It’s been no secret that getting one’s hands on a next-gen console has been extremely tough thanks to various factors caused by the global pandemic. But if you’re one of the lucky few to own a PlayStation 5 right now, you’ll be asking one big question: “Where are the PS5 exclusive games?”. Much like the console shortages, the games for these consoles have also been few and far between, with many delayed deep into 2022. True, the great backwards compatibility on the PS5 has made it a bit easier to take and with the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls the PS5 does have some exclusives. Fortunately, another exclusive is on its way in the form of Returnal, a third-person science-fiction shooter, with a mix of psychological horror and roguelike elements, from Finnish studio Housemarque.
Sci-Fi Groundhog Day
Returnal sees players take on the role of Selene, a space pilot, who is stranded on an alien planet with an unfortunate time loop. Each time Selene dies, she is resurrected, but the world around her has changed and the inhabitants of the planet become increasingly hostile. The key is to survive long enough to escape the time loop and find a way off the planet. At its core, Returnal is a fast-paced, third-person bullet hell shooter with a roguelike twist. You'll need to dodge countless waves of enemy fire and fightback using a variety of weapons at your disposal. Traversal is also a key element as threats will come at you from above and below, so mastering movement will be crucial. Fortunately, you will have access to powerful and exotic weaponry, that will make you live a little bit easier on a planet where everything wants to kill you. You’ll have your standard human weapons, but as you progress you will discover more unique alien technology that can turn the tide in your favor. The challenge will come in studying your new environment and the enemies found within it and making sure you choose the right weapon for the right occasion, as this will be crucial to your survival. The deeper you get into the game, you’ll be exposed to various abilities and power-ups like shields, damage modifiers, and more to give you a tactical advantage. Because in the world of Returnal you will need every advantage to survive, as the game can be quite punishing and certain levels almost reach Dark Souls levels of difficulty.
An Ever-Changing World
With Returnal being a PlayStation 5 exclusive, you will get all the advantages that the console has, from near-instant load times to the celebrated haptic feedback on your controller. It’s also a really good-looking game featuring some breathtaking environments, everything you would expect from a next-gen game. Returnal is a fascinating game and many gamers will fall in love with it. However, this is an extremely tough game and might not be to everyone’s tastes, yet if you’re a fan of bullet-hell games or rogue-likes then you might have just found your new favorite game.
Survival horror games have come a long way since the early days of gaming and the series that brought the genre to the spotlight was the Resident Evil series, first released on PlayStation back in 1996. The series introduced so many first to the genre, from terrifying zombies to tank controls to inventory management. Throughout the 25 years of the series existence, the Resident Evil games have gone through various iterations, and with the release of the official eighth entry in the franchise, Resident Evil Village is set to take the celebrated series into another exciting and terrifying direction.
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Getting the low-down on Down's
The older I get, the crankier and more miserable I appear to become. I would like to be able to put this down to old age, yet the reality is that I have sometimes allowed my mindset to perpetuate this notion, since not everyone I know of a similar age is necessarily so. COVID-19 has tested my resolve to its limits and my tendency for being Mister Grumpy has worsened during each successive lockdown. The third, and hopefully final, installment of this wretched episode in modern-day human history has hit me the hardest. Although why? I am privileged to live in a lovely home with a generous garden and have every conceivable piece of modern technology at my fingertips. I am at little risk of going hungry and an escape to the open countryside is within touching distance. And I know that with the vaccination roll-out in full swing a return to a more normal life is agonisingly close. I can metaphorically beat myself over the head with the usual line that I should be grateful for, but this has only a limited effect.
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Fuck The Research
I am a great advocate of the word Fuck. Its versatility is pretty much limitless. Both a verb and a noun. An expression of elation and disappointment. A call to action and a decision to sit it out. Having been endowed with the rather fanciful title of post-graduate professional researcher at a leading UK University my professional work has been exclusively engaged with investigating matters of criminology and security. Both areas are hugely fascinating but anything you do on a repetitive basis can sometimes become as boring as fuck so I decided to delve a little deeper into the ancestry, application and notoriety of this four-letter word which, as I have advanced in age, has become a constant verbal companion. For example, nowadays I employ my own commentary on the mundane activities of life. For instance, rising from the sofa, “Oh Fuck!”, stretching out in bed, “Fuck yes!” and the multifunctional, “For Fucks sake!” The latter can be conveniently used in text messages in the truncated version ‘FFS!’. Yet before I venture into any critical analysis I would like to explore some anecdotal evidence first. Where did my mastery of this word originate? According to my parents, this wasn’t the first word that I uttered as a baby so there had to be a source, a moment in time that, no doubt, I thought, “Fuck, that’s a good word!” Without the fuck because on that glorious moment of first contact I didn’t know what I now know, if you can follow that fucking logic.