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Video Game Of The Month November 2022

a plague tale Requiem -video game of the month

It is insane to think that this is the last video game of the month feature I will be delivering to you before Christmas. Insane! There has been a plethora of games that have been released this year, but there are always games that escape our clutches. There are always games that might have dropped off our radars, seemed a little pricey on initial release or just released at the same time of other games.

This is why I enjoy this feature so much. It allows us to bring an assortment of games to your (and my own) attention that the bloggers here at Zatu think are worth your time. Whether that is a new release, one we have gone back to, or maybe one that you simply haven’t considered before. And on that note, here are what we are suggesting for you this month.

A Plague Tale: RequiemSophie Jones

I was so excited to play the sequel to a Plague Tale. Plague Tale Innocence was one of my favourite games in 2019 and I was eager to jump back into this rat-infested universe. That’s not something I thought I would ever say! Set against the backdrop of 14th century France, this game is stunning and interesting to explore. Pair that with threats of the Inquisition, a plague and killer rats, there’s a lot to like.

A Plague Tale Requiem begins 6 months after the climax of the previous game. The de Rune family are travelling to The Order of Alchemists where they have been granted safe passage. But upon arriving, all is not what it appears. The game doesn’t take long to thrust you into the action. Gameplay is much unchanged, but they have added more progression and expanded combative abilities. I was never great at stealth so I was over the moon to find out Amicia can now wield a blade and a crossbow. The game also rewards you with new abilities based on how you play. My Amicia is getting quite good at fighting, I just hope all the death doesn’t take its toll on her.

The relationship between Amicia and her brother is still at the heart of this instalment. Now that both siblings have levelled up, it allows for more interesting puzzles. As you stealth or battle your way through each area you will encounter these along the way and they will test you. I really enjoyed how they incorporated these into the first game and Requiem doesn’t disappoint with new challenges.

I still have a long way to go before I reach the end of this game. But so far, I am blown away with the visuals and the updates they have made. On PS5 they have taken advantage of the controller’s technology and all the weapons feel great to use as you feel the draw in the crossbow and slingshot. These extra details enhance the game’s solid foundations.

If you loved the first one, this game is more of the same but with added surprises along the way. Just remember to stay in the light and avoid the rats.

Othercide – Dan Hilton

Other than the big game I have been playing this month (bonus points if you can guess, no scrolling down to cheat!) I have been sinking some time into Othercide. This was one of those games that I have had my eye on for quite some time, and I finally got around to delving into it.

The premise of the game is really interesting. The story writing is phenomenal so far (I have not completed the game as of yet) and only seems to be getting better. I really love a game that gives you a unique theme and setting, throw in a mysterious story thread or two and I am hooked. In Othercide, the world seems to be fractured, and Others (from the other side) are pouring into the world to harvest souls. I think. Its not exactly explained in black and white. What IS black and white though… and red, is the art style. Othercide has such a stylistic art style that mirrors the tone of the game perfectly.

The combat system in this game plays out over a grid-based environment. Each level is essentially a fight to the death between your team and the Others, an escort mission, or a boss fight. I am sure there are others, but this is all I have seen so far. Your team is comprised of ‘daughters’ who are warriors born from the soul of ‘mother’, who is the woman you control in the tutorial. I think. The hook of this game is, if one of your daughters die during a mission, she is dead for good. You need to ‘birth’ new daughters between missions to replenish your ranks, and to heal them you need to sacrifice a daughter to heal another. It is a great system that really makes you utilise your daughters’ classes to the best of your ability.

There were definitely some great decisions that were made during the development of this game, and I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds. I definitely recommend checking this one out. Especially if you are a fan of turn based and tactical combat.

Gotham Knights - Paul Blyth

Gotham Knights is a great game and is in my top five games of 2022. Like many games recently it’s had a rough start, mainly down to the terrible, short-sighted, “business practice” of “known shippable”. This is where publishers force developers to release games into the wild with bugs and glitches that developers must then patch before the game hit’s shelves with “day one” patches, or shortly after. Sadly, this is damaging great games, and Gotham Knights is one of them. Every major bug was ironed out by WB Games Montréal within two weeks of release and the game is where it should be, sadly its reputation isn’t.

Sure, Gotham Knights has a few confusing choices. It starts with the death of Batman, no, not the one he faced at the end of Arkham Knight, a different one. And there’s a levelling up system, which is great... except you have to get up around level 5 before combat becomes fluid and reminiscent of the Arkham series. So, at the start of the game, it doesn’t feel as good as the Arkham games. But only because your character has been artificially stunted in the name of progression. This is something Dying Light 2 suffered from too.

Once you hit level 5 and the third night Gotham Knights hits its stride and starts to show what it has to offer. I spent most of my time as Batgirl and, once I unlocked the ability to glide (another odd design choice to lock city traversal behind a side quest), I was in my element and almost forgot about Bruce Wayne.

The story follows the Court of Owls, I knew nothing about that particular run of comics, but thoroughly enjoyed finding out about them. But the highlight for me were the rogue’s gallery missions. I won’t go into who you’ll face, but all of them were great and, for the first time in forever, it made me willing to pay for DLC (as long as they’re as good as the one’s in the main game of course).

And not to mention how much co-op is. There’s nothing like going around the city fighting crime and grabbing collectibles together. The drop-in and drop-out feature of co-op is very welcome. Story progression is linked to the host, but the guest can save items and levels their character gains to take back to their own version of Gotham. All-in-all Gotham Knights is a blast, don’t let the negative launch put you off otherwise you’ll miss out on a really fun experience that shines in co-op.

Sonic FrontiersJay Davies

Ever since I saw the Blue Blur burst onto the Mega Drive in 1991 I've been a huge Sonic fan. It hasn't always been the smoothest ride, though.

For every Sonic and Knuckles or Sonic Generations there has been a Sonic 06 or Sonic Boom to balance things out. But throughout the years I've kept the faith, hoping that the next entry would fall into the same bracket as the former rather than the latter.

Is Sonic Frontiers the return to form Sega's most enduring mascot deserves? Well, kind of.

The vast islands are impressive, but are too barren to be interesting, and end up being a chore to navigate. Performing mundane tasks will unlock grinding rails to help speed from one area to another. Unfortunately, they often twist back on themselves though, resulting in Sonic heading in completely the wrong direction.

It took me around 15 hours to complete Sonic Frontiers, and the best thing I can say is that I didn't hate it. Currently there's no post-game content either unless you want to get all the achievements, and it's frustrating that Amy Rose, Knuckles and Tails feature so heavily but never become playable characters. Their different mechanics would have made repeat play-throughs fun. Hopefully it's something Sonic Team look to release at a later date.

Sonic Frontiers is fun, I can't argue that fact, but it's not particularly coherent. It feels like 15 different people built separate segments of a game, and then someone stitched it all together. The combat is much improved, with a full combo system implemented that is required to defeat certain enemies. Boss fights are thrilling encounters that look spectacular, making the discovery of a new titan a thrill every time.

I enjoyed the storyline too once it got going, and by the end I felt genuine emotion for a character I never expected I would do. Just like the Sonic franchise in general, for every negative aspect of the game, there's a positive to balance it out.

It is clear that Sonic Frontiers didn’t click with me completely. I feel like it is still worth checking out at least for fans of Sonic though, especially to get a feel for the direction the franchise is heading. And it would make for a good gift for a younger gamer.

God Of War Ragnarok - Dan Hilton

You knew this was going to be on this list somewhere this month. How could it not be! It is all people can talk about these days. This bombastic game has been brewing in everyone’s anticipation since the epic conclusion of God of War 2018. That game was truly outstanding, one of the best games of the entire previous gaming generation. So of course, Ragnarok had a lot to live up to.

I enjoyed it. And I know that everyone has loved the game so far. You know me though, ever the middle-aged grump. I think that a few areas of the game could have been better, a little more polished and well refined. But that doesn't detract from the enjoyment I got out of it.

The combat in the game is as fluid and crunchy as it was in 2018’s game. I enjoyed that the combat was a natural evolution that stemmed from that of the previous game. One thing that always let me down in the older games was getting accustomed to combat styles and weapons, only to lose them mysteriously between games. So, I was happy to see the leviathan axe was still very much so a staple in the game. And that the combat was improved and tweaked in some interesting ways.

One thing that really sells me on a game is the writing and the story telling. And God of War Ragnarok definitely delivers… most of the time. There are some interesting twists and turns that I definitely didn’t see coming. There were even a few moments that hit me in the feels. There were one or two plot decisions that fell a little flat for me though. That didn’t stop me from playing the game until that illusive platinum trophy popped for me though.

God of War Ragnarok is definitely worth getting into if you were a fan of God of War 2018. I am pretty sure most people picked this game up on release. But, if you are one of the people that are debating whether or not to pick it up (and you played 2018’s God of War) then I implore you to take the leap. This game is worth the investment.

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And there we are. Another selection of games that the folk here at Zatu think are worth your time.

I hope you all have a great Christmas, stuff yourselves full of all the food you want, spend some valuable time with friends and family, and I hope you get some shiny new games and video games to put in your video game of the month for Christmas. Stay warm, stay safe and happy gaming. I will see you here again in the new year!