My Fave Five for 2018!

If you’re cringing at the title, I make no apologies. “5 Games I’m looking forward to in 2018” doesn’t have nearly as much a ring to it, plus it’s a wrestling meme that is out of date and needs to be brought back.

I didn’t actually buy a lot of new games last year. Outside of .hack//G.U. Last Recode which in itself is a remake (albeit of a 15 year old game), I only bought Foxhole, Conan: Exiles, and the ill-fated Mirage: Arcane Warfare. Everything else either consisted of sale purchases, or currency/DLC. Two of those were games to play with my friends, and while I liked the experience, I would never have played them without that group.

So looking onward to 2018, I’m genuinely looking forward to a selection of titles coming out. It’s a little odd being even slightly plugged into the industry anymore; way back when (we’re talking almost a decade ago) I was fully immersed in videogames as they were my only outlet, and I contributed to the news side of it for nearly three years. Didn’t get much of anywhere (my ego, raw as it was, saw to that) but it was an experience worth it’s time nonetheless.

Alas I digress. Off we go.

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Plains of Idle-on

Warframe has been the partner-in-crime of many a time-sink exercise where I should’ve been doing something far more productive. In return, Digital Extremes have received a good chunk of money from me for in-game cosmetics and moving through their time-gating (which, incidentally, is the way to do micro-transactions effectively, but that is another topic). I fully plan on supporting the studio further when they release Limbo Prime or Chroma Prime. I wasn’t really into the Plains of Eidolon as an expansion because I thought it was either too ambitious and would fall flat on it’s face, or would be so restrained an experience that it would be of little worth.

I didn’t think of a third option, and sadly I feel that, in hindsight, it was the only outcome for someone like me; it’s boring.

The first issue I have is Cetus, the region of Earth that houses the Plains, is open-world. Corridors and close-quarters combat give way to rolling hills and long-range engagement (Archwings don’t exist, DE. Stop trying to make me pretend they do). Immediately, shotguns and short-range pistols are gone. Also gone is the melee unless you plan on putting on Primed Reach and Body Count.

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R.I.P. First Assault Online

After less than two years being publicly available, the latest Ghost in the Shell game is now in the process of shutting down. It’s sad but not unexpected, as the title has suffered, and laboured, under it’s status as a Free-to-Play title after being paid for as part of Steam’s Early Access program.

The game itself has a simple idea; you’re an Operative of Section 9, from Ghost in the Shell. Choose from the Major (Motoko Kusanagi), Batou, Togusa, Saito, Pazu, Borma or Ishikawa. Log in, kill things, get better weapons, continue killing things. It could be considered a first person, GitS-sourced version of Warframe, albeit with far-less stellar results. But there were many faults with the game, at least from my standpoint.

(NOTE: I stopped playing at the release of 2.0 because it felt like it was trying to emulate Overwatch and it’s ilk by becoming a ‘hero shooter’. So all explanations were pre-2.0, which dropped July 17th 2017)

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[Up]Stream [Down]Stream [Just]Stream

I have a Twitch account. You all know that right?

Of course you don’t, because I never use it.

That is going to change. Mainly because I have invested far too much money in hardware that is meant for streaming, to stop just before I get to the point where I am ready to actually do it. A fair few people around me already stream regularly, and while some do it for the money (and seem to be only interested in it for the money), I want to do it because I think I would be good at it. As much as YouTube is about the personality, it is more often than not also about high quality video editing and gaming the system. Twitch appears to be less so, so long as you have a decent connection and a good PC to stream and play on.

I have gone beyond purchasing gear to just use for Voice Chat in games. I bought myself a full XLR microphone and interface set to make sure that not only would I have good quality but I would be future-proofed. I also bought the Elgato Stream Deck, on release, mainly for it’s integrations with OBS, but also because it can be used for hotkeys and shortcuts without the need to memorise key combinations and modifiers.

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VIDEO – The Lost Episodes of Half-Life 2

YouTube, somewhere along the way, has been on point with recommendations for me, at least in the realm of gaming. The site recommended the channel GVMERS, and since then I’ve been happy to see them show up on my feed. Them and Raycevick do longer form content about gaming history, and fill the gap in my viewing habits that All Your History by Machinima left behind, though without the topics being recently released or upcoming franchises.

This particular video teases Valve’s trepidation of a third game in a series, but also goes into a lot of projects that I didn’t know about in regards to their episodic system, and in hindsight is fascinating that Valve (at the time) would allow third parties a stake in their prized series.