On The Horizon will arrive at the beginning of each month and seek to tease your mind and generate discussion about the coming month in games. It will take a look at some titles that I am really excited to play and also make mention of older games that I plan on spending time with. It’s not about setting up a timetable, just a little whimsy about gaming plans that will undoubtedly be dashed by delayed releases and the inevitable impact of friends wanting to play other games.
It’s just 3 days into the month and I can already tell that a large part of this particular calendar portion will be taken up by Dark Souls 2 : Scholar Of The First Sin. I wasn’t hugely impressed by the original Dark Souls 2 release and consider it to be the weakest entry in the Souls series to date, but Scholar seems to fix some of the mechanical and in-game system issues that I had as well as polishing the philosophy behind the game and the lore a little bit. In the early stages it feels a little more like a game that was actually inspired by Miyazaki even if it is still clear that he had little involvement in the development of it and was focusing more on Bloodborne as a primary project. Speaking of Bloodborne, while I lack a PS4 and cannot play it I would strongly advise that you play it if you do…Miyazaki is a man of singular vision whose artistic expression is worthy of experimenting with and exploring.
Bloodsports.TV is an interesting game. Fresh out of Sweden it takes the MOBA formula and keeps it strictly PvE as you and some friends take on waves of enemies and bosses that are desperate to stop the launch of a shark shaped missile that will destroy their home town. Different classes, characters and maps add some fun variation to the game while build experimentation is right there and waiting to be explored. It’s a fun game if you like to chill with friends and just work together to overcome a system and I’m sure I’ll be dropping more than a few hours into it over the coming month.
The 14th of this month will see the arrival of gaming’s great unicorn, Grand Theft Auto V on PC. We have seen 4k screenshots and 60FPS trailers and it truly does look rather wonderful. Beyond the denizens that inhabit Los Santos and call that fetid stereotype of a city a home lies a rather gorgeous looking world that comes off as living and breathing all on its own. I have already planned a night of just driving around and taking in the sights with some of my more cinematic minded creator friends. Road movies will be made and I’m sure silver screen references will abound. Is it so bad to want to explore the nooks and crannies of a virtual world and find the little details that set such a place apart from the dozens of other open world sandbox games that inevitably fail to live up to the hype of their self proclaimed contender status? Say what you like about the increasingly difficult to maintain relevance of GTA when it comes to witty satire of modern day social ills, when it comes to a sheer example of the best of world building it is the series cannot be touched and is unlikely to challenged for some time. Yes indeed, hours will be lost in this game and their passing shall not be regretted.
The only possible distraction from GTA V on the 14th takes the form of a tiny indie game called Titan Souls. A seemingly punishing title born from a Lundum Dare entry you get one weapon that fires one arrow which must be picked up in order to be utilized again, a world to explore and a selection of monstrous bosses to find and defeat. Displaying the kind of modern pixel-art style that I personally adore and seemingly driven by a core philosophy based around challenge and adaptability in the face of limitation it has been on my radar for some time and my hype for the title easily matches what I feel for GTA V and all its big budget shenanigans. Bring me death or bring me victory just bring me this game that I have a strange attraction to that is difficult to explain.
Mortal Kombat X looms on the horizon as well…arriving on that same day so the odds are stacked against it being a Day One purchase for me. Fighting games exist in an odd place for me in the pantheon of my gaming memories, thousands of hours spent handing out and taking beatings in Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat as a child have earned them a permanent place in my heart but the shadow of that childhood is cast too long, if I cannot fight you in the same room I don’t want to fight you at all. Online multiplayer feels like a dulled experience to me, what point landing the perfect combo if I cannot see the desperation in an opponent’s eyes as he sees the end coming straight for him like so many calloused fists? As such, a Steam sale will mostly likely move me to buy the game which will then be enjoyed as a single player adventure, an inglorious end for my childhood’s favorite genre and one of its standout franchises I would argue.
Other than these new releases we have new ARMA 3 DLC right around the corner in the form of the Marksman package, which brings new weapons, new mechanics and other goodies to the game so once again Sleazy Company shall adopt the attitude that the night time is in fact the right time to sneak up on groups of unsuspecting enemies. Warframe is a constant for me that should need no mention but gets one anyway, my go to game when I aimlessly fail to know what I want to play but want to play something good and fun. Victor Vran has multiplayer incoming, a worthy action-RPG that offers much in the way of fun when solo which is sure to be doubled by multiplayer and finally Pillars of Eternity has sank its claws in deep, offering a rich world and vibrant challenge that I shall dive deeper into in article form on this very site.
So, pleasant reader and gaming stalwart, what are you looking forward to and where in the many virtual worlds at our fingertips will you be spending your time?