My early thoughts: The Final Station

I have just purchased The Final Station, which is a game about a lonely train engineer, waking up to realise all hell has broken loose. As the train engineer, you’re the only person engineer remaining with a working train and have been tasked with the job of transporting essential equipment to help fight the zombies.

Across my journey, I’ve encountered different strangers with their own destinations, who take refuge on your train. As part of the game, you have to manage the passengers and treat them with food or medicine, depending on their status. You won’t always be able to keep some of them alive, as you have to make the lesser of two evils. Every station that you arrive at, will require you to search for a code in order to refuel your train and move to the next station. As your search for this code, you might find useful items such as food, medicine or ammo. You use the ammo to defend yourself from the zombie-like creatures which look like walking shadows. You will encounter different types of zombies and each will require a specific strategy to dispose off, as ammo and the material to make it can be sparse. On the train, you have to look pay attention to the status of the equipment, as it overheats during your travel. this can be quickly averted by manipulating the levels.

And this is basically what you do. You move station to station, picking up stragglers, search derelict towns for useful items and try to survive the zombie apocalypse. I’m a fan of the atmosphere the game builds, the different locales you pass and the level of death and decay they’ve seen and although the gameplay elements are fairly simple, it does offer challenges and moments of panic when you have to face the zombies. The Final Station also reminds me of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, as they both share the same premise of travelling by train and killing zombies.

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My thoughts on No Man’s Sky {PC}

No Man’s Sky, developed by Hello Games, a small indie team based in UK has seen its’ fair share of negative comments since launching in August.

Promising endless exploration and wondrous discoveries, many players have felt that after spending more than 100 hours, the game has failed to offer the same effect as the E3 video. Many are aware about the difference between E3 gameplay vs the final product, although with NMS the gap seems larger.

So far, I’ve spent around 47 hours flying around the universe, warping system to system, mining, upgrading, finding new ships and rinsing and repeating. At first the game was enjoyable to play, as everywhere I went, there was something new to see. However, soon after the game started to feel almost pointless to reach the end goal. Many have reached the center and felt the ending was not worth the many hours spent gathering resources and travelling. I myself, have yet to reach this goal, however I have not felt the motivation to get back into this game in order to do so.

The issue with the game, in its’ current state is the lack of depth after awhile, it feels like a early access game that requires few months in development and that after playing awhile, you could actually experience everything the game has to offer on a single planet. There could have been many reasons for this, maybe due to Sony getting them as an exclusive, forced their hands to release the game early.

With the user base averaging around 6,000 users daily, there are many players still enjoying the game, however with the launch seeing 200,000 users, this is definitely something HelloGames and Sony should address, especially if they wish to support this game for long term or release a sequel. Many have asked HelloGames to perform an AMA on reddit, which would help to shed some light on the lack of communication and truth about the missing features. We’ve seen HG communicate via their twitter, however this has only been towards bug updates & patches, rather than explaining the claim of misleading people.

There’s no excuse HG can give to please the 90% of angry players, however for those still playing, including myself, all they can do is move forward and create new content for the game.

 

 

My thoughts on Battlefield 1 PC Open Beta

EA & DICE really hit the nail when they announced Battlefield 1 at E3, when we already knew another Call of Duty game would be released the same year – this one set in space. There were moans and groans from veteran COD players, praying for Activision to release another World War era shooter. Well, little did they know, their prayers were answered – albeit by EA & DICE with Battlefield 1. They showed the trailer. Everybody wept with tears of joy that we were going to get a new World war shooter in the new gen console. Memes were then created to mock the battle between the 2 FPS giants and how EA took Activision by the scruff of the neck and beat it senseless with a shovel.

As we entered September, EA announced the open beta for all platforms. Origin members that were part of EA Insider would be able to play the game, a few days earlier. I’m sure this marketing tactic received a lot of new subscriptions to their newsletter and probably a lot un-subscriptions afterwards.

The open beta was the first time the mass audience could try out the game and get their taste of World War 1 combat. 2 modes (Conquest, Rush) were available to play over the single map Sinai Desert – a barren sandscape with some ruined buildings scattered across the map – acting as the capture points in Conquest. Mountains ran through the map, which offered many high sniping spots. It would have been nice if we had at least another map to play with, as after a few rounds, the game started to feel a bit stale.

With Battlefield 4, the levels would deliver huge set pieces that altered the map in some state and with Sinai Desert, this was the same. I have encountered 2 different types of weather effects: sandstorm and fog. A new feature has been the inclusion of the Train, which is spawned once the opposing team has reached halfway point to victory. The train can be occupied by at least 6 people; 1 to drive and 5 to man the weapons. As with betas, there have been many bugs resulting in sometimes hilarious results. Light tanks would often feel invulnerable and easy ways to score some points. So far, the game has been fairly enjoyable and I’m looking forward to when they announce further maps.

Playing Sinai Desert, there was a feeling of similarity, as it could have seemed to a passerby that we were playing Star Wars Battlefront TM. Hopefully, other maps will have more battlefield feeling. Since both games are using the same engine, both games will often feel similar.

The open beta has been reported to end on 8th September, as well as a new update released that removes the timer from conquest mode.