“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. Religious folk believe they’re rest days, Sunday in particular, but I think we all know that they were really designed for sitting in our pants, playing video games.
The backlog continues to build up! More games I’m dying to play are being released whilst I’m already snowed under. This week saw the release of Resident Evil 7, a game that’s had a real shift in terms of it’s player perspective but remains true to its roots in that it’s shit-your-pants scary. I’ve played the demo, and I’ve watched plenty of YouTube clips to feed my hunger. It’s just another addition to the forever-growing list though, and i’ve got Dying Light to finish and Outlast still to start! So my zombie and horror needs are already occupied by those two game. At this rate, I might get round to RE7 at some point in 2023. Lets not forget, I’m struggling to keep ignoring Final Fantasy XV’s cries for attention as it is. Curse you backlog! I’ll conquer you one day…
This week, I’ve finally started up Gears Of War 4 (You see what I mean? This backlog will be the death of me). Safe to say, it’s awesome. I decided to jump straight onto the multiplayer as I’ll probably complete the campaign with a buddy. Like I mentioned in my Co-op Carnage post, I feel that this is what Gears games were made for; charging into the battle, revved Lancer in hand with a friend at your side.
I recorded the first 45 seconds of my multiplayer career. I didn’t plan to, it was just a bloody massacre. I was fortunate enough to bag some decent kills and they all just so happened to be right at the start of the match. You’ve got to record your glory moments though, haven’t you?
In the very same game, I managed to get out-noobed by these completely unsuspecting players. What on Earth are they doing?
All of this had kind of given me a false sense of security. It had me thinking, “Oh, this is easy”. How wrong was I? It’s still as unforgiving as the previous games!
Now that I’m well into the swing of things on Gears Of War 4, I’ll probably get a few games in on that. The levelling system feels odd to me, within 4 games I was rank 18. I’ve been making good use of the XP giving ‘bounties’, but it still seems that I’ve ranked up rather rapidly given that I’m now rank 26 and I’ve only had 9 or 10 games. All I’ve played so far is King Of The Hill, where that gives larger XP bonuses, I’m not sure. If you’ve got a good understanding of all the multiplayer fundamentals, let me know in the comments. I’m not too sure what having a rank provides, there aren’t any unlockables that I can see. I might aim to get to rank 40. It seems reasonable, and especially given that I’ve ranked up over 20 levels in less than 2 hours, it’s certainly feasible over the course of a weekend.
All week, I’ve been looking at PS Vita memory cards and Playstation 4 Pro’s. For the price, a Playstation seems far more justifiable than a measly memory card. Seriously, it’s so absurd that for the cost of 3 (yes, T-H-R-E-E!) 64GB Vita cards, you could have a shiny new Playstation Pro with 1TB storage.
Despite the Vita being dead and buried as far as Sony are concerned coupling that with the console being over 5 years old, this price-hike doesn’t seem like it will be going anywhere anytime soon. It looks as if I’ll have to bite the bullet and invest, whether that’s this weekend I don’t know. Even so, it doesn’t stop me from telling Sony to “Eat Shit and Die!”… Sorry. I’ve been playing a lot of Gears Of War lately. It’s messing with my head… “Scratch one Grub!”…
The plan to play Gears came into fruition; I spent all of my Friday night playing the hell out of it. That carried on through until the late hours of Saturday morning… maybe even the afternoon. Did I actually go to sleep? I’m not sure, I’m too tired to think.
My early successes online have soon become distant memories, my kill-death ratio has dwindled. I’m barely holding it together as a positive, but in all honesty it’s actually not bothering me! My favourite game mode is King Of The Hill, and it’s great in the fact that the amount of deaths are not present on the scoreboard. It means you can focus on the objective, without the worry of having a ‘bad’ game just because you have more deaths than kills. Everyone plays the objective, there’s no motive not to.
One game, I finished top. I was MVP purely because I had the most captures/breaks. I had an awesome time! Once the game had finished, I dug deep into my stats, curious to see how many times I’d died. It was certainly a negative ratio, lower than a 0.5, even. I finished with 38 kills, 80 deaths. It’s a clear winner in regards to my worst game ever. Not just on Gears Of War, but my whole online gaming career. Yet strangely, at the same time, it’s up there with my best and most enjoyable. It never would have happened if I could have seen that ridiculous death count. Instead I saw my name at the top of the scoreboard, which motivated me to continue throwing myself into firefights, diving into capture points and repeatedly sacrificing myself for the team. I don’t think it’s a trend that will stick though, I’m too stubborn for that. I judge everyone on their KD ratio, so I’ll be damned if I let mine slip for the sake of enjoying a game that little bit more!… I’ve re-read that last line so many times that I’m convinced that there’s something wrong with me. I shouldn’t think like that should I?
Sunday arrived, and I was still on Gears… well I think it was Sunday. My room hasn’t seen daylight since Friday morning. Hell for all I know, it’s still the weekend right now. Anyway, at the corner of my eye, there was Dying Light sat on the shelf. It looked at me in a neglected puppy-dog way, it’s eyes were so full of sadness and rejection that I had play it. Online gaming only pushes me further behind in the race to backlog completion. All those hours, with nothing really to show for it other than a rapidly falling KD ratio. So I pillaged Dying Light and got a good few hours into it.
Proud as Punch!
Obviously, all those hours on Gears Of War 4 must have produced some stand-out moments, surely? There were certainly a few, my favourite being a game of ‘Dodgeball’. As the name suggests, the rules are similar to those of the sport. If you’re in the dark about this, it’s a variation of the team deathmatch game-mode where you have to eliminate the opposing team. Each time you score a kill, that player is out and a member of your own team gets brought back into the fray. It makes for some interesting games, and the tide can turn at any moment.
There I was, the last man. The dreaded 1V5. The pressure was on, I had my 4 teammates spectating and analysing every move I made. It’s a horrible situation, similar to being the last player in Search & Destroy in the Call Of Duty series, or being the only remaining survivor in Rainbow Six: Siege. I can’t compare it to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as I’m usually the first person to go, but you get the idea.
Let me paint the picture…
I was sweating. My eye’s grew dry as I stared at the screen. In the game, I was hunched over in cover at the far end of the map, and I could see the enemy searching for me. They’d split up to cover the ground, but this was my chance. Grouped up, my odds of survival were slim but separated, I was in with a shot. Just one kill was all I needed to bring back a teammate, that would bring the game to 2V4 and we could still be in with a chance. I scurried to a small corridor and lay in wait. I nervously stood resting, positioned in such away that I could see around the corner without any part of my body showing. I heard a thud through the headphones, someone was near. I kept my cool and remained motionless. Seconds later, a player came running up the corridor, I jumped out with my Gnasher and popped the player’s head like a ketchup-filled water balloon. Smiling at the ravaged carcass on the floor, I sprinted passed down the corridor from where my adversary had come from. Joy swiftly became worry as I took a hit from behind. It was a close range shotgun blast and it was instantly recognisable, my doom had come. Fortunately, it wasn’t a fatal blow, and my reactions came as quite a surprise. I instinctively pulled back on the left stick and rolled backwards. I was now behind my foe and with a blank-range shot to his back, he lay next to his companion as a mushed up corpse. It was now 3V3 and to my complete bewilderment the tide had indeed turned. I’d somehow gone from the brink of certain death to now having a very good chance of winning the match. The game went on for a little while longer, each team trading kills and reviving fallen comrades. Eventually, there remained only one of their team left. I like to think that after my team watched me cope with what we understood to be inevitable death, they would not underestimate the opponent. True enough, we moved in a pack. Like wolves circling their prey, we flanked the sole survivor and, all things considered, it was fitting that I got the last kill – an execution no less.
The day was ours.
Ultimately, naivety was their downfall. However there is no denying that a small bit of good fortune certainly went a long way.
Surprisingly, I didn’t reach level 40 in Gears Of War 4. The XP gaps have increased massively and the speed in which I was ranking up has significant faltered. Theres so little in terms of reward structure that there’s not much point in them having a leveling system anyway.
So after my multiplayer heroics, I had a very enjoyable weekend. I’m going to mix things up as much as I can this week. I need to crack on with Dying Light so I can cross it off my list. I’ve got loads of games installed that I haven’t played yet and I’m still desperate to buy some more recent titles. If having the likes of Resident Evil 7 and Final fantasy XV waiting for me isn’t inspiration enough, I don’t know what is. Then there’s Mass Effect: Andromeda and the Nintendo Switch due out soon. Oh God… I’ll be single at this rate!
So, how did you fare over the glorious weekend. Are you already on countdown to the next?