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Video Games

The Last of Us (2013 PS3)

“The Last of Us” is an experience, a journey into the depths of human emotion, a celebration of gaming excellence, a beacon of artistic brilliance in a sea of mediocrity.



The Last of Us

Ah, step right up, step right up, ladies and gentlemen, to the exhilarating, heart-wrenching, and awe-inspiring rollercoaster ride that is “The Last of Us”. Now, tighten those seat belts because, dear gamer, you’re about to embark on a remarkable adventure that is brimming with impeccable storytelling, breathtaking visuals, and a gameplay experience that could only be described as a sumptuous banquet for your gaming appetite. Yes, indeed, it seems the gods of the gaming world convened to bestow upon us mortals a gem that shines with the brilliance of a thousand suns in the vast cosmos of video games.

Now, let us traverse the rich tapestry that is the narrative of this masterpiece. Picture it, a post-apocalyptic world, where every nook and cranny tells a story, where the remnants of a fallen civilization whisper secrets to those who dare to listen. It’s as if the writers reached into the very depths of human emotion, pulled it out, and painted a sprawling canvas that brings tears to your eyes and sends shivers down your spine with its raw and unfiltered portrayal of the human condition. It’s storytelling so grand, so rich, and so profound that even Shakespeare would tip his hat to the masterminds behind this narrative spectacle.

Now onto our protagonists, Joel and Ellie, a duo that redefines chemistry in video gaming. Oh, dear reader, prepare to have your heartstrings played like a grand piano as you witness the evolution of this unlikely camaraderie. From strangers to familial bond stronger than any forged in the fires of Mount Doom, their journey is nothing short of poetry in motion. Joel, with a heart as rugged as the harsh landscapes he navigates, and Ellie, a beacon of resilience and hope, lighting up the dark corners of a world teetering on the edge of despair. Together, they embark on a journey that is a testimony to human resilience, an ode to survival, a symphony of the undying spirit of hope amidst chaos. It’s a partnership that would make even the legendary duos like Batman and Robin seem like mere acquaintances.

But oh, we cannot overlook the marvel that is the gameplay, a symphony where every note, every crescendo, is a testament to gaming excellence. As you navigate through this desolate yet beautiful world, every encounter is a pulse-pounding experience, a ballet of survival where strategy, stealth, and skill harmonize to create a gameplay experience that is nothing short of a magnum opus. The mechanics are so finely tuned, it feels like piloting a Ferrari through a world that demands your utmost attention, rewarding your prowess with a sense of accomplishment that is as exhilarating as summiting Everest.

And let us not forget the visual spectacle that is “The Last of Us”. Ah, the graphics, a visual feast that tantalizes your senses with its staggering attention to detail, painting a world so real, you can almost reach out and touch it. Every frame is a masterpiece, a canvas where the hues of a fallen world dance in a melancholy ballet, evoking a beauty that is haunting yet mesmerizing. It’s a virtual gallery where every scene could very well be framed and adorned on the walls of the Louvre, such is the artistic brilliance on display.

Ah, but what would this grandiose experience be without a soundtrack that echoes the very heartbeat of this epic journey? The music, a character in its own right, weaves a tapestry of sound that envelopes you, carrying you on a wave of emotions that ebb and flow with the narrative tide. It’s a symphony that resonates with the very core of your being, a melody that lingers long after you’ve put down the controller, a testament to the auditory masterpiece that accompanies this gaming journey.

“The Last of Us” is an experience, a journey into the depths of human emotion, a celebration of gaming excellence, a beacon of artistic brilliance in a sea of mediocrity. So, grab your controllers, step into the shoes of Joel and Ellie, and prepare yourself for a gaming odyssey that promises not only thrills, laughter, and tears but a voyage that redefines the very essence of what video gaming can achieve. It is a beacon, nay, a lighthouse in the stormy seas of the gaming world, guiding us towards a future where games are not just played, but lived, experienced, and cherished as monumental works of art. Bravo, “The Last of Us”, bravo!

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Video Games

The Quarry (2022)

The Quarry is a really fun game. I’m a big fan of 90s slasher flicks – the “summer camp slasher” vibes are something I always enjoy if not get excited for.



The Quarry

The Quarry is a really fun game. I’m a big fan of 90s slasher flicks – the “summer camp slasher” vibes are something I always enjoy if not get excited for. One of the great things about this game is that it lays it on thick – every cliche gets hit and I loved every second.

So if you are new to the blog – spoilers ahead.

The Quarry is described thusly:
“As the sun sets on the last day of summer camp, the teenage counselors of Hackett’s Quarry throw a party to celebrate. No kids. No adults. No rules.
Things quickly take a turn for the worse.
Hunted by blood-drenched locals and something far more sinister, the teens’ party plans unravel into an unpredictable night of horror. Friendly banter and flirtations give way to life-or-death decisions, as relationships build or break under the strain of unimaginable choices.
Play as each of the nine camp counselors in a thrilling cinematic tale, where every decision shapes your unique story from a tangled web of possibilities. Any character can be the star of the show—or die before daylight comes.
How will your story unfold?”

So let me come right out and say – this isn’t a game you’ll spend longer than a couple of days on, tops. The story is wrapped up within about 14 hours (that’s playing it casually, trying to find all the collectables and whatnot). Personally I had no desire to go for different endings as I think I got the best one the first time around (technically – more on that later).

The mechanics of the game are good HOWEVER the shooting is really jumpy – you spend the majority of the game getting used to a bit of a slow camera rotation only for the shooting part to fly from one side of the screen to the next. That was irritating because I doubt my target is hidden in the top left corner of the room.

The characters are a mixed bag – one character in particular I absolutely despised – Jacob.

Jacob is the catalyst for the whole game, his actions cause the whole cast of characters to go through what they go through and it’s for the most selfish reasons possible. I guess they try to redeem the character but in the end he’s about as likeable as a ditch of dirty underwear.

Abigail is the shy, introverted girl who lacks self-confidence – you know the type. At the start I was rooting for her, her quirks were admirable, but as the story progresses she becomes insufferable. I get the situation – honestly I do – but she takes every chance to whine about it and it really begins to grate on you.

Emma is the opposite to Abigail – she’s fun, she’s confident, she’s funny and surprisingly I started the game disliking her, thinking her to be selfish (especially because she makes out with Abigail’s crush at the start to make Jacob jealous (or to send a message to Jacob? I guess it depends how you play it)) but, wow, what a turn around! She’s one of the few of the ensemble who actually seems to have her head on straight and I started to enjoy the moments we had her on screen.

Nick is the nerd and the recipient of Abi’s affections. I didn’t really like him from the start and that never really changed. Luckily he had the least screen time in my playthrough so that may have changed but, again, not in my playthrough.

Dylan is another character I came around to. At first I found him to be arrogant and cocky but eventually he softens up and probably becomes the most likeable male character. He’s also the game’s comedy relief.

Ryan was a wildcard for me – I wasn’t sure on him from the start but that’s down to his dark, brooding, mysterious loner personality but in the end he was the “Eh, he’s okay” entry for me. His heart was in the right place.

I’ve saved the best for last – Kaitlyn. I absolutely loved her from the get-go. She’s easy going, she’s got a no-bullshit policy, she almost ends up playing mother to the rest of the group throughout the night’s events and she’s a badass. It helps that she is played by the excellent Brenda Song (who I always remember as the psycho girlfriend from The Social Network).

Honorable mentions here for Ted Raimi – who plays the no-nonsense cop and Jebediah, played by the legendary Lance Henriksen, and is the patriarch of the Hackett Family.

The story is great. I went into this game blind, and guessed from the cover art that it was about one single serial killer, a kind of Jason Vorhees antagonist. I was wrong, it’s werewolves, which was fine – I was happy with that. We find our camp councillors leaving after a summer at Hackett’s Quarry. Jacob, heartbroken after splitting with Emma, decides to sabotage the vehicle they were to use to go home, in order to get another night to get back with her. The group play truth or dare around a campfire, and Emma decides to make out with Nick to piss off Jacob, also pissing off Abigail in the process. Jacob and Abi both storm off into the woods with their respective beaus chasing after them. They encounter werewolves, and hunters pursuing said werewolves. Eventually they find out the curse is tied to the Hacketts. The Hacketts are victims of this curse thanks to a “wolf boy” from a travelling freak show which was burnt down. The teens must survive the night with as few casualties as possible while avoiding \/ lifting the curse where necessary.

I’m leaving out a LOT of story here, but you get the gist.

Since the game has a Rami involved, there are plenty of references to the Evil Dead films – something which horror fans will appreciate.

So, I mentioned issues with the control scheme and the decision-making process, as well as my “technically” getting the desired outcome the first time – here’s what happened.

In one of the final scenes, Kaitlyn has lured a werewolf to her position, and, decisions and discoveries allowing, has silver shotgun shells. At this point you can shoot and kill werewolf Caleb – the events trigger a scene where the werewolf is approaching you, all you have to do is shoot it. Well, thanks to the aiming controls I somehow missed the target point blank and got Kaitlyn killed. Fuming doesn’t quite describe it. I was so upset with the game and myself I had to pause the game for ten minutes. I had been playing this game for two days, managing to keep the whole cast of the game alive, and this one misstep had cost me Kaitlyn’s life. Even worse, when I unpaused the game, I had to watch her die.

I pause the game again, and return to the main menu, hoping the game will let me simply reload the game and I’ll be at the start of the sequence again. Nope, the game saves as soon as you make that decision. This is my first playthrough – I haven’t unlocked chapter select yet. My only choice is to finish the game, unlocking chapter select, and going through the final chapter once more. I didn’t even watch the ending of the game – in my eyes, that wasn’t my ending. When I went back and kept Kaitlyn alive – that was my ending.

As per, here is my affiliate link to buy The Quarry on consoles.

Buy The Quarry on consoles.

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Video Games

Days Gone (2019)

Days Gone (2019) absolutely didn’t get the recognition it deserved. This is a fantastic game which far too few people have even tried – granted it was a PlayStation exclusive first, but once it was ported to PC it should have been everywhere.



Days Gone

One day, a good few years ago, I came across an advert on the internet (as one does) and found a video of a man running across a rope bridge from hundreds of zombies. At the time, I paid it no regard – sure, it looked good and the idea of hundreds of zombies swarming would indeed be terrifying, but it didn’t really stick in my mind, or so I thought.

So imagine my surprise a good year, maybe two later, when I find myself playing this very game, being reminded of the man on the rope bridge, and thoroughly enjoying myself.

Days Gone (2019) absolutely didn’t get the recognition it deserved. This is a fantastic game which far too few people have even tried – granted it was a PlayStation exclusive first, but once it was ported to PC it should have been everywhere.

So what’s so good about this game? First of all, the story, it’s amazing – my better half, Katie, found herself drawn in and invested in the characters without even witnessing half of the game. The game does a fantastic job of making you give a damn – whether it’s the “is she, isn’t she?” of the main character’s love interest, the brotherhood between the main character and Boozer, the betrayals, the will to survive and more.

The world – almost fully interactive, with you being able to enter and loot the majority of the buildings and with danger lurking around every corner – whether it’s accidentally running into a horde, which is FANTASTIC for getting your heart racing and the adrenaline pumping, accidentally running into rippers and bandits and maurauders, and NERO checkpoints to find some decent loot or upgrades. The “freaks” have their own schedules and routines, where they come out to roam at night and retreat to their caves at sunup. Wildlife roams throughout the world where they can, and when you combine this with sunrises and sunsets makes for picturesque scenes which make you stop and pause. In fact, the world is so immersive and pleasant (for the most part) to drive around that I found myself not using the fast travel at all in the game, instead choosing to ride on my motorcycle through the beautiful world that was crafted for us.

The characters are all relatable – Deacon St John, the main character, is your broody but good-hearted biker who found love only for it to be taken when the world fell. Boozer, the brother-in-arms of St John helps keep St John grounded and has a realistic lookout of the world. Then there’s your side characters, Rikki, Iron Mike, Tucker, Copeland all who have their own camps, their own motivations, and their own stories to draw you in and care about what happens to them.

This is a game I could easily lose 500 hours of my time into and I really hope Bend Studio know what a brilliant game they have created, because I can’t wait to see more out of them.

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Video Games

Deep Rock Galactic

“Deep Rock Galactic” is an uproarious adventure where every mining expedition turns into a story worth retelling.



Deep Rock Galactic

Imagine if a group of boisterous, ale-loving dwarves crash-landed into a sci-fi movie, armed with pickaxes and a sense of humor sharper than a freshly forged axe. That’s “Deep Rock Galactic” for you – a game where the beer flows as freely as the alien guts and the punchlines hit as hard as the rock you’re mining.

Developed by the whimsically genius minds at Ghost Ship Games, “Deep Rock Galactic” is what happens when you throw a bunch of space dwarves into the most hostile caves in the galaxy and tell them to bring back shiny things. You and up to three beard-toting buddies dive headfirst into alien-infested caverns, mining precious resources while fending off creatures that definitely didn’t get the memo about being hospitable hosts.

Each dwarf class is a stand-up comedy act in its own right. The Engineer is essentially your crafty uncle who’s always got a gadget for everything, the Scout is that one friend who’s always wandering off and getting into trouble, the Driller is your burly neighbor who takes DIY way too seriously, and the Gunner is just there to shoot things and chew bubblegum – and he’s all out of bubblegum.

“Deep Rock Galactic” is a masterclass in cooperative gameplay, where every plan falls apart in the most hilarious way possible. Imagine meticulously planning your mining route, only to have a buddy accidentally detonate a massive explosive, sending everyone flying and waking up every creature within a five-mile radius. It’s like a well-orchestrated ballet, if the dancers were drunk and the stage was constantly trying to kill them.

The game’s ability to blend chaos and humor is nothing short of art. One second, you’re peacefully mining, and the next, you’re running for your life from a bug the size of a small car, screaming and laughing as your friend accidentally drills a hole under your feet. It’s like a surprise party, but the surprise is usually a horde of angry aliens.

No two missions in “Deep Rock Galactic” are alike, thanks to its procedurally generated caves. Each mission is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get, but it’s probably going to try to eat you. The caves are a maze of wonder and danger, filled with alien flora and fauna that are as beautiful as they are deadly.

As you complete missions, you get to upgrade your gear and abilities, turning your dwarf into a lean, mean, mining machine. And let’s not forget about the fashion – because even in the face of mortal danger, one must ensure their beard is impeccably groomed and their armor stylishly accessorized.

The game’s visuals are a delightful spectacle, capturing the beauty of underground chaos with a style that’s equal parts charming and menacing. The sound design is a symphony of hilarity – from the grunts of your dwarf as he exerts himself, to the comical yelps when a bug catches you off guard.

The developers are as much a part of the fun as the game itself, engaging with the community in a way that’s refreshingly honest and hilariously transparent. They’ve created not just a game, but a gathering place for those who appreciate the finer things in life – like exploding caverns and dwarf puns.

“Deep Rock Galactic” is an uproarious adventure where every mining expedition turns into a story worth retelling. It’s a testament to the fun that can be had when you mix dwarves, danger, and a dash of insanity. For those seeking a game that’s as funny as it is thrilling, look no further – just grab your pickaxe, call your most unreliable friends, and dive into the madness. Rock and Stone, to the bone!

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