For a long time I’d planned to get an xbone, but I was never financially stable enough to justify the cost, and I kept moving around every 5-8 months. Now, with my regular income and future plans all set out, I now live in the sort of conditions which make it practical for me to own a heavy expensive box which plays games. So, last week I finally went ahead and ordered an xbox. It arrived on friday, along with some games, all for around £250 in total (console for £190, plus 5 games for £60).

console in box

I opened it up, here’s the new fancy controller. It’s wireless, and it comes with batteries but no charging cable.

controller

I set it up on my bedside table, I’d planned to stick it upright under my desk, but it doesn’t come with a stand. Seems they decdided not to go further to include any extras or accessories here.

console with desk

Soon after plugging it into the internet it went off to download some updates.

updates

Once that was done, I had to go and install some of these games. So, while waiting, I played around with our old avatar. I don’t think I’ve touched this thing in at least 5 years.

avatar

I was a big Halo fan, which explains the helmet. He’s also wearing sandals? I think the sandals were Matthieu’s decision.

I played through the first level of the Perfect Dark remake. It’s a lot more cyperpunk-y than Perfect Dark: Zero.

Perfect Dark

There’s been a brief resurgence in systems-based (stealth) sandboxes in the past couple of years, I know there’s a proper name for these, I tend to group them together as ‘0451 games.’

Dishonored really hit the right spot for me, I played the expansions several times over. Even outside of the diaries and audio-logs, the world is just so rich with details, stories layered on top of one another. Plus the art is incredible.

Yeah, I bought Dishonored 2. I’m intending to play through the series in chronological order all the way to ‘Death of the Outsider.’ The two storylines contained in Dishonored 1 are to some extent driven by player choices, there’s even a point where Daoud and Corvo fight one another directly. I understand that the plot hangs together because it all fits within Dishonored 1, but how do the writers reconstruct what happens after that?

With Dishonored, I think I’m a fairly engaged player, I read the notes and book excerpts around the levels, I listen to the audio-logs. Nonetheless, when I tried to describe the story to a friend, I was struggling to recount the actual main sequence of events. The story tends to dive off one way or another, it encourages the player to go off and explore, and it is rewarding to piece together the backstory of this or that minor character. It’s easy to get lost in the world, which makes for an excellent game, but it also means the overall story is kind of difficult to follow.

Here’s Piero Joplin first fitting Corvo Attano with his mask.

night

Aside from Dishonored, I was tempted by Prey, which is also developed by Arkane Studios and a similar style of game. And I’m really looking forward to Metro: Exodus, when it comes out… next month!

Also on my list is:

  • Halo: Master Chief Collection
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • Rare Replay

All single-player story-driven games, all things which I know I’ll probably enjoy, and each one relatively cheap.

some of my games

Buying an xbox might seem weird considering I don’t need distractions at the moment, and I barely play games anymore. I don’t read as many comics either, but that doesn’t mean I spend more time reading philosophy, or going for long walks, or doing anything particularly useful. I just spend more time flicking through twitter on my phone or checking my feeds for new blogposts to read. Basically, I tend to be pretty wasteful with my free time, which is a problem because there’s lots of work to be done and a lot of good comics I haven’t read.

If I have a new year’s resolution this year, I want to be more committed to my leisure time. It’s a strange resolution but if I have a free evening, I’d rather spend it going to the pool, followed by playing an enjoyable video game, and then maybe read a book chapter before bed. At the moment I’m more likely to get home, collapse, and then spend the entire evening browsing forums and news sites until late at night. It’s not super-healthy behaviour and I want to break out of that habit.