As we usher in a new era of gaming with the highly anticipated release of the PlayStation VR headset, we’re also welcoming a new member of the PS4 Attitude team. Exciting times!
I’ve been blessed really. I’ve had the good fortune to be able to enjoy what was Project Morpheus, and what is now the PlayStation VR, for nearly three years. In that time, I’ve seen it improve dramatically over the original device, and this week I finally got to unbox my very own headset. Of course, I wish I had a PS4 Pro to pair it with, but that will come in time.
My first home-grown foray into the wonderful world of PSVR has had me racing cars in Driveclub VR, heading footballs in Headmaster, enjoying the bots in Playroom VR, watching 360-degree videos, and trying out all the demos on the included disc to see what will take my fancy next. So far, I have to say that Headmaster is the stand-out title for me. Recommended to me by Dylan Cuthbert (of Q-Games), I grabbed hold of a copy as soon as I had everything set up. Part football-heading game, part Portal-style dark humour, Headmaster is both brilliant to play and fantastically warped. Meanwhile, the sheer joy on my face as I play Driveclub VR is apparent every time I grab the virtual steering wheel. As someone that used to race real cars in my youth, I can’t express just how brilliant it is to feel like you’re really there, able to look around you, in your mirrors, and understand exactly what’s going on with your competitors.
While PSVR does have some quirks – a darkened room is best, as light sources can cause some funky tracking errors – and I’m disappointed that I can’t use my official Bluetooth headset with it, I’m pretty blown away. I can only imagine what’s going to come next as we start seeing some truly outstanding VR titles appear in the future.
This week has seen Rise of the Tomb Raider finally come to PS4, and it’s been worth the wait! Story-wise I feel the first game was a tighter experience, but this is a worthy sequel and one of the best games I’ve played this year. Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix have reinvigorated this series masterfully (and with a bit of inspiration from Uncharted), and I’m excited to see what’s next for Lara – hopefully not more timed exclusive games, though!
Dragon Quest Builders is another game that released recently and – as someone who isn’t a fan of building things in games, or titles like Minecraft and Terraria – I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t enjoy Builders, even though I enjoy Dragon Quest and its aesthetics. I’m happy to say I’m having a great time; it feels more intuitive and accessible than some other games in the genre, so I’m looking forward to sinking more time into it. It actually makes me want to build rather than just needing to build for the sake of the game – it also helps that it has an actual story!
I’ve never been a massive fan of football, but I know enough to get by in a conversation; just imagine the level of conversation you expect with Moss and Roy from The IT Crowd, albeit a little less rehearsed. Having said that, I’ve enjoyed FIFA for years. Not their compulsive corruption, but their games have always been spot on; even if they have ruined many songs for me. Supermassive Black Hole by Muse now just reminds me of subbing off Fabio Aurelio. Alas, I digress.
FIFA 14 saw me take lowly Bournemouth from League 1 to become a Champion’s League winning side with Neymar up front. This instalment, however, has added more board objectives, so now I must not only take on the league but also improve brand exposure, build a youth academy and create a decent cup run. I’ve fallen for the madness of FIFA career, from the joys of the transfers to the lows of somehow losing to Brentford in the FA cup.
The new Journey mode, while short, was enjoyable and is home to the most treacherous villain in all of gaming. My only concern with the game is the difficulty levels. Legendary used to be extremely difficult, and playing on it was akin to pulling out your teeth as ravenous beavers bit your toes. Now, however, it is not nearly so painful, and resembles picking which cake you want; tough, but in the end you’ll be happy with the result. However, overall I love the newest FIFA. Long may Bournemouth’s glory reign, both in real life and virtual.
This month marks two very important birthdays; Tomb Raider’s and mine. ‘No one cares about your birthday, we love Lara’ I hear you cry. Well, that’s a bit rude and mean, but I take your point. After all, my birthday doesn’t warrant a big celebration with my own 20 Year Celebration game. My Collector’s Edition of Rise of the Tomb Raider may have only arrived the day I write this, but Square Enix was kind enough to send a digital copy, so I wasn’t waiting too long to play.
Today, I’d like to focus on the Expeditions mode; specifically, Co-Op Endurance. This mode leaves you stranded in the Siberian wilderness, with the aim of clearing enemy camps, finding artefacts, exploring crypts, but above all else, surviving. The constant search for food and warmth makes the adventure exciting and challenging, so time flies by. An hour passed very quickly in our first attempt. Before I continue, I should point out that Stefan and I are good friends, but this game will test friendships, as we found out. You’ll find yourself yelling, ‘Mate I think that sounds like a bear. Oh God, that’s a bear. Stefan, help! Help! Help! Why aren’t you helping?!’ To only hear the reply of, ‘Yeah give me a minute, I’m just picking some berries’. The board game Risk doesn’t even ruin friendships like this.
I find the limited reviving capability tough and highly challenging, especially after your partner has used both of your shared lives by falling into a spike trap… twice. I’m in love with Lara, in love with her return, and may she continue to grace our PlayStations for the next 20 years.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve once again played more than my fair share of Destiny, as I continue in my naive attempt at reaching the game’s Light Level cap (which, trust me, is never going to happen). Unusually enough – for me, at least – a lot of my time has been spent playing competitive multiplayer in the Crucible, which I’ve almost completely ignored until now. It was definitely a trial by fire, but I wouldn’t say it was a disaster, and I even managed to reach Rank 5 in the recent Iron Banner event; a feat I wasn’t really expecting to achieve.
As Sam mentioned, I’ve also spent the last few days playing Rise of the Tomb Raider with him, thanks to its Endurance Co-Op mode. The premise is simple; survive for as long as you can in the frozen wilderness, while fending off enemies, wild animals, coldness and starvation. Despite being great fun, it also nearly destroyed our friendship, as it turns out that neither of us are particularly good at listening, but are both amazing at falling into spike traps (despite what he says, he fell into just as many as me!).