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Wiedzmin 3: Dziki Gon (2015)
The Wild Hunt is a Wild Ride, In a Wild, Cruel World
"How do you like that silver?" - Geralt of Rivia
I, for one, like that silver. If I were a monster about to be slain, I would at least like it to be Geralt to slay me, and to hear those words... (Okay, that sounded better in my head).
Anyone, this is a gorgeous and lively game, saying the least. And it is a grower. I initially thought that this game was good, but somewhat boring. It just didn't click, I felt it overrated, and I ended up leaving it for a while due to loss of interest. But I came back to it, and it is one of the best decisions I've made. My increased liking didn't come immediately, but over time, this game has worked its way up to earning a 10/10 from me, to becoming my favorite open world game, to becoming my favorite video game, period. It is definitely a game you'll have to get used to first, especially if you have never played any other Witcher game. But if you give it time, you may realize what a piece of art and amazing achievement this is.
As mentioned before, this game is gorgeous. Sure, its graphics aren't the most realistic when compared to other games, but it still looks so believable and so detailed. And once the fantasy elements kick in, it is some of the best imagination put into a video game. There are numerous kinds of creatures apart from humans, both docile and hostile. The open world itself is huge and has tons of various places to explore, from plains, to mountains, to actual kingdoms and villages. Each of those places looks inspired by some civilization in history, with its own spin, of course. And the variety between experiencing friendly and unfriendly societies throughout the journey is quite noticeable. Speaking of which, the main journey is 40-50 hours, with the entire game giving nearly 200 hours. Now that is an adventure, and not in the way where there will be actual grinding. There actually is A LOT of content, pretty well-varied.
The story is among the most epic and well-written I have ever experienced. As a die-hard Uncharted fan, I struggled to find as much enjoyment in other single-player stories as Uncharted. But I started to find those in Batman: Arkham, Infamous, and of course, this game. The characters are among the best I have seen, and I deeply cared for each one. That doesn't happen often. Each character is different and likeable in their own ways, and almost anyone you meet is also a badass in combat, whether they're a sorcerer/sorceress, warrior, or even a witcher like you.
The quests themselves are also great, obviously. I was so sad to see the main quest come to an end when I beat it. Even though I got the happiest ending out of all the possible endings (same with the DLCs), I felt empty. That's how great it was. It often changes between tense dialogue, intense action, humor, mystery, and laid-back downtime with those Geralt area as family. Hardly did any of it feel repetitive. And the side quests themselves are a fun ride. Instead of being shallow side activities, those quests have their own stories too, and there is a wide range of that. Some can be simple and trivial, while others involve eliminating a group of bandits or a dangerous monster. If you want to be guaranteed to hunt down and kill a monster, look no further than witcher contracts, which are sure to give you generous rewards afterwards, in addition.
And of course, the gameplay itself is super fun. I feel the combat system fluid, and it is a unique type, mixing magic and swordplay. That already sounds like Dark Souls, but I doubt it is the same (haven't play Dark Souls, so I don't know). But it is unique nonetheless. Upon exploring the vast world, you have a horse to travel with, and activities other than quests include clearing out bandit camps, saving people in distress, finding hidden treasure, competing in horse races, and more. There is much to do and so much to find. And the bosses are epic as well. The may not be the most challenging, but some certainly are a challenge.
I could go on and on about why I got so hooked with this game. There is so much to say about it, and I couldn't think of any flaws, besides the long loading times. The amount of work CDPR put into this just feels like they spoil us gamers, especially with the two DLC packs feeling like full games on their own. This is my first single-player game where I passed the 100-hour mark and I still feel like I have much to do. Again, I'm so glad I allowed myself the opportunity to give this game a second chance, because I would have really misses out. Given that, I pity anyone who hasn't played this yet. It is not just a game, but an immersive experience, a really good one at that.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016)
The Perfect End to a Thief's Journey
I have been a die hard Uncharted fan all the way back when I decided to try the series out for the first time in 2013. Sure, that is six years late, but I got hooked ever since. And this game was the main reason I went for a PS4, because I knew this was a must-play. And it met, if not exceeded, my expectations.
The game, first of all, looks so much more real than almost any game. Only a few games, such as Battlefield 1, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Batman: Arkham Knight are around where this game is. And even with the high-quality graphics and large file size, the game fortunately runs smoothly and almost flawlessly. Even if you are not in it for the story, it is a technical marvel for sure. Explosions are executed nicely, the cities and environment look as lively as ever, and character models continue to impress. Basically nothing was left unchecked.
For the story, it is mostly what Uncharted fans expect, but deeper. The stories of the Uncharted series have always been brilliant, strong, and deep, but none have captured emotion quite like this, as the real question are asked in this one. The pattern was apparently repeated in past games, but this one is a bit different, rather asking the main character how far he is willing to go for the treasure he is hunting. Will he sacrifice his normal life for it, let alone his life, period?
Gameplay, on the other hand, is top-notch, both in single-player and multiplayer. The campaign is at least 15 hours this time, an upgrade from past games being about 10 hours on average. While I still think the best campaign in the series is Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, this one is a close second and gets credit for being the longest one while adding some new ideas. Combat us fluid and satisfying. Hand-to-hand is even more detailed, and while one step back is that the counterattack move is gone, the fights are very well-choreographed with less of a shaking camera as possible. And gunplay has been perfected to great precision. Multiplayer is a lot of fun, and while it isn't the main reason to play Uncharted, it is not to be skipped. It is overall the same from past entries, but the maps are even more fun, and some new ideas, such as the sidekicks, are introduced. The down-but-not-out state from The Last of Us multiplayer also makes a returns. With both this and the coop survival mode, this game is the definitive Uncharted experience. Upon feeling that Uncharted 2 has the best campaign, Uncharted 3 has the best coop, and Uncharted 4 has the best multiplayer, I feel this is the best Uncharted game with everything weighed out. With some game series declining these days, this is a game that proves other areas of the gaming industry still stand strong, and one that gives gamers hope.
The Uncharted series and PlayStation are one, in my book. Not only because they are exclusives, but I feel they are inseparable. With so many great exclusives, of course opinions will vary on which is the best PlayStation exclusive series, but if you ask me, this game further confirms that Uncharted is the definitive experience, with this game being the definitive experience of the PS4. This is not to be missed out.
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
Dark Times in Gotham Captured Beautifully
I am vengeance, I am the night... I AM BATMAN!
Batman: Arkham Knight was my first single-player driven open world game, and it had me addicted. The presentation was strong, and it seemed that there was no better experience of being the Bat than this game. I later did go back and play the other Arkham titles, and while Arkham City is also a 10/10 for me, Arkham Knight perfects many things, and it overall felt the best to play.
To start with, the game looks amazing. Even now, a 2015 game such as this looks better than today's releases. The city of Gotham (the "City of Fear") is detailed to the max, and the rain effect looks so real as it soaks everyone and everything. The character models, to me at least, look better than ever before, even the Bat himself. As for the story, I can see its flaws and why not everyone liked it, but if definitely nailed the vibe of crime, drama, and darkness covering the city of Gotham in perhaps the most dire situation the Dark Knight has ever faced. The emotion and intensity of the matter at hand is captured beautifully, and while there were a few shortcomings in the story such as a few cliche moments and minor plot holes, I found it epic overall. It even has moments where characters do the unthinkable, and I will not spoil what kinds of things I mean.
Thr gameplay is terrific. What already worked in previous entries of this series is done the best here. Combat feels fluid, and even though the lock-on can be annoying, seeing Batman move faster and hit harder is so satisfying. However, Batman will need that as he is no longer just fighting armed thugs, but also a well-trained army of militia troops working for the elusive Arkham Knight and Scarecrow. The overall enemy variety is the same as previous games, such as the brutes, gunmen, and shock baton enemies, but there are even more types here, such as the medics and combat experts. I felt that this game needed more strategy as there aren't just human enemies, but drones as well. Of course, you have your own fair share with an arsenal of both old and new gadgets, and the Batmobile.
Even with this game being 10/10 for me, it isn't perfect. Where its main weakness shows is the execution of the Batmovile gameplay, which affected the outcome of the boss fights, sadly. Obviously it's still fun to drive the Batmobile here and there, but too many sequences required the player to use it, so it just got stale. And because of that, the boss battles became sub-par for the most part. It has nothing on the boss fights from Arkham City. So while this game has a better open world and combat system in my opinion, as well as the addition of the Batmobile, Arkham City has the superior bosses, and still has a bit of a stronger story.
Despite these setbacks, this game is a great experience to give a shot. Not any other game have I felt more like the Batman. There is lots to do other than the main story, and many iconic villains appear. Sure, it's a bit of wasted potential with that and the upgraded combat system that the boss fights didn't meet expectations, but what this game gets right, it nails it in my book.
Spider-Man at His Finest!
The year 2018 is without a doubt a great year dor Spider-Man fans, with this game and the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. While I have not played any other Spider-Man game, I do feel like this is the definitive experience of the web-slinger. Even though I have seen footage of other games and heard that many say this is the best iteration of all the Spider-Man games, I cannot fully judge the other games. But I do at least know that this one gave me an experience that was spectacular, making me feel like the web-slinger himself, and giving me a story that is in a league above the movies.
Every voice actor did a great job with characters, from Peter, to his friends and family, all the way to the villains. Even the villains are on top of their game here. For the story, while movies and games based on superheroes can sometimes be too simplistic, this game is not one of those. The story isn't confusing like Inception, obviously, but it is complex enough to keep the player engaged, to solve some of the mysteries this game provides. This is done while also giving us the right doses of humor and emotional moments, so there is very little, if anything, to complain about.
The graphics are absolutely stunning. Just like exclusives such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Infamous: Second Son, and God of War, Spider-Man shows of what the PS4 can do. Not only do the character models look lifelike, but the city of New York is detailed to the brim. It is so massive and full of wonderful landmarks that the game is fun to play even when just swinging around. But of course, what is a Spider-Man game without a good combat system?
Similar to the Batman: Arkham series, Spider-Man can be controlled by a few simple moves when in combat, and you can unlock new skills in the skill tree to allow for more moves. And just like in the Arkham series, there are warnings when you are about to be hit. But since many times you will be swarmed by enemies, some of which will be hard to take down, and the bosses do not go down easily, the game is easy to pick up, but hard to master. Also like the Arkham games in that regard.
Overall, this is a masterpiece, and I feel sorry for whoever does not own a PS4 as they couldn't play this. Yes, there are other good Spider-Man games, but I am not sure if they capture the same emotion, tension, and fluid gameplay that this one does. After the Ratchet and Clank series and Resistance series, Insomniac Games never disappoint.
God of War (2018)
As Triumphant as Kratos Himself!
Wow. This game was one of the best adventures ever. I wasn't one of the biggest God of War fans to begin with, but I thought God of War III was good and I decided to go on to give this a try. Also because people were praising it right and left. And I was not let down from start to finish.
Kratos has always been a cool character, a legend in the gaming universe. But at the same time, most people, if not everybody, knows that Kratos has bad morals despite being somehow likeable. So one of the things that is amazing in this title is that Kratos is different this time, and for the better. Ashamed of his past, he aspires to live as better man rather than a god, and be a good role model to his son, Atreus (boi). And that is another thing. The relationship between Kratos and Atreus throughout the adventure was one of the main things that kept me going. The story itself has nice changes of pace so it will never feel dull or boring at any point.
The gameplay is reinvented this time around, but it is by no means a bad thing. Rather than having a floating camera that zooms in and out of the battle like in previous games, this game plays as an over-the-shoulder hack n' slash game. It gives a better feeling of actual feeling like you're in Kratos' shoes, and the combat itself is satisfying. Giving it a Dark Souls type of combat system might have put God of War at risk of making it lose it's identity, but it worked out real nicely. And it may be less violent and graphic than previously titles, but it is still as intense and action-packed as it is usually. The same goes for the boss fights, as a God of War game will never disappoint in giving a challenge and lengthy battle in the form of a powerful boss.
The PlayStation 4 continues to thrive with exceptional, must-own titles, and this is no exception. While this isn't my #1 game of 2018, I believe this game definitely earned the title of GOTY. Even if you never played a God of War game before, this game will be an excellent adventure regardless, and you won't regret playing it.
Land of Imagination
Minecraft is a very unique game, to say the least. It is easily one of my favorite games is I just want to hang back, chill, and explore. The ambient environment is beautiful, and I never would have guessed that an 8-bit style game would still look beautiful today. And unlike other open world games, it has no story. In my opinion, it is Minecraft's biggest strength and weakness, and I will explained why in a bit.
Minecraft has come a long way, with how much content is got over the years, and the legacy it left behind. I can remember how awfully addicted I was when I first tried it. And I was skeptical before that, so please give the game a chance if you aren't sure. An endless tub of Lego bricks is exactly what the creative mode is, and many amazing creations were made with enough patience and dedication, myself included.
As for survival, I would say that is the primary reason to play Minecraft. Starting on a random world with nothing but your wits is an exciting beginning, and it only get more exciting knowing that you have the ability to harvest resources to survive, but hostile monsters will hunt you down at night. Knowing how to start is arguably the most challenging part, but once you are settled, it might be a breeze. Since the difficulty can be set from Peaceful to Hard, and other dimensions you can travel to and from have more challenging monsters to fight, the game can as relaxing or challenging as you would like it to be. And you can feel free to engage in PvP battles in either the official Minigames game mode or build your own arenas and invite friends to your world. It's also nice to know the Minecraft comes with split screen, perfect for a party.
Now why is having no story both a strength and weakness? The upside is that you don't have to worry about certain quests or objectives. Sure, it's frustrating when you die and possibly lose your loot, but you don't have objectives to restart. You have control over what you do and you make your own story. But only if you know what you want to do. The biggest problem is that if you don't know what to do, you can feel dreadfully bored of the game, as I am feeling at this moment. While it's likely temporary boredom, the game has a tendency to flucuate between being the most fun game to the most boring one, at least for me.
Minecraft is still, without a doubt, an experience every gamer should try. There is no other game like it, and it likely will keep you hooked for a while. 9/10
Demons Have Nowhere to Hide
Not even in Hell can the demons escape the wrath of the Doomslayer. He is as ruthless as the game, and I love it.
The first thing to notice, other than its blood-soaked and gory nature, is that it plays just like the old-school arcade shooters, a similar style to the original Doom, but with today's graphics. The implementation is just astonishing, and it's nice to know that Id Software still puts the same passion in the Doom series. Nostalgia will hit those who played the 1993 classic like a truck.
Doom may fall short on story, but the pacing is well-made and the campaign is pretty long compared to the other titles, giving a good 11-12 hours total. Blasting demons never gets old, especially not with the new glory kills. And even though there are very few bosses, the battles with them are epic, lengthy, and challenging. They may not be as daunting as Souls bosses, but you can at least expect a difficulty similar to bosses from the God of War series.
So what about multiplayer? It is a blast. It may not be the best experience in my opinion, but it still got me hooked for some time. Given that it is an arena style, fans of Quake multiplayer will be happy with this. There is a good amount of content to unlock, and even several different demons to play (if you're lucky enough to catch that demon rune before others). Also, it is worth mentioning that all DLC is free now and Doom even has a bot mode, so if no one is online, the bot mode is there. And how can anyone forget about Snapmap, a feature where players can make levels or play other user-generated levels, with coop modes included?
But is the multiplayer better the campaign? No, not exactly. But it is far from a throw-away mode either. The case is similar to the Uncharted series, where the single player campaign is the main reason to play the game, but the multiplayer still serves as a strong supplement, and is a lot of fun, most importantly.
Overall, this is Id Software's best yet, and I am very excited for Doom: Eternal. It is close to perfect though, but not quite, since a stronger story would still have been nice, and it gets pretty repetitive, which is why I give it 9.5/10. This is recommend to anyone who is a fan of the Doom series or violent, action-packed FPS games in general.
Titanfall 2 (2016)
Man and Machine Steal the Scene
I didn't have high expectations for Titanfall 2. Not because I had doubts, but I just didn't know what to expect. Being a PlayStation gamer, I didn't get to play the first entry, so I was surprised up in finding out that a PS4 release was included for this game. Instead of it being "just another shooter," it became one of my favorite multiplayer experiences.
It's also a nice surprise that a campaign is included unlike in the first game. And while it only lasts about 6 hours, it was fun. Very fun. Sure, it may feel cliche at times, but most of it was unique, action-packed, and enjoyable. The mix between pilot and Titan gameplay worked in the campaign just as well as it does in multiplayer. It may not be long enough to get you too attached to the characters, but it is definitely worthwhile, so I suggest not skipping it.
The multiplayer, however, is the reason to get this game. It is fast-paced, intense, and works well with teamwork. It may look Call of Duty-ish at first, but there are many ways players can work with teammates to succeed. In terms of content, guns are a bit on short supply, but there are ample maps and game modes, as well as seven Titans to choose from, and lots of customization. The game will keep you entertained for a while. Best of all, the DLC is all free.
So what is Titanfall 2 in one word? Awesome. It isn't perfect, as the campaign could have been longer, and the overall gameplay is a bit repetitive, but I have enjoyed it more than any Call of Duty game. It is a shame it didn't sell well, but at least it won the hearts of many gamers and nearly won the GOTY award. Highly recommended, 9/10.
Fallout 4 (2015)
Expansive Sandbox With the Post-Nuclear Charm
I have not played any other Fallout game, so this game will be judged by me as a game overall instead of what it is supposed to be. Because I know that many said it feels less of a Fallout game. But it is still worth your time and money if you ask me.
The open world is big. And I mean BIG. It might not have the widest area, but it is dense, with countless places to explore and fond loot. And while this game looks more sunny compared to Fallout 3 and New Vegas, it nails the post-apocalyptic atmosphere.
The main quest starts on an interesting note, but there will be so much to do that you could get lost in other things. The game will easily give you over 100 hours of gameplay. And side quests aren't just throw-away side activities; they have their own stories too. But even with the main quest, it was an epic and satisfying ride.
The characters are done very well here. While the karma system is gone (as I've heard), it is replaced by pleasing/disappointing companions, so there is still a system where you must be careful about the decisions you make. The writing with that addition is done very well, and I genuinely felt the emotion between your character and the companion, both in the positive and negative lights.
Combat is just as you expect in the Fallout series, gunplay that isn't like any other shooter, with the iconic VATS system that allows you to target a specific bodypart of your enemies. And there will be a lot of nasty enemies in the wasteland. Also, if you are not into (literal) eye-popping gore, you've been warned.
This games scores a 9.5 out of 10, with the only flaws being that it is midly repetitive and requiring some of the workshop building in the main quest probably wasn't a good idea. But this game will occupy a lot your time, and if you are looking for that, Fallout 4 will grant that.
Horizon Zero Dawn (2017)
The Apocalypse I Never Imagined
Before starting, I will say that I am not spoiling any of this because the story is too good for that. It may start slow for some, so bear with it if that is the case. But after an exciting exposition that lasted 2-ish hours, the rest of my 30 hour journey was fantastic.
One thing to notice is that the game looks gorgeous. After seeing how good the graphics are in the Killzone series, it's no surprise Guerrilla put so much attention to detail, as well a unique imagination. So the game just looked like one where you play as a hunter who learns to fight and hunt down robotic beasts. But it will prove it is much more than just that.
While the dialogue isn't perfect, the acting and development of characters are done very well. I got attached to the story and characters and it didn't take long for that to happen. And let's just say that what you think the story will be about, you will be proven wrong later. And very few games I have played have had such synergy within the multiple stories I have encountered.
From the gameplay viewpoint, it works like a dream. I'm usually skeptical about bow and arrow gameplay, but this game does it best for me. Better than Skyrim and Far Cry Primal, at least. However, the combat and the gameplay eventually runs out of tricks so multiple points in the main quest just overall feel repetitive. Even with the best equipment, some creatures will soak up so much damage that taking them down will be a chore. And some levels were ruthless in that regard.
Complaints aside, this game is a solid 9/10 for me for giving me a unique experience I can't forget. This is highly recommend game to pick up if you own a PS4.
Infamous: Second Son (2014)
Blown Away Like the Smoke!
The Infamous series is simply amazing. But with a title like this, it may divide the fans, given that this story has a different style and every character is different from the past entries. But in terms of gameplay, it is still Infamous and I loved every moment.
Several things are done better in this game, other than the graphics. The gameplay feels more fluid. For the first time, you can shoot energy from you hands without having to aim. Parkour is much easier and more satisfying although I miss sliding on power lines. Boss battles, however, are just as great.
The major cons here, however, is that the game feels a bit short. A 10 hour story isn't long for an open world game and there's not that much to do otherwise. Some side activities are good, but there isn't as much as I would like to be. That is the main reason 9/10 is as high as I could give it.
Other than that, this is a must own title for PS4 players. It is my favorite title that I got free with PS Plus and arguably my favorite Infamous game. While not very long, the main story is amazing in my opinion, and the characters really grow on you (even though the main character is polarizing for some). Gameplay just makes you feel like a badass overall and you can get creative in not only the combat, but traversing the city as well. And it's a nice, big, and beautiful sandbox to explore.
If you own a PS4 and have not played this yet, do yourself a favor and play this.
Battlefield 1 (2016)
Great Game Featuring the Great War
Some love to hate it, but I found this game one hell of a blast. The war stories are fairly entertaining, and I'll have to admit that the single player does improve over the previous campaigns, even though multiplayer is what still dominates, as in any other Battlefield game. The beta didn't feel that fun to me, but I am still glad I have this game a chance anyways.
First of all, you cannot go wrong with the graphics. It is so detailed and so sophisticated. It's like it's a polished game, and it's polish is polished as well. The destruction adds to it all, and you have a wonderful cinematic experience, online and offline. The battlefield has never looked this good... And the sound effects, as well as the soundtrack, is just amazing.
The gameplay is what one would normally expect out of a Battlefield game. Large, open maps (with a fair share of close quarters), vehicles, and of course, destruction. While I'm not a big fan of every single map in this title, they still look as beautiful as ever. Conquest returns, and is still satisfying as always. War pigeons is a new and fairly odd game mode, but it still delivers. And while other modes like TDM, Domination, and Rush return, the new mode that takes this game to a whole new level is Operations. Its mostly like a mix between Conquest and Rush, but story driven, and it feels like real combat and war strategy. No two matches are ever the same with this one.
What really caught my eye and still impresses me is the use of behemoths, giant, heavily armed vehicles used to aid a team being crushed by the other team. In my opinion, it beats "Levolution," although I was a fan of that too. But the behemoths are player controlled, offering an even more interactive conflict and experience. Even destroying them is a glorious act, so they are fun as long as they are in the server, no matter what.
Now just because I score a 10 for this game does not mean it's perfect. A few flaws may include the campaign being short, a few imbalances within maps, and that the vehicles sometimes appear only for the enemy (could be a coincidence). But the leveling and unlocking system could have been done better. The weapons aren't very abundant due to each gun having three different variations, and they are bought separately. Not that the game's economy is cheap, but there could have been a bit more creativity in the gun roster. Also, I find it strange that you unlock most guns at only level 3 for the classes, and then there's one gun to unlock at level 10, with nothing in between.
Anyways, those things aside, I've had a lot of fun with this game. I'm still not ready to decide whether or not it's my favorite Battlefield game, but it's definitely my game of the year for 2016. The underwhelming amount of guns may be bit of a bother, but I don't find it enough to look down on this game. It's a great buy, and it's still early. The DLCs and updates will bring more content. Yes, I know, the premium pass is expensive, but I am personally still happy with the base game. And I am aware that this isn't a very accurate representation of WWI, but don't forget that a game's priority is fun, not history lessons. Anyways, Battlefield 1 is highly recommended for shooter fans, especially for world war fans.