Last night I decided to test out the wireless ethernet thing a little further, this time focusing on the official Sony Playstation Remote Play app, to see if the connection improved its functionality. In the past it had behaved a lot like Parsec was where it had momentary blips of connectivity, where the sound would drag a bit while the stream was trying to catch up. In truth it happened an awful lot more than Parsec normally does, generally happening every couple of minutes. That said the entire time playing the Remote Play app felt very obvious that there was a bit of lag introduced into the system. For example I could not really stand playing Destiny other than material farming, because I had to lead the shots by a significant margin to try and actually hit anything. As such I only really played RPGs in this fashion that didn’t require me to do much in the way of fine motor skills.
With the connection change however it is not really noticeable that I am not sitting at the Playstation 4 upstairs. Sure I am only able to stream back 720p due to the fact that I don’t have a PS4 Pro… but apart from that one constraint it felt like I was actually upstairs playing the machine natively. I spent most of the evening playing Dad of War… sorry that is all this game will ever be called to me personally. I will comment a bit about the game itself later, but as far as the gameplay experience over Remote Play I put in roughly three hours and never once had a bobble or a hiccup in the connection or anything I could possibly attribute to slowdown or input lag. In fact the game felt silky smooth and largely made me forget how I was doing some nonsense in the process of playing it.
As far as the game itself… it reminds me an awful lot of the way that Horizon Zero Dawn felt in ways that I am not entirely certain if I could explain. Basically Dad of War is Horizon Zero Dawn if you instead were playing as Rost, and spent all your time running around with young Aloy. There are so many ways in which Kratos interacts with Atreus, that remind me of those early interactions between Rost and Aloy. Sure the core of the games themselves are very different, whereas HZD was a big open worldish exploration game… and thusfar Dad of War seems to be largely following a predetermined path with various objectives adjacent to said path. The short period of time I have been playing however makes me feel like playing HZD again.
Even though I generally hate the term Toxic Masculinity, not necessarily for its intended meaning, but more the negative reaction that I tend to have mentally to hearing it… and translating it to “being male is bad”. Dad of War is very much a game about Toxic Masculinity. Kratos wants to be a better “father” than he is capable of being. The game takes painstaking effort to show you all of the times he has the instinct to embrace his son, but for whatever reason cannot and instead focuses on something Atreus did wrong instead of comforting and assuaging his fears. He wants his son to grow up “strong” like he is, and it reminds me so much of every time I saw a father trying to relive their own glory days through their kid via sports. I’m sorta afraid that if I had kids I would feel something similar about all of the geeky things that I did along the way growing up, and wanting to try and force said kids into loving the same things I do.
I have some feelings about how this story is going to play out, but I am going to keep them to myself for now. I just feel like we are telling the final tale of Kratos, and witnessing the birth of the next figure that the series will focus on. I have a feeling that the game as a whole will be a very unexpected emotional trip. Ultimately yesterday I realized that since I am not currently engaged in an MMO that is sapping all of my time… that I should spent some time catching up on the single player games that I either never attempted to got distracted while playing. Example I made a significant amount of progress into Assassin’s Creed Origins but got distracted by some other shiny MMO flavored object that crossed my path. For now I think I am going to spend most of my time playing through Dad of War and after that… probably set my sights on another single player game that I failed to play… maybe loop back around and finish up AC Origins.