April has finally come to a close, and, aside from the turbulent weather, it’s also been a turbulent month for gaming! Here’s just a few of the games we played, and what we enjoyed over our Easter breaks!
My game of the month this April really was TERA, the MMO that was recently released on the PS4 and Xbox One. However, for me the true experience of TERA was on the PC which I used to play about 2 years ago and well… got bored of, I guess. This isn’t cross-play and each platform is separate from one another, which sucks really but with the popularity of it peaking again and getting more publicity it calls me back, whispering in the wind saying “Clarice, come back”, you know, that spooky shit. Anyway, TERA is a free MMO – although it does have micro-transactions, from my experience they aren’t necessary or forced upon you (well apart from if someone in the server has gotten the rarer loot from a loot box).
Everything I fell in love with when I originally played it was still there with some improvements to boot. As a result, I’ve been sinking many hours into TERA this month. Is it the best MMO out there? Probably not, but I’m having so much fun again and enjoying the community and would highly recommend anyone to give it a shot.
In April, I played three things for the most part: Overwatch, Far Cry 5, and Crusader Kings 2.
The Archives event in Overwatch has been pretty fun, and it’s awesome to take on a historic Blackwatch mission like this, though Retribution feels a little short in comparison to last year’s Uprising. Thankfully, both are available to play for those who missed out. Rialto, the heart of Venice where Retribution takes place, is a really nice map both in design and aesthetics, and I’m pleased they’re introducing it as a regular (although payloads have always been a bit notorious for the title).
Far Cry 5 remains the neat little title I saw from my first impressions, though it’s still lacking that ‘something’. I explored a bridge area with the grappling hook, did a few more missions, killed a bunch of crazed animals in a ranch, which was fun. But then was caught by John’s round up gang. After a little baptism, I was taken towards some brainwashing camp, but saved by a preacher at the last moment, running our van off the road. The preacher acted like we’d met before, and I was forced into a ‘storm this place, rescue the people’ sort of mission, and to be honest, I wasn’t too interested in it. I haven’t played it for a few days, but I suppose I’ll get back to it so I can continue to explore beautiful rural Montana.
Crusader Kings 2 is always great – a kingdom/dynasty management sim that allows you get up to all sorts of shenanigans. Inspired by the Jade Dragon DLC, I decided to play in Nepal – the county of Manthang/Mustang, specifically. Hadn’t played with it before, so I was really digging the Chinese influence mechanics, and the changes to the region are pretty nice, too! I sent one of my angry but skilled brothers to become a eunuch in China, requested a marriage with a beautiful princess of the Li dynasty, and proceeded to use her honour guard to help take some lone counties. That character also became head of the Hermetic Society and owner of the Necronomicon, so he was a pretty good ruler all in all.
This month was dominated by Hearthstone’s new expansion, ‘The Witchwood’. Based in the spooky forests surrounding Gilneas (That’s the one full of Cockney werewolves), there’s a brand-new single-player experience based entirely around four new classes: One has an invincible cannon minion, one can scavenge any spell played that game and use it a second time, one can reset their turn if it doesn’t go so well, and one has a, uh, dog.
It’s bloody good fun, but also hard as nails. I haven’t beat a single run yet. I wanna die.
Like most of my months, the majority of my gameplay in April was taken up by playing Clone Hero, and Battlefield 1 with some of my friends. But the game I played this month that I enjoyed the most was from the Far Cry series, and it’s not the one you might expect. The game was Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. A beautiful riff on an ’80s take of what the future might have been. This game features some of the best animations for reloading a gun I’ve ever seen, like throwing shotgun shells into the air and catching them, in the gun until it’s full. The game also features all the well-known gameplay features from Far Cry games as well, liberating bases and a silly storyline – except this storyline is so over the top, it’s just stupid, but it knows it’s stupid and takes the piss out of itself as well.
This game also contains my favourite quote from any game ever. It is in included within a short conversation between the main character and an AI on the subject that games are good for you. it goes like so:
Doctor Elizabeth Darling: Rex, are you doing OK after that EMP surge?
Rex Power Colt: Good as new, doc. There’s no challenge I can’t beat.
Doc: I don’t know, Rex. I’m pretty unstoppable in The Bishop of Battle.
Rex: Doc, you play video games?
Doc: Yes, Rex, video games are a proven coping mechanism, like any hobby. They’ve been shown to improve hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, social interaction and self-confidence. And no studies have managed to prove a correlation between video games and violence. Frankly, anyone who thinks games are bad for you is a F.U.C.K.ing idiot.
Rex: Hey, whoa, whoa, Doc.
Doc: No, Rex, F.U.C.K. stands for ‘failing to understand our capacity for kindness.’ It’s an acronym. Though I suppose this isn’t a game anymore. Is it?
Within 3 lines, it sums up why games are good for you, shows that FUCK is a good word and breaks the 4th wall. What a brilliant conversation.
My month was surprisingly taken up by Far Cry 5. Although it wasn’t a game I’d been massively anticipating (Perhaps due to over saturation), it’s a game I’ve enjoyed so much. They’ve changed every aspect of the game that didn’t work for me before to make it a better experience overall – the combat is gritty and fun, the missions aren’t repetitive and the story is gripping; a game I highly recommend to anyone. I’ve also just started God of War and I think it could be my game of the year. I’m in awe at what they’ve achieved from the one shot take of the game to the story, combat and overall mature feel of the game.
This April, I’ve primarily played a whole lot of God of War and even thought I played it a month earlier, Yakuza 6 came out this month too! I think that’s my game of the month. I’ve also played a ton of Switch games but my favourite up till now is Battle Chef Brigade… Man, that game is sooo good. I might have to review it soon!
For me, I’ve been mainly delving into games from my past – I haven’t checked out Yakuza 6 or God of War yet, but I’ve been playing a heck of a lot of Kingdom Hearts 2 on Critical Mode, testing my mettle against the baddest of the bad – I’m just about to fight the Lingering Will, so wish me luck!
I’ve also been playing a heck of a lot of Halo Online, although with the recent news that Microsoft would be taking action on the fan-mod, I fear that this adoration may be blocked against my will… Trust me, as this story develops, I’ll be writing an article with my thoughts once I’ve done enough research on the legal side of the battle…