What We Have Been Playing – September 2013
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.
Grand Theft Payday and Blacklist Infinity
Grand Theft Auto V. Wow!!!!
Although it came out half way through the month it was definitely then stuck in the disc tray with just so much to offer. There is the awesome story mode and I am yet to choose my favourite character and then there is everything else. Rampages, heists, bike races, hunting. This game was definitely an example of Christmas coming early.
The rest of my time has been split between Blacklist (which we reviewed earlier this month), Payday 2 (which was an alright game) and the awesome, family fun that is Disney Infinity.
With so much choice currently on the shelves and only being at the start of gaming season, I really can’t wait to bed down next to my Xbox for the next few months and enjoy all the awesome games on offer.
A Grand September
This month I have spent a lot of my time in Los Santos. In fact, I’ve probably spent more time in Los Santos than in the real world.
It’s been a long time since I truly fell in love with a game. Many titles capture my attention for a matter of hours before I move onto the next one. However, everything about Grand Theft Auto V has me hooked. From the main storyline to bumping into strangers in the street, the amount of detail is fascinating.
Prior to Grand Theft Auto V dominating my disc tray, I decided to return to Grand Theft Auto IV to finish both The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and Damned. Having missed out on the hype the first time round, I thoroughly enjoyed both storylines and it was good preparation for the follow-up.
Looking ahead to October, it looks as if I’ll be continuing my stay in Los Santos with GTA Online.
A Welcome Return
GTA V is truly stunning. Never has a game mesmerised me as much as a trip to Los Santos. I mean let’s face it…there was nothing else that would dominate most of our consoles this month other than the return of Grand Theft Auto.
I look back at past games with fondness. I was one of the few who really enjoyed GTA IV and the trip to Liberty City. Rough round the edges…but a real living breathing city. Or so I thought until now.
Because Los Santos takes it much further. A believable world that teams with life and sounds. It is an audio visual fusion to the senses and quite frankly sitting watching the sun rise by a lighthouse over on the horizon is as perfect as you can get other than real life.
There is universal praise for the game from those who have never played the series to veteran fans. It is quite simply one of the most magical games of all-time. What a month to return to my roots here at Console Monster. Long may this quality of gaming continue.
Grand Theft September
Ah, September, otherwise known as GTA V: The Month. What a surprise, I spent most of this month playing the latest instalment in the Grand Theft Auto series. The game is a fantastically polished game and a technical marvel. I did find the storyline to be somewhat underwhelming, and as most of you, I am still eagerly awaiting Rockstar to get the online mode in working order.
I did, however, play a few other titles this month, such as the wonderfully strange Killer is Dead, which I found to be a bizarre breath of fresh air. The latest Rayman title got a load of play as well, holding the title of the one of the best platformers I’ve ever played. My Vita also got some play with Killzone’s first mobile title, Killzone: Mercenary, which if you own a Vita, is a must buy.
Next month brings Beyond: Two Souls and Batman: Arkham Origins. While I’m not too thrilled with the story and presentation shown so far of Beyond: Two Souls, I’ve been a die-hard QuanticDream fan in the past, so of course I’m interested in checking it out.
A mixed bag this month, hodge-podge, mish-mash, however you might put it; a chaotic, schizophrenic whirlwind with no static personality to speak of.
The usual staples were present: intoxicated multiplayer Call of Duty binges took their usual place at the far end of abortive nights on the tiles, and Skyrim claimed its usual post spanning across the void otherwise known as the ‘sick days’.
A couple of flicks through my wallet-bound collection brought me (inexplicably) back to Too Human, which is as mundane and outdated now as it ever was, definitely a strong candidate for eternal development hell that should’ve just made a home there. I can often have quite a sympathetic eye towards projects that have fought through the trials of development and still managed, despite the odds, to come out the other side, but this one has received nothing but my scorn since it went (briefly) into the disk tray.
There’ve been some moments of wonder slipped into this month, my first hands on play with Call of Duty Ghosts was great fun and a great first for me, it being my first ever press event. Some very exciting stuff on the horizon and I’m starting to get that usual pre-Christmas tingle that somehow never quite seems to persist through the Summer months.
A hands on with XCOM: Enemy Within (on which I’ll be reporting shortly) was enlightening, if challenging, but did at least give my fingers a sort of respite following my recent Guitar Hero/Rock Band revival on digging out my old games. Suffice to say I’m back on Expert and things are only looking up.
There was something else…Ah yes, GTA V. Well that arrived this morning, so don’t expect to be hearing any sound from this direction for a little while.
A Whole Month of Waiting
So despite being twenty-four years old, I was still extremely excited in the days prior to Grand Theft Auto V’s release. And despite thinking the month of September would centre around Grand Theft Auto’s release, I was pleasantly surprised when Rayman Legends popped through my letterbox.
Rayman Legends is a superb game and provides one of the best 2D experiences to this generation of consoles, if not on all consoles. Here’s a paragraph from my Console Monster review which describes the game best:
“I was extremely impressed with Rayman Legends specifically the freshness of the graphics and the fluent gameplay which just made it an extremely fun game to play. The design of the levels is wonderful and will keep you entertained for a very long time.” Click here to read my full Rayman Legends review for Console Monster.
Since Rayman, it really has been about GTA 5, yet despite all these days counting the time away waiting for it’s release, it’s sods law that when the game does release, I can’t seem to find the time to get properly into it. I’ve managed to pick up half an hour here and there but i’m looking forward to being able to sit down and give it a proper session.
October for me is really about playing some serious GTA V, kicking ass online with my homies (LIVE friends) and contemplating how I’m going to afford a next-gen console among other things.
A Grand Next-Gen
Like every other gamer this month, GTA V has taken up the majority of my gaming in September. In short, the game was expected to be, and indeed is, a masterpiece that will see off this current generation in style. It’s been a game that has kept on giving throughout every minute and hour of its gameplay. I am still chipping away at the main story, getting sidetracked with each side mission as I flip between the game’s three main protagonists.
So far Trevor has been the most entertaining for me. Everything about him has been just so wrong and off the cuff, however all of the characters have their own charm and the story and dialogue between the characters has been very well written throughout.
I’ve yet to check out, the currently buggy, online mode. I’ll give that a week or two before I dive in, so Rockstar can iron out the kinks etc.
Eurogamer Expo hit London also in September, and myself and a few other Monsters walked the show floor and sampled as much as we could that was on offer. Titanfall was my surprise game of the event. I say surprise, as I wasn’t really bothered about playing it at first, but seeing as we were able to avoid the rather long queues (being press and all) it would have been rude not to at least give it a spin – and I am glad I did!
Be sure to check out the site soon, where a few of us that attended the event will be giving our impressions on the games we managed to try out, as well as our views on the next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft.
October will be another GTA V month for sure, as we crawl ever closer to the release of the new consoles. However we do have Batman: Arkham Origins, Beyond: Two Souls and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag releasing this month too. Now where is that slow-down-time machine…
So that wraps up our Monster Month for September. 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!