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Now, usually spring is an underwhelming time for game releases, and if you take a quick peek at this year’s slate it’s exactly that…ZZZzzzZZZzz…but if you look a little closer, there are some interesting gems hidden in the clutter of Indie games and, somehow, another Final Fantasy game!

Sea of Thieves

Arrrhhhhh! (Had to be done) Sea of Thieves is a new type of multiplayer game that delivers all you ever wanted in a free-roaming pirate life.  Whether adventuring as a group or sailing solo, you’ll encounter other crews – but will they be friends or foes, and how will you respond?  You’re free to approach this world and its wealth of challenges however you choose.  Sail for the sheer joy of discovery or undertake dramatic voyages, following maps and untangling riddles. Xbox/PC

State of Decay 2

This is a personal favorite in the plethora of zombie survival games.  The dead have risen, and civilization has fallen.  Even the military couldn’t stop the zombies, and now humanity stands on the brink of extinction.  It’s up to you to gather survivors and build a community.  Play solo or team up with up to three friends (this is a big deal) to explore an open world filled with dynamic zombies, human enemies, and the valuable gear necessary to keep your community alive.  Xbox exclusive.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered

Ok so I am a bit of an Assassin’s Creed fan boy…or at least I thought I was.  I don’t recall the original at all!  I guess this one slipped by me.  Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Assassin-hunting odyssey through pre-Revolution America and the North Atlantic, is making a gloriously remastered return on PS4 and Xbox One, complete with 4K support for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.  Looks to be the same loot grinding, parkour jumping, Templar killing…wait the storyline says he goes rogue and turns on the brotherhood.  How have I not played this!?

Nintendo Labo

At first glance, this appears to be some sort of Nintendo executive’s cardboard fever dream, but it’s actually pretty cool!  If I had a kid old enough to enjoy building stuff out of cardboard and learning awesome sciencey things, I’d be all in.  Lobo consists of DIY kits that come as sheets of cardboard.  You pop the pieces out, use the instructions on your Switch to assemble them, and you’re left with incredible interactive video games that merge the physical and virtual worlds.  Switch only.

In the interest of full disclosure I should admit that I’m not a huge Call of Duty fan. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate; it’s more a case of not having been a COD fan for a while, a good while, in fact. If I’m brutally honest, the last Call Of Duty that I really enjoyed was Modern Warfare in 2007.  I started to lose interest in the series when it decided to push beyond historical and contemporary battlegrounds in favor of futuristic landscapes and environments.  That’s not to say that I have an issue with futuristic FPS (full person shooter) games –  I’ve lost weeks, if not months of my life to Destiny 1 & 2 – but futuristic weapons and exoskeletons aren’t what I wanted from Call Of Duty.

Of course, it’s easy to take what should be the right ingredients and still end up with a complete mess, but thankfully Sledgehammer has whipped up quite the appealing AAA – FPS shooter in the shape of Call Of Duty: WWII.  That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but it definitely signals a return to form for the franchise.

Campaign:

The visuals are outstanding, not just the photo realistic representations of your squad and the terrain that they live in, but the dynamic effects of rain, mud, rubble, dust, smoke and fog.  Those visuals, joined with earth shattering sound effects – you really want to play this on a surround sound system if you can!

The campaign plots a course through Europe, with the obligatory D-Day landing carnage that throws you into the thick of the fight from the get go. There’s no open world to explore here, it’s an old school ‘on rails’ story, but it’s engaging and leaves you wanting to push on through the next chapter every time you complete a mission. What Sledgehammer has created is the best single player COD experience in years, taking me back to the very early days of the Xbox 360, when COD was the stand out game on the system. It’s honestly worth buying Call Of Duty: WWII for the campaign alone.

Multiplayer:

This review has taken me longer than anticipated to write, because the multiplayer side of the equation was rather unreliable when the game first launched.  In the first few weeks, I found myself unable to connect for hours on end, and then, when I could finally get in, I’d be kicked mid match.  No Beuno!  In response, they have temporarily disabled some social elements to help with server issues.

Thankfully, those problems, for the most part, seem to have been resolved for now, and the result is the best Call Of Duty multiplayer experiences I’ve played in years.  I generally prefer the slower pace of Battlefield or Destiny multiplayer, but the balance of weapons and maps seems to hit a sweet spot.  There’s also a lot of game modes available, with classics like Team Deathmatch and Domination keeping old school veterans like me happy.  But if I want something a bit more demanding, something with a real sense of team achievement, War mode will deliver the challenge.

Zombies:

Ahhh ZOMBIES! This latest zombie installment is definitely tougher than previous versions, and demands more effective teamwork to survive, but jump into the fray with a few friends and the hours will fly by before you notice.

 

Die-hard Call Of Duty fan?  Then you probably pre-ordered WWII months ago and need no convincing, but if like me, you’ve become a bit jaded towards the franchise then it’s worth giving this latest installment a try.  Server issues, campers, and quick scopers are still a plenty.

Spring is finally here, and while we’re cleaning our houses and throwing out things we don’t need, it’s important not to neglect cleaning our digital lives as well.
Files can build up quickly and effect the performance of a computer. Here are some tips to keep your Windows-powered personal computer clean.

1. Antivirus Scan
This is something that should be happening on a regular basis, but in case it’s not, users should run an antivirus scan on their computer to make sure that it is free of malware. Not only can malware invade your privacy, steal your data and ruin your digital life, but it can also significantly slow down a computer.

2. Run Disk Cleaner
Running a Disk Cleaner can be very helpful in removing old, unnecessary files and speeding up your computer. A Disk Cleaner removes old temporary files used by programs that are not needed. You’ll be surprised by how many of these files there are on your computer after only a few months of use.

3. Uninstall Old Programs
Head over to the Control Panel and then to Programs. There should be a long list of all the programs that have been installed or that came pre-installed on the computer. Now, it’s important to be a little careful here, as you don’t want to remove something that you need or that is important for the computer to run. If, however, you see a program that you haven’t touched in six months, perhaps it’s time to get rid of it and free up space on your hard drive.

4. Put Things In Folders
Cleaning a computer isn’t always just about removing files, it can also be about organizing them. While not essential to how your computer runs, organizing files into folders can greatly help you in being more productive. It makes it easier to find things when necessary, plus it just looks prettier than a long list of unorganized files.

5. Clear History and Cookies
Cookies contain information that websites have gathered about you and stored on your computer as small text files. Most of these files are completely harmless, but others store private details like where you went, what you did, and any personal information you gave. Each browser and mobile device stores history and cookie differently, so we found a helpful website with instructions for a variety of mobile and desktop search engines.