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Checkpoint 8/11: The Calm Before The Mania

Welcome to Checkpoint, a segment from the authors here at LevelSave designed to quickly let you know what is on our minds, how we are reacting to current news and trends, and some looks into content coming soon from LevelSave.com. 

August 11, 2017

Everybody’s Super Sonic Waiting.

Checkpoints:

  • I’ve talked about my love for the Sonic the Hedgehog series before. Today, I’ve reached peak hype for next week’s Sonic Mania release.
  • I will be writing a review of the game once I finish it. Look forward to more Sanic.
  • The game’s retail price may be the most refreshing part. $19.99 for a digital copy? I’ll get it on PC, Xbox, and Switch for the cost of a retail game. Way Past Cool!
  • I’m getting close to the end of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands. This game has a very satisfying gameplay loop. I’m sad its almost over.
  • It got a fair amount of criticism for keeping in line with Ubisoft’s open world mainstays, but I never felt it getting old or repetitive.
  • I enjoyed this game enough that I actually bought the season pass when it went on sale. I will be playing the DLC after I finish the main game.

Bonus Level:

Wildlands is interesting in that you can play it single player with some interesting AI command options, or you can play co-op with friends and lose that functionality entirely. I had a squad of 4 buddies that played with me when our schedules aligned, and we always had fun. Still… the level of control you have over the AI versions of your squad in single player can be quite robust. Not having that in multiplayer made the game feel noticeably less accessible at the same time as being more challenging and fun. It’s an odd issue to have. i enjoy playing both modes, so maybe Ubisoft is on to something here.

The game also recently launched their post-level cap mode, “Tier”. Once you reach the level cap, you can activate tier mode that allows you to further upgrade weapon stats, and continually increase the game’s difficulty. The AI gets smarter, you lose “comfort” features like some UI elements and cool down periods for your skills increase a bit. I can’t really find any fault with it. As you upgrade your character traditionally, the game’s difficulty seems to drop because you become so adept at the game’s loop. Even on the highest difficulty setting (which I worked my way up to less than an hour in) the game was quite hard at the outset, but then became almost trivial after unlocking more skills and weapons. Thanks to the Tier system, I’m being challenged way more than before the update. I’m happy with the results.

I’m also quite happy with the freedom the game gives you when approaching missions. Full Stealth is my preference, but the gunplay is pretty good too. I even like the idea that entire missions can be completed with a drone, if you’re skilled enough with it. The Ghost Recon series has always been a decent stealth offering. This game is no different, but the open world allowed the gameplay mechanics to vary wildly. I’m hoping this game gets a sequel because of it.

Checkpoint reached.

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About the author

James T. George

Jim, a proud native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, enjoys a variety of things other than games, movies, music, sports, and technology, but usually falls prey to character limits when filling out

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