As I wrapped up my 100-hour journey with Baldur’s Gate 3, I began to look towards what was next. After an RPG of such size and scale, I needed a nice palate cleanser while counting down the days to Alan Wake 2 at the end of the month. So, what’s the exact opposite of Baldur’s Gate 3? That’s right, baby, it’s good ol’ Call of Duty and some mobile games! Honestly, I really wanted to play some games that triggered different parts of the brain than BG3 as I genuinely loved it, but it’s a game that gets exhausting by the 60, 70, and 80+ hour marks, so I recommend playing in chunks rather than straight through. So without further ado, let’s talk about some non-CRPGs I’ve been playing!

Honkai: Star Rail Patch 1.4 & PS5 Version

On October 11th, Honkai: Star Rail dropped its 1.4 content patch alongside the long-awaited release of the PS5 version. As someone who doesn’t like to game on their PC, mostly because I only own a laptop, I’d been playing H:SR on my mobile phone since its initial release and have been wanting a way to play the major story content on a bigger screen. If you’re interested in my overall thoughts on the game itself, I recommend checking out my previous post here: “Honkai: Star Rail – My Favorite Mobile Game That’s Tough to Recommend“. As for the PS5 version, it’s everything you’d expect. Running at 60 frames, the game is beautiful and vibrant. The game has been optimized to utilize a controller over touch screen controls, and, in my opinion, it all feels fairly intuitive to utilize. Lastly, as long as your MiHoYo account is properly connected to your PSN, transitioning from PS5 to mobile (and vice versa) is perfectly seamless so you can always choose to play where it makes the most sense for the content. One thing to note, however, is that, at the time of writing, there are little to no display options available on PS5 and that includes brightness, which I believe the version is fairly bright in comparison. It’s not a deal break, by any means, but I do hope it’s updated to allow for brightness/HDR options in the future. Overall, the PS5 version is an excellent addition to the game and is something I plan to utilize for the main and companion quests going forward and leaving griding/auto-battles to my phone.

Moving on to Patch 1.4, it’s a fairly sizable content drop compared to 1.3, where we wrapped up the final moments on the Loufo. Patch 1.4, titled “Jolted Awake From a Winter Dream”, sees us returning to Belebog once more to help the citizens in their time of need as the Interastral Peace Corporation descends upon the planet looking to collect their “payment” for services provided long, long ago. It introduces Topaz as an upcoming banner character who is not what I expected from the initial key art but we’ll see where the character ends up by the end of the quest. As for the patch’s first event, that’s the real star of the show. The new event, Aetherium Wars, is a quirky, lovable nod to the Pokemon franchise that sees the Trailblazer collect Aether Spirits, virtual versions of enemies from within the game, and use them for battle against other Aether Spirits. Sounds very familiar, right? The event wears its Pokemon love on its sleeve and it’s vastly more well-done than I’d expect out of an event in a mobile game. Overall, I’d say Patch 1.4 is a great content patch that gives further hope that future ones can maintain this level of quality or exceed it. Now with that, it’s time to catch them all and become the very best!

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

I’ve never been a big fan of Call of Duty. I played plenty of COD4 in my youth, as many of us did, but that and World at War were where my journey began and ended. I don’t have any particular issues with the series and I’ve found them to be very well-playing games, but they’re just not what I normally come to first-person shooters for. During the lonely COVID days, Call of Duty: WWII scratched a powerful itch so, in that same vein, I thought why not give Infinite Warfare, one of the bastard children of the series, a fair shake. As it turns out, it’s a pretty great game. Infinite Warfare was the last of the futuristic Call of Duty games to come in the past decade before fans became tired of the aesthetic and faster pacing. At the time, the game went head-to-head with Titanfall 2 and, while Titanfall is the far superior title, Infinite Warfare is a fantastic futuristic military shooter that reminds us why Call of Duty is so ubiquitous and everlasting.

The campaign, the main attraction for me, throws you in the position of Lt. Nick Reyes in a future where Earth is fighting for resources against the Settlement Defense Front (SDF), a faction of people who settled on the planet Mars and across the galaxy. The gameplay alternates between traditional ground combat and aerial dogfighting combat in space, one of the big surprises for me. In addition, the game’s mission structure is non-linear, providing a galaxy map and several missions to be completed in any order to unlock new weapons, equipment, and abilities throughout. The story is, ultimately, a very traditional Call of Duty military story but the setting, in my opinion, elevates it now that we’ve put some distance between Advance Warfare and later Black Ops games. In a lot of ways, it was exactly what I needed, nothing requiring a heavy investment while also having tight gameplay mechanics in a 6-8 hour package. After that, I dabbled in the multiplayer, which still had a small but active community on PS4, and the Zombies mode, which was 80’s movie-focused. I put more time into zombies but, as a solo player, I felt stunted on progress as the mode begs you to play with friends. All in all, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was a nice surprise that likely got more heat, at the time, than it deserved.

With that, we wrap up another week of what I’ve been playing. Initially, I wanted these to be weekly updates but, as I saw with Baldur’s Gate 3, some weeks there’s not enough content to write about when I’m only playing a single game across a longer stretch of time. As such, the “ATB Highlights” posts will come and go, as needed. Coming up, I’m highly anticipating the release of Alan Wake 2 so please be on the lookout for related posts in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading!