Weekend Whammy: I’m Commander Shepard, And This Is My Favourite Blog On The Internet

Somewhere in the middle of all the news about next-gen, COVID, the election in America, lockdowns in the UK and everything else I think I just switched off. I didn’t want to write a Weekend Whammy because I didn’t know what to say. I should talk about a lot of the big next-gen news, but I cannot be arsed. So this week will be short and who knows what I’ll tackle.

NO! WAIT! I KNOW! The Mass Effect trilogy remaster is finally happening. It has been such a horribly kept secret for so long, but it’s actually official now. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve played through Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Dozens and dozens of times each, at least. And Mass Effect 3 I played….er, once? But with so many years between me and the initial shock of the ending, I’m up for playing it again. I just hope that the trilogy is done justice. If I had one more wish, it’s probably that Mass Effect could have done with a full remake. The cover-based combat wasn’t great at the time, and I can’t imagine it has aged well. Still, I cannot wait to jump back into Mass Effect 2 and visit all my old friends. I’ve missed you Garrus, and Thane, and especially you, Tali. You were always my romance choice. If I picked anyone else I always felt like I was cheating on you.

There’s a bit of news I’m personally excited about because it might be the next big step in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis. It remains an incurable bastard of a disease that I would love to pummel repeatedly with a hammer, but a new drug by the name of Kaftrio which works in tandem with Kalydeco is making some big differences in people with CF. It’s allowing for easier breathing, better digestion, helping clear up sinuses (man, do I need that part) and they thing it might even reverse a little known aspect of CF: the vast majority of males with CF are infertile. I mean, could you imagine how amazing that could be to guys who had already accepted they probably weren’t going to have children, at least not in the traditional fun way?

Anyway, I’m lucky enough to be getting put on the new medication, and I’m pretty pumped about it. It effects everyone differently with some people seeing huge gains and others more minor effects. I’m quite healthy by CF standards so I’m not expecting anything huge myself, but for people with CF in general this new medication represents a potentially monumental leap in treatment. That’s especially true if the medicine can be given early, before things like scarring of the lungs has a chance to occur. So yeah, this is seriously exciting stuff to me. Maybe I’m not going to see the curing of Cystic Fibrosis in my lifetime, but I might just get to witness it getting its ass kicked a bit.

The Playstation 5 is so close I can almost smell its glorious plastic body, and I still haven’t figured out where I’m going to fit the damn thing. The reviews so far seem to have been glowing, and Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks like its going to be a sickeningly good time. But I have noticed one caveat: the paltry storage space. Reviews have reported roughly 650GB of usable space in the PS5 which really isn’t a lot when you consider the new Call of Duty weighs in at 120GB+. There’s a slot in the PS5 where you can slip in a new NVME drive, but at launch that’ll be disabled, so that’s a bummer.

I’ve been watching some gameplay and reviews of Spider-Man: Miles Morales and noticed a cool detail that I wanted to mention in case you hadn’t spotted it. When Miles is swinging through the city he looks…messy, and inexperienced. He’ll accidentally rotate round, or his legs will flail in the air. It’s a fantastic detail because in Marvel’s Spider-Man Peter has been donning the spandex for years already, so when he swings it’s graceful and smooth. But Miles is still new to the whole superhero thing, and his swinging is more chaotic and unsure. I love how Insomniac did this because it adds so much to Miles’ character, and helps separate him from Peter. These little things demonstrate a developer who pays attention to everything.

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Watching Spider-Man: Miles Morales has gotten me more hyped for what a true, Playstation 5 Spider-Man can deliver. SM: Miles Morales is essentially still being held back by needing to run on a base PS4, just like Xbox Series X games that aren’t exclusive need to run on a basic Xbox One. Freed of those constraints, what will first-party developers be able to do with the hardware? The first proper glimpse of that on the Playstation side looks like it’ll be Ratchet & Clank which is using that ultra-fast SSD tech to pull off some awesome tricks.

On the topic of the PS5, here’s the short list of what I know I’ll be covering when I get my hands on it:

  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
  • Demon’s Souls (from a noob perspective)
  • Bugsnax (still don’t have a clue what this game is.)
  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

And obviously I’ll do a review of the console itself once I’ve had some time with it. I also won’t be covering anything on the PS4 going forward as I sadly boxed my PS4 up and sold it on in order to help pay for the new console. I cried a little. I made sure it was nestled safely in the box and tried in vain to hold back the flood of liquid threatening to pour from my eyes. Sad times, my friends, sad times.

On the Xbox side, I’ll be running with my Xbox One X for a while. That’s what I’m currently reviewing Watch Dogs: Legion on, in fact. With the new Series S and Series X coming out, one thing I’m hugely curious about is actually the Series S versus the Xbox One X. On paper, the Xbox One X has more raw GPU power, but the Series has a much better CPU and a GPU that supports newer tech. I’ve been searching high and low to find some videos and articles that compare the Xbox One X with the Series S, because that could be an intriguing upgrade path.

As for non-next-gen reviews, I’ll be doing DIRT 5 and Watch Dogs: Legion. So far, Legion is proving itself to be a typical Ubisoft game, for better or for worse. The idea of being able to recruit anyone and everyone is a fantastic premise that is initially wonderful but loses its lustre quite quickly, though it can still cough up the occasional moment of brilliance. Legion feels more like a testing ground for the system, and hope that Ubisoft don’t abandon it. It could be something very special. For now, it’s an entertaining diversion, but ultimately a shallow one.

DIRT 5, meanwhile, isn’t a proving ground. It’s a confident game that blasts you with colour and the kind of bombastic-bro attitude we haven’t seen in the series since DIRT 2. I’ve been enjoying the hour or two I’ve spent with the full version, but I’ve also noted the mixed reviews it has on Steam, so I’m curious to find out where people are struggling to enjoy the game.

That’ll do it for this brief Weekend Whammy, I think. Take care, friends.

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