Secretlab Titan 2020: A Gaming Chair For Disabled Gamers?

For the purposes of this review, I’ll be talking about the Titan model of this chair but it is worth pointing out that you can buy this in two other models… the smaller Omega version and the extra-large Titan XL version.

The first thing that stood out when we got this chair was the ease of setup. Secretlab has really tried to make assembly a breeze with all assembly tools are provided with a cool little accessory box to store them in afterward.

In terms of the instructions, you get a nice big picture instruction display. 

Set up took around 15 – 20 minutes but would be quicker with two people. Wheels screw onto the wheelbase which is then inserted into the bottom of the main seat frame. The armrests come pre-built onto the frame and the backrest attaches easily to each side at the rear.  

Materials wise, what’s immediately noticeable is that Secretlab didn’t spare any expense on the 2020 model. Using what’s called Prime 2.0 PU leather, Secretlab says that the fabrics on this chair are up to four times more durable than any other chair on the market.

Cold-cure foam under the upholstery and the mold of the chair shapes to the user’s lower back. There is also a comfortable memory foam pillow can also attach and detach from the backrest.

In terms of actually sitting in the seat, there is an overall firmness with a solid underlay which makes for a different feel to your average seat.

Obviously, you’d expect that given this is a specialized chair and given it retails for over $700NZD.

Visually, the chair is striking. Wherever I put it in the house, be that the lounge or in my bedroom, the design truly drew my attention with a good balance of striking logos and a simple mix of black and red color across most of the frame.

That leads me to one of the criticisms many have of these sorts of chairs, is it just all for the looks? 

Well, materially and as a chair that you’d expect to spend a lot of hours sitting in, the Secretlab Titan certainly feels just as premium a product as it looks, but again, at a $700 NZ Dollar price tag, you’d definitely expect that and it’s a hefty investment to justify if you’re just getting it for the visuals.

I personally loved the look of this chair, logos are also molded into the plastic of the armrests which is a cool, albeit slightly meaningless point in the grand scheme of things. 

Speaking of the arm wrests, they can be moved sideways, from front to back, with height adjustments and a full metal internal mechanism. The lumbar support on the lower back can also be adjusted, and the chair can also lock into full recline which allows the user to have a power nap if need be. 

So, that’s what you need to know about all the features of this chair and how it will serve the average user. It is undoubtedly one of the best chairs on the market today and I’d highly recommend it for most people, especially if you spend multiple hours working at a desk each day. 

I even had a few able-bodied people try it out and they all said it surprised them in terms of how comfortable it actually was. 

But what about for disabled people such as myself who might be wondering if this can serve as a viable option for a seat when sitting at our computer? Can this possibly match up to A the comfort and B the support your wheelchair provides you? 

The answer is, well, it’s complicated and it really depends on the end-user. 

For disabled people who have a good amount of upper body strength, the posture support of this chair is great, but the bigger question really centres around those who may be more physically restricted. If you do fall into this category, despite the ability to move armrests back and forward, up and down, and side to side, this chair won’t provide the support you’re likely needing to move freely. 

For myself personally, as someone who has specialized seating on my power wheelchair as a result of very little upper body strength, I found I couldn’t do much when sitting in the chair unaided. Don’t get me wrong, it’s comfortable, it looks nice, but the benefits here are really for your average user who can do a bit more for themselves. 

This didn’t surprise me in the slightest Secretlab didn’t go into this designing a purpose-built gaming chair to cater for the physically disabled, but in terms of that particular demographic, the Secretlab Titan is a hard sell because it won’t be until you actually get into the thing until you know if it can meet your needs or not. 

And again, at just over $700 NZD, that’s a hell of an expensive trial.

Disclaimer: The Secretlab Titan was provided to us for review purposes.

Kiwi Scores Big With Rubbish Collection Game On PlayStation

That’s exactly the vision of 25-year old school administrator Stacey Bartlett in her creation that utilses the DREAMS platform on PlayStation 4.

Pick It Up Quick! Is a fairly simple concept where the player is tasked with trying to collect as much rubbish as possible in 45-seconds, all in a beautifully reconstructed versions of two popular New Zealand beaches.

Tokahaki Point, Kapiti Island and Tāhunanui Beach, Nelson are both featured in the title which aims to tackle the real life problem of litter on New Zealand beaches, encouraging players to become citizen scientists of their own.

Since release, the game has been played more than 3000 times across 50 countries with over 100,000 people tuning in on Twitch.

But behind the early success comes a simple and important message that encourages players to relate to what they see in the game and look at ways to reduce their own impact on the environment.

For Bartlett, it will be especially impactful for those who have visited either Tokahaki Point or Tāhunanui Beach in the real world.

“I want people who have visited Tāhunanui Beach in Nelson to play the game and recognise the beach”, Bartlett said, “hopefully they can then understand the scale of the problem and take action to stop the litter getting there in the first place.”

Officially launched by Sustainable Coastlines as part of its Litter Intelligence project, the partnership is one of the first of its kind with UK-based gaming developer Media Molecule approaching Bartlett to publish the game on DREAMS.

“I’ve always loved creating things and I’d been experimenting with DREAMS for a while when Media Molecule approached me”, Bartlett said, “I’ve been playing PlayStation since I was eight so it was exciting and nerve wracking to be asked but I worked closely with the Sustainable Coastlines team to try and make the coastlines as realistic as possible.”

Bartlett’s enthusiasm and skill on the development side caught the attention of Media Molecule early on, receiving praise from the highest desk at the developer.

“What Stacey has achieved is incredible and she’s a talented creator,” says Siobhan Reddy, studio director at Media Molecule.

“We’ve seen some pretty wonderful creations within DREAMS and this is right up there, the community aspect of gameplay that encourages education and understanding is really impressive.”

Pick It Up Quick! Is available on DREAMS for PlayStation 4

F1 2020 Is A Truly Great Racer That Has Reached The Peak Of Its Powers

Since taking over the F1 license officially back in 2009, Codemasters have put the rubber stamp on the fact that they are indeed the king of racers with some truly great racers released in the years since.

With the F1 and Dirt series both getting rave reviews in recent years, sooner or later, the question of if Codemasters are beginning to reach the ceiling or their own powers is one that has to be asked.

Racing has always been their thing (remember back to the days of TOCA and V8 Supercars entries?), but it’s been in this particular gaming generation that they’ve not had to deal with a flood of games hitting the popular racing genre.

Despite what feels like fewer straight-up racers, the competition has been mighty stiff.

Over on the Xbox side, Forza Horizon 4 has been widely reviewed as one of the most accessible and fun racers in modern gaming history, while what Slightly Mad Studios have delivered with the Project Cars series has proved formidable in the console sim racing space, with impressive sim racer Assetto Corza also now a regular.

Rival motorsports such as Moto GP and WRC both have their own official games, but neither reach the depth that the F1 series has over the years.

Codemasters have always strived to deliver a fully licensed racer that caters to both the sim racer and gamers who’re simply looking to pick up and play. F1 2020 continues that fine trend, and despite it catering to the sport of F1 only (obviously), it’s also the most accessible entry to date with its wide range of assists than can make the experience worthy in either direction, arcade or hardcore.

F1 2020 feels like Codemasters reaching the very pinnacle of their powers with the current technology at hand, on the racing front at least.

One could argue that the My Team addition was slightly late in the piece because there is no logical reason why this couldn’t have featured in F1 2019 or F1 2018. My Team, a new mode that allows you to run your own team as both a driver and owner, builds on much of what the largely unchanged Career Mode already brought to the table while adding in the financial management side and the ability to create liveries, choose engine maker, etc.

My Team isn’t what sells F1 2020 in my view, because as has been the case with each subsequent release year on year, the real selling point is the on-track experience you’re getting with this racer. F1 2020 continues a hybrid between hardcore sim and a racer casual gamers can have fun with, but how it will keep true racing fans engaged is its real strength.

Understanding F1 as a motorsport is a must in order to appreciate this title to the level it truly deserves.

The best moments of F1 2020 are the intensely close races that rely on a solid strategy and a willingness to turn as many of the assists off to give yourself a good challenge on the tarmac.

Setting the difficulty upwards of 80 – 85 (the range considered in the hard category) will make chasing down the likes of Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes front-runners a truly monumental challenge, one that can only be beaten by consistent good pace and a winning strategy.

F1 2020 encourages that skill and strategy in a way that is as clear as the entries that came before it, and for what’s likely the last entry in this current generation of consoles, the real challenge for this franchise moving forward will be to keep with what works and explore ways to provide more value in the graphical department – something that both PS5 and Xbox Series X will likely help with.

My thanks once again to Koch Media for providing me with a code for this game.

GTA Online Summer Update 2020 Adds Just Enough To Make It Great

Before I knew it, hours had completely passed by me on a day that originally had been set aside as a day strictly for work.

Perhaps the joys of being a freelancer, you’re often able to make your own schedule, and when I realized that the latest project wasn’t in need of dire attention, I figured a quick pick up game of something on the PS4 would suffice.

GTA V, and its ever-popular online mode (aptly named GTA Online), never ceases to amaze me in how busy it keeps itself. Given that the Summer 2020 update has just dropped, I thought I’d quickly jump in and see what was new.

There is a lot that’s new here… and most of it is great.

I particularly like the Open Wheel racing addition, it’s a far more grounded way to race others in comparison to the often crazy Transform series for example. Perhaps I liked this particular addition because it’s somewhat more ‘normal’, if anything in the world of GTA Online can be labeled such, but what it also did is make me appreciate what Rockstar has continued to deliver with their service.

Sure, the pay-to-be-flashy model is tiresome, but that’s the only way Rockstar is making money on GTA Online at this point.

The originally promised single-player DLC add-on has basically been a non-event, in fact, remind me, did they ever get round to releasing that? I could swear that they haven’t.

GTA Online, as it has from the very start, caters to just about everyone by way of its variety.

Shooter fan? Ok, the mechanics are average, but you’ve got some seriously diverse options here. Today I jumped into a King of the Hill match and totally enjoyed capturing and defending zones.

Then I had a go at the tried and tested Survival suite of matches, and let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying (at least as a long time fan of the GTA franchise with a deep love for San Andreas in particular) than returning to Grove Street for a Survival shootout against the purple-wearing ballers.

Bounty missions are fun, and thanks to them being spread out right across the map, traveling to the next poor soul in line to meet the wrath of my shotgun gave me time to truly soak in the world that Rockstar has created here. Of course, in 2020, everyone has an open-world game to their name but trips around Mount Chilliad show me that various little additions to the environment, from new gang sites and freshly built buildings, have all been crafted with the detail you’d come to expect.

For as tiresome as some gamers may label GTA Online, there is no doubt that it remains a constantly built upon project by Rockstar.

In comparison to Red Dead Redemption and that particular online offering, the playability in GTA Online has always been bounds ahead, and it remains so with this particular update, one which again brings just enough new additions, however small, to make it worth taking a look at.

If Red Dead Online is a grind, GTA Online is built for immediate fun. If you can get past how damn expensive all the in-game items are, and you can tolerate some at times terrible frame rate performance, the Summer Update keeps on giving.

Again, try the Open Wheel racing mode! It truly is a gas (if you can get the pun?).

Secretlab Gaming Chairs Now Available In New Zealand

With a growing base of passionate gamers playing on PC in New Zealand, Secretlab has noticed a high uptake in orders from the Australian and Singapore distribution centres, often costing gamers a premium in import costs. 

Secretlab CEO Ian Alexander Ang says that setting up a local store would allow gamers to purchase the specialised chairs at a lower cost. 

“We’ve consistently seen customers in New Zealand pay extra for shipping from our Australia store, with some early adopters even going out of their way to ship their chairs from Singapore. As a result, we wanted to set up a local store so they could get our chairs more readily, at a lower cost, and with quicker warranty support”, Ang said. 

New Zealand’s growing game development market was also another reason Secretlab felt the expansion would be a good on the back of continued growth in gaming during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

“New Zealand is a country of avid gamers, and it boasts a thriving game development market. It is also home to Grinding Gear Games, the developer of Path of Exile, one of the most popular action role-playing games in the world.” 

Customers will be able to order the OMEGA and TITAN versions of the chair starting on Thursday July 16 from www.secretlab.co.nz 

Secretlab is the top choice of the world’s most successful esports teams and the biggest gaming tournaments, including Dota 2’s The International and the League of Legends World Championship. 

The world’s winningest teams and esports athletes across the largest and most popular esports titles choose Secretlab to equip them with the extra performance edge they need to bring home even more trophies, from back-to-back The International winners OG to esports legacy powerhouse Team Liquid.

Ghost of Tsushima Review: Breaking New Ground

Please note – this review is also available on https://dashgamer.com/

In all my years as a gamer, playing as a samurai has never been at the top of my list of to do’s. Thanks to my lack of knowledge of modern or historic Japanese culture, plus a total obliviousness to the Mongol invasions back in the 1200’s, this could easily have been a title to overlook in the already impressive lineup of excellent PlayStation exclusives. 

As it turns out – I’m glad I didn’t sleep on Ghost of Tsushima – because it’s an excellent game and a new personal best for Sucker Punch Productions who have taken an almighty risk by leaving Infamous in the shadows. 

Taking the role of Jin Sakai, a young samurai, you’re immediately propelled into a cross-country mission in search of justice. Sure, that’s nothing new for an action-adventure game, nor is a vast open-world full of areas to explore and regions to liberate from enemy forces.

But a yawn fest this game is not. 

From the beginning, it’s clear that Sucker Punch are true to their word in how the original development for their latest title took inspiration from the likes of Red Dead Redemption and Zelda Breath of the Wild, but there is also a decent hint of Assassins Creed about some the game that players should notice quickly. 

Like in Breath of the Wild, the world in Ghost of Tsushima encourages the “if you can see it, chances are you can get to it” mantra to its exploration. The biggest difference to Zelda and other well-done open worlds is how the environment itself can be your guiding compass to the next destination. If you’ve selected a location on the map, a simple swipe up on the Dualshock’s touchpad will trigger a ‘guiding wind’ where the breeze points you into the direction you need to be going. 

It doesn’t ever get old and I personally found myself using the feature more and more, preferring this cool (albeit slightly tokenistic) mechanic to find my way around rather than just going from the traditional ‘point A to B’ with an ugly guiding line in the middle of your screen. 

Sucker Punch hasn’t tried to rewrite the rulebook of an open-world adventure title, they’ve just added their own spin to it, and it works. 

Visuals That Will Make Your Jaw Drop 

Speaking of the world itself, Ghost of Tsushima is one of the most visually stunning gaming experiences ever made. Period. 

During the over six-year development, Sucker Punch devs took regular trips to real-world Japan and the Island of Tsushima (located between mainland Japan and the Korean Peninsula) to get a true sense of the world they wanted to capture in the game. 

Work included taking hundreds of photo scanned leaves, tree models, grass, and bush in their bid to develop as realistic a world as possible based on the real thing. From an audio perspective, Sucker Punch also took the time to record various nature sounds, such as birds and the sound of wind rustling through trees in forests. 

It all works in the final product, but it’s the visuals that truly stand out, the cool atmospheric sounds are just a bonus. 

Whether it be tall mountains in the distance, smoke pouring out of a building on another horizon, a shrine on a hilltop, or the several wonderfully detailed Japanese temples, Ghost of Tsushima feels like a world that is alive and well. 

Of course, the game is based (albeit loosely) on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. To build an experience around a real-life historic event and not put in the detail to do it justice would’ve been easily noticeable to gamers, and what Sucker Punch achieve in this area could be a lesson other developers could learn. 

It’s all very well and good to have solid gameplay, but if the environments fail to deliver, the title as a whole suffers. Ghost of Tsushima refuses to let any detail in its world slip past the quality test. 

Thankfully, the moment-to-moment gameplay in Ghost of Tsushima is on par with its amazing visuals. This is no more true than when in combat. 

Fights feel great and require a decent amount of concentration and timing on the pad to get right. Early on, Ghost of Tsushima gives a combat tutorial that will serve gamers well moving forward, covering the basic striking and defence mechanics as well as some tricks that help give a slight advantage. 

As the game goes on and you enter more battles, you’ll only ever have a slight advantage depending on the approach taken to combat and the various upgrades and skill points earned. Making use of the skill tree, constantly upgrading abilities and utilising armour is crucial in Ghost of Tsushima as you’ll take on several different types of enemies. 

There are also different battle stance options to be learned and mastered. These stances are critical to giving yourself the best chance against the different enemies, most of which require different stances in order to beat. 

As an example – the stone stance is ideal for taking on other swordsmen whereas the water stance is best for Mongols with shields. Light and heavy attacks with the Katana (your main weapon) are used best in variation, plus there is simply nothing more satisfying than an accurate headshot using your upgradable bow. 

Combat just feels great, every battle feels exciting, and the audio/visual cues Sucker Punch have implemented into the fight system should keep even the most unreliable of players feeling like they’re always capable of getting the win. 

Yes, Ghost of Tsushima is a samurai game and its combat reflects this in large part, but you’d be hard stretched to find more fun in moment to moment fights in any other game. 

A Sloggy Story 

But despite its brilliant visuals, addicting gameplay in battles, Ghost of Tsushima does have issues in its storytelling. Jin Sakai is pretty one-dimensional in his motives, and as such, the main story feels like a chore at times despite some fun missions that push the plot forward. 

But unlike The Last of Us Part II or Red Dead Redemption 2, characters in Ghost of Tsushima just don’t have the conviction that made me care about their fortunes. I just wanted to get to the next mission to enjoy the fantastic combat and see how many Mongol enemies I could stealth until getting caught. What happened to Jin, or his various well-acted sidekicks, didn’t really phase me a whole lot. 

As for the antagonists, without giving too much away, they didn’t really do a whole lot for me either and their motivations seemed fairly run of the mill. 

All that being said, at the time of writing this review I am approaching on 20-hours of game time and I do sense there is still a lot more to come from the story itself. So far it hasn’t grabbed me, but the brilliance of other areas mentioned in this monologue will keep me coming back for multiple playthroughs I’m sure. 

Also, I am fairly new to the samurai genre, so much of the underpinning “swordy stuff” behind the plot could well be over my head. 

Sucker Punch Has Found Its Next Big Franchise 

Ghost of Tsushima is an utterly beautiful game that features an open world you should explore and take a lot of time with. To not do so defeats the purpose. 

On top of its seemingly endless discovery, the battle system provides one of the best and most intense gaming experiences I’ve had that equal everything that was great about the combat systems in games like The Last of Us Part II, Red Dead Redemption 2, and even some of the better Assassins Creed games. 

The combat does what it does exceptionally well, and it’s that wider game within the game during these moments that provide the biggest highlight throughout all the well-designed missions. 

What Ghost of Tsushima lacks is a great story. Everything else is on par with some of the best title on PS4, and it’s a fitting farewell to a simply outstanding lineup of AAA+ single-player experiences that make this generation a winner for PlayStation.

Ghost of Tsushima might be the last big gun on the PS4, but it’s also one of the best, albeit for a slightly disengaging main plot.  

FINAL RATING: 9/10

The review code for Ghost of Tsushima was provided by PlayStation NZ/AU. Thanks heaps once again!

Revealed PS5 Controller Signals Sony’s Clear Attempt To Diversify

Sony revealed what they are calling the DualSense wireless controller which will come paired with each PS5 when the console launches later this year.

The controller is busy to look at it, that’s not altogether a bad thing but certainly, it’s a departure from the traditional simplistic look that Sony have traditionally adopted.

Two colours, black and white, with the same blue lightbar visuals that this time are placed on either side of a largely unchanged touchpad.

Prior to the reveal, some speculated that the next controller could forego the touchpad entirely as it was largely unused by a lot of developers on the PS4. Sony has decided to stick with it, and in all honesty, it’s probably the aspect of the new pad that remains the same.

Gone are the colours of the four facing symbols, they’re now clear white/grey and the same for the D-Pad which has a slight, albeit cheaper looking design feel.

The back triggers are where it gets really interesting this time around. The R2 and L2 triggers are both adaptable and will be programmed to work differently with different games, something Sony says will make gamers more immersed in what they’re playing, using the example of the tension felt when drawing a bow to shoot an arrow.

The haptic feedback exceeds just the triggers and takes on the whole controller, providing sensations the gamer can feel in their hands, Sony using the example of the slow grittiness felt when driving a car through the mud.

Form factor and size-wise, whilst they might say it’s designed to feel less bulky in the hands, first impressions are that the controller will be the direct opposite, a big plastic and surely heavier form factor from Sony this time around.

The share button is now called the ‘create’ button and the controller also features a built-in microphone, USB-C port for charging and a slight rework of the analogue sticks.

Is the DualSense Controller Needlessly Radical In Design?

Sony themselves say that the DualSense represents the most radical departure from previous controllers in the PlayStation stable. They aren’t wrong, and whilst this isn’t close to the worst moments in product reveals by Sony, there is a sense of 2005 about all of this.

Remember the infamous boomerang controller originally slated for the PS3 way back when?

In terms of simplicity on the eye, Xbox surely takes the win on the controller battle heading into the next generation.

In contrast, the DualSense looks needlessly radical and points to just as striking a console design when, for the first time, it’s likely that Sony goes with a largely white look for the PS5 box.

If nothing else, what Sony revealed today signals that they’re serious about making all aspects of their new console feel, and look, like a big leap from the current into the future.

Whether that means a controller that will feel good in the hands, and develop games for, remains an interesting scenario still to play out.

Microsoft’s Next-Gen Console Revealed As Xbox Series X

The Game Awards might be known for some big announcements, but Microsoft took it to a whole new level in the 2019 edition. 

A new console, the new console, called Xbox Series X for the time being, coming in holiday 2020, is not yet available for pre-order.

Microsoft says they want to give “more information” before opening the floodgates for orders, but their shock announcement at Thursday’s Game Awards took nearly everybody by surprise in any case.

In announcing Xbox Series X, formerly known as Project Scarlett, Microsoft have beaten Sony to the punch in announcing their next-generation games console.

Little is actually known about Xbox Series X, other than its distinct PC tower-like look and a new dedicated share button on the controller.

No price was revealed, but according to an article on Gamespot, Microsoft wants to be transparent about what gamers will be paying for before going ahead and allowing them to be first in line for purchase.

The design of the console is what’s got many gamers talking on social media immediately after the announcement dropped. Shaped like a Gaming PC tower, the console’s square footprint is roughly as wide as an Xbox One controller and around three times as tall. Featuring a disc drive for games and other media, there is little else to talk about in what is a very clean and modern looking form factor for the Xbox Series X.

The console will also feature an NVMe SSD and use super-fast GDDR6 memory as RAM.

But, that name though? Microsoft’s Phil Spencer hinted that the name may change prior to an official release, telling Gamespot “Series X gives us the freedom to do other things with that name so that we can create descriptors when we need to”.

Make sense? No, not really and it is one of the only points of confusion that has come out of the reveal.

In terms of the most important thing, the games, Microsoft already has some big titles to in the new console window, Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2 for starters. There is also the large lineup of Microsoft Game Studios development teams working on new titles and the work being done around the xCloud games streaming platform.

In short, we now have a name and a look at Microsoft’s flashy next-generation games console. There is much more specific information to follow, but for the time being, Sony has been beaten to the punch and that will see Xbox head Phil Spencer sleeping comfortably for the next night or two.

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Far Cry 5 Promises to be a Mixed Bag

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I never played either Far Cry 4 or Primal. After completing and absolutely loving my time with Far Cry 3 back toward the latter end of the PS3 generation, somehow I managed to skip the next two instalments in the franchise.

What I remember about FC3 was its large, flush, and vibrant open world where the mixture of story missions and side quests ensured that there was always something worthwhile to do. Ok, climbing the communication towers to unlock different parts of the map became tedious quickly, but the in order to continue your adventure as Jason Brody battling the creepy villain Vaas, it was a rewarding necessity. The other memorable aspect to FC3 was its gunplay, where shooting wave after wave of enemies increasing in difficulty took up a large part of the mission structure. For some, this was fun, but for others, it became tedious.

Below is IGN’s 2012 review of Far Cry 3:

Far Cry 5 Moves to Hope County, Montana 

With the series moves to Hope County; a fictional setting based in Montana, this marks the first time that a Far Cry game has been set in the United States.

A religious and political thriller will tell the story of Joseph Seed, leader of the Eden’s Gate cult that has taken over Hope County. Your role is to stop Seed and his cult, which is pretty cut and dry for any shooter, but the wider-reaching religious and political elements of this game are sure to stir some controversy after the game launches on March 26.

If nothing else, the Far Cry games are fantastic at story-telling and creating a feeling of both enjoyment and discomfort for the player. This latest instalment promises to be no different. Buckle up and get ready.

Exploring the world of Hope County also promises to be as intriguing as the story mode itself. All the usual Far Cry adventures will be featured, from paragliding to off-road ATV adventures. Furthermore, activities like fishing and stunt racing also make their way to the game. Big rigs (trucks) will be welcome driving additions, but by far the coolest aspect to what FC5 has to offer is the ability to fly planes and helicopters, plus interact and use animals such as dogs and bears to your advantage throughout missions.

Will Far Cry 5 Become a Tedious Experience?

But with all the promise that FC5 has in its offering; some very big concerns remain heading into launch. My first concern is the nature of the missions. Just how many gunfight battles in large compounds are there going to be? Will players simply go from overthrowing one cult compound in Hope County to another? It is crucial that FC5 has variety in its missions, otherwise, the experience will stale quickly and gamers may not be compelled to see it through till the end.

Secondly, my other big concern is microtransactions. Reports have already surfaced that suggest Ubisoft will offer a quicker alternative through FC5’s story mode, with additional weapons, vehicles, and abilities being some of the rewards for real-world money transactions. Assassins Creed Origins, the last big release for Ubisoft, did feature microtransactions but not on the same level that reports surrounding FC5 have suggested. All this remains to be seen but given where the gaming industry has headed over the past couple of years, expect Ubisoft to try and milk as much out of gamers wallets as they can.

Final Thoughts

Far Cry 5 promises to be the best instalment of the famous franchise yet, but it won’t come without its problems and it certainly won’t get perfect reviews. But for one of the big releases in 2018 outside of some noteworthy counterparts, this is a game that will be worth taking a good look at on launch day.

GTA Online: Changing The Game For Rockstar

Some would argue that aspects to GTA Online have become a little over the top; but it’s success cannot be questioned. Not even in 2017, four whole years after launch. 

GTA Online is as playable and content packed as its ever been. Gamers still keep coming back for more. Similar to FPS shooter Destiny, GTA Online has amassed a cult following of loyal fans who spend hours upon hours of game time playing through all the modes, both new and old.

Some of the new online modes GTA Online will have to offer are Transformation Racing, which for the first time will allow players to switch between air, water, and road during the course of a single race.

The foundation of GTA Online’ success has come from periodic releases of new game modes.

GTA Online: Changing The Game For Rockstar

The concept of GTA Online was favourable to gamers and was met with a ton of positivity following its original announcement. When GTA V launched in September 2013 (can you believe it’s been that long!?), gamers had two weeks to get familiar with the game prior to the online component releasing.

In 2013, and perhaps even before then, Rockstar had seen the writing on the wall. Online was the future for gaming; developers could no longer just rely on a jam-packed campaign mode. Gamers finish the core single player component of a game quicker than ever, and with that, they want more ‘bang for their buck’.

GTA Online not only gave gamers just that, it changed the course for future Rockstar games.