A very pleasant weekend in games

So, in case you were wondering what I’ve been up to these past few days, I actually did a lot last week and tried a few games I had wanted to try out for ages. Also, I played the For Honor Beta-version.

First, I finally started playing Destiny on my PS3, only to find that all the new content is only available on PS4. Well. I guess I’m just really late to the party… On the other hand, this should give me ample opportunity for getting myself acquainted with the game lore and gameplay.

Truth be told, I haven’t delved too deep into the game yet, since I find myself unable to defeat Riksis the Devil Archon. Which is like the first boss after the prologue… On the other hand, I found out that I am more of a Hunter, or Huntress in my case, than a Titan and that the sniper rifle really suits me in this game. Finally!

I am certainly going to play a little more of that one.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment
So I decided to clean up my PS4 storage space and set out to scouring the PlayStation-Store for games to explore until the next (and last) DLC for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (which is called A Criminal Past and comes out on February 23rd, in case you missed it) is released.

Since I love puzzles and am a huge fan of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes-movies, I had been circling around Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments for a while now. Last Thursday I finally decided to purchase it, along with two more titles, which I got for free. And the only question on my mind after having finished was: is there more? (Yes, there is, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter, so guess what I’ll be buying next).

Solving the cases’ mysteries by puzzling myself through evidence and confessions was a nice change of pace from the games I usually play. So I am looking forward to solving some more!

Let it die
This one was for free. Has anyone else played it? In truth, I just downloaded it because the artwork caught my eye. It is what I would call very, very peculiar indeed and I stopped playing fairly quickly. But, if you are into running up a tower in the guise of a scantily clad, nameless hero or heroine, fighting and, hopefully, killing a score of baddies while being cheered on by a particularly joyful version of the Grim Reaper, maybe this one’s for you!

For Honor (Beta)
Ubisoft let us play a Beta of the upcoming For Honor over the weekend. and I think I’ve discovered a new trend (irony off): Say, what do the currently hyped video game Nioh, the movie The Great Wall and, indeed, For Honor, have in common? If the answer was “Samurai” or “Asian Martial Arts”, that’s exactly it.

I confess I did not really know what to expect from the game. I knew there were going to be three factions, Vikings, Samurai and Knights, and that you’d have to choose a faction and compete against other players for the benefit of said faction (I chose the Samurai, of course).

What I got was an incredibly rewarding experience in terms of combat, competition and cameraderie. In multiplayer, you team up with up to three other players (or bots) and if anyone else immediately thought of The Division, yes, For Honor is basically the medieval version of that game, only cooler. As mentioned, you can choose factions and those compete with each other over the available territory. Each time you reenter the game you will see how many territories our faction has gained or lost since the last turn you played and that is immensely motivating.

Each faction boasts different classes of heros, from versatile to heavy to fast. You can also recruit a number of different class heroes and try them out to find the one that suits you best. What I thought pretty cool was that you can choose your preferred hero just before each new battle commmences. This sometimes resulted in my primary Level 11 hero (I had three in total) having to fight against the enemy bots or players alongside Level 7 and below companions, but then, all that proves is that, actually, I was playing it safe and the others took the opportunity to improve their hero’s skills. Good for them.

None of the players I fought with had enabled voice chat (neither had I), but, judging by my The Division-experience I believe that this really ups the ante during the usually chaotic battle atmosphere. For the multiplayer arenas are focused on battling your way across a map, either defending or attacking a vital location within the currently contested territory.

You have to conquer certain areas and try to hold them, CTF-style. Of course, slaying enemies is also vital, since once your team reaches 1.000 points the enemy or defender line breaks and your team will have to eliminate the rival team, no respawn allowed, to win. The cool thing is that the enemy can rally during that period and turn the tables on you and your team. Which feels truly awesome, since the flow of the battles I fought changed constantly. Which is why they never get boring in themselves.

The combat system is pretty cool, even if I would have preferred being able to shift the Blocking ability to the left stick, which is to say I sucked at blocking incoming hits and died a lot. Sometimes I wished there was a way to practice my hero’s specific moveset in a quiet little courtyard without one or more enemies trying their best to kill me…

Also, the maps are truly awesome, detailed and beautiful, with an environment you can use to your advantage (I threw enemies off bridges and got knocked off said bridges too). In the  Beta there were three maps for the 4×4 battles and, I think, four separate maps for the 1×1 duels (I didn’t try out the brawls).

Nevertheless, while the Beta was great fun to play, For Honor, which will be released tomorrow on February 14th (Valentine’s Day!), is no game for me. After a while the maps and battles became repetitive, much as in The Division (Yeah, I know the DLCs add more maps, but I stopped playing long before the first DLC was out), and I prefer exploring a story more than developing and honing my fighting skills.

So, thanks for all the fun, but I think I will be spending next week exploring London, playing Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter. And finishing my third playthrough of Dishonored 2, of course. Also, maybe I’ll try my hand on playing Sleeping Dogs. I hear it is excellent.


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