There are two early access titles on this here entry and I’d wager it’s two of the better ones early access has ever seen. I’m not a fan of the concept of paying for an undone piece of…anything really. Take-and-bake pizzas? Not for me, jack. I’d rather see, judge, and experience overall something that’s deemed a complete package from the beginning as opposed to being told this snowball on a lake is an iceberg and there’s totally a lot more being built just beneath the surface. Even so, when a concept clicks, there’s no denying my clicking finger from filling the cart, and I must say, neither of the mentions this week have let me down yet.
They Are Billions – My early access buzz has yet to be killed. If anything, I’ve kind of kicked open the floodgates as you’ll see in several subsequent…theses. This particular example has kicked my balls into pancakes repeatedly with zombies that are not only numerous, but chili pepper bastard bazookas to boot. I love the fact that your time and community are given complete prominence as deities for which all others give their lives. The only aspect I’m not in love with is the oil looking just like a jacuzzi on the map, which made me think that it just wasn’t in the game yet and cost me many a late-game battle. All goes well, I’ll definitely be taking this one for a full spin come release time. (Definitely).
Furi – What a concept! This is one of those so-simple-it’s-perfect concepts that I wish was mined more often in the games space. You just face one enemy, learning their increasingly-complex patterns, and take them down one peg at a time until death do you part. The encounters are lengthy, as compared to Punch-Out! or Shadow of the Colossus, and checkpoint management is just as important as attacking. It’s a wonderful dance that slings your character around the arena with multiple attack patterns that rotate their usefulness with the varied enemies taking everything you can hand them. I love it. I’m playing more. (Definitely).
Wolfenstein II – I’m all for having a narrative reason to be handicapped momentarily in a game. Bethesda did as much themselves in this’n with the opening level taking you through a hospital setting with BJ in a wheelchair, which completely worked and feels redemptive in context. The dark side of that practice is also present and for far longer than needed to the point where I want nothing more to do with the game. You take damage way, way too quickly and deeply, even after a mid-game power up. You die in less than a second around the time I put it down for good, and as much as I love the aesthetic and wouldn’t remove my memories of the experience for less than…$800 or so, it’s Doom all over again with late-game level design knocking my desire clean off. (Probably not).
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen – This is an ugly port if I ever saw one. I’d heard about the original and the broken limbs of the potentially high-standing giant of fun in fantasy, so I figured I’d see it through to the end and have a good summary in mind for a review. I will not be making it to the end. Not even a full hour into the game, which is as close to the exact opposite as that ratio gets. I just find nothing appealing about this game, anything that would be a strong point serving only to remind me of vastly more engaging titles and universes. I’m for a good comically bad title that bungles the world against all odds, as I’ve said before, but for mediocrity, I just have no f*cks to give. (Never).
Fortnite – Speaking of mediocrity, that’s what I thought of PUBG when I first saw it as well as the battle royale model. I’ve still never technically played that take on the genre moniker, which may end up defining this year if Kanye drops it in one of his sick beats. It was early access and $30 on something that looked definitively bland beyond the watchability of a match and, as such, wasn’t something I wanted my money going towards. Bless you, one and all, that helped that game become successful.
Fortnite, on the other hand, was goofy, free, and artistically a step closer to Sunset Overdrive, which has been done far less than the “look, it’s the military, what do you want?” paint job. Epic has clearly knocked this one out of the park conceptually to where that PvE mode may never reach completion. Squeezing a drop of liquid out of a rock seems meaningless next to an ocean.
I’ve been around since the beginning of Fortnite. My stats = dope. Do you ever run across that guy who sits in the corner and picks you off? That’s me, and you can call me when it stops working. The building aspect isn’t what sells the game to me but more in the way that Epic constantly has it on top of the news feeds and update queues. That includes a huge crossover event with The Avengers on top of restructuring the map with weapon rebalances just as important and twice as frequent. The accoutrements all weave into a battle royale that’s more than just weapon collecting, and thanks to all of this, I have a free-to-play game that I can always expect to have something new and exciting to find within. Winner winner cobb salad dinner! (Definitely).