£50.90. Fifty pounds and ninety pence. One more time for the folks in the cheap seats: FIFTY POUNDS and NINETY PENCE. That’s right, comrades, the glorious English rail network outdid itself once more, as yours truly hurtled towards London from beautiful Brighton town, #NoSeatsAvailableNoSeatRequired. We really do get well looked after…
Staying put in the bombast of the Indie Room, we pushed on towards the offerings of good ol’ Chucklefish. They had recent release Wargroove in tow, along with new joints like Pathway (fab desert-based strategy RPG), metroidvania-tinged puzzle platformer Timespinner, and my personal pick of the bunch, Eastward. Not to be confused with that Clint fellow, mind. Or the recent Outward...
Playing (and looking) like The Last of Us funneled through Stardew Valley, Eastward charts the tale of two folks caught up in one of those ruddy world-crumbling-apocalypse periods. Using the skills of each character to solve puzzles, traverse terrain and bash baddies was a lot of fun; I’m looking forward to playing this one again, hopefully soon!
The Indie Room was also home to the underwater charm of Beyond Blue, a game made by the folks behind Never Alone, in collaboration with the BBC’s Blue Planet team. Imagine an HD Endless Ocean, and you’re halfway there. Following the story of Mirai, a researcher attempting to communicate and explore the depths in ways never before seen, Beyond Blue was a dream to play for an ocean-obsessive like moi. Check out the trailer, it really is dreamy.
Our last port of call in the Indie Room was a little game by the name of Mable and the Wood. Taking its inspiration from many classics of the 16-bit era, this platforming adventure game puts thee in the role of a girl with a terrible shape-shifting gift. That’s right, pals: kill a big bastard spider and you steal its grotty powers of webbage (and so on and so forth). Add amusing NPC dialogue and lovely audiovisuals to the fun, challenging gameplay and you’re onto a winner.
Next up JMP and I toddled off to the illusory Unreal Engine Showcase, to delve into some local multiplayer shootin’ and-a snookerin’.
From two-man Italian developer Ludicrous Games, Guntastic is a frantic game of one-screen shooting and platforming. Full of weapons, power-ups, and switches to send trains crashing through stages (and enemies), this free-for-all arcade shooter brought smiles to all who played it.
So, as the great saying goes: “Once one has shot, one must pot.” With that, we went to visit the Snooker 19 gang for a quick frame of Jim Davidson’s favourite sport.
I’ll be honest here and admit I didn’t expect much from Snooker 19. Hands held firmly upward, I’ll also admit I was wrong - it’s bloody excellent! Photorealistic visuals; licensed venues, tournaments and players; authentic cue-on-ball tones; and simple to understand, yet hard to master controls. Lab42 even seem to have taken our suggestion for mini-games based on Australian-accented Ronnie O’Sullivan interviews and 70s-era cigarette smoking and beer drinking under consideration, so let’s hope they get patched in before the game releases next week!
After a quick pizza break - during which we had the great pleasure of listening to the sarcastic woman behind the counter take the piss out of every customer - we went and got green in the ID@Xbox arena.
There were old faves on show like Far: Lone Sails and Human: Fall Flat (fans of that one should keep an eye out for the next of our weekly giveaways), but it was new games Cat Quest 2 and Truberbrook that stood tail and suitcase above the rest.
Cat Quest 2 continues all the excellent RPG goodness of the first game, but with the added twist of a second player this time around. Travelling its colourful cartoon world, beating up baddies and completing quests, chum of choice by your side - purrrrfe... actually, nope, I won’t do it!
Stood abreast of Cat Quest 2’s kitty-caper was, of course, Truberbrook, which is my sleeper hit of the show. Another point-and-click adventure, the game puts you in the shoes of travelling American physicist Tannhauser, as he attempts to break through a mental block in the titular, sleepy German town. The graphics and dialogue provided not only humour, but a lot of intrigue too. I’ll be keeping a beady eye on this mysterious little game, eagerly awaiting its Xbox release.
Down, down, down into the bowels of Tobacco Dock did we plunder, eventually taking up residence in The Leftfield Collection, which had been 2018’s best room. Blessed with a glut of beautiful, innovative and downright quirky games, the LFC again proved to be a personal highlight.
There were beautiful, relaxing games like Becalm; the hilarious fun of Drink More Glurp, best likened to a mix of Octodad and Track & Field; sublime puzzle adventuring with OMNO; and Nth Dimensional Hiking, a far-out, no-hands-held 3D platformer with bizarre, blurry visuals.
The sheer amount of creativity on display never fails to astound me, and all of us here at Pass the Controller, in fact. Long may it continue.
Avoid pecking pigeons, evade the eclairs, and bash the battenberg...
To the homestretch, then, and my favourite part of this year’s show - Coatsink’s showing! Everything about their area was fun, colourful and silly; from the two glorious games on show, to PR man Jack - who won this year’s beard-off, yet again - to the countless laughing, smiling visitors.
New title Cake Bash takes the guts of Super Smash Bros., but replaces those famous Nintendo icons with different types of cake. Yes, cake. Avoid pecking pigeons, evade the eclairs, and bash the battenberg in your quest to cover yourself in decorations, garnish a custard tart, or just plain ice a fondant fancy. A brilliant premise that we look forward to seeing more of.
Check out our video coverage of Rezzed 2019.
We end then with Phogs, the glorious two-folks-one-controller game. James and I once again spent most of this year’s play session laughing out loud as we slid the eponymous double-ended dog around ravishing night time locales, all in search of bones and moons to feed to giant knitted snakes. If that doesn’t sound like the best thing ever, then you are officially a dull, dim-witted turd.
Exhausted, and fearing the worst for my journey home, I slipped away, ready to haunt the halls again next year. Thanks for the games you lovely devs; grazie for the pizza you benevolent gentleman James; and fuck you to ye extortionate Network Rail. See you in 2020. XOXO
With Nintendo’s worst-selling console (bar the Virtual Boy, of course) now six feet under, we take a look back on the Wii U's life with some of the independent developers that kept the console ticking, during its infamous game droughts.
With those games in mind, who better to ask about the much-maligned Wii U than their fair creators! We’ve been fortunate enough to speak with Jools Watsham of Renegade Kid fame (Mutant Mudds), Thomas Tyssoy from Rain Games (Teslagrad, World to the West), Knapnok’s Anchel Labena (Affordable Space Adventures), Rodrigue Deperron of Thunder Lotus (Jotun, the upcoming Sundered), Rhys Lewis of Squarehead Studios (Star Ghost), and Asier Quesada and Arturo Monedero from Delirium Studios (The Rivers of Alice, The Delusions of Von Sottendorff). Enjoy!
What was the Wii U like to develop for?
Rain Games: We’ve built all our games in Unity, so in most regards it hasn’t been very different from developing for other platforms. The primary challenge has been in porting, and figuring out how to reduce the amount of RAM we use to fit the Wii U.
Knapnok Games: Wii U was a super exciting machine to work on, it opened up opportunities for creating games that weren't really possible on other consoles.
Delirium Studios: Well, 3DS was rough for programming. Let’s say it is a machine that requires lots of skills if you want to reach a high visual and technical performance! For The Rivers of Alice port to Wii U it was completely the opposite, apart from some audio conversion problems, Unity - we previously developed the game with this engine – allowed us to port the game from PC to Wii U reporting few tech-related problems. We had to redesign the game to make it compatible with the Wii U gamepad screen though.
Were Nintendo helpful/encouraging of your project?
Squarehead Studios: Yes absolutely. They were kind enough to feature Star Ghost on the eShop and they also promoted the game on leaflets included with physical titles. Considering it was a tiny one man, self-published title, I don’t think I could have asked for more.
Thunder Lotus Games: Nintendo did indeed offer much support for the development of Jotun for Wii U. It was important for all concerned that our game (as well as other indies due to release last fall) be available in time for a Nindies promotion Nintendo had planned for September.
Jools Watsham: Yes, it was always great working with the team at Nintendo. They were very supportive of our efforts on the Wii U.
"...it was easier for us to get visibility on the platform compared to other mainstream alternatives as fewer games are released for the Wii U, making it easier to stand out."
Did you ever worry about releasing a game on a console with such a small install base (comparatively speaking)?
Rain Games: Not at all. While the Wii U has a small install base relatively speaking, we were never in a position where the smaller pool of potential players would negatively impact our bottom line. Teslagrad actually did pretty well on the Wii U, and we think part of that is because it was easier for us to get visibility on the platform compared to other mainstream alternatives as fewer games are released for the Wii U, making it easier to stand out.
Knapnok Games: Not really - you always need to scale the cost of your project to match the potential gain on the platform, and we managed to scope the project relatively well so we didn't have to sell hundred of thousands of copies to break even. The advantage of making something on a less crowded console is that you have a much higher chance of standing out.
Squarehead Studios: Not really, though perhaps in hindsight I could have given it a little bit more thought! One of the attractions for me was that although the market has been small, it is composed of highly passionate and knowledgeable gamers. From a developer's perspective, it is very rewarding to be able to connect with the kind of people that really care about what you’re doing.
What are your thoughts on the Wii U now its time has come to an end?
Thunder Lotus Games: It's hard to strike a resoundingly positive tone when speaking of the Wii U. Truly, there were some stellar gaming experiences to be had on the system, but in retrospect, I believe Nintendo never adequately communicated to gamers why they should want the console, nor to devs what manner of unique experiences they wanted to offer on the console. It seems to me that the story of the Wii U is one of unrealized potential - though what precisely it had the potential to ultimately become is up to debate.
Knapnok Games: I think the Wii U was a great platform that tried a lot of different interesting things. One of the core problems of it was that many of these things were contradictory: the GamePad had a touchscreen which is great, but if you wanted to support the pro controller you couldn't utilise the touchscreen. The secondary screen is a really cool feature, the option to continue your game on the GamePad if someone else wants to use the TV. It was cheap to buy Wii Remotes so you could easily make multiplayer games, but then you couldn't really support the thumb sticks of the other controllers. All this gave the feeling that no game was truly designed for the Wii U - because no game could hit all the unique selling points at once.
Delirium Studios: In my opinion, with the new Zelda, Wii U has said goodbye in a more than dignified way. I suspect that many have dusted their consoles off and have given it a small chance again. There are great games for Wii U, and we keep selling on this platform, so (hopefully) it will last a little bit longer!
Rain Games: The Wii U was a strange beast. Now that the Switch is here, it feels almost like a prototype or proof of concept by comparison. The Wii U’s unique parts, like the nun-chucks and gamepad are just done in such an improved form on the Switch! The Wii U had plenty of fun games, particularly in terms of multiplayer that a lot of us have thoroughly enjoyed.
What are your thoughts on the Switch? Will you be developing games for it?
Squarehead Studios: It’s a nicely restrained and well-considered design. Nintendo often throw curve balls into their hardware that can leave you scratching your head, wondering how to take advantage of the quirks whilst also maximising the potential of your game. The Switch looks focussed, with characteristics that seem to cater well to the kinds of games that Nintendo fans want to play. Of course, only time will tell and the age old question of whether Nintendo can keep their pipeline full of new and interesting software is going to be key. I think it would be good for the industry if they can continue to define a viable middle ground, somewhere between snack sized mobile gaming and the massive AAA machinery.
Jools Watsham: The Switch seems to address many of the mistakes Nintendo made with the Wii U in terms of unique features and messaging. We are currently developing for the Switch.
Thunder Lotus Games: I think our initial collective reaction to the Switch here at Thunder Lotus has been as gamers first and foremost, gamers that have each grown up and grown through various generations of Nintendo hardware both portable and stationary. So our reactions have reflected some genuine love of the Nintendo brand (even if that love may have lapsed for some in the Wii U generation): we're all excited to see how great an experience Nintendo can craft with the Switch, now that they're working from what is visibly a clearer and more viable concept of how a living room console can also be portable. We can certainly imagine our games eventually finding a happy home on the switch. We'll see what the future holds in that respect.
There you have it, chums; the Wii U dissected by the developers that made its games. As we open up the console to check its organs for the cause of death, it seems clear that, from a developer’s vantage point, the Wii U was not only easy to make games for, but a comparative lack of competition actually helped to stand out from the crowd. It was, however, tricky to use all of the unique features the console boasted - something Nintendo themselves failed to do.
As one of the thirteen-odd million people that bought a Wii U, I part ways with mine having felt confused and disappointed, though, critically, entertained. I’ll cherish it for the wonderful Zeldas, Marios and Splatoon, as well as the fabulous indie games.
That said, the Wii U actually played a large part in putting me off investing in Nintendo’s future - a reliance on gimmicks and churning out the same core franchises has severely impacted the love we once shared. The current lack of games on Switch (bar two great titles already available on Wii U in Mario Kart 8 and Breath of the Wild) only proves that Nintendo haven’t learnt their lesson.
I can only echo Rhys Lewis’ sentiments that the gaming industry needs Nintendo firing on all cylinders to fill the middle ground left vacant by Microsoft, Sony and mobile phones. Whether they manage that, only time will tell. Until then, I’m off to drop some flowers on the Wii U's grave. Goodnight, sweet Prince.
Thanks very much to all the developers that spoke to us for this article, we look forward to playing more of your games soon!
This week’s giveaway is for a copy of Forma.8 on Wii U; the game is a new take on the Metroidvania genre from Italian indie developer MixedBag, so be sure to get your entries in here!
"The view from PTC Towers."
The image above, as you can probably tell, is not my work. It was masterfully drawn by Liam. You may be wondering why there's underwear beneath the tree in lieu of presents. As tempting as it is to claim it's a Dutch tradition, that is, unfortunately, not the case.
We thought it'd be nice to have a Christmas-themed image up there for you all, so James suggested a Paint picture might fit the bill, before this exchange took place.
Yes, we are serious writers here at PTC.
We've also trawled through the forums to present to you a handful of meaningless stats that you may find interesting. Think of it like a progress screen at the end of a level, but instead of a page detailing how many enemies you've killed, you get a completely unscientific estimate of just how much time we've all poured into our pastime of choice.
You probably can't complain, because you're all pretty good at procrastinating. The Procrastination Page has grown by 17 pages. That's 170 posts. It would take a sharper mind than I to work out the overall man hours that have been wasted and the total cost to the economy, but experts believe it to be significant. Probably.
A lot of time was also spent rating the games you played. 15 pages of recommendations from staff and community members about games both old and new. Yours truly did attempt to tally up just how many games had been rated, but lost count at 60 (or was it 61?) with a few pages still to go. It's a significant number though, according to a different set of experts.
ImmaturityRules living up to his name.
When it comes to sharing screenshots and videos, you certainly weren't slacking! A whopping 30 pages have been added to the Share Your Screenshots thread. That's hundreds of images and clips, and hours of entertainment.
Hopefully next year will see even more, if only so you don't have to see any more header images from Paint.
Over the course of the year we've grown from 186 registered forum members to 466 - pop in and say hi, we don't bite; unless you're one of the types that posts Russian porn, anyway - an extra 80 threads have been created and almost 4,000 posts have been made (at the time of writing, we'll likely have exceeded that when you read this).
Props to James for finding these statistics, and also for assisting Plas in the brutal elimination of Rodent.
Rodent, still stinging from that collision, posted a video of Jam utilising some ungentlemanly tactics in order to secure victory. Or "being a dirty cheater" as he put it.
We're sure this is just a friendly rivalry.
You may remember some months ago that Sam tried to get someone, anyone, to buy Battleborn.
Well, he's at it again and this time he's serious.
Unfortunately it's climbed to the lofty heights of £8.99 since, but whilst the offer of a free copy is off the table, the offer of companionship remains.
Sam's been busy playing another multiplayer-focused shooter in Killing Floor 2 and shared a video of a particularly memorable boss encounter from the game.
"Winning even as a full team just doesn't happen, you get obliterated 99 times out of 100, so finishing it solo was pretty special. I even got a message from a teammate thanking me."
Another impressive video came from Heavyarms_Kai.
Those totally accurate physics! ... We'll also forgive the fact Kai referred to Ryu Hayabusa as "a random dude"...
Liam had a very fortunate run in with Lady (or should that be Lad?) Luck in Modern Warfare Remastered. I think most FPS players have been in a position where the enemy have you pinned down, you're low on health and there looks to be no way out. It's a bad place to be, but it gets even worse when the grenade indicator pops up, just to let you know how screwed you truly are.
What a guy!
That's almost it from me, but who could resist the chance to re-revel in one of the best Plas fails?
Only Plas could follow the instructions to the letter and still fail.
Just a reminder that we're currently running a giveaway. If you want to be in with a chance of winning System Shock: Enhanced Edition and System Shock 2 on Steam, then take a look here for details on how to enter.
As it's that time of year, we leave you with a terrible video game Christmas song.
We never asked for this. It's been five long weeks since our campaign began, we've lost friends, brothers and sisters in arms, but we have to keep going.
Our fifth mission has now been successfully completed, please play close attention to the after-action report below:
On the brink of our next mission, Operation Storm Dragon, we find ourselves at an important decision. Should we focus on training up our current forces, or diversify and initiate new troops. We already have some soldiers such as Chris "Crisco" Brand and Rob "Bob" Holt waiting for their first mission, while others like Max "Makka" Taylor are itching to get back in the field.
We are even experimenting with ways to bring our fallen comrades back into the fold, so there is hope for the continued careers of Dan "NinjaDan" Fronteras and Liam "Dutch" Andrews.
For those of you unfamiliar with the hard work of these brave souls, familiarise yourself with the five after-action combat reports below. Study them closely, as who knows when you may be asked to join the team in the field. If you have questions about the team's performance then leave them below.
Gentlemen, ladies - Semper Fi, and expect the next mission next Friday.
It was our Deputy Editor’s birthday this week, but it turns out Sam’s been too busy to enjoy the occasion, and instead of feasting on cake and ice cream, he’s been stuck at work. Still, I can think of worse jobs than testing games!
Glad we cleared that up.
Stop complicating things, Rodent!
It’s competition time once again here at PTC, this time we’re giving away a copy of Robinson: The Journey on PSVR thanks to the kind folks over at Crytek.
You can find out more information on how to enter here, but be sure to move quick as the competition closes Tuesday. Good luck to all those who have entered so far!
The PS4 Pro has been out for just over a week now, but BAMozzy doesn’t seem too pleased with the way some games run on the super charged console, although as Sam points out, Sony are “looking into those issues, as games are actually forbidden from running worse on Pro hardware.”
“I must admit I am a little disappointed by the PS4 Pro at the moment. The Last of Us runs beautifully at 30fps in 4k but the 60fps mode is worse than the 60fps mode of the PS4 version… I have no doubt that we will see more options and better conceived enhancements over time. At the moment though it’s quite mixed and very limited choice... Not so much a 'Pro' choice - at least not yet!”
BAM did concede that Titanfall 2 looks “visually stunning on the PS4 Pro”, but was let down by the new single player campaign.
“I beat the campaign on Master difficulty (all pilot Helmets collected too) and whilst the campaign is good - it’s not great in my opinion. I expected more from the team behind Modern Warfare.”
James was much more pleased with Respawn’s sequel, giving the game a big old 10 in our review.
It seems The Game Awards’ jury agrees with our Editor, with Titanfall 2 earning a nomination for Game of the Year. You can see which other titles will be going head to head with Respawn’s shooter right here.
Personally, I’m a little disappointed that Infinite Warfare has been overlooked, while Sam thought the nominations were pretty spot on.
“DOOM, Uncharted 4, Inside & Overwatch all pop into my head when I consider my games of the year, so I can't argue with the nominees.”
Meanwhile MrkDhn10 agrees with Mafia III’s story driven nominations. “I see Mafia 3 up for narrative and a lead actor. Whilst I had issues with gameplay, the story and acting is fantastic.”
Despite his sizeable collection of Call of Duty images shared in last week’s round-up, Rodent managed to leave out this little gem, so we’ll right that wrong now. Too… many… bad…puns.
Clip of the week goes to James for this footage from the aftermath of his, Dan’s and Rodent’s impromptu game of sumo in GTA V. Technically this would be a murder suicide, seeing as Dan was still inside in the car when things went belly up.
My jukebox choice this week goes to Infinite Warfare, whose musical score was a surprising highlight of the game. Enjoy!
Judging from the above image, Sam seems to be pretty pleased with his latest acquisition. And who wouldn’t be, especially when you get a copy of Dishonored 2 for peanuts and a whole day ahead of its scheduled release. “Just switched my order as Amazon are offering a Pro console with Dishonored 2 for £352.49. I had just the console for £349.99 previously, can't say no to a copy of that for £2.50!”
“Was wondering why the Pro console was claiming my TV wasn't capable of 4K RGB or HDR when it is, and after a chat with PlayStation support on Twitter found out that it's due to having VR hooked up. Gotta switch a HDMI out every time I want to go between VR and TV games, which is slightly annoying.”
Sam’s been plagued by first world problems recently, after he needlessly devalued his sealed copy of Mass Effect 3 by, you know, opening it.
"I opened and installed my copy of Mass Effect 3 that's been sat on the shelf sealed for years today (it was before I knew they were all free with EA Access, or I'd have just downloaded it). Maybe I'll finally play it at some point now.”
I’ll probably be revisiting the trilogy's finale at some point too, just to give the immensely fun multiplayer another go. News of the three games going backwards compatible arrived alongside our first look at Mass Effect: Andromeda, which garnered a mostly positive reaction from the PTC forums.
Max likes how “the perspective has been flipped from a group of races protecting their civilization from an unknown threat, to the same group possibly now being seen in the same light”, and thinks it’s “going to be great”.
Plasma wing was a little disappointed by the lack of gameplay on show, but is “still excited”, while SkinnerChinner thinks the game “looks good” and is glad the series is getting a “clean break” from the Shepard trilogy.
The only person who seemed underwhelmed by the trailer was ImmaturityRules.
“Great news about the whole trilogy being BC and a resounding "meh" to the zero gameplay trailer. With the general talent exodus at BioWare getting to the point where I've no idea who's running the franchises these days, I'm not feeling any excitement. If it ends up being another EA microtransaction-fuelled, tarted-up shooter, I'll be done with BioWare and EA altogether.”
You’ve been warned, EA! Just in case Andromeda turns out to be flop, ImmaturityRules has an RPG back up in the form of the recently purchased Skyrim Special Edition.
“Gonna roll two new characters, one for Achievements and one for Mods. It's just a shame the High King of Skyrim mod isn't available, I'd love to sentence Nazeem and Heimskr to hard labour or execute them.”
That’s what I’ve been doing (rolling two characters, not torturing annoying NPC’s) but my achievement Argonian (everyone should have one) got stuck in a sewer and that was the end of his adventuring.
Welcome back, Kai! Our models thread has been severely neglected during your absence, and Metalrodent’s been too busy slagging off Rainbow Six Siege’s newest update to post any of his latest builds.
“This is what, nearly a year after the game's release. Surely there can't be enough people left who really care that much? I mean beyond the core dedicated fanbase that seems to have sprung up the game pretty much lost mainstream attention within a month of release, chronic lack of content being quite an issue”
Now, PTC Crisco is very fond of Ubisoft’s tactical shooter, and he says he’s been busy re-decorating his home this week, but I think it’s far more likely he’s plastered his walls with various blueprints and images of Rodent’s dwelling and is currently trying to work out which wall to breach first.
Before Rodent meets an untimely end at the hands of vengeful PTC staff, he’s kindly provided us with his latest image ‘dump’. This week it’s Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered. It’s quite a big dump, so here’s a slide show to make sifting through it a little easier.
“Cruel but funny” is how Rodent accurately described this clip.
“I do love the way the game actually lets teamkills slide when you're in the heat of a firefight.”
Team killing wouldn’t fly on the Retribution, a ship whose crew is very close. A little too close, at times.
Seeing as it was N7 day earlier this week, let’s finish up with some music from BioWare’s much loved space opera.
“You specifically refer to me topping the leaderboard, but neglect to mention that during the week I climbed to first on the global Tethered rankings and the developer tweeted to congratulate me. For shame, Chris!”
Fans of shooting things have been somewhat spoiled recently, with Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 (props to Plas for getting all the achievements) and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare all releasing within the last three weeks.
James has been playing through DICE’s Great War-inspired shooter to bring you our review, both in written and video form.
SkinnerChinner thought the review was “decent and fair”, and says that this is his favourite Battlefield game yet. “I prefer the setting & weapons to the attachment laden BF4 - find when I die it's down to smart tactics or opposing class rather than fire rates or someone with the 'god mode' weapon set-up.”
The game’s campaign didn’t quite hit all the right notes, however:
“As for the single player, so much wasted potential! It gets the atmosphere spot on considering the subject material & starts off strong, but each campaign is woefully short & nowhere near long enough for any real character development or emotional pay-off. All the marketing around the 369th Infantry Regiment & they're only in the 1st half of the tutorial?”
Elsewhere on the forum, fracturedrich shared the games he's currently playing and looks to be all set for winter – “FIFA, Battlefield and Gears 4 all on my brand new slim, love them all.”
I’ve been making my way through the lands of Skyrim once again in the recently released Special Edition, and I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with the newly added mod support for consoles.
Because adding mods disables achievements, MrkDhn10 is going to save them for his second playthrough, but is a bit concerned about the game dominating his spare time.
“Thoroughly enjoying the game, although a little worried at how much of my life will disappear, esp as Xmas partys start soon...”
It’s a genuine concern, I’ve barely touched any of the main quest lines and already sunk a heck of a lot of hours into this game, although elves just dropping out of thin air hasn’t helped progress:
With N7 day fast approaching, Bioware are looking for new recruits to sign up to their Andromeda Initiative program. Heavyarms_Kai wasn’t convinced by the developer’s propaganda:
“Special training opportunities" why does that read as "we're going to make you all unpaid shills".
Get on board, Kai. Remember, teamwork makes the dreamwork… Unless that team includes Plas, then things like this happen:
And that was before the very first part of the heist set-up had even begun. Luckily we did manage to power through, with Plas even earning a platinum rank for one of the missions. I know! We were all shocked as well.
When we’re not pulling off the perfect heist, Team PTC can be found saving Earth from evil alien overlords, which you can see in the second part of our new XCOM 2 series.
Catch up on the first episode here, but I must warn you things don’t go well for Liam ‘Dutch’ Andrews. If that video taught me anything, it’s never leave the safety of the sofa.
Now we all know that Metalrodent isn’t shy when it comes to sharing his tank related gameplay, but for some reason he was reluctant to post this next image and I had to pull it from his DVR account.
Managing to get a tank stuck on the second floor of a house is actually rather impressive, and therefore deserves to be shared.
To finish things up, my jukebox selection this week shall be Sergeant Griggs’ rap from the first Modern Warfare, seeing as the remaster is out this weekend as part of Infinite Warfare’s Legacy Edition. I know what I’ll be playing then. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, don’t hate me!
"I think they're dead." If not, Metalrodent, they are certainly going to be in a lot of pain. I was hoping for a different screenshot to be sitting up there but it appears that Plasma Wing hasn't got around to beating Rodent's Halo challenge... Yet. He's working on it though, don't you worry.
If Halo isn't your thing, feel free to challenge someone at another game. If we get enough friendly rivalries brewing we could even start a leaderboard. If only to give Sam something else to boast about.
That being said, us mortals may have a chance. Our Deputy Editor is still battling his way through a pile of PSVR games so huge that no-one has seen him for days. He crawls out from amongst the mess of game cases every now and then to post a review and complain about the lack of a decent UI in real life. This week, EVE: Gunjack was taken for a quickie and Tethered was given the full review treatment.
Sticking with reviews, Liam shared his thoughts on Gears of War 4 and is hoping to beat wave 50 of Horde mode. If you want to join him, Timmeh and Plas for a run, pop into the PTC Nights thread and let them know.
Liam has also been attempting to show off his might once again in Mount and Blade: Warband. Did he manage to fare better than last time?
If at first you don't succeed, "Just get the great heavy warhammer (or something like that) and kill entire armies singlehandedly."
I think that's how the old adage goes.
Of course, it's not always the case that one battle can decide a war. Unless you're playing XCOM 2. Every battle, nay every move, can completely turn the tables. Something our Editor, James, is familiar with as he has started a Let's Play entitled "PTC takes back Earth."
You might notice a few familiar names pop up here and there. James will be trying to keep as many of you alive as possible, but it's not an easy task and there will be casualties. I've already asked to be fitted with the best weapons and gear that money can buy, however, my incessant emails went unanswered.
Sour news this week as it was announced that Turtle Rock Studios will no longer be supporting Evolve.
I'll add a third shame to that as I too was looking forward to trying out the free-to-play version. Free things are the best things.
There was good news, though. Fans of Borderlands can download and play The Handsome Collection for free this weekend, as part of the Multiplayer All-Access event. Apropos of nothing: The Handsome Collection was the original name for Pass the Controller, for obvious reasons.
A hurrah goes to MrkDhn this week who has unpacked his Gears of War themed Xbox One S!
Just need to grab a 4K tv now - have seen a few at John Lewis so will get around to researching them in the next few weeks.
I would also recommend taking a look in this thread, where 4K has been discussed in length.
My personal Clip of the Week is a short love story. After the demise of Jam at the hands of Rodent, Ninja Dan decides it's too much to take. It's almost like Romeo and Juliet, just without all the tedious build-up.
We leave you with a song from Guitar Hero 3, Suck My Kiss by Red Hot Chili Peppers.
"Some is good. More is better." Liam's philosophy on turrets will surely go down in history as one of the more memorable gaming quotes, rubbing shoulders with Fallout's "War... War never changes," and Sam's "Not all people on Xbox Live are arses." I'll have to take your word for it, Sam. Would you like to see Liam's turret farm in action? Well, you'll have to wait. Now is not the time for such things.
Will the plucky Yorkshireman rise to the challenge, like the delicious puddings his clansmen are known for? Or will he land just shy of the target, like a wet teabag flicked at the bin with a lack of force? If we all make an effort to harangue the poor bloke we might get to see him be crowned The King of Halo.
Mr. Wing has been busy with Overwatch in the meantime, along with Liam, James and Sam. The fearsome foursome attempted the Halloween horde mode but didn't have much luck. Sam and Plas kept at it, undeterred, long into the night, managing not only to beat it on normal with the objective taking no damage, but also on hard.
What a shot, indeed. Take a look.
At the end of the match, all of the votes went to... drum roll, please... Sam! This happened twice (three times actually, the third just wasn't captured. Ed.), with Sam even voting for himself. He was just that good.
Now, time for the big news.
"Well, looks like the new Red Dead is about to be announced based on their website and all the social media accounts."
Correct, Timmeh! BAMozzy was feeling it too, "As a Map leaked months ago and was rumoured to be revealed at E3 and a few other events since then, I would be surprised if a new Read Dead game wasn't announced in the near future..."
Yes, Rockstar have announced Red Dead Redemption 2. Follow the link to watch the trailer.
It's very exciting but, as you can see, some folks are unaware of the whole story (as such they are placed on the Naughty List, and banned from social encounters until this less-than-satisfactory situation is remedied). Admittedly, that shouldn't be too much of a problem if my prediction is right. I'm saying prequel. That voice near the end sounds a lot like Dutch to me. John Marston used to run with Dutch's Gang and was known for robbing banks, amongst other things. It could be the wild west equivalent of GTA V's heists. Hopefully we won't have to wait a year this time, Rockstar.
That other big news story was of course the unveiling of the Nintendo Switch, which prompted Rodent and Plas to simultaneously chime, "It looks pretty interesting," and Heavyarms_Kai to exclaim, "If nothing else it could become the definitive gaming tablet."
That almost sounds like a compliment.
If Nintendo price it right, JohnBhoy is game, citing certain exclusives and the nifty looking console itself as his reasons. Liam is of a similar frame of mind, but may hang back to see if "an XL version" rears its head, after being burned one too many times by previous Nintendo hardware.
ImmaturityRules feels it looks like a Wii U, but does acknowledge:
"The tablet looks a lot sleeker than the clunky Wii U gamepad, and a Micro SD slot plus heavy Virtual Console support would make it a Nintendo fan's wet dream."
Sam is decidedly less of an initial fan, opining, "I didn't like the trailer to be honest. Whilst focusing on Skyrim shows off third-party support, why would you lead with a game that most people played five years ago? And people will have had the remaster for months come March, so they'll be late again."
He went on to criticise the fact that, "Some of the situations to take it out in seemed a stretch as well." Before finally letting loose on the tech; "On the hardware itself, I think the stand and controllers look pretty ugly, whilst the screen is fine."
Of course, our Deputy Editor has been a little busy with PSVR this week, trying to turn over as many pieces as possible. Take a look at the various experiences in VR Worlds, before getting the verdict on arcade shooter Super Stardust Ultra VR, and finally settling down for a good old fashioned on-rails horror shooter with Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. I have to say the latter sounds absolutely terrifying, but very addictive.
Keep an eye out for a Quickie on EVE: Gunjack tomorrow (Sunday), as well as much more PSVR content to come.
Well, looks like it's tanks o'clock! Rodent can take on all comers in World of Tanks and not even break a sweat. Have a look.
That would have been my personal Clip of the Week, had it not been for Liam's barrage of turrets that I mentioned in the intro. It was worth the wait.
There's just something so satisfying about seeing automated turrets shred your enemies to pieces.
That's almost it for this week, but we leave you with Born Unto Trouble, from Red Dead Redemption.
At the time of writing, there were no screenshots again this week (why does this only happen when I'm doing the round-up?). Thankfully you've been spared from having to contemplate my artistic ineptitude (for now) thanks to Sam, who managed a fairly definitive win after four hours of Monopoly. He didn't mention if he and any of the other players were still on speaking terms but it's hard not to resent someone after being on the receiving end of such a trouncing.
Gabriella also got involved in the shooter madness, sharing her thoughts on PSVR's Farpoint. One of those fancy headsets has already found its way to Sam, so be on the lookout for more VR related articles. That is, if our Deputy Editor can find the time in-between his heavy work schedule and disappointing the good ladies of our fair country.
I don't want you to think that's exactly how it went down; Sam is, of course, a gentleman and would have been much more tactful. Tactful doesn't get many laughs though.
When it comes to TV shows, Metalrodent and Crippyd agree that while Go 8-Bit is entertaining, some of the games are a strange choice and all of the players are embarrassingly bad at them. As Rodent pointed out, they did have Battlefront, but not a single contestant could have bettered Liam.
Congrats go to Bezza and Crippy who have both completed the very first Halo on legendary and are now working their way through the rest in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. They aren't attempting this together, as Bezza is enjoying spending quality time with his brother (rocking it old skool with split screen) and Crippy is going for a solo run. Best of luck, fellas.
Another Xbox console exclusive, Gears of War 4, has released and BAMozzy has been enjoying it despite it missing something.
"The gameplay is very 'Gears' but the story doesn't as yet feel right."
If you own Gears and are wanting friends for Horde mode, hit up Timmeh in the PTC Nights thread and leave your Gamertag.
While we're on the subject of Gears, an appropriate video. A staple of the community round-up has been, sadly, missing from recent instalments. Not only is this my Clip of the Week, it's also the return of the Plas Fail!
Classic Plas. Although he did exactly what was suggested, he still bought the farm. Glad to have you back.
A big talking point this week has been what needs to change for next gen. Johnbhoy69 has quite a list of gripes about the state of the industry. Ridiculous day one patches that rival the size of the game itself, announcing a game way too early, pre-ordering, season passes, and false advertising are all things that John would like to see go.
ImmaturityRules added remasters to the list of woes, Sam laments the lack of innovation, and Plasma Wing has issues with the quality of DLC. All understandable complaints, however, BAM is happier with the way things are than most. Even after his "40+years" of gaming (I noticed he wasn't dubbed "old-man BAM") he is still excited and doesn't see a lot of the previous points as major issues.
Pop into the thread and share your thoughts with us.
It wouldn't be a proper round-up without a tank, so here's Rodent's latest acquisition.
It cost almost all of his free XP, so let's hope it's worth it. I know I said that there were no screenshots this week, but I'd already written the intro. Do you expect me to re-write it? You think I'm made of intros? Get out of here.
We leave you this week with a song from Forza Horizon 3, Fall Back Down by Rancid.