5 games with their own Outbreaks that you should really Break Out

By Joseph Jones – We all know that the world is going through a… rough patch; sometimes people may want to get away from it and escape into a new world which, of course…

By Joseph Jones

We all know that the world is going through a… rough patch; sometimes people may want to get away from it and escape into a new world which, of course, is a destination often provided by that of video games. In this article I am proposing to you 5 games that relate to our current days on a whole different level. Each listed game, detailed in no particular order, takes on a different approach to its own pandemic, whether in story, gameplay or world building.

Warning: this review will contain spoilers.

1 – Resident Evil 2 (remake)

Game cover image sourced from HERE.

The first game to have made it onto my list is the 2019 remake of ‘Resident Evil 2’. This survival horror game was developed and published by Capcom and it is a remake of the 1996 game of the same name.

The game takes place in ‘Racoon City’ and it offers the possibility to choose between two characters –  Claire Redfield or Leon S. Kennedy – which play in a set of stories that coincide with each other during a sudden zombie outbreak that has completely swallowed the city.

Even though there is an overarching storyline from the first game, Capcom has done a good job of making this game stand alone. It may be a sequel but it’s a separate incident in a new location, involving fresh characters with their own goals. So, even though it’s generally a good idea to start a game from the beginning, this can be played without the knowledge of the previous one while still being a fantastic ride. 

The game is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows.

2 – The Last Of Us

Game cover image sourced from HERE.

Next up is a PlayStation (PS) exclusive title, The Last Of Us’ for the PS3 (or, alternatively, you can play the remastered version on PS4 if you prefer). This 2013 survival horror game was developed by ‘Naughty Dog’ and published with ‘Sony Interactive Entertainment’.

The game is set in The United States after a fungal plague has caused an apocalypse, devastating the country. The narrative follows two survivors, Joel and Ellie, as they try to survive and travel west through the country to find a possible cure to save what’s left of humanity.

‘Naughty Dog’ has done an amazing job with the story; crafting an atmosphere that creates a sense of bleakness and desperation in the face of tragic events beyond our control, whilst simultaneously showcasing that nature prospers, remaining as a blooming point of beauty within the remnants of the world that we have lost.

The game is available on PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 (remastered only).

3 – Dishonoured

Game cover image sourced from HERE.

For the next entry we have the 2012 action-adventure stealth game ‘Dishonoured’ by game developer ‘Arkane Studios’ and publisher ‘Bethesda Softworks’.

The story of Dishonoured is set in the plague-infested city of ‘Dunwall’. Your character is ‘Corvo Attano’, the bodyguard of the Empress of the Isles. He is being sent by the Empress across the isles to find help with the plague that festers in her streets. Unfortunately, ‘Corvo’ returns and gives the Empress the devastating news that no one will help. After having the revelation that she and her people are on their own, the Empress is suddenly attacked, and even though ‘Corvo’ fought off the assassins he was unable to save her.  The man is then framed for her murder as well as the kidnapping of her daughter, ‘Princess Emily’.

Whilst he is waiting for his execution, he is visited by a mysterious being who grants him extraordinary powers; from there on he sets out to get revenge, to find ‘Emily’ and to prove his innocence.

The world that the game takes place in is rich in lore and history, and it shows elements of careful craftmanship which truly create complexities. For instance, the game illustrates differences in class, ideologies and even personalities of the city, and each different district consists of selectively chosen architecture.

The city itself was influenced by London and Edenborough, drawing further inspiration from Gothic, Art Nouveau, Victorian, Victorian (Jacobean revival), Industrial and Nazi architecture. On top of that, there are added notes from steampunk, but with the world being maintained on ‘whale-oil’ fans have dubbed the game ‘whalepunk’. There is so much to read in-between the lines, but it doesn’t feel needed or forced upon you, so you can enjoy the game in its simplest form too, as just a classic revenge story with supernatural elements.

The game features a chaotic system that responds to how you conduct yourself on missions and in ‘Dunwall’, the louder and more chaotic you are, the more guards will appear later on. The more citizens become oppressed and the worse the plague gets, the quieter and the more peaceful the city is.

The game is available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

4 – Prototype

Game cover image sourced from HERE.

This next game is the 2009 action-adventure game ‘Prototype’, developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Activision Blizzard.

The game is set in a pandemic-ridden New York City full of mutants and military forces who are out looking for blood. We play as Alex J. Mercer, who suddenly wakes up in what appears to be a morgue inside of a research facility basement. After his escape, he realises that he has no memories and that he’s somehow acquired inhuman abilities, but for some reason he has become New York City’s public enemy number one. Now he needs to figure who he is and what, exactly, he has become.

Overall Prototype is a fun, third person sandbox style game. If blazing around in a chaotic power-trip sounds appealing, then this playthrough could be the one for you.

The game is available on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

5 – Lone Survivor

Game cover image sourced from HERE.

For the final entry on my list we have ‘Lone survivor’, a 2012 independent survival horror video game by developer Superflat Games and publishers Superflat Games, Curve Digital, and Limited Run Games.

In the game we take control of an unnamed young man wearing a surgical mask. He became isolated in his apartment building after a strange virus decimated his known world and begun turning people into hyper-aggressive mutants.

‘Lone survivor’ was a very fun experience for me; its pixel art contrasted against the horror aspect to create a raw ominous atmosphere and a sense of claustrophobia that I was not expecting. The isolation I experienced in the game was harrowing and as a fan of atmospheric horror in games, I was left feeling more than satisfied.

The game is available on Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 and Wii U.

We may be living in uncertain times right now, but I hope that these recommendations have potentially offered you a game that could help to fill your time.

Images: Main image by Igor Karimov on Unsplash. Individual source information for the game covers can be found in their citations.


Society Showcase: ARU Chess Society

By Jack Seabrook – Are you interested in playing chess? Engaging in the art of war? Then this is the place for you! Hi, my name is Jack Seabrook…

By Jack Seabrook(ARU Chess Society)

Are you interested in playing chess? Engaging in the art of war? Then this is the place for you! 

Hi, my name is Jack Seabrook, President of the ARU Chess Society on the Cambridge campus. I decided to take ownership of the Chess Society upon starting university during my first week of settling in.

Within that time, I attended a games night set up by the Students Union, naturally gravitating towards the corner adorned by chessboards. It was there, in a perfect situation, that I happened to meet my first friend at university.

After playing a few games we hit upon a discussion, wondering whether ARU had an individual space for those like us who held an exuberant passion for the game or, if that were not the case, whether to go about creating one of our own. 

That is the story of how we came to be where we are now; playing the game that we love, indulging in our passion and aiming to share our interest with all of you!

I have loved chess all of my life; the symbolic nature of battle, the testing of one’s intellectual limits in relation to planning, foresight and imagination, and more so than both of these factors combined, the outpour and expression of emotions from the brink of fear to the peak of joy. The sheer exhilaration of the game – that’s what I value the most. 

Many people tend to think of chess as a slow paced game, not meant for the time of youth, but I challenge you to come and join us for a match where we can prove you wrong! Join us and be introduced to the racing of one’s heart and the pace that one’s thoughts run through whilst learning something new. 

‘The Chess Society has really helped me to improve my skills over the board, to brush up on main lines and openings which, previously, I was unfamiliar with. As well as being a welcoming society for newcomers and beginners (like myself), it’s an amazing place to see how beautiful the game is and to make new friends who will share a common interest.’

– Lorenzo Barba (Committee Member)

I personally believe that an individual is missing out on a large portion of life without chess, not purely speaking in terms of the game itself. The developing and nurturing of skills and the rapid thinking that it entails as well as its ability to evoke a player to decipher deeper meanings – there is so much more to this game beyond its surface.

Still think chess isn’t for you? Nonsense!

“Chess is everything; art, science, sport.”

– Anatoly Karpov, Chess World Championship 1975-85 (Source)
  • Harmonise your forces
  • Methodise your strategy
  • Charge for the front

So whether you already love the game, or want a pastime to get you off of your phone, I assure you that our society is well worth giving a shot.

Image: Charlie Solorzano on Unsplash

Nintendo Switch Console Review

By Kiana Rad – So although the Nintendo Switch came out all the way back in March 2017, I have only just managed to get my hands on one; and do I have a lot to say about it…

By Kiana Rad

So although the Nintendo Switch came out all the way back in March 2017, I have only just managed to get my hands on one; and do I have a lot to say about it! So if you don’t already know, the Switch is the newest gaming console released by Nintendo since the Wii U and it has lots more key features added to it to make it a console for everyone. Not only is it a handheld console you can take anywhere much like many consoles Nintendo are famous for, but it also has a docking system you can plug it into for a seamless transition to playing on a television with friends and family. The two remotes that can attach and detach from the console screen can also act as two separate remotes which have similar point-and-click functioning to the classic Wii remotes. The remotes can also slide into a controller frame that comes included and be made into one classic gaming controller if that is more comfortable.

So there are many ways in which the Switch can be played but how is the functionality of the console? Well, in my opinion, it is one of the highest functioning handheld consoles on the market right now. The one negative I may express is that not a whole lot of well-known games are available to the Switch at the moment, but as there is a whole line up being announced for the upcoming year I have no doubt in my mind that this will change very soon. Besides this, the gaming experience is unlike anything else I’ve seen. Here are some key features that make it a smart gaming buy.

The Display

The Switch’s console screen is a large 6.2 inches and also includes a 1080p by 720p LCD display with added touchscreen features, making the gaming experience fully immersive and very high quality.

Battery Life

Although there have been a lot of complaints about the battery life being too short on the console, I believe that for a larger handheld console with the much larger screen and higher display quality than its predecessors it is sufficient enough. Plus for the first time, a USB-C charging port has been added to the console for a faster charge as well as more seamless connectivity to the docking system.

Easy Multiplayer  

Now, this console may not be good for people who don’t like lots of different pieces and add ons, but the two ‘joy-cons’ attached to the console having the ability to detach and become two separate remotes actually work in favour of gamers who prefer multiplayer. For the first time, we see a console that comes with a single controller when attached to the console or controller frame, and can also transform to become two smaller ready to use remotes when detached. It clearly shows that the Switch is meant to be shared.

Lots of Potential Memory Space 

A little add on which will come in very handy as your game collection grows is the ability to save game software on a micro SD card. Behind the kickstand feature is a little slot for the card and can add up to an extra 128gb of storage (if you really need it). This way you can download your physical copies on there as well as many digital downloads from the Nintendo eShop.

Take it Anywhere 

This is the most important and greatest feature by far on the Nintendo Switch. You do not have to be bound to the TV and can take the console anywhere you like and play on the go. Even with just the console screen you can play 2 player or hold the remote separate to the screen like you would on a TV if that is your preferred gaming mode. Simply pop the kickstand open and place it on a flat surface and get playing!

All in all, there aren’t very many negatives about this console at all. It works to give a high functioning and immensely fun gaming experience for everyone of all ages.

Hopefully, very soon I’ll be able to give you guys a little review on some of the most popular games out on the Switch right now but until then thanks for reading and happy gaming to you all!

Image Credit: Kiana Rad