Monday, January 23, 2017

Catch up time

Okay, busy weekend and much to catch up on.

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Watch_Dogs 2 was definitely a better game than the first one, if for no other reason than the main character is likeable. There is one thing it lacks - nothing builds, action or plot, towards the end. Watch_Dogs built up to a crazy chase sequence through a city going mad. The player was being pursued by all of the police while streetlights exploded overhead. Even the end, a quicktime event on top of a lighthouse, at least felt like a climax, even if it was nothing more than pressing a button at the right time.

The sequel kind of fizzles out at the end. There is a 'main' bad guy who is clearly patterned off of the alcoholic CEO from 'Ex Machina' (watch that movie) but, for all of his bluster and intimidation of government officials, he goes down without throwing a punch. The final mission is the same as the dozen missions before it. There is no whiz bang ending, no breathless climax, nothing to leave me wanting more because it felt like I had already done everything.

It's a shame because, apart from that, I can fully endorse Watch_Dogs 2 as an improvement over the first game and as an example of what Ubisoft can do when they aren't busy flogging older franchises for a few dollars more.

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I would not blame you for not believing this, but The Walking Dead: A New Frontier actually runs at an almost constant frame rate. Gone are the embarrassing visual problems and performance issues that have been a staple of every console game they have produced since season one of The Walking Dead. It still does not look like a current generation game but I am willing (almost) to chalk this up to choice rather than hardware limitation or shoddy coding.

No one really wants to talk about that, though, not when Clementine is back. Not as the main character, mind you, but as a ally/enemy of Javi, the protagonist. She's, well, she's not very nice anymore. In fact she is a liability. Not only was Clementine a member of the eponymous New Frontier but she shoots a guy in the face at point blank range accidentally shortly after she is introduced.

My Javi treats her as such. He doesn't know her or what she had been through and he has his own family to take care of. Seeing Clementine scowl at him each time Javi throws her under the bus is a treat. She may kill him. Eventually.

A New Frontier starts off very much in the mold of the previous two seasons. Chapter one builds a relationship between characters and then kills one without warning in a grotesque manner. It gave itself away when happy music started to play. Chapter two had a great reveal that I will not spoil here. This season is already better than Season Two an I hope it stays that way.

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Battlefield 1 is not as good as Call of Duty Infinite Warfare. More to follow. 

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