This week, on the Random Game Review, we look back at Ubisoft’s “Outland” from 2014!
This week, on the Random Game Review, we look back at Ubisoft’s “Outland” from 2014!
I started playing Ingress a few months ago, and it’s turning out to be quite the interesting experience. Granted, the game has only been around for about 4 years, but it’s got quite the following of players from all walks of life and all locations. What I like about it is that it includes everyone, no matter where you are from.
This puts you into a virtual struggle between two teams – the Enlightened, and the Resistance. In the area I’m in, it made more sense to be part of the latter, since the Enlightened seem to have more active players, so this way you have more things that you can do. There is a whole backstory about how the world has become filled with Exotic Matter, or XM, and these two factions are fighting for control of different locations that this XM comes into our world through. The “Shapers” are the beings who created XM, and are bringing it to our world.
The same company that made this game later brought out Pokemon Go, which uses pretty much the same engine, but you use locations for gyms and Poke-stops rather than portals. Either way you play, it forces you to go get out into the world and travel, which I think is a good thing. It’s meant to be good, light-hearted competitive fun, and that’s how I play it. Sometimes you get those players who don’t realize that it’s only a game (or forget, or whatever), and they take the game way too seriously, and I think that takes away from the spirit of the game. As long as you have a smartphone/tablet and a thirst for adventure, it’s a great game to play, and you meet interesting people along the way. I was lucky, as I know a few people here locally that play, and we’re all on the same faction side, so it builds a sense of cooperation and fun!
If you haven’t tried it out yet, I really suggest you give it a shot, as it really is free to play. The only cost is your time, gas if you travel by car, and if you choose to buy key lockers (they come in handy, and you can get all 5 for only $10), of if you buy what is called a fracker, which allows you to hack a portal many times in a short amount of time. Other than that, you don’t need to put any real money into this game. It’s a hobby – a way of sharing time that you can have fun doing………..and I enjoy it quite a lot!
So what will happen next week? What the results are would be anyone’s guess.
We have two people – that we apparently wanted to have run against each other. I’m starting to think this was a stunt done on a drunken dare to see how ridiculous of a match-up we could get to run our country for the next four to eight years. Well, whoever thought of this idea apparently got it to work, because it just doesn’t get any more ridiculous than this.
In one corner, we have someone who has been accused of having classified email on a private server and has done other things that have not been good for this country – oh, but have you noticed it’s the email that they are harping about constantly? They’ve investigated Hilary at least seven times about Benghazi – not once having been able to prove her guilty of anything.
In the other corner, we have someone who has been called sexist, racist, a bigot, a homophobe, and a hothead – on many occasions. This is a guy who blows up over a Twitter post, and yet people want him as Commander-in-Chief? Make America great again? Only if he gets fired……….if he even wins. How would that be for irony? Donald…..you’re fired!
So to me, there is no real good choice here. Of course, if you vote for a third-party at this time, it would have to be a unified effort of monolithic proportions that would dwarf any of the other totals……..which we know at this point wouldn’t happen. Why? We’ve become complacent and apathetic. We’ve become accustomed to the country being in the toilet and decades behind the times in advancing the betterment of all that we’re used to it, and really don’t want to change.
Oh……..you say we do? Well, why aren’t you showing it? Why aren’t you getting more in larger crowds and voting? Our voter turnout is pathetic to say the least. You can’t gripe if you don’t cast your vote. Yes, you are only one person, but count that up by as many people as don’t care anymore, and you get a pretty staggering number. I’ll be there in line casting my voice, but will it be enough to count to sway the vote the way I would hope it would? Maybe………but at least I’ve done my part.
Seeing this game coming out is going to make me one happy camper!
Nowadays, people are more and more into going online to play games in multiplayer mode. They say this is to encourage more interaction and have fun with others online. That all sounds pretty on paper and in concept, but the truth is far uglier than some may be led to believe.
When I play games, I play them to immerse myself in an online world where I can be the hero, the villain, or like the picture I used for this article – the vigilante. I play games to be encompassed in a story that I can have fun with, and not have to worry about some bully ruining the experience.
There are many ways this happens, but the most common are those who prey on the newbies. These people have high-level characters or monsters that can easily obliterate the new characters, so they go out purposely stalking out these people and pounding them into as many component pixels as possible. What fun is a game where you can get smashed repeatedly by some overpowered buffoon before you even have a chance to get your feet wet in the game? All this does is just cause hurt feelings and make people want to rage quit the game to play something else.
You leave – they win – they brag and get a bigger ego. Sorry……….I would just rather play something else than let this waste of effort get a bigger chip on their shoulder.
“But why don’t you practice and get better so you can beat them?” Why would I be interested in just getting in some pissing match with somebody who has been playing longer – or worse yet, exploited the system so they can’t be beaten, just to have them wallop all over you again. If that is your cup of tea, then fine………have fun. Go at it. Maybe you might actually beat them. I guess that is what competition is all about. It’s also why I quit playing games like Destiny, and refuse to ever install World of Warcraft on my computer – it’s not fun when you have to spend all of your time fending off overpowered monkey-brained fart-trumpets all the time you’re online. In fact, one of my favorite games – Watch Dogs – has an online component where you can hack into other people’s games and they can hack into yours. The problem is………people there cheat as well. They find some exploit in the system that gives them a place to hide where they can get at you, but good luck getting to them. I just turned off the online feature after that. Maybe I’ll turn it on again someday if I play through again……….maybe.
Anyone who knows what games I play knows I go for single-player games with good stories and fun gameplay. These days, along with the aforementioned Watch Dogs, I am playing Shadow of Mordor, Fallout 4, Witcher 3, and GTA V (I know GTA V has online – I just haven’t done much with it). I don’t do Battlefront at all, even though I love Star Wars. I probably won’t even do No Man’s Sky, but that one is for other reasons (you can’t build bases and you would probably never even find your friends if you tried). Maybe I’m just getting picky in my tastes as I approach the half-century mark – or I have just lost the patience for stupid……..which tends to pop up a lot in online multiplayer. I’ll just stick with what I like, and leave the battles to those who have more time and patience for it.
These days, it seems more and more people are enticed and entranced by the allure of the convenience & ease of online shopping. It was a natural progression once the internet age started, and things – as well as people became more and more connected.
Nowadays, if you live in a far-flung area of the world, but just have to have that new thing that just popped up on the market in the larger cities, usually it’s just a few clicks away, and soon, that item is whizzing speedily to your door! If all goes well, you have just saved yourself time, gas, and a little bit of sanity.
Was the savings truly worth it in every sense of the word? One of the things that is missing from that equation that seems to be pretty important is “going out”. Think about it………if you have a choice of going to a store to shop for what you want, or clicking a few buttons and have the item delivered into your hands…….which one do you choose? Most people nowadays will choose the latter, even if the item they want is not too far from their physical location! Now, granted, this is a huge boon for those who are mobility-challenged, as it gives them the comforts that they desire, so there are some positive spins to this whole thing. For a majority of people though, it seems sometimes like a further compartmentalization of our world.
Gaming is another arena that has turned to this form of cooperation. I remember when playing multi-player meant you invited your friends over to your house – or you went to theirs – and you all gathered around with snacks, drinks, and gaming fun. Nowadays, you connect with people online and through social media to play. This works for your friends that are far away, but the games these days are only geared for this – no more local multiplayer options – at least not very many. I guess I’m just old-school minded when it comes to doing things like gathering for conversation or going shopping. I prefer the company of friends and family in real-time, face-to-face in the same room over just shooting text over social media in easy, bite-size chunks……..but that’s just me.
Whether it’s good for you or not, it seems the online world is becoming the norm rather than the exception. It is what it is. Take it for what you will and enjoy what you can!
I remember a time when “double-nickel” was the rule of the highways – 55 miles per hour. It was the rule that I believe borne the song “I Can’t Drive 55” by Sammy Hagar. Nowadays, it seems that speed has long since become a relic, relegated to state highways and other non-major thoroughfares.
I guess I can relate to some extent why people want to go faster. Some reasons that come to mind could include just wanting to get from point A to point B faster, they’re too cheap to fly there, so they choose to “fly” on the road instead……or any number of other reasons. I think the steady increase in the speed limit on our nation’s highways is indicative of our wanting to get somewhere in a hurry – and not really caring who we have to pass or plow over to get there.
In some ways, this can be a good thing. After all, in Europe there is the Autobahn, a road where you can go literally as fast as your heart desires. Would I ever travel it? Not on your life. I don’t have a death wish in a car – I don’t care how fast or how cool it is. In my home state of Montana for a time, they used to employ what was known as “basic rule”, which is where you could go as fast as you felt you could safely go. Needless to say, that law did not last very long, and it went back to 65mph. Later on, the limit would be raised to 75, and now 80. I guess with vehicles getting better and better fuel economy, speeds are pretty much up to the driver in most cases. I’m not sure if I feel comfortable going 80 mph to get where I’m going. I have gone 70 or 75, but I keep asking myself “where does this end?”.
The other thing to take into consideration is all of the other drivers on the road. Not everyone will be driving as fast, or as safe as you are, so of course, this all falls under “defensive driving” – where you have to be mindful of other drivers on the road. Also, if you are not going as fast as other cars, it behooves you to stay in the right-hand lane – this is for slower traffic, as the left-hand lane is generally considered to be the “passing lane”. It’s not a lane you stay in and keep all to yourself – you pass, and then you get back over to the right. Not everyone is as considerate as one would like to think though, which creates, as I’m sure you’re all aware, issues with “road rage”.
Another issue that comes up with speed and impatience is the practice of “lane splitting”, where a motorcycle rider goes down a busy road, riding the line, zooming between vehicles. This practice, while not illegal in all states, in my opinion, is reckless and dangerous. I would hate to be the person stopped in traffic, for whatever reason, had to exit the car while stopped, and while the door is open, **WHAM!!** – some poor rider has slammed headlong into the interior of my car door. On the same topic, what if someone changed lanes in traffic while the rider was not looking. That motorcycle would become part of the poor victim’s back bumper at that point.
I’m not exactly sure what motivates each and every person to travel at the speed they do, but some drivers really spook me when I’m out driving. They ride up on your rear-end so far, you would swear they are going to poke their head out in your back seat and yell at you to speed up or something. They switch lanes so fast and so frequently – often without signalling, that they seem to be jockeying for the pole position in whatever race they think they are in……….more often than not getting stopped at the very same red light that you ended up pulling up to five or ten seconds later. Oh……and just because you happen to own a sporty car that can bury the needle at 160mph or more, it does not mean you have to drive like a tool and see just how fast you can go in some vain attempt at impressing someone. Anytime I ever drive something “sporty”, I drive like I normally do, and just watch the perplexed reactions of those who pass by me or encounter me at an intersection – like they think I’m going to race them or something – or wonder why I didn’t blow through the intersection at the last possible moment. Simple……….I’d like to live to see the next day, thank you.
Be safe out there everyone, and for pete’s sake……….buckle up if you’re in a car, and wear a helmet if you’re on a motorbike. It’s just the right thing to do.