Look who’s back! Back again! Back from outta space! Wait- no, mixing my songs there. In any case — I survived the holiday. I might even go so far as to say I had some fun. It was nice to get away for a while even if only a short one. It did however rain from the moment we left to… Well; the moment we left. The drive home was probably the first time we saw blue sky.

But it didn’t overly hamper us from doing anything, even the outdoor activities.

The highlight was without doubt, the tree-top obstacle course. And rain or no — I can tell you; you keep very warm doing it. I made it up to level 4 (of their 6 difficulty levels) after which I was absolutely done. Leg muscles in particular had a few things to say about it all the next day, too.

In any case – games! I’ve played some.

Some more that is. In the last Eclectic Gaming Day post I’d run through a bunch of stuff I’d bought. Sometimes even bought and played.

But that hasn’t stopped me from jumping into all new things this time around. As much as I like the idea of extracting value from my games, sometimes… Sometimes I just need to let loose, you know? It is an incredibly potent palette cleanser just to let go and try ALL THE THINGS.

No Man’s Sky

An older shot from when I was playing last year — but still the save I’m playing!

The ‘Desolation’ Update for No Man’s Sky is out. It’s not what prompted me to poke my nose in again though. I had no idea another update was even imminent. A conversation with some old friends about the game planted the seed in my head, enough so that I decided to download and poke around.

The Desolation update isn’t one of the ‘big’ ones like Next or Beyond. Rather it is one of the more incremental updates that over time and weight of numbers add up to big changes in the experience.

This particular one sounds quite interesting though and offers a new form of exploratory content. It seems to expand upon one of the (to my knowledge) more or less untouched storylines of the alien ‘goo’ around the place leading to some facilities to be abandoned. But now — it’s entire Freighters which have been overrun and abandoned.

You can seek them out, look to clear them and hear the stories the crew left behind. The actual layouts internally of each Frieghter is procedurally generated to an extent too.

Honestly though, I only intended to do a quick poke into my old save before jumping into a new game (potentially). Some three or so hours later, I was still going. I forgot just how much there is to do in this game now and how many things to chase after there are. I had quite a number of projects on the go. And that’s before considering the new stuff added since I last played! There were no Living Ships or Exo Mechs last time around. Eesh.

Death Stranding

One of the shots from the trailer — but now able to be captured by ME, on PC. Yay!

I’ve been waiting for this one a while now. I managed to hold myself back from simply picking it up on PS4. But then when it released this weekend, I hesitated.

Would I like it? I don’t much enjoy walking simulators. Much of the game could be characterised that way. Granted a more mechanically advanced one. But still. Would the story carry it for me? It’s possible. But then story is often something that runs away from Kojima.

In the end (clearly) I went for it. But my ambivalence meant I didn’t pick it up until Sunday evening, so I didn’t get to spend any time with it until Monday evening, after dinner, etc. And then I spent a little over 2 hours with it straight. There was likely more cutscene than play in those two hours, but I was expecting that. It kept me interested, too. Don’t get me wrong — there is definitely a lot of gobbledygook and words they refuse to explain the meaning of to save on exposition in the midst of screeds of exposition.

But I find I’m generally pretty tolerant of these things if I’m at least on board with the ideas. So far I am, and of the things I’ve tried over these eclectic gaming days, is the most likely to draw me back to playing something steadily.


Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

4 Comments

Jeromai · July 23, 2020 at 12:44 am

I’m dearly craving Death Stranding, but have been forced to be a patient gamer on this one. Dang Windows 10 requirement.

The initial plan early in the year was to retire my current computer as a Windows 7 box and build a new PC with all the new shinies and put Win 10 on that. Except there was this little ‘physical space’ issue fitting two cases on a desk that was bought when super ultrawide monitors did not even exist. A new desk requires some room renovation work… on and on.

Regardless, this crazy daisy chain of requirements is now entirely on hold with the current pandemic situation. sighs

In the meantime, I’ve just been living vicariously watching streams and reading other peoples’ experiences with it. At this rate, I’ll only get to play it when everyone else is done with the game and all the structures have decayed. Oh well, apparently they can still fake some of the experience by re-using player data from people who haven’t logged back on in months.

    Naithin · July 23, 2020 at 6:49 am

    I’ve avoided streams and getting too much info on the game, but I’ve still heard more about what specific things unlock across the course of the game than I’d probably have liked. Although still managed to avoid any and all story point spoilers beyond what was in the pre-release trailers, so yay to that!

    Funnily enough though, I don’t normally mind spoilers overly. I’ll watch extended lengths of Let’s Plays in lieu of making a decision based on reviews typically. But something about this one kept me away from this usual approach. The odd game triggers this. But it certainly makes it more difficult to decide to pony up the money when it comes time.

    I’m heartened by the fact you’ve been watching it quite closely and still super keen to pick it up, despite the fact we’re both of a mind about the more typical ‘walking simulator’ games. Hehe.

    In any event — I hope you can still get a good experience the with game when it comes time for you to pick it up. I would expect if you end up picking it up on sale or whatnot you’ll have a good number of real players to get the full experience from still. :)

      Jeromai · July 23, 2020 at 9:23 am

      Yep, probably will have to try and catch the long tail crowds when a sale comes out.

      I think the key factors for whether one might like Death Stranding are tolerance or preference for simulationist games – as in, games that faithfully try to simulate some kind of experience, even if there is boredom/frustration/waiting periods as part of that experience, as well as tolerance for the typical surrealness of Kojima being his usual Japanese auteur self and inserting all that cultural and personal weirdness into the story.

      I’m mostly craving Death Stranding for the former. I dearly want to see and experience an actual ‘active awareness needed’ walking simulator. I’ve played theHunter Call of the Wild and been ok with not even getting to shoot anything in a session, just walking around and simulating the experience of “mostly nothing, a few close calls but they didn’t work out” so I figure I’ll be fine with Death Stranding’s FedEx gameplay, because it intends to simulate exactly that.

      The latter factor is a little “hmm” for me, but eh, it’s art or wants to be. So why not go for the ride. It kinda lucked out, becoming almost prescient in our current timeline. People didn’t get it during the PS4 period, but now, when it’s PC’s turn, everyone is like “oh, I get the theme now. The apocalypse doesn’t seem as far off or far out as before.” ;)

        Naithin · July 23, 2020 at 1:42 pm

        I’ve never tried theHunter game(s?) before — but now I might want to. I think you’ve nailed it in terms of the difference in willingness to consider this despite general proclivities (or lack thereof) for other so-called ‘Walking Simulators’ where they are much heavier on the ‘walking’ than they are the ‘simulator’.

        Although I will say I’m quite interested in the quirky story aspects too. I would say this is at least an equal strength draw to the title for me.

        I still remember going through the opening mission of Metal Gear Solid 5 (after not having played an MGS since 2) and just being blown away by the direction it was going, since at the time, it was so unexpected. I had anticipated a fairly dry, ground experience.

        Boy was I wrong. Haha.

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