Between sweltering record heatwaves, malfunctioning transport networks, trespassing dogs and national flood warnings, this week has been quite unusual to say the least. It’s just typical that by the time the weekend comes around, the “glorious” temperatures that baked us alive on our fragile daily commute are replaced with greying skies and miserable torrential rain. As luck would have it… Ok, enough of that. What else have I have been up to lately?
First of all, I finally dusted off SuperHot (pun not intended) after leaving it on the virtual shelf for quite some time, and eventually beat the main campaign into submission. I’d hit a brick wall on the later levels and put it to one side, but I’m so glad I came back to it. Man, I love this game. The core mechanic of “time only moves when you do” mixed with chaotic replayability reminiscent of Hotline Miami, and the bombastic style of That lobby scene from The Matrix creates an experience worthy of the “One more go” club. The icing on the cake are the dystopic and subversive plot events that unfold as you progress. There’s a lot of fun hidden gems within the game’s menu system too. On completion of the campaign, I seem to have unlocked both an endless mode and challenges. And I thought I was finally free…
Once upon a time in the early to mid 90’s a much younger version of myself discovered Games Workshop, and its fantastic worlds of Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40K and Necromunda amongst others. Many a weekend would I spend trying my hand at painting miniatures, or battling at the local store. However it wasn’t long before I fell into the common trap of having more unpainted models than finished pieces, and it all became a bit too daunting. I also was never happy with half the stuff I painted. It wasn’t long before the whole lot was put to one side, and eventually stowed away in the loft. I never had a big collection, but there were models I wanted to finish that just never got to be.
Cut to present day, and my parents visiting a much older, late thirty-something me. They’ve come bearing gifts, including a couple of small figurine boxes, and a familiar carry case with a “space marine” sticker emblazoned across the side. Oh boy.
As the daily stresses and strains of our everyday lives nibble away at our sanity, it is important to take stock, to step back if for a moment, and refocus. It is all too easy to become enveloped, too wrapped up in whatever eats away at us. It’s also very common to take these challenges home with us, either venting our frustrations to our partners and friends or keeping our minds racing as we lie awake at night. (Both I’ve been guilty of at times.)
In a bid to combat (combat is an aggressive term…) or alleviate (ah, that’s better) this, I sought out various sources of calm which can help take the mind away from such bouts of tension.
So what games have I been playing lately? What shows have caught my eye?
I recently finished watching season one of The Rain on Netflix, a pretty enjoyable Danish drama set in a post-apocalypse where a deadly virus carried by rainfall infects and kills anyone exposed to it. The series follows a group of people thrown together six years after the outbreak as they attempt to survive and reach safety in a Fallout-meets-The Walking Dead-meets-“Coming of Age Story 101” vibe. I say Fallout, because there are bunkers (ie “vaults”) dotted throughout the region belonging to a corporation called Apollon, for who the father of two of the protagonists works for, and within them secrets that unravel and present themselves as the episodes go on. What I especially enjoyed was the character development of each of the group, and the glimpse into their backstories; what brought them to this situation, how they survived this far, how they deal with danger and what lengths they will go to in order to stay alive. Definitely worth a watch if this is your type of genre.