Have you ever suffered from Video Game fatigue?

Late of last year, I was totally engrossed in the hype leading up to Fallout 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront. When both games released I actually took time off work to play them through. I played both titles endlessly and when I wasn’t swapping between the two of them, I’d be creating related content from both, to upload to my YouTube channel. As Christmas rolled in I began playing those games a lot less, In all honesty, I was playing all games less and less to the point where my PS4 started gathering dust as the weeks went by.

This isn’t the first time its happened. When I was younger I had a lot more time to play. I didn’t have a job, didn’t have a girlfriend and apart from a social life, gaming became my biggest form of recreation. As you get older, you begin to become more responsible for a number of things. Whether it be a full-time job, paying your way, spending time with your partner, becoming a parent etc. There are many things that can begin to chip away at your time spent gaming. In my case, I fall under a number of those categories, yet I still find the time to play games, but at the moment I just don’t have the drive or motivation to do so and that isn’t a bad thing.

When I first encountered this sudden turn off from gaming I scoured the web in search of some kind of remedy or advice, something that would allow me to continue enjoying video games in the same way I may have at a previous point in time. I’d try my hand at classics – going back to games I’d thoroughly enjoyed at an earlier age. I’d play new games and try to experience something different. None of the above ever worked, which is when I realised I’d gotten burnt out from playing video games. It may sound crazy, video games are meant to be fun aren’t they? something you turn to when you feel burnt out from other things such as work or after a bad day? But I definitely stand by the saying; too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

I definitely stand by the saying; too much of a good thing can be bad for you

If you genuinely love playing games and do so the majority of the time then this fatigue may be something you have experienced before. Nothing really seemed to jump out at me, I had a shelf full of games I’d barely touched yet didn’t feel the need to sit down and play them. There’s nothing worse than forcing yourself to do something that you have no love for. I’m an avid watcher of Kinda Funny and I spent a lot of time watching the various youtube content they uploaded. I realised I was going through the same experience of video game fatigue at the same time as Colin Moriarty, one of the driving forces behind Kinda Funny. It’s very rare that you hear people, especially highly involved in the gaming industry, talk about their lack of interest in video games at a given time.

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The set of Kinda Funny Gamescast – featuring Tim Gettys, Colin Moriarty and Greg Miller

From then on I just decided to take a step back from gaming and embrace it. I focused my interests elsewhere – picking up my first DSLR in order to continue my hobby of photography, I began reading a lot more and started catching up on various TV series’ and Films that had remained on my watch list for the last few month. I even booked my long awaited trip to Japan. I’ve never once felt guilty about not constantly being involved in video games, even though I am a passionate gamer at heart and someone who always wants to create content around that medium, in forms of blog writing and video related content.

The point I’m trying to get at is, it’s not a bad thing to take a step back now and again. Video games aren’t a form of prison or a ball and chain that is constantly tied to your persona. If you aren’t enjoying something it doesn’t hurt to take a break, no matter how long that break may be.

The point I’m trying to get at is, it’s not a bad thing to take a step back now and again. Video games aren’t a form of prison or a ball and chain that is constantly tied to your persona.

If you love video games, something will come along eventually and generally catch your attention enough to peak your interest again. I have my eye on The Witness at the minute and Firewatch isn’t too far away now. With those intriguing titles on the horizon, my video game drought may be coming to an end sooner rather than later.

/ CR

Welcome to Vault 111

The first episode of my Fallout 4 let’s play is now LIVE! After GAME’s frustrating cock up, resulting in myself and many others receiving the game late, and then having a couple of sleepless nights in order to perfect my Let’s Play setup and to learn Sony Vegas – the video has already been through a lot. It’s all been worth it though and I’m pleased with the end result. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this video, in order to perfect it, as I never want to put things out that are just “half arsed’ so to speak, hopefully you can see that from the vide and appriciate the fact that a lot of passion and care has gone into it.

I’ve always wanted to share my first reactions to a series that means so much to me, not just for others to view, but for something to look back on in years to come. I’m aiming to get 3 videos up a week, as well as maintaining my blog and live streaming on Twitch. Part 2 will be up wednesday night (18th Nov, 7.30pm GMT) so please drop me a sub if you haven’t already. It’s gonna be hard work to stick to this schedule, but I really love what I do so it’s all worth it, hopefully you guys think so to. I won’t be spamming my blog with these videos, but I just wanted to make you guys aware I’d finally started my first let’s play series of Fallout 4. Thanks again for the continued support and enjoy!

 

For more episodes head on over to my youtube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW5Haq1I9rtjSxDybDxeZRw

Do you remember why you started playing video games?

If you were to ask this question 20 years ago, you might well get a completely different answer from today’s generation. It’s absolutely mind-blowing how much video game content we have on hand these days. There are constantly active social feeds going off at all times around the globe, each displaying various information on the next upcoming trend – whether it’s a new game, news, reviews, leaks etc. Even if you choose not to follow, this information still seeps through the cracks, whether it be from sponsored links, ads tailored to your search engine entries, YouTube/TV ads or even posts liked by your social circle that just so happen to appear in your news feed.

The video game industry has blown up since the dawn of the Internet and the psychical world still holds its own too. Now this may be true with nearly every form of entertainment. But the way we consume video games and their media never used to be anywhere near the magnitude it is today.

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Rather than bringing us together, gamers can tear each other apart because of what their platform of choice is. Why? Not everyone likes the same things.

It’s not just video game media that’s changed though, video games themselves have massively spiked in popularity, and they’re now a commercial phenomenon, appealing to the most casual audiences with characters and consoles becoming household names. The industry consists of multi million dollar projects, which make up an impressive $90 billion dollar industry, as of 2015. Video Games as a medium now share a close likeness to film – due to the sheer jump in visuals, writing and game play we’ve seen in the last 20 years.

The medium is one of the fastest growing forms of entertainment. Which barely even existed 30 years ago. Can you remember when gaming was a relatively underground activity? When games existed in just a 2D pixel based format, the evolution in terms of time has been drastic. As the medium grows so rapidly, so does the selection that comes with it, with each company wanting to get a piece of the pie, which they then in turn can feed to us consumers to make a substantial profit.

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Fallout 4 seems to be a huge contender for GOTY, but still has to fight off an astounding amount of competition.

I’ve recently created a list of all the games I’m hoping to get my hands on in the coming months. Two of those titles sit high upon my wish list perch – Fallout 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront. Although I may not want the many others as much as these two, the others that sit beneath it still call out for my attention through a vast form of media. With my recent trip to EGX I got a reminder of just how many games I have my eye on going into Q4 – Uncharted Collection, Assassins Creed Syndicate; which seems to have made a triumphant return in terms of reviews and from what I’ve played.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 also makes its way onto the list along with Rainbow Six: Siege and Just Cause 3. Each game cleverly marketed to draw my attention – mostly through nostalgia I’ve noticed. Call of Duty with its throwback to Nuketown and emphasis on Zombies, Battlefront with its authenticity of the original trilogy and Fallout 4 with the expansion on all of the good points from Fallout 3, moulded into something even better.

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 Companies often like to hone in on our Nostalgia. Nuketown is a firm favourite amongst COD fans.

Now I know I’m not the only one who would love to pick every single one these titles. The media I consume each day insists that I have them all. I’d love to play the majority and each one has been fighting for my attention through adverts, promotions, etc. But when does it all just become too much? How much time do you really have? How are you expected to keep up with everything, not just with the games but also with the media that comes with it?

Do you ever get that feeling like you’ve missed out on something you should have played way back, but at the time there was just too much choice and now it’s come back to bite you in the arse. For example Mass Effect is a series I always wanted to try out, but due to the already overflowing market I never ended up picking it up. Maybe it was financial constraints due to blowing my budget on other games that were released around that time, or maybe due to already devoting a lot of time trying to get through other games.

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The new Mass Effect trailer looks outstanding, but with all of these other games on offer I really don’t know if I’d find the time to play through the series.

When Andromeda was previewed the media and gaming community went crazy for it, yet I feel as though I missed out on everything that came before it and feel like an outsider looking in on something I don’t feel part of, but should, even becoming scrutinized by certain folk because I was never part of the series in the early days. I’ve also seen this happen to others on Twitter most recently with the likes of the Fallout series.

It’s not just the consumers that can sometimes suffer, companies can also feel the squeeze in such a saturated market. People pay with their wallets and its survival of the fittest. But is it really too saturated? Do we have too much choice as gamers? Is that a better thing, which then in turn equals more competition?

Do you just pick and choose, hoping the game you want doesn’t flop after spending your hard-earned cash on it, while others that may not have been as appealing end up rising in popularity after you’ve already laid down your moolah elsewhere. It’s so brutal out there, for both seller and consumer at times.

If games don’t sell the prices take a massive cut too. With so many on the market you can end up picking up new games for half of their retail price, just a few weeks after release as the companies fight to keep themselves and their games afloat. It really is that cutthroat. People complain that games are too expensive, even though they’re the cheapest they’ve ever been. If your game isn’t pulling in an audience then the price won’t stay as high as its initial release. Games like GTA V can remain at their first price because of how popular they are while others take a nosedive in order to sell the copies that remain.

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Not many games can stack up against GTA V in terms of popularity.

Trying to keep up with all of the latest gaming trends, what’s hot, what’s not, what you should be playing, what you shouldn’t be, who’s streaming what, the most popular YouTube video doing the rounds, FPS this and 1080p that, all the different types of memes and gifs, hateful comments, Gamer Gate etc, etc, etc. JUST STOP, ARGH! It all just gets a little too much at times, doesn’t it?

The way everything is extremely scrutinized, the cutthroat market, the endless choice, marketing that reveals every minute detail about a game it ships, the uninviting media, the annoying YouTubers, the swatted twitch players, micro transactions, season passes, pre-order bonuses and DLC. Remember simpler times, when none of this even existed?

Thinking back to when I was a child I was allowed one game for Christmas, maybe two if I was very lucky. The deciding factor would come from a few screenshots on the back of a box or the cover artwork on the front. That experience of buying a new game, travelling home, reading the cover front to back, actually reading through the instruction manual. All of that now just a distant memory often thought back too in a flicker of video game nostalgia. I’d play the games I had over and over, numerous times, I’d know the ins and outs of every part.

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I put countless hours into Legend of Zelda: A link to the past, as at one point, it was all I had to play. Attempting tough puzzles and feeling a real sense of achievement once I’d progressed further. Whatever happened to putting in the groundwork?

Games weren’t as accessible as they are now, you’d actually get your money’s worth. You wouldn’t play a game for five minutes, get bored and move on. You wouldn’t buy games in a sale and let them gather dust. You’d dedicate yourself to them. I’m not saying that’s what all gamers are like, but it seems the attention span of many has greatly reduced over the years.

It’s not just the short attention span though; games are just much more accessible these days. I have countless games sat on my shelf, still in the cellophane, in my steam or PlayStation library, all un-played, hoping to see the light of day, but I’m no octopus, I can’t play everything at once. I get a game, play as much as I can, then before I know it, its old news and the media and gaming community are all focused on something else, I then feel like the un-cool kid in the playground who isn’t on board with the new fad and before I know it, new games are out, time moves on and the old stuff, still un-played, gets left behind. The 10-year-old me would have never let that happen.

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Through the year I’d mainly have to rent games but each rental was decided on my own accord, what I thought looked good, regardless if it was or not, it was ME that made the decision and I felt no marketing or peer pressure in doing so. You’d discover hidden gems and amazing experiences, like getting lost in a library of amazing new worlds. Memory didn’t matter; your handful of MB on your memory card was sufficient enough. You’d play games first hand – mainly knowing nothing about them, apart from a blurb on the back or a paragraph in a magazine – that was it.

Yeah some were lacklustre and not worth your time. But remember the ones that were worth it, the ones you knew hardly anything about, you’d become engrossed in their worlds or get lost in the story, yet you’d essentially go in blind, knowing very little about them as opposed to how much we know of a game, pre-release, now.

Look at No Mans Sky for example – Murray and Hello Games are negatively criticized for not revealing much information about the game. I’m sorry, but that game looks intriguing enough as it is and I’d rather find out about it for myself when I have it in my own hands.

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Playing Minecraft for the first time, without any idea of what it was, how to play, or what I should do, was such an amazing experience. Something that made me think back to a time when each game I tried was like playing Minecraft for the first time.

Remember when Minecraft wasn’t even a thing, yet when people first jumped into that they knew nothing, no instruction manual, no tutorial – you just played first hand and worked it out for yourself. Just like how it used to be. You’d play games due to how engaging and fun they were. How a game looked, in terms of visuals, just didn’t matter. You’d share a couch with friends, it was a social thing – playing co-op, competitive split screen multiplayer, conducting mini gaming tournaments for FUN or taking turns handing the controller to one another after each turn. That is but a distant memory with most games.

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The couch never used to be this lonely.

Yet now people are constantly connected, with a camera and microphone in their face, sat on a specialized “gaming” chair, pondering over YouTube or Twitch or arguing in forums over FPS and Display Quality, something that was relatively unheard of. Everything has become so competitive; if you aren’t winning, then you’re a loser.

Some games even offer you the option to skip levels if they’re too hard, what happened to actually putting the effort in and retrying until you got it, you know, when games actually taught you valuable life lessons – not to give up, to always keep at something even if you fail over and over, to put the time, effort and work in, in order to reap the benefits, rather than paying your way out of something, skipping a level, paying to win or progress. It baffles me how anyone would rather chose the latter.

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The fact that the invincibility leaf power up, in Super Mario 3D World, is even a thing makes me weep inside.

Remember when fighting games had hidden characters and you’d have to work your way through the roster in order to obtain them, putting the time in to unlock them, now you can just download them from the store or get them free for pre-ordering. The likes of Black Ops 3 allows you to play every level from the get go. You don’t even have to work your way through the game, you can just go right ahead and play the last level if you so desire, never mind skipping sections if they get too hard, this let’s you skip the whole game, period.

What next? An auto pilot button, that when pressed, just plays the game for you while you watch. Some may argue that this already exists in the form of watching let’s plays – now don’t get me wrong, watching lets plays can be fun, but when you hear people saying they can’t be bothered to play the game and that they’d rather just watch someone else play to see what happens, it really gets to me.

Gaming never used to be like this, or at least this isn’t how I experienced video games when growing up. Even though you are constantly connected with people around the globe and the industry is abundant with all different types of titles, video gaming can, at times, leave you feeling isolated or become very over whelming.

It seems with an ever-growing industry the times, values and reasons people play games have changed dramatically. People play games because of how popular they are, resulting in more views on their latest lets play videos, rather than playing what they really love, regardless of how popular it is. I’m not saying this applies to every gamer, but it applies a lot more today than it did 20 years ago.

Maybe I’m just stuck in my old ways, agitated by a fast paced world, everything moves so fast these days, written media is a dying art form, 8 second vine clips and countless snapchats are all the rage. People don’t have time to play games these days, or so it seems. Hmm. I don’t know, maybe that’s how we’ve evolved as a society, not enough time for anything, but still enough time to keep our social feeds up to date.

Maybe it’s time I stopped trying to adapt to every form of change within the industry and take a step back. Chasing trends and gaming fads will never work. You’ll always feel left behind or out of the loop, even if your first to arrive, the party will be over before you know it and you’ll be left wondering why you even attended in the first place.

Stop feeling like you’re left behind. Play what you love and love what you play, you shouldn’t play games for anyone else but yourself. You didn’t get into games because other people wanted you to play, so why become a puppet on a string to please others?

Whatever it may be, we need to remember why we got into gaming in the first place, hopefully for the love of it and the chance to visit amazing new worlds, to get lost in different time periods; whether it’s fiction or non fiction or sharing the love we have for different games and characters.

Forget about all the inconsequential shit and play for your love of playing, as without that, what does that make gaming, but a passive form of media, as we let it pass by in such a fast pace world, watching others experience it, rather than experiencing it for ourselves.

Why don’t you pick up a controller, take an old game from your shelf and remember what made you start playing in the first place.

/ CR

Star Wars Battlefront: The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful

Star Wars Battlefront is easily one of my most anticipated titles of this year. I have kept up with all updates since the games existence was acknowledged back at EA’s E3 2013 press conference. The game has been through a rollercoaster of ups and downs within the press, the majority of it well received; The fact it was getting made for a start, the Star Wars authenticity it held close and a fantastic reveal trailer allowed the game to make it onto the wish list of many.

Yet there still seemed to be a dark cloud that lingered over it, mainly due to the lack of a campaign, prequel trilogy content and only having 40 player support with no server browser.

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Concept art in relation with the first Star Wars Battlefront announcement, back in 2013.

I have already covered various subjects around Star Wars Battlefront – which can be viewed within this blogs archives. I first got my hands on the game at this years EGX. Queueing for over 3 hours in order to play the game for 20 minutes requires a high level of dedication to the series and a small amount of craziness mixed in for good measure. My initial reaction to my firsts hands on with the game was very positive. It’s safe to say I was left impressed and certainly wanted to delve further into it. But 20 minutes is never enough, the 8th of October was the date I was most looking forward too; Beta Day.

After eagerly awaiting, and jumping up and down to try and make the Beta download faster, I booted it straight up. Being a UI/UX designer I was initially let down by the HUD and menu design that I’d seen in previous videos, it seemed a little dated, clunky and not very modern – specifically the HUD. I’m an advocate of flat design and minimal structure and games such as No Man’s Sky and The Division support amazingly designed UI within their games.

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The minimal UI works well within the Star Wars Battlefront universe.

However, once I got a feel for the initial menu I actually started to appreciate it. The majority of the design is actually flat and when skeuomorphic design is used within the UI, it is done so in such a subtle way that helps benefit the rest of the design. Once I’d played a few games, I began to really appreciate it.

The User experience was even better, being able to quickly swap out my weapons, change my hand of cards or spawn on my partner with the few clicks of a button, was accepted with open arms. Another great UX feature I liked was the fact that I wasn’t pulled into a game as soon as it started, if I was tinkering with my load out in the menu I could easily do so until I was ready to join the game by my own accord.

Joining a party did seem a little clunky at first. You are able to join a party of up to eight people, but rather than joining within the game it sets the party up through your consoles party chat. I would have liked to have been able to just join a party within the game, rather than going out into my PS4 menu. Once in a party, you could only choose one partner, which kind of restricts the rest of the group. I suppose everyone in the party can form sets of two, but it kind of eliminates the element of setting it up in the first place and then makes it groups instead of an actual party of friends.

I’d like to have the chance to see all of my party on the battlefront, using the yellow colour way that is used to identify your partner. Also having the chance to spawn on any of them, rather than just spawning on my partner would be a lot better and allow the party to interact as a whole, rather than individually. I did like the fact that I could see all of my friends who were playing at the top of the screen, within the main menu, as well as who was in my party and who I was partnered with. (Damn, how many times do I want to say party?)

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The visuals in this game are astounding, It has to be one of the most beautiful games I’ve seen run on a console.

The first thing I noticed when I entered a game for the first time, is just how beautiful it actually looked running at an impressive 60FPS. I’d love to see how well it looked if it had the capability to also hold up at 1080p, sadly this is not the case, but rather 900p on the PS4. At least it’s a step up from the Xbox One, which is set at a 720p format, with gradual drops to 50FPS. Still, I can only imagine how beautiful the game will look on a PC at ultra settings.

The first thing I noticed was how heavy the moving and walking felt, I don’t know if it was because I’d just came off the back of Destiny, but it almost felt as though I was walking through Syrup, maybe it was just the heavy snowfall on Hoth the night before?

The handling of the guns seemed to work quite well, although the ADS seemed to take a little too long to achieve, meaning that shooting from the hip gave you an advantage of an extra half a second or so, which can be really beneficial in a fast paced shooter. Hopefully the time to aim down sights can be reduced and that issue can be resolved.

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The walker assault game mode was absolutely chaos, in a good way. Although it was always beneficial to go to the dark side if you wanted to win.

The cool down time of the grenades, cycler rifle and other various cards seemed very acceptable. I never felt as though I was waiting longer than I should have or that they were available too quickly. One power up that I felt should have lasted longer is the hero ability. I found that once I’d acquired this power up, I’d spend half of my time, or lose half of my life I should say, just travelling to where enemies were stationed.

Once I was in the vicinity of a few opposing troops, I was soon slain where I stood, only managing to bag a handful of kills due to my lack of health from travelling. This also applied to when I was on the receiving end of being attacked by the hero. I found that I killed more heroes than I did die from them attacking me. This kind of made the hero ability less intimidating, in a bad way. I think the timer should be scrapped all together. The hero’s should be really feared and a lot should be done in order to diminish their health. I really want them to be a well feared, opposing force.

I also found the respawning to be very poor, I’d often find that I’d respawn in front of the opposing team and within seconds be obliterated from blaster fire, however I’d also reciprocate the gesture and mow down the opposing side myself, as they respawned straight in front of my gun fire. Textures would cut out at various times and characters would float in the air after death, but with it being a beta this was as to be expected. I’m sure those creases will be ironed out before release.

I was going to address the balancing issue on Walker Assault, seeing as though the rebels were at quite a disadvantage if you were in it to win it, however this has recently been addressed by DICE, who are working on a solution to that as we speak. Climbing out of trenches on Hoth could also be quite frustrating, as there wasn’t any animation in place to simply vault over them, most of the time you just aimlessly jumped until you eventually found a ledge small enough to disperse over.

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“You will not defeat me you unscalable trench ledge!”

From what I’ve seen so far there are many aspects I’m very curious about; the diorama for one, the fact that DICE have brought in a toy collecting feature is amazing, as many Star Wars fans love to collect merchandise from the series, myself included. I’m curious to see exactly how that pans out. I’m also hoping to see a vast library of unlockable weapons, cards, perks and traits; along with extensive character customisation options.

I’d like extra customisable options which could only be unlocked through dedicated time and effort. I’d love to see some extremely hard to acquire unlockables listed – maybe for killing over 50,000 rebels, for example. You could maybe even receive some special imperial armour or fancy blaster for doing so, which others could gawk at in awe. To carry on with that feature, I’d also like this to apply to the trophies/achievements available with in the game. I really hope they concentrate on tying most of the trophies to the online multiplayer portion of the game, as opposed to having the majority feature in missions or survival.

A brilliant achievement list I had in mind was “ShadowRun” for the Xbox 360, The game was mainly online, similar to Battlefront, and contained a fantastic set of achievements – I’d like to see something similar from Battlefront.

Remember back in the day when you had to achieve 10,000 kills in ranked multiplayer to unlock the “Seriously…” achievement in Gears of War? I loved working towards that achievement and felt a strong sense of pride in obtaining it. The fact that it allowed you to download an exclusive avatar once obtaining it was even better. I’d love to see something like that in Battlefront – very tough challenges, something that requires great effort, but also gives the user an incentive in doing so, which then in turn would allow them to reap the reward.

As much as I may have raised a lot of negative points within this article, the game itself seems to be shaping up to be fantastic and I for one am definitely looking forward to the main release. But I suppose that’s why the Beta was essential, as now DICE can polish every aspect of the game and make it something special. Hopefully from this they can do all they can to make this a contender for game of the year.

Through the timeline of Star Wars Battlefront I have never once felt let down by DICE or EA, it seems as though they really are putting a lot of love and effort into this game as well as being extremely considerate of the community voice, within reason. I know a lot of people may disagree with that, but that is how I have personally received the way they have marketed the game.

The beta has left me wanting more and I can’t wait to see how the likes of Endor and the other game modes fair. Hopefully they can nail the launch this time round, as opposed to the disastrous one Battlefield 4 received.

Fingers crossed. I want this game to succeed as much as those who have created it do. But only time will tell.

If you’d like to see some funny clips from the beta as well as me honing my skills in Dropzone, check the video’s below… Oh, and a sub’ to my Youtube channel wouldn’t go a miss either.

May the force be with you.

/ CR

Hands on Impression with Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront is one of my most anticipated games of this year. Last week, at EGX, I finally got a chance to play it. The game modes available to play were a 40 player Walker Assault on Hoth and a couch co-op offline Survival mode game on Tattooine.

The Beta is just days away now, to find out exactly what I thought then watch the video below. I would very much appreciate it if you could subscribe to my Youtube channel to keep up with all the latest videos!

/ CR

EGX 2015 | My weekend at Eurogamer

Well, EGX was an absolute blast! I decided to put together a compilation video of all of the footage I managed to capture at this years Eurogamer. I attended the weekend in full and documented each day in a diary entry style article, which you may have seen crop up on the blog last weekend.

This video is just a little something extra, it showcases exactly what I got up to on each day, except it’s all rolled into one handy video. Hopefully, from this you can get an insight into what the expo is really like. If you’re a serious gamer and live in the UK, then I strongly advise attending next years event.

I’d very much appreciate if you could subscribe to my Youtube channel.

I will be putting up my hands on impressions video with Star Wars Battlefront tomorrow as well as The Division and PlayStation VR later in the week. So subscribe and don’t miss out

/ CR

EGX 2015 – Sunday: Tom Clancy’s The Division, Hitman, PlayStation VR and More

As the weekend drew to an end, EGX was about to host it’s final day. As we were leaving Birmingham too, we decided to head over to the expo a little later. We packed our bags and arrived around 10am. Sadly there were a few bad apples within the staff that I’d come across that weekend. This was made apparent once again when I asked a member of staff how to get to the cloakroom – I was rudely spoken too, belittled and totally left with a bad taste in my mouth after speaking to him. This occurred a few times over the weekend by staff from not just the NEC but from EGX staff too. I’m not going to go into it to much, but he wasn’t the first member of staff that had a horrible attitude.

Moving on from that we got into the event and started taking some footage. The event doesn’t open it’s doors publicly until 11am, Super Pass holders and early access members are allowed into the event an hour earlier, then once the public enters prepare to feel as if you are part of a sardine tin. The event easily could have been doubled in size and it would still have aptly held all attendees. Even though the event was a lot bigger than when it was held at Earls Court, it was still crammed full, hopefully next year all of the problems with staff, queuing organisation and event capacity gets resolved.

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If you took your picture with Vaultboy at a certain time of day you were given Vaultboy masks for free! – Here you can see my missus doing just that.

We’d heard that you were able to get hold of a vault boy mask if you took a picture with him at 11am. This was definitely on the agenda. We hung around in the retro section and got to play some NES and Sega Mega Drive, while waiting, which was a lot of fun. Once we’d picked up the masks it was time to head on over to play The Division.

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Back to my roots – playing Super Mario on the NES.

Once we got to the start of the queue we were greeted with a sign that no one wants to see; “3 hours wait from here” this was in fact true, even though I thought it may have been done to avoid congestion in the public walk ways. I was in fact proved wrong. This was the last main game I wanted to play and one of my most anticipated, so I figured the wait had to be endured. After three long hours we finally got on to to play. First impressions were not so good – due to the crazy queue that snaked half way around the event itself, but the game definitely lived up to the hype, my only problem with it is that I just wanted to see more of it, the vehicle and environment art was fantastic and visually it looked photogenic. I wished they’d focused more on the survival element, but I suppose in such a short demo that wasn’t really an option. The game is still six month away though, so I’m sure we’ll see a lot more before release. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final game and it’ll more than likely become a staple throughout the blog when it released next year.

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The Division at EGX – Look out for an article from me on the game coming really soon.

Before queuing to play The Division I’d put my name down again to play PlayStation VR, very luckily I got a text notifying me that there was a space available just as I’d left the over 18’s area. After around a 20 minute wait I was able to have a second look at PlayStation VR, I got to play EVE Valkyrie this time, I’m not going to go into too much detail, as this is something I’ll be covering in it’s own article at a later date, I just have to say, it was incredible.

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I managed to get to experience PlayStation VR twice at EGX.

Seeing as though we’d spent the majority of the morning and early afternoon queuing, we decided to break for lunch. Afterwards I spent an hour or so capturing extra video footage while I had a moment. After lunch we joined the queue for Rainbow Six Siege, while standing we were handed some free beta keys to play the game once we got home. The queue itself was taking longer than normal to reduce down, I remembered that IO Interactive were doing a gameplay presentation on the new Hitman game. I decided it’d be best to make the most of the time left and go and see that presentation, rather than waiting in line to play the game when I could just play the beta once I got home.

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The new Hitman gameplay presentation was amazing.

The decision was a positive one as Hitman looked fantastic on the PS4. The game overall seemed a lot bigger than previous versions, there was a lot more choice to be made and many more paths to take when trying to execute your target.

Overall the weekend was fantastic, I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if there were a few underlying problems with the event itself. There will obviously be a few more articles to come, involving EGX – My thoughts on Star Wars Battlefront, PlayStation VR, The Division and much more. Most of these updates may be shown on my Youtube channel so head over there and subscribe in order to keep up to date once they drop.

/ CR