…Foundation…

A rough diamond in a very rough patch, that will get better as it’s polished.

Sinking into another somewhat strategy-ish, slash medieval city-builder simulator. Today I’m giving my 10cents worth on a game called Foundation. Being a big lover of strategy and city builder games, you really have to have something unique and different nowadays in order to make it, especially with how spoilt we are for choice with the Anno’s and civilizations titles out there, and with this game there was something fun and different about it. Granted this game is in very…very…VERY early access as you will notice if decide to get it, with images missing from certain in-game notifications, or with the lack of variety of envoys and missions you get at the time of writing this review. But all that aside they are working on something that will really be a well-rounded title, after some serious polish work.

Gameplay and Map and “Story”

Starting off with the story of the game…There is no story…Yet! And I’m not to sure if that is something that will be added down the line, but for now you are pretty much just thrust into a portion of a map, where you then have to start building a flourishing city, taking baby steps in getting there, as you need to manage the needs of your citizens, control the rate of migration to your town/city and making sure they all have enough work and sufficient food/materials in order to make a jolly living for themselves . Like I said earlier, this title is very early access so the focus was on delivering something playable and testable before anything else gets added on, and luckily the game runs well and I haven’t experienced any crashes or game breaking elements. Like with many other city builders, you have to keep track of your citizens general happiness, wants and needs as those factors will retain them or on the flip side look for greener pastures. Although they don’t make it impossible to achieve this, it can sometimes get away from a person a bit, especially after a migration burst that comes with a housing, food and material shortage. That was one of the things that I really enjoyed about this title, the fact that you have to really get down and dirty with your town and know what is happening, keeping control over all the tiny elements, basically micro managing to the max, but not in an annoying way.

Actual in-Game visuals (even when in loading screen)

Moving onto the Map, now this is one area where this game really shines, so you start off with one territory and initially your surroundings look somewhat spacious until you start zooming out, and zooming out more, and even more, the map transforms into something I cant even explain in words. Although initially it can look quite intimidating, you realise quite quickly that you fill up a territory in no time. The natural growth of your town is also something somewhat out of your control, you will designate zones for residential for example, and where most other games allow you to choose the rotation of your houses, this game makes it the choice of your little lemmings that make the whole machine run, with that you have this AI driven growth, where I love seeing how some of them choose where to place a home and the orientation of the placement, so although you can have a somewhat structured city, the freedom your citizens have in building their homes adds this incredible organic feel to your city, especially when it starts growing.

Screenshot of my growing village/city

Other than that they also do make it challenging for you to unlock additional structures for your city, where normally you would research into a certain direction and follow that tech tree route until you can divert to other channels in that tech tree. Here it works completely different, you have to spend some time adding tiny little flares to your buildings, the tiniest add on to your market will gain you certain “influence” which you need “X” amount of influence in order to unlock that structure. But! It doesn’t stop there, on top of that you have to perform certain tasks for the king, clergy or another Noble faction to gain “action points” for lack of a better term, so those 2 elements combined, once accumulated enough of them will allow you to expand the constructible buildings in your city. You will get the occasional event where something bad strikes your city, like heavy rain from the skies, hampering the growth of your crops, so you will need to have enough food stockpiled for the rainy period so your citizens don’t bail on you, that is just one of the smaller elements in the game that had a fun little spin on it, and I’m sure they will expand on this as the game continues to grow. They really give you a ton of freedom with this game, something I really enjoyed, you get to choose where farmers get to plant their crops, where the cows and sheep need to herd, all those little elements which I thought was an awesome little touch. You will also be able to muster up some form of military force, but sadly you have little to no control over them, apart from dispatching them on big missions for the king (that will at least yield you gold and free territories), hopefully they will expand on that somehow and introduce elements where you have a bit more direct control over the military or some campaigns to introduce a fun RTS element, but it is in no way a game or deal breaker when it comes to Foundation.

Screenshot from a different angle

Conclusion

This is really a fun city manager, with enough tiny elements to keep you entertained in a different way, it has its own unique identity and will definitely easily make a name for itself as a standout game. I have already lost a good couple of weekends playing this, and foresee a whole lot more being dedicated to this game, especially that it is only onward and upward from here as they roll out new updates and content. Because it is still in early access it luckily wont break the bank, and the entertainment value you get for the little money you have to spend made it well worthwhile for me.

…Some Extra Content…

This will just be another general discussion on other platforms I have branched out into and what they are all about so just some extra DLC without having to pay for it.

Firstly I have a mixed YouTube channel on the go. As mentioned in the ASMR post I started making some content featuring static scenes in games, where you feel quite immersed in the scene and just get to enjoy the sheer beauty some games have, sprinkled with some awesome calming sounds to add to the mood even more. I am working on branching out and doing some videos where I explore the surroundings a bit more, but sadly have not found that sweet spot on how to make the experience relaxing and immersive (as the hard sound of footsteps with full combat gear overpowers everything), and need to play around with the audio settings in the program I use to try and muffle those sounds a bit.

Then the flip side of the content I am creating showcases a more action packed, chaotic version with explosions and death everywhere. You will see me (well the game version) along with a few closer friends stumbling through the games together, sometimes completely deviating from the path and fighting amongst each other as we test out new toys or features we discover as we play various games. Now these videos are mostly in our native tongue (Afrikaans) and I know it is not the most popular language in the world, but I have added subtitles to the videos so you can at least follow the conversation (when not to distracted by the chaos on screen). Along with that as I am improving my editing skills with each new video I try and add little quirky elements to just add to the unscripted chaos in each game, as it just adds that hint of extra spice to make it a tad more entertaining (I hope).

Sadly the combined gameplay videos take so much time to edit so the number of videos in that field are limited (for now) but I am slowly working on them after hours, adding subtitles and those extra little spicy bits to enhance your viewing experience, so if you see the ASMR portion dominating but enjoyed the action videos more I will add more down the line. Along with that I will also look at other areas that people might enjoy, maybe some “Let’s Play” videos where I try and narrate the game as I am playing, but I will leave that up to you guys if want content like that or not. Or if you have any other suggestions of content that you would like to see on there leave a comment and I will definitely look into it.

Some other areas apart from You Tube I am looking into but have not developed as much yet are Twitch and Facebook pages, but will leave links on those below. Twitch wont be as active at the moment as trying to find a sweet spot with the rest of the group on when we can play together, as we have a crazy 12-13 hour time zone difference between us, so not so easy to just all link up and game together, and with Facebook it is mainly also about promoting all the platforms I’m currently on, but will also try and add more interactive elements to it as I progress.

You Tube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvgvY2l9DnGasTr1HsNvbWw

Facebook Page(work in progress) – https://www.facebook.com/EasyCo-Gaming-114834669954064/?view_public_for=114834669954064

…My Time At Portia…

Trying to fill a gap that was left long ago…

I’m not to sure how many of you will remember a little gem called Harvest Moon (more specific the 2001 release of it), but ever since I played and loved that game it sadly got left behind without progressing with time as everything else has, apart from a more “Nintendo DS” like range releasing every so often, It just left this massive (random game black hole that no game could fill). Jump forward to 2018 and me stumbling across a title called “My Time At Portia”, now initially the concept varies slightly with you taking up the role of a builder to follow in your father’s footsteps instead of the classic inherit/take over a farm and make it great again as many titles have done, trying to hit that magic recipe “Harvest Moon” had. But in doing so you can if you want also branch off your workshop to a fully functional farm, sporting a host of animals and interactions with the animals (keeping them happy and fed to name a few) and just enjoying watching them grow.  Along with completing build contracts and developing relationships that all help in making your mark in “Portia”.

This was a solo play so thus no group discussion have taken place except judgement from the group as to why I play the weird titles that I sometimes do. Apart from that I have little to no complaints about this game, this was one of those rare finds where reviews have actually helped, especially on Steam as to how people felt like they found a “Harvest Moon” replacement or substitute rather (that game was irreplaceable) and provided just as many hours’ worth of entertainment as “Harvest Moon” did back in the day. I will try pick out the exact aspects of this game that grabbed me so and how I managed to have lost well over 220 hours and counting playing this game, always returning without any hesitation when I sit in front of my pc not knowing what to play or what gaming mood i’m in. I think the fact that the game even after completing it never ends, as there are so many other factors after completing the game that will keep you hooked and coming back for more.

The Main Protagonist and the NPC’s

You get the classic intro with these sorts of games, where you have inherited something (in this case a Builders Workshop-shack like structure, that has seen better days) from some relative (your father) who had a great reputation in the community (Portia) after leaving (for reasons I will let you discover if decide to get this title), and you now have to turn it into a reputable Workshop and gain the title of best and most trusted builder all over Portia like your father when he still lived there. So nothing ground breaking or jaw dropping in that sense but i guess it’s a case of “if it aint broke don’t fix it” when it comes to titles like these. Moving on to the NPC’s and your interactions you will be able to have with all of them, you can form bonds/friendships and relationships with them and eventually marry an NPC if you felt like they would make a good partner and you wanted to be more than just friendly acquaintances, with that you will also eventually be able to have the classic family with a child and that whole “perfect family image” we are all raised to strive towards, or if you decide down the line you actually liked someone else more you have the option to just call it quits and try your luck at a “happy life” with one of the other NPC’s. The only negative part I guess I do have and this is really just being overly critical so it’s not really a deal breaking gripe, but the limited conversations and responses to conversations with NPC’s can become a bit overly repetitive, to the extent where I rather just avoided talking to NPC’s for a period of time until I have forgotten all the conversations one can have with them. Luckily the game offers more than enough activities to escape from that and you don’t feel like you always need to have these “repetitive” conversations with NPC’s, with them just leaving you to do your builder things or exploring Portia, and then just repeat the cycle all over again (I know that sounds bad, but the amount of times I have repeated this cycle and the fact that I am still happy to go back and repeat this cycle means that it has a lot of fun elements to it that will keep you entertained).

Gameplay and Map

Looking at the gameplay and map, starting with the map. I think it was pretty well sized for this game, with numerous extra and hidden little areas to explore and discover, those oftentimes come as rewards for completing certain construction elements/tasks like lifts or hoists so the rest of the town can access them (but mostly you will just find yourself using them and being on the outskirts of town, deep in forests or deserts). There will be enough variation in areas to help whatever mood you are in, from challenging mines and caves to test your steel against the creatures and bandits that reside in  them, or just random outings mining endlessly (if have enough items to replenish your stamina) to keep you going. With lots of extra little treats and rewards as you set pot on these mini adventures. Varying from collecting ancient components to construct objects that you can display in a museum for the town to enjoy and gain influence from, or just displaying them in your house or yard as fruits of your labor/exploration. Moving on to gameplay, you wont have to have extra fingers or Jedi reflexes when you are engaged in combat, the combat system is pretty straight forward with no fancy combos or secret finishers, and there are no real game breaking elements that end up annoying you. Everything responds the way you would want it to and don’t find myself getting annoyed due to the game not responding to my initial action input. It is varied enough giving you a whole host of items to construct, even though you can’t use them directly at your workshop in any way, but you will see your creations all over Portia as you build them to make the daily lives of the people who call Portia home better and more accessible. You will have enough events in the game to also keep you busy, luckily not too many of them to actually get annoyed with the constant barrage of events that you can do, also on a side note that was the awesome part of the events, the fact that you can just abstain from doing them and be a normal spectator and just enjoy how random these events can be. From horse racing with a twist, to full on combat where townies beat the living daylights out of each other to climb the leader boards. Noting that if you don’t participate in the events you wont lose influence or lose brownie points with anyone. That was one little thing I did appreciate especially when you don’t always feel like taking part in the seasonal events in the game. Apart from the main contracts you can accept you will also receive various amounts of side jobs from individuals as an additional side quest system if we want to start using fancy game terms, so you will always have something to do if you choose to. As I mentioned briefly in the introduction, you will have the ability to build friendships in the game, all of which will have different non main story related outcomes as you progress through the game, like nifty little treats and gifts from the townies that you can use in your day to day outings you perform. With that you can also eventually lead up to tying the knot with your preferred NPC, only after quite an extensive courting ritual and going through the paces i might add.

Main Story

This part will be a bit short as it doesn’t really get more involved than what I described in the introduction. You inherit the workshop from your father, with the hopes to restore honor to the workshop and it’s name and also become the great builder your father once was, all this and making Portia a better place for all and connecting with other more prosperous cities. The history of the town and what essentially is the “world” that the story plays out in was quite interesting, it had kind of a less gory terminator feel to it where technology advanced to such a point where it in essence destroyed the world and all the great civilizations that existed at the time. You have now embraced limited technology that only benefits society and where human input is required with no AI being in control of making decisions, with bulk of the old techs being banned and outlawed, even buried with the hopes never to be found apart from being displayed in museums. Then and let me add this *Spoiler Alert* as you become a more reputable builder and more trusted in the town after proving your worth as a builder and funny enough a fighter, you have to start delving deeper into the old world technology, trying to secure an AI core(basically one of the old AI’s that is still functional and can turn the tide of whoever wields it) as there is another faction also trying to gain access to this information. More as a means to control the world instead of using it for the greater good like you and the “good guys” plan on using it, you meet some interesting characters in this main story with some interesting backstory into how this all happened (apart from the constant reminders you see scattered all over “Portia” be it from ruined sky-scrapers to random old tech also laying in ruins). So even though the main story description sounds short and sweet it gets quite a bit more involved than what described, but it pretty much revolves along those lines.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed this game, and i still am enjoying this game, where i find myself frequently saying i’m just going to load in for 5 mins tot faf around a bit, to where 5 hours later i am confused as to how time went by so quickly, as it did not feel like was playing that long. But that is just how lost you get in this game, it really is just a fun mindless game to play when you don’t want something taxing or that will test your online pvp abilities, or even crazy puzzle solving skills trying to unlock the next area. Sometimes you just want to switch off and watch your cattle grow, harvest some plants, heck even build some waterproof lamps because the teacher needs 5 of them for who knows what reason. The point is you are pretty much guaranteed to have a good time, that is if you ever enjoyed games like Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley, anything that pretty much went along those lines. Where you feel like you had an enjoyable 5 hours of game time instead of part fun, part frustration and some parts wondering why even have this as a hobby in the first place.

…The Division 2…

The game that keeps on giving.

After the whole saga we all went through (for those who played the first title) with the first Division game I am happy to see that they have taken what The Division finally became (total all round fun and awesome game) and carry that through to the second one, and then just build on that success. Even though I am still in the process of completing the second instalment I can confidently say that I am not disappointed, I’m enjoying how they spiced up how you configure your agent, where you really have to think of what kind of skills you want to use in order to make yourself a functional agent that fits your style. The game is do-able playing solo but I will say I did have an easier time playing with the rest of the group, especially when you have a varied team and you see how the different skills complement each other and your situation. There is also luckily a well thought out story that will keep you hooked and that will make you feel like you want to make a difference in the world you find yourself in. You are surrounded by some interesting NPC’s with some interesting backstories (although at this point still getting to know all of them and can’t comment on the depth of NPC’s yet) all this said that 30+ hours in it feels like I haven’t even scraped the surface of what The Division 2 has on offer.

I can at least confirm that everyone in the group feels the same way even though we don’t always grind together and most of us put quite a bit of solo play in, I have heard little to no complaints when we all eventually do join up and continue the grind together, I never read any reviews neither did I watch any gameplay videos for some reason and must say bought the game mainly from what the first Division ended up being and all the countless hours I spent in it either trying my luck in the “Dark Zone” or just re-playing the missions on a harder difficulty setting. There are so many elements and random missions that will pop up all over the map so I find myself always deviating 80% of the time while heading to an actual mission, which in my case is not a bad thing as one of my greatest loves is to just explore as much of the map as I am allowed to and these random encounters help keep that area super satisfied. Especially as mentioned before when the whole crew joins in and we just clean the streets of Washington and feel like we make a difference. I guess in short I can sum this paragraph up as lots of re-playability (even though have not finished the game yet) along with having an absolute killer of a time grinding from mission to mission (or the 50 encounters as head to mission was supposed to do)

The Main Protagonist and the NPC’s

The main character gets a mini intro into where he/she finds herself when the crap hit the proverbial fan while the game runs through the process of teaching you how to control your character and your abilities, it never felt like an annoying tutorial process and it ties into the game quite smoothly feeling very seamless in the transition from tutorial to story. Like I mentioned earlier you will encounter quite a few NPC’s you can interact with all with tragic yet deep backstories, I’m hoping there will be more development on the depth of story for each NPC (but this is mainly because I love feeling connected to characters in a game) but you meet so many in the beginning that I guess it just needs to run you through the paces of who you will end up performing tasks for in order to get them up and running and back on the path to what is considered “normal” in the world you now call home. I love the enemy groups you normally end up finding in these apocalyptic situations as you can actually see those kinds of groups forming and splintering off if the world were to go to heck, where we let our primal urges and animalistic sides get the better of us, losing control of our rational thoughts and reverting to a eat or be eaten type of primate. Although in saying that you fight quite a lot of varied rebel groups where some are like ninja’s who fight with bows and arrows, giving them a super stealthy advantage in combat and makes it quite a challenge for you to navigate to cover and defend yourself. You will also find yourself in some cases squaring off against a force that splintered off from the military and ex-mercenaries more or less like the elite units saw in the first Division (with a hint of extra spice this time), you will fight some crack fighters knowing how to handle weapons and themselves and use the terrain to their advantage. In short I guess I can say they really make you think on your feet in combat and you can’t really just run and gun into every situation.

Gameplay and Map

Delving deeper down this apocalyptic rabbit hole let’s discuss the mechanics implemented in the game and how effective it was done, here again I was not disappointed the gameplay is very smooth, with your agent responding to every command you throw at it, sometimes al be it a bit to well as my hands and my brain aren’t always in sync and end up hitting keys that makes me do the complete opposite of what wanted to achieve (but that is more a user – ID10T error than game error), and the combat gets really intense, especially if you play solo you will feel quite overwhelmed in some fights but have such a great sense of accomplishment when you laid down the hurt on some Hyenas, True Sons or even some of the Outcasts, all of whom make formidable foes. The Map size also does not disappoint, where in the 30+ hours I have put into the game it feels like I have only progressed a few city blocks (looking at the map I have only progressed and explored a few city blocks), where in my defence the game really does not disappoint when it comes to things to do while exploring, you never feel like you are aimlessly just roaming around with little to nothing happening around you, as there will always be some random friendly crew needing a helping hand (or fully automatic rifle) in order to gather the basic necessities for them to survive, to large scale engagements where fight for control over a certain block that your allies can then use afterwards in order to make the streets a safer place once again, the encounters also feel very authentic with the rebel factions performing the same tasks the allied factions perform, gathering food and supplies in order for them to survive, but sprinkled with a hint more destructiveness and general lack of empathy or wanting to share in the bounty, this game has kept me entertained for hours and hours and I can confidently say it will provide countless more hours’ worth of entertainment while I try and reclaim Washington for the greater good.

Main Story

The main story is also well thought out, from how the warring factions have gotten hold of certain elements/locations to give themselves the upper hand(bargaining power) and how you need to obtain and reclaim said items and locations in order to get the rule of law back and re-instate what once was a normal functional society. The story and missions you have to do all feel like they revolve around the future of Washington and what is required to make it a functional place again, there is also a depth of story that I appreciate (from the little I have experienced up to this point granted) and the missions don’t feel dull and pointless, where you have to go acquire something that has little to no bearing with the story whatsoever and was just thrown in there as something to keep the player busy and just because they had to create some form of a mission or keep us busy in some or other way. The missions also seem quite varied with respect to what can be solved with violence, which helps the game not feeling like doing the same rinse and repeat till eventually finish the game. I realise I have only spent about 30-ish hours in the game and probably (hopefully) haven’t even scraped the surface of the storyline, but from what I have seen up to now I cannot wait to get stuck into the game and see what it has in store for me and my group next.

Conclusion

I would recommend this game with a massive smile on my face, as every second I have spent in the game so far have been moments of sheer entertainment and gaming pleasure, not only does the game look amazing it also plays amazing, if you have a couple of like minded friends who don’t mind a bit of a grind and getting lost in “Washington” then I would definitely recommend getting it. Although in saying that the game can most definitely also be enjoyed on your lonesome and you don’t need a whole posse to make the streets a better place, there are more than enough random friendly AI npc’s around that don’t mind getting stuck into it with you, be it to draw enemy fire or actually also open a can of hurting on the rebel factions. Ubisoft luckily learned from the initial teething problems of the first one where you shouldn’t promise what you can’t deliver and In my opinion have built a game and environment that I am happy to return to, knowing that I am in for an entertaining ride and that it covers a wide area of what you normally look forward to when fire up a good game, just typing this makes me yearn to just drop everything and go mash away and get lost in the environment they created for us to explore and enjoy. Like usual if you are still heavy on the fence I recommend watching some “Let’s Play” videos on the game and see if any of the elements grab you, as those will give you a pretty uncut feel of what you can expect In the game.

…Rage against the machine the sequel…

Rage 2 – The good, the bad and the disappointed.

I Finally understand the meaning “bitter sweet” better than I ever wanted to, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here so let me start at the beginning.

After picking up a game that in my opinion had potential to be great on a Steam sale I must say that with bated breath I was hopeful that they learned from past mistakes, listened to the players complaints (and there was no shortage of comments after the disappointment that was the first Rage) they had everything and more to make the very…very…very long awaited sequel something great, what we received after all that instead was a flaming sack of questionable flammable goop thrust in our faces, harsh I know but that was how I felt after I finished Rage 2 so lets delve a little deeper into why I refer to the experience in the way I did.

After having a casual chat to one of the group of friends in this case my cousin is actually part of this amazing bunch of individuals who form what this Blog is so aptly referred to as EasyCo(I will draft a short blog about my compatriots in a separate entry)… moving along as I always seem to get lost in a separate monologue inside my head while riding the main monologue that was supposed to be Rage 2, welcome to my inner sanctum I call my mind (there I go again)… Okay back on track so after this casual chat on what our thoughts and experiences were on Rage 2 after we both finished (we both agreed to hold on the comments till we can make a more informed opinion after completion) it was scary how many of the same things we both found wrong with the game, and yes we also found some things right with the game, so not all doom and gloom, but the silver linings were few and far apart.

The Main Protagonist and the NPC’s.

So to delve into where I felt the game fell short for me, even though the story follows on somewhat from the first one jumping into the future 30 years you just get thrust into a character with no real introduction into who you are or having the chance to develop a “bond” with the character throughout the rest of the game. I love a little bit of backstory into who I am and what my story was just to form that bond and have some sort of relatability to the character, taking a side step to clarify I know this sounds like nit picking but at the end of the day a good story with well developed characters goes a lot further than one thinks, or maybe I just come from a different generation where we were spoiled with amazing stories and forming such a bond with a character that you can actually feel your heart strings pull or even snap (Final Fantasy 7 and X, The Last of Us, Heavy Rain even Mass Effect Trilogy – Andromeda not so much but will leave that for another blog, but those are just a few examples) so it shows us that it is possible and it has been done in the past, this is not a new concept of any sorts. Moving on to the NPC’s where I found that they had some awesome NPC’s that we also never got the chance to get to know better either and again that made me a bit sad as there was so much opportunity for all of this and yet we got nothing, all this is because I believe this game was just way to rushed, so I would make that the biggest flaw as I spent roughly 30+ hours in this game and sadly majority of those hours were spent exploring the small map, so you can imagine how short the main story was if only spent a total of 30 something hours on the game.

Gameplay and Map.

Now this section has some good and some bad, let’s start with the good first, i found the gameplay quite fun and captivating where you really get into the skirmishes and it’s not just a run and gun scenario (if you up the difficulty level a bit) and you have to use your Nanorite abilities & effects to get the upper hand in some situations, even though it will get easier down the line as you upgrade your weapons and abilities it still wont take the fun out of the combat and missions throughout the game. You will also have quite a few vehicles at your disposal to explore the place with the main vehicle probably being the most fun out of all of them once kitted out to the max. Now the positives across the map, it is actually quite a lively map with random interactions and encounters between the bandit factions, goons and the authority trying to lay claim and waste to well…. The Wastelands I guess. The bad about the map I would have to say was the size, I think we are to spoiled nowadays with the sizes of the explorable maps we receive in games and this was just very disappointing especially because managed to explore and also take on all the minor events have to in order to gain influence and points to upgrade projects and abilities for the various factions you have to assist in the fight against the authority.

Main Story.

As mentioned in the introduction paragraph I felt that the story was just wayyyy to short and you never really get into the story, you rush(not by choice, they just did not develop much of the story to not call it rushed) from upgrading your ranger abilities to unlocking all the elements from the various factions to initiate “Project Dagger” which I wont spoil what “Project Dagger” was if you still have not played the game. Sadly you get no real background on the leaders of the various factions apart from a small introduction about how they came to be and their mission, but nothing to form notable bonds or opinions on the faction leaders, where in some games they manage to make you feel so connected and you feel like…Wow you know I want to help this faction I love the goals they set for themselves and I want to help build that community, none of that you pretty much just drop in, have a little bit of dialogue and proceed on with the mission. so in short before you start getting into any form of story the game is pretty much over, that was how it all felt for me, it felt like the story was reaching a point where have some development and will get more background into what happened in the past 30 years as that is such a massive period to have gone by to just have the game end… Again so just like the first one you are left hanging in a different sense, granted the first one left you hanging in a figurative and literal way this one at least managed to improve on that by not letting you hang…..as much.

Conclusion.

I enjoyed the game and the concept behind it even-though flew through the game (again not by choice), as for re-playability I would say it had little to entice me to go back and play around in the world as you go through exploring everything so quickly that there will be very few stones left unturned. Yes you have never ending events that you can go back and do, but sadly those do not offer any form of fun in my opinion to spend the time finding them and just lose a whole day in the game and enjoying the world that was created. I found it way to easy to hit the uninstall button once completed it and if asked what they could do to entice me to come back I would sadly answer that I doubt there would be much, I would rather spend time grinding away at some other post-apocalyptic genre where majority of the world was destroyed or ruined by some major catastrophe of some sort.

…My Intro Scene…

A little bit about the man behind the keyboard

“We all make choices in life, but in the end our choices make us.”

Andrew Ryan, Bioshock.

Awkwardly this seems a lot harder than anticipated, sitting here almost bashing my head against the keyboard (but not otherwise my intro would have read “qwert-multiple random keys and spaces-;’sjfg”) but now as I’m getting into the groove of this maybe I will be able to give some actual about info in the second paragraph.

Let’s get to the basics and the boring, I was born in one of those small towns even tumbleweeds dare not go as there is less than nothing that happens there called “Winburg” (it sounds more interesting than it is), a small speck located in a region called “Free-Sate” in South Africa on a possibly lovely spring day on the 15th of September 1985 (think my other senses were more overwhelmed by where I just crawled out of and who is this alien in a blue suit and face mask making first contact by smacking me) where through the years as we moved closer to civilization and as advances in technology happened a small electronic sprout was planted in me and it just continued to grow to the gaming tech-head i am today and continues to grow still with the only major difference being that I now call New Zealand home.

It evolved even more when I met a group of likeminded individuals at school where we were fortunate enough to still grow up in the era where we played pen and paper D&D to the awesome array of games on the shared “Nintendo Entertainment System” we got one Christmas (granted it was created when I was born but we only made first contact much later in life), where till today even though being thousands of miles apart our group kept close contact and thanks to the advancements in technology and the gaming industry as a whole it is now easier to still enjoy the one thing that brought us together… The escape from reality, the place where fiction becomes a figurative reality for us, where we can embark on a new world and a new kind of adventure, be it exploring the galaxy and stars beyond, to the simple act of building arb items required by townies or even just spending(wasting) countless hours fishing to now real progression or reward in the game.

In closing I guess I just came to appreciate every aspect of this industry, I have a keen love for experiencing all sorts developers have to offer, from the lowest graphical games that hardly ever get a mention or a glance(yet ones where I find myself losing the most hours in) right up to the heavy hitters(that sometimes also end in big failures) and this is what inspired me to start this blog, I have spent so much time trying to find someone who explores all aspects and genres in the gaming world and even less truly expressing their honest opinions on what they have played, I have stopped listening and reading reviews along with avoiding the masses of videos out there either promoting or shooting down titles before they have even launched, not to say that their reviews and efforts should not get credit, by all means if it speaks to you then listen and make your own informed decision however I have yet to find that voice that speaks to me, so in saying that I have become my own voice and running through the experience and learning the hard way, by “buying before I try” and not the norm “try before you buy” (seeing that is hardly an option bar the occasional free weekends here and there) but also i’m just keen on having a general discussion around the topic of gaming in general, sharing my thoughts, reading everyone’s comments and just forming a dialogue from there.

So if you find that this is something that speaks to you or that this could possibly help you in any way come follow me on my journey as I will start off with reviewing some old, some new and then some I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on. On top of that I will also try throw in more hardware related reviews on what I’m using or acquire in the future and if it was worth the upgrade or if there’s some serious buyer’s remorse, my love for this field expanded beyond what games have to offer but also to tinker with the other things that make them run better and just to try and be as up to date as possible with our ever changing and evolving technological world.