40 Games / 40 Nights: Week 1

October 17, 2020
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PS4

With the release of the PlayStation 5 on the horizon, I got to thinking about my enormous backlog of games on the current generation. Therefore, I thought I’d set myself a challenge. 40 games in 40 nights. Can I do it? I’m not sure. I’ll have fun trying though!


Week #1 of the challenge and I’m already behind. If I want to at least play these 40 games I’m going to have to average 8 games a week — there’s a song in there somewhere! — and this week I fell short. Hopefully I can get into the swing of things, continuing to play some larger games from week to week whilst beating some of the shorter ones. 

N.B. I’m not aiming to beat or complete these 40 games. However, the thought of these games — many that I’ve purchased — sitting dormant and forgotten courtesy of next-generation excitement seemed like a waste. The choice of whether to experience them for a few hours or not at all is a simple one.


Far Cry 5

The Far Cry open world formula set against the backdrop of rural America gripped by a dangerous religious cult makes Far Cry 5 a very intriguing prospect. As a huge fan of Far Cry 3 but someone who hasn’t been invested in the franchise since, I was looking forward to playing this. A few hours in and whilst I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played so far, I’ll be interested to see how much longer I’ll last in the fictional Montana county.

The opening moments of the game are huge and assert Joseph Seed, charismatic leader of the Eden’s Gate cult, as a real threat. However, having been dropped into the world and set free after this point I began to realise that, despite being invested in the early story and setting the Far Cry formula hasn’t evolved much since Far Cry 3. Therefore, this all feels a little stale. 

I’ll definitely be coming back to it — so expect to see my thoughts for a week or so yet — but past the beautiful visuals and the creepy, satirical slant that everything in the game takes, I don’t think I’m going to be as enraptured by Far Cry 5 as I had hoped.


Fractured Minds


A game about living with severe mental health conditions from creator Emily Mitchell, Fractured Minds is a ark and daunting puzzle game that was over almost as quickly as it started. Beating the game in around half an hour, this “short story” from the BAFTA Young Games Designers nominee was incredibly surreal. 

Taking place over a series of short chapters, the player is ostensibly battling with their own mind. Or at least experiencing otherwise normal situations in a twisted and daunting way. Fractured Minds manages a lot with very little. Despite being very basic in design, it still managed to impose itself on me, making an impact before quickly coming to an end.

Available for just £1.79 and with a portion of proceeds being donated to Safe In Our World, I recommend people check this out if they’re into this arty and introspective style of video game.


One Night Stand


I’ve had One Night Stand recommended to me for a while. A choose-your-own-adventure style visual novel, created by one-person developer Kinmoku, it places the player in the awkward position of waking up in someone else’s bed after a surprise fling. However, you can’t remember how you got there, what you did the night before, and who this girl is.

A surprisingly deep game with a ton of options to explore and endings to unlock, my first playthrough took less than ten minutes. However, I had to keep playing as my character and I tried to piece together just how all this happened. The story is funny and sweet with plenty of awkward humour. Discovering just how everything unfolded was fantastic and shows that a compelling narrative can be borne out of the simplest, everyday, interaction.

You can read more on One Night Stand here.


Life Is Strange


Speaking of simple, everyday, interactions, Life is Strange almost trades off the very same thing. Granted, there’s also some time-altering supernatural elements at play here too. However, the human relationships on show are the thing that will compel me to see Life is Strange through all five of its episodes.

Another game that has come highly recommended by almost every podcast, person on Twitter and passer-by, how I haven’t played it until this late in the generation is beyond me. After kicking myself a little bit for not playing this when it came out and experiencing it with everyone else, I was very pleased with my choice. No need to rewind time here and choose again.

I’m only one episode deep but I’m really enjoying how the story is shaping up, all of the interwoven relationships and the cause and effect at play. It’s a shame that the game doesn’t really hold up when it comes to visuals and animations, but when the writing is this good and episodes breeze by so quickly a small gripe like this is easy to look past.

Expect me to write more on this one in the coming weeks.


Hitman: GO


The final game played during my first week was Hitman: GO. I added it to the list late in the day following the announcement that it was one of only ten games that wouldn’t be playable on the PlayStation 5. Spoilers: you can probably expect to see Shadow Complex Remastered one week too.

A fun and quirky take on the Hitman formula, Hitman: GO plays out like a board game and that tabletop aesthetic runs throughout the whole game. The presentation is fantastic and the way the pseudo-analogue mechanics work are great. A challenge if you’re just trying to get through each level, trying to do absolutely everything is an entirely different beast. 

A game that would help while away time on public transport or whilst waiting in line, it’s definitely not as easy to sink time into when I’m sat on my couch staring at it on my TV and scratching my head. However, with the likelihood of me playing this game post-November 19th extremely minimal I feel like I need to finish this one.


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And that’s my first week. Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting this strange new venture. I know this is a little different for JDR and we’re still working on the format. 40 Games / 40 Nights will be back next week but, in the meantime, if you have any comments, tips or want to talk to me about what I’m playing, leave a comment.

I’m doing my best to post each game on Twitter as I start it up too, so be sure to follow us over there.

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Ant Barlow

Started with the PlayStation, now I'm here... with a PlayStation. Once skipped school to play the Metal Gear Solid demo repeatedly. I love stories big and small. Trophy hunter. Recent VR convert. Probably a hipster.