The Weekend in Review; June 26th, 2017

In light of the new health care bill proposal, and the fact that Republican lawmakers may wind up stripping something like twenty-million people of their health coverage over a ten year period, I've been thinking of a different system that could serve as a useful compromise for those of us who want to live but still realize that some sort of blood debt must be paid to appease MAGA.

First thing you'll need to do is create your own hazmat suit replete with breathing apparatus. From what I understand you can do this pretty easily and on the cheap. All you need is approximately forty-nine dollars and a Youtube education. Then once you've got a protective layer between you and the germ-world, all you have to do is not get cancer for the rest of your life. This can be achieved through daily chakra alignment and crystal interfacing. 

So now the government can kill your grandmother by reinstating lifetime caps, but you, my friend, can go on living in the comfort of a completely isolated existence inside of a containment suit of your own making. Blood in, blood out. If that's not a compromise, well, then I do not know the meaning of the word. 

You know you're becoming an adult when you download a video game to your Xbox on a Monday but you don't have enough time to play it until the following Sunday. This was the case for me when I decided to treat myself to the recently released Prey (2017). 

Hats off to Arkane Studios. They do a great job of building big beautiful worlds for players to explore and then letting those players explore and tackle challenges in their own way. I'm a fan of the Dishonored series with all its steampunk magic and palace intrigue. But one thing that never sat right with me in those games was the combat. Same goes for Prey.

Combat is obviously going to be an integral component in a game about a teleporting, vengeful assassin, but it seems to me that Arkane, for whatever reason, has not lavished the mechanics of fisticuffs and gunplay with the same attention to detail as they do story and exploration. Enemies in Prey and the Dishonored games are difficult to track with gun and sword, which leads to a sense of improperly calibrated controller sensitivities, but fine tuning the controls almost never gets you away from these targeting failures. And it's because of the floatiness of the controls that fights with multiple foes usually devolve into hack and slash whirlwinds, where the player is flailing around like a maniac, praying that their weapon hits something squishy, instead of a wall or glass case. This is all made worse when you consider that enemies in these games can sometimes see through walls or hear a pin drop on the other side of the universe, rendering stealth tactics completely useless.

These complaints aside, the rest of Prey (story, RPG elements, exploration) seems really great and I hope to spend a little more time with it, even if it means apoplectically bashing robots to death with a wrench instead of slinking around corners avoiding them.

Get to work on those hazmat suits and I'll see you next week!