Like A Fine Wine

Happy Weekend TAY!

A happy long weekend to the American TAYters south of the border. I hope everyone has great weather and loads of fun. It is crazy summer-like temperatures around here this weekend.

I had a week of bad sleep and general busyness, so I didn’t have much playtime, though thankfully it wasn’t a completely dry week.

I did manage to play a little more Life Is Strange with my wife. We are on Episode 5 (the final episode) and looking forward to the conclusion of the story. Episode 4 was by far the weakest chapter in the series for us (so far). It was definitely more action packed than previous episodes, but we really failed to connect with the story and there was much rolling of eyes. I found the choices and behaviours of the characters to be incredibly unrealistic and, like any other media, if I can’t suspend my disbelief then the narrative just doesn’t work for me. Episode 5 (so far) has been a little more solid though far less interactive. It feels like Dontnod really needed to compact a lot of information into the final chapter possibly at the expense of gameplay.

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Hopefully we will be finished this weekend, I need to start making room on my SSD to install Doom which arrived last week. Really, I just need to bite the bullet and get a new drive, this 120GB drive just doesn’t cut it anymore with these 50GB+ games.

My Doom collector’s edition arrived in one piece and I’m very excited to have at it. The Revenant statue is awesome and now occupies a place of honour in my gameroom on one of the front speakers, displacing one of my Spawn statues that’s been on that same speaker for a couple of decades.

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Before I get to Doom, I have to finish Bioshock but I’m in no rush to see that completed.

I’m absolutely loving my return to Rapture. I must admit, I was a little nervous going back. Bioshock had such a huge impact on me when it came out. Not quite to the level of genius of System Shock 2, but I appreciated the way the game was streamlined from System Shock 2 to keep the action up. I immediately considered Bioshock one of my all-time-favourite games, but it has been almost a decade since I played it and I was a little fearful that it just wouldn’t hold up.

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Thankfully, Bioshock not only holds up, it surpasses my memories of it. It reinforces to me how much weaker Bioshock Infinite was as a game and exposes how little many game developers have learned about game design since the release of Bioshock.

I’m playing the game on Hard (which I did originally) but this time with the Vita-Chambers turned off. This propels the game to a whole other level since the Vita-Chambers were very much a cheat system. If you used the Vita-Chambers and died, you regenerated at the closest chamber while everyone you had been fighting, prior to dying, remained damaged. This was a huge way to cheat the battles with the Big Daddies since you could just keep dying while continuing to damage those protective golems. Hell, you could kill them with your wrench with the chambers turned on because death had no consequences.

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With the Vita-Chambers turned off, the game holds the player completely responsible for strategy and skill. Death means reloading your last save. This is definitely the way to play for those who want a challenge and a higher sense of satisfaction in combat.

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The entire game is such an amazing experience; so close to perfection. The AI is very strong, the gameplay is tight, the combat is challenging, and the level design is truly inspired. With a rumoured HD-remake possibly on the way, those who haven’t tried Bioshock definitely should put that on their radar and those who have played Bioshock and enjoyed it, you’ll love a return trip.

I have a lot of work this weekend, but I’m really hoping my wife and I can finish off Life Is Strange and then we’ll be free to play The Nathan Drake Collection on the PS4.

So, what are you playing this weekend?