From Video Games

Quick Review: Red Dead Online

Myself (Dany Wayne) and my beautiful Belgian Draft (Britney Spurs)

When the Red Dead 2 Online Beta started in November of 2018, I happily came home from work, powered on my PlayStation and created a character. I was so excited to play in the world of Arthur Morgan with my own created character. At that point, I beat the main story and was starting a second play through, so I was excited at the aspect of something new. 

I started playing with a couple of my friends, but they slowly stopped grinding and left for other games. I kept playing… I was hooked. 

In the early days the griefing was frustrating. The players could see your icon across map and chase you down and kill you. I finally had enough and joined a group that would hop in your session and grief the griefer – in the name of justice and maybe revenge. 

When my brother finally started his Red Dead Redemption Online character, I was 10 levels ahead of him. I showed him the ropes and we had a wonderful time hunting and exploring. 

Cut to today…

Red Dead Online is officially out of Beta mode, and I am still loving and adoring it. 

My brother and I both created new characters (I wasn’t stoked about how my first one looked) and are now almost the same level as our previous ones. 

My new character / Dany Wayne. Wild Woman, Defiant and Tough.

We frequently hunt, fish and explore the wild west… hopping off our horses to walk a trail – going off road and laughing when we have random shenanigans and defending each other when griefed.

Griefing has been reduced (for me at least) by the option of going “defensive” as well as the fact that your icon isn’t shown on the map unless you are in a certain distance from another player. 

They’ve also added stranger missions, random encounters and enough free roam missions to keep the game fun if you want to do more than hunt. 

Free Roam events are a blast as well. I love the fishing one, and though I have yet to try the Wild Animal Kill challenges, I’m looking forward to it. 

There are also lots more PVP based game modes available for play – and I’m excited about that. I sat down one night and played a couple of matches of the showdown series and made enough money to buy a new revolver! 

I’m excited to see what the future brings for this game (here’s hoping we can buy a house with our posse!) 

Game Review: Destiny 2

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PC: Destiny Website

Console: PlayStation 4

Game: Destiny 2

Developer: Bungie

I have a lot of hours into the original Destiny.  In fact, I have 559 hours of gameplay in the Destiny 1 universe.  That’s almost 24 days of playing. So believe me when I say I was really excited for Destiny 2. I marked the release date on my calendar, planned nothing for that week and told everyone I was going to be unavailable. When it finally released … We had problems downloading. We pre-ordered from Best Buy – they didn’t deliver the code until a day later. I ended up having to download a code off of Amazon because you can’t game share between two consoles (I have one and my husband has the other – mine is the primary console but the licensing is different for Destiny 2). When I finally was able to sit down and play the game, I was way excited.

Destiny 2 started with a tribute to the original game players… showing activities you did, when you completed them and who you completed them with. By the end, I was in tears because I am a crybaby and love emotional things like that.

Destiny 2 – like its predecessor – is an online world where you can do missions, patrol planets and find adventures. We played as a fire team of 3.

Story

I played through the first couple of missions by myself (required by the game) but together in a group chat. From the get-go, it’s full of emotion and sadness.  Without giving too much away, the story is heart-wrenching, beautiful and is definitely a compliment to the first game. A lot of the missions in the first game were quick and the first playthrough I didn’t quite get why they were important. In Destiny 2, everything made sense and they explained objectives really well.

Characters

You still start off as picking a Hunter, Titan or Warlock to start. If you played the original game your character will reflect the facial features, race, gender and other discernible features that you chose in the first game.

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The Hunter – PC: Bungie

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Titan – PC Bungie

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Warlock – PC Bungie

Music and Sound

The music and sounds complemented the game really well. I usually turn the music all the way down on games but left it on for my first playthrough. It definitely made it better. When it came to character speech I was blown away. Without giving too much away, Ghost sounds different after the first mission. The humor behind certain characters makes me laugh every time. I love listening to the talk while doing a mission.

Cinematics and Graphics

I love cinematics in a game. Mini-movies that add to the mission you just did, with their beautiful graphics and drama – are my favorite. Destiny 2 had some exceptional ones. Cinematics that showed a “behind the scenes” if you will with the enemy. Cayde-6 (he’s my favorite, I’m sorry!) and humorous moments in the life of a guardian. The Graphics are A+ and the details everywhere you go were well thought out and planned. Secret caves, Vex constructs, and the social spaces are gorgeous. Each new planet is well thought out, unique and memorable.

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European Dead Zone / PC Bungie

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Io / PC Bungie

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Titan / PC Bungie

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Nessus / PC Bungie

Gameplay and Replayability

The gameplay is simple Destiny style, with a couple of changes from Destiny 1. There are some new types of missions with different activities (that almost felt a little Halo-y, but I’m okay with that).  When you finish the main story there is always something to do. The Raid, Patrol Challenges, Strikes, Strike Challenges, the Nightfall (now timed) and of course Crucible. I already have gone through the main story again with a different character and enjoyed it just as much the second time.

Game Info

  • Destiny 2 can be single player but the campaign can be easier if you have a Fireteam of 3 (or 6 if you are doing the raid – keep in mind though that matchmaking is available through guided games)
  • You are unable to change the game’s difficulty in regular play (although you can do a harder “prestige” version of the raid and nightfall), but it’s really not that hard. When I’m alone I can manage it with only a couple of deaths (if I’m thinking smartly)
  • Destiny 2 is rated T for Teen because of blood, language, and violence.
  • The main story itself is about 16 missions long (which is longer than the 1st one) and the game also has strikes, the raid, the nightfall, adventures, challenges and you can replay missions after you beat the story.
  • There are no self-save points in the game – but autosave. I’ve never had a problem with Destiny not saving my game though.

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Prestige Strike with 2 members of my clan

In conclusion, I loved Destiny 2. I think it was worth all the hype that it got pre-release. It was a good game to keep me intrigued in Bungie’s universe – and to get me back into Destiny. I love that they even made small fixes in the game – like you stay in your menu if your fireteam leader is taking you to a different activity. You can also travel to different places without having to go back to orbit.

I do wish that Crucible had a “Choose your Own” game mode like the first one (I really don’t like supremacy and hate when it comes up) and I miss the 6 man teams. However, I do really love the “Survival” game type! I played with some members of my clan recently and we worked really well as a team.

I also miss Grimoire score and hidden revivable ghosts. In Destiny 1 my Grimoire was over 5000. However, I do like being on a random planet and finding something to scan and get the backstory of.

A lot of people don’t like that you have to pay glimmer (in-game money)  to apply a shader to each piece of armor. I would agree with that. But I like that you can apply separate shaders to separate pieces of armor and do a mix and match type deal.

I like that the Trials of the Nine gives you access to the spire for wins and that you can advance up the spire as you gain more wins.

I love new characters, places, and changes to social spaces (as well as emotes!)

I’ve beaten the raid a couple of times;  it’s complicated but only took me about one round to understand what I was supposed to do. My clan works well as a team so we beat it fairly easily, but it was still challenging. Each part is a puzzle in its own – and don’t even get me started on the underbelly!

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My Hunter at the beginning of the Raid

If you haven’t picked this game up I recommend doing so if you are a Destiny fan! It’s a fun great addition to the Bungie family!

 

10/10 from me!

 

 

 

 

Game Review (ish): Horizon Zero Dawn

Within the first 5 minutes of the first video of Horizon Zero Dawn, I was crying.  Besides having stunning graphics and almost lifelike characters in the beginning of the game movie, it has a story that kept me intrigued and I didn’t want to skip it like I would in other games.

When I finally got to play as Aloy, I was taken aback again by how good the graphics are, and how fairly simple the layout of the controls is as well. I started out as a child Aloy, learned some controls and then watched another movie sequence. I got to about level 10 and am on the main story mission 8 out of 22 . I won’t drop any spoilers here, I promise.

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Credit: PlayStation

I’ll publish a full review once I have completed the game, but so far I am in love. It’s beautiful, got a great story mode and has lots of cool perks that make it exciting and not repetitive.

When I play games like this I like to explore and sometimes will go out of my way to avoid combat. That’s something I like about this game, if you don’t want combat you can duck and hide or run away. There are some story missions that require it (obviously) but even then it’s not that bad. I do play on normal though – but for me that seems to be perfect.

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Credit: PlayStation

Another thing I like about this game (that I mentioned before) is the story. It’s quick to pick up and not hard to follow, but so far has been cute, interesting and heart wrenching. I love to read – so I enjoy playing games that are like reading a book. I also love the dialogue options you get for Aloy. You can make different decisions, ask different questions and talk to characters with your choice of dialogue.

I’ve got a ways to go before I finish, but I think all my readers with a PS4 should consider picking up this game and hang out in the Horizon Zero Dawn world!

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Credit: PlayStation