PUBG Is Now On Xbox! … And It Is PUBG.

Yesterday PC’s biggest game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), came out on Xbox One, and you may be wondering how it turned out.  Well, for better or worse it is PUBG.  It is graphically uninspiring, the framerate is choppy, and it feels like you are always fighting the controls, so it is a pretty good port.  Thankfully, the heart pounding and exhilarating action holds up with a controller and a couch.

A word of warning, this game is still in Microsoft’s Game Preview Program, which means it isn’t done, and it doesn’t look or feel done, but it is still really, really fun.  It also has PUBG’s new vaulting feature.  Which is supper handy for getting over walls and rocks.  However, that means I can no longer blame dying on being stuck on a fence.  I am just not very good.

I will be playing a lot of PUBG in the days to come, and based on the usage numbers online, so will all of you.  With that being the case, I will be seeing you all parachuting to your almost certain doom very soon with the rest of Xbox Live.

RPCS3 Works, But You Better Have A Beefy Rig.

I have always had fun playing with emulation, so RPCS3 has intrigued me.  The PS3 uses a very custom Power PC based processor called ‘The Cell’, so in order to emulate it on an x86 based processor it all needs to run at the software level.  The developer recommends an Intel Core i7 or better to get games running decently, but I thought I would give it a shot with my cheap overclocked AMD FX-8320.  It didn’t go well.

I couldn’t get games to run over 15 FPS, but I am guessing with a Threadripper or a an i7 I could have stabilized things a bit more.  Some people are able to get amazing performance, but most of us are stuck in frame drop city.  This is why it is incredible that the Xbox One is able to run un-recompiled Power PC Xbox 360 games so well, and even run some of them at 4K on the Xbox One X.

I am not condoning pirating, and if you are going to run emulators on your PC please buy the software first, and in RPCS3’s case, you can get a used PS3 for far cheaper than you can buy a PC that can run the emulator decently.  Not to mention most PS3 games are pretty cheap themselves theses days.  All in all, it is amazing what the RPCS3 team has accomplished, but don’t go thinking your bargain PC will be running PS3 games in a playable fashion any time soon.

I Am Not Sure If Prey Is Its Own Game Or Series Of References!

I get the distinct impression that I have played Prey before, and not because I played the 2006 original.  No, because I have played the three games that Prey uses as its foundation extensively.  That being the case I find when I play Prey, I play a lot of it, but I am not sure it is because I like it, or because there is not a new System Sock, Bioshock, or Deus Ex to play.

In Prey you play as either a male of female Morgan Yu (I am playing as a girl) who has taken a job with her brother, Alex, aboard the scientific space station Talos I.  Morgan was going to be doing advanced science and research, but instead she finds the station overrun with unknown aliens.  It is up to Morgan to figure out what has happened and stop the aliens from getting to Earth.

To help Morgan on her way she can gain new abilities by getting Neuromods that jack in to her brain and help it function better.  Much like Praxis Kits in the newer Dues Ex games you need a set number of Neuromods to unlock an ability, so to get the more advanced skills you need to collect or manufacture a lot of Neuromods.

The most unique part of Prey is the ability to recycle everything and then make new stuff from the parts.  Practically what this means however is that you will find less ammo and useful stuff around the game, and end up just stuffing your inventory with a lot of junk until you can find a Recycler.  Then holding on to the recycled materials until you find a Fabricator, so this functionally ends up working like the vending machines in Bioshock.  Except instead of cash you carry around junk.

Like all games these days you get what I call a puzzle gun.  The gun you will use as your tool to get out of all your unfortunate circumstances.  Instead of a gravity gun, a portal gun, or a bow and arrow with cool stuff attached, you get a GLOO gun that can patch holes, make bridges and ladders, and entrap enemies.  It doesn’t quite do everything, but if you are stuck, it is safe to say it is at least worth pondering if the GLOO gun can help you out.

Almost everything in Prey is a reference to another game.  Right down to cribbing Bioshock’s Art Deco look, System Shock’s atmosphere (though a lot of games have stolen that), Dues Ex’s progression system, and Half Life’s special gun mechanic, and if I am honest, I think those games did their shtick better than Prey does.  However, Prey weaves them all together pretty well, and it is competently made, so it is worth your time and money.  Especially if you like the games it barrows from.  I am enjoying myself, but I just wish it was more original.

Batman Works On His Relationships In Enemy Within Episode 3!

While what happens in Batman: The Enemy Within, Episode Three, The Fractured Mask, depends on what you did in the previous episodes, and in this episode’s case the last game, no matter what, Bruce Wayne will be dealing with his relationships.  Which is something new for Bat-fans.  Especially in the dynamic that Telltale has setup for us.

Bruce will somehow have to try and keep Batman’s friendship with Jim Gordon on the up while being forced (maybe not) to work for Amada Waller’s Agency.  All while his favorite thief Catwoman arrives back on the scene, and trying to help (or not) John Doe (Proto-Joker) with his relationship with Harley.  In other words it is an almost impossible task, and how all those relationships fit together depends on how you have been playing the game.

This is the first episode where my failures as Bruce/Batman have really come back to bite me, and it was fantastic.  Doing everything I can to keep everything working to the good, and watching myself fail to do so.  Things just keep crumbling around me.  Not to mention with all my previous knowledge about Batman, wondering if I can save poor John Doe from his fate.  I am guessing not, and I hope Harley’s fate has nothing to do with his pre-destined fall.  Because I love her as an independent, and quite scary, criminal mastermind.

While I will say I do miss the old style adventure games of the past, Telltale really knows how to weave a good story together, and this Batman tale has been one of their finest.  If you haven’t played either of their Batman games yet, you really need to because Batman: The Enemy Within has been fascinating.  I keep looking at my Steam queue hoping to see Batman update, and then I play it right away when it does, and so should you!

What’s Up With Loot Crates?

By now I am sure you have heard Star Wars Battlefront II had to remove the ability to buy in game currency with real money because that was how you bought Loot Crates, and in Battlefront II Loot Crates are how you make your characters better.  In other words it may not have been pay to win, but it was definitely pay to get better, and worse it was pay to get randomly better.

In every other game so far Loot Crates have been random rewards, like new character and weapon skins, or in Forza 7’s case random cars, but never the way to progress in a game, and I personally always liked them.  I like opening them up to see what I can see, and for the most part I was always fine unlocking them through my in game play.  It didn’t bother me that other people were buying them with real money because it mostly just meant that they had cooler looking stuff, but we were still on a level playing field.  Battlefront II changed all that, and fans rightfully came down on that game.

Like I said I am all for Loot Crates.  I can’t wait to see what I get once I earn one, but game makers just need to make sure they are not taking things too far, and Star Wars Battlefront II definitely went too far.  I hope other developers learn from their mistake.