I always have trouble starting these wrap up blogs or whatever you want to call them. This year in particular I was able to get a job in like April or May , from that point the rest of the year has felt very different.
Mostly a blur of sleep , food , work and games. Let me tell you about the games part.
Resident evil 2 (2019) (PC Version)
This has to have made it to some GOTY lists for some people. Things went quiet for a while after the RE2 remake was first announced , people got worried.
After it was actually revealed , some were disappointed because it was not the fixed camera remake they wanted. Despite all that , things turned out pretty good since they managed to take the original idea and make it work with the over the shoulder perspective.
The gameplay pillars here are managing inventory , learning the map and keeping track of what you need to do. It is not something you to wait for to click , the game works you into that routine and then throws you off with Mr. X.
I don't see much that is wrong here , the camera can be abit too close at times and more random ammo requirements to take down enemies can be annoying.
On the list I have of things I need to write about , RE2 is at the top. I did not expect it to be the best thing I played all year.
Opinion: I actually learned to organize myself better in real life after playing this.
I can't recall how I came across the trailer for Faith but I am glad that I did , You will learn all that you need to know from the trailer. It is really amazing How very simple audio and graphics can establish such a tense atmosphere.This should take you about 1 hour to play through , it is good while it lasts.
Since Faith chapter 2 is already out , you can actually get the first game for free (you can also pay for it if you want).
Opinion: Pixelated nightmare fuel.
Blair Witch Volume 1:Rustin Parr and Volume 2: The legend of coffin rock
I bought the blair witch trilogy in 2015 , it is a very odd thing because each game in the trilogy was actually made by a different developer. Volume 1 was developed by terminal reality and is the closest thing to a Nocturne sequel that you can get.
The game Nocturne was about the spookhouse agency dealing with supernatural occurrences , for blair witch volume 1 they just took characters from that game and had them take on the blair witch case.
Volume 1 is the most fleshed out content wise , they do a good job of making you worry every time you need to investigate the forest. Like the first film the woods become twisted and you lose track of time the further you progress.Volume 1 does a good job of expanding on the lore and thanks to some decent sound design manages to be rather creepy in some spots.
Volume 2 Was developed by Human head and sadly it is mostly garbage. Just to give you an idea , this is a fixed camera horror game that starts with a forced target practice section. The only part that I thought was alright was at the end where you get to see the connection between coffin rock and the parr house. I wouldn't say that it was worth it.
If you're wondering about volume 3 , I have no finished that one yet. I might in the future because I am unable to uninstall it.
Opinion: If you played through all 3 games and liked them , there is a good chance that you are a fan of Blair witch 2 : Book of shadows.
Devil may cry 5 (PC version)
Since DmC (2013) did not go down so well everyone was waiting for the return of the proper Dante.
While it is nice to see the old gang back , I can't say that I agree with those who would call this the perfect sequel.
Just to clarify I don't think the game is bad but I don't understand why they had to include 3 levels for the character V, V is absolutely no fun to play as after the first time.
Nero is mostly alright to play as but managing the devil breakers can get annoying.Dante is fine , the only issue is how long you have to wait before you can play as him.
Sometimes I felt like more time was spent running through the levels than fighting enemies. It would have been nice to have had some variety in the battle music.
It is neat that they were able to get that style of gameplay in their new engine , it will be interesting to see what comes next for this franchise.
Opinion: If you're only issue with this game is that you could not see a certain someone's butt , you are missing the point.
Out of hell
As far as UT2004 mods go , this one is very good looking. I think even at one point it was supposed to get an actual stand alone release but don’t quote me on that.
I had originally played this mod closer to its release but it ran poorly because it is a real resource hog , like even on newer machines it can lag on higher settings.If you are the kind of person who expects your ingame weapons to have a good kick to them , then you will like what you find here. Most of the time the problem is figuring out where to go and it does not help that you move at an absolute crawl.
Story wise I really could not make much sense of it but I can say it is creepy. The look of the game is just really bleak and the maps are usually littered with trash and debris (which you can sometimes get stuck on).
The same guy who made this is actually working on a UE4 version , I recommend you just wait for that if you don’t think you have the patience for installing the mod and playing through it.
Opinion: The first level probably made a lot of people not want to continue.
Afraid of monsters
The team that worked on this went on to make Cry of fear.
While Cry of fear is impressive in many ways , afraid of monsters does something very different by really tormenting you with how dark the game can be.
Moving into a new location and seeing that it is well lit actually made me breathe a sigh of relief. Most of the game has you managing flashlight batteries , you can’t actually totally run out because the batteries recharge to a certain point but they do so painfully slow.
If you are familiar with the rest of the janky shit you usually get in Half life 1 mods , then you will find plenty of that here. That being said this is still alright as far as HL1 mods go.
Opinion: They actually made this to be replayed but one playthrough was more than enough for me.
Unreal / Return to Napali
I actually own the physical version of this , I really did not enjoy it when I first played it. I gave it a second shot thanks to GOG.com giving it away for free. When bringing up FPS classics people tend to forget Unreal. I think that’s because it while it was graphically impressive for its time , it was also lacking gameplay wise.
With that said things do improve once you get your hands on better gear. The maps vary in quality , some have great flow and others just have you get lost.
A thing to point out here is how enemies follow you all over the level , I am used to enemies drowning if they try to follow you underwater. In Unreal they will follow you into the water , they are also pretty good at dodging attacks.
The expansion doesn’t do much. You get new weapons , new enemies and a reminder of how much humans suck.
Opinion: Rocket launchers wise , Unreal probably has one of the best ones you will use in a game.
Unreal 2 (PC version)
I was always puzzled why people consider Unreal 2 to be a bad sequel, I now understand why. The movement speed has been dialed down and the flow of the game lacks focus , missions feel more like they are prototyping scenarios rather than having you do something meaningful.
You also spend more time fighting humans than the Skaarj from the first game and the ending is brutally unsatisfying.
The good here is that the weapons do have a good kick to them and the game is still pretty.
Opinion: Still better than Fortnite.
You understand the hype here if you still play Doom 1 or Doom 2 , with or without mods.A level pack for Doom by one of the original creators of doom in 2019. The issue is that creator in question here is John Romero , every level is pain if you decide to play on the higher difficulties.
The soundtrack is alright whether you decide to pay for the bucket head tracks or not.
I played through this with brutal doom so I had a flashlight for some of the darker bits.
Opinion: What an asshole.
Superhot - Played via Xbox One game pass
A very interesting approach to an FPS game because it feels closer to a puzzle game. VR wise , I only played the demo. I have however beaten the standard version and I appreciate being able to move around the levels.
It should not take you too long to play through this but the levels are fun , the whole meta-story thing went over my head.
Opinion: The minimalistic look of stuff really leaves me at a loss for words.
Observer - Played via Xbox One game pass
This one makes up the obligatory horror walking sim for the year. As far as walking sims go though , observer is alot more engaging because you get to talk with different people in a residential building. The main guy has the ability to hook up to other folks neural links and read explore their minds , because it’s a horror game this means that you enter a nightmarish cyberspace.
While the story is pretty straight forward , the way it is communicated to you is via reading people's thoughts. The game manages to get under you skin because You get a real up close look of the hopes , dreams and fears of the people you scan.
As far as psychological horror goes , I highly recommend observer.
Opinion: RIP Rutger Hauer.
Metro: Exodus - Played via Xbox One game pass
If you have played the previous 2 metro games , you will get more of the same here. Because the story unfolds on the road this time around you won't be cramped in the tunnels like the prior enemies , the game is still linear but you can explore the maps and do some side stuff.
An addition here that I really dislike is a moral system and that is because the game takes every opportunity to remind you how good/awful you are. Aside from all that , moving through the world can feel a bit too slow and there are bits where you just sit and listen to folks talk.
Even with all the negatives and pretentious shit , this is still one of the better games of the year. If you could play through the previous games then you can easily finish this one , I would also recommend it if you would like to know how Artyom's story ends.
Opinion: It could almost feel like the equivalent of one of those Russian art house films if not for the cannibals.
Hellblade: Senua's sacrifice - Played via Xbox One game pass
At the time of its release Hellblade was praised not only for being an alright game but also bringing back the middle-market game.
I would say this falls into the category of sudo walking sim , since there is some form of combat system in place and there are puzzles to solve.
Even with the combat and puzzles , the game is still leading you by the nose down a linear path and that is because the main focus is the story.
Aside from the developers wanting this game to be an accurate portrayal of mental health issues , I really have no idea what else is going on.
Opinion: I really wish this was a straight up action game with a deeper combat system , more enemy types and a batshit insane female viking protagonist.
Rage 2 (PS4 Version)
This is quite a short game if you only intend on beating the story missions. Weapons and abilities need to be acquired from locations in the open world , at first I had no idea but all you need to do is hold the scan button and keep an eye out for sky beams.
Once you have the right gear and you are upgraded enough the combat really shines. The issue is that with upgrades or not every other aspect of the game is poorly implemented. I assume that Rage fans expect to be underwhelmed by the sequel and in that case I don't think people will be disappointed. With all that said , if you patch up the game you can access new game plus and higher difficulties.
I still suggest getting this discounted Whether you just plan on playing through the game one time , replaying on new game plus or trying the DLC.
Opinion: A joint effort to create one of the worst interfaces I have seen in a game.
Killer 7 (Remastered PC version)
More recent Suda51 games have become easier to understand. Back when Killer 7 came out they cared a lot more about the weird.
From the game’s controls to its story you are going to need a few hours to let it sink in. Once you have gotten used to how the combat works and upgraded the 7 playable characters enough to actually start enjoying it then you will just have to worry about the weird puzzles.
The puzzles are not that tough for the most part , but they are the kind that if you miss picking up something at some point or you did not know about using the correct character specific special ability you will be stuck for a while.
Because of how you move through the world and how you interact with things , it really feels closer to a point and click adventure or drag and press in this case.
The cel shaded look of the Killer 7 combined with its unique gameplay really make it stand out to this day.
Opinion: Way more political than you would expect.
Cuphead (PC version)
Every other entry on this list I can confidently say I played through , in the case of cuphead I did play it but I don’t think I ever reached the point where things clicked for me and I was able to properly play it.
I could not get the timing down or get used to boss attack patterns. The reason I reached the end of the game was thanks to Wormio since he carried me through it.
Opinion: I would recommend this game even if you are bad at it like me , it is at least one playthrough just so you can see its amazing animations.
Call of duty: Modern warfare (2019) (PS4 version)
This was actually one of my most anticipated games of the year , I was really interested to see what new mechanics they would include and also see their new take on modern combat.
Campaign wise it is definitely enjoyable but I think they have made the game checkpoint way more frequently , this means you are a lot less likely get stuck at set pieces on veteran difficulty but also feel like the game is holding your hand too much.
While it is straightforward the campaign makes Russians look really bad to the point where the fictional war crimes that they commit in the game are actually real world war crimes that were committed by the US. I think that is messed up on some level.
The multiplayer aka the most important part of the game feels like a mess , it feels like they did everything they could to make things as frustrating as possible. The later patches bring back some classic maps and that makes things more playable but it does not change much. I have to acknowledge the large scale modes / maps as well , they are definitely impressive as far as the tech goes but like the battle royale mode from BLOPS 4 I don’t know how well big maps/modes work with the COD formula.
I can see why people get frustrated with the co-op operations in the game but I think I was able to enjoy them more than the multiplayer. With that said I would say they still need to polish up the co-op hud and maybe give juggernauts less health.
Opinion: The multiplayer menus are just as complicated as the Syrian conflict.
Outlast 2 - Played for free via PSN+
While the first Outlast kept things simple , the second game goes way overboard with as much edgy content they could include. Nudity , blood , gore , swearing , dead babies and molestation its all here. It really misses the mark pacing wise and I am not so sure what happened story wise.
Opinion: It is really weird that you still have the camera during flashbacks.
What eternal damnation has going on is not really special now a days , especially with
the over saturation of zombie games. In the context of 2007 however this thing must have been impressive on some level.
Any praise I could possibly give this mod will always come with a side note mentioning
that it is both janky and has awful voice acting.
Even in terms of the combat , it is not something you would describe as strategic.
Since you can explode heads with very little effort.
I would say most of the challenge comes from figuring out where to go.
When I first saw this mod , I thought it would only be set in an asylum. It turns out
that is just an opening level and you're going to be moving all around the city.
Something I did not know is that you do not need to own Postal 2 to be able to play
the mod. You can use the f2p MP Postal 2 : Share the pain (MP does not work anymore).
Opinion: I'm not sure why I played through this.
A neat META experience , imagine a game being developed in real time as you play it. Most of the control is done with
the mouse with some occasional use of the keyboard.
The game switches up genres to an extent , there is a story but you have to dig for the more specific details.
Opinion: Short but amusing , it is also one of those titles where the game itself asks you to uninstall.
As far as action games go , I wouldn't say there is much that is unique here. It is a middle ground between bulletstorm and titanfall. Why this was praised was mainly because it was made by one guy.
There was some talk of the use of pirated assets. Pirated assets or not the work here is still impressive but this is still pretty much a paid demo. A playthrough took me about 30-45 minutes.
Replayability wise there are higher difficulties , collectables , alternate outfits and upgrades that you did not get the first time around.
One playthrough was enough for me.
Opinion: There is more than one reminder that people who buy this will get access to bright memory infinite , I guess I will wait for that now.
I do not usually list demos in most of the stuff but I need to make an exception here.
They don't waste any time here , once you know the controls you are tossed right into trouble.
If I recall correctly it should be five levels With some boss fights in between.
If you wanted more edge in your games , healing in ultrakill is done by having blood splash on you. weapons wise you get 2 pistols and 2 shotguns.
The first pistol seems to be good for all situations , the second pistol has an alt fire which involves you tossing a coin. You can then shoot the tossed coin mid air to ricochet bullets off it.
While fancy it is tough for me to do while under attack. Both shotguns are fine really but I used the second shotgun for the last boss of the demo.
The demo for this did a good job of reminding my why I enjoy games , I hope the full game turns out good.
Faith: Chapter II
While they let me play the first for free , the second costs a dollar. It pretty much an hour in length just like the first. Horror wise the focus is on the psychological events had on the guy. While you are taken to newish locations the creepiness never really lets up.
While I enjoyed this just as much as the first , it felt a bit all over the place in terms of writing.
Opinion: I am worried to see how they are going to top this in part 3.
Well , that is everything I could get wrapped up before the end. I should have had this written and uploaded by the last week of 2019 or the first week of 2020. My job meant every time I get back home I cannot be bothered to finish the thing off , I actually wrote up some portions of this thing at work and emailed those bits to myself at home. More recently I got a fever and took a few days to recover.
There are still things left over from 2019 I could not finish in time and since I got into VR in November , you can look forward to “Most of the VR I played so far” at some point this year.
I'm getting too busy and less focused to keep up with releases , whichever the case maybe I hope I can keep you posted about it somehow. As usual, thank you for your time.