It has been an interesting month for games, and I’ve been playing some new and old. My Oculus Quest has also received some much needed attention as the v10 software update came out as well. I can now finally watch movies on the Quest without the lights being on as tracking can now be disabled for Quest applications that don’t require it.
I’m looking forward to trying Oculus Link next month as well, and have purchased a suitable 3 metre usb 3.1 for the occasion. I’ll be trying a USB 3.1 Gen 1 cable first, simply because I don’t have any USB 3.1c ports handy on my PC (only USB 3.1A). That still theoretically supports 5Gbps transfer speeds so I’m hoping that will be enough. In the meantime though I’m still using the trusty Virtual Desktop Quest application to wireless play the games via Steam VR. This application just keeps getting better (version 1.63 as of writing).
I finally got around to playing Fallout 4 in VR. My experience was a very positive one. It is definitely a great way to explore the Fallout universe. I am not far into the game so far but imagine if I have to do the settlement micro management again I’ll probably not play more extensively in VR. I thought Fallout 4 had potential, but there was just far too much micro management in keeping all the settlements running. This unfortunately slowed the game down just too much. For that reason alone I still think Fallout 3 is the pinnacle of the series.
The other VR titles I played during October included Project Cars 2. I’m really keen to see if Oculus Link improves the image quality specifically for this game. For some reason it still looks pretty hazy at times and I haven’t played it on a native Rift. Then I continued my Alien Isolation playthrough in VR using the MotherVR mod. This is the only way to play Alien Isolation and I can’t go back to the standard TV now. This Alien Isolation VR mod is so impressive and worth playing.
On the non VR gaming front I’ve been playing quite a bit of GRID 2 on PC. It has aged pretty well, despite no cockpit view and seems to offer plenty of career event variety. I’m still dabbling in Forza Motorsport 7 and Forza Horizon 4 and that is not likely to change until I get to play the next Forza game in the series.
The big surprise for me is The Outer Worlds. This is available on the Xbox, PS4 and PC and is just such a great space RPG game. It is like developer Obsidian took inspiration from Borderlands, Mass Effect and Fallout (this isn’t surprising since they developed Fallout: New Vegas) and then stuck firmly to the single player experience. Where the trend is to develop games as a service, including a micro-transaction economy and lots of inevitable grinding and MMO elements, The Outer Worlds hails back to the finest days of single player gaming goodness. Being a new IP too, this definitely has a lot of room for growth. Based on the positive reviews and reception received there appear to be a lot of gamers who can’t wait for a sequel.
It is available on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. If you are subscribed to the Ultimate version of Game Pass this allows you to play on PC or Xbox. I’m playing it on the Xbox One X and it looks great and runs well (30fps). If you have a powerful enough PC it looks even nicer on PC, but be aware there is no cross-save functionality for the game.
Finally I can’t help myself but I’m playing through the original Dark Souls yet again. This time I’m playing the Remastered version on PC. It looks the best it has ever been in 4K and 60fps. It is a touch easier because of the smoother frame rate (I originally played it on the Xbox 360) but it is still Dark Souls. I still die, and die a lot. Sometimes it is the usual walking just that one step too far and plunging to my death. Otherwise it is being decimated by monsters or nefarious traps.
What brings me back to Dark Souls again you ask? The third person combat is still one of the best examples out there (I haven’t played Sekiro yet), and the level design is incredible. The original Dark Souls also has some of the most devious traps to work through in any game, and some of the boss designs are both grotesque and stunning. I still maintain Dark Souls is a better game than Bloodborne, but this is partly because I seem to always gravitate to the sword and shield combination, mixed with a bit of range. Bloodborne was all about attack in order to win whereas I prefer the more calculated and defensive approach to combat. Attacking only when it provides an advantage to the fight.
When I’m not working on Book 2 of the Ebonsheare Chronicles this is what I’ve been playing. What have you been playing? Feel free to share your thoughts.