Well, my week is going swimmingly. The madness of lockdown seems to have permeated my brain, hence this week I yelled at a tree, had a random fit of the giggles, and spent most of a day wrapped in a duvet eating crisps. But on the other side of the spectrum, my nieces have been writing letters to myself and my parents as a way of communicating. They wrote me a little short story, so I say down and jotted down a four-page tale of them and their parents fighting nasty goblins, including setting one goblin’s pants on fire. I know, healthy, wholesome stuff to be telling a 6-year-old about. Anyway, this week I’m chatting about some Playstation 5, the baffling weirdness of leveling up, and why Extraction was pretty good.
But first I need to do some of that self-advertising malarkey! The review I stuck up this week was for MotoGP ’20, which I thought was pretty solid, though I personally prefer TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2. Go give it a read!
My review of Fort Triumph is going to be coming soon, too, and then I’m moving onto Gears Tactics which I managed to snag thanks to a generous donator. But since my review won’t be up for a while you could always go check out the wonderful Skill Up and his thoughts on what looks to be a brilliant game. In fact, that same video made me start looking up Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle for the Switch which looks to be right up my alley.
I don’t know why exactly this happened with Fort Triumph and not any other game, but at one point my Paladin leveled up amidst a pillar of light and cacophony of horns and I began to wonder what the NPCs make of it. Can you imagine being them and suddenly this strange person in your world bursts into a pillar of light, some loud music comes from nowhere and the words “Level Up!” appear in the sky?
Mind you, NPCs must put up with so much other random shit, too. They’re just walking along, minding their own business, and suddenly this idiot goes hopping past then stops dead and stares vacantly into space because the player is busy on the map. And then he vanishes into the thin area, reappearing like half a continent away. Or, maybe you’re sitting at home when some numb-nuts with a sword waltzes through the front door, steals all your stuff, and breaks all your chests. Being a shop opened must be weird, too: this big adventurer comes into, doesn’t say a word then suddenly starts producing mountains of armor and weapons out of a non-existent infinite backpack.
And do you think the NPCs see the “game saved” sign? I wonder if they know that those two little worlds probably herald a gruesome death at the hands of a psycho player who wants to murder everyone for a laugh. That their families will be slaughtered before them? And then magically restored before their very eyes. Yup, NPCs must see a lot of very, very weird things.
So what weird videogame logic that we take for granted but is actually quite bonkers when you think about do you guys think about?
Anyway, I’ve been playing a lot of XCOM: Chimera, the new budget-price spin-off from the main series. I’m around 12-hours in with a lot of campaign yet to play, so considering I played £8 for it that’s amazing value for money. It actually tries a lot of things that are radically different to XCOM 2 like ditching perma-death, having a squad of pre-baked characters, and the fun new breach mechanics. So far I’m really enjoying, though it has a lot of glitches. And all of the aliens sound like they’ve lived on Earth their entire lives and speak “snark” and “quirky.”
Moving on we’ve got some intriguing information about the PS5. I’ve said a few times now that I believe the next-gen consoles won’t make it to market this year, partially due to potential problems in sourcing parts and potentially because people just don’t have money to spare right now. But then Bloomberg just had to go and do some journalism and fancy-pants fact-checking and make me look like a complete berk. Cheers for that, Bloomberg.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Sony is indeed committed to launching PS5 this year. And that will only change if Microsoft pushes their console back to 2021, although if that did happen I can imagine Sony would love to have the market to themselves for a while.
Apparently, Sony has told its assembly partners that it intends to produce 5-6 million PS5 consoles by the end of the fiscal year in March of 2021/ Previously the PS4 sold around 7.5 million units in the first couple of months, so based on that the PS5 could be hard to get hold of.
Of course, getting a PS5 depends on whether you can afford it. The price tag is rumored to sit anywhere between $450-550. That number seems to be getting backed up by developers predicting $500-550. That would make sense as prior estimates put the components at about $480. Meanwhile, the new DualSense controller has a lot of extra, pricey tech in it, raising the overall price closer to that $550 mark. Unless Sony is willing to take a loss on its consoles, which it has done before.
Bloomberg says its sources believe Sony intends on using the PS4 as a bridge while PS5 stock is limited. The hope is to draw people onto the Playstation network, and to that end, the same sources say Sony will consider cutting the price of the PS4 when the PS5 launches in order to tempt people to subscribe to Playstation Now and Playstation Plus. From there they will hopefully make the jump to next-gen at a later date.
And finally, there may not be any sort of conference to unveil the PS5 proper, which isn’t surprising. But I’m sure they’ll hold some sort of digital reveal. Regardless, Covid-19 has certainly mucked up Sony’s marketing plans. The DualSense controller reveal seemed sudden, and Bloomberg’s sources state that the controller was announced in a hurried fashion.
To me, this seems brave on Sony’s part. With all their big games, and indeed everyone else’s, probably facing delays that could leave their PS5 launch weak on games to buy. Couple that with the crippled economy and people having to be careful with their money, and they could be looking at a very difficult console launch.
This week I checked out Extraction on Netflix, the new action movie starring Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. The plot (which is based on a graphic novel of the same name) follows a merc by the name of Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) as he is recruited to rescue the young son of a drug lord. It’s basically one long escort mission with the central theme being one of redemption as Rake reconnects with himself through the kid he’s rescuing. It’s a fine idea, except that I found massive chunks of the dialogue to be poorly written. In particular, an exchange between Rake and the kid about two thirds into the film was horribly bad.
BUT! And it’s a big, giant butt! The action in Extraction is simply outstanding in its execution. It feels raw and dangerous, and Hemsworth plays the role of a bad-arse perfectly while still feeling vulnerable. He’s not invincible, he’s just really bloody good at killing people. In particular, there’s a lengthy single-take (well, not actually, but the cuts are hidden well) action sequence that had me perched on the edge of my seat. Massive, massive kudos to the camera guys who did some insane stuff to get the shots, including jumping across a building and running down a set of stairs backward. And then another moment that me giddy with geeky excitement was a shot where the camera swooped down toward a moving car, went straight into the back seat, and continued to ride with Rake and the kid. Ugh, it was so smooth!
Check out the behind-the-scenes video, or better yet, just go watch the bloody film! Also, it was cool to hear Hemsworth rocking his natural Australian accent.
I’m still in the middle of reading The Burning White by Brent Weeks. But I did get involved in an argument I had never considering before: do you read with a hard back’s dust cover on or off? Up until last week, I’d always left it on because it was part of the book, and separating the two seemed like heresy. Now, though, I’m in the camp of taking the cover off when reading. It’s so much easier! There’s no risk of catching the edge of the cover on things and ruining it, and it just feels easier to hold. What’s the verdict, peeps: cover on or off?
Before we wrap up, here’s some potentially useful game information that might help make isolation more bearable. Sega has put upTotal War: Shogun 2 completely free on Steam which is just amazing. There’s an insane amount of content there for you to play through. If that’s not enough, Sony is giving away the Nathan Drake Collection (the first three Uncharted games) and Journey for free to everyone on PS4 right now.
Finally, if you can spare some cash at the moment please considering supporting the site below. Money is very tight at the moment and every bit does honestly help loads.