The Outer Worlds Review

The Outer Worlds Cover Art
The Outer Worlds Cover Art
Released 2019 (Switch 2020)
Platform Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Publisher Obidian Entertainment (Website)
Developer Obidian Entertainment (Website)
Homepage (Visit Website)
Players 1
Category Open World (Hub World)

Bethesda doesn’t like it when you call The Outer Worlds ‘Fallout in Space’. That will be because The Outer Worlds isn’t a Bethesda game.

Last year, I wrote about The Outer Worlds in a few Last Week’s Gaming articles. I inhaled this game. As a fan of the Fallout games, I was keen on seeing Obsidian’s take on a new world to explore.

This review was delayed partly because I played The Outer Worlds on Xbox with Game Pass, and my plan was always to buy it on Switch upon release and do a review. Launch delays, and the game coming to Switch just as I started getting busy work-wise, meant that this is a review long in the making.

Before I talk about the game, I am going to get the Switch comparison out of the way.

Like The Witcher 3: Complete Edition, there are visual sacrifices. The Switch is an impressive piece of hardware, but it’s not in the same class as the ‘proper’ consoles in terms of raw power.

There are texture popping issues, and frame rates dip when a lot of characters are in an area. A fight with about 8-10 enemies (which happens a couple of times in the first world), my guess is about 15-18 frames per second in handheld mode? I can only estimate from feel, but the dips are apparent, and if you are in melee combat, this will make things harder than ranged combat.

That said, I am now about 40% complete on Switch, and I have played almost exclusively in handheld mode. Yes, I have had to reload because of the fights I have lost. But I had to do that on the Xbox One S as well. General exploration and gameplay have been fun, and everything works well overall.

The Outer Worlds Sign Not Loaded In Properly
It looks worse when on a big screen, but the sign is only 'half loaded' - this is an example of texture popping

My biggest complaint is the ‘fuzziness’ of the screen when playing in handheld mode. The game is compensating for lower performance by dropping the resolution. When exploring the open world, it’s almost impossible to tell a tree from a human enemy at a distance. It’s not game-breaking, but I was using my gun scope to look at trees a lot!

I also have not seen any of the ‘loading circles’ mid-game other people complaining about at any time. I don’t know why. I have the eShop (downloaded) version, but I do have a slightly overkill for Switch SD card. The exact card from Amazon is: Samsung 512GB 100MB/s (U3) MicroSDXC Evo Select Memory Card with Adapter (MB-ME512GA/AM).

I am not trying to say this is the best card for Switch or anything like that, but if your using a slower card, maybe that is part of the problem? A lot of information needs to be loaded into the world, and a slower card may cause these pauses in play. But because I didn’t experience the issue, it’s a semi-educated guess.

Switch SD Card
This card is overkill normally for the Switch, but I got it on sale. Maybe my game isn't waiting for loads?

So should I play The Outer Worlds on Switch?

It’s a hard one. I am going to finish The Outer Worlds a couple more times at least, playing with different skill builds and faction responses. 

This week, I had an in-person meeting. The drive had the potential for a lot of traffic, but it was a good drive, and I got there pretty early. Being able to pull out my Switch and do a couple of quest steps and put it away was great.

Again, like The Witcher on Switch, being able to play wherever I am in short bursts like this is the primary benefit. The longest session I played continuously was about 3 hours, and I had to plug the charger in.

If you only have a Switch, you will enjoy playing The Outer Worlds. If you primarily want to play in docked mode and have a PS4/Xbox One (or a gaming PC), I would stick to those versions. The experience is better, but the gameplay is identical.

The Outer Worlds Ada is dissapointed
The humour is present throughout the game, often much more subtly than this

OK, so what is The Outer Worlds?

The Outer Worlds in a lot of ways is a typical RPG adventure. You play a character and become the hero to some and the enemy of others.

The story begins in a way I really enjoy. Short version, two colony ships were sent into the far reaches of space. Everyone was cryogenically frozen for the trip, and the idea was that a new solar system would be terraformed and inhabited.

Things didn’t quite go to plan, and one ship (The Hope) didn’t quite make it. All of the colonists are still in hibernation, and instead of being frozen for 10 years, you are woken up 70 years later.

The Outer Worlds Phineas Welles
You are 'rescued' by fugitive scientist Phneas Welles. Help him, or turn him in - it's up to you

From here, you set out to explore the new worlds. You can try and save everyone from the greedy corporations, or join them and make life very comfortable for yourself. The choice is yours.

Because your character is coming in effectively 60 years late, asking why the world works the way it does makes sense in the narrative. On my first playthrough, I asked everyone everything I could to learn about the world. The second time, I knew which questions to ask, and skipped asking about the corporations or who certain characters are.

The Outer Worlds Opening The Hatch - Switch
The first glimpse of a new world, as shown on the Switch. Now, it's up to you.

What The Outer Worlds isn’t.

It’s not Fallout. Obsidian developed Fallout: New Vegas, a game that on launch I couldn’t play. It was so full of game-breaking bugs I just had to stop. Over time, all of these issues were fixed, and New Vegas became so polished, too many it’s considered the best Fallout game to date.

There are very similar mechanics though, so the comparison for Fallout players is unfortunately natural. You can slow time instead of using the V.A.T.S. system, some conversations lead to side quests, and those quests can end in different ways with the choices you make.

While there is a lot of combat in the game, it’s also not a shooter or first-person combat game. You can solve a lot of problems with violence, but you can also talk your way through a lot of situations. If you have science skill, you can also use that to help/hurt people (and yourself).

The Outer Worlds Time Dilation
When you use Time Dilation, everything slows down and you get some extra tactical information

Fallout was built on 7 character statistics – the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system. The Outer Worlds has expanded the character customisation, but also made it still streamlined for a baseline experience.

But what do you do in the game?

Here is where it gets tricky. On the first world of Edgewater, you need a power regulator to repair your ship and leave the planet. Everyone does this, and it’s why I concentrate on only showing this world.

But even with this seemingly linear opening act, you can choose very different ways of reaching your own goal. You can help the people there or make more money supporting some more selfish characters.

You can help the settlement overall, or you can help a single faction for short term goals and let the colony suffer in the long term. Things you set in motion at this early stage can open choices later in the game – or close them.

The Outer Worlds Edgewater Summary
This is how my shenanigans in Edgewater ended. How will yours look?

Oh no, I don’t want an early choice to ruin the game for me!

It won’t. Unlike some adventure games I have played, there is no ‘critical’ choice you can make very early on. You will see the options being laid out, but it will be at least 8 hours in before you can commit to a path.

Character creation follows this methodology as well. You are presented with a screen full of statistics, but until you hit a level of 50 in a branch, you upgrade all skills within. From there, you can choose to specialise in particular areas. For example, you can increase ranged weapons to 50, but then decide to specialise in handguns. You can still use the other weapons without handicaps – you just don’t get any bonuses either.

The Outer Worlds Character Creation
It looks like a lot to keep track of, but the charcter system is very simple and helps you experiment

OK. So why would I want to play The Outer Worlds? You haven’t talked much about that.

It’s tough to talk about The Outer Worlds in detail without either a) spoilers or b) talking about potential story areas you might not see.

The Outer Worlds has a lot of humour to it, but it also has a story that can be as deep as you want it to be. The overall story is about corporate greed, but how you explore this storyline is up to you. You can play the game ignoring the lore, or you can explore deeper and form bonds with your crew and NPCs.

Bottom line, if you enjoy sci-fi and open-world RPGs, The Outer Worlds is a game that should be on your radar.

The Outer Worlds - Loading Screen
I love the style and humour in these loading screens

If you have a PC/Xbox and Game Pass and are on the fence, grab it on Game Pass. You don’t need a ‘great’ video card to play The Outer Worlds on PC, so even if you try it out before buying it for PS4/Switch you will have a great idea of what you are getting into.

Overall Thoughts

Take all the best elements of playing Fallout: New Vegas, and move it into a new environment. Multiple quests, character stats that allow you to play differently, faction relationships – it’s all here.

The Outer Worlds still isn’t perfect. For example, defeated enemies can disappear, making quests impossible to complete. Some of the choices you get are very black and white – not every storyline has nuance.

But if you enjoy a semi-open ended adventure, The Outer Worlds is a fantastic start to hopefully a new franchise.

Best play experience order – PC (mid-high tier graphics card) > PS4/Xbox One > Switch. That said, The Outer Worlds is enjoyable on every platform. The Switch version has the most visual sacrifices, but you can play it anywhere – it’s a pretty good trade-off.



  • Solid (if cliched) story
  • Plenty of player choice in story and upgrade system
  • Great atmosphere overall
  • Combat isn’t deep, so don’t need to be great at shooters to do well
  • Replayable for different endings/character types
  • On Game Pass if you want to try/play that way


  • Not a lot of enemy types
  • Hub style open world – lots of loading screens
  • You can get quest breaking bugs, especially when enemies you need to loot vanish.

Until next time,


Destroy All Humans! Remake Launch Date Announced!

Excited for another round of fun alien invasion madness!

Last year, I got all excited when THQ Nordic and Black Forest Games announced a revisit of a PlayStation 2 favourite. Destroy All Humans! isn’t a game for some, but it lets you take the aliens side in a B-movie parody setting.

This is a video game! Isn’t Wednesday supposed to be about exciting Kickstarters and the like? 

I tried. I hit a bit of a wall this week though.

Frosthaven is going great guns, and Resident Evil 3 from Steamforged Games went live today as well.

Frosthaven Cover Art
Excited it exists? YEP! AUD$250ish excited? Not right now...
Resident Evil 3 Board Game
Well made, but the gameplay didn't really click with me

I haven’t finished with Gloomhaven yet (not even really started!) so biding my time on Frosthaven. As for Resident Evil 3 – the minis are great, but Resident Evil 2 didn’t really click with me. This makes it hard to be enthusiastic about the follow-up.

Mainstream wise, no new announcements have really grabbed my attention either. Seems to be a slow week.

But knowing when I will be able to play Destroy All Humans!? That is worth getting excited about!

So what is Destroy All Humans!?

Players take control of Cryptosporidium 137 and make your way through various missions in this open-world adventure game. You play along with various cold-war era sci-fi tropes, such as rescuing a previous visitor and extracting human DNA for study.

Honestly, the original gameplay is pretty basic. You play Destroy All Humans! for the humour of the story and missions more than anything else.

The humour can be very sophisticated at times, and well in the toilet at others. Anal probes are a weapon choice and make it simple to extract DNA (think currency). Time appropriate pop references are also included. You can also scan the minds of other humans to help your concentration in stealth missions. This leads to some incredibly funny dialogue choices at times.

To get an idea of the kind of humour involved, if the reveal trailer doesn’t at least make you smile – probably avoid this game. 😀

So when is the release date?

Oh yeah, that would be helpful, wouldn’t it? July 28th is when I will be going to pick up my DNA Collectors Edition. I couldn’t help myself, the statue is awesome!

Destroy All Humans DNA Collectors Edition
It's not often I grab these versions, but I can see that UFO on my shelf 🙂

So early August, expect to hear me talking about my first impressions and hands-on with another revisit of the past 🙂

Until next time,


Resident Evil 3 Review – Seeing S.T.A.R.S.

Resident Evil 3 Cover
Released 2020
Platform PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher Capcom (Website)
Developer Capcom (Website)
Homepage (Visit Website)
Players 1
Category Survival

2019’s Resident Evil 2 may have set some expectations too high.

I am one of those people that grew up playing the Resident Evil series. I was in my early 20’s when I first played the original, and I still jump when the dogs first jump through the window.

Resident Evil 5 and 6 have not had a great time review wise over the years. I appreciate Capcom’s attempts to try new things. Still, I didn’t get excited about Resident Evil 7 until I played the demo. Gone was the heavily action-oriented gameplay. ‘Returning to your roots’ is on overused cliche description, but here, it fits.

First, let me clear the elephants in the room.

To play through Resident Evil 3 doesn’t take long, especially compared to modern games. My first playthrough was about 6 hours of playtime. For a fully priced title, this has some people crying foul.

Here’s the thing – the original game was also short. Replay was promoted in trying to achieve multiple endings, which can be fun to watch. It doesn’t change the fact that you play vast portions of the game over and over again.

The remake removes the multiple endings, and also some gameplay mechanics as they were linked. But if you stick with it, the higher difficulty modes add back a lot of the elements people were saying was missing. Playing on nightmare randomises enemy types and positions, but most people haven’t highlighted this in their scathing reviews.

Resident Evil 3 PlayStation Original
20 years ago, this was cutting edge graphics

The more significant issue to me is the price. Bottom line, Resident Evil 3 2020 is a bundle game. You get the remake, and you get a new multiplayer game – Resistance.

I am not interested in blind multiplayer games. I don’t want to join up with a whole lot of people I don’t know and play a game. Now, this is a personal game decision – I would rather play with people I know and have a fun catch up as we play.

As such, I haven’t even started up Resistance. But I have had to buy it to play the game I do want to play. I can see both sides on this one.

Getting more Resident Evil is rarely a bad thing to me, but I would rather have paid AUD$60 per game or maybe have an AUD$100 bundle option.

Resident Evil Resistance
I'm not saying it's a bad game, just I am not interested in it

If you do want to play Resident Evil 3 but like me don’t like the online multiplayer vs type games, wait until it’s on sale. But this review is all about the main Resident Evil 3 game, in all its single-player glory.

This definitely isn’t your standard Resident Evil build-up.

Resident Evil, and survival horror in general, have a formula. You start the game, have about 10-15 minutes of slow and ‘safe’ exploration, and then the game starts properly. It’s usually about an hour or two before your first boss fight.

Resident Evil 3 starts you off in a dream sequence with Jill Valentine, the character you play. Even if you don’t know anything about the series, this sequence gives you the information that Jill has problems with Umbrella and with dealing with the existence of zombies.

Then, you get a phone call that is interrupted by the games big bad Nemesis breaking through your wall. There is no subtle build-up here – you are thrown into the deep end straight away. You get that sense of adrenaline like the opening of a high impact action film.

Resident Evil 3 Here's Nemesis
I don't care what anyone says - this is the 'classic Jill' uniform :p

How can you keep up with pressure like that for the whole game?

On your first play, the tension is high, and all you want to do is get away from the monster hunting you down. But, this tension is only felt the first time.

This is where I say Resident Evil 2 may have set the bar a little high. When Mr X pursued you through the Racoon City Police Station, you never knew what to expect. In contrast, Nemesis only appears at set points. You always know when to expect him to make your life harder.

Resident Evil 3 And They Pull You Right Back In
You think you get away...

I have heard a lot of people talk about how this is a negative of the game. Personally, I think this is positive. But I will get into the reasoning of why I believe this when I talk about replayability. 

I tried Resident Evil before, and the weird puzzles and backtracking are frustrating and annoying.

Yep. The original PlayStation Resident Evil trilogy and the later Resident Evil 0 all have this problem. Having to go from one end of the map to the other to pick up weird components in order is a problem. Picking up too many items not knowing what to when, and having to drop vital health and ammo, is frustrating.

You don’t have any of this in Resident Evil 3. Not really. There are a couple of puzzles, but they are very streamlined if you have to do them. And that a great change – if you have to do them. A lot of puzzles are optional, and while you get rewards for doing them, they aren’t vital.

This kind of ties into people saying with Resident Evil 3 is so short. Streamlined puzzles and smaller areas that you can’t go back to cut out hours of ‘pointless’ exploration.

Resident Evil 3 Optional Puzzles
Don't wan tto solve the puzzle? Only a couple are now mandatory

So you don’t seem to be talking much about the actual gameplay…

I am kind of glossing over it in this review. This is for two particular reasons.

Firstly, the game looks fantastic, and the controls are great. Any of the screenshots and video footage demonstrate this. Based on the same technology as Resident Evil 2, this was pretty much guaranteed. Hence, going into the great graphics and flawless cutscenes (even if the content can be cheesy) is pretty skippable.

Secondly, as I said in my First Impressions, the Racoon City Demo is very representative of the final gameplay. You can download it on any platform, and decide for yourself if you enjoy Resident Evil or not.

So what makes Resident Evil 3 replayable?

When you first play a Resident Evil game, you can enjoy the (admittedly convoluted) story that makes the series unique.

Once you have finished the story, you can then continue to play to reach higher ranks and earn rewards. Some rewards are aesthetic, like costumes. Some make future runs easier, like infinite ammo rocket launchers.

Resident Evil and its set gameplay make for a magnificent training ground for learning how to speedrun. Did it take you 20 minutes to find the combination to a safe? Now that combination is known, you can cut out that whole section of gameplay.

Resident Evil 3 The Shop
You can even pick your own rewards with the new Shop system

It was also the series that got me interested in Completionist gameplay, long before trophies or achievements. Finding all of the documents and files around the world fleshes out the lore of the Resident Evil universe.

This still doesn’t sound like a game I would be interested in.

Doing this with the original games takes a lot of patience and dedication. Many players have given up because the grind to get to better rewards is too much. This is more than fair – Resident Evil isn’t for everyone, and not just because of the theme.

Resident Evil 3 has made the series accessible. Not easier – don’t get the two confused.

If you wanted to get started in Resident Evil, I would have said start with 4 and warn people that it takes a while to warm up to. Resident Evil 2 last year made this more manageable in terms of access, but I still would have said to people don’t be afraid to have a walkthrough handy.

Now, if you have any interest in Resident Evil, Resident Evil 3 is a great introduction. You can get a feel for the world, the logic of the series, and have it in a relatively bite-sized piece.

I know Resident Evil. Are saying it’s a series tutorial?

Not so fast. Yes, if you are a veteran to the series, the difficulty curve is lower.

Play on Hard. Give yourself the challenge. Then try Nightmare mode. Everything you are expecting from a Resident Evil game comes out to play. New combinations of enemies, locations, even adding randomisation of item locations. Nightmare mode is the real hidden gem of Resident Evil 3.

My biggest complaint is that the mode was so hidden in the game, and that very few reviewers are highlighting it.

Resident Evil 3 New Difficulties
Two 'hidden' modes - and it's not just tougher enemies!

For the first time, I have to ask an open question on some of these reviews. It feels like that they played Resident Evil 3 in Assist mode (the easiest way where you also start with an assault rifle) and called their game the entire experience. If that’s the case, I feel bad that they missed out on the experience they wanted. It was right at their fingertips.

Overall Thoughts

Resident Evil 3 is a solid new entry, and helps to solidify some of the series canon lore. It’s an enjoyable game, that I am on my third playthrough, and may try to Platinum Resident Evil 3.

I also enjoy the return to the ‘old days’ with demo versions that let you try before you buy. Really, take that I am enjoying the game and I think many would enjoy Resident Evil 3 as a recommendation, then try the demo.

I only wish they had greenlit Resident Evil: Code Veronica rather than Resident Evil 4 for the next remake.



  • Let’s you explore more of Racoon City
  • Increased enemy AI and new dodge mechanic are satisfying
  • RE Engine is beautiful on every platform


  • For series veterans, best experience is hidden
  • While the bundle value is there, if you only want one game it makes the other expensive
  • Segmenting sections stopping backtracking doesn’t feel right

Until next time,


Control Review

Released 2019
Platform PS4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher 505 Games (Website)
Developer Remedy Entertainment (Website)
Homepage (Visit Website)
Players 1
Category Adventure
Third Person Shooter

Ever wondered what happened if you mix Twin Peaks with a shooter? Control is the closest thing I have ever found.

Remedy’s Control is a game that sounds like it was made for a niche. The storyline is laced with paranormal elements. It’s a shooter that emphasis exploration and interaction.

On PC, it was hailed as the ‘right’ way to implement Ray Tracing. I know a few gamers that were put off. The thought they needed to buy a new graphics card to enjoy Control.

Like a meal that sounds wrong, if you are brave enough to take a bite, the rewards are worth it. This is one of those times where your worst fears are unfounded.

So what is Control?

You play as Jesse Fayden, and all you know is you have walked into a government building. That is empty. You have no idea what is going on, or what your goal is.

You get some objectives to give you direction, but you have no context to help you. If you watch an action movie, you know the first few minutes are the setup justifying the ensuing mayhem. The first few minutes of Control are you investigating an empty office building.

Jesse talks to herself, and then suddenly you realise she is talking to someone. She reacts to a soft geometric ring that we see as the player. At first, I thought this was an immersion technique, where Jesse talked to the player.

Spoiler – I was wrong.

Control First Document
Security checkpoint in Federal building. Normal. No one investigating why you set off the alarm though...

Eventually, you pick up a weapon. In the world of Control, this makes you The Director of the Federal Bureau of Control. No, it makes no sense. But it becomes a substantial part of your game world.

From here, you explore The Oldest House (the office building) and help others to stop a potential invasion while finding your brother.

Why play a game that makes no sense?

Why stick with a television series that makes little sense to you? There are small elements that promise potential and draw you in. For me, I just had to know what was going on.

Remedy nailed the opening story pacing. I spent maybe three minutes walking around thinking “Huh? What’s all the hype about?” Twenty minutes later, I knew I was playing until I couldn’t anymore.

That’s a bit vague. Details?

I know Control came out a while ago, but I also know that many people haven’t tried Control. Because of this, I don’t want to spoil any of the stories for anyone.

Yes, stories. Control evolves from a relatively short story game (maybe 6-7 hours?) into the story you want to make. Side quests can be a massive grind in adventure games, but I was genuinely looking forward to helping others in Control.

Now, these side quests don’t change the ending. There is a definite ending, and The Foundation DLC picks up right after this ending. There is no ending for this story yet in the traditional sense.

Control Objective Found
The screen stays pretty clear. Objective in the top left, markers fairly obvious.

That said, the ending of the main game isn’t a cliffhanger. I would describe it more as a good season 1 ending where you don’t know if season 2 is coming.

OK, so what actually is Control?

You can sum up Control as an adventure game with light RPG elements and shooting. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it?

This is where I try to get across that Control is greater than the sum of its parts. The exploration of The Oldest House is satisfying. Even though I got the Platinum Trophy, I have much more to explore. I grabbed the Deluxe version on sale on PS4, and now I have even more to explore.

By introducing the Astral Plane and having The Oldest House literally move, it makes progression feel satisfying. When you unlock new powers like Levitation, areas you have already explored suddenly have new paths available to you.

Control Astral Plane
The Astral Plane has a few uses, the most obvious being the tutorial mode for new abilities

The Service Weapon, your gun in the game, changes forms. Having one weapon sounds boring, nut you unlock these forms as you play. It means you get a pistol, Gatling gun, rocket launcher and sniper rifle all at the same time. It also makes sense of how you can carry so many weapons at the same time.

Most of the previous paragraphs sound strange, and yet in the context of Control makes perfect sense. Every character looked at in isolation is just weird, yet make perfect sense in the story. Actions and powers you utilise or set pieces you come across make sense.

Control Dr Darling
These video presentations actually feel right in the game

Even the Threshold Kids, the video series that initially freaked me out, became fun things to find. The lore you come across in the form documents and videos is interesting. Files and letters redacted nature serves as a hook rather than an annoyance. Videos that made you pull a face suddenly make something else click later.

But. There is always a but.

Yep. Control is no different. Side quests are fun, but some of them are so hidden that many people can pass straight past them. One of these quests was a room investigating luck. The instructions for how to ‘solve’ the puzzle were in plain sight, but there was no mission in my objective list.

The missions that are spelled out for you are relatively obvious fetch/hunt type quests. There aren’t many, so the ‘fetch grind’ that many adventure games suffer from. You can skip most of them, but if you do, you won’t end up as powerful as you could be.

Control Alternate Suits
Doing optional missions can unlock some new looks. This one is a paid DLC bonus.

The other catch is the action. People that don’t like shooters (like myself) can get turned off by an action-oriented game. While Control has a lot of action happening, it rewards patience and practice. Boss too hard? Level up and come back. These bosses tend to be optional – such encounters aren’t a wall.

The biggest hurdle to me is the story itself. It won’t click with everyone. A lot of people could give up purely because they are lost in the story. Every other ‘negative’ of Control has a subtle fix, except for this.

If you don’t get the story – ignore it. Control will let you do this very easily. I am not trying to say the story is irrelevant. People that dig will be rewarded. But you can focus just on the next objective and levelling up your powers and enjoy it.

Console, PC, RTX?

So here is a big one. I bought Control on PC cheap on the Epic Store, and again for my PS4 Pro. The PC version I bought to show how good it plays on my laptop compared to my PC, and that comparison is coming. I haven’t played it on any system that can take advantage of Ray Tracing.

A few people have commented that I am an RTX hater. This isn’t correct. Two years after the release of the Nvidia RTX line, only a handful of games take advantage of it. That is changing this year, but right now it’s still a very niche tech.

What does RTX bring to Control? Real-time reflections, beautiful lighting and realistic shadows. The cost to do this though is pretty staggering. I personally wouldn’t play Control on PC with Ray Tracing on with less than a 2070 Super.

This video shows Nvidia’s examples of Ray Tracing in the game.

Differences between my laptops 1660Ti and my desktops 1080Ti were slim. I don’t remember any difference in the experience. Sure, if I examined individual frames, I am sure I could spot differences. The feeling of awe is what I remember, and Control looked great on both.

Control 1660Ti
Jacket looks a little flatter but details are still crisp on my laptop 1660Ti
Control 1080Ti.png
Control on my desktop 1080Ti ultrawide

I only played a tiny portion on PC though. I played the game ‘properly’ on my PS4 Pro. Even at 1080p, there were some very noticeable frame rate drops on PlayStation. These only occurred in larger battles with a lot of powers in use. Not enough to ruin the experience, but it’s evident that Control is pushing the older consoles to their limits.

My personal feeling is paying anywhere from AUD$300 to AUD$2000 more depending on your graphics card (e.g. RTX 2060 Super to RTX 2080 Ti) is a lot to make one game look better. Hands down it looks a lot better, but I can do a lot more with that extra cash!

Digital Foundry did an excellent tech review of the different technologies implemented in Control you can check out below. But bottom line, I think you will enjoy Control on any platform you want to play it on.

Overall Thoughts

Comparing Control to Twin Peaks is very apt. The story is deeper than it appears, but it doesn’t drag everything out while feeding you the lines to follow. It also allows the player much more choice than might be immediately obvious at first glance.

The story won’t be for everyone. The action won’t be for everyone. But the way that Remedy has blended everything into an experience that is both familiar and unique is phenomenal.

If you are on the fence, with various sales now that it has been out for a while, Control is a safe buy for many people.



  • Gorgeous graphics
  • A lot more room to explore and customise than it appears
  • The balance between story and playing is pretty spot on
  • Much more to discover than the objective lists suggest


  • You get over close-ups of Jesse quickly
  • Frame rate dips even on PS4 Pro in battles with lots of enemies and powers can be distracting for that battle
  • Paranormal heavy storyline not for everyone

Until next time,


Resident Evil 3 First Impressions and Thoughts

Resident Evil 3 Raccoon City Demo Capture 2

Everyone’s First Impressions on Resident Evil 3? STAAAARRRRS!

Resident Evil 3 is finally here, and I have captured my first impressions! Don’t worry if you don’t get all the STARS references that will be flying around – it’s an injoke from the game, that you will get quickly if you play 😀

There is only one game I have been waiting for with more anticipation, and it is teasing me on my shelf.

Final Fnatasy VII Deluxe
It teases me :p

I am waiting for April 10th to look at this one. Not just because of the request for no spoilers from Square Enix, but day one patches and the like aren’t available. So, my plan is to do my first impressions as per normal – even though the start should be the demo that was recently released.

But enough of that teaser, on to todays game – RESIDENT EVIL 3! Resident Evil 2 blew me away last year, and the only reason I haven’t Platinumed it is because I haven’t had the time to dedicate powering through the later skill and time based challenges.

As much as I have been trying to stay away from reviews, headlines have flashed before me. Apparently the game is a ‘mixed’ experience. So what do I think after a half hour of gameplay?

Only one way to find out!

Is Resident Evil 3 a game you have been looking forward to? I can tell you from the demo, it plays equally well on PC, PS4 Pro and Xbox One S so you should have a great time playing it if you do!

Not sure if Resident Evil 3 is for you? Play the Racoon City demo – it is very representative of what Resident Evil 3 is like.

Until next time,


PC Gaming. And you thought Console choices were hard.

Gaming PC Stereotype

There is a lot to think about with tech. Don’t get fooled by the marketing.

So I was going to talk about all of this on Tuesday, my ‘normal’ day for Talking Tech articles. I put it off because of a flood of reviews on the new AMD Ryzen 4800HS laptops. And I am drooling. There is finally a low power CPU that can eat my desktop i9-9900k for CPU intensive tasks. The catch? Gaming isn’t a CPU intensive task.

What does all this mean? You have already dropped numbers and acronyms I don’t get!

The whole point of these articles is to try and simplify the technical minefield that is computing. In future articles, I will be taking you through individual components and talking about what all of the numbers and acronyms mean.

Today, I am going to try and clarify some terms that I am going to be using a lot of the coming weeks. I will also touch on why most of you shouldn’t get caught up in the new AMD laptop hype.

Oh, he’s an Intel shill. Stop reading everyone.

Hold up! I am only picking on the new 4800HS because it is the current hype. The new AMD chips deserve all the praise they have been receiving and more. I already said I am really looking forward to these processors becoming available!

What I am going to point out that for gaming, you don’t need to go high end on most components. Companies want you to buy the expensive stuff, but it’s not always what you need. The exception is your graphics card, but even that doesn’t need to be as high as you need.

But I watch all these fantastic systems be built with incredible results!

One of my favourite lie back and chill YouTube playlists is a lot of showcase computer builds and hardware reviews. Why? I know a lot of the results before they start, so I can just watch people play with the equipment I would never pay for.

But there is a catch with YouTubers and their reviews. No, I am not bringing any results integrity into question. All of the channels I love have a high level of enthusiasm and expertise. The catch is the equipment they use.

Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Asus, Gigabyte et al. have a tendency to ship flagship top of the line units. Why show what an Nvidia 2070 graphics card can do, when we can let you show off a 2080 Ti that costs people 3 times as much?

So if someone hands you AUD$5,000+ worth of stuff to make a computer out of, why wouldn’t you? And of course, they are going to do it with a smile – they are literally kids in a candy shop!

JayzTwoCents Nebula Gaming PC Build
Even in this incomplete state, you could build two or three solid gaming systems for the cost of this beauty.

So today, I am going to outline some firm guidelines for what you need for a solid gaming experience vs top of the line show pieces.

You keep saying “A Solid Experience”. What does that even mean?

Between PCs and Consoles, my definition of solid experience is a little different. For consoles, you want to play games at a stable frame rate with no need for you to do anything to intervene.

What are frame rates? It’s literally how many images the system can throw up on the screen in a second. Frame Rates, Frames Per Second and monitor frequency all work together to try and give you a smooth gaming experience.

If you watch TV and movies, these are traditionally filmed at 24 frames per second. This is why if you pay close attention, a fast-moving object appears to ‘stutter’ on the screen. If you watched frame by frame, you could see how the object jumps from location to location.

Gaming at 60 frames per second helps reduce this by a lot. And today with the power of graphics cards, hitting 60 frames is pretty easy even for ‘graphics-heavy’ titles. This is where the monitor frequencies join the fun. If you have a monitor that works at 60Hz, this means it refreshes at 60 frames per second (simplified explanation), showing you each and every frame.

Why am I banging on about frames per second? I consider 60 frames per second as a ‘solid’ experience. Not Ray Tracing, DLSS Turbo blah blah blah. These technologies are important and have a place, but not necessary to the experience.

Monitor Refresh Rates
Images like this are supposed to make you feel like you NEED the bigger numbers. Marketing Hype.

But I want everything to work with all the bells and whistles! Don’t I need all that RTX stuff?

Not in my opinion. And that is the key phrase – “My Opinion”. If you want Ray Tracing, you aren’t wrong. I keep coming back to the car analogy. If you look at the Hyundai cars, the i20 works and gets you around. The i30 gets you about in a bit of comfort and doesn’t have trouble speeding up on hills. If you go up to the Sonata, you get more of the luxury features that make it more delightful to drive.

Looking at the accurate reflections is amazing and immersive. I am not dismissing the technology. But if you look at the Resident Evil 3 Demo pics from the XBox One S, it also had amazing reflections. Ray Tracing is the future, but it’s not the standard yet.

If you have the money to spend, you can go all the way to a Masarati or similar supercar though. Think of the price jump from an i30 to a Masarati. For day to day driving, how many people can really justify a Masarati? Wanting is fine, and if you can do it. Send me pics. I will be jealous 🙂

Gaming is the same. Using this analogy, I am guiding you towards the i30 of gaming systems. A good, reliable ‘bang for the buck’ system. More importantly, I am trying to explain why I think these systems are the way they are. Not to convince you that I am ‘right’, but so that you can look at your own use case and decide what is right for you.

So what do I need for a gaming system?

The keyword in all this is ‘System’. No one part makes a system, but one piece can break a system.

Don’t panic! If you stick with me, I will tell you all of the little gotchas and traps that can lead to an expensive experiment. That is why I am not just throwing up a bunch of specs and saying ‘go forth and enjoy’. It’s easy to do that with consoles – they are what they are. PCs can be customised any number of ways, so you need to understand how they all work together.

Over the years, I keep getting asked for the 2 pieces people think makes up a system – the box and the screen. Technically these are 2 components of a system, but a few bits are missing.

To build a system, you need to think about the following components:

  1. CPU
  2. Graphics Card
  3. Motherboard
  4. Memory (RAM)
  5. Storage
  6. Cooling
  7. Case
  8. Power Supply
  9. Monitor
  10. Sound (Speakers or Headphones?)
  11. Operating System
  12. Any extra parts (e.g. Expansion Cards, RGB)

It can be really intimidating, as each item has a considerable amount of options. But now, I will take you through the basics of what I think you need for good gaming only system. This doesn’t go through everything on the list, but I will take you through the essential parts of the main pieces.


The brains of your computer are the Central Processing Unit or CPU. There are two offerings – Intel and AMD. Each company has pros and cons, but for gaming, either is a solid choice.

The thing you want to look for is a CPU with 8 threads. Not cores – threads. A core is basically a dedicated processor, and a thread is a queue of commands that can be executed at the same time. By having 8 threads, your computer can handle a lot of tasks at the same time. A 4 core/8 thread CPU for gaming is just as good as an 8 core/8 thread one for games. Don’t let the different model numbers and marketing confuse you – just concentrate on the number of threads, and you will be fine.

CPU Processing Giants
Anyone tells you this is what you need to just play games - walk away. Quickly.

I will get more into the nitty-gritty of all this when I do my article on CPUs, but gaming has only recently started taking advantage of using more than one thread. Eight threads sound like a lot, but really it’s a comfortable number. Remember that Windows and all of the ‘normal’ things your computer is doing also run in the background, so a little breathing room is a good thing! 🙂

For 1080p gaming, I would aim for a minimum of an i5 (Intel) or Ryzen 5 (AMD) processor. Both have great options that will do many tasks well. If you look at different builds on the internet, I have seen people say you need an i7/i9 16+ thread CPU for gaming. No, you don’t.

You might need an i7 only becuase Intel has shifted up the new processor numbering. Buying a desktop i5 processor can be tricky. It’s a marketing ploy. Look at the threads, look at the price. There is nothing wrong with an 8th generation processor, especially just for playing games – older is not always worse, especially with Intel processors.

If you want to do streaming/content creation/video editing or run multiple high-end graphics cards, yes the extra threads help. But just for gaming, come back down the scale. It’s a lot cheaper as well.

Today is very much a ‘don’t go lower’ message. Over the next few weeks, we will talk about why you might want to go higher, and when you should think about it.

Graphics Card

The two main GPU providers - Nvidia and AMD
Yes these are 'older' model cards, but they still hold up if you are on a tight budget!

This is where your gaming grunt is mainly handled. Notice I say Graphics Card, not GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) like many people do. It’s a semantic difference, but a GPU is part of a graphics card, not the whole of it. Graphics cards are literally little computer systems in themselves, and many things differentiate them from each other – not just the GPU.

This is probably going to be a controversial call for some, but I will stand by these choices.

I would recommend a minimum of 1660 Ti for 1080p gaming. I have this card in my laptop, and I can get 90+ frames per second on Control, a very new game. Some people recommend the RTX 2060, but I would be wary. Ray Tracing is really pretty, but it can also cost you 20-30% of your frame rate, and so you need to either turn it off or drop quality settings.

To me, if you have to turn off features of a more expensive card, why pay for it?

Now I am not ignoring Radeon cards. The RX 5600 goes toe to toe with the 1660 Ti and is a great choice. AMD has been having some driver issues lately that have made the news. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security – this happens on both sides from time to time. It is one of those things that unfortunately just happen.

AMD cards are an excellent choice, but they tend to have a bumpier troubleshooting experience than Nvidia. 

If you are worried about something going wrong and have to fix it yourself, stick with Nvidia. If you don’t mind rolling back a driver if something goes wrong, give Radeon a good look. 

Also, don’t forget, Nvidia and Radeon work equally well on AMD and Intel CPUs. I have heard sales staff tell people you need Nvidia with Intel CPUs, and Radeon for AMD CPUs. If someone tells you this, ask for another sales person!

Memory (RAM)

I need to go into a lot of detail about this, but the short version is you want to go Dual Channel memory. Now, this is actually a feature of the motherboard, but it has a real impact on what RAM you buy.

For Dual Channel, you will need at least two sticks of RAM, so if you want 8GB of RAM, you need 2 x 4GB sticks.

How much RAM do you need? That’s easy. You can get away with 8GB, but I would try and go for 16GB if your budget can stretch to it. I will go into the whys and whatnot when we look at this in more detail in another piece.

Some people pick a quantity, and then move on to RGB or No RGB. There is an important factor missed.

The trickier question that gets overlooked is what speed RAM. That’s right – your RAM has a speed!

For Intel, high-speed RAM doesn’t really impact performance. Just sticking with a Dual Channel setup will see you the best performance. Aim for the 2400MHz models as a minimum, and go higher only if the cost is right for you. I wouldn’t go over 3200MHz, and even that is pushing it. The benefits just aren’t there on Intel CPUs for the extra speeds, especially for pure gaming performance.

For AMD, it’s a very different story. AMD is more than just a different brand, it’s a different type of CPU architecture. And it loves high-speed RAM. Faster RAM costs more, but I would aim at a minimum of 3200MHz, with 3600MHz being the sweet spot for the price vs performance gains.


Another short but sweet until I can get into more detail.

System Storage Types
From Left to Right - Slower but cheaper for large storage capacity, faster but expensive at high capacity, and best but very expensive per GB.

You want an NVMe drive for your operating system/essential programs, and you don’t need a PCIe 4 drive! PCIe 3 for Windows and Games have excellent (and almost identical) performance compared to the expensive PCIe 4 drives.

For more abundant storage, you can go a large but slower SATA SSD to load your Steam games on (not Steam itself – install that on the NVMe drive!), or even a cheaper HDD. This way the HDD will only be dealing with loading files for the game, with the more complicated file structures handled by the high-speed drive. This is a sound cost/performance ratio setup.

Intel Optane drives, and PCIe 4 drives, have their place and are fantastic tech. That place isn’t for everyday file access, though. Not for the costs involved at least. They are the Masarati’s of the storage world, again don’t let the marketing fool you!

So you have told me lots of choices, but not specific parts!

Yep. That’s because this is already a REALLY long piece. A big part of this will boil down to what you can spend as well. There is no one ‘perfect’ build out there.

But a lot of the basics you now have a little bit more knowledge of what you should be aiming for. You will also have an idea of the sorts of things I want to cover and have an idea of what might be a questionable choice when looking at specs.

Next time, I will be making a video with parts lists for solid, advanced and high-level gaming systems. I will also talk about why I think those systems are in the tier they are, as well what I consider those tiers to be!

I will compare these to some gaming companies ‘ready-made’ desktops and laptops, and show why it’s important to know what you are looking for.

If you would like more information on a specific part or build type, drop a comment, and I will try and answer it or bring forward that article to try and help 😀

Until next time,


Doom Eternal First Impressions – I made a video!

Doom Eternal First Impressions

Doom Eternal has the tag line ‘Rip and Tear’. I play ‘Sticky Bomb and Pray’!

So I have had some start/stop video experiments that I have shared in the past. Today, there is another 🙂 Rather than try to write up how I feel about Doom Eternal, I thought I would do a video of my Early Impressions!

My plan was to play 15-20 minutes of a game for the first time, and give my live first impressions and reactions. What do you know – even with prep, that didn’t work out quite as well as I hoped! Doom Eternal’s soundtrack in particular turned out to be a challenge. Life finds a way indeed! 🙂

You can watch the video below, expand it up to full screen and all the usual stuff. You can also go over to my YouTube page at if you have trouble casting or want to leave a like/dislike and a comment. Feedback is appreciated!

So today, let me introduce you to my first ‘First Impressions’ game video, where I sit back and enjoy Doom Eternal 😀

Slightly Extended Impressions

Once I had played through the above, I was actually a little sad that I stopped recording. Not that I wanted to make a longer video, but because I found out I was only a little distance from another really cool secret!

I discovered another secret only a few minutes after finishing up my Thoughts in the video. And this secret had me grinning like crazy!

Doom Eternal has cheat codes that you can find in the secret areas!

Doom Eternal Cheat Codes Found
This is such a great idea. And I had my original Doom collection on such disks!

I haven’t tried messing around with them yet, but I think these are a great idea. Plenty of times I would fire up the original DOS Doom games, throw on invincibility and all guns, and just blast away for a bit on fun for a little while.

Doom Eternal is going to let me do the same thing, and use these overpowered features to let you explore the map more as well!

Until next time,


Void Bastards is coming this week – this could be frustratingly fun

Not all shooters are run and gun affairs.  Why back in my day…

I love it when a title in a random email catches my eye.  Yesterday, it was a game called Void Bastards, described as a mix between FTL and System Shock 2.

How could I possibly not check it out?

So have a look around I did, and I was met with this trailer:

So a lot of positives happened immediately to make me look forward to Void Bastards.

Firstly, the narrator is Kevan Brighting, the same wonderful voice that saw you through The Stanley Parable.  That’s a giggle right there.

Secondly, when you met up with a bad guy and got blotted, the whole ‘Client Expired’ scenario definitely had me looking for even more of the humour in the trailer. And it’s there. This looks like a game that will be fun to watch being played at the very least.

But while there is a lot of humour evident, I can’t help but think that will be to offset the potential frustration of the game.

Cartoony graphics and jokes aside, this is a fully strategic, plan your attack style game like the old Rainbow Six games. The small amount of gameplay I have watched keeps the old adage alive – no plan survives contact with the enemy.

The impression I have so far is you will have to learn the rules and plan well for a variety of situations.  A rougelike generation of ships and levels means you will need to learn what is happening for your particular game, and no two games should be the same.

You will need the right tools for the job. I just never expected a job where I needed a robot kitty.
I am trying to figure out if that's a good sound or not...

Void Bastards is definitely a game I want to check out, but I was a little disappointed that Steam shows it as coming on the 29th of May (so not long to wait!) but no price.

Then I had a bit of good news – Void Bastards is coming to Game Pass on the same day!  So tonight I will update my XBOX and prep for tomorrows release.

I am hoping this is going to be one of the Microsoft ‘Play Anywhere’ titles though – I have a feeling I will prefer playing this on PC, but a free game (with Game Pass) is nothing to complain about!

I don’t know if Void Bastards will be a nice diversion or a deceptive time sink, but I am expecting the latter. Either way, I am really looking forward to firing it up and giving it a good look.

It also doesn’t hurt that Blue Manchu games, the developers of Void Bastards, is headquartered in Australia. I always enjoy seeing our games industry make a splash big enough to come to my attention, especially when I am not looking for it.

Until next time,


John Wick 3 is coming, as is John Wick Hex

Ahh, Mr Wick. It’s always a pleasure to see you. If you aren’t working, of course.

I am so excited about John Wick 3 next week. As a series, it just keeps delivering. They are movies I can watch again and again, and continually do.

The story is simple and straightforward, but also has many subtle twists and openings that I appreciate on many levels. When my biggest story gripe is calling John ‘Baba Yaga’, who is most certainly not the Boogeyman as the film states, it should be a lot of fun.

And the small plot elements – simple in execution, but hint at a depth yet to be touched. How much is a gold coin genuinely worth in that world? Even the marker system, a convenient plot device for John Wick 2, is a subtle treasure. The marker must be honoured, apparently even when the presenter is excommunicado.

I will be doing my best to see this, all going well. If all goes to plan, I will be doing a vlog on my thoughts on the franchise as a whole in the coming weeks, where such things will be discussed in more detail.

But yesterday, there was another John Wick announcement that made me excited, and it wasn’t the release date for The Continental.

John Wick Hex

Imagining John Wick as a video game protagonist is a no-brainer. A one-person unstoppable force overcoming ridiculous odds is what games have been built around of for decades.

Someone else that apparently has no trouble imaging this is Lionsgate Games and Mike Bithell. Mike was the director of indie hits Volume, Thomas Was Alone and Subsurface Circular.

I haven’t played Volume, but it is highly regarded as a stealth action title. In Thomas Was Alone, I became emotionally attached to a square. Yes, a square. If you have played Thomas Was Alone, you will understand.

Together, they are bringing John Wick Hex to PC, Mac and Consoles. A turn-based (real time with slowdown maybe?) tactics game, it should allow players to plan and execute the amazing combat runs we watch onscreen.

It already looks incredibly solid:

We can already hear Lance Reddick is onboard for voice work. Ian McShane is the only other voice actor confirmed at the moment, but more “being revealed later”.

Later will hopefully be in a few short weeks, as John Wick Hex is a part of the Devolver Showcase at this years E3! I will be watching for peoples reactions to playing it from the show floor.

There is a bit of ‘Epic Store Exclusivity’ happening for the PC/Mac side of John Wick Hex, but with the well-publicised developer cuts Epic is offering who can blame them!

From the little bit of teaser footage, I am thinking I would play John Wick Hex on the PC or the Switch.  If it’s turn based, it makes the Switch perfect for pick up and put down play.  On PC, the more precise mouse/keyboard controls would be the go I think.  I have played X-Com and similar on PS3/4, and console controls just aren’t as natural a feel for me.

Now, if someone could make a good version of John Wick for VR, maybe along the lines of Superhot, that would be the final icing on the cake!

Until next time,


Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. dates announced – and it’s really early access?

Fallout 76 Feature

Everyone ready?  “TAKE ME HOOOME”…

So during E3 2018, there were so many bits of video gaming news dropped.  One that had my (and the worlds) eyebrow raised was Fallout 76.

Leading into E3, there was only a masterclass troll reveal.

As a recap, Bethesda tweeted at the End of May with the instantly fan recognisable ‘Please Stand By’.

Fans were standing by for a 24-hour Twitch Livestream of the TV and a PipBoy Bobblehead.

Yeah, it was as hard to watch as you think.

But in the end, the teaser trailer was made available.

Then during E3 2018, Bethesda’s Todd Howard dropped the first gameplay reveal trailer and confirmed something I thought was a great move.  Preordering Fallout 76 got you access to the B.E.T.A. – The Break It Early Test Application run of the game.

So early access for preordering isn’t new, and a test phase for any online game is a great idea for a lot of reasons.  But given Bethesda’s past Fallout day one efforts, this was a move to give fans the confidence to pay up sight unseen.

Fallout 3 had some… I will say interesting glitches.  On PlayStation 3, there were some bugs that stopped quests – OK.  Then it deleted saves.  Wow.  PC had it’s share of issues as well don’t get me wrong – but if you went in on launch it was hard to play.

Fallout New Vegas I tried to play straight away, and I just couldn’t.  It was REALLY broken – there is no other way to put it.  Now I still own it all and by all accounts, it’s a great game now it’s all fixed.  I will go back and play it, but it put me off.  Fallout 4 I own and got to the first ‘build this settlement’ stuff and I just thought nope and never reloaded it.

So with this kind of history, Bethesda acknowledging the issues and (admittedly charging for) the chance to jump in and test this pre-launch for an online game was a smart move.

And late last week, the dates were revealed 😀

My first thought was “So nope.  I will be at PAX!”.  Then I realised the first date was for XBox.  OK, a lot of the announcements etc. have been made during Microsoft events, there is obviously a push happening there.

But then I twigged that at best this is all happening 3 weeks before launch.

Now my background is IT – it’s my full-time job, and software releases are just something I do.

If I was putting large-scale testing of two similar but distinct systems into effect two weeks out – I would be worried.  Historically, Bethesda has had issues on PlayStation – over and above the issues with game releases on the whole.

The cynic in me sees a board meeting in Bethesda which goes something like this:

“We need to get people to buy our game upfront.  People keep waiting for us to fix it then buying it.”

“Tell them we hear them and give them slightly early access, but call it a beta test.”

Now as I said this is the cynic in me.  I’m not 100{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c} on the new Fallout game, but this is a series that is close to my hear.  I still have my preorder from EB Games, and I think my B.E.T.A. code is good.  I say I think because I have no confirmation from the Fallout site, but if I try to reregister the code says it’s used.

What about you guys?  Anyone lined up waiting to play Day One, or are you waiting to see how it goes?

But to not end this on a negative note, the in-game intro is now available to check out as well.

Until next time,