I hate it when adults talk about those games that melt their kids’ brains away to their friends – especially those adults with suits, tie clips and side combed hair. They’re always talking about how little Joey doesn’t stop playing that noisy game where he’s constantly blowing stuff up as a bearded flying squirrel with a hook. I then think, what kind of weird game are they talking about? Blowing stuff up? Which is true of most games nowadays, but with a hook? Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle Royale maybe? It isn’t when you hear ‘as a bearded flying squirrel’ you know they’re talking about the Just Cause series. Let me tell you something Joey’s dad/mom/abductor, Rico is not a squirrel and in Just Cause 4, he is closer to a God.

When Just Cause 3 came out I didn’t really bother ordering it since I wasn’t much of a fan of the series. It wasn’t until it was available on PS Plus (yes, I’m a PS4 gamer, get over it) and had no other game to play that I decided to download it and give it a shot, you know, just ‘cause. After playing a couple of hours I noticed, this game literally has no story and focuses on gameplay so I decided to just do my own thing and that’s when the love for the game finally revealed itself. The best part about Just Cause games isn’t the story, but the pure carnage you can cause when playing, plus the power of near invincibility. Let’s face it Rico, you’re indestructible. This is mainly why I wanted to try Just Cause 4, to see if Avalanche decided to pump up the carnage and make me feel more omnipotent. The answer is yes, and more.

After playing around 20 hours of the game’s story I decided to do what I did with the previous game, go ape-sh*t and destroy everything. It was lovely. The people behind the Just Cause series seem to have grasped the element of blowing crap up in the noisiest and most creative fashion as their forte.

Just ‘cause Just Cause 3 was a just cause, I went and bought Just Cause 4, and I barely even paused… I’m not much of a poet, excuse me, and let us continue the review. I also listed this game as one of the best games to play this Christmas here.

The Story – 

The real reason you buy Just Cause 4, at least in my opinion, is not for the story, but for the chaos. Nonetheless, the story behind Just Cause 4, from what I’ve experienced up until now, is pretty ok. In this ‘episode’, our lovely, testosterone filled flying squirrel, Rico Rodriguez along with the Army of Chaos (sounds like the bad guys) try take down Oscar Espinosa and his Black Hand organisation (sounds more like the bad guys). Fighting alongside the Army, you (Rico) will be pushing the front lines with the resistance to push Oscar and his posse out of Solis. You do this by destroying stuff, you know, the more you destroy and kill, the more people will rally to your cause… logic nowadays, fun logic nevertheless. You can then move troops to capture sections of the map, ultimately gaining upgrades and unlocks as you liberate the entire country. It’s represented as you play by actual front line battles in the world, wicked stuff guys. Sadly I’m not really interested in the narrative, especially when competing with the games that have come out this quarter, the story will surely be forgettable.

The missions are predictable and repetitive – mainly unloading havoc (not cyclops’ brother – also, this sounds pretty bad when thinking about it) on everything you see (ok, it’s very bad). Most missions consist of going to a thing, to switch the thing on, so the big door thing opens, and then destroy the thing… sound familiar? Especially since I prefer destroying things as I please with no limitations, thank you very much. It’s pretty tedious if you think about it. On another note, many times during the game, the map marker didn’t really work, leaving me confused and lost on where I was supposed to go. Distances can be tricky. I usually took on side-missions, sadly they were pretty much the same. Well, thank you, next?

The Game – 

Just Cause 4 is set in the gorgeous, and huge island of Solis. The map being so big allows for realistic distribution of targets unlike some other games I played this quarter. There’s great environmental diversity, trailing/flying across cities, jungles, mountains and beach-fronts by using an almost infinite variety of vehicles is at your fingertips.

Apart from the mediocre story, the gameplay and the absolute ridiculous fun you have is second to none. Rico is a titan among men, while leading the revolt as Rico you will likely wade through almost anything Solis can throw at you – from surviving missile fire, taking in and ‘sometimes’ dodging bullets, being blown up and falling from body splattering heights only results in a red tinge in the corners of your screen. This red tinge surprisingly fades away pretty fast and you’re back to being fit as a fiddle. Surprisingly, even if you encounter a tornado in the game (which does not happen as often as you’d think it does, especially with the new weather system being the main USP and hyped up subject about Just Cause 4) you’ll easily find a way to get out of there easily. Grappling hook > Tornado.

There are only a few things more satisfying than Rico traversing across Solis with his grappling hook/wing-suit or parachute, almost as satisfying as web shooting across Manhattan’s skyline as Spider-man… almost. You’re a one-man army, and Just Cause 4 makes sure of that. Merely jumping out of a jet you just airdropped a couple of moments ago which then plummets to an enemy facility’s shiny explosives causing fire and destruction as you land peacefully by hooking one of the remaining henchmen as you land flat on your feet as another walk in the park. Think about it people, what other game can afford being this silly, yet come out this fun? The question is, couldn’t you have done that in Just Cause 3?

Well, yes, but this latest edition of the Just Cause series has some improvements. New grappling hook upgrades gives you twice as many things to play with, easily switchable loadouts based on what you prefer are now accessible. The game gives you the choice to attach balloons you can use to lift things out of – or into – the way. Something which I remember in another game I played around a year ago, was it Metal Gear V? Well, Metal Gear didn’t have thrusters that you can attach to anything with your hook to help shoot them across the map. It’s here where the modern millennial troll will have fun, playing around with so many creative combinations as they look for new ways to obliterate and destroy. I remember lifting a tank I airdropped, and attaching thrusters pointing towards an enemy base so I can rain destruction from the sky – this didn’t really pan out the way you think it did, if I remember correctly the tank just kept spiralling in the air. Physics nowadays.

As stated previously, the new Just Cause also introduced some killer weather effects – if you encounter them that is. Although, when you do encounter a storm it is quite the sight; hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning storms literally flipping sh*t everywhere. Nevertheless, you are Rico Rodriguez, a titan, tornadoes cannot kill you it just splatters rain on your screen.

The Conclusion

As I previously mentioned, in the past 3 months I’ve played seriously detailed and impressive games like RDR2, Spider-man & AC Odyssey. When comparing this game to these three, Just Cause 4 sadly comes last, but this game does have some incredible moments of beauty and destruction. It’s a game which can easily be understood, gratifying and gives you the ability to do whatever you like. Solis is your playground, Avalanche Studios gives you the tools to be a god. From airdropping almost anything to help you destroy more efficiently and effectively to doing as you please to being creative with what the game deals you. I’m not saying this game has the finesse to compete against other rivals in its genre, but at a time where open-world games have become saturated the Just Cause series gives the people what they want, especially since this entry is by far the best we’ve seen from the Just Cause series by a mile.

Favourite Pastime:

  • Playing around with Physics of the game and tethering items together and attaching rocket thrusters to them just for the fun of it.

Things I Hated:

  • I wish the hurricanes had more to them, and I was able to encounter more of them during free-roam.

Pro-active Tips:

  • Don’t forget to use that grapple mid-air! 

If you’re a starter to the series, you should know that when Rico is free-falling to the ground and you’re not interested in parachutes you can use the grappling hook to break your fall. This is especially useful when you’re falling at super speed and are bound to take damage if the fall is not interrupted. I would recommend using your hook for moving around the island as well, using a combo of this and your wing-suit will make you trail through the 1024km2 map at ease.

  • Always keep on the look-out for those weapon boxes.

The shiny crates on the ground you find are weapon boxes, these contain a multitude of weapons that can be used to annihilate your enemies – like rocket and grenade launchers. Open ‘em up and reap the world.

  • Chaos level is back mates!

A feature that was apparent in Just Cause 2 is back, and that is of the Chaos Level. Increase your Chaos Level will get you lots of new perks – like more agents and reserves for your squadron. Play the game as you do, do the activities assigned to you and your Chaos Level will increase.

Pros:

  • Game makes you feel omnipotent.
  • Beautiful and dynamic environment.
  • The game is ridiculously fun, emphasis on ridiculous.
  • Performance is good, with a steady frame rate.

Cons:

  • Narrative is boring
  • Missions can be repetitive

Reviewed on PS4 Pro, you know it! 

Red Dead Redemption 2: The NO BULL Review

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Should you buy Red Dead Redemption 2?

“There’s a little bit of cowboy & cowgirl in nearly everyone.”

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a Western-themed action-adventure game developed and published by Rockstar Games. It is a prequel to the 2010 game Red Dead Redemption, and the third entry in the Red Dead series.

So, buying this game and actually playing it after finishing a two-week marathon trying to 100% AC Odyssey was seeming to be pretty difficult for me when the game had to compete with Alexios/Kassandra’s wicked and crazy journey in Ancient Greece. I was thinking, is all this hype just a super marketing stunt, with global gaming ambassadors just trying to push sales? Well, little did I know…?

Got it Monday morning, left from work early, got home, pushed my bro off the PS4 while he was playing Overwatch (I mean, who still plays Overwatch?) and started the long and tedious 100gb download. This was done by utilising the first disc, I mean, which PS4 game ever used 2 discs? Also, aren’t we done with using discs? @elonmuskofficial do your stuff and make something more 2018 please. Even then, I was thinking, this game better be TOP STUFF. Started the game, and off I went… and literally haven’t stopped till then.

After the first part of the game, which is the mandatory ‘training/non-open-world’ section where you get to meet your gang; peeps like Arthur Morgan (the guy you play as), Dutch, John Marston (the guy you play as in Red Dead Redemption 1) Bill, Javier and so on you start Chapter 2. This chapter opens you to the expertly created, wonderful world of Red Dead Redemption 2.

The World – 

CAUTION: I literally got repetitive strain injury on my thumb from horse sprinting (repetitively pressing the X button) since there is no bloody fast travelling in Red Dead 2, or at least proper fast travelling apart from trains, stagecoaches and the very expensive one-way map from the camp/homestead. I later then found out that there is a way to NOT repetitively press X to keep the horse sprinting, but that was obviously after my injury. Silly me.

Unlike most open-world RPGs, the whole game is open for you to explore from the get-go apart from a ‘few sections’ which cannot be mentioned due to SPOILERS. The map is huge, around 4 times the size of the original Red Dead and the biggest Rockstar map ever created, with some of the map still needing to be unlocked, at a future stage of course.

My opinion on the matter though, don’t just start exploring straight off, it is best you reach Chapter 4, when you’ve gotten most ‘equipment’ needed to deal with certain challenges/activities you face when you’re trailing across different regions.

The sheer difference in environment, and eco-textures is profoundly jaw-dropping. From travelling to cold and snowy altitudes like Amberino, to hotter Arizona type environments like Austin, to Swampy/Louisiana type surroundings like Saint Denis, the game keeps you on your feet, especially when you need to decide on which clothes fit the right places you go to. Each region also has its own endemic flora and fauna, some of which can be pre-historic remnants of these beasts as well.

The Characters – 

My first thoughts on Arthur Morgan, one of the main characters within the Van der Linde gang is that this guy is a total gun-slinging western cowpoke, a basic late 19th century American outlaw stereotype, but I found he was so much more than that.

As most modern RPGs, the game lets you decide what kind of person you choose the character to be. When facing certain challenges, be it choices within: main missions, side-missions or even the random guy on the side of the trail who got bit by a snake. Your actions have consequences, so always be aware and try anticipate what the best approach to the scenario can be. I personally, made my cowboy into a sensible crook who cared more about the people around him than the weight of his coin pouch – this made the actions and repercussions throughout the game better for my play style.

Apart from Arthur, the characters within the game end up being very helpful, likable/unlikable and immerse you within the Red Dead world. The sheer detail given to not only the main characters (gang members/antagonists) but the characters within the side missions, their quirkiness and emotional value they bring to scenes within the game really made me feel like I was living in the Wild West. Something which I never experienced is how alive this game actually is. It seemed like the NPCs are some sort of AI, living their best, and in some cases, worst lives by themselves. This can be due to the huge and broad dialogue options the NPCs can say to the player and to each other with regard to their situation in the game.

The Conclusion

While this game is unlike many other games in the wider genre, which explores fast-paced action and immediate control and gratification like AC Odyssey, which in my opinion is still one of the best games this year, RDR2 will surely be one of the most memorable. Red Dead Redemption 2, in my opinion, will act as a benchmark for most games in the future. In a weird way, the game can be described as a western world simulator. A game which sometimes can be slow, and boring when traversing between missions, but if you’re up for exploring off the beaten track and finding new animals, landmarks or trying to find a good spot for an in-game selfie then you’ll absolutely fall in love with this well-deserved hyped up game and in my opinion – the best game of 2018.

Favourite Pastime:

  • Fishing at sunrise.

Things I Hated:

  • Brushing up by an NPC while trotting, NOT GALLOPING, with my horse and ending up being wanted with multiple sheriffs/police shooting at me which was totally uncalled for. Happened a lot with me. Sadness.

Pro-active Tips:

  • Don’t be coarse with your horse.

Always keep a horse reviver on you, while going on an adventure with your horse you might find your trusty steed isn’t as indestructible as you may think. Smashing into a tree (happened roughly every 10 minutes in the game for me) or falling over a cliff face can seriously hurt your horse, or even kill it.

P.S when buying/catching a horse in the wild always make sure their health and stamina is over 50 to 60% – more important than their speed in my opinion.

  • Bounty hunters are infuriating.

In the first few chapters of the game try not to be too trigger friendly, as the bounty right off chapter 2 can be quite hefty. Finding that amount of money to pay off your bounty so early in the game can be pretty hard and plus, you really don’t want a bunch of bounty hunters after you, they can be pretty annoying. If you want to be one of those gun slinging desperados like you see in the movies, just try not to get caught doing so.

  • Always keep a good weapon load-out on your person. 

The amount of times I was left fighting 50+ O’Driscolls with just my pistol, and grabbing random guns I find from my victims since I wasn’t pro-active in loading the right weapons from my horse was drastic. Keep yourself ready for any scenario the game might throw at you. Have fun, and try to find your perfect load-out to suit your play style.

  • Make sure to be equipped with fists rather than a weapon when speaking to NPCs.

Something which annoyed me, but I got use to was that the aiming and speech button were the same thing. So sometimes I’d get off my horse to help this man who’s been bitten by a snake but I end up aiming my Mauser Pistol to his forehead, which will mean this NPC will suddenly heal from his ailment, whip out his Worn Cattleman Revolver and start shouting; “WHAT IN TARNATION DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?”. This ends up being a mild misunderstanding, with a bullet ultimately penetrating the NPC’s oesophagus.

Pros:

  • Best Game Story of 2018.
  • Sexy landscapes.
  • Ultra great shooting mechanics.
  • Amazing detail in-game.
  • Barely any load times between scenes.

Cons:

  • FPS can sometimes slow down when there’s too much happening on screen.

Reviewed on PS4 Pro, you know it! 

Kingdom Hearts III: Do you need a PHD in Literature to understand the KH Universe?

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KINGDOM HEARTS III tells the story of the power of friendship as Sora and his friends embark on a perilous adventure. Set in a vast array of Disney and Pixar worlds, KINGDOM HEARTS follows the journey of Sora, a young boy and unknowing heir to a spectacular power. Sora is joined by Donald Duck and Goofy to stop an evil force known as the Heartless from invading and overtaking the universe.

Through the power of friendship, Sora, Donald and Goofy unite with iconic Disney-Pixar characters old and new to overcome tremendous challenges and persevere against the darkness threatening their worlds.

As most Kingdom Hearts geeks know, Square Enix & Disney have been teasing the launch of this game for quite some time now, especially since concepts of the game began as early as 2006, shortly after the launch of KH2. It wasn’t until E3 2013, after almost a decade in limbo, us KH fans finally found there was hope in Kingdom Hearts. Five and a half long years later and KH3 is almost out, and Monsoon Gaming knows most of you have a couple of questions you’re asking.

For more information about our favourite upcoming games of 2018, check out the link here.

Is KH3 actually coming out soon?

Yes, or at least that’s what the KH team are telling us, KH3 is scheduled to be released on PS4 and XBOX One on 25/01/19 in Japan and 29/01/19 everywhere else, obviously the Japanese always get the stuff first. Lucky.

I know what you’re thinking, should I believe this? They’ve taken sooooo long to launch, change in game engine and all, especially since at D23 in 2017 they announced the game to be released end of 2018. Apparently Square Enix requested the game be released simultaneously between Japan and the rest of the world, and since they didn’t want to move the date up, it resulted that the best time to release the game was end of January. Even though in my opinion I would have loved to play the game over the Christmas Holiday but you do you Nemura!

Which worlds will the game take me to?

As most of you know, Disney acquired Pixar to become an even more powerful and gloriously joyful company than it was previously. With this acquisition comes new fruit to bear with regard to possible worlds for Sora, Donald and Goofy to explore. Till today, meaning 13/11/2018 the confirmed worlds are as follows:

  • Corona (Tangled)
  • San Fransokyo (Big Hero 6)
  • Olympus Coliseum/Mount Olympus (Hercules)
  • 100 Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh)
  • Mysterious Cloud World (Unsure what, or where this is)
  • Port Royal (Pirates of the Caribbean)
  • Arendelle (Frozen)
  • Andy’s House/Arcade (Toy Story)
  • Monstropolis (Monsters, Inc.)
  • Twilight Town (KH2)
  • Yen Sid’s Tower (KH2)

That all sounds cool and stuff, but, I never really understood the KH Universe, what do I need to know before playing KH3?

I’m going to be totally honest with you, if I was you, and I want to be totally immersed and in line with what will be happening in KH3 I’d grab KH1.5, KH2.5 & KH0.2 and play those and refresh my mind before touching KH3. That’s my opinion, even though Square Enix did mention that out of all the games, you should play KH0.2 as a ‘prologue’ before KH3. Not sure if that’s just a way for you to spend more money on the latest game to boost sales or if it is totally honest, but I kind of trust Square Enix to be frank.

You might think, isn’t KH3’s title a little misleading, since it really isn’t the third game in the series. Well don’t fret my fellow fans, here’s a list of every title, in order of story chronology, not including the remakes, obviously. If you’ve found that you just DO NOT have the time to go through all of these, what you can risk skipping can be found below with a star – * (not recommended):

  1. Kingdom Hearts X*
  2. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep 
  3. Kingdom Hearts 
  4. Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories* 
  5. Kingdom Hearts 0.2 (beginning)
  6. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days* 
  7. Kingdom Hearts II 
  8. Kingdom Hearts: Coded*
  9. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dreams Drop Distance*
  10. Kingdom Hearts 0.2 (ending)
  11. Kingdom Hearts III 

If you’ve played, or even heard your friend talking about Kingdom Hearts you’ve probably learnt that it is mega-complicated, with an extremely intricate story that many people find difficult to understand. I mean, just by seeing the collection of these games, and their names already merits you a couple of O-Levels to understand their meaning. Walking into KH3 with no preparation might leave your mind in shambles, so I’m briefly going to give you the absolute minimum you need to know to get an understanding of the series:

The whole plot of KH3 is focused on the war for Kingdom Hearts, Xehanort, the main bad guy believes there must be balance between light and dark. To do so, he needs to access Kingdom Hearts (the heart of all worlds) by putting together the 20 pieces of the X-Blade (these pieces are held within 20 different characters).

After Birth by Sleep, Xehanort is split in two – his nobody, Xemnas and his heartless, Ansem. In KH 1 and KH 2, Sora fights both Xemnas and Ansem which results in Xehanort’s resurrection. Since the main bad guy is back, he wants to open that door, the only way to do so is all-out war – 7 lights (good guys) vs 13 darknesses (bad guys).

Seven lights being the keyblade wielders: Sora, Riku, Kairi, Ventus, Terra, Aqua and King Mickey and thirteen darknesses being Organisation 13 – however, since Birth by Sleep; Ventus, Aqua & Terra have disappeared. No doubt, in KH3 we’ll be seeing Sora trying to find them for the ultimate showdown between good and bad.

What’s the wicked new KH theme song?

You knew KH will release an eerie, exciting, Japanese influenced theme song with KH3 that you might put on your Spotify playlist to listen to while on a jog, or in the car like all the other original theme songs of the series. I can tell you from now, singing along to ‘Sanctuary’ at 3AM on the streets of Valletta back in 2005 with some wine in my blood is one memory I will not forget. You also probably though that Utada Hikaru would publish this song in English and Japanese. You were right on both counts, except this time why not include some dub-step in the mix.

In February of 2018, Hikaru unveiled the KH3 theme song: ‘Don’t Think Twice’ in English, and ‘Oath’ in Japanese. Check out ‘Don’t Think Twice’ below:

Now, if you don’t know yet, Skrillex, an apparently massive fan of the KH series approached the team and wanted to do a remix of ‘Don’t Think Twice’. Funnily enough, I guess the KH team said, let’s just create an entirely new song for KH3, and that is where ‘Face Your Fears’ was born, likely to drop right before the game so keep a look-out for any new updates along the way!

 

Got it, so I now understand the story briefly and the information about the KH universe, any other new components to look forward to in KH3?

Hells to the yeah, apart from the new worlds mentioned above like Big Hero 6, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. Tangled etc. and the new summons like, Wreck-It Ralph & Ariel there a couple of things that we’ve never seen before:

  • Keyblade Transformations – Apparently, as seen in the trailers, your keyblade in the game transforms based on which world you’re in.
  • Mighty Morphin’ Keyblade Wielders – You know, back in the day you’ve always been restricted to three people in your party, but this time, you’ll have FIVE. Yeah, you read it right, Sora, Goofy, Donald and two Disney characters from each world. Imagine the Trinity Limits with that amount of bad boys in your crew.

Top 10 Games To Play This Christmas Season

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The Christmas season is nearly upon us, and with it comes holidays for some, work leave for others or just an excuse to treat ourselves for another successful year of staying alive. 2018 saw a lot of new and exciting developments in the land of gaming; a new 3rd person multiplayer battle game which swept the known world, the re-incarnation of a game that was long thought extinct and a few other surprises along the way. The team at Monsoon Gaming would like to list our favourite top 10 games this year that you, our lovely viewers should play this Christmas Season:

#10: Battlefield V

“The battlefront disappeared, and with it the illusion that there had ever been a battlefront at all. For this was no war of occupation, but a war of quick penetration and obliteration.”

As most of you don’t know, I’ve loved Battlefield Games for quite some time now, only coming second to the Killzone series, RIP. Battlefield 5 depicts World War II, and it does it astoundingly. From the visually stunning graphics to the realistically sounding, looking and functionality of weaponry within the game. Unlike most other games, choosing your weapon for your play style is significantly important especially since these guns aren’t really that advanced if you catch my drift. Moreover, unlike the new COD, Battlefield 5 has a single-player campaign which almost feels like you’ve just been placed in a Steven Spielberg WW2 movie.

#9: Shadow of the Colossus

“The bigger they are, the harder they fall!”

One does not just remaster a PS2 game from 2005 unless it made an impact to the gaming world during that period, and is still relevant today. For those Gen Z viewers, Shadow of the Colossus’ focus is simple, kill a couple of bosses consecutively with no RPG mechanics, levelling up, side-quests etc. Shadow of the Colossus is a game, which if properly launched today would be brave, especially due to its short length, storyline and game branding perception. Shadow of the Colossus enhances itself from its predecessor with absolutely beautiful graphics, smoother controls and performance. For those Gen Z viewers, Shadow of the Colossus’ focus is simple; find and kill a couple of colossal beasts – that’s it. I genuinely enjoyed playing this game due to the difficulty posed and the nostalgia of a better and simpler time of video games. I tip my hat to Sony Entertainment for bringing back a great game, and refreshing it for younger audiences.

 

#8: Monster Hunter: World

“A real friend is one who walks into a Monster Hunt when the rest of the world cowers away.”

Next to all the other Monster Hunters this one can be considered ‘accessible’, myself I’m not much of a fan of the Dark Souls/Bloodborne type combat mechanics – unlike MonsoonGaming’s other team members. But, this game is a breath of fresh air. It is no wonder Monster Hunter: World earlier this year announced that it was the most sold Capcom game ever.

Whether you want to play this game solo, or with friends (with friends is always better), Monster Hunter: World lets you join an amazing journey hunting down beasts and exploring the game’s diverse landscapes.

 

#7: Just Cause 4

“I live for levitating animals, tornadoes, big guns and chaos.”

I’ll be straight to the point with this one. For those that do not know what the Just Cause series is about; a mostly mediocre story, an absolutely huge open world (1024km2 to be precise), one man, a whole artillery of weapons and vehicles, total ridiculous chaos and a multi-purpose grappling hook. Especially now, with this new episode in the Just Cause Series, in the fictitious country of Solis in South America. Apart from the super graphics in the game, nothing much has changed apart from a new weather system with tornados that can create a lot of damage, but this can be done to Rico’s (the protagonist’s) advantage. That, and more realistic and fluid gameplay which can make the imaginable real. Find the full review here. 

 

#6: Fortnite: Battle Royale

“A free-for-all battle that took the world by storm!”

Well, really and truly, this game was released in 2017, but one can say that it was in 2018 that this game properly blew out of proportion with most of the known world playing this game, and it’s not hard to see why! Fortnite: Battle Royale offers players, or teams an energetic multiplayer experience, starting with dropping into a map with nothing but the player’s fists and the clothes on their back to find weapons, and kill each and every last man/woman left to make it out alive. I mean, a pretty simple game, but boy oh boy does it get competitive – spending those sleepless nights with your mates trying to finally win a game can be tough.

 

#5: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

“The extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.”

Ignoring what happened a few days after launch, regarding price drops and so on, making the Top 5; Shadow of the Tomb Raider was a mighty fine game.  Looking at our favourite tomb raider, Lara Croft, and how she’s evolved from the previous games – making loads of discoveries, losing much of her close ones and killing countless lives changes people. Apart from getting into close encounters with enemies, something which really peaked my experience was the uncovering of mysterious ancient ruins, solving those ‘stereotypical’, and yet challenging tomb raider puzzles, all this while exploring the exotic and beautiful world. Shadow of the Tomb Raider offers up the perfect ending to a fun and exciting adventure with Lara Croft.

 

#4: Marvel’s Spider-Man

“This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-man!”

Coming in at No. 4, our friendly, and all-round bendy neighbourhood Spider-man. Let’s try and move away from the nerdgasm I get with anything to do with Marvel – Insomniac Games’ Spider-man really took the cake when comparing it to other comic book based video games. Apart from the well-written story, its character development and building points, the breath-taking views of New York and Spidey’s awesome suits, what really impressed me with this game is its fluidity. Sometimes it felt almost therapeutic traversing across Manhattan’s sky scrapers. This totally takes the cake as my favourite comic book game ever. Find the full review here. 

 

#3: Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

“True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.”

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, my oh my, what a game. Probably the game I spent longest playing this year – clocking in around 90 hours (yes that includes RDR2). AC: Odyssey is the latest edition to the epic action RPG franchise. Being set during the Peloponnesian War, the story follows the steps of either Kassandra or Alexios, depending who you want to play as, and their turbulent and marvellous journey within Ancient Greece as a mercenary. As you journey across Ancient Greece you will find new activities, and points of interest about your family, the Spartans, the Athenians, a possibly evil cult and the ancient ones – the Isu.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, in my opinion, due to its game mechanics, its wonderful scenery, the characters you meet – including the people and creatures you battle, makes it THE contender for the no. 1 spot. This was not reached due to something that the Assassin’s Creed Franchise suffers a lot from, and that’s mediocre and predictable writing, especially since AC2. Nonetheless, this was in my experience, the second best Assassin’s Creed to date, with only Ezio Auditore’s Assassin’s Creed 2 in the #1 spot. Find the full review here.

 

#2: God of War

“The hands of death could not defeat me. The sisters of fate could not hold me. And you will not see the end of this day. I will have my revenge!”

Kratos is back, after defeating most of the Greek gods he finds himself wanting peace in an unknown land, soon to find himself in a whole lot of trouble with different Gods – ones that do not take likely to strangers. God of War 2018 is the reinvention of the longstanding hack-n-slash series, this time with more RPG elements, better graphics and a whole lot of character depth. This thrilling adventure falls nothing short of an absolute masterpiece. Something which I cannot stress enough is character depth within this game, previously Kratos was seen as a character fuelled by rage and revenge, in this episode of Kratos’s life we learn that he’s more than just a God killer, we realise that Kratos has compassion and heart. I felt a connection with Kratos, and wanting the best for him and his son. With new enemies, a killer soundtrack, lore, weaponry and creatures to battle, God of War surely takes the #2 spot for me, and the best game in the series by far!

 

#1: Red Dead Redemption 2

“There’s a little bit of cowboy & cowgirl in nearly everyone.”

Who else to take the #1 spot this year but Red Dead Redemption 2. RDR2 is an open world action-adventure game developed by none other than Rockstar Games, developed as a prequel to Red Dead Redemption 1 in 2010. While this game is unlike many other games in the wider genre, which explores fast-paced action and immediate control and gratification like AC: Odyssey, which in my opinion is still one of the best games this year, RDR2 will surely be one of the most memorable. Red Dead Redemption 2, in my opinion, will act as a benchmark for most games in the future. In a weird way, the game can be described as a western world simulator. A game which sometimes can be slow, and boring when traversing between missions, but if you’re up for exploring off the beaten track and finding new animals, landmarks or trying to find a good spot for an in-game selfie then you’ll absolutely fall in love with this well-deserved hyped up game. Find the full review here.

Fallout 76: The NO BULL Review

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Should you buy Fallout 76?

“Pure Melancholy & Nuclear Despair”

Fallout 76 is the online prequel where every surviving human is a real person, with the ability to work together – or not – to survive. Under the threat of nuclear annihilation, players will experience the largest world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe. Reclamation Day, 2102. 25 years after the bombs fall, Vault Dwellers – chosen from the USA’s best and brightest – emerge into post-nuclear America. Multiplayer finally comes to the Fallout world. Creating characters with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system and forging your own path in a new and untamed wasteland with hundreds of locations. Use the all-new Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform (C.A.M.P.) to build and craft anywhere in the world. The player’s C.A.M.P. will provide much-needed shelter, supplies and safety. As a fan of the Fallout series.

Now, as Fallout fans here at Monsoon Gaming, we all played Fallout 3 a couple of years ago and loved it. Sadly, in my opinion, I really thought Fallout 4 was going to be a good game, or at least AS GOOD as Fallout 3 – it wasn’t. I don’t really blame Fallout 4 or Bethesda for my experience, I had just finished Witcher 3 when I started Fallout 4, and obviously comparing almost any game to Witcher 3 back then was surely no competition. Nonetheless, I enjoyed playing Fallout 4 and gave it a solid 7/10 within my personal ratings. But with Fallout 76, Bethesda seemed like it wanted to follow the trend of games nowadays but sadly at the cost of losing the plot of what the game actually meant for its fans.

The Game – 

Traditionally, Fallout has always been a single-player, narrative-focused RPG sandbox, which puts a lot of emphasis on what the player does during his/her time playing the game by means of his/her choices and actions. Sadly, due to this multiplayer factor, this RPG system has been lost. The game has a story, don’t get me wrong, but due to this other human player element in the world, I feel as if it gets lost. Now I understand what Bethesda were thinking, new and more interesting single player RPGs are coming out that are taking its market share – so they wanted to do something different to gain that market share back/gain some new loyal fans of the Fallout series, sadly it seems this was at a cost.

A Lonely, Barren & Nuclear Wasteland

You would think, with more human players in the game this would make the player feel more comfortable and happy, but for some reason, this is not the case. This can be due to multiple factors, like the the size of the map – as POTUS 2018 would say, it’s HUGE. It’s not all bad, if you’re an explorer, there are some wicked and peculiar places set in Fallout 76’s West Virginia that you can travel to, now to do it alone or not that’s your choice.

Another reason why it might seem lonely is due to the limited number of human players in the game. Due to Bethesda putting a cap on the number of human players in the world you can sometimes spend hours not meeting a single human player – and if you do, they’ll probably start shooting at you or start trying to abuse of you in some weird, and trashy way.

Regarding graphics and game mechanics, Bethesda hasn’t really changed much from Fallout 4, crafting is the same – scrapping items and weapons at the crafting table can help create some awesome stuff. You’ll start out with some machetes and basic weapons, and later you’ll be able to craft some super cool lasers and the famous mini-nukes everyone loves that can cause some serious damage.

Missions at the start are fun, later becoming repetitive and slightly boring, similar to something you’d experience playing Destiny (yawn). After playing for a couple of hours you’ll start noticing the limitations of this game. For example, in a mission where I’d need to kill a Wendigo, I’d find myself in a situation where the Wendigo would already be dead at the end of the mission, or there would be a bug where the Wendigo just wouldn’t appear. In this scenario, I would just be jumping from server to server until I find one where the Wendigo is still alive to complete my quest – this can be very annoying.

These missions can be done by yourself, which can be a tough fight but it is best if you have a clan or some other human players with you that you meet along the way that can aid you in these missions – creating a challenge, and somewhat of a strategic alliance. From what I’ve experienced, the only fun part of this game is the carnage and power you experience when you fight as a team to finish some missions. Together, you would easily burn through the wasteland and venture into territories that when flying solo would be too difficult for you to explore.

Ride Together – Die Together, especially when fighting a Level 45 Albino Deathclaw two hours into the game.

Focusing on strategy to complete missions also made me finally take advantage of Fallout 76’s reworked SPECIAL levelling-up system. Before starting the game, it lets you add a point to one of your SPECIAL (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck) stats. Off the bat, these do the same thing as Fallout 4, putting points into strength increases how much you can carry, for example. What makes it interesting is the new and awesome card stacking system.

The World of Fallout 76 – 

As I journeyed through West Virginia, I sometimes felt the responsibility of making the world a better place by rebuilding and wiping out the creatures that have plagued these lands. While traversing across towns to find items to scrap I found another player in need of some help as he was being attacked by Super Mutants. As the righteous player I am, I ran to him to help him wipe out the super mutants. As we both killed the last of the gargantuan super mutants I found that this player then decided to go hostile and try attack me. That’s when I realised – F**K THIS SH*T, strolled off, put down my controller and went back to playing RDR2.

Apart from this weird experience, the world of Fallout 76 has plenty of story and fiction intertwined within it and one has the ability to be part of that story. This is a world where you and a bunch of other dudes across the real world start at the same level – a vault dweller (yawn), individually given a certain level of responsibility and ‘power’ to save this world. This gave me a goal as a vault dweller, that was until you notice that everyone else in the game is given the same responsibility with the same ‘weapon of unimaginable power.’ Seems like some scam if you ask me. The story doesn’t hold.

Imagine a world with no human NPCs – as most of you know, NPCs are an important thing in any RPG (or any video game, for that matter) but Fallout 76 has robot NPCs giving you quests. Nonetheless, most storytelling is through holotapes and terminals across the world. Now I know those human NPCs in the game are basically code and pre-taped recordings, but at least when playing the game it gives you the illusion that you’re not alone, and not everything out there wants to kill you. I felt very lonely at points, especially since it’s not that easy to find other human players out there – especially if no-one wants to buy this game.

The Conclusion

This game should have come out as a multiplayer DLC exactly after Fallout 4. The game is dated, and you feel that is so. I feel a sense of melancholy when playing this game. This game is also super buggy, sometimes limiting me from completing missions. Fallout 76 is described as having a PVE elements, also stating this as its Unique Selling Point (USP). You feel that game is trying to push for this but I feel that nowadays everyone wants to troll and take the mickey out of everything. Believe me, I love to have a laugh, but sometimes you just want to play the game. Apart from this, the low volume of human players is also an issue, which will probably get worse over time.

Favourite Pass-time:

Exploring West Virginia with my team, and killing huge creatures and conquering territories together.

Things I Hated:

Almost everything else, apart from the SPECIAL levelling system.

Pro-active Tips:

  • Don’t buy this game unless you know a bunch of your mates will buy this game too and play together.

Pros:

  • Huge map to explore
  • Fun if you have a clan
  • Quests can sometimes be fun

Cons:

  • Lonely when playing by yourself
  • Graphics haven’t changed, probably got worse in my opinion
  • Not very challenging
  • Not enough human players
  • Many bugs

Reviewed on PS4 Pro, you know it!