The original Diablo from 1996 has been a huge part of my early teens. It was one of those games you could play over and over again. And that is exactly what we did, in a hot attic with 2 more people, connected through a local area network, grinding our way down in the depths of hell. Being scared to face the Butcher after he screams “fresh meat!” and hiding behind a barred door so you could fire arrows at him and abuse a small glitch so he could not come after you.
This adventuring continued with the release of Diablo 2 and later Diablo 3, but no other ARPG ever came to the same experience we have had in those days. Sure I also had great fun with Marvel Heroes Online, which was made by some of the veterans of Blizzard North, but that game sadly is no more.
When Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal for mobile devices, I was (one of the few) who actually was excited. I knew they were also working on a Diablo 4, so was not bothered with all the negativity surrounding the announcement. And when the game finally released a couple of weeks ago, I was…. disappointed… the game – due to its monetization being based on gambling mechanics – would not be releasing in the Netherlands. However a quick workaround was possible with selecting a different App Store country and off we were.
The Ascent is often praised as the better cyberpunk game when being compared to last year’s Cyberpunk 2077, however this for me has not been the experience. Now don’t get me wrong, I consider myself a fan of the cyberpunk setting and I am also a connoisseur when it comes to RPGs. But The Ascent did not really click with me and it might due to the high expectations I had before starting this game.
I often think about what the future might look like. Technology as it is today is moving fast. It is even moving so fast that the average person cannot keep up. I am quite tech savvy and am able to help people around me, but knowing how technology is moving forward with things like robotics, AR and AI, I’m afraid everyone who has no interest in tech will simply be left behind.
Cyberpunk 2077 is one of those (slight) dystopian futures where technology has taken over society, but it also tells a story of how technology is normal for everyone. People have implants, advanced prosthetics, are constantly connected and therefor have no need for extra devices. You want to call someone or transfer money? Use your AR heads-up display to make a call or transfer money. Lost a limb or born without one? Get yourself fitted with a bionic arm, leg or even a torso. In this future it is possible to get an artificial liver so you can drink more…
I like playing games, especially on PC and consoles (and lately even on VR headsets). When I was little my go to gaming machine was an handheld called the Atari Lynx. From there I moved on to Nintendo, Sega, PlayStation and once older my main platform for gaming became the PC. I did have a Nintendo DS for a short while but gave that away because I simply was not using it. My main device to game on when on the road is my mobile phone and I think that for many of us, this is the new normal for mobile gaming. Combine this with game streaming services like Stadia, xCloud, PlayStation Now or GeForce Now, I doubt that specific gaming handhelds will have a future.
However when it comes to gaming on a smartphone, I really dislike the solutions many game developers use when it comes to user interface and controls. Most of the time games are being ported with joystick like controls and buttons on the screen, or a game is a twin stick shooter. While this might work for most people, I came to the conclusion that only games that were created with a ‘touchscreen first design’ would work for me. Enter Ticket to Earth an iOS game released back in 2017.
As a kid, my first games I properly played where Pong, Commander Keen and Prince of Persia. The games were fun, but it didn’t get me hooked to gaming. That addiction came later in the form of the Atari, Sega and Nintendo consoles.
However it was not until I came in contact with Command & Conquer (C&C) that I also became part of the PC Master Race. This game had everything, real actors telling a full story, beautiful graphics, great gameplay and most of all, multiplayer. C&C for me was my entry into competitive gaming, so you can imagine my excitement when C&C Remastered was announced.
A couple of weeks ago the PlayStation 5 was revealed along with some new exclusive games for the platform. One of those games was Spider-Man Miles Morales and even though no real gameplay was shown, I was hyped immediately, but at the same time realized that I had yet to finish the first game. So time to install all those updates, DLCs, suit up and load those web-shooters!
Another backlog game completed and I was pleasantly surprised. South Park: The Stick of Truth is one of those RPGs that does not focus on deep leveling or specialization customization, but rather wants to tell you a story, a specific South Park story that is.
Divinity: Original Sin (or D:OS for short) was one of those RPGs that got praises everywhere. It had a very successful Kickstarter campaign and according to many it over delivered. Back in those days I was busy with other games, but I did scoop it up when it was on a Steam Summer Sale (remember those?).
A few years ago I had some space between games and gave D:OS a try, but it somehow never clicked. Since I had plenty of other games to play I just added it to my backlog and continued with other games. Now with us all being at home and me racing through my backlog as if I’m trying to make it to the bathroom, I saw this game popping up again.
I have a confession to make. I had never played Half-Life 2 and its episodes 1 and 2. Don’t get me wrong, I have been a big fan of part 1 and all the mods that were released and even though I had bought the games ages ago, I had never played them. That was until Half-Life Alyx got announced.