Speltest: December 2022

Den återkommande traditionen att skriva små recensioner av alla spel jag spelat de senaste åren är här igen! Intresset för datorspel går i ganska kraftiga vågor för mig och min “backlog” är lång – vissa av spelen jag recenserar här kom ut för nästan ett decennium sedan. Men visst visar det på mediets hållbarhet att så många av dem fortfarande håller måttet idag?

Som vanligt skriver jag också för att kunna publicera på andra sajter, varför texterna är avsiktligt korta och på engelska.

Borderlands: The Pre-sequel

A sequel to Borderlands 2 that could have been an expansion, considering how few changes there are from the previous game. That said, the story campaign and six new playable classes make for a good chunk of playing time and if you liked the other Borderlands installments, you’ll like this one too. It also does a good job of fleshing out the lore, letting us experience parts of the story that are only referenced in earlier/later games. There’s enough here that I will recommend the Pre-sequel to fans of the series, but best to pick it up on sale.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

A new chapter in the Deus Ex series which improves on some aspects of Human Revolution but is, generally speaking, an expansion which offers fans of the previous game about 50 hours more of the same. I do love the upgraded graphics which still look great eight years later, the environments are exciting to explore and there is little in the way of forced stealth gameplay – all significant improvements. The story does leave you on a cliffhanger (as of Nov 2022, there are rumours of a sequel in early production, so we can hope that the story is eventually continued) which the short DLC prison story does virtually nothing to address. That said, if you haven’t played it yet, I definitely recommend picking it up as it’s usually available at a good price.



I absolutely loved Supergiant’s first two games and am currently in the process of devouring their fourth, but things seem to have taken an odd turn with Pyre. The primary gameplay loop – essentially fantasy basketball – is unengaging and gets stale quickly, the story and characters aren’t very interesting, and although the art is beautiful, that alone wasn’t enough to keep me invested. I have the feeling the developers correctly predicted some people wouldn’t care much for the actual game part of the game, so there’s an option to turn the difficulty down to what is essentially a pure story mode – but then we’re left with a visual novel type of game where, again, the story didn’t really connect for me. Give it a shot if you must, but if your backlog of games is long enough as it is, better to give this one a miss.


Fallout 4

I had spent a fair number of hours playing this game before I gave it up the first time and unhappily consigned it to the bin. It was just not engaging me, and the story wasn’t taking itself very seriously at all, focusing around a kidnapped baby which the main character appears to completely forget about 15 minutes in, leaving us to focus instead on endlessly repeating sidequests. The story only properly picks back up near the end of the game, where we’re left with the typical choice of destroying the big bad or joining them – slightly less of an obvious moral choice than I expected.

I had a better experience the second time I tried it, after installing a few quality-of-life mods (sadly, always a necessity with Bethesda games) and figuring out the very particular way the game expects to be played, utterly broken building system included. The story does pick up eventually, there is a lot of world building going on if you’re interested, and managing your settlements to make them grow and flourish can be very satisfying – your own little post-apocalyptic SimCity.

I eventually found enough to like about Fallout 4 that I spent a considerable time exploring the huge open world and DLCs, and apparently the series took a further downturn with the multiplayer-focused sequel, so I do recommend picking this up if you’re a fan of the series.



As it was promising a return to retro-style action, I was excited to play this game, as I was raised on 90’s shooters. Sadly, this does not build on the foundations of the original to create something new and interesting the way Doom did, but rather, it’s a return to repetitive level design, samey enemies and simple gameplay that doesn’t engage the way it used to, now that there are so many better games to choose from. In addition, the game has an annoying habit of making you search through every nook and cranny for upgrades – or you’re irrevocably handicapped for the rest of the game. This kills the flow as you might find yourself alt-tabbing to a wiki rather than sniffing through the entire map after you’ve already cleared it. Between the unimproved gameplay, lack of any compelling story, the frustrating hunt for secrets and the repetitive design, there isn’t enough to earn a recommendation.



A short, cute game that feels like it wants to be a dating sim but is somehow a puzzle instead, with only the faintest visual novel elements. At the fantastic prize of ABSOLUTELY FREE, it’s a perfect little time sink, and I strongly recommend it even if you’re just attracted by the art style. I’m looking forward to what comes next in the series.


Vampire Survivors

Games offering this general style of gameplay have been around forever, but that doesn’t mean there’s no space for another one, especially when executed so competently. The mechanics are simple yet satisfying and there’s no online element to annoy you. However, the art style is somewhat unremarkable and you’ll get bored of playing the same maps over and over pretty quickly, but not before unlocking all the characters and trying out some of the incredibly trippy weapon combinations on offer. Even at full price, this game is a bargain and I strongly recommend it.


Titanfall 2

Exceptionally well executed mecha-FPS with a story campaign that left me hoping for more, even as the game makes it very clear it really wants you to play it online (and unfortunately, the prequel and sequel are multiplayer-only). There is a decent story, plenty of gameplay additions beyond the standard FPS formula to keep things interesting, great weapon variety and a lot of freedom in terms of how to approach each challenge. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a true sequel in the works, but I’d strongly recommend picking this up anyway, as it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger and truly is a great game to enjoy, even if it can be played through in a weekend.


Mass Effect: Andromeda

Somewhat underappreciated side story in the Mass Effect universe which focuses on the exploration and colonization of the Andromeda galaxy. I feel the developers combined some of my favorite elements from Mass Effect 1 and 2 here, resulting in an even stronger game, but the somewhat loose connection to the story of the first two games might leave some feeling that this doesn’t have the same emotional impact. The game also suffers from a bit of “Fallout syndrome” where endless and somewhat repetitive side questing is necessary to level up your character and unlock story elements that get you to your desired ending, even as those side quests do not appear to be related to the story at all (why Ryder, main hope of survival for the human race, is asked to run trivial fetch quests is beyond my comprehension).

That said, I found more than enough to like here to give MEA my recommendation, and I find it unfortunate that the poor reception this game has gotten most likely dashes any chances of a proper sequel. Hopefully, a future Mass Effect installment will find a way to let us continue the story in Andromeda, even if the focus returns to the Milky Way.



Japan before and after lockdown

Jag skrev det här inlägget för en webbplats med mestadels internationell publik, så det är på engelska. Postar här mest för framtida referens, men håll till godo om du tycker att det är intressant!

In January 2020, as I was relaxing in Okinawa following a business trip to Tokyo, I had no idea that this visit to Japan would be the last one for nearly three years. I had no idea that a pandemic had already started and that borders across the globe, not just Japan’s, were shortly going to be walled shut. When I learned in late summer 2022 that restrictions were being lifted and that Japan was once again open to tourists, I was overjoyed and booked a flight at my earliest opportunity.

Having just come back, many friends asked to hear about my experiences. In particular, several asked about the remaining pandemic-related restrictions – or lack of same. Japan remains a highly attractive destination but spending the money and time to go to a far away country only to find the visit diminished by the kind of restrictions on normal life we’ve now mostly left behind us makes for an uncomfortable prospect when planning a holiday.

I wanted to share a few paragraphs about my own experience and observations in case someone finds them helpful. To be clear, this is not a treatise, and the purpose is not to argue the (non-)effectiveness of any particular means of limiting the spread of infectious diseases, or to argue for or against its implementation. I’m merely sharing my own learnings for you to do with as you please.

Preparing for my departure to Japan, I was provided with a website where I could provide information relating to customs, migration and vaccination status. In effectiveness that I daresay would put most other border control authorities to shame, I received confirmation within hours that I had qualified for the “fast track” – which requires one to either be vaccinated (including a booster shot) or to submit a fresh PCR test. The digital EU vaccination document was readily accepted as proof of the former.

Upon arrival I showed the border control agents the QR codes provided by the website and was expediently whisked through – the process barely took 10 minutes in total, most of it walking. Haneda airport provides free Wi-Fi so in the event that I had forgotten to save the codes, I could have accessed the website from there. Paper forms were also offered as a fallback.

The airport staff gave me a pamphlet outlining the Japanese government’s instructions for tourists to help prevent the spread of COVID-19: Wearing a face mask when indoors and having a conversation with someone at a short distance, avoiding extremely crowded situations and places, and staying at home when feeling unwell. Perfectly reasonable guidance which seems to align well with our current best understanding of how and where the virus is likely to spread.

To my surprise the instructions in the pamphlet turned out to have very little to do with how people in Japan actually behaved, from locals to tourists. In practice, face mask wearing was almost ubiquitous outdoors and indoors, but generally taken off once seated in any eating or drinking establishment, no matter how densely packed, and often among people having a conversation. In public baths (sento/onsen), they were not used at all. Acrylic dividers between tables or seats were often available, but frequently removed as well. Tokyo’s crowds were as intense as ever, and social distancing (2020’s kanji of the year!) appeared all but forgotten, particularly on public transport.

Masks worn were mostly the inexpensive, disposable non-woven variety that does not fit tightly around the face, as well as more snug-fitting and aesthetically pleasing models. N95 masks or the similar FFP2 filtering masks that were mandatory in some European countries for a while were rare, as were reusable cloth masks – but all were easy to find in stores, as was the case even before the pandemic. I did not see any particular guidance around the type of mask to wear, and mine (a washable multi-layer “AIRism” mask from UNIQLO) was never commented or inquired upon.

Hand disinfection stations were ubiquitous in virtually every building, and some places would check body temperature (using a simple IR camera) on entry, but COVID-19 vaccination or test certificates were neither requested nor required anywhere I visited. It seems as though the hospitality industry in Japan somehow made it through the lockdown mostly intact, as I found hotels, tourist spots and activities operating seemingly as normal, without any obvious limitations. A few places were running with shorter operating hours, partially attributable to the autumn season.

In summary, I was pleased to find Japan very much as I left it. I’m sure there are things of lesser impact that I missed, but nothing to distract from what’s essential. Someone considering a trip should naturally keep abreast with the latest news and guidance, but assuming things remain more or less as they are, there is nothing that would inhibit or limit one’s enjoyment of a holiday to this amazing country. I myself hope to visit again very soon.