Tag : playstation-4

post image

Bulletstorm Full Clip Edition: An old “classic” showing its age

Bulletstorm first released in 2011 for the previous generation of consoles. A recent “Memories” pop-up on Facebook reminded me of the time I was considering buying a new game and wanted people’s opinions on whether to purchase Bulletstorm or not. The answer must have been not because I completed the remastered version on the PlayStation 4 on the last day of February 2019.

PlayStation Plus members can download a couple of games for free each month as part of their subscription. They’re usually a bag of shite, but Sony throws the occasional gem at us in an attempt to keep us paying for online content. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition was one of the freebies that I thought was worthwhile downloading for free, turns out it isn’t one of the aforementioned gems, although I did enjoy it for the most part.

Bulletstorm: Plot Overview

Bulletstorm graphics compared

Bulletstorm graphics compared

You take control of Grayson Hunt, the leader of a black ops team known as Dead Echo. Star General Earl Sarrano commands Dead Echo and is a bit of a power-hungry knobhead who has been tricking Hunt and his Dead Echo team into killing innocent civilians. Hunt finds out, he and his team desert Dead Echo to become space pirates on the run from Sarrano’s army.

While not the greatest plot every written, it doesn’t need to be because nothing in Bulletstorm is remotely realistic, nor does it take itself seriously. Those of you hoping for a gritty sci-fi first-person shooter need look away now because you will be bitterly disappointed.

I was unaware of the tongue-in-cheek nature of Bulletstorm when I downloaded it onto my PS4. While I try to read several reviews of new releases – the fuckers cost £50+ these days so I don’t want to buy a shocker – I tend to only perform a quick Google search for the freebies offered with my PS Plus subscription.

Part of the remastering of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition saw the graphics updated from the original. There is only so much you can do in this department so what you end up with is a game that looks like it may have been released right at the start of the PS4’s life when developers didn’t quite know how to get the most out of the hardware. It’s by no means ugly, don’t get me wrong, but it won’t be winning any awards for the best looking console game.

The often frantic speed of the gameplay is one of the first things you will notice; there’s often a shit ton of things going on at once on your screen. The PS4 can handle all this with ease and I never experienced any real drop in frame rate throughout my entire playthrough.

Bulletstorm: Dick Tits and other niceties

Bulletstorm

Something else that become apparent, and then tedious, is the dialogue. Imagine a load of jocks (the American sports guys not the dress-wearing dudes with funny accents north of the border) trying their best to be crude, crass and funny. Like Sony’s occasional free gem to PS Plus members, the dialogue sometimes delivers a slither of gold that raises a smile or even a chuckle, yet most of the time you can almost predict the innuendo a character is going to spout. I must admit though, any game that tells me to “suck tears off my dick mudfucker”, called me “dick-tits” or exclaims “shut it retard, I didn’t come down here for more excuses from your cockhole” should be commended.

You discover early in the game there is a ranking system that awards points based on the enemies you kill and how you kill them. Earning more points allows you to purchase ammunition and upgrades for your weapons. You earn more point by performing “skill shots” on enemies; there are 131 different ways to kill them.

Skill Shots vary from shooting off body parts, kicking enemies into razor wire and other similar deadly objects. Each skill shot tends to have a punny name such as pricked, facial, spunk bubble or gangbang (I only made one of those up) and while they can be fun, I never actually tried to collect all 131, but managed more than half of them naturally.

One of the reasons for not completing all the skill shots was there is a lack of variety in both the weapons available to you and enemy types. Sure, you get access to seven or eight guns, each with an alternative fire, but I found myself only using the assault rifle and the almost OP revolver, while the various enemy types all look identical to those in the same class, making it a little grindy and repetitive.

Bulletstorm: Flawed, imperfect but it never pretends to be otherwise

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition was the perfect game type for me at the time I downloaded it. It was sometimes funny, had some ridiculous set pieces in it such as a giant robotic dinosaur, but more importantly it was perfect for picking up for 20-30 minutes, pissing about, being sworn at then being able to turn it off without worrying you’d forget any storyline or what the fuck had happened.

The game is showing its age now that is for sure and the “humour” isn’t to everyone’s taste, yet it is still worth the £18 or so it costs at Amazon as you’ll definitely have fun at some point, it’s a decent length (see the puns rub off on you, there I go again), and there is nothing else like it on the market today.

post image

Cut-Price Horizon Zero Dawn is an Incredible Bargain

Giant robotic animals and dinosaurs that you can kill and control, unbelievable graphics, a captivating story and female lead character were four of the features that were pushed when Horizon Zero Dawn was first shown on TV.

I remember seeing a preview of Horizon Zero Dawn while watching a programme on GinxTV a few years ago and remarking it looked great. My main worry was that the finished game would be all wind and piss, or similar to a beautiful bimbo who looked great but had the personality of a flan. The latter would be proved wrong almost as soon as I began playing it.

Horizon Zero Dawn was released on March 1, 2017 and I bought it almost two months later on April 23rd. A month and two days of pure enjoyment followed before the Platinum trophy popped up thanks to me achieving 100% completion of what is one of the best video games I have ever played.

Horizon Zero Dawn Setting

Horizon Zero Dawn

Aloy

The story is set in the 31st century and the world as we know it has gone to shit. A major disaster has occurred. Humans have regressed into primitive tribes while robotic creatures roam and dominate the planet. These “machines”, as they are collectively known, and the surviving humans coexist in relative peace with the humans often hunting the machines for parts.

This peace is threatened by a phenomenon known as the “derangement” which is causing the machines to grow ever more aggressive towards humans and new, massive, deadly machines begin appearing.

You play the role of Aloy, who was cast out of the Nora tribe at birth. There’s not really much else I can tell you about the story without massive spoilers, nor would I want to because the Horizon Zero Dawn’s story is its strong point and is a masterpiece in video games’ terms.

Stories in video games are mostly weak as piss with the occasional work of genius thrown in; The Last Of Us is an example of the latter. Horizon Zero Dawn’s story hooked me from the second I picked up the DualShock 4 controller. I wanted to know more and read every piece of lore I found along the gorgeous landscapes.

Horizon Zero Dawn Positives

Horizon Zero Dawn

Guerrilla Games did a fine job in creating a game that had plenty of character development at your hands without making it an absolute chore to do. Aloy has a dozen of special moves she can make and a whole host of traps and weapons at her disposal that you can use to take down these robotic creatures.

Battling with Aloy’s staff feels solid and varied, an array of special arrows makes her bow deadly and fun to use, while the game’s stealth mechanic works quite well despite the game’s action-adventure roots. I reckon you could get through the majority of Horizon Zero Dawn without the need to fight all but the boss machines but doing so would vastly reduce your enjoyment as the combat element is a brilliant.

The amazing graphics and absorbing story are joys to behold and I can’t describe how much fun it is to track and hunt some of the bigger machines that frequent the lands later in the game. It’s great fund unlocking sections of the map by climbing and hacking the giant giraffe-like creatures, or taking control of a robotic horse and riding it to your next destination. It’s also great fun and challenging to take on some of the more hostile machines, which you eventually get to control.

Being able to upgrade Aloy and her weapons is easy and each upgrade feels like that, an upgrade, making Aloy more powerful as the machines around her also improve and become deadlier.

Oh, the musical score is phenomenal, and every scene has the perfect music to it.

Horizon Zero Dawn Negatives

Horizon Zero Dawn

Big T-Rex mother fucker

Horizon Zero Dawn isn’t without its negatives even if it is my favourite game on the PlayStation 4 to date. Firstly, the currency used to upgrade weapons etc in Horizon Zero Dawn sees difficult to come by and makes you want to hunt machines for more. Later in the game, less than halfway through if I remember correctly, you end up with so much “money” that you cannot do anything with it. You’ll have upgraded everything and still have tens of thousands scraps at your disposal that you don’t need or want.

Another gripe of mine was the although the machines are obviously technologically advanced and they do come looking for you if you make a noise within earshot or fail to kill them in a single blow etc, they quickly revert back to a predetermined course. This is the case even for the machines that are designed as pure killers. It would have been better, if very difficult to program, for the machines to stay on a higher state of alert or have several routes they could walk when they had been disturbed.

The third and final thing that had a negative effect on me playing Horizon Zero Dawn was partly down to my own inquisitiveness. I learned about some special armour in one of the many datapoints you find around the world and made it my mission to get my hands on it. I managed this after much exploring and found myself to be the owner of some armour that was extremely strong while allowing you to remain agile. Oh and it regenerated in a few seconds too if you managed to avoid taking damage.

This armour is so overpowered that combining it with my maxed-out weapons, there was no machine that I feared at all, even the vicious little bastards that are the equivalent of crocodiles and even the big mother-fucking T-Rex lookalikes towards the end of the game.

These negatives should not put you off buying Horizon Zero Dawn because it really is one of the best video games of all time, even more so that you can now get it for £22 or the Complete Edition that comes with the Frozen Wilds expansion for a couple of pennies under £30. For that price you’re going to get 50-60 hours, if not more, of pure enjoyment and that is a bargain in anyone’s eyes.

post image

Is Red Dead Redemption 2 The GOAT? Not Quite

Caution: Does contain some spoilers

The most ambitious Rockstar Studios game of all-time is how Red Dead Redemption 2 was billed in the build up to its October 26th launch and it delivered in that respect.

From the gorgeous scenery, to NPCs that remember your previous actions, to horses’ bollocks that shrink or grow depending on the current climate, the detail in Red Dead Redemption 2 is second to none.

Showing ambition is great, but you need to be able to deliver the end product. I showed ambition in my late teens, chasing leggy blondes with big tits and I got fuck all to show for it. Rockstar did deliver on their promise of a fantastic game, yet I feel that those people calling it the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) have been caught up in the marketing hype that surrounds AAA launches.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Positives

Red Dead Redemption 2

Let’s take a look at some of the many positives surrounding Red Dead Redemption 2. I’ve already mentioned that it is arguably the best-looking game I have seen on the PlayStation 4, rivalling, if not surpassing, the amazing graphics displayed in Horizon Zero Dawn, which is one of my favourite games of all-time.

The level of detail is astounding. One mission saw me visiting a shop that was hiding the dirty secret of being a front for slavers. I had to find a way to enter the basement of this shop to discover where the owners had been keeping the slaves chained to the walls. After the shopkeeper refused to give me any information, I set about him like a pissed Connor McGregor on the night bus home, beating him until he spilled the beans. When I returned to the same shop a few game days later, the owner was weary of me being there, referred to my previous dishing out of cowboy justice and was even sporting a bandage around his head.

The most ambitious Rockstar Studios game of all-time is how Red Dead Redemption 2 was billed in the build up to its October 26th launch and it delivered in that respect.

You’ll also find some genuinely hilarious moments throughout the game thanks to Rockstars’ ability to tell a story like no other. From the eccentric French artist, to the incestual rednecks who will bum you and sling you in a ditch, Rockstar keep the side missions and random encounters fun and a joy to complete.

Two of the Best Ever Video Game Characters

Red Dead Redemption 2

Then there’s the acting of the main characters. Arthur Morgan is a great character who you start to connect with. That’s an issue with many games, you just don’t connect with them so don’t give two fucks if they die a painful death or they conquer their goals and ride off into the sunset. When Arthur gets sick and eventually dies, I was genuinely pissed off because I wanted him to escape the life of an outlaw and make it out there on his own or with his love interest.

Dutch Van der Linde is another superbly portrayed character. Rockstar do an amazing job of portraying Dutch as a charismatic leader whose world starts tumbling down around him, becoming more desperate and unhinged as the story reaches a thrilling climax. It’s rare for me to be so heavily invested in more than one character of a video game, film or book.

You also have to admire the sheer size of the map and the number of things you can do if you wish. There are 178 different species of animal to study, hunt and kill, each going about their own business in the vast setting. Spending time tracking better specimens and skinning them allows you to upgrade Arthur’s satchels and outfits and even allows you to make special trinkets that give you boosts.

Rockstar have set dozens of challenges from being a bandit, to excelling as a gambler (you can play dominoes, blackjack and poker). I reckon it took me a solid 60 hours to complete the story mode and I didn’t even complete half of the challenges or study that many animals.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Negatives

Red Dead Redemption 2

Having to find 178 different animals, including tiny bastard bullfrogs, is a massive chore when the hunting mechanic gets boring after two or three attempts and the fishing is about as interesting as, well, fishing.

So if a game is massive, fun, detailed and has a Hollywood worthy cast of characters, why isn’t it the GOAT? Well, my friend, it is a victim of its own ambition. It’s chasing those elusive leggy blondes with big tits when it should probably have gone for a solid 7/10 instead and got its end away. As great as it is to have all these different tasks at your disposal, they don’t really serve a purpose in-game.

For example, I got through the entire game with no issues at all without the need to upgrade any of Arthur’s outfits or satchels. There wasn’t a single time that I wished I had more space in my inventory, I just didn’t need it.

Another issue regards hunting in that you don’t need to do it to survive. You obtain meat when you kill and skin the ark-filling selection of animals but there’s that much food dotted around the map that I think I only ate something I killed two or three times. Having to find 178 different animals, including tiny bastard bullfrogs, is a massive chore when the hunting mechanic gets boring after two or three attempts and the fishing is about as interesting as, well, fishing.

Which brings me onto the character maintenance aspect of the game. You’re meant to feed Arthur and your horse on a regular basis to keep them in optimal condition; you need to clean your horse regularly too. Problem is, it doesn’t fucking matter if you don’t. Rockstar claims being underweight improves your stamina but reduces the amount of damage you can take, but the game is that easy during combat – I died once in a gunfight in the entire game – that it wouldn’t matter if the enemy were firing foam Nerf bullets at you.

I Don’t Need No Money

Then you have the money in the game. Early doors, you’re as skint as a Big Issue seller and wondering how you are going to afford any ammunition for your revolver. Within a few hours, you’re dripping with cash, have 10 guns at your disposal and don’t need to loot or rob anyone or anything. I think I had just shy of $8,000 before Arthur died and once I’d acquired the pump action shotgun, I didn’t need any other firearm because it was so OP.

While I loved Arthur in the game, I already knew he was going to die at some point because he is never mentioned in the original Red Dead Redemption that this game is a prequel to. Arthur is a strong, worthy lead character, yet I get the feeling he is just another version of John Marston, the original game’s main protagonist.

Why didn’t Rockstar focus the story of this game on Dutch? Show how he formed the Van der Linde Gang. Allow us to experience his world falling apart and showing us what happened to him in the run up to being hunted down by John in Red Dead Redemption? Dutch is such an amazing character that he could have had this entire game to himself. Perhaps that will come in some DLC at a later date?

Don’t get me wrong, the above faults did piss me off a little and some of those negative points have stopped me from trying to earn the Platinum trophy, yet Red Dead Redemption 2 is still a game you simply have to play and is up there with the top five games of this console’s generation. The pacing is off a little with the first four chapters being quite slow before it erupts like acne on a teenagers cheeks for the last two chapters, which are ridiculously good and at a pace 10-times what the previous four were.

Get your hands on a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 and let yourself get lost in the hype. Just don’t expect to play the GOAT because while the game is superb and amazing value for money, it tries too hard to impress and that sometimes results in it being bucked off its horse and onto the dusty desert floor.

post image

Blogtober Never Really Happened

My plan of penning 25 blog entries during the month of October, known affectionately as Blogtober, fell flat on its arse with me only managing a paltry six posts.

Blogtober started well, dipped in the middle and the less said about the end the better. Three posts in the first four days of October stood me in good stead to achieve my goal, but only three more across the rest of the month saw my fail spectacularly.

Work kind of got in the way on more than one occasion, although that’s not a good excuse because work will, hopefully, always be there. Then there was some private family stuff that I’m not prepared to go into right now, but it took up a solid week and left me a little unmotivated to do anything at all if I am honest.

Shock, horror! Video games get in the way

Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda

Just as I was about to jump back in the hotseat and attempt to make up for lost time, I found myself motivated more to piss about on the PlayStation 4. I managed to complete the Far Cry 4 campaign, a game I started four years ago when I first bought my trusty PS4 and decided to install Mass Effect: Andromeda.

The Mass Effect series of games are up there with my favourite video games of all time. I bought the original Mass Effect for the Xbox 360 probably around 10 years ago when I found it in the bargain bin of GAME for a few quid. It was a game I instantly fell in love with and spent an age completing.

Mass Effect 2 released in January 2010 and is to this day one of the all-time classics; it is a masterpiece. Again, I spent upwards of 30 hours exploring various galaxies and being immersed in a wonderful story that I didn’t want to end.

BioWare released Mass Effect 3 in March 2012 and it was one of the few games that I didn’t mind paying full price for; I usually wait for the price to come down unless the game looks set to become a classic. The game itself was decent, although the ending was total dogshit especially when you consider fans of the series had put in more than 100-120 hours into the Mass Effect trilogy. I won’t post spoilers, but it was bitterly disappointing, so much so that the developers had to release new endings after a backlash from the nerdiest of fans.

I wasn’t holding out too much hope for Mass Effect: Andromeda because various reviews of the game said it felt rushed, unfinished and had more than its fair share of bugs, some of them game-breaking in how bad they were.

Thankfully, with me waiting forever to get around to playing this game, several patches had been deployed and most of the bugs squashed. I probably logged 10 hours in the game, which could have been 10 or more blog entries, I know, before some kind-hearted person bought me the Red Dead Redemption 2.

I’ll probably write a separate entry about Red Dead Redemption 2 because I am nowhere near finished with it despite piling 20 or more hours into it so far. Yes, I am almost 38-years-old investing time into video games, but it’s so damned addictive.

Two poker freerolls

Plans to jump back into the poker world also took a back seat, as I am sure you have already figured out. No Monster Series tournaments were played at partypoker, not even one. I did find the time to play in another £1,000 freeroll at Grosvenor Poker and a £3,000 freeroll too.

The £1,000 freeroll saw me fail to get above starting stack at any stage. By the time the blinds had increased to 125/250/25a, I was armed with a 4,447 stack, or slightly more than 17 big blind. One guy min-raised from middle position and both the button and small blind called. I opted to jam all-in with 9h9s only to see the original raise re-shove plus the other two players call off their stacks!

A board reading 8dJc2hQcAd didn’t look too good for my lowly pocket nines, so it was not surprising when I busted in 41st place with 18 spots paid. The original raise has AcAh, the button had 8c7c and the small blind QhJh meaning I got my chips in with less than 15 percent equity. Nice one, Pud.

Cowboys shot down

Pocket kings

Pocket kings

Things went a little better in the £3,000 freeroll even though I failed to cash. I managed to hover around the average stack before a short spell of being card dead and not being in the right spots to steal or re-steal reduced my stack somewhat.

Again, it was the 125/250/25a level that saw me come unstuck and I was in the big blind for this hand like my exit hand in the £1,000 game. A player jammed all-in for 3,075 from the hijack and I had a simple call to make in the big blind with KsKh. Villain showed Ac9d so I am a decent favourite to almost double my stack and make a run towards the money; I think a min-cash was like £80 so not too shabby.

My kings stayed ahead on the TsQs4c flop and the Th turn only to be cracked by the motherfucking Ad on the river. This left me with 1,458 chips and they went into the middle when the action folded to me in the small blind. My jam with Jd9c was snapped off by the big blind’s KdKh and I busted despite flopping a nine, meh.

I quite enjoyed playing on Grosvenor Poker so I may see if I can somehow spin up the massive £15 bankroll I have on there from the first £1,000 freeroll. The only thing that pisses me off with the site is how some split pots result in you have fractions of chips. I’ve just seen a tournament taking place now where the chip leader had 10,762.54 chips. I mean, how the fuck can that happen?

Needless to say, I’m going to attempt to post more frequently and play more poker between now and the end of the year, that is if I can tear myself away from being a cowboy / outlaw whenever I get a little bit of downtime from work!