Games I've Been Playing In The Last 6 Months

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PS4)

Based in 1946 when the Nazis are close to winning WW2, the character B. J. Blazkowicz is attempting to overturn their rule and heading deep into Bavaria. The first part involves Blazkowicz being up against a psychotic prison warden to retrieve the death camp coordinates, with the second part taking him to the city of Wulfburg where he finds an obsessed Nazi archaeologist attempting to release evil power. I found this game really interesting as the storyline gets you intrigued as to what happened in the past and see the balance between truth and fiction as to what they used to shape the storyline. Playing this game shows what could have happened in an alternate reality as part of the Nazi regime and you also get to use some pretty interesting weapons throughout the game. 

Assassins Creed: Black Flag (PS3)

I started playing this a while ago and have been dipping in and out of it for a few months. This whole game revolves around the lives of pirates with an infinite amount of pirate activities that you can get involved with. The game starts in 1715 when pirates threatened the powers in Europe and began to rule the land and sea. It moves into the times where you will captain your own ship and meet legendary pirates such as Blackbeard. The last part involves meeting some fearsome pirates as well as a ruthless pirate hunter. When I first began the game I was really enjoying it as it was something a little different to previous games in the series, partly due to its expansive world which made it the 'largest and most immersive game in the franchise'. There are so many different things to do and you can sail to numerous islands, although I did find myself getting a little bored sometimes as this became quite time-consuming and tedious. 

Sniper Elite 4 (PS4)

Although there have been previous games in this series, it's the first one I've played. It's set during World War Two and follows the elite sniper and covert agent Karl Fairburne. He's fighting with the Italian Resistance to try and free the country from Fascism and stop the threat that may prevent the Allied comeback. I'd never thought about sniper games previously as I always thought they would be a bit boring, however, this definitely wasn't the case with this game. There's a variety of missions and scenarios to play as you work through the storyline. I found myself striving to get the most perfect sniper kill to try and get the best score, although I found it fun to play around with the other weaponry to mix it up a little. 

Hitman: The Complete First Season (PS4)

This game sees you play the role of Agent 47 which takes you on assignments to take out a number of high profile and powerful people. You can choose who you want to take out, how you kill them and at which point. The missions will take place in different countries such as Japan and Paris. One of the things I love about this game is that it reacts to every move you make which means every time you play a mission, you can end up with a different outcome. It's so responsive and means you have to plan out your kills and be patient to achieve success. Having different weapons to use gives you the freedom to choose your method of assassination and it can get quite intense as you sneak around, disguise yourself and execute your targets.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)

I first started playing the Uncharted games over a year ago and have played the remastered versions of the first three and then did number four. More recently I've been into The Lost Legacy which is currently the newest one in the series. The story follows Chloe Frazer who has appeared in previous games in the series, who takes on the help of a mercenary Nadine Ross. They head to India to try and recover an ancient artefact to prevent it getting into the wrong hands. I love the adventure that comes with the Uncharted games as there is so much exploring to do and this game takes you through some spectacular scenery and challenging missions.

2018 Goals

Get a house

After weighing up the options when graduating from uni, we decided to stay at Laura's parent's house while we would save up for a deposit rather than spend money renting a flat. We are hoping that we can get a mortgage this year and move into our own home. Being able to call a place your own and to have our own space will be amazing. I've already planned out what I'd like to do with one of the spare rooms which I'm hoping to turn it into a gaming room. 

Blog consistently

I often include something relating to how often I'd like to blog as it's something that I always try to improve on. I've set myself targets in the past to try and blog a certain number of times in a week and did manage to keep this up for a bit but then things got in the way such as when I started my full-time job. Since then I've been trying to find a balance of how often I can blog and keep this up consistently. I was quite busy in the run-up to Christmas so didn't manage to get up as many posts as I'd like, so I thought I could use the new year as a starting point to go from and aim to keep it up from there.

Get a role in my company

Having started my graduate scheme in September 2016, I'll be due to finish it later this year so will be looking for a role to go into in one of the areas that I've worked in across the two years. I've really enjoyed the scheme so far and have already got some ideas of where I'd like to go. With working in different parts of my business area I feel as though I've learnt so much and developed my skills further, so will be keeping an eye out for opportunities over the coming months. 

Have an engagement party

Laura and I recently got engaged after being together for over 4 and a half years. It was really nice to speak to our close family and let them know the good news. As I'm not originally from Liverpool and the majority of my family live 2 hours away, it's not been possible for both our families to meet each other properly. We'd like to have a nice get-together so we can celebrate our engagement and for our families and friends to get to know each other a bit better. 

Start doing more product review posts

I've got quite a few products, particularly tech-related ones, which I use all the time but have not reviewed yet. I recently started to compile a list of these items that I can review which will also give myself more content to write about. At Christmas, I was lucky enough to get some new gadgets which I'll be reviewing over the next few months. I'd also like to start doing more reviews of restaurants I've not tried before as well as guides to places I visit. 

Vlog more of our travels

Having started vlogging on our joint channel a couple of years ago, we've captured a number of places, whether this was a day trip to a local city or a full week away in a different country. We don't do chatty type videos but make ones where we document what we have been up to and seen. At first, I was thinking I needed to make a video that is perfectly edited and was a certain length. I realised if we set this target, I'd never end up vlogging certain trips that could actually make good content. 

Review the games I'm playing

In the past couple of years, I've started to get more into my gaming and been trying out a bigger variety of games. A while ago I would tend to just stick to the same series of games that I'd always play and wouldn't deviate from this. Now I've started to try out different games I've found some that I absolutely love and then ended up playing the other games in that series. I've been toying with the idea of gaming posts for a while but I'm still trying to decide on the style of how I'd like to do the posts before I go ahead with them, but there should hopefully be some up on the blog soon.

Capturing Special Moments

I've been into photography for quite a few years and have owned a range of cameras that have helped me to develop my skills. It takes time to learn how to get your shots right and often means experimenting with different settings to achieve the photos or footage you want. As I've upgraded my cameras, they have given me more freedom to alter the setting so that I could choose my setup to make sure I achieved the best shot possible. Sometimes though, even when I've been playing around with different modes, I've not been able to take the photo I wanted due to the lack of light as the camera couldn't cope. Cameras are a great way to capture those special moments you have and allow you to save it as a memory forever. These moments may happen anywhere and at any time so you want to have a camera that can capture them whatever the situation.

This time last month I proposed to my girlfriend when we were on a weekend away to Newcastle. We went down to the quayside one evening and that's where I popped the question. After enjoying the moment, we decided to get a few photos of ourselves, the location and the ring. Due to the low lighting, this took a little while to get the photos we wanted as it wasn't picking up the detail quite right and the photos were coming out in low quality. Although we were able to get photos we liked in the end, having a camera that could perform well even when it's darker would have been ideal. Panasonic have released their LUMIX GH5S high-performance low light compact camera that is capable of producing great imagery even when the lighting conditions are challenging. To see what it's capable of, check out this impressive video below that showcases its abilities.

*This is a sponsored post with Panasonic.

How We Got Engaged

I'm going to go right back to the start of when Laura and I first met in September 2012. This was the time when we both moved into halls of residence at Northumbria University and happened to be put in the rooms next to each other. We soon developed a good friendship and it felt like we'd known each other for ages. It just felt so normal, we could talk about anything and enjoyed spending time with each other, whether this was heading into Newcastle or sitting watching Netflix until the early hours. We signed for a shared house with some of the others in our flat so in the first semester so we already knew that we'd be living together again the next year before we'd even got together. Things started getting a little more flirty in the second semester as we both realised that there might be more to it than just being good friends.

It was April 2013 not long after we had both arrived back to uni after the Easter break. I knew that I wanted to ask Laura to be my girlfriend so decided to try and come up with an excuse to get out the flat and head out for a walk. Apparently, I'm not that subtle and Laura had realised what I was trying to do so decided to start asking me a number of questions about why we needed to go for a walk. I eventually got her out the flat and we headed down to the quayside as it seemed a nice location. We wandered along the river and stopped by some of the railings and after a bit of random nervous talk I asked her out. Fast forward to third year and we had our own flat together. This is a big step for a couple but something that we both felt ready for and it was good to know that we could both live together alone in our own little place. The next year involved going on trips away, graduating and celebrating our 21st birthdays.

After graduating we both moved back to Liverpool in September 2015 to live with Laura's family as we weren't in a position to get our own place right then. Laura started a Christmas job and I carried on working in retail while applying for other jobs. In 2016 I started my graduate job and Laura was pursuing her blog full time. In January 2017 we started saving for a house while still staying in the family home rather than renting. We'd talked about getting engaged and knew we were both ready so we started saving for it in April 2017 and by the August we had the ring. Having talked about everything together, the process of getting engaged didn't feel like it should be any different.

We booked to go away to Wales for our birthdays in October and I thought this might be a nice opportunity to do it. Unfortunately, we had to cut the trip short as Laura wasn't too well and I didn't want to try and propose as it didn't feel right. Apparently, I still wasn't as subtle as when I asked her out and she'd clocked on that I was thinking of proposing. A few days later she suggested we could book a trip to Newcastle around Christmas time. The second day of our trip we headed to the quayside and this felt like the perfect location. Here we were again wandering along the river and for old times sake, we stopped at the place when I asked her out back in 2013. I pulled the ring out of my pocket, opened the box and asked her to marry me. We are both so happy to be engaged and it was great to share the news with friends and family and are now enjoying looking at things for the wedding.