Why I haven’t pre-ordered Persona 5 Strikers yet…

A/N- Hi guys, just wanted to do a quick apology for not uploading this yesterday. There has been a change in my medication so my mental health hasn’t been too great for the past week or so. I promise it wasn’t because of burn out or anything, I’ve just been quite disorientated the past few days. Anyway, on with the post…

Hey, Gamers! So, for those who don’t know, Persona 5 Royal is my favourite game. I love it, so much. I loved the original, I loved the ‘upgraded’ version… so with the upcoming Persona 5 Strikers coming on the 23rd of next month (February)… why haven’t I pre-ordered it already?

So my autism is going to come into play here (it’s almost as if it affects my day-to-day life) so if you are not a regular reader, I got diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in September 2020. I remember telling you guys that I was worried that I wouldn’t like the changes in Royal, but I was pleasantly surprised. Then again, I pre-ordered Royal the second I had the chance to. This is different.

As far as I can tell, Strikers is a direct sequel to the original version of Persona 5. I think it came out before Royal in Japan, but they switched it while bringing it to the West for some reason. I think that’s the first thing that makes me hesitant. You all know how much I love Sumi, and how amazing I found the writing of Akechi’s confidant. I was under the impression, as were the rest of the fandom as far as I can tell, that when Royal was brought out, it became canon. So bringing out a direct sequel that will not include characters that are considered canon is just… not sitting right with me. I would have been completely fine with this if they had brought Strikers out before Royal, but since Royal overtakes the original as canon, it just seems weird to me.

The second thing, and I think this is the most important thing, is that it’s a different type of game. It’s a hack and slash. It doesn’t have the turn-based combat that I love. And I am terrified that this will be the thing that ruins the game for me. As far as I know, I have never played a hack and slash so I am worried that it’s going to get too overwhelming for me.

Yet another thing is… I can’t decide what console to get it on. We actually broke our switch not long after getting it, and I got it fixed with the sole reason that I wanted a Persona game on the switch. But now the time is here, I think I would prefer to have it on the PlayStation. But I can’t get the steel book version with the PlayStation. And I’m not too happy that there isn’t a collector’s edition (that pin that you can only get at GAME doesn’t cut it for me, especially with all the bad reviews that GAME has got recently).

I know this sounds stupid because ultimately, I am going to get the game because it’s Persona 5 and before it was officially announced, I was so hyped for it. I think I’m just scared. I love Persona 5 so much (as evidenced by the amount that I write about it) and I don’t want that love to face because of a sequel that I struggled to get through. That being said, Dancing! Is hard but I’m still enjoying the story of that…

As you can tell, this is a very hot topic for my brain right now. Your thoughts and feelings would be much appreciated in the comments section, and don’t forget to like and follow for when I inevitably get this game.

Top 10 things I’ve learnt while playing video games

Hey, Gamers! So, one of my main motives for starting this blog was to help get rid of the stigma surrounding video games. One way of doing that was to teach parents that video games teach kids things. I have learnt more in video games than I ever learnt at school. So, here are the top 10 things that I have learnt while playing video games.

Just wanted to throw out a quick trigger warning: I do mention being suicidal at some point in this post, and feeling very low, as well as mentioning abuse and homophobia. It’s not graphic and there are not many details, but I thought I should warn you beforehand.

10) Japanese
Okay, this one is a bit touch and go… I haven’t completely mastered the Japanese language or anything. However, I play a lot of games that are voiced over by Japanese Voice Actors. For those who don’t know, I am dyslexic. Therefore, I struggle to read subtitles that just disappear as soon as the person is done speaking. While I often try to play with English Voice Actors, for this reason, it is generally looked down on in the gaming community as the original Voice Actors are thought to be better. There are also games (such as Yakuza 0) where English VA is not available. A result of this is I have gone out of my way to learn Japanese. I can easily pick up on certain phrases because I have played this type of video game. I think more than anything, video games have encouraged me to literally learn a whole new language (a difficult one, as they use kanji instead of letters) so that it’s a little easier for my brain to enjoy the gaming experience.

9) Patience
This one is so high up on the list because Joshua (my fiancé) would argue that I still don’t have a patient bone in my body. However, I argue that… despite still struggling with being impatient at times, I’ve gotten significantly better at being patient. I don’t feel sick anymore when I’m feeling impatient, and I don’t immediately give up a game that is difficult which was a huge thing for me. Being completely honest here, I used to play games on easy because I was just too impatient to grind and actually try-hard. I started Yakuza 0 yesterday (a game Josh is obsessed with right now) and he said to me “it’s okay, y’know, if you play it on easy”. I paused for a second and really thought about it, before replying “I’m better than that” and pressing normal. That was a big moment for me because it was a huge self-esteem thing as well. That would be a great time to move on, but I wanted to add that I can also now play a game multiple times, and I actively grind in Persona 5. I wouldn’t have done any of this if it wasn’t for my increased patience.

8) My worth
This one is a very personal one and really it should be higher up but it’s still a thing I’m working on so it’s good here. I have never really had good self-esteem. I’ve always thought poorly of myself. But getting my entire team to level 99 makes me feel a little bit better. Another thing, and I’m always going to bring it up and he hates it but, me and Josh have a kind of competition when it comes to games (or at least… I think we do). I’ve talked about the process of him playing a game, telling me I’ll like it, me refusing to play it and then I give in and love it. But because he has already played the game, I am constantly comparing my playthrough to his (which is why he didn’t go past my position when Royal came out, even though he got through the game at a much faster pace). When we played the Witcher 3, I had to get less failed quests than he did (which I actually succeeded in). The thing is, Josh had played Persona 5 for a very long time before I even began to consider playing it. So when I completed the Big Bang Burger Challenge, and got all my social stats up to 5 when he still had one left after completing the game… that was it. That was when I realised that I was no longer bad at everything. Slowly but surely, I started to see myself as a gamer. Persona 5 still, and probably always will be, my favourite game. It gave me one of the most empowering moments of my life. It might sound silly to some people, but I needed that win. For a real-life reference, and this is very personal so feel free to skip, I really had lost all my self worth at that point. Josh was trying anything possible to give it back to me. I used to be this amazing writer in secondary school, and I gave up because I was just never going to be good enough. When I got my dyslexia diagnosis… I was done with writing. Since that moment in Persona 5, I started taking writing seriously again. I plan on finishing my book and getting it published. Because I know that I can do it, that I am worth someone’s time and energy, that I can make a difference to someone’s life. So, yeah… this was a really big thing for me.

7) Time Management
I am a university student. I am also autistic. Both of those things sometimes collide and I turn into a perfectionist with not enough hours in the day. I have uni, I have my blog, I have writing, I have gaming, I have a relationship to maintain, a house to look after, a family that I am apparently meant to speak to, and I’m trying to get a job. I have a lot on my plate. I am prone to making schedules and ‘to-do’ lists that are impossible to maintain. But Persona 5 helped me come to terms with the fact that… there’s going to be things that you do that causes time to pass, meaning you won’t get to do everything. Not every single thing you do will cause this time to pass, but some things will. That doesn’t mean your time is wasted, it just means that it is limited and valuable. I now try my best to plan my days out like I was playing Persona 5. I can do things like going to the shop, ordering shopping and stuff while still being able to complete a lecture. However, I cannot complete a lecture, a seminar, write a blog post and write a chapter of my book all in one day. Those are all big things that cause the time to pass. It’s a weird system but it works for me and I’m sure it’ll work for other people too.

6) Helping yourself is just as important as helping others.
I really did not plan to talk about Persona 5 so much in this post but it’s what I play the most so I guess it could be expected. I remember the dilemma of deciding whether to work on my social stats or confidants, and the other night I was lying in bed when a thought occurred to me- “my social stats must be at an all-time low”. Sure, I do things out of kindness so I guess that one is fine but I barely make time for stats like intelligence, charm and proficiency. Which would hinder my confidant progression. At that moment, things clicked. I remember going to therapy and talking about the Witcher and abilities and he asked me “so what do you do to increase your abilities?” and I was just… shocked. Sometimes, I forget that I am a person. I don’t know if it’s an autism thing or a mental illness thing or maybe just a people thing, but I forget about whatever is going on with me when others need me more. Or, at least I try too. So over the past few days, I’ve been thinking of ways to increase my social stats and abilities. I know this isn’t a normal way to think about life, but right now it’s what I need so I’m going for it. I guess this one kinda goes along with the whole self-worth thing. I’m still working on it.

5) Muscle memory
So I feel like this is an odd one to include, but it fits and its something that I feel has positively impacted my life. I have a bad memory. A real, real bad memory. So knowing where the buttons are on the PS4 controller was a huge accomplishment. It’s impacted my life. Since my brain shifted (in a way) to actually remember this stuff, my typing has become better, which is great because I am a university student and have to write 4000+ word assignments every three months or so. I am hoping that it shifts over to driving too, as I am still yet to pass my test. But it’s like my brain picks up on stuff more, and my muscle memory is a lot stronger than it used to be and I 100% think that it’s because of video games.

4) Reflexes
So this is another odd one and like most things on this list, it’s a work in progress. But my reflexes are getting so much better because I’m constantly training them. I’ve always had an issue with my reflexes being slow (hence the whole not passing my driving test yet). I was desperate to change that. I played games to try to train it better, taken online tests to try to train it better. But I think it was when I stopped trying so hard that my reflexes actually started to improve. It takes a while, but when your brain isn’t focused on training… that’s when it happens.

3) Practice makes perfect
I put this on very begrudgingly. I’m the type of person who quits something when I’m not immediately good at it. Josh tells me over and over that if I just practised more, I’d be great. I’m sure my mother would be happy to list off all the things I’ve tried and given up on because I wasn’t good at the start. But video games have (slowly) made me realise that this is true. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I have recently started to play League of Legends. I still suck at the game, don’t get me wrong, but the more that I learn about it and the more that I practice… I can see the improvements after each game. Even with Persona 5, once you practice and get used to the personas you use, it’ll turn into muscle memory. I recently got Dancing! For Christmas and I see improvements after every practice (mostly).

 TOP TIP: maybe don’t do that thing I mentioned with Persona 5. Muscle memory is great and all but if you want to think and strategize as you need to in boss battles, I suggest switching up your personas so you don’t get too comfortable. Learn from my mistakes. No good using heavy curse on something that blocks curse. SP is too valuable.

2) Dying isn’t the end
I think a huge thing that held me back at first was that I was too scared to die. I just have this thing in my head that says “if you die, it’ll be game over. You’ll lose all your progress and never be able to play this game again”. I am aware that this isn’t… normal. But it was such a huge thing that held me back. I actually wouldn’t game without Josh being there so I could ask him what would happen if it went wrong. Even now, the other day I was doing a side quest in Yakuza 0 and I was stressed about answering it wrong, and I had to ask him what the right answer was (he wouldn’t tell me, he just told me that it would be fine if I got it wrong). I think this applies to real life, because death is obviously the end of life… but if you don’t do things because you’re scared of dying… what’s the point? Because that isn’t a life worth living. Growing up, I was terrified of failing. Even today, just the thought of a post not getting any views or an assignment not doing well… that kind of stuff keeps me up at night. But I don’t hold myself back anymore… at least, not as much as I used to. I post on my blog, I do my assignments, I apply for jobs. If I can do it, I try now. And I don’t think I would be able to do that if it wasn’t for video games.

1) Life is worth living
This one is deeply personal. I don’t know if anyone else has learnt this from video games, and if you have, I’m sorry. I have had… a lot of bad things happen in my life. I grew up suicidal. I was involved in a lot of abuse and I have a lot of trauma. I… I used to read a lot as a kid. That’s the only thing that kept me growing. I think my fascination with history started because I was so surprised at how society could develop and change. I desperately wanted it to change. I grew up with loving parents who tried their best, and I had sisters who were fostered so my life – I thought – cannot possibly be that bad. When I came out as pansexual I was terrified. I saw the look of shame cross the faces of people who were meant to love me. I knew people thought it was just another phase I was going through. The relief that my father must have felt when I started dating a boy clearly outshined the obvious signs of abuse. When I made friends in college and one of them suggested I was autistic, I did so much research. I thought… everything felt right. I brought it up to my mother, who just shrugged it off. Everything that has gone on in my life has just been shrugged off. I was in… a really dark place just before I met Josh. He was the one who pulled me out of it and reminded me that the world was still a good place (despite him saying that I’m crazy for thinking that). I finally had the balance that I needed. I had gone through so much, and it was the breath of fresh air I needed.
I was a creative kid. But I constantly got told that my creativity wouldn’t amount to anything, because the arts never amounted to anything. I was 13 when I started to write my first book. I got told time and time again that I was going to change peoples lives. That the words that I wrote, the worlds that I created… they would have an effect on people. I was 15 when my dad told me that being an author wasn’t a proper job. I stopped writing to focus on my GCSE’s… and then my A levels… and now, university.
Video games are my immediate escape. But they also remind me of one very important thing: they were all wrong. All the people who said that creativity is useless, that writing and art aren’t proper jobs… they were all wrong. Because video games are the result of everything I have ever wanted.
Video games taught me that everything bad that has happened… I can push through. Because everything I got told was a lie. Video gaming is a magnificent medium and I could not be happier writing about them each and every week. It’s not a safety thing for me anymore. Video games are the result of hard work, of creativity, and of passion. That tells me that life is worth living, because we live in a world where video games can be successful and enjoyed by a range of different people.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I know it was very personal at times but I really felt like it was important to share the life lessons that I’ve learnt while playing video games. I’ll see you on Thursday for my next post. Don’t forget to like for me to do a happy dance, and follow for more gaming content!

Gaming Quote of the Week #8

“Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”- Ezio Auditore, Assassins Creed II.

I know I’ve already done an AC post… but I love History, okay?!

But seriously, this quote is genius for a game based in history. For those who don’t know, I study history at University. I’m in my final year (unless I do a masters course) and I’ve learnt a lot. The biggest thing I think I’ve learnt about history is… everything is interpreted. History is not accurate. Nothing is accurate.

Historians have no way of knowing what exactly happened. So they take things like primary sources (things created at that time) and they take an educated guess at what happened, why it was created, stuff like that. But nothing is fact. That’s why historians argue so much. And that’s why I love history.

I know this has nothing to do with gaming as such, but I thought it was interesting so I wanted to share. And I love when gaming and history are mixed. I truly believe that gaming is the future of education (might do a post about this in the future), so when there’s a game about history, I’m all over it!

Do you like history? Do you like Assassins Creed? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

I got my friends to guess how long I would last in Bloodborne…

Hey, Gamers! This week, I’m throwing it back with an idea that I had before finishing Persona 5 Royal (hence the mentions of that in the texts). So, I don’t have a group of friends. I have my partner and his brothers who have played Bloodborne… and then my mum and my best friend who would probably pick up a PlayStation controller to try to turn the TV on. After explaining to them that the game was hard… these are all the responses I got when I asked them – the people who know me best – how far I’d get in Bloodborne.

My mother
Joshua (my partner)
Hannah (my best friend)
Josh’s youngest brother
Josh’s younger brother that’s older than the youngest. His older younger brother??

I’m going to start out by saying that Josh’s older (younger) brother was wrong. He was wrong within… I think two minutes. I died. I died real hard. Actually, I died more than this game than I ever wanted to when I was growing up, so that’s saying something right there.

I had very little hope for myself, so I think I always knew Hannah would be wrong (bless her, having faith in me). I wanted to complete it because Josh watches a bunch of SoulsBorne lore videos and it’s so interesting. However, I am not that great at… getting gud.

I understood the response from Josh’s youngest brother. He knows me and my phobia of spiders very well. Part of me wanted to get past Rom just out of spite. I hate spiders and I imagined it would give me a lot of satisfaction to murder a big one without running away and screaming for Josh to do all the dirty work for me.

I wish I got that far.

Alas, Joshua knows me best. He was exactly right. Every single word… to the point where it was a little creepy.

Josh was actually there when I played Bloodborne because obviously, I needed emotional support. I was terrified… and apparently, it was painful to watch. I’m a big button masher, so it took some time to get used to only attacking at the right moment, making sure to dodge at the right time. The first time I played it, he actually asked me to stop after about an hour… because it was so bad. The second time was significantly better. I saw major improvements almost immediately. My timing was better, I was remembering to dodge. Heck, I even beat a big scary thing.

So, I hear you ask, dear reader- why wasn’t Hannah or my mother or even Josh’s youngest brother right?

The Cleric Beast.

It was so hard for me just to get to him, over and over and over again. I’m usually bad with memorising directions, but I knew the way there because I did it so so so many times. What was the most frustrating is that I was so close to beating him (apparently… I still haven’t worked out the whole enemy health bar thing so I’m just taking what Josh said). I was almost there to the point where even Josh was excited… and then I died in one hit.

Great game, bad execution on my behalf I guess. I am proud of myself for trying and for getting back up when I died because usually, I would get frustrated. The whole game felt like I was going up against the Reaper from Persona 5 Royal (yeah, the one you can’t even defeat with the flu) every single time, with every single enemy.

So, would I play it again? Honestly… it is a solid maybe. Before writing this, I was done with the game. I drew a line under it. But now I’m writing this, I am thinking of giving it another try. Maybe I can defeat the Cleric Beast and get on to a part that maybe lets me breathe. That’s doubtful, though.

Anyway, that’s all for this post! Have you played Bloodborne? Leave your thoughts and experiences down in the comments, and don’t forget to like and follow for more content like this! (I might do Dark Souls soon since Josh seems to think that’ll be better for me).

So, I tried League of Legends…

As I think you all probably know, I am lacking in the friends department. I think something that upsets me is how much I love gaming, and I have like, no gamer friends. After scrolling through Tik Tok, I found a gamer girl who I’ve been following for a while. I can’t remember her name (if I do, I’ll include it in the comments) but she did a League of Legends anthem. Since then, I’ve been considering playing for a while. I talked to Josh about it, done a little bit of research (usually Josh is my research but he knew nothing so I had to actually put effort into this), and decided that it was worth a try.

I downloaded and installed the game, and then got a little overwhelmed but I successfully got through the tutorial. I played a few games, and from then I think it’s fair to say I’ve loved it since.

I’m not good at all. Like, nowhere near. I kind of feel bad for my teammates, if I’m being perfectly honest. I bought a few champions with in-game money (no mother, don’t freak, I did not spend real-life money on this game… yet). I talked about it with Josh, because I have no one else to talk to, and he was helping me basically understand what the different classes mean and how I wasted my money on something else when I should have saved to get a good tank. So that’s that.

But honestly, I love it. I usually, as I’ve said before, get frustrated when I die in games. Not really when I die, but when it’s over and over and over again. Like I said, I am nowhere near good at this game. But even when I die, I still have fun (as I said though, I do feel sorry for my teammates because, in reality, I have no clue what I’m doing). Also, earlier I mentioned that I got some champions. Why? Persona 5 references. No other reason. It was LeBlanc and Morgana and honestly, I have no clue how to use them (I was just getting my head wrapped around Miss Fortune).

I know this is a short post, but it’s something that I had to share. League of Legends is a game where everyone starts off at the same level. It’s not half as intimidating as I thought it would be. If you have been considering trying the game and needed a sign, this is it. Plus, if it can run on my laptop, it can probably run on yours.

You all know how big I am with console gaming… but this one game genuinely got me considering getting a gaming PC (I’m not going to… yet). There’s been a few times where Josh is on the PS4 and I don’t want to get in the way of that, so I went on LOL instead and still had fun.

If you already play or sign up because of this post, add me! My name is Elzybellz13 (I think). I don’t recommend playing a game with me because I suck but it’ll be nice to have some friends!

I hope you are keeping safe and having a happy new year! Happy gaming 😊

An insight into what I think a game about DID should be like

Okay, you guys know me well enough to know that a lot of my posts are impulsive and full of emotion. This… is kind of like that… but at the same time, not really. You see, I’ve thought about this a lot. I just never thought I would put it out into the world.

So, for those who are just stumbling on this post randomly- hi! My name is Eleanor and I have DID. I also like games. But I have a huge problem combining the two because gaming companies and writers often get it wrong.

DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) is a mental disorder that… is a very touchy subject. There has been a huge amount of incorrect information, and it’s been glamorised massively by media. So, I came up with a way of portraying DID without making it seem okay. DID may seem okay on the surface, even a little cool, but ultimately it’s not. It’s a lot of not knowing who you are, where you are, anything about yourself. It tends to be a lot of flashbacks and losing time and it’s scary sometimes because it’s almost like you have no control over your own life. Personally, I think video games would do the best job at portraying this. I’ve done a post about whether or not video games should tackle the topic of mental health. You can read it here if you want to, and I would recommend just giving it a skim over before reading this post if you haven’t already.

https://eleanorreesgaming.com/2020/05/10/should-mental-illness-be-used-in-video-games/

The conclusion of that post was that mental illness should only be portrayed in video games (or even movies, TV shows and books) if it shows the whole thing, the whole experience. I stand by this. So, with that in mind, here is what I think a DID video game could possibly look like:

So, it opens with an informative screen. I think that this part is very important. Make the audience know that DID is a very real condition that real-life people suffer with due to repeated childhood trauma. Bonus points if there are statistics. There’s not a lot of research on DID in general, but it would be a great idea to look into it, get in contact with people who live with the condition etc. Make your audience know. Heck, if you did the last part, maybe even have a sit-down interview with someone with the condition and animate it in the style of your game. I imagine that would be interesting to see, and a pretty cool way of introducing your audience to the animation style.

For the tutorial, have the audience go through the main character’s childhood. Why? Because they should understand from the beginning that the condition is from repeated childhood trauma. My advice would be to keep it in the first person for as long as possible. I’m thinking Fallout 3 when the dad is encouraging the child to walk. That type of basic tutorial. And then, as the trauma starts to happen, obviously alters develop. However, to kind of keep the suspense, keep it in the first person. Don’t have any options to change alters or even a way to make it obvious of the change. A cool thing that happened with my system that I’ve heard happen with a lot is one of my alters is colour blind, so the world would obviously look different to that alter.

Before we move on, I want to discuss things that you should not do under any circumstances. No ‘evil’ alter, because DID is enough of a horror movie troupe. We get so much crap because of movies like Split. We don’t need any more of that. So it goes without saying, a horror game is off the table. Sci-fi probably isn’t the best idea either. Do not use the term ‘multiple personality disorder’ because that is not what it is called. Don’t assume that your audience is too stupid to not google what DID is (this obviously won’t be much of an issue if you’ve taken into account the intro part of this post).

So, what would work? Maybe an RPG. Going on a quest to do something heroic. Playing as different characters is usually a pretty fun part of a game, so switch alters when needed. Fighting needs to be done? Bring out the protector. Hard puzzle? Maybe there’s someone in there who can solve it. This is how I deal with life in general, so I think switching when needed would be quite a good thing. I would recommend not giving the player the chance to switch whenever they want to whoever they want, just because that isn’t how DID works. It needs to be more out of necessity, there should be a need for an alter to come out. If you want a little humour, however, bring a little out at random times. When the little comes out, change the goal to something a child would want to do, but also something that would help the mission.

That is really all I’ve come up with. I’m sure I’ll have the odd idea or two but I’ll update you when they come! Do you have any ideas? Leave them in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

Gaming quote of the week #7

“Don’t ever stop. Always keep going, no matter what happens and is taken from you. Even when life is so unfair, don’t give up.”- Ezio, Assassins Creed II

I think this year has been bad in some way for everyone. I actually liked the quarantine because I don’t like going outside and interacting with other people. I wasn’t bored because I had Uni to do, but I also got through games a lot faster than I would have if we weren’t all locked down.

Personally, I don’t think 2021 is going to be much better. I think people are going to be disappointed, like they are every year. But the thing is, what difference does it make? You have to do what you want to do when you want to do it, regardless of the year or month or date. Unless it’s breaking some kind of rules, I say go for it! Just don’t let a “bad year” be the reason you give up. You’re so much better than that.

Happy New Years Eve, Gamers. Thank you for making my 2020 better. See you in 2021 with a new post (and of course the obligatory “I haven’t posted since last year” joke).

‘Detroit: Become Human’ (2018)- Game Review

Hey, Gamers! So, I played a new game! Shocker, right? I actually really liked it, so I thought I would do a game review! Obviously… otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. So, here’s my game review for Detroit: Become Human!

So, I really need to preface this with the fact that just after I started playing this game, I got diagnosed with Autism. I say this because I used this game a lot as an example for how things affect me sensory wise, so I will be talking about that a little bit, especially in the sound and gameplay sections. But without digressing further, here we go!

Sound:

The music and voice acting are pretty good in this game. The sound effects (such as footsteps, the rain and so on) are as they should be. However, this game takes sound a little further. The characters are androids, so if a part is missing, their hearing would be affected and that shows in the game. There is a particular chapter where one of the main characters ends up in a junkyard (that actually can happen a few times in the game for several of the characters so I wouldn’t class this as a spoiler), and some of his parts are missing. You have to dig around the junkyard to find compatible parts from other androids. I bring this up because the sound is painful. The sound is just as you expect it would be, but it’s not something you would really think they would care about putting in so I very much appreciate it. You can still hear things, it’s just there is clearly something missing. When the character finds the part, the sound is restored back to normal and it made me feel thankful for being able to hear clearly. The voice acting, like I said, is pretty great in this game. The emotions of the characters are important to the story, and you can hear them clearly with most of the characters. The music is also rather fitting, changing to increase tension or to soften the moment.

Rating: 8.5/10

Graphics:

When companies like Bethesda and Rockstar are as big as they are, we as gamers expect glitches in games. As long as the games are fun to play, we tend to ignore any bugs that creep up. After at least three full playthroughs of Detroit: Become Human, it can be safely said that this game has very limited glitches or bugs (in my experience). The characters all move like they should, scenes load in well. The rain lands on the floor well (as weird as that sounds). There have been moments in the game where I forgot I was playing a game and thought I was watching a live-action movie (although they are only brief moments).

Rating: 8/10

Gameplay:

The game is very linear in the sense of you get to play as the characters, but you can only do certain aspects. However, it is almost like a choice-based game (along the lines of Life Is Strange and Until Dawn). The game is chapter-based, and what happens depends heavily on your choices and actions. You get to play as three different characters, all of them being androids. They are very different characters and you get to experience their lives when their worlds change. As for actually playing the game, there are quite a few cutscenes, but none of which are long enough for you to feel comfortable putting the controller down. The controls of the game resemble the character’s actions. For example, if you have to crawl, you will have to press L2 for so long to control the left arm, and then R2 to control the right. In the scene that I previously mentioned, when the character is getting parts from the other androids, you have to button mash or hold a button as he struggles to remove the part. However, when the character is really to put the parts in himself, he just jabs it in so it’s just a quick button press. It almost feels like he’s shoving it in swiftly and sharply, as though ripping off a bandage. If you play in hard mode, there are motion controls which is something that I have always been impressed within games. It does not happen often, but it is used effectively and consistently throughout the game. There are quite a few different controls, but none of them are used for the sake of it. The gameplay experienced is only more immersive with the more complex controls.

Rating: 9/10

Replay Value:

So at the end of each chapter, the player gets given a flowchart of their actions. It shows that things are missing. You can’t do everything or get every magazine in one playthrough. However, because the story can change so much with each decision each of the three main characters take when you play it again, the story could be completely different. This is most notable with the character of Connor, as the player gets to make more impactful choices while playing as him.

Rating: 9.5/10

Story:

This story is impactful, emotional and very touching. There will be spoilers for the game from this point forward. This part needs to be split into three as the story is told through three different perspectives and three different stories.

Kara
Kara’s story starts in a Cyberlife shop, where Todd comes to pick her up. The shop assistant mentions that the android (Kara) was pretty broken when Todd brought her in. Todd dismisses it as saying she was hit by a car. We find out immediately that Alice, Todd’s daughter, named the android Kara.
As the story progresses, we meet Alice and find out that Todd is abusive (towards both Alice and Kara). The game plays out so that the player feels a need to protect Alice, so when the time comes, the player goes to protect Alice and has the chance to actually kill Todd. Both Alice and Kara can die in this scene.
When Kara and Alice leave, they find a place to say somewhere (either a car, an abandoned house or a motel). Connor and Hank almost catch them the next day, so they run across a very busy road. Kara, Alice and Connor can all die on this road. If Kara and Alice survive, they go to Zlatko’s house after an android told them about it in a previous chapter. They go there with the hopes of being safe. They just want to be safe. I typically don’t put my thoughts and feelings in this section (or at least I try not to) but as someone who has been in several abusive homes and has been homeless, this story really hits all the spots that it should. All they want is to be safe. That shouldn’t be hard, but because they live in an anti-android society, it is. So naturally, when Zlatko offers to help them, they jump at the chance. There is a chance that Kara’s memory gets set here, but a powerful aspect of that route is how easy it is for her to regain her memory because of Alice. She loves Alice so much that she has to regain her memory. It is such a powerful aspect to the story, to their story.
At this point, Luther joins Kara and Alice as they strive towards their new goal- Canada. This means that there is now a goal for the androids, instead of wandering around looking for a safe place. Crossing the border is harder than it probably should be, though. Kara meets a lot of different people while trying to get a fresh start with Alice and Luther, such as the Jerrys, the mutilated androids (also that is in Zlatko’s house) and Rose. Rose is a human who sympathises with androids in a time where she could probably be arrested for it. She is the one who helps them cross the border but to tie the stories together, she directs Kara, Alice and (if alive) Luther to Jericho, which will be talked about in much more detail in the other two stories, but for now, what is important is that Kara meets Markus. This game ties three different stories together in a way that it seems natural for them to be like that. It is beautifully crafted, and the fact that what the player does as Markus can heavily affect Kara’s chance of successfully crossing the border is something that was rather powerful to witness.
While playing the game, you have these three separate stories of these three very different characters with very different objectives. It feels… small, almost, putting it like that. By pulling all the loose ends together, the player realises that there is much more going on than just these three stories. It’s most impactful at the end of Kara’s story when they make it all the way to the border and if Markus conducts a revolution, they just get shot right there and then. Of course, this is only one ending and one route but it is such a powerful one.
Kara’s story takes almost a back seat in comparison to Connor’s and Markus’. The other two are so involved in deviants and the android cause, whereas all Kara wants is to protect Alice.

Markus
Markus’ story is a rather sad one, yet so powerful. He had a good life when the game started. He was the android to Carl Manfred, a painter. Carl was involved in an accident before the game that resulted in him being a paraplegic. Markus was a gift to Carl from Elijah Kamski, who is the inventor of androids and the former CEO of Cyberlife. Carl loved Markus like a son. Markus had a good life, especially in comparison with other androids you can see around the city. However, that all changed when an argument with Leo, Carl’s son, became physical. The police showed up and shot Markus right on the spot, showing that whatever the situation, android lives really do not matter to the police.
With the obvious hint towards police brutality when handling minority groups aside, the player does not expect to see Markus again. Only, his story is much more than an android who was treated right by his owner getting shot because of his owner’s son. So much more.
After waking up in the junkyard, Markus finds useable parts to fix his broken ones, climbs up the mountain of android bodies and sets off on a mission to find Jericho. He’s lost, essentially. At this point, Carl is either dead or deteriorating (Markus probably didn’t want to just go back to the house he just got shot at). He has nowhere to go, so when one of the destroyed androids momentarily boots up to tell him about Jericho, he starts there.
Markus is arguably the most interesting of all three main characters because he started off being treated right by his owner. He ends up leading either a revolution or a peaceful protest and can potentially save all androids. He started off with a privileged life in comparison to other androids… only to be the one to lead them to freedom. 
There’s a lot of gameplay aspects that are really fun and interesting, and his story is intriguing. This game could have been done with just Markus, really. However, the other characters you get to play as very much compliment the story. Actions taken as Markus have large effects on public opinion, which heavily impact how you play the game and who lives or dies.

Connor
Connor is the most complicated of the three main characters to write about, as you get much larger choices with him. Connor is a deviant hunter, working with Detroit Police to track down any deviants that happen to get in trouble with the law (whether that be by committing a crime like murder or running away from an unsafe environment). Connor always accomplishes his mission, which is jeopardised when he is paired with Hank. Hank doesn’t like androids, and he doesn’t like Connor. He has been working in the police force for a very long time, and the player quickly gets a sense of someone that has given up on life from Hank. Over the course of the game, Connor can either follow his programming or listen to his heart. Hank heavily encourages the latter, to the point where most of the decisions that can open up the option for Connor himself to become deviant are based on Hank and how Connor treats him.
Connor is the only character that comes back to life after he dies in the game. After all, he is working with the police and therefore he is needed. So… he doesn’t come back to life as much as he gets replaced by a different Connor.
It’s through Connor that you learn in detail about the ‘war’ between humans and androids, as he is a key part in it. Connor’s story has a lot more world-building, in the sense of putting what is going on in Markus’ and Kara’s stories into perspective. You can see both sides of the ‘war’ through Connor’s eyes. You learn a lot about the police and their roles, about Cyberlife and the creator of androids, and you see the tensions rise before the ‘war’. Connor is much more involved on the humans side than Markus and Kara, so it’s more thrown in your face when playing his story.
Going back to the fact that the decisions you make as Connor being much larger than those made as Kara and even Markus, Connor has life and death at his fingertips several times throughout the game. He knows that if he arrests Kara in the chapter ‘On The Run’, she will be destroyed. Kara can die whilst trying to escape him. Markus can die several times because of Connor. There are other androids who can die because of Connor (such as Simon and Carlos’ android).
The most important decision you can make as Connor is whether or not he becomes deviant. Some players may not have the option to become deviant, depending on how they play (as it is based on Connor’s software instability). Depending on which one you pick, the game goes down two completely different routes. Both of them are equally as interesting to see, and the story of both of them is worth playing the game again. The choices you make as Connor strongly affect a lot of the game, but the story doesn’t lack whenever it branches off like it sometimes did in other games.

Rating: 9/10

Opinion:

I think it is easy to say that I adored this game with every fibre of my body. It really came into my life at the time when I needed it most. The story helped me cope with my new diagnosis, the gameplay was… well… I’ve never enjoyed playing a game so much because of the gameplay. I’ve never been able to say “it feels good to play that game” before I played this game. The vibrations of the controller are just right, the motion senses come along frequently enough to be enjoyable yet not too much that it’s annoying.

It’s not a hard game, even when you play it on hard mode (which I don’t recommend if you have any issues with you arms or shoulders). It’s a game that is there for the story, which I have always said is what I look for first in games. I cannot get into a game unless there is a good story, and this one got me interested straight away.

I played about two chapters a night, some of them are longer and some of them are shorter. It was nice to play, I really appreciated the story, and it has easily become one of my favourite games. The only issue that I had with the whole game was in the chapter ‘From The Dead’, I had an issue sensory wise as the sound hurt my ears. I can’t see that being much of an issue for anyone who doesn’t have sensory issues- if anyone has the same problem, you can turn your sound right down until Markus finds the thing that goes in his ear. Wait a few seconds after that, and then you’ll be good.

Overall Rating- 9.3/10

Quote of the week #6

“Wasn’t that, like… way more detailed than some rough idea?”- Ryuji Sakamoto, Persona 5 Royal

Happy Boxing Day, Gamers! Thought it might be nice to do a nice little quote of the week. I know some of you guys miss my Persona 5 posts so I decided to do one from Royal!

Also I got the Arsene Lupin book for Christmas and it just reminded me of this quote. And I got Dancing in Starlight for Christmas so more Persona 5 content will be coming soon!

I hope everyone is having a nice holiday! I’m about to start playing League of Legends so wish me luck!

Does The Bloody Baron deserve redemption?

Since Cyberpunk 2077 has been… not the best, I thought I would take us back to a game that CD Projekt Red was very successful with: The Witcher 3.

I loved this game, and it’s very different from my comfort of Persona 5. I actually started playing The Witcher 3 before I started Persona 5 (I bounced between the two before finally finishing it earlier on this year). As usual, I have to give props to Josh because he went on and on about how he thought I would like this game (at this point, you’d think I’d believe him but nah).

As you guys probably know, I have been in several abusive situations before. Therefore, I was interested when I heard a quest for an abusive man. I was… invested. I think my first instinct was to go on a rant to Josh about how abusers shouldn’t have a redemption, all that stuff. I don’t think it was that long after until I started playing it, and the quest is pretty early on in the game. To this day, I am still torn.

I’ve watched Josh play Red Dead Redemption 2 enough (okay, I have played bits but what I’m saying is mainly from what I’ve watched) to know that sometimes, ‘bad’ people can be redeemed. However, I’ve definitely played enough of the Witcher 3 to know that there isn’t really any ‘good’ people. That leads me to the question of who deserves redemption if there is only evil and lesser evil?

My first thought was obviously ‘lesser evil’ because that’s obvious. But that led onto a bunch of other questions about what makes an evil person a lesser evil person, and I went on and on about it depending on what they did like this was some hypothetical question. But it’s not, because we have the perfect example of where the line crosses with the Bloody Baron.

So, the Bloody Baron is actually called Phillip Strenger. He’s the self-proclaimed Baron of Crow’s Perch (as the last owner fled due to the threat of approaching armies). He chose to be a soldier and got badly hurt in one of the wars. He was tended to by Anna, who he later married. The couple had a baby girl, Tamara. Phillip’s job meant that he was away from home a lot, which meant that Anna had to raise Tamara by herself. Due to the trauma of war and the pain of being away from his family, Phillip turned to alcohol. He soon became dependant on alcohol, which led to one of Tamara’s first memories being her father passed out, clutching a bottle while covered in mud. Due to his alcoholism and his absence, Anna began to have an affair with a childhood friend. She tried to leave Phillip, leaving behind a letter and taking their daughter, presumably knowing that Phillip would not be able to look after her and that their daughter would have a better life with a father figure present. However, Phillip was furious when he found the letter. He found Anna and her new partner and killed him. Anna was obviously traumatised by this and tried to stab him. At the end of the day, if he could kill her partner, what was to stop him from killing her and their child? However, Phillip beat her and took her (and presumably Tamara) home. That was the start of their abusive relationship.

So, here, we have a husband who is gone for the majority of the time, turns to alcohol, and is abusive. Does he deserve redemption at this point? No. At least, I don’t think so. His wife cheated on him, yes, but that was because he was gone for so long because of a job that he chose to do. She was probably very lonely and struggling to raise a child by herself. My theory is that her childhood friend offered to lend a helping hand with Tamara, and over time they fell in love as they were around each other a lot.

A huge argument for why Phillip does deserve redemption is because, in the game, he is shown to be remorseful. Here’s the thing: most abusers do seem remorseful. That’s why people stay in abusive relationships for so long. I really wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but when thinking of my own experiences and experiences of others that I’ve been told about… I just can’t.

Another reason for Phillip to be redeemed, I’ve seen, is that he’s only violent because of his job. He’s a soldier, so he’s prone to violence. I feel like people who argue this just forget that he chose that career. He chose a life of violence.

So, you may ask, why would Anna marry him in the first place? First of all, she probably didn’t know that he would turn to alcohol and become dependant on it. Second of all, marriage is sometimes a thing of convenience instead of an act of love. It was likely more convenient for her (or maybe also her family) to get married and settle down with someone who at least had a job. There is also a chance that he paid her family for her hand in marriage.

So does he deserve redemption? No. Not really. There’s a good chance that his ‘remorse’ is just a way to get Anna back and to make people feel sorry for him. Is it all his fault? No. Addiction is a scary thing that genetics play a huge part in. However, he did choose his job; he chose to marry his wife, and he chose to go after her; which resulted in him murdering a man.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Don’t forget to leave your thoughts about this in the comments, leave a like for me to do a happy dance and follow for more gaming content like this! I’m excited to read what you all think about this topic!