Posted in Recent Games

Fallout 76 – Wastelanders Update

Like so many other fans of the franchise, I was eager to buy 76 when it was released. While I did enjoy it for a while, it ultimately got boring fast, for the very simple face that it wasn’t a true Fallout game. A vast open world … with no NPCs? No quirky characters or bizarre storylines, just endless fetch quests given to you by robots, or triggered by holotapes.

Sadly, this was never going to be a hugely popular design choice, and my interest soon disappeared. But not all was lost – a few months ago I heard that a free update would be headed our way, the Wastelanders update. NPCs would return to Appalachia, bringing factions for you to interact with, new storylines to take part in, all of which has been carefully intertwined with the existing story to allow both new and old players to take part.

Without a doubt I am grateful for the attempt to rescue this game, as I really did feel like it could have been so much better than it was. By no means is it anywhere near perfect at this point, but it is a whole lot more playable. It feels much more like a true Fallout game at this point, and by extension it feels much more like it was meant to be experienced solo. Unfortunately I think there is a real lack of proper quest-sharing which makes playing as a team rather difficult and ultimately uninteresting.

Sadly, there does still seem to be a lot of instability in Fallout 76. I have found that it is not uncommon for the game to suddenly crash, particularly while I am trying to take part in public events. Of course, being completely online means that nothing is really lost, so I don’t hold too much of a grudge against it.

Let’s not forget that this is a Fallout game at the end of the day, and that means that there are still lots of good things about it. A lot of adaptations had to be made to the usual Fallout style of gameplay to make it work as an MMORPG, and I think they did a pretty good job of that. The core mechanics of the game are the same, but with some serious changes to what happens when you level up, changes which I actually prefer to the usual format. And we have a whole new region of the wasteland to explore, Appalachia. I’ve always loved seeing the fictional nuclear wasteland in the Fallout franchise – the level of detail and design is a testament to the imagination and skill of the team behind it, not to mention a cautionary tale for us to bear in mind.

I’m hoping that we will receive more gradual updates that might offer a bit more stability to the performance of 76, as well as a few more content updates. But for now I’m enjoying coming on each day; completing daily tasks, taking part in events, building my C.A.M.P up a bit more each day, and taking on tougher challenges each day as my character levels up.

I would recommend that players who bought this and abandoned it ought to come back and see if they like the changes that have been made, but if you don’t have it already … maybe wait until it’s in the sale.


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: 14/11/2018
  • Genre: MMORPG
Posted in Recent Games

Man Of Medan

Last year when I wrote about Until Dawn, I said I would be picking up the next game that the creators had worked on, Man Of Medan, and that’s exactly what I did do.

It certainly has an interesting plot, but I won’t go into too much detail as I don’t want to spoil it for any of you who might want to play this yourselves. There are plenty of secrets to discover while you’re poking around on the creaky, old ship – without a doubt there’s plenty more for me to find.

There are of course some mechanics which are carried across from Until Dawn. Pictures hidden around which show you premonitions, relationships between each character which are affected my choices and actions, traits which are emphasised or replaced with other traits depending on your choices, and then of course different paths and actions you can take as you play through the game.

Unfortunately there are some ways in which Man Of Medan is lacking somewhat. Until Dawn felt like a much longer experience, with lots of secrets, lots of story, lots of places to explore. But Medan seemed to wrap up a lot quicker, I was actually slightly surprised when I realised I had reached the ending. Part of me wonders if this is in fact because the main bulk of the game takes place on a ship. We’re not talking about a luxury cruise liner, but a military freighter. There’s not much in the way of variety when you’re looking around the ship – once you’ve seen one section, you’ve pretty much seen it all. Perhaps the game is intentionally shorter because the creators thought it would be too boring to spend so much time there?

Another difference is the lack of a clueline. Until Dawn had a feature that I particularly enjoyed where every time you found a secret that was related to the incident that happened there many years ago, it opened up a small portion of this so-called clueline, which was essentially a video for you to watch which explained the events that took place in the past. The unlocked portions were so tiny, that you would have to be some way into the game before you could really start to piece things together. I really missed this feature as I was playing Man Of Medan, and I felt it was a shame not to include it.

I will definitely be playing more of the game though, to make different choices, see what other things are hiding for me to discover, and see if I can get everyone to survive (I may have accidentally got three of the five characters killed …). Also I really want to try out the co-op features that have been introduced and see how that is handled!

So ultimately, although I did prefer Until Dawn, I still feel Man Of Medan is quite a good game, and I recommend it if you see it on sale!


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: 30/08/2019
  • Genre: Interactive Horror
Posted in Recent Games

House Flipper

You know, it’s a weird phenomenon … most of us probably don’t enjoy doing chores, or at the very least have certain chores that we really don’t enjoy doing. So then, why is it that certain games, such as today’s feature, are so enjoyable and satisfying to play?

House Flipper is exactly as it sounds – you take on jobs flipping people’s houses, and the jobs that are needed to be done vary a fair amount. The one you will probably see the most of is cleaning. A lot of these people have dirty, filthy, disgusting houses, covered in stains, rubbish, and in the worst case scenarios … cockroaches. If you put me in one of these houses, I would probably freak out and run for the hills. And yet, putting myself in there virtually and methodically cleaning each room from top to bottom (because yes, sometimes there are even stains on the ceilings) is somehow very soothing and fun.

So besides cleaning, you will also get to paint, take down walls, add new walls in, fill wall cavities with plaster, lay new tiles or flooring down, install new plumbing objects such as showers and toilets, and buy new furniture as requested by the client.

If I had to complain about one thing, it would be that I don’t find the painting or tiling to be particularly enjoyable. It’s a long and tedious task when you have to do all the walls of a room, and although you can unlock perks as you play the game to make the task easier, it still feels like a real struggle to get through!

Besides taking on jobs to do specific work in houses, you can also buy houses to remodel as you see fit, and then either convert it into your own home office (much better than the tiny shed you start out with), or you can sell it on to one of the interested potential buyers to try and turn a profit.

I wouldn’t say House Flipper is the kind of game you would spend a particularly long time on, I find it most enjoyable to play in small bursts, maybe do one or two jobs in a single play session. But the small sessions that I do play, I find to be very therapeutic.


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: 17/05/2018 (PC), 25/02/2020 (PS4), 26/02/2020 (Xbox One)
  • Genre: Simulation
Posted in Recent Games

Gang Beasts

I cannot shut up about Gang Beasts. I tell all my friends about it. I tell them how much they need to get it so that we can play this ridiculously hilarious game.

So what is it exactly? It’s simple enough to explain – it’s a fighting game! But we’re not talking about combos, health bars, special moves, any of that. This is a bunch of, what I could best describe as clay dolls thrown into incredibly precarious arenas, with the goal of duking it out until only one is left standing.

There’s no tutorial either, you’re either going to have to figure it out on your own or look up the controls online, and it’s kind of surprising to see how many different things you can do. Punching, kicking, headbutting, grabbing, lifting, even drop-kicking … these are the moves that you have at your disposal, and somehow you must dispose of the other contenders!

You could try to be smart and use the environment around you to your advantage. As I mentioned before, the stages are perilous – many things are breakable, and sometimes brains beat brawn in this game. When fighting on the stage that consists of two cargo containers suspended in the air, you could try to fight everyone and knock them off the edge … or you could climb the cables and actually split them to cause the container to fall taking all the brawlers below with it. But then sometimes the best thing to do is just knock someone out by punching them in the head and throw them off the stage.

Maybe I’m just easily amused but I just find Gang Beasts to be absolutely hilarious. There’s something about watching these tiny figures ragdoll around these precarious stages which is just so entertaining to me – and this is definitely helped by the variety of costumes that you will see. You have the option to dress up your little fighter, and this is an option that most people gratefully use. There are many, many clothing options available … even animal onesies! I actually like cats a lot, so can you tell me why I find so much joy in picking up someone in a cat suit and throwing them off a ledge?

There are a few different game modes for variety’s sake as well. Melee is the standard mode where you all battle it out to be the sole survivor. Gangs puts you into teams to accomplish the same goal. Waves puts you all on the same side but pits hoards of AI opponents against you. Football … well, it’s football!

Honestly there isn’t a whole lot to say about this game. It’s small, it’s fun, play it with strangers, play it with friends, just enjoy yourself!


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: 12/12/2017 (PC, PS4), 27/03/19 (Xbox One),
  • Genre: Party Brawler
Posted in Recent Games

Friday The 13th: The Game

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I love horror. Although Friday The 13th had a fairly buggy start, it was an instant hit with me. Most of you will likely know the general idea of what the movies were about… masked killer, hangs out at camp, tends to get a bit stab-happy. Naturally it won’t be for everyone, but for horror junkies like me, few things beat the adrenaline as you run into the darkness with Jason Vorhees hot on your heels! I should point out, that would more than likely be a lot less enjoyable in real life.

As you probably guessed, Friday The 13th: The Game is a horror survival game, unless you are chosen to play as Jason, in which case it’s a rather unsettling simulation of things that should absolutely not be done in reality. Once the game starts, a small cutscene plays that … well, let’s say it announces Jason’s arrival. All the camp counsellors scatter across the map and now you must do what you can to survive! If you live for a whole 20 minutes, manage to call the police and escape to them, drive or sail away by car or boat, or manage to pull off the incredibly difficult and coordinated task of killing Jason, then you win. So of course, if Jason catches you and makes you see the light… well, better luck next time!

Of course, nothing is so simple that you can escape just like that. Want to call the police? You have to locate the one hut in the whole map that has a phone, which will have a busted fuse box, so you must find the fuse, fix the box, call the police, wait for them to arrive, get to the exit point, and pray Jason doesn’t stand between you and the police cars. Maybe you think driving is easier? Well first you better find the car battery, install that, then find fuel to top up the car, not to mention you need the car key, and then drive to safety without Jason appearing in the road and smashing your car to a halt. Maybe you just want to try to survive for the whole 20 minutes? Well good luck with that! If you do pull it off, maybe go buy a lottery ticket.

You’re not entirely defenseless though, so make sure you always keep an eye out for handy tools. You can find pocket knives which will allow you to escape Jason’s grasp, firecrackers which you can drop to stun him, weapons which you can swing at him and hope he gets knocked down, and bear traps that you can strategically place and hope that Jason gets caught before one of your fellow counsellors stumble into it.

There’s also some customisation – you can choose from a number of different counsellors and killers to play as. The counsellors all have different stats to bear in mind, and the killers have different strengths and weaknesses in what they can and can’t do. The counsellors can be customised with different clothes and perks which will give them various benefits, and the killers can be customised with special executions – handy if you’re the kind of person who really likes to show off your Jason skills.

If you ask me, this is the perfect game to either sit down with some fellow horror-loving friends, turn off all the lights, and take it in turns to survive the night, or to play online with your friends on voice chat, trying your best to work together to escape Jason’s clutches!


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 26/05/2017 (Switch 13/08/19)
  • Genre: Survival Horror
Posted in Recent Games

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

If you were to ask me to describe The Witcher 3 in as few words as possible, I would know exactly what to say.

It’s a commitment.

Without a doubt this is one of my favourite RPG games out there, but it is not to be taken lightly. The Witcher 3 boasts an enormous open world with so much to explore, a wealth of characters to meet and assist, many beasts and monsters for you to defeat, and a rich lore that truly gives the impression that you are in a living, breathing world.

I first got my hands on game in 2015, and I sunk a fair number of hours into it, before getting distracted by other games .. I made a second attempt to tackle the game in 2016, where I met the same distracted fate… fast forward to 2020, and the incredible Netflix adaptation of the original novel by Andrzej Sapkowski, I had recaptured the urge to play this incomplete adventure – no excuses!

I actually put myself on a ban of any other games whilst playing The Witcher – I wasn’t about to risk getting distracted again! But there doesn’t seem to be any chance of that happening. After watching the series, I have found myself with a newfound appreciation and understanding for so many of the characters and even the politics of the world.

There are many different ways for you to play. Besides the fact that this is one of those RPGs that will quite often give you big decisions to make, which will have certain consequences somewhere down the line, there’s also a number of different ways to go about developing your character, Geralt. Different armour types, runes to attach to weapons and armour for different effects, five different combat spells which you can develop as you level up, bombs, potions, oils, many other things you can enhance or change as you level up Geralt – there are many tricks up his sleeves.

The characters and cultures that you will come across are astounding in how much life they seem to have. Excellent voice acting throughout the game offers a real immersion into the world. The Skellige Isles region would have to be my favourite place as the Norse inspired culture observed there has been crafted so meticulously, I find it fascinating to explore the different settlements, interacting with the Jarls and their people, observing their customs, and trying to solve the issues that seem to be plaguing every island.

Another aspect of the game that I like is the limitation of fast travel. As opposed to being able to fast travel at any time, you can only travel from signpost to signpost, so only from specific points. This means that you are encouraged to journey through the world on foot (or horseback) and discover all the different points of interest that are lurking in the wilderness.

For anyone who hasn’t played The Witcher 3 and is thinking about it – I can’t recommend enough watching the Netflix series before you play! I feel that it really enhanced my experience of the game for me, so hopefully it will do the same for others.


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 19/05/2015 (Switch 15/10/19)
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG
Posted in Recent Games

Ni No Kuni II

Here is a game that I fell in love with instantly. It was brought to us by Level 5, the same studio that brought us Dark Cloud and it’s sequel, two of my favourite childhood games.

Ni No Kuni II takes part in a beautifully crafted world full of characters just as whimsical as the kingdoms that they are found in. The game follows the story of Prince Evan, as he travels across the world, meeting the denizens and the leaders of the world, and building a brand new kingdom after a coup forced him to relinquish his title and escape his lifelong home.

Another great aspect has to be the combat – I personally find it very satisfying, the connections between this and the combat systems of Level 5’s previous games seem quite clear to me. Each of the party members have their own weapons specialties, and they can use both melee and ranged weapons. For example, Evan uses swords and wands in combat. There are also different status effects that can be inflicted to party members and monsters, as well as elemental affinities which weapons can be imbued with to deal extra damage to monsters who are weak to particular elements. All combat is real-time, no turn-based moves – you will be running about the battlefield, blocking, dodging, and landing blows to take down your opponents.

One small downside to the combat (and this is actually the only thing I can think of to complain about) is the camera once you are locked on to an enemy. I guess you could say it’s not entirely intuitive, and you may still need to rely on your thumb to give you the best angle. My expectation would be for the camera to be better at keeping the enemy relatively centred on screen whilst locked on, but unfortunately it is still quite free, to the point where locking on sometimes feels somewhat pointless.

Another key element of the game is the kingdom building. Not too far into the game, Evan’s brand new kingdom is established, leaving you with a fledgling empire to run. Money will be accrued over time for you to spend on your kingdom, building and improving the various facilities, deciding who amongst your citizens should work where, and investing money into research which can be carried out at certain facilities, all of which have some measure of benefit to gameplay.

Of course, Evan wasn’t traveling across the world with all of these citizens just waiting for him to pick a nice spot for them to settle – once you have founded your kingdom, you will spend a lot of the game finding new people, accepting their side quests, and recruiting them so that you may benefit from their skills. There are so many different citizens to unlock, and the means to unlock them vary greatly.

I couldn’t possibly not mention the fact that there is a certain… sense of humour found throughout Ni No. And that sense of humour is … bad puns. I’m talking about the kind that you still can’t help but laugh at, even though they’re bad! This is usually seen in the names of the characters, most notably the Dogfolk who have an Asian twist to their culture. You will come across such characters as Hau Ling, Ya Pi, and even Bao Wao … as bad as they are, I still love them.

Areas to explore, a kingdom to build, citizens to recruit, side quests to complete, and tainted monsters to defeat. There’s simply no shortage of things for you to do in Ni No Kuni II. I always have such a good time playing, so I can definitely recommend you give it a try if you haven’t already.


  • Platform: PS4, PC
  • Release Date: 23/03/18
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG