Last Week’s Gaming

Captain Clank Lasers is Dead, Control Feelings

Last week was a hard one on me. I hoped to have my new PC by now, but that looks like it will be another 3 months. Gaming wise, not a problem. Workload wise – wow. A couple of emergencies with work, and it’s been a long week.

But that hasn’t stopped me in getting some games in. You need to unwind somehow, after all! I was hoping to get a couple more new games in, but I am pleased with my gaming to date. Let me tell you what I have been up to.

Last time we played Clank! Legacy, I said that I would probably slow down on reporting the game. That will still probably happen, but I am really excited about what happened last week.

Without going into spoilers, we got to open Document X. This is an envelope you find in the box that is essentially labelled ‘Do Not Open’. This isn’t exactly unique in Legacy or campaign board games, so I didn’t really bat an eye when I saw it.

But last week, we opened it. You have to read and do the actions between games, which I thought was a nice change. When we read it, we understood why. Seven missions in and this campaign still manage to find ways to keep the interest high.

When time is my friend again, looking forward to painting these

I have been waiting to host an RPG session for ages. I can’t wait to get the official Cyberpunk RED rules, and I have been eyeing off another system called Blades in the Dark.

Time is always an issue for these things. Getting players together is the last hurdle but has the most memes. As DM/GM/Storyteller, you need to learn the rules, build a world, and be comfortable enough to improv without breaking the player experience.

While searching some forums for info on something completely different, a thread was talking about a free RPG called Lasers and Feelings. Well, the price was right to check it out, so I gave it a look.

This led me to a single PDF page, which is all the game is based on. Players get to make up a character mainly based on a sci-fi trope, and the GM rolls up the scenario. Then, you take off on your one-shot adventure.

This is all you need to play Lasers and Feelings

Playing with three others, it was a great night. Not a lot of photos as we were just playing in a group chat. Two players aren’t hugely into sci-fi, so there was a little bit of explanation on some tropes. One player had never played an RPG before, something I probably should have asked before we started.

Even with this unknown hurdle, we all had a fun night. If you have a group of friends and someone is prepared to run the story, Lasers and Feelings is a great time.

I will be running more games soon, and after a few more sessions, I will write up a proper review.

So last week I got a very surprise email from The Game Crafter. A few years ago, they released a game called The Captain is Dead. The quickest way I can describe it is ‘parody Star Trek meets Pandemic’.

It is a game that will appeal only to a specific type of gamer, and it has been on my ‘get it to the table’ list for a while. Technically, it’s for up to 7 players, but you can play it solo as it is cooperative. This does take a fair bit of dedication, though.

The basic premise is that something bad has happened, and you need to fix the ship so you can escape. The thing is terrible things keep happening. You have multiple ways to lose, and you are almost always reacting to emergencies.

This game may be niche, but for that niche it is an amazing find

Well, now there is a digital version of the game! I have only played the tutorial so far, and I will need to play the tutorial another time or two. It has been too long since I played the board game, and the tutorial is rather rushed.

One thing had me completely hooked and in stitches. The narrator is Kevan Brighting, the voice actor probably best known as the Stanley Parable narrator.

The graphical style is definitely unique but fits the game well. I am looking forward to giving this a proper go soon. I might even do a first impressions video on it once I have the game basics back down pat!

Cards are replaced with game screens, but the functioanlity is identical

God of War – PlayStation 4

Oh, man. Why did I wait so long to play this game? I finished God of War last week, and I had a massive smile on my face the entire time. And the ending cutscene made me very excited about the upcoming God of War: Ragnarok.

I won’t go into too much here, as I will do a formal review soon. Looking at my backlog, I don’t know if I want to put myself through a Platinum run. I think if I hadn’t Platinumed Immortals: Fenyx Rising right before playing, I may have. Right now, I am over grinding and exploring everywhere I can.

Goal accomplished. But who's goal?

God of War has changed over the years. I used to enjoy the series as a bit of a mindless beat-em-up. Today, I am enjoying the world and want to follow the story of Kratos and Atreus. The combat is still satisfying, but the story is what draws me in – something the earlier games didn’t do anywhere near as well.

A couple of days after finishing God of War, I did get a surprise. I was emailed some stats from my playthrough, with congratulations for finishing the game.

This was a nice surprise

I have never heard of this happening and was separate from my PlayStation ‘Year in Review’ email. It was a nice touch and one that did make me very happy.

Control Ultimate Edition – PlayStation 5

I mentioned Control Ultimate Edition in my February Highlights. Control is a fantastic game, and Remedy deserves all the kudos. Check out my review of the game here.

Control Ultimate Edition is the ‘Game of the Year’ edition. It has the base game and both expansions in the one package. It is also the only version of Control with the ‘next-gen’ update for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

This is still the point that annoys me. My ire is aimed at 505 Games, Control’s publisher. I shouldn’t have to pay almost full price for a less than 2 years old game. Especially when I have the season pass as well. Thanks to PlayStation Plus though, I don’t have to – it’s free for February!

I knew it was coming, but seeing your portrait at the start of the game still works well

So I thought I would give Control Ultimate Edition a try. The first thing I tried was bringing across my PS4 save – no joy. Ah well, it was for science!

Starting a new game, I checked out Ray Tracing and other graphical improvements. Spoiler – this lasted about 10 minutes. The Ray Tracing doesn’t look quite as good as on my PC, but it is visually impressive.

Performance mode - smooth and still pretty
Graphics mode - looks amazing, but performance suffers

I turned it off as in Performance mode, the game runs so smoothly! I have noticed a couple of small frame dips. Compared to my PS4 Pro playthrough, everything runs nicely. Combat is much more enjoyable, and a frame drop from 60 to 40 fps is nowhere near as deadly as 30 to 20 fps.

Another unexpected bonus was haptic feedback. Like Astrobot’s Playroom, you can feel Jessie’s steps as she walks and the pull of the trigger is very satisfying.

I thought I would give Control a bit of a play and then pick a new game to move on with. I didn’t expect to get pulled back in. I am giving continuing Control and then finally doing the DLC serious thought.

If you have never played Control, Ultimate Edition is highly recommended. If you already have Control, I would suggest buying Ultimate Edition when it’s on sale. Even then, only if you really want to play it through again. But if you have PlayStation Plus, throw it in your library – well worth the addition!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD
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