Monthly Games Ramble – March

I was visiting a friend the other day, we were drinking coffee and discussing things like the recent terrible weather and something his kid loves called Paw Patrol. It was all very grown up.

Conversation eventually turned to Geek Crew Review and the lack of gaming content I was producing, he’s right, there is a lack of gaming content and I need to change this, for no other reason than to prevent the fanny from being correct.

Introducing the monthly games ramble.

Imminent Releases

As part of this monthly column I’ll mention some games that are very close to release that I think you should check out. I’m a PC gamer at heart and play most new releases on that platform. I also have pretty niche taste in games, but I’ll try to balance my recommendations to games I think everyone will enjoy and include games that are on multiple platforms unless something really jumps out at me.

A Way Out (Xbox/PC/PS4)

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Developed by Hazelight, A Way Out is a two-player co-op only action-adventure game. You and a friend play as two prisoners, who need to work together to escape and evade the authorities in this story heavy adventure.

I remember seeing this game being presented at last years E3 and being very excited to play it. The developer behind this is known for Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons which I thought was superb.

A Way Out releases tomorrow (March 23rd) and costs £24.99. Oh, and only one player needs to actually own the game, so if you buy it, your friend gets to join in for free (unfortunately it doesn’t support cross platform play, so you’ll both need the same machine).

Far Cry 5 (Xbox/PC/PS4)

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Far Cry 5 is Ubisoft’s latest entry in it’s much loved open world first person shooter series. Previously Far Cry games have taken us to the Caribbean, Africa and the Himalayas. This time we find ourselves in rural Montana where we will be fighting a lunatic and his doomsday cult.

Far Cry games could be (and are) criticised for their often-repeated gameplay tropes such as climbing towers to reveal sections of the map, or capturing outposts as you move through the game. Far Cry 5 is an attempt to freshen things up a bit by unlocking areas through the story and by forming relationships with the in-game characters.

The game will allow you to kill cult bastards solo, or with a friend and it promises a whole host of rugged outdoor type activities such as fishing, hunting and shouting obscenities at outsiders (I probably made that last one up) to break up the mindless violence.

So, for first person shooter fans who enjoy open world, non-linear gameplay then this the game for you. Oh, and it has a dog in it, so it’s automatic win in my book.

Far Cry 5 releases 27th March for Xbox, PS4 and PC.

Now Playing

I have undiagnosed mental condition that forces me to purchase most games that are released as I see them. We all used to have a friend that had 5000 music cd’s in his room but only listened to Will Smith on repeat. I’m that guy but the cooler, better looking video game version.

 Sea of Thieves (Xbox/PC)

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Remember Rare Ltd? Maybe not, but I bet you remember GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64.

Sea of Thieves is the latest release from everyone’s favourite developer back in the day, who apart from GoldenEye were responsible for Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong Country and Perfect Dark.

An online Pirate Adventure, it sees you teaming up with friends or with strangers and taking to the sea on board your very own pirate ship. You need to work together to manage the sails, navigate and fight as you look for the treasure that is scattered around the world by solving riddles and deciphering treasure maps.

The game is a ton of fun and the combat is chaotic in a good way. There is something extremely satisfying about working together to shoot cannon balls at an opposing pirate ship whilst a friend nails the holes in your ship closed and another frantically attempts to bail out the water flooding in. My only concern with the game is how long it will hold interest and how often Rare are going to add content to keep it fresh. Time will tell.

Sea of Thieves is out now on PC (Windows 10 only) and Xbox One. It supports cross platform play which is brilliant for people wanting to play with their friends who don’t own a gaming PC or an Xbox. If your savvy enough to own the Xbox GamePass you get the game included in your monthly fee, this includes PC as well.

Top tip –  if you’re not sure if you will enjoy the game and you don’t have Xbox GamePass, sign up for the two-week trial and you can play it for free. Just remember to cancel it if you don’t want to pay the monthly fee.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance (Xbox/PC/PS4)

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an RPG that does things differently. You don’t play as a wizard, a brave knight, a mysterious hero, a chosen one or any of the other standard RPG hero stereotypes. You play as Henry, a blacksmiths son.

Set in the Holy Roman Empire in the 15th Century this historically accurate RPG is a story of tragedy and revenge. As Henry you witness your parents murder and your village destroyed and are forced to flee for your life.

I’ve never played a game before that tries so hard to be authentic and really hammer home just how irrelevant you are as the main character. Henry has his own important story which you help evolve in a beautiful open world and the choices you make really matter, but only to Henry and his close friends. The big picture and historical events that Henry finds himself in amongst will happen with or without him.

Add in some realistic medieval combat, realistic hunting and great side quests to support the main story and you have quite possibly one of the best role-playing adventures ever made. All without odd bearded men shaking their wands at people.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is out on PC, Xbox and PS4 and is very much worth checking out if you are looking for something completely different.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PC/Xbox)

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Easy to play and difficult to master, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is genius in it’s simplicity. Played in either first person (the best way) or third person (the rubbish way) 100 players start off in a plane before parachuting on to an island to find weapons and equipment to fight to the death, until only one remains.

PUBG’s origins are found in the modding scene on PC with developer Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene evolving his vision from a mod for niche military simulator Arma 3 to one of the most successful games of 2017.

PUBG is a fantastic game that can create adrenaline pumping moments but also moments of keyboard smashing rage. I have over 400 hours so far playing PUBG and I’m still not bored of it. It really is extremely fun, especially with friends in duo or squad mode. The replay value is obscene.

As well as fighting off other players you find yourself fighting the dreaded circle. Once you’ve landed and scraped together some equipment you need to ensure you are located inside the marked play area which gets progressively smaller and smaller as time goes on. Find yourself outside it and you will eventually snuff it.

PUBG is available now on PC and Xbox game preview*.

*A word of warning for Xbox users. The game struggled to run on PC for a long time and still has issues even after release. Whilst it is still in game preview expect it to a bit rough while they iron out the bugs.

I Don’t Really Like Games/ Have Time for Games/Have a console or PC that will run games.

Not everyone can dedicate the time or money to playing video games. The most common things people say to me when talking about video games is that they used to love them but just can’t find the time to play anymore, that their lap top is too shit to play them, or their wife beats them if they stay on for more than 30 minutes.

I’ll try and suggest a game each month that will work on even the worst computers and that people who don’t always have the time to play can jump in and out of.

Stardew Valley (Xbox/PC/PS4/Vita/Nintendo Switch/OSX)

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I love Stardew Valley.

I adore the music, the town, the quirky characters, the pixel art graphics and the fact that it was all made by one person.

A simple top down, almost SNES looking game, Stardew Valley sees you inheriting a farm from your late Grandpa in a town of the same name. You spend your time managing your crops, feeding your animals and gathering supplies to help your farm grow. You can interact with the towns inhabitants and gain their trust and friendship by completing tasks or by giving them presents. You can explore the mines and fight monsters, go fishing and search for treasure to donate to the museum.  The game simulates all four seasons with different crops and challenges in each one. It is the spiritual successor to the Harvest Moon games.

The game is a work of art and it is my go to game if I’m feeling like shit or stressed out, it really is just feel good fuel. Each in game day lasts about 20 minutes and the game saves when you send your little character to bed each night, so it is perfect to jump in and have a play to pass the time. A word of warning though, these short days act as the perfect just one more catalyst. Stardew Valley is video game crack and can be very difficult to put down.

I know what your thinking, it looks like a kids game. It looks simple, pointless and the graphics look old. Well your wrong, it’s a masterpiece and if you don’t love it you’re an empty husk, void of joy and a soul.

Stardew Valley is available for PC, all major consoles, PS Vita and even Mac OS.

So, that is my monthly games rambling for March. If you think I’ve missed anything or want to suggest a game drop it in the comments below.

-Keith