What We Have Been Playing – January 2014
Each month of the year our regular staff members come together to tell you what each of them have been playing over the past few weeks, we like to call this our Monster Month. Read on to find out what each of us have been playing over the month, as well as give an insight in the games we are looking forward to playing in the coming month.
New Year… New Games
2013 wasn’t what you’d call the best year for games in all honesty. It seems that developers have already decided to focus on Xbox One/PS4 games with the Xbox 360 now being nothing more than an after-thought. That being said I have still found myself enjoying a number of titles including GTA V with it’s immense online multiplayer. Tomb Raiders campaign was one of the best seen in its epic history. Madden and FIFA continue getting better. Finally Battlefield 4 is as enjoyable as ever (though graphically a little bit of a let down in all honesty).
So what have we got coming in 2014. There are a number of interesting titles including Watch_Dogs. The upcoming title Snipers will hopefully get those camping gits off of Battlefield and onto its long-ranged world. It’ll be interesting to see what Halo: Spartan Assault is like, I don’t have high hopes in all honesty, but it could surprise me. Finally Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. It’s MGS, nuff’ said in all honesty.
Anyway I hope everyone had a good Christmas and got Battlefield 4 (as it’s still pretty epic), I hope you have a great New Year and it’ll be interesting to see how many 360 games are released in the 2014 Christmas period… not many is my guess.
In terms of new game releases, January has been a pretty poor month for gaming and, with my Xbox One controller currently in for repair, it gave me the opportunity to focus on the “old generation” (if we can call it that).
Firstly, I decided to tackle my ever-growing “Pile of Shame” as I dived into Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. However, I didn’t get very far, mainly because of the Xbox 360 sales.
The sales have been very generous, with lots of great titles discounted to very low prices. I picked up LEGO Harry Potter 2, Left 4 Dead 2, I Am Alive, FIFA Street 3, Dark Souls and Zuma’s Revenge, which have all found a new home on my hard drive and have resulted in my Pile of Shame growing once again. I keep telling myself it will get smaller one day…
Looking ahead to February, Thief and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare are the two that stick out for me. Fingers crossed that they live up to the hype.
New Year, Old Games
This past month was spent working on my horrendously large backlog. But alas, as soon as I finish one game, it seems two more appear. However, this is a problem that I am happy to live with.
I finally got around to giving the BioShock Infinite Return to Rapture DLC a whirl, and as with the main game, I was incredibly underwhelmed. I also got around to finally finishing up Grand Theft Auto V and earning that delicious platinum trophy. Don’t Starve also kept my PS4 warm with the load of frantic fires I made during my time with the tough as nails, yet extremely satisfying game.
I’m looking forward to the getting my hands on the 2013 Tomb Raider game. While I don’t believe it’s worth the full price, I thoroughly enjoyed it on its original release and I’m excited to see the enhancements. I’m also a bit interested in checking Thief which is hitting next-gen consoles very soon.
The Future is Here. But We’re Still Waiting
The excitement of a console launch is fast abating, and whilst the launch titles have fed my appetite, it’s been more a hunk of stale bread and gruel than the extravagant banquet I dreamed of. Ryse was a bit of a disappointment for me, FIFA is the same old business and only the masterful Battlefield 4 has been keeping me at the pad on Xbox ONE.
So, drumming my fingers across a range of hard surfaces, I’ve been finding myself retreating into the past to blast through the Xbox 360 collection which has hardly begun to gather dust. Perhaps another romp through the west on Red Dead Redemption is in order, maybe with a zombie or two thrown in for good measure. The usual favourites creep into the lineup as time begs for the killing, a few hours on COD Ghostshere and there and there’s always a craving to feed an old addiction with a return toSkyrim.
Though sparse, the new-gen roster is set to grow wonderfully in coming months. Tremors of anticipation for the supposed ‘COD-killer’ from Respawn, publushed under EA, Titanfall, are beginning to set in, with release due March 11th. Elder Scrolls Online is sure to be a hoot to boot and the upcoming effort fromLeft 4 Deaddevs, Turtle Rock, is starting to gain some traction in my consciousness.
I’ll just be happy to get stuck in, though it’s looking like I’ll have to wait a little while yet. This is probably for the best as my wallet is still yet to recover from the Christmas madness.
Back to Skyrim it is, I suppose.
Keeping Busy with the back catalog
January has been a busy month for me catching up on the fall releases for my Xbox 360 as well as the exclusives the PlayStation 3 offered. The majority of my time has been spent on Call of Duty: Ghosts. The single play was good and the end genuinely made me jump while I also spent some time on the latest Need for Speed, a franchise I am starting to tire of.
With my PS3 I have played through the first Uncharted title and started my adventure with Ni No Kuni but my pile of shame with PS3 exclusives has grown massively so think I will stay on this generation for at least another 6 months.
January, the month of Ghosts
I usually pick up Call of Duty directly upon release, however for Call of Duty: Ghosts I didn’t bother. But with me deciding not to purchase an Xbox ONE until the price has gone down or there are some games I actually want to play, I decided that using some of the leftover Christmas money, that January would be the time. That, and Asda were selling it for £28 at the time. So my gaming time in January has pretty much been consumed by Ghosts. In all honesty i’m not sure what I make of it. I’m now playing on my brand spanking new 42″ TV, however the upgrade from my original 21″ TV has come with some downfalls. I’m now terrible at COD and i’m really hoping it’s just because i’m not used to the massive screen. Only time will tell I guess.
I’ll update you in February’s Monster Month!
My next (current!) gen experience
So the future has arrived. We can now begin to reflect on what is the current generation of consoles, not the old generation (get with the times PS3 and 360 owners). There might not be a lot out for the PS4, but I’ve enjoyed my time with the console so far.
This month I’ve been getting to grips with a few games. I finished Killzone Shadow Fall…which looked fantastic but wasn’t the Halo beater I thought it could be. I then blasted through Need for Speed Rivals which again looked the part and was enjoyable…but hadn’t got the magic of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. It doesn’t bode well for the future.
Next up was Knack…this was a fun game, I wouldn’t advise it for everyone and I’m sure it’ll be one of the first retail PS+ games to appear on the service. It certainly did not deserve the bashing it has had.
Finally to top the month off was Assassins Creed IV. I’ve not played one of these since way back with number two…the yearly churn fest doesn’t interest me. However despite the long and dull tutorial and sketchy ship controls…I’ve really got into the game. I love the pirate theme and the shanties are fantastic when sailing the open ocean.
Certainly one of the busiest months in a while…next month I plan to crack on with Lego Marvel, hopefully play Rayman Legends for PS4 and I’m looking forward to Outlast, the PS+ freebie that hopefully will give me some quick scares.
New Year…Old Games
There’s me thinking that a new year will see me packing up my last-gernation consoles, never to get a look in again, and that my new-genration of consoles would keep me content. Sadly this hasn’t been the case, and if you’re thinking of jumping over to the new consoles, and money is tight, i’d suggest you wait that bit longer until something really makes you crave for the new consoles.
January saw me complete my second new-geration game, Killzone Shadow Fall, which I thought to be a fairly enjoyable shooter throughout, but it lacked anything new in my eyes. The graphics were indeed pretty, but nothing that would blow me away when comparing to any recent shooter on a PC for example.
So with that and Ryse now on my completed pile, it was time to move on to yet another long over due title – Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. It has taken a while for me to warm up to this game and it is only after a few hours of play that the game has now clicked with me on a level of Far Cry 3 proportions. I’ve only just got my diving bell wings, so I am now dodging sharks and plundering the ocean depths, and like the Far Cry 3 base camp missions I am really enjoy the assassin missions in this game.
Throughout February I hope to be picking The Last of Us back up. This is one of the few titles left that is keeping my PS3 from being packed away or sold. There is also the Titanfall Beta and I hope to pickup some of the many free PS+ games on offer with my newly adopted PS+ subscription.
So that wraps up our Monster Month for January. Why not let us know what YOU have been playing this past month, leave us your gaming antics in the comments below! Until next month, happy gaming to all our fellow Monsters!