RRC Digest 11/1/16 – Battlefield 1, The Fall, The Magic Circle

This week I’ll be sharing two games and one show, all of which I enjoyed quite a lot. I’ve played through the Battlefield 1 campaign and a handful of multiplayer matches, and I think this one might be in the rotation for quite a while. In addition I finished watching season 3 of The Fall this week — no spoilers, don’t worry — but if you’ve never watched it I have some reasons why you should. Lastly, I finally got around to playing an indie game that’s been on my backlog for a while — it’s a weird one. Enjoy!

Battlefield 1 – DICE’s latest is a lot better than I expected it to be. Not to say I thought it would be bad — I’ve loved the Battlefield games ever since Bad Company 2 hooked me on the 360 (I dabbled with BF 1942 on a friend’s PC, but that hardly counts). I just didn’t think it would have both a respectable campaign, and a mode as good as Bad Company 2’s Rush gametype. That last part is key — BFBC2’s Rush mode was different from the one they’ve shoehorned into the maps in Battlefield 3 and 4. Bad Company 2 was built around the Rush gametype, and the map design fit with that, creating matches where players would fight on a single front that shifted from one location to the next over the course of the match. It was limited to 32 players on PC and 24 on consoles, but all of those players were engaged in a singular fight that made for some very chaotic gameplay.

Battlefield 1’s Operations mode takes the concept around Rush and blows it out onto larger maps with 40-64 players. The result is total madness in the best possible way. When you see a wave of enemies come running over the hills towards the objective you’re meant to defend, it can be genuinely scary and overwhelming.

The Fall – This show’s third and final season just landed on Netflix and now that I’ve seen it all I can safely say this is a show worth watching — if you have the stomach for it. The Fall follows two main characters in equal measure. On one side you have Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson), a detective working in Belfast to track down a serial killer. On the other, you have Paul Spector, the killer in question.

The Fall portrays Stella Gibson in much the same way the male lead is treated in shows like House, Mad Men, and Rescue Me. She’s a powerful woman who has her way with the people around her and never second-guesses her actions. After all, she’s acting the same way any man in her position would…and she isn’t afraid to point that out. It examines double-standards while wading into an ugly world of sexual abuse and murder, rarely backing off from the terrible things Paul Spector does to his female victims

The Fall also follows Paul as a main character without ever glorifying his actions. Imagine if Dexter wasn’t colored as a hero, didn’t have a code or badguys as victims, but still got the same amount of screen time. We see Paul do terrible things, all the while covering it up with a family and normal life. The cat and mouse game between Paul and Stella is gripping throughout.

The Magic Circle – This indie game by ex-Bioshock devs is an exploration of the give-and-take that comes with long overdue games and the fans that anticipate them. Do the fans have any ownership over the games…do the creators? These questions are explored and torn apart in a hilarious manner, all in a broken, half-finished game world with surprising depth and fun mechanics for a 3-4 hour experience. The gameplay consists of pausing and hacking the various enemies, editing them to follow and fight for you. Eventually you use their abilities to advance past obstacles and sabotage the developer’s plans.

This game goes to some crazy places and surprised me from beginning to end. If you’ve ever followed the tortured development of a game, only to see it cancelled or changed drastically — or you just want a fun way to celebrate the launch of The Last Guardian — The Magic Circle is an eccentric must-play experience.

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