What I’m Playing
With advancements in technology throughout the years, video games have expanded themselves visually and technically with tools, such as VR and motion capture. These advancements have surged the appeal of video games in recent years, and create more interactive and cinematic plays. So, in replacement of “What I’m Streaming,” inspired by Jackson Sutliff’s “What I’m Reading,” here’s a “What I’m Playing” for all you fellow video game junkies.
What Lina is playing:
Detroit Become Human
Recommended if you liked: Beyond Two Souls or the movie Ex Machina
If you were a fan of Heavy Rain or Beyond Two Souls, or just an enthusiast of the creative minds of the video game company Quantic Dream, then you probably have heard of their newest game Detroit Become Human. The game is set in 2038, where technology has finally advanced to artificial intelligence with full-bodied and human-like androids. In this interactive choice-driven game, the player embodies three characters: (1) Markus, a caretaker for an artistic kind elderly man; (2) Kara, a housekeeper who tends to a drug addict abusive father, and cares for his despondent and meek daughter, Alice; and finally (3) Connor, the specialized android programmed to investigate any cases involving androids.
Things in the game start to intensify and bleed with social justice issues as these three androids start to gain a consciousness and become “deviants” of their own code. The game emulates the thrill and questions that Ex Machina eloquently poses, while still connecting to modern issues. Detroit Become Human clearly demonstrates the advancement of video games with its breathtaking details and use of motion capture. If there is any summer game you should be playing, other than God of War, it should be Detroit Become Human.
Available on: PS4
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Recommended if you like: Indiana Jones or The Last of Us
Just a few days ago, Nathan Fillion—star of the cult series Firefly and its reboot movie Serenity—released a live-action fan film of the video game series Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The short showcased Nathan Fillion’s wisecracking persona, while still complementing the thrill and adventure of the video game. The Uncharted series, developed from the video game company Naughty Dog (The Last of Us, Crash Bandicoot, etc.) is filled with action and adventure as players follow the journey of the treasure hunter, Nathan Drake, to undiscovered and hidden realms of the world. Just as fans of Indiana Jones enjoyed the adventures of this archaeologist across the world to discover hidden artifacts, they will enjoy playing Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the final chapter of the Uncharted franchise, and it certainly did not disappoint when it was released in 2016. It earned the franchise one of the best narrative video games to be released that year.
Available on: PS4
What Jacob is Playing:
Recommended if you like: Battle Royale
Released into early access February 22nd of this year, Hunt: Showdown is Crytek’s effort to get in on the Battle Royale craze that has taken over gaming in 2018. Set in a late 19th century Louisiana swamp, you are teamed up with one other player in an effort to hunt the maps monsters and extract a bounty. Sounds easy enough, except you are also competing against ten other players in getting these bounties.
Half PVP and half PVE, the game is extremely tense as the lack of a kill notification keeps the players unaware of how many teams are left in the game. The atmosphere and setting also play a large part in the game’s horror designation, as the creatures that dwell on the map are nothing short of terrifying. Other than the two current bosses, with a third on the way, you will run into zombies, mutant dogs, a witch that conjures bees out of her head, and that’s just in your first game. The crazy part comes in the character progression system, and it takes permadeath to a whole new level. With the money you get from extracting bounties, you can recruit hunters to your team, and each has individual perks and weapons at their disposal. As the hunters fight, they level up, giving an opportunity to buff yourself. However, if they happen to die in the swamps, you lose them forever.
Now the game is a well done, original take on the Battle Royale genre, but that’s not to say the game is without issues, as it is still in early access on Steam. However, the Crytek team has consistently been working out the kinks and adding new features to the game with each passing update, and the response by the community is positive. If you are a fan of Battle Royale or a co-op horror experience, check out Hunt: Showdown on Steam.
Available on: Steam
What Jackson is Playing:
Recommended if you like: Destiny, Mass Effect, multiplayer, or killing goons in new and exciting ways
From developer Digital Extremes, Warframe is a third-person shooter/parkour simulator/fashion show in one of gaming’s most distinct sci-fi settings. Set in the far-flung future, warring factions for control of the solar system. There’s the Grineer, an army of degrading clones; the Corpus, profit-obsessed anarcho capitalists with legions of robots; and the Infested, rotting flesh piles that want nothing more than to murder you. Then there’s you, the Tenno, the operator of the titular “Warframes,” and you are a spinning murder top.
Like Destiny, but wish you could use your powers more than once every ten minutes? Then Warframe is your game. As long as you have the energy, go hog wild. Slice up mooks with laser claws! Turn them into piñatas with barbed wire! Turn into a fucking sandstorm! There’s no real traditional damage/tank/heal dynamic (though if that’s your bag, you have options), so you’re free to experiment with Warframes and find what works for you. That’s part of the game’s chief appeal—variety. There’s numerous mission types, including an open-world map to explore (with another coming soon), quests, bounties, and more.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t cover the game’s arsenal of weapons. Sure, you have your typical bullet hoses and ballistics, but that’s just the start. Ever used a handheld microwave that pops heads? An automatic, shrapnel-blasting shotgun? A bow that launches exploding warheads instead of arrows? There’s no short supply on batshit sci-fi equipment, whether you’re a traditional gunman or prefer lightning cannons and death rays. Best part? You can get it all for free. Warframe has one of the least predatory free-to-play models of games I’ve ever seen. (Pro tip: if you want to get in-game currency, wait for a coupon login bonus.)
Be warned: the game is pretty obtuse, having next to no in-game documentation (you’ll want to bookmark the Wiki page). However, with an inviting community and an involved development team, learning the ropes is easier than it looks. In no time, you’ll be flipping through maps and cutting up hordes of enemies with the best of them.