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Fallout 76 is the pinnacle of atmospheric design

Fallout 76 capitol

Half baked and thoroughly puzzling – I like many others was confused by the initial release of Fallout 76. From the outside looking in it seemed to run the gamut of all issues associated with a GaaS title released a tad too soon. Unsurprisingly, it received a mountain of backlash.

Over time, my curiosity in what Bethesda Games Studios had developed started to overtake Fallout 76’s initial blunder. Recently, nearly 3 years after its release, I decided to take the plunge. Part of me wanted to see if things had remained truly horrendous and the other part of me wondered if a steady stream of updates had brought Fallout 76 to the surface.

What I’ve found after 20 some odd hours of playtime is that while it certainly lacks qualities found in traditional Fallout games, its level of atmosphere is far and away above anything I would have expected. Fallout 76’s rendition of West Virginia might even be one of my favorite examples of open world atmosphere.

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Halo Infinite’s campaign looks modern in the best way possible

halo infinite you're safe now

Halo has always had a certain flavor to the hype behind it. Most notable for me was the run up to Halo 3. Bungie enveloped my teenage mind with visions of expansive sci-fi settings and the ways in which I’d get lost in its multiplayer. Halo 3’s marketing was simply something to be felt. In many ways, it was also the peak of the Halo hype machine.

Each release of Halo has left its mark on my gaming career, but it’s also become murkier ever since the release of Halo Reach. I had my fill of over 100 hours with Bungie’s last hoorah, but 343’s entries never truly got their hooks in me. I didn’t feel the connection with my gut that earlier titles provided. Punctuated by the latest release of Halo Infinite’s campaign overview, this lapse in loyalty seems to finally be coming to an end. For the first time in years, it feels fantastic to be invested in the Halo franchise.

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Xbox Series X|S performance boosts are a clean slate for gaming

xbox boost mode

The authenticity and fidelity of Red Dead Redemption 2 blew me away on the PS4. I had never experienced anything quite like it. Interwoven systems, emergent gameplay, idyllic landscapes – it felt like next-generation gaming had come a little early. But going back to it now, after buying an Xbox Series X, puts into perspective something that was sorely lacking at times on the PS4 and Xbox One – performance.

Microsoft’s newest console has been an utter treat in this department. Games new and old are performant and look incredible. This standard was touched on with the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, but not nearly to the extent that the Xbox Series X|S have cleaned up performance.

Not all games have gotten the next-gen treatment. But by and large I’ve never had as great of a time diving into a back catalog as I have with my Xbox Series X. New titles have only upped the ante of performance and visuals.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 is undeniably authentic (screenshots)

Red Dead Redemption powerlines valley

Where Skyrim brings fantastical mood, Red Dead Redemption 2 delivers a true to life, organic open world. Nearly two years since release, RDR2’s lived in setting is still yet to be matched.

And much like Bethesda’s pension for creating immersive worlds, it’s unlikely Rockstar will be topped for a long time. I beat the story for RDR2 over a year ago, but it’s still a game I come back to time and time again for its rich systems and authentic natural setting. As someone who loves hiking, Red Dead Redemption 2 is about as good as it gets.

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On the appeal of monotony in American Truck Simulator

american truck simulator relaxation

As much as gaming has become homogenized over the last decade, there are just as many head scratchers waiting to be explored. Games that, when put under a microscope, offer no obvious point of appeal.

The simulator genre leads the pack of pointlessness, mostly relegated to PC, and never fails to flip the conventions of AAA gaming on its head.

Two prime examples of this can be found in the efforts of SCS Software, a European developer responsible for both Euro Truck Simulator and American Truck Simulator.

I’ve personally had a casual curiosity for the series but as someone that’s traditionally stuck with consoles I never took the plunge. This changed when I picked up a budget gaming laptop (Acer Nitro 5) roughly 2 years ago.

Thanks to the latest autumn sale on Steam, I’ve taken to roads of American Truck Simulator in hopes of finding a new genre to enjoy. What I’ve found is that a loose construct of progression is all that’s needed to push the droning relaxation of the experience.

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The Video Game Streaming Wars Have Begun

the video game streaming wars have begun

The massive increase in engagement across music, movies, and TV shows all have one thing in common – convenience. From CDs to MP3s, Walkmans to iPods, and dial up to broadband access, music is now with us always – on demand via streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music. A similar story exists … Read more

Dragon Missing in the West

monster hunter world anjanath

Besides a lack of content, one of the most popular issues players have with recent loot games like the Destiny franchise and The Division is a lack of depth and unrewarding loop of progression. In the case of Destiny, the first game was by no means a killer in terms of complexity, and with its sequel, Bungie felt it necessary to further drive home simplicity in favor of fun.

And then came along Monster Hunter World. It showed that freedom could flourish, and that leaving players to their own devices was something to celebrate, not squash.

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Reshaping Destiny 2

destiny 2 curse of osiris mercury

Since its inception, the development of the Destiny franchise has been a paragon of insanity. The tumultuous timeline has been a perfect, and unfortunate, collage of reboots, half measured steps towards no destination, and the deafening sound of indifference.

As of right now, Destiny 2 is in a place where player reception is at an all time low and overall quality lost in the void. The sci-fi/fantasy FPS mashup has lost millions in active players since launch, and still, thousands feverishly voice their concerns and wishes on sites like Reddit, in hopes of a better, far less abusive game.

But we’ve been here before and, sad as it may be, we’ll be here again as the next peak and golden era of Destiny collapses in on itself.

Last Friday, Bungie finally broke their silence regarding the war torn state of Destiny 2, and laid bare what we can expect from the team over the coming year.

It’s obvious that they want to appease the playerbase and instill hope through concrete plans of action, but Bungie has a history of inflationary talk, and it’s going to take a bit more than written word to win back many at this point.

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My 3 Simple Wishes for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

animal crossing pocket camp release

Nintendo of America just announced that Animal Crossing’s mobile debut, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, is set for official release on November 22. I saw the news break on their official Twitter and, much like thousands who have already voiced their excitement, I’m incredibly impatient to get my hands on the first new Animal Crossing title … Read more