Control Video Game

I should be honest up front with this review, I love Remedy games. Alan Wake, a game made by Remedy back in 2010, is one of my favorite video games that I have ever played. The games that Remedy makes are examples of how to make effective linear single player games. The stories they write are always engaging, the worlds that they create are always immersive and full of life, and the gameplay is always crisp and responsive.

Control is no different.

Control tasks the player as Jesse Fayden, a woman who lost her brother due to a traumatic event in her youth that she believes is related to the Federal Bureau of Control. The Bureau is a shady government agency that holds plethora of supernatural phenomenon. As Jesse explores the Bureau she gains more and more psychic powers and begins to unravel the secrets that the Bureau holds and with it, how those secrets tie in to the disappearance of her brother.

The gameplay of Control is a 3rd person action game where you use an ever-expanding suite of psychic powers to fight off a variety of different enemies called the Hiss. Starting with an energy strike from your “service weapon” and growing into mind control, the ability to pick up and throw any object with your mind and even the ability of flight. Jesse grows in power in a really rewarding way as you play throughout the game that keeps the gameplay from getting stale and repetitive.

The sound design and atmosphere of the game is also top notch, exploring through mad science labs and bureaucratic labyrinths has never been more fun. The game is a perfect mixture of Twilight Zone, Men in Black and Aperture Science from Portal in terms of the tone of the Bureau. Every single research file or piece of correspondence helps to anchor and engross the player in the world of the game. Remedy’s incredible world-building and writing is in full effect here.

Despite my reservations about Remedy deciding to make this over a sequel to my beloved Alan Wake, I have to admit that they have hit it out of the park yet again. Remedy continues to hold the banner for single-player story-driven experiences that focus on gameplay, immersion and excellent story-telling. No other game developer out there today is able to perfectly blend all of those aspects like Remedy does.

Sea of Thieves Video Game

Sea of Thieves is a truly unique game in terms of scope and execution. It is a game best played with friends and honestly baffled me when I first played it on release. There is no grand goal at the end of the adventure, the goal is what you make it to be.

Sea of Thieves is an open-world adventure game that tasks the player as part of a crew of pirates going on quests on the high seas. While the game can be played solo where the game matches the player with random players via matchmaking, I have to say that this is not the ideal way to enjoy this game. Playing with friends online creates the most fun scenarios and is how the game was meant to be enjoyed.

Players work together taking on different roles on the ship. One person can steer, one can man the sails and another can navigate. Sea of Thieves really captures the feel of being a pirate, especially when your ship gets close to another group’s ship.

Nothing can compare to the rush of exhilaration that you feel as a player when someone notices another ship on the horizon. “will they attack us? should we pursue them? are they going to be friendly?” all of these questions are made more exciting by knowing that these conversations are also being played out by the other players on the other ship. Maybe you are returning from a quest with a ton of loot on your ship so you don’t want to risk fighting other pirates, or maybe you are on your way to a quest so you have nothing to lose but attack the other players.

I have never experienced an encounter like these until I played Sea of Thieves. Balancing between manning the cannons, plugging up holes from enemy cannon fire, steering the ship, and managing the sails is such a frantic process that the game can go from tranquil enjoyment of sailing, to intense frantic combat in an instant. There is more to the game beyond that too, players can band together and work to take down massive threats like the Megaladon that requires coordination between multiple ships to take down.

I highly recommend this game to any friend group that is looking for a new co op experience to tackle. Blare the “Pirates of the Caribbean” soundtrack loud and proud as you tackle the high seas, fight off skeletons, krakens and of course, other pirates.

Destiny 2 Video Game

Many people give the Borderlands franchise credit for the creation of the “Looter Shooter” genre as we now know it, but I think credit should be given to Destiny for how Bungie has been able to perfect it. Destiny 2 is going free-to-play on September 17th of this year. That means that you won’t have to purchase or check out the game to play the base game on your console of choice. Swing by the Davenport Library and check out the game before that date to get a head start on your friends!

Destiny 2 is a Looter shooter, that means you are going to be shooting a lot of aliens, robots and alien robots. As you are blowing up those bad guys, you are going to level up and get newer and shinier equipment and weapons so that you can continue to blow up aliens, robots and alien robots. This grind is made even more fun if you have a few friends to tag along with. Co op in Destiny 2 consists of 3 total players (or 6 if you are trying to tackle Raid content) and I think the game is the most fun when tackled by a full party.

There is also the competitive crucible mode that pits players against each other in a variety of modes that cap out at 6 v 6 competition. Being that Bungie are the initial developers of the Halo series, the gunplay is quick, smooth and very well executed.  There is something for everyone’s playstyle in Destiny 2 and it is a great game if you are looking for something to sink a lot of time into. There is always something to do in Destiny 2 and it is constantly being updated with new DLC expansions.

If grindy loot quests are your cup of tea, then look no further than Destiny 2.

Just Cause 4 Video Game

Have you ever wished that you were a star in an action movie where the normal laws of physics don’t apply to you? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to grappling hook yourself to a plane as it gets thrown around in a tornado and then use your wingsuit to fly safely to the ground, fighting bad guys as you do it? If you said yes to any of that, then Just Cause 4  might be the game for you.

In Just Cause 4 you play as Rico Rodriguez, as he looks into Project Illapa, a program aimed at controlling weather patterns in the fictional South American country of Solis. This action-adventure game has you fighting against the Black Hand, a private army tasked on seizing control of Project Illapa and using its powers for nefarious means. While the story is a continuation of the story from previous games, it isn’t necessary to have played the previous entries to enjoy the frantic and chaotic gameplay of this most recent addition to the franchise.

This game features new advances in developer Avalanche’s Apex game engine that allows for extreme weather patterns such as sandstorms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, blizzards and more to feature prominently in the open world gameplay. The open world also features a range of diverse locations and biomes to traverse such as ancient ruins, thick tropical jungles and as well as cityscapes.

The advanced physics systems also makes combat far more interesting and fun. You are able to use the grappling hook in even more crazy ways than in previous games. You can use the grappling hook to hook together a helicopter and a tank and watch the chaos that ensues when you do. You can even use the grappling hook to latch on to a rocket and shoot yourself across the map that way. Your imagination is the limit in this sandbox of a game. The new weather features and upgraded physics engine make this a fun game to check out if you want to live out fantasies of being an action hero.

This game is available on both the Xbox One and PS4 at the Davenport Public Library.

 

Getting Ready for Call of Duty Modern Warfare

This years Call of Duty game has been announced. With the most recent installment in the 16 year franchise, Activision announced the return to the Modern Warfare series releasing later this year with Call of Duty Modern Warfare.  It has been 8 years since Modern Warfare 3 released in November of 2011 and 12 years since the original game in the series, Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, was released in 2007. With this new installment in the series on the horizon, why not play through those old games to get yourself up to speed on the newest game coming this fall? I am here to help you do just that.

The Davenport Public Library has all three of the original Modern Warfare games for both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. But, if you don’t want to have to break out your old consoles to play these games, there are some alternative options. The Xbox One allows for backwards compatibility play for some of their games.  Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare (COD4) and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) are two of the games that are currently on Xbox’s backwards compatibility list so all you have to do if you own an Xbox One is put those Xbox 360 disks into your console and you are ready to go! Sadly, Sony has not implemented a similar feature for playing PS3 games on your PS4 so if you want to play the original PS3 games, you are going to have to use a PS3. With Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) , however, you will have to play the disk in the original console that they were intended for on both the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

The Modern Warfare series is a military-style first-person shooter that spans the globe following Sergeant John “Soap” MacTavish and Captain Price among others as they fight against Russian agents and rogue terrorist groups around the globe. Each game has a campaign that follows the story of these characters in bombastic Micheal Bay-esque, explosion and action-filled fashion. Each level is filled with excitement with each game upping the explosions and over-the-top action with the 3rd game culminating in the player experiencing the destruction of an entire city while fighting through it.

Both MW2 and MW3 offer cooperative play options for if you want to play with your friend. MW2 has a spec ops mode where you play through levels with a partner. MW3 also offers a spec ops mode similar to MW2 as well as a Survival mode where you and a partner fight off waves of progressively harder enemies to see how many rounds you can make it before falling. I would be remiss if I did not mention the Multiplayer modes for these games as well. All three of the Modern Warfare games have great competitive multiplayer options. It might take you a little bit to find a lobby now that the games are so old but they still have active communities so getting a few games in should still be possible.

If any of this sounds fun to you, or at least makes you feel nostalgic for when you played these games before, feel free to stop by the library to check one of (or all) of these games out to play!

Lego DC Super-Villains Video Game

Lego DC Super-Villains is a Lego game from Traveller’s Tales. If you have played Lego games in the past, this one should seem familiar to you. You break stuff, get studs, solve puzzles, and build stuff, all while playing as some of your favorite characters. This coupled with the Lego game’s signature coach co-op means that you can play through the game by yourself or with a friend. This game shifts the focus away from caped crusaders to the nefarious super villains of the DC universe.

There are over 170 playable characters, both villains and super heroes, for you to play as. These range from characters that you know and love such as The Joker, Lex Luthor, Batman and Aquaman, to more obscure DC characters such as Clock King and Condiment King.

This game is unique because of how it integrates the character creation feature into the story. Usually in Lego games, you play as your favorite characters and get to play as them throughout the game. In Lego DC Super-Villains, however, you get to make your own villain named The Rookie that you get to play as an upgrade as you progress through the game.

Another fun game for the whole family to enjoy from Traveller’s Tales. Lego DC Super-Villains is available at the Davenport Public Library for both Xbox One and PS4.

 

Fallout 76 Video Game

After the incredibly rocky launch in November of last year, Fallout 76 has received a number of updates and has been getting a lot more praise than it was just a few months ago. A lot of the lag and server side issues have now been patched to a reasonable level, the addition of new modes like Survival and new dungeons and questlines throughout the game world have also served to change a lot of people’s opinions about the state of the game. I think with all of these improvements in mind, it might be time to check the game out if you haven’t already or were turned away by it’s rocky launch back in November.

Fallout 76 is an MMORPG released by Bethesda Games Studio in November of 2018. It is the 6th Fallout game in the series and the 3rd Fallout title made by Bethesda Games Studio. It is the 1st Fallout game to allow multiplayer and that multiplayer is the central focus of the game. As with all Fallout games, you are placed in a post-apocalyptic wasteland tasked with scavenging, questing and looting to survive and thrive in the nuclear wastes. The familiar tongue-in-cheek cold war aesthetics can be seen throughout the game, from the soundtrack to the look and feel of the game world, this what you would expect from a Fallout game.

The gameplay is clunky, which isn’t really anything new for a Fallout game, and that clunkiness is further accentuated by the online nature of the game. That being said, the many server glitches have been remedied in recent months and the game is now in a relatively stable state to play and fight irradiated mutants throughout the wasteland with your friends. This game is at it’s best when playing with others. Even if you don’t have friends that already own the game, fear not, you can run across other players in the wasteland to play with. And if playing with people isn’t your thing, you can run it solo just like any other Fallout game and just ignore other players when you come across them. The game is very versatile and customizable in terms of the experience that you as a player want to get out of it.

You can focus on making settlements that you get to build and customize to your liking, you can focus on questing throughout the wastelands like in any other Fallout RPG, you can focus on getting nuclear launch codes and destroying a section of your server with it, or you can even focus on the photo mode and become a photographer for the West Virginia wasteland. There are tones of options in terms of variable gameplay for you as a player to experience and the game is largely about what you make of it. After the months of updates and fixes, I think Fallout 76 is in a state where players can now start really enjoying the game without having to worry about it crashing every 15 minutes.

If this sounds interesting to you, feel free to swing by the Davenport Public Library where we have Fallout 76 available on both PS4 and Xbox One!