A long summer

University is such a strange thing. You go away to continue learning sophisticated progressions in topics dabbled in from school, and you’re more often than not expected to end it all with a shiny new degree and life experience. No doubt, each and everyone’s ‘university experience’ is different – some people drop out, some struggle, some find their dream opportunity and others continue as normal, delaying the inevitable revelation that is real world problems. It’s an exciting period of anyone’s life, no matter the events that take place.

These thoughts throb in my mind endlessly as I sit back at home, away from the hustle of the Big City, contemplating my next moves. The last three years have passed at an impressive speed, it’s hard to comprehend how swiftly these ‘best moments of your life’ really come to an end. I sit here searching the web for answers; job prospects, social endeavours, and developing my own skills. Soon I’ll begin learning to drive, I’ll also begin a work placement, but sadly it may not last the whole duration of the holiday season, and again I attempt to sell myself to the World. Of course, I’m enrolling myself on an MA course in magazine journalism come September, but that doesn’t diminish the gloomy feelings that grow in-between those two segments of my life. My final year in university emphasised to me the realness and desperation that many students struggled with in finding a place to go after it all. Problems that were ignored prior such as overwhelming debt, lack of relevant job vacancies, and becoming fully independent became very grounded issues. Two years of boozing into comas, and being lazy with education deadlines didn’t completely convince people that they should be planning ahead, instead, they lived in the moment. It’s only at the last hurdle that one realises that this time did matter, and maybe it should have been more productive. In many ways this is how I feel about myself and my university experience, there are many opportunities I did not take up, and now I feel some regret. However, like numerous of fellow students, I go on.

Without question the burden of guilt of not succeeding lingers on my shoulders constantly, but I’m moving on to the next chapter in my life. My MA will be tough, but I bring with me three years of semi-independent experience, and believe that this will set me up for the future. The worries of lacking funding, and job prospects in the future scare me, but you only get out what you put in, so hopefully with some determination I can still succeed.

 

Alexander  Jones

E3: Battlefield 1 Impressions

This was the game I wanted to see at E3. Another installment of addictive multiplayer madness, fully equipped with destructible environments, dynamic weather, punchy guns and now behemoths!

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There’s been an abundance of modern day and futuristic shooters over the last couple of years, and it’s fair to say that some people are getting tired of seeing the same old with every new title. Now, it’s also fair to suggest that going back to World War 2 (a setting that holds a special place in many gamer’s hearts) would also be rather tiresome. How many times can you storm the beaches on D-Day? Or massacre Nazis in Berlin? Too many times most likely. Battlefield 1 is something different, even when it feels familiar. It’s by no long stretch revolutionary; you can feel the same solid Battlefield gameplay from 4 and Hardline, you can also feel some form of comfort in the setting as it resembles but classic FPs games. But this is World War 1, a whole different frontier. New locations, new technology, new battlefield.

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The E3 presentation by EA gave us a new campaign and gameplay trailer which demonstrated some of the locales that will (inevitably) be leveled in the Frostbite engine. We were also treated to three complete multiplayer matches, featuring YouTube gaming stars and, believe it or not, *real celebrities. Snoop Dog died continuously whilst smoking a spliff, Zac Efron looked disturbingly confused whilst driving a tank and Wiz Khalifa was…actually alright? It was a funny game to watch, even if a bit silly. The world finally witness some of the Battlefield 1 goodness, and it looks great. I can already see myself falling in love with this brutal game. Without a doubt, the bayonet charge that has been added to the franchise is my favourite feature, just look at it!

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We don’t have to wait too long for the announced beta of the game (just let us play the damn thing already!), and not too long for the full release in October. Battlefield 1 is definitely in my top 3 games from E3, I just need my multiplayer fix! The other titles that I’m looking forward to grasping with full force is Mafia 3 (thoroughly enjoyed the second one), and hopefully the official reveal of another Red Dead game. In the meantime, Halo Wars 2 looks promising – too many games, so little money, no fair!

Alexander Jones