My Games of March

THE MARCH PLAYLIST

Another month, another accumulative list of games I played. Being the kind of gamer I am, I struggle to complete any one game in a continual sitting, and therefore the reasoning for this playlist was born.

With the ongoing mania of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are turning to their games consoles, and some even picking them up for the first time. I had finally decided to purchase a Switch Lite in the last week and the host of “Sold Out” banners across various websites was astonishing. Despite the circumstances surrounding it, I am happy knowing that many are turning to gaming as their chosen pastime.

So, if you are booting up your console for the first time, or finally getting that precious time that you always wanted on it, look no further than this list for the games I chose to fill up my time when stuck in the house.

DESTINY 2

After my stint on The Division 2 last month, I was eager to get back into a live service game, and with some words of encouragement from a friend, I decided to purchase the most recent Destiny 2 expansion, Shadowkeep. Immediately I felt the waves of nostalgia coming back for late night sessions, the agonizing over relentless challenges, and swooning over the some of the best first-person shooting in a game.

However, sadly like many other games, my attention was feigning, and the daily checkups, became every bi-weekly, then not at all. It seems in the collective of work, writing, and (online) socializing, has left little time for a game, I need to continually return to. While, I love the world, mechanics, and social aspects of Destiny, it is a game that, at least at this point, I am unable to commit to. I am sorry Destiny, it’s not you… it’s me.

CALL OF DUTY: WARZONE

If there was a game to blame for my interrupted run on Destiny, it would have been Call of Duty’s “surprise” release of Warzone. The free-to-play game was dropped on a day’s notice, and immediately it became my number one to play.

Being a fan of the Battle Royale genre, although admittedly one with the restricted experience of just Apex Legends, Blackout and Firestorm, the Modern Warfare take on the genre was something that excited me from the moment the reboot was released back in November. Not to be too repetitive, as I have released a full review for the mode already; its perfect balance of brilliant gameplay, excellent map design, sleek UI, and evolutionary take on the mode, made it an instant favourite for me.

Being a month since its release now, I eventually decided to take a step back from the game, as it was one that would easily soak up five hours of your evening, without it feeling much more than forty-five minutes. It is addictive, rage-inducing, left me in laughing fits and is certainly a game I will return to, likely as it is updated.

DOOM ETERNAL

Having never played a Doom game prior to the 2016 reboot, I was blown away by this terrifically violent arcade-y madness, and believe it or not, it was a game I actually managed to blast through in a single weekend. Yes, I know that Doom is relatively short, but its still an achievement for me, OK?

Nonetheless, with a new installment blessing all gamers, I found myself eagerly travelling to a Game store, knowing that it would likely be my last time there for some while. On a casual Saturday evening, I was thrust onto hell on Earth, with Cacodemons, a couple of Revenants, and Mancubi there to greet me. This game immediately solders a hardwire to the brain as the level of concentration required as the gameplay becomes faster and more complicated means that anything outside the rectangular shape of your television, is dead to you. You are closed for business when playing Doom Eternal.

While at the time of writing I am reaching around the half way mark of the game, gameplay tweaks like the dash and intuitive double-barreled grapple shotgun, mean you have to focus on the platforming just as much as the demons setting their sights on you. With each new room or area of enemies, you can’t help but smirk as the heavy metal music ramps up a few decibels and you feel the balance of being a complete badass, but a complete badass that could have his ass handed to him.

Modern Doom wouldn’t be Doom without the incredible use of silky-smooth gameplay, and nasty, gory, graphic, pulpy violence, as you slice off extremities, crush skulls, and blast the skin of your enemies off with a well-timed heat blast from your plasma rifle. The kind of experience that Doom Eternal elicits, is one that would leave you grinning from ear-to-ear, if you weren’t so wired to the screen. You jump, dash, swing, and grapple around the arena styled areas to a flawless degree, with a gameplay loop that is inherently accessible, whilst also allowing improvements through abilities, and the experimental use of traversal.

While I wasn’t mad enough to go for one of the top tier difficulties, the “Ultra-Violence” difficulty is proving to be challenging enough without being frustrating. Hopefully, the full review will be on a Watch, Play Type site near you within the next couple of weeks, as there isn’t much else to do other than play videogames at the moment.

RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2

If you need to pass some time when stuck on the house, Doom will do you for a weekend, Read Dead 2 will have you set for the next month. The Western open-world prequel is nothing short of awe-inspiring, with graphics that look like they shouldn’t even be possible on consoles, and some of the best characters to ever bless a videogame.

Trotting around the great-open plains of Western America is a wonder to behold, and you can find countless hours of fun exploring, and generally ignoring any form of story that the game has to offer. However, what it has to offer is a poignant and expansive tale of a band of renegades, unwilling to accept that time has moved on from the days of gunslingers and train robbing.

You’ll spend your time as Arthur Morgan, a heft of a man that will get you through shootouts, family feud dramas, and treat his horse better than anyone actual person in the game. My story with Red Dead 2 started back on launch, with a midnight release purchase. However, whether it be uni, life, or the more likely scenario, another game, Red Dead fell to the wayside, and was picked up in spells through the following year and a half. However, with another twenty or so hours left on the story, I blasted through the last of it, and found level of praise that had been bounced around since its release to most definitely be worthy of it.

Red Dead Redemption 2 will likely be remembered as one of the greats of the last generation, and my thoughts on it expand past these few hundred words. As I type, a review is in the works for this behemoth of a game, so keep your eyes peeled for me drivelling over the animations, environments and the incomparable story.

Published by Aaron Bayne

I’m a film and video games journalist based in Scotland. I write stuff about them on my website, talk about them on my podcasts and film videos about them for BBC The Social.

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