Don’t look at me like that because I know we are more than halfway through 2023. I did intend to write this sooner but you can say that I had a few things on my plate by the end of last year. Things got delayed and this was one of those things. Cut me some slack if I cannot recall all details, it has been a while.
Kate: Collateral damage (Steam)
This is a film tie-in game so if I did not know of the Netflix film Kate, I likely would have never known this thing exists. It appears that they are reusing code from a top-down game they had made prior but there is enough charm here. Rogue-like elements are present so expect to replay the earlier portions of the game a few times until you are upgraded enough. The last thing I recall is that the shotgun is very effective against the bosses (unless it has been patched).
Opinion: Revenge of the cancer bitch.
Terminator: Resistance (Steam)
Would you look at that, another film license game. It alright though, if you can imagine fallout lite but with a Terminator re-skin this is what you would end up with. The developers did what they could with the available budget and you end up with an involving adventure.
Opinion: Expect jank with a whole lot of heart.
Halo: Infinite (Series X via GamePass)
Some would lead you to believe that Halo is currently in a terrible state, the same group likely have little faith that 343 industries can keep this franchise going. This seems to be ther picture I get from folks who are into Halo from the multiplayer side of things. Personally, most of my time with this franchise has been with the campaigns. Now if Halo 5 was a low point story wise it is fair to say infinite is a major improvement and sort of going back to basics.
Good weapon feedback, a story that at the very least keeps you moving forward and enough things to do. I think they could have just had the mission levels back to back minus the open world and I still would have been satisfied.
I’m not sure they needed to conclude the game with 3 boss fights but whatever, at least from a campaign perspective I think they are getting things back on track. My only real complaint is the dropping of split screen co-op.
Opinion: Chief gets a new E-girl and tries to introduce her to his friends but things get complicated.
Crossfire X (Series X)
What you have here is a” train wreck you can’t look away from” type scenario. The story campaign was worked on by remedy so they used their own engine and they broke up the story into 2 campaigns. To finish both you would need just under 4 hours but the film size for both adds up to about 40-50 GB. That is a large amount of regret. That said, Remedy does know how to make shooting guns feel good. The multiplayer portion is powered by unreal engine 4, the multiplayer portion of Crossfire X is F2P but the experience just does not feel like something that was intended for console multiplayer.
Opinion: Shoddy COD campaign with F2P Korean MMOFPS and all of it is cursed.
The first person parkour genre doesn’t always see action but attempts are usually unique, Ghostrunner is no exception. What is odd is that I quite like this game but I also find it to be unremarkably remarkable. On one hand it has a great aesthetic and the die/retry loop is a good time. On the other hand, the story can be quite bland and they keep you going on very little.
Opinion: Imagine trying to explain to someone that this game is actually about relationship counseling and that a cyborg ninja is the counselor.
Bunker Punks (Steam)
A good example of a game that gets better the more you play it and it is pretty much a requirement as you will require a level of upgrades to survive the later levels.
There are different punks to unlock, depending on which one of them you play as you will have damage or armor bonuses with certain gear. What got me hooked is reducing drones to scrap metal using a baseball bat.
Opinion: Some luck is involved to get the right gear for the right characters and also enemy placement but like with all roguelikes, you’ll eventually get that good run.
Nightmare House 2 (Steam/ HL2 mod)
I can’t really recall why I was in the mood to play some Half life 2 mods but I think it’s fair to say that Nightmare House 2 is a quality mod. The story often shifts gears between Action and horror. If you are not shooting something or running away from it, you’re probably solving a simple puzzle.
Opinion: Recommended if you own HL2, a short but engaging mod.
Hunt down the Freeman (Steam)
For those aware of this mess, an introduction is hardly necessary. Thanks to some rather botched development people were left with a mish mash of code and assets, if I am not mistaken you had to use cheats to beat the game in the past.
Now for some reason developers from the team have decided they want to polish this up to something acceptable or playable. Just to be clear I did not purchase HDTF at launch and got it for around 2 dollars once the improved builds were out. What impressed me the most about the campaign was the feeling of playing Half Life 2 as if it were a COD campaign. Things seem to work best when you are doing more shooting than thinking.
There is an odd fascination here in that you keep playing because you want to see how insane things will get, a bad thing you just can’t look away from. I would only suggest this for the sake of curiosity, there are better Half life 2 related games/mods available for free. Still, you have to admire the efforts of those that are trying to make this into something better.
Opinion: Where is the money Berkan?
I had played some of Downwell on PC and I found the default keys to be uncomfortable, given the vertical display of the game I thought “This would probably work well on mobile”. Downwell does have a mobile version, after buying that and playing it I was still struggling with the controls.
My solution was to just map keys to a joypad via joy2key for the PC version. When it comes to actually playing the game, try to imagine the gameplay of a platformer but you need to go down instead of up. Then add the ability to shoot downwards via gun boots.
The die-retry loop is strong here and you keep wanting to get just abit further, I would say though you are at the mercy of the RNG given that getting some upgrades earlier on will definitely make the later bits of the game easier.
Opinion: No shirt, no pants and no suits. You just shoot the boots.
Shadow Warrior 3 (Series x)
Looking back on the very first “Most of the stuff..” back in 2013 , I considered Shadow Warrior ( the remake) to be my personal GOTY. While the first game was closer to something like Painkiller , the second was a looter shooter and now the third game is closer to something like Doom: Eternal.
I was excited to see the return to form, I bought the game at launch but still ended up not really playing it much. Once they had added a FOV slider and a higher difficulty option to the series x version, I was ready to try it again.
Bottom line here is that the gameplay is fun and the story is what you would expect in terms of humor and motivation. However it can take abit before the action ramps up as they spend the earlier bits of the game building up your arsenal and introducing enemies. If you enjoyed the prior 2 games, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to play part 3.
Opinion: I like the game but I think I like the soundtrack even more.
Faith: Chapter 3 (Steam)
An anticipated title for me as I had played the first Faith for free and the second for 1 dollar via itch.io. I was not pleased that you have to buy the full trilogy just to play the third part. As I understand additional content was added to the first 2 games as part of the trilogy and this can actually affect your ending.
I do not know for sure, I went straight to Chapter 3. As you would expect, it is just as creepy as the first 2 games and just as impressive with a dreadful atmosphere despite the retro visuals. For those who have beat the first 2 games before the trilogy, maybe wait for a discount. If you are new to the whole trilogy then this is a good deal.
Opinion: Gary loves you.
A very bleak Hotline: Miami clone with an odd art style. The character you play as may or may not be insane. The game is level based, each level has you assassinating a different target for some decency related reason. Between levels you get to explore the character’s house (it could be an apartment, the layout is odd). The background whisper noises and unhinged journal entries are red flags.
Once the performance was tweaked and I got a hang of the mechanics I found the combat to be enjoyable, there are multiple endings but I got the bad one.
Opinion: I am not certain why I kept playing this to the end as it’s not that good and rather frustrating. The soundtrack is better than the actual game.
Call of Duty: Modern warfare II (2022) (Series X)
What can be said here that has not already been run into the ground? Another remake/re-imagining to provide you with your annual dose of buyers regret and how that one guy killed you despite you shooting first.
The campaign is more grounded than the original MW2(2009) and has a bunch of gameplay variety with room clearing, vehicle sections, stealth, sniper missions and an AC-130 bit.
The multiplayer is your usual romp of respawn, run, aim, shoot, die and repeat. I am not experienced or good at the newer games to the point where I could tell that SBMM actually makes any difference. My concern is that progression has become way too grindy and the focus appears to be on paid cosmetics.
I waited for a discount before buying the games as 70 dollars for the standard edition is just too much.
Opinion: Maybe the next one will be better.
That about wraps it up for 2022 , there are already more entries for 2023 and I will try for the next “most of the stuff…”to be closer to the end of this year. Thinking about it, that would be the 10 year anniversary edition. I always end these blogs with my future expectations but I am truly stumped at the moment , it feels like I am viewing things from the window of a fast moving train. New games or new game updates show up quickly, my energy and mood are what affects my interest. If you feel like there is nothing on the market at the moment that is made for you, maybe take a break or try something new. That is not my advice but I think it is good advice. As usual, thank you for your time.