As much as I love open world games, and the wonder of exploration and scale, it really screws you over for time. And I have a mission, to get my backlog under control and then these massive open world games just points a finger at the rest of the games on the list and says “see you in 100 hours”. Sure, you can skip a lot of side content, but when it’s as good as it is in The Witcher 3, it’s just impossible for me to ignore.
So, back in January I to a crack at listing my backlog, and I figured this was a good time to see how I’ve done. And looking at it, I think I’ve done a decent job.
Since last time, the games on the list I can check off are:
- Assassin’s Creed 3
- Batman – Season 1 & 2.
- Heavy Rain
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Unchartered: Lost Legacy
- Pretty much every little dot on the map in Witcher 3.
- And also done the same in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, that wasn’t even on the list.
So at first glance it feels I’ve shortened my list significantly. But then there’s the new games that wasn’t even on the damn list last time. Also, I’ve officially shalked off Middle-Earth of my list.
- Monster Hunter: World
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Ni no Kuni 2
- God of War
- A Way Out
- Kingdom Come: Deliverance
- Assassin’s Creed Origins
Also I have to offically add a few from the Switch and other games I just mentioned previously:
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Persona 5
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
- Xcom 2
This is quickly turning into a mess, so I enlisted some help, the website HowLongToBeat.com. The good news is that helps you organise, tells you average time to complete, and a overall rating of the game. The bad news is that it “helped” me identify even more games in my backlog. You can see my list here. Or as a screenshot.
Overall, it says I have an average of 54 days and 1 hour to complete my backlog. Someone inform my Mrs I’ll be busy for a while.
Right, so the future looks busy, here’s couple of mini-reviews of the games I have chalked off recently.
And I’ll start with the most recent one, Heavy Rain.
It’s almost a decade old now, but this did make a big bang when it hit the PlayStation 3 in early 2010. I’ve played the remastered version for the PlayStation 4 and it’s still a very good game.
In the line of the Telltale games, this is a game that focuses a lot on it’s storytelling. And as in TT games, there’s a heavy emphasis on quick decision making through quicktime events. But it would be unfair on Heavy Rain to compare it too heavily with TT, because this is a much more complex and meaty experience.
The main protaganist is Ethan who’s having a bit of a rough time, to put it midly. First his eldest son dies in a car accident, and then his other son is kidnapped by a serial killer, nicknamed the Origami-killer. This is the main story of the game, but it takes surprisingly long to get there, and may deter some gamers. But if you stick with it, you’ll find yourself in for a very tense and suspensful adventure that’s almost impossible to put down once you’ve started.
The game doesn’t exclusively follow Ethan but rather a collection of characters, all involved in the case surrounding the Origami-killer.
One thing I really like about it, is that there’s no real game over. Characters, including Ethan, can die and the story will just carry on. The ending will change dramatically though, and there are over a dozen different outcomes. Few games manages consequences as well as Heavy Rain does, it’s very impressive!
I won’t do a full review, as there are good ones to find out there already, but I’ll finish by saying it’s a too good of a game to miss. Truly memorable story with strong writing. There’s occasional weak acting, the controls can be frustrating at times, and acting can be a bit uneven, but I rarely find myself having the feeling “just a little more, I need to find out what happens next” as strongly as I had with Heavy Rain.
Batman – The Enemy Within
It’s only a few months since I wrote about season 1, and overall this is a very familiar experience to anyone who played the first season, except everything’s a bit crisper, including the story. It’s better focused than the first one was, and tells a quite engaging story around Bruce and the ones whos’ lives his choices effect, good or bad. I must say that I love this Batman, in fact, it may be my favorite incarnation of the caped crusader and I really hope they don’t take too long to bring out season 3.
And the rest…
The Witcher 3 and Zelda deserves a full post and I’m gonna put the two games side-by-side, as there are more similarities than at first meets the eye.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a fresh continuation of the Unchartered story, but also not really pushing it further. If you liked the previous three games, you’ll like this. If not, then this wont change your mind.
I’m a bit disappointed by Rise of the Tomb Raider actually. It’s not a bad game, not at all, just not as good as the previoush one. I found that I didn’t really care as much for the side cast this time around, which is a shame. Hopefully Shadow the Tomb Raider will improve when it hits in September later this year.
Right, so that’s it for now. I’ll be back soon with my Link vs Geralt comparison – who’s the greyest? Who looks best in green tights? Stay tuned!