You Are What You Eat

Happy weekend TAY!

Getting down to the wire with summer vacation around here. One more week and the kid goes back to school. He’s really going to miss all those Minecraft hours he was able to log this summer.

I had a great week of gaming when I didn’t have family visiting last week. My son and I were able to polish off Halo 3: ODST. We had a great time with it, but it definitely wasn’t as good as I remembered. My son had trouble with the jumping story, but the story was the part I enjoyed the most. After finishing all the other Halo games in The Master Chief Collection, I found ODST’s gameplay a little lackluster. Also, I think it might have the weakest level design; at least in the missions.

It’s funny, it ranked much higher in my memory so I’m not sure what didn’t hold up. ODST is often a fan favourite of the series, but I found New Mombasa boring after a few visits and the whole game felt a little derivative. I’m willing to admit that maybe my son and I had just overdone it on Halo games and we were perhaps a little fatigued with the gameplay, but I don’t think so. There was definitely a lack of excitement this time around for me.

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ODST worked exceptionally well in splitscreen and the soundtrack is one of my favourites in the series, so it wasn’t like we didn’t have fun with it. I was a little pissed that (in the co-op game at least) it didn’t save the audio logs you find and started you off at the first log every time you played. We didn’t bother to look for them after a few sessions as that quickly became a drag to repeat.

I guess that’s it for Halo for us until number 5. I’ll need a second Xbox One for that if I want to play with my son though, so that might be a long wait. Maybe I missed it, but was there any official word on Reach coming over to the Xbox One? They kind of have to now to complete the collection, don’t they?

On the single player side of things, I managed to finished off Wolfenstein: The New Order. Love, love, LOVED it! I almost jumped right into the Old Blood prequel in my lust for more, but I thought I’d put a little space in between to be able to fully digest the experience.

It is almost a perfect game for me and it is a style of gameplay that ranks near the top of my preferred tastes. It all just works fluidly and is extremely polished in the presentation. I can’t wait to see what MachineGames does next. Even the final credits entertained with an amazing cover of Chris Isaak’s “I Believe” that fit the tone of the game so well (vocals kick in at 1:05). If you love first person shooters; don’t pass on this one.

So, with a tearful farewell to the Nazi slaughtering, I was able to pick a new game to play. I always try to change genres somewhat to cleanse my palate; otherwise I would have jumped right in to Alien: Isolation. I was flipping through my giant list of unplayed Steam games and came across Prototype 2 which seemed to strike my fancy at that moment in time.

I was pleasantly surprised with the first Prototype when I played it on 360 and enjoyed the mechanics. (since I’ve never been able to get my PC version to work on any of my machines; thanks a lot Activision!) So far, I feel like I’m still in tutorial mode in Prototype 2, but I’m definitely having lots of fun.

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The initial pacing is a little weird though. Normally, I love the “origin” game as much as I enjoy the origin story of a superhero film. There is something special about self discovery of new powers and in games this journey from mere mortal to god is a very exciting one. This isn’t the case in Prototype 2, where you are off and running from moment one and feeling extremely powerful.

While your character is just new to his mutations, you start off with a huge arsenal of powers. This dynamic is found in many other sequels such as inFamous 2, but I think it is the presentation of the powers in Prototype 2 that’s maybe thrown me off. I feel like I’ve been in tutorial mode for a long time and that with better planning and writing that my powers could have been revealed in a more organic way.

That said, I’m only about two hours into the game, so I can’t be too judgmental at this point, but two hours feels like a long tutorial.

The game looks great for a three year old title, but maybe feels a little flat from what seems to be a lack of dynamic lighting. It is a pleasure to move around in the world much like the original game and the combat flows well. I’m also enjoying the necessity to use the shapeshifting ability to be more stealth-like than I remember being necessary in the previous game.

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I’m hoping this weekend I’ll be able to have my “All Night Game Night” with my son. We do this twice a year and play games all night until he falls asleep. He made it until 5am last time, so I’ll have my work cut out for me. I imagine I’ll be able to get in some more Prototype 2 this weekend and we are hoping to hit Canada’s Wonderland for a last blowout of the summer.

What are you playing this weekend?