It came wrapped in a nice parcel for my birthday along with a PS5 console. So I fed the disk to the monster, got myself a drink... brushed the cat and started playing.
The first impression was a feeling of deja vu. memories of Half-life. As first impressions go, this was a good one. It got better. As I opened my eyes to this strange new world, I came across curious things. Some fuzzy iridescent objects were scattered haphazardly. There were lots of locked doors hampering my progress.
The character I play, Colt, is a grumpy, bitchy, smart ass who doesn't remember anything about himself or even why he wakes up on a beach. At this very point, I felt like the main character from the movie Memento.
I'm 10 hours into the game and the more I play, the more it becomes obvious that all play elements are there for a reason. I've died numerous times, started again Groundhog Day style, and discovered that what I learnt in my previous life sticks with me. Alas, my gear doesn't... but, I know exactly where to find that grand Nail Gun! A TV series comes to mind... The Prisoner!
So far, the game has been a charming and fun mix of Borderlands with a sprinkling of Half-life and a dash of Duke Nukem thrown in.
Does It Play Well?
Move around, kill people, find new gear, kill more people, sneak on this one, blast your way through a little group. Simple skirmish fun with a little strategy and a good dose of risk management (you're always in fear of loosing all that nice gear you've collected).
And now for the big YEAH! There's been no resource hunting so far to build your own weapons. I personally dislike games that provide a way for you to build your own Neo Excalibur 2022++. I like to find the lake, the stone and get the sword out of it. Yes, there are trinkets to add to your weapons to change some of its characteristics. I could have done without them but I can live with it. There aren't any fancy bullets (so far) and that's a good thing. It makes things simple.
Another big YEAH! There's no obvious save game feature which is just awesome. The last time I had so much fun being scared of loosing my game was when I played Resident Evil (the original on PlayStation) or maybe Ico. It adds to the feeling of loss and prevents me from save/reloading my way through perfection (something I dislike enormously too). So I have to be cautious.
Mini YEAH! No mini-map. In fact the only map you get is exactly this: a map. No GPS or other cursor showing you exactly where you are and what you should do next... I had to rely on my memory and figure out where to go. Loved it.
What is there not to like then? So far, not much... it's a great game with simple mechanics. The few "super powers" I've encountered haven't confused the gameplay too much so it's still a whole load of fun.
Does It Look Good?
Hell yeah, it does! All the visuals have a certain funky je ne sais quoi of the 70s. Picture The Prisoner meets Austin Powers: Goldmember. I'm still waiting for Juliana to conclude a sentence with Shazam.
There are these big words that float in front of places like hints. You get the feeling that the character has obviously been here before but he's forgotten. What a clever way to connect you to the character's past. It's fun and more often than not, informative. Nice gimmick!
Does It Sound Good?
Colt and Juliana's exchanges are splendid. Colt's monologues are pretty hilarious too (e.g. "Should I call you Colt Jr ?"). You won't get the humour until you've played the game yourself so either get the game or get a PS5 first.
None at the moment. I'm still having a ball of a time time-looping Blackreef. Revisiting a previous location at another time of the day is also loads of fun. So yeah, well done... I'll be back with more thoughts when Colt breaks the Loop.