Renault Zoe – Going Electric

One of my recent projects involved working alongside engineers and researchers from the energy sector, which has fueled my interest in green energy and lead me to – among other things – the Fully Charged show and other similar channels on YouTube. Through all this, I became interested in electric cars and I got the impression that the technology had advanced far enough that the time was right to give it a go.

Last month we went for a test drive of the 2015 Renault Zoe and a little over a week ago we brought her home. I thought it would be good to try and write an honest blog about what it is actually like to live with an electric car and our experience of making the switch.

Let’s start with some first impressions.

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How to be Champion

One of the things that I wanted to talk about on this blog is mental health. Specifically, I want to share my own experiences and some of the things that helped me with my recovery and continue to help me to be in my day-to-day life. In this post, I want to talk about one handy piece of advice from British comedian Sarah Millican…

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A New Direction…

I haven’t posted on here for a while now. I used to write a lot about gaming, as that was my main hobby and chosen profession, but now I have a new job (and have left the games industry), which means I can’t keep up with the latest titles and write full reviews (not that I was ever much good at doing that anyway!).

I considered abandoning the blog, but I have instead decided to take things in a new direction. In this post, I discuss the plans that I have for the blog over the upcoming months.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda – First Impressions

Bioware’s controversial Mass Effect sequel released a few months ago. They got a serious – and possibly well-deserved – slating from critics and gamers alike for releasing an “unfinished” game, full of bugs and animation problems. I actually cancelled my pre-order as a result of the media sh*t-storm, which is something that I never thought I would do with a Bioware game!

But now, four months on, someone got me the game as a present and have finally decided to give it a chance. So, now they’ve had time to actually finish the game properly, is it any good?

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The EU Referendum

Normally I try not to get involved in this sort of thing, but what I am about to say is really important to me…

It may surprise you to know that I don’t particularly mind which way people vote in the Referendum. Despite all of the rhetoric, fear-mongering, lies and hatred flying around at the moment, there are some pretty reasonable arguments on both sides (they just aren’t getting any media attention!).

Personally, I’ve decided to Vote Remain because although the EU has its flaws, I think that Britain has an important part to play on the world stage and that we are better off in the EU than trying to make it on our own. Also, I am 29 years old and thinking about buying a house and starting a family, and no one can promise that leaving won’t make it a lot more difficult for me to do those things. I am also a researcher, and I know that my job and much of Britain’s world-leading research depends on the EU. Then there’s the fact that the ‘big issues’ of the debate – immigration and ‘Brussels bureaucracy’ – are distractions from the real issues, like the fact that most of our problems would be solved if the likes of Amazon, Google and Starbucks were made to pay their taxes, or if rich MP’s stopped claiming obscene amounts in expenses while calling disabled citizens and poor, taxpaying families ‘parasites’… but I digress!

As I said, I don’t mind WHAT you chose. What really matters is WHY you make that choice. You should do it because you believe it’s the right thing to do, or because it is the best choice for our nation or humanity as a whole. This is probably one of the most important decisions that Britain will make in most of our lifetimes. Please don’t let it be a decision born out of fear, prejudice or hatred. We are better than that!

XCOM 2: Mod Report 1

XCOM 2 has support for a range of community mods via the Steam Workshop. I plan to try out a few of these mods over the coming months and produce these “Mod Reports”, where I will discuss the good, the bad and the downright insane!

For my first Report, I’ve been experimenting with a few simple mods that (mostly) don’t affect the actual gameplay all that much, but which add nice little tweaks to save time, enhance the information available to the player or turn off minor annoyances. But do they work?

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XCOM 2: First Impressions

I can’t remember being as excited for a video game as I’ve been about XCOM 2, the sequel to Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown (one of my favourite games of all time). I’ve been soaking up all the preview videos and developer livestreams and now I’ve finally got my hands on the game.

So, after a dozen-or-so hours, is it living up to all the hype?

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XCOM: The Long War – Review

I am a huge fan of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and with XCOM 2 due to launch on February 5th, I wanted to play this modern classic again, but there’s a problem; after multiple playthroughs, the replay value of the game has greatly diminished.

However, there is a popular community mod called “The Long War” which aims to do something about that, so I decided to give it a try.

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The Cost of Gaming

So, apparently Assassin’s Creed Syndicate “isn’t that bad” – which is a great improvement over recent entries in the franchise at least, but that’s a rant for another time – and I have to admit that the idea of climbing around the rooftops of Victorian London has a certain appeal.

However, I find myself unable to justify buying the game. Not only do I know that it will probably be a disappointing experience, involving a long slog through repetitive missions, side quests, pointless collectibles and a bland, forgettable story – and that it will probably be broken and full of bugs – but I just can’t get over the price tag…

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First Impressions – Grey Goo

I was intrigued when I first heard about Grey Goo. A strategy game that recreates the classic Real-time Strategy (RTS) formula from classic games like Starcraft (one of my favourite games of all time)? Sounds great, I thought, but I decided to wait and see what happened with it. Then, the reviews came out, with many calling it “the best RTS game made by anyone other than Blizzard in the last decade”.

But is it really that good? Can the gameplay, storylines and quality of the game possibly compete with Blizzard? Well, it recently had a free-to-play weekend on Steam, and so I decided to find out…

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