Recent Computer Games

So after the nth replay, I uninstalled Borderlands 3 and Fallout 4 and decided to take a blind shot and find a worthy AAA successor amongst the current crop of recent releases.

Didn’t take me long to download Atomic Heart, a 1950s Soviet Themed shooter, where a bunch of robots have run amok on a floating Research station/Worker’s paradise. It’s a retro retro-themed sci-fi, with a solid story. Gameplay wise it’s a satisfyingly old-school shooter (it reminds me a lot of Half-life 1 & 2, with action and puzzle stages) with reassuring modern features (graphic novel quality graphics, open world sections, skill trees and worthwhile crafting). Firm recommend.

I finished Atomic Heart, and the various cut scenes and in-game character dialogue told me what was going as I blasted my way through this very lore-rich game. The ending felt rather rushed and a bit Deus-ex-machina, so I felt a bit cheated. But it sets itself up for a sequel or a good string of DLCs. It’s due another playthrough to explore all the skill trees and combat options. I would love to dive back in and play the just-released DLC Annilation Instinct, but seeing I was getting this as free ride via Microsoft Game Pass, I’ll wait until the Winter Steam Sale 

So what do I play now? How about a familiar shoot ’em up, low on lore and narrative? What’s this Quake II remastered has just dropped? And it’s free if you’ve already got it on PC. Modernised graphics (lighting, textures, and models – so no more wobbly models) and a ton of new content (extra secret levels, new episodes). I happily played for a good twenty minutes. It was like a wonderful rollercoaster ride that had just been renovated with all the bumps removed. 

This video does a good job of explaining the technicalities of what they have done.

I’ve just discovered, after my Quake 2 remastered playthrough, that there is a whole range of old-school FPS games called Boomer Shooters. This revelation mainly came from discovering the Warhammer 40K shooter, Boltgun. A fantastic little game that is up there with the 90s classics, with a few modern comfort-of-life additions (the big one being running on modern PCs flawlessly).

While the rest of you have been frothing over Baldur’s Gate 3, I headed into space via Game Pass on PC, hoping to do the same with Starfield. But omg! I’m glad I didn’t pay full price for this thing. According to Bethesda, Space is Boring. Really dull. Dull, predictable companions. Boring NASA Punk style. The most mediocre McGuffin Main Quest. The only bit I liked was when I headed off to the Wild West in Space, Free Territories, and did a series of sidequests best summed up as Star Marshals. But that’s because I liked the Firefly vibe until I realised it feel far, far short. This game was delayed a year, and I can guess it was all bug fixing, where I had hoped it would have been, putting the shine on the gameplay. Deeply disappointing.

So I returned to an old fave Fallout 4, and decided to go full mod with it. This I’ve successfully done by going to Nexus mods and installing the Storywealth collection.

This is a curated collection of mods that covers the whole range of gameplay, equipment, graphical enhancements and a ridiculous amount of additional quests that round out the game. Want to play Evil (and a well-considered Evil at that), you can because it includes the mod that does that. Want to play through the whole rebuild the Commonwealth adventures of Sim Settlements 2. That’s included, too. Oh, and I think the early release of the Fallout 3 in Fallout 4 mod, that covers the old DLC pack Point Island is in there too. But I’m too busy to explore it (yet) There are similar collections for Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas and, of course, the Elder Scrolls games too, that not only get those even older games working seamlessly on modern machines but add tons of additional content and shine too.

So who needs new cutting-edge AAA games, OLD SCHOOL RULES!!! 

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