So if there is one thing the recent Blaugust showed me, it’s that even with the current life situation, I can manage to post much more often than I am… if the appropriate prioritisation is placed on it.
Given the recent scarcity of posts outside of the monthly journals, it might be plain to see that is… Well, it’s not precisely where my current prioritisation is sitting. Nope. That’s with gaming itself! I don’t know if you know this, but gaming is pretty fun.
No joke! It is. I know- I was surprised too. In any event, it seems the cycle has turned once more, and shifted prioritisation away from TV shows, back pretty firmly to the Gaming setting on the dial. Consider this an effort to at least nudge things a little closer toward considering Blogging in the mix a bit more.
I’ve played a fair amount of stuff that I’ve not spoken of, so let’s fix that!
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
A friend and I actually started with a return to Ghost Recon: Wildlands, the immediate predecessor to Breakpoint. The reason we started with Wildlands was simple. When Breakpoint was released, it was a terrible, awful, joke of a game.
Wildlands stripped away a lot of what the purists of the Ghost Recon series were before, I won’t deny that. But for my friends and me, it was a good time.
But if Wildlands took some of those ‘purist’ elements out, Breakpoint in its launch state went and peed all over them. Then set them on fire. Within the span of a couple of games, it had gone from tactical shooter to looter shooter with minimal and poorly implemented tactical elements.
So! We went and spun around the Wildlands world for a while, and had a blast. So much so, I really wanted to dig into what it was we hated about Breakpoint so much. Looter Shooter (while sure, not what this series was about) is not a descriptor that normally turns our group off. So what else was wrong with the game?
In the course of hunting for this answer, it started to become clear that Breakpoint had been given some serious love in the intervening years since its 2019 release. Rather than being abandoned, Ubisoft went about stamping out the problem areas. Improving the tactical options, bringing back the UI customisation to where Wildlands had it, providing a way to even turn off the loot rarity system altogether and play more in the classic style. Most impressively to me? This wasn’t even a permanent per-character choice. You could freely switch (well, with a reload) between the two modes and it would keep track of the alternate mode as you went.
Then! Then to top it all off, about a year ago — although this was the final ‘major’ update to the game — they were just awl, ‘Hey- we know you guys liked the Wildlands campaign style better than the forced story approach of Breakpoint… So here you go; have a whole new way to play similar to Wildlands but in this game.’
Long story short: Ghost Recon Breakpoint is a vastly improved, almost entirely different game from its woeful launch state.
Wandering around the world, liberating bases, starting at range sniping before coming in quiet before — inevitably — something goes wrong and makes all hell break loose has been a fantastic time.
If you see Breakpoint go on sale (it was on a pretty deep sale when we picked it up, so it does seem to happen), well worth taking a look at.
I’m still somewhat keen to push through with competitive play, but… I’m a little alone on that, and solo queue is awful. xD I’m still doing it though, just with a fraction of the previous ferver.
The other reason it has fallen to the wayside is a question of time. Time and that God of War has been demanding a bunch of it.
God of War
I bought God of War (again) for PC not too long after it came out. Supporting the PC release of PS exclusives is something I’m very much behind. I held off on playing it though until God of War: Ragnarok was a little closer, and I’m glad I did.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to drop any spoilers for Ragnarok or even talk about it a lot yet, except to say that Ragnarok feels less like a typical sequel and more like a continuation of the same story. Ragnarok does include a God of War 1 recap right from the main menu, and I probably could’ve made do with just my 2018 memories…
But I can only say once more after finishing for a second time, what a masterpiece I think the God of War (2018) game is. So far as Singleplayer Story games go, it is probably my top game of the past 10 years. I haven’t finished Ragnarok yet, and given how tightly linked the narratives are, I certainly see the potential for it to either strengthen or weaken my feelings on the first game, or rather, the complete package. So far though — perhaps 7-9 hours in — it is leaning very heavily toward strengthening.
The narrative and as importantly, the strength of the acting driving it, is beyond reproach. There was even some nuance in the transition of Atreus’ attitudes that I had missed in my first playthrough and then blamed on poor execution, as if there was simply a finger snap and then a new set of voice lines was adopted. Or at least, that is how my memory was telling me it went before I played through it again.
I played through again with a controller despite being on PC, mostly because that is how I first experienced the game when I played it at launch on PS4. It felt natural; although I have it on good authority that the PC native controls have been adapted very well as well. A friend and I played through it in that multiplayer-singleplayer style I love so much.
We’re carrying on and doing the same with God of War Ragnarok too, although now that it’s a game we’re both going through fresh, we’re having to be a lot more careful in what we say compared to where the other person is up to relative to ourselves. Hah.
I reckon I’ll have some more thoughts on the God of War duology in the not-too-distant future, though. :)
In any case, that’s me! … Mostly! There has been the other odd game like Melody’s Escape 2, but those can perhaps wait for another time.
Inform: (As this post mentions or talks about an Activision Blizzard product, or the company)
While I have chosen to break my self-imposed exile from Activision-Blizzard titles, I still feel it important to acknowledge the troubled status of the company, so you can make your own decision.
Activision Blizzard has become subject to multiple sexual-harassment lawsuits. Of note, in particular, is that it has been alleged that Bobby Kotick (current CEO) has not only been aware of, but also attempted to suppress word of, such incidents — even going so far as to intervene to keep a perpetrator hired with the company.
Even so, support for a long-term boycott was never clear cut, even amongst those affected.