Episode 01: The Beginning!
“Just like that, as mysteriously as he arrived, he was gone”…
That’s right, the weekend has been and gone. If you blinked, you may have missed it! In these series of posts, I’ll be documenting all the little goings on that happen to me over those precious couple of days. Gaming-Wise, of course! I’ve been considering doing a frequent post about my gaming antics for a few weeks now. I’m after something that has a bit of continuity. Not to mention it’s easy, weekly content if I can get it right!
I want loads of reader interaction too – particularly in this edition – so make sure you comment below and let everyone know what you’ve been doing with your free time (if you’re lucky enough not to have too much work on over the weekend, that is!).
I’d also love your thoughts on the post layout, I want you to enjoy reading these posts as much as I enjoy writing them, so any ideas and/or criticism is certainly welcome.
Firstly, before I talk gaming, I want you to get a feel for the layout. Right now, I’m thinking of having 5 sections:
- A brief introduction/warm-up to the post.
- I go over what my preconceived plan was for the weekend, I like to have things planned, if you hadn’t already guessed.
- Followed by a section explaining what happened to my aforementioned plan and why I ended up playing something totally different. Probably. Unless I stuck to the plan, then I’ll speak about what went on.
- Any gaming achievements or great moments I had. Not necessarily achievements in the ‘trophy’ sense, but things I’m proud of. Like tackling an Alpha Deathclaw with my bare hands in Fallout 4, on the hardest difficulty, blindfolded, whilst hung upside down, one-handed.
- Conclude with a short wrap-up.
I’ll write section 2 late on Thursday or Friday, and compile everything on Sunday evening or Monday. I’ll aim for a Monday upload each week.
Quite literally. This weekend has been a bitter cold one in the UK, we even had our annual snow day on Friday, although it wasn’t quite heavy enough to bring the country to it’s knees like we’re so used to. Sadly, there was no day off work for me!
In the run up to the weekend, I’ve been getting deeply immersed into Dying Light. I gave it a shout-out in my Happy New Year post, and it’s certainly proving to be great value for money. I’m around 20% of the way through the story, so I’m hoping to get a few more hours in, in the hope that my desire to play it fades. I’ve got loads of games to be cracking on with, and this is taking up loads of time! Not that it’s a bad thing or anything, but I feel like I’m neglecting other games. I’ve had Gears Of War 4 for nearly 2 weeks and I haven’t even got around to unwrapping it yet! I seriously need to quicken up the pace.
Which leads me on to what I envisage for my two days off work.
Continuing with Dying Light, I’ve really picked up the controls well. I’ve become one with the rather peculiar free-running bumper button, and can quickly traverse the city of Harran without any slip-ups (*ba-dum-tss*). I do feel that if I stop playing, my parkour skills will go to waste and I’ll have to re-educate myself when I return; all the more reason to keep playing, I guess. Despite having over 10 hours play time, I’ve only survived the night twice. One of those was a compulsory mission that introduced me to the concept, the other was a freak accident. I was on a mission and lost track of time (which I loved as it gave a real sense of fear and immersion). It reminded me very much of when Will Smith woke up to the sun setting in the film I Am Legend. Somehow, I survived that night and the sun actually rose before I made it back to the safety of the tower.
So, my plan? I’ve set myself three targets for Dying Light. First is to get to 50% total story completion. Second is to explore Harran under the moonlight. Third is to find more guns. As much as it’s pained me, I’ve avoided using online guides to find firearms. So when I eventually stumbled across a man fighting off undead with an assault-rifle, my eyes lit up and I quickly bludgeoned his head with a water pipe. I could do with finding some ammo too.
I’ll no doubt play other things, but basically, it’s a weekend of Dying Light so if that’s not what you’re into, I apologise. I’ve got The Following expansion so I might try that out as well, I’ve heard a lot of good things. Not the most exciting of posts for you guys then, but if I can power on through this long-ass game I can then boot up other titles.
Hopefully I’ll do some Twitch streaming too. I’ve been nigh on useless so far, but I’ll improve, I promise! Keep an eye on my channel if that’s something that interests you.
I’m not going to say plans fell apart, but the weekend definitely ran away from me. My girlfriend works every other Saturday and obviously, being the slow-minded individual that I am, this was something that I majorly overlooked. We spent quite a bit of time together on the Saturday, playing badminton in the morning and then grabbing some lunch out, which was nice.
I still managed to pile in the hours on Friday night to compensate though. I had my room in complete darkness with my surround sound turned right up. Night time fell on Dying Light, and so did the contents of my digestive system. After a few goes, I soon understood the mechanics of it and what strategies worked best to avoid (and fight) the volatiles, as they’re called (quick, predator-like zombies that hunt at night). Despite the know-how, certain things can still spook you in the darkness, I shrieked like a young child when the door came flying open, and the light from the landing flooded into my room as my girlfriend told me to turn the volume down.
I didn’t manage to find any guns, unfortunately. I did find some ammo though, which I’ll probably never use because I’m a hoarder that doesn’t like using items that only have a limited supply. I’ve still got that assault rifle I pinched from that poor chap, but I haven’t even fired a bullet yet and the odds are that I probably won’t.
Saturday night came, and after a brief nap on the sofa, I once again found myself coming up to the twilight hours playing video games. It wasn’t Dying Light either, I’d somehow found myself playing on Pokemon Stadium 2. That’s right, the Nintendo 64 gem that’s nearly 20 years old. What can I say? I’m weak.
I also got an hour or two on Gears Of War 3. Like I’ve previously mentioned, I never actually finished it on the Xbox 360, so being able to play it again through backwards compatibility has been warmly received. Thankfully, my saved data is transferable too, all down to the cloud save feature. I’m set in my ways now, I’ve decided to get his finished before I boot up the follow-on.
I was dragged into some competitive multiplayer as well over the weekend. My friends only play a select few games. By ‘select few’, I mean two. They play FIFA 17 and they play Battlefield 1. I don’t mind that too much, as I do enjoy playing them and I also enjoy the company of my friends. It does hinder progress on games that I like to have large stints playing, though. You know the type; those long sessions where you get carried away. One minute, it’s 5:00pm in the evening, the next is 4:30am the following morning and all you’ve managed to do is put buckets on NPCs heads. FIFA 17 was… interesting. We played a few games of Pro Clubs, which if you’re not aware of; it has you locked to one player in a team of 11. It’s absolute carnage, nobody passes and everyone tries to take the whole world on. It just doesn’t work for me and I’m almost guaranteed to fall out with my friends mid-game. But that’s Fifa for you.
I managed a solid hour and a half streaming on Sunday. I streamed some general Dying Light gameplay which was fun. I’ll announce any streaming intentions on Twitter so keep your eyes peeled.
Proud as Punch!
If you’ve played Dying Light, then you’re familiar with the airdrops that frequently bring supplies to the survivors living in the quarantine zones. If not, then every so often, at random intervals a cargo plane will fly over the city, dropping a random crate of supplies. More often than not, I forget what I’m supposed to be doing and race over to the crate hoping to get there before other survivors do. On occasion, I find myself turning up late. There are thugs sitting around the supply drop, threatening me to move along. Human players are tough, especially in the earlier parts of the game. They easily dodge and block your attacks but I’ve found a great way around this. I’ve been kicking myself all weekend for not thinking of this sooner. Previously, I’d been killing these goons with molotov cocktails and burning them alive. But molotovs aren’t all that easy to come by and neither are the components needed to craft them (at least in my experience). Besides, I’ve discovered a much more barbaric way to dispose of them. Zombie games and movies are consistent in that loud noises attract herds of infected and Dying Light is no different. A simple firecracker or two in the general direction of the mercenaries defending that supply drop makes for an ample distraction. I look on from a towering building, laughing my evil cackle. Whilst the guards are tied up with the zombies, and vice versa, I can drop down, stroll over to the supply crates and take everything I need. I can then walk away smiling to the harrowing screams I’ve left in my wake.
Despite not being able to get the desired hours in, I managed to get quite a bit done. Nowhere near as much as I was hoping to, but it was better than nothing. I had a ball too, Dying Light is such a fun game. First-off, I braved it and conquered my fear of the dark. I felt like I finished loads of main quest missions, yet apparently not. I’m on a story completion level of 33%. This game must be absolutely huge! Having failed objective number 1 on my list, I didn’t fare much better with objective number 3. It’s just shame that I can’t fulfil my FPS ambitions, but I suppose there’s always Left 4 Dead for that. The likelihood is that there are hardly any guns in the game anyway. In which case, someone will have to let me know in the comments, otherwise I’ll keep up the futile search!