What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Orcing hell

Dear Rock, Paper, Shotgun,

I miss your smile. I miss your comments on my previews wondering how much sugar I have consumed to write it and what the heck kind of quirky BS is this and whether I will or will not ever get around to writing about triple A video games for you. But I come to you today to ask you about yourself. What is it, my pretty lovelies, that you are playing right now? I would like to know. And I miss you.

Your pal,
Cara

Personally I’ve been sloshing about in Beeswing, Jack King-Spooner’s lovely Scottish rural RPG, but I’ve also been lingering in New York with a grittier kin called Shadow of Mordor. I know you want me to talk about Shadow of Mordor so I am going to say this:

Shadow of Mordor is fucking fantastic. It’s got a bit of crunch from that old Godhand and more than a bit of that new Batman, and it’s so satisfying to kill an orc just to watch him die. I think this is all due to the lovely combat system being so easy to master and so full of lovely frictiony impact, your character sweeping up and slurping the edge of your blade right into someone’s unmentionables. And then spurting his head off and having a shower in it and dancing about like a fool.

But it’s weird because, I know you think that I’m all about ‘ooh lol sex’ and all that these days because I write a column about sex and relationships in games, but I’m trying not to see how there’s a very explicit erotic edge of Shadow of Mordor that enhances its brutal joy. There’s a definite intimacy implied by how close the orcs get to slowly spit words at your face, and the words themselves… Well they get very body-specific. And then there’s the fact that orcs are definitely an all-bloke line up. It’s all very… Top Gun. It’s about bodies and mud and sticky blood, just fluids all over the place. The taunts are deliciously lingering, and the politics? Well the rearranging of who is going to top ‘n’ tail you… It’s very hot, is what I am saying.

I think it’s the first big budget game that’s experimented with male intimacy.

Anyway Yannick LeJacq over at the Kotakus found this nice article about it too.

What are you playing? Have you inadvertently got turned on by orcs today at all? Sorry.

102 Comments

  1. Spacewalk says:

    Cacowards winners.

  2. Kollega says:

    I’m playing No One Lives Forever 2, after finally finding a widescreen patch for it recently. And it is brilliant. It has the exact kind of espionage-spoofing scenes and juxtapositional humor that I can’t stop whining about being removed from Team Fortress 2.

    • Perkelnik says:

      Care to share the patch with us? I ve tried playing it recently but no luck :/ Are you running W7?

      • Kollega says:

        Of course. I actually found it by revisiting the PC Gaming Wiki, so here it is. It mostly works like a charm (I use Windows 7 64-bit), but the game crashes on load when combined with the Steam overlay… sometimes. And sometimes it doesn’t. So it might not even be because of the patch. Overall, the patch works and is easy to install, so go ahead and grab it. I can’t stress enough how stylish of a game NOLF2 is.

    • italianprick says:

      It’s amazing how that game aged well. Also i was just gonna mention that Lithtech Engine was used in some great games on the old days(Like NOLF2 and Shogo) and then i saw that they still exist today and Shadow Of Mordor is the latest game to use it. Weird

  3. 0positivo says:

    Elite: Dangerous.

    It’s empty, lifeless, aimless, boring and horribly unfair towards those who haven’t figured out tricks to make tons of money fast

    But my god, is it pretty

    I’m working in the belts (quite literally, after every mining load I feel bloody exhausted) to get myself an Asp, then kitting it out and setting in a direction. And seeing how long I last

    I have no doubt that with so little to do in the game, I’ll be burned out within the month. But for now it lasts, so, there’s that

    • Notelpats says:

      I think the trick is to just do whatever is fun regardless of profit. If you’re not having fun from the start, you’re doing it wrong. Worked my way up to a Cobra that I fitted for combat/exploration and I go around exploring new systems and shooting at baddies. Fun times, can’t say I’ve ever felt bored.

      Also do remember the whole ‘story’ part of the game will start at launch on Tuesday.

  4. Reefpirate says:

    I’m playing a lot of Prismata and probably will continue over the weekend. It’s kind of a card game, board game Starcraft. Mixed with chess and lots of other stuff. Simple to learn and really interesting. Already a great 1v1 community online and great systems to support the competitive scene into the future.

    It only hast a week or so left on the Kickstarter and it’s one of the few I’m rooting for these days.

    Other than that I’ll probably re-play Dragon Age: Inquisition as I recently started a new character. I felt like the melee rogue class, which normally would be my favourite class, just didn’t have very fun melee combat. I considered trying a good old sword and board warrior, but opted instead for an archer rogue. My first playthrough was rudely interrupted by Prismata but I do want to see what the rest of the game has to offer.

    • golem09 says:

      Same here, totally into DA:I now. Also going with melee rogue for my first playthrough, but I really love the combat.

    • welverin says:

      You didn’t need to start a new game to play a different class, you could have just started controlling one of the companions. If you have it set so it doesn’t auto level, you can even set all of they’re abilities when you pick them up, so you can have whatever you want.

      I use Varric the majority of the time.

      Oh, yeah, I’ve been playing DA:I almost exclusively, I should play a little TF2 and LBP3, but I don’t know if I’ll get around to it.

  5. Patches the Hyena says:

    I’ve just finished Shadow of Mordor. I have to agree that there’s something so satisfying about the combat. more so than anything equivalent in Arkham City, even. For the weekend, hoping t o embark on jolly adventures in Dragon Age Inquisition.

  6. lowprices says:

    Nuclear Throne, Crypt of the Necrodancer, and Sunless Sea. I’m waiting on my new laptop, so I’m very conciously avoiding starting a lengthy new game. Sunless Sea in particular is great, and I just love drifting aimlessly between stories, doing nothing but taking in the atmosphere.

  7. Andy`` says:

    Sonic the Hedgehog (for “research” aka masochism)

  8. The Dark One says:

    Rogue Legacy. I’m terrible at these things, but the game takes pity on my ineptitude and turns grinding into something more meaningful.

    I’ll probably finish off Episode 1 of Tales from the Borderlands, too. Been enjoying it so far, but haven’t wanted to rush through.

    Also, not technically on the weekend, but a 13th Age campaign using Mumble and roll20.

  9. Premium User Badge

    james.hancox says:

    Still going strong with Black Flag, though the appeal is starting to, erm, flag. I’ve almost maxed out my ship- enough to take down a couple of the behemoths which lurk in the corners of the world- and I can’t face another “follow this extremely slow walking person” mission in the campaign. It feels odd to leave a game I’ve enjoyed so much unfinished, but there’s just so much Stuff, and so little time in life.

    Might move on to the Monkey Island remake next. Anyone know how well it works with an XBox controller?

  10. Jockie says:

    I’m slightly worried now, is it universally accepted that Shadow of Mordor is basically thinly veiled eroticism?

    I do recall that one orc who sounded a bit sexualised, gurgling out “The things I would have done to you” in a camp rasp as he died.

    • wondermoth says:

      “is it universally accepted that Shadow of Mordor is basically thinly veiled eroticism”

      Christ, I hope not. Everyone’s triggers are different, but mine do not involve stabbing up ugly cockneys. It is quite a damp game though, and the whole “there’s this elf that lives inside me, sometimes I bend over to pick up an artifact and I get a fit of the vapours and when I wake up he’s there to look after me…”

      OK. I’ve clearly been ignoring a lot of this stuff.

      Anyway, I’ll probably be playing Spelunky, SoM, and Smite.

      • Graves says:

        You know, I hadn’t even thought about this until I read this post and comment. So, thanks.

        Not sarcasm, by the way. Time to go write a story about “the elf inside me”!

    • Philomelle says:

      I admit I was thinking Cara is joking when I first read this post, because I haven’t played the game yet..

      Then I launch it and the first thing I experience after leaving the introduction cutscene is running into this guy.

      • nearly says:

        While yes, that does get pretty personal spacey, I think the linked essay does a great job of addressing the sort of intimacy the game encourages (and has examples of reviewers addressing it)

  11. TehK says:

    Well, there’s Hearthstone, because GvG got released and it’s really a ton of fun when you don’t know which cards and effects to expect yet. Then there’s Dota of course, because Dota!

    I finally could complete Shadow of Mordor, but I’m actually very reluctant to do so, because I want to brand everyone first.

    Oh, and thanks to the bestest best combat category, I want to take a look at the NEO Scavenger Demo. This looks very promising.

  12. Sp4rkR4t says:

    I shall mostly be splitting my time between CS:GO for missions as the timer ticks down and Elite: Dangerous because I am a space explorer man!

  13. mpk says:

    This weekend, and for he next few weekends, I will be playing “keep the cat away from the gorram Christmas tree” without doing any of the following: killing the cat; killing myself; burning the tree, cat and house; cancelling Christmas.

    I could just give my son up for adoption and then not bother wih the whole christmas thing at all but I dont think there’s enough time left for all the paperwork to go through.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    Dragon Age: Origins I think, such a wonderful game and been long enough to have another playthrough.

    Mixed with some Isaac and Dungeon of the Endless when I feel like failing catastrophically.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I am going to visit my parents today, so most of the day will be filled with eating homemade pizza and watching nature documentaries. But tonight I’m going to fire up Inquisition and see how many more comments about Varric’s chest hair Cassandra is going to make.

    Also, I’ll probably listen to the Not a Game podcast and play some Dungeon of the Endless while doing that.

  16. thaquoth says:

    Far Cry 3, because I’m always 2 years behind.

    Everything about this game is really fucking stupid. I think that’s why I’m enjoying it.

  17. Nathan_G says:

    I’m still loving Far Cry 4, I haven’t sunk this much time into a game in ages. Gyrocoptering around and wingsuiting and such, brilliant fun. I don’t really think the ‘It’s just more Far Cry 3’ claims are fair either really. The new mission types, and the way it always makes sure there’s something fun to do is a subtle, but significant improvement. Getting distracted by a new spontaneous adventure while I’m on my way to wherever is dead good.

  18. Dale Winton says:

    I am going to complete Dragon Age Inquisition (55 hours played so far) and capture some camps in Far Cry 4

    • welverin says:

      Even if you played non-stop for forty-eight hours, I’m not sure that’s enough time to finish DA:I. I have almost as much time played as you and I only just got to Skyhold.

      • Dale Winton says:

        What have you been doing ? I am just about to start the last mission ,all the other quests are pretty much wrapped up

  19. LogicalDash says:

    I uh, kind of started playing Don’t Starve again

    Also a bit of Girls Like Robots. Just an adorbs puzzle game.

  20. drewski says:

    I think you can make almost anything erotic if you try hard enough.

    Anyways, I’m playing Baldur’s Gate 2.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Question is – how much of it is made and how much of it is just truly erotic?

  21. prof_yaffle says:

    The Linux version of Metro 2033 Redux has just come out so I’m playing that.
    At first I thought I’d test my FPS mettle by playing on ranger mode. I managed to get to the second fight of the game with no ammo. It turns out that pointing a gun at the mutants and shouting “bang bang bang!” does no good.

    After dying several times I decided to restart on normal mode.

  22. Hunchback says:

    Will be playing “New Tea House in Town Simulator 2014”, IRL…

  23. Laurentius says:

    I’ll be playing with my stick again..err.. flightstick…X-Wing Alliance/Starlancer, also a bit of SuperHexagon which is amazing.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    I’ll probably be playing Transistor, Chaos Reborn and Elite: Dangerous this weekend.

  25. Blowfeld says:

    I only have Sunday for gaming, but I guess I will do several drafts in HEX, as this weekend is the Set 2 release special and there are some nice bonus rewards attached to getting used to the new cards.

    So many new possibilities to screw up, I can’t wait :D

  26. sansenoy says:

    Isaac Rebirth and Valkyria Chronicles

  27. cpt_freakout says:

    I’m hoping I can get some time to try out the Vikings expansion for Mount & Blade, and to keep making desperate gas runs in Dead State.

    • Superpat says:

      Boat and Blade is pretty fun, but its awfully buggy right now, though I see they just released a hot fix. I tried it on launch day, but it kept ctd every half hour so… save often :P

  28. Bundin says:

    Forgive me, for I have strayed… I’ll be playing Mario Kart 8 and the new Smash Bros thing, with a bit of Dragon Age: Inquisition mixed in.

  29. Palindrome says:

    Dead State, Dragon Age:Inquisition, probably some Red Orchestra 2 and attempting to feign interest at an in laws birthday party.

  30. kyynis says:

    Beeswing is pretty great! Also Blackwell Epiphany, Unreal World 3.20 beta and Cordial Minuet.

  31. blastaz says:

    I never bought Yannick’s argument about intimacy. There are two problems with it firstly with his definition of intimacy and secondly with his short sightedness.

    He pretty much defines intimacy as violent interaction and then knocks the sex in mass effect for not having any. Now I don’t want to get all female friendly erotica here but can’t people have their hearts and imaginations moved by words rather than just deeds?

    When you look at how powerfully the Talimancers shipped their chosen ME pairing it’s pretty obvious that they were engaged by the ways the characters grew together. Just because there wasn’t the violent interaction that Yannick craves doesn’t mean there isn’t intimacy.

    Secondly he seems to feel that your interaction with your pet Orc ends when he climbs to the top of the pole. But it doesn’t. You can get five burly men to sub for him and then you can use him to gang bang others so you can creep up behind them and dominate them while they are distracted. The interaction with the Orc can continue through cooperation rather than just competition.

    Personally this weekend I’ll be playing a little bit of Warcraft. A little bit of ac unity. Maybe some medieval 2 tw. Maybe some da:I. And an absolutely massive Xmas party that will probably leave me to hungover to do anything on what is left of Sunday.

  32. Bravey says:

    Doing some coursework for my uni exams…then I’ll probably find some time here and there for some more Elite:Dangerous. I spent like £90 on the game in beta plus a flight stick, but honestly, it’s so worth it. This coming from someone who spent 60 hours on euro truck simulator 2. I don’t remember where I read the comparison, I feel like it was here on RPS somewhere. But I enjoy it for the same reasons, it’s relaxed (I trade and haul, instead of combat – hurray for the options!) There’s so much to explore, yeah it’s space so it all looks similar but with the many things they’re adding it’s just improving the experience so much, it’s really fun to play, and while it is true there aren’t that many things to do, the things you can do are just so well polished.

  33. ShinyThing says:

    I’m planning to finish Shadow of Mordor tonight – and because I’m shallow I’m going to be a tiny bit proud that I should get the platinum trophy when I do it.

    Normally I’m not that bothered about trophies/achievements/arbitrary pats on the head but in this game I actually enjoyed the things you had to do to unlock the non-story, non-upgrade related trophies. They kind of felt like extra missions or suggestions of fun things to try and do.

    Other than that, probably Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Defence Grid 1 because a discussion on Crate and Crowbar reminded me how much I like towers

  34. tofusheep says:

    i will be playing a weirdly inconsistent mix of far cry 2 (the last ubisoft game i felt ok with spending money on; say no to uplay and screwed up releases), rising storm, il-2 1946 4.12.2, GTA 5 (xbox 360), ace patrol: pacific skies, war thunder and maybe a couple of more games i got from humble bundles and forgot ever owning, while sitting alone in my room thinking about how my life would be if i had friends or… a life… meh!

    • Cleave says:

      I’ve got friends, they’re overrated. I don’t get nearly enough gaming time due to an obligation to be sociable..

  35. Grobmotoriker says:

    Max Payne 1 + 2 like every year around christmas and new year.
    LEGO Batman 3 and Pro Evo 15 with my son.

  36. K33L3R says:

    Shadowrun: Dragonfall
    Rainbow Six Vegas 2

    Loving Dragonfall, the characters, setting atmosphere, missions, writing, combat is okay but the choices you make can mean you avoid it anyway in some cases

    Vegas is an old favorite, but I only have a xbox version. Playing it on console has made me appreciate high frame rates and anti-aliasing because after the first session my eyes hurt for a while!
    This isn’t a snide “master race” comment, just an observation about what your eyes adjust to over time

  37. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    This weekend I play the waiting game…….Elite:Dangerous out on Tuesday, woop!

  38. Messofanego says:

    Talos Principle

    These first person adventure puzzlers have struggled a bit with narrators. For this game, this Elohim good seems to be your only guidance. What I’ve found refreshing compared to the likes of Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Mind, Dear Esther, is that the narrator isn’t intrusive where he starts rambling about whatever out of the blue. Almost always it’s in relation to you doing something, which works more as general feedback. He even tells you to take a break and try another level if one is twisting your brain. I’m 6 hours in at the Egyptian ruins now and the difficulty has spiked up :P

    It helps that the speedy movement means I’m not stuck in a tedious feeling “walking simulator”. The world is intriguing enough that I want to engage in the optional text adventure computer DOS stuff. More games should have you playing as a robot, and the 3rd person is welcome even if it’s just for looks. Besides all the man-machine musings, philosopher history, and existentialism it has funny moments like in the DOS stuff with anachronistic mentions of glittering emo vampires, autotuned teen pop stars, and of course Jeff Goldblum.

    • Geebs says:

      I’ve only managed to get through a few of the earliest stages and it’s excellent so far. It lacks some of Portal’s charm but it does make up for it by having the more interesting puzzles begin sooner.

      • Messofanego says:

        I like that it’s not a linear path of puzzles too, and even the director/god/parent narrator suggests trying another level when you’re taking too long. I’d say the game has most of its personality in the text adventure bits so it feels cool to encounter an interesting conversation on the computer when it could’ve been easily missed.

  39. Monggerel says:

    Jedi Academy.

    No story. No characters.
    Nothing but a laser svord and an excuse to swing it and watch the limbs fly.

  40. KingFunk says:

    I’m away from home so the only thing I have available is Persona 4 Golden (not a bad fallback) but when I return home on Monday I’ll be back to trying to chat up Cassandra and/or Sera with my superbly ugly female Dalish.

    Oh and probably some more Skyrim. Steam says over 400 hours now, but tbh that’s probably still less than I clocked up on the previous two before real life began. God bless long term sick – now I can finally give my RPGs the time they deserve…

  41. Craymen Edge says:

    I finished Gunpoint which I loved, and Jazzpunk which I didn’t. Now I’m playing Saint’s Row : The Third as a tubby latin woman in a knitted sweater and golfing trousers with 2 giant pistols.

  42. Gap Gen says:

    Asking the difficult questions, like how much cactus is too much.

    • Geebs says:

      It’s certainly a thorny issue; I’d imagine getting it wrong would leave one feeling Arroyo prick.

  43. derbefrier says:

    Probably some Shroud of the Avatar. I bought it after a friend kept pestering me too so we could play together and its pretty fun so far. Maybe some Dragon Age Inquisition but I hit the 20 hour mark and just kinda didnt care anymore I might try to see if i can get back into it. Its a well put together game its just the same old shit we’ve been seeing for years now and it just ….i dunno gets boring. Its like once you see how its all gonna play out and you’ve seen everything the game has to offer I just dont see a reason to keep going. This happens on a lot of games for me. Happened with Shadows of Mordor too. got about 20 hours in, realized the next 20 hours were gonna be just like the first 20 and said “meh i’ll play something else”

  44. SuicideKing says:

    Occasionally Borderlands 2 whenever my friends decide to play. Started Thinking With Time Machine the other day. But nothing as such.

  45. Oakreef says:

    Finished downloading Valkyria Chronicles so might start into that.

    Defo be playing some Descent for… reasons <_<

  46. Dilapinated says:

    Freedom Planet, Dark Messiah, Netrunner, TF2, occasional Awesomenauts and the ever-present Spelunky. I was playing Far Cry 4, but I’m kinda burnt out on it, and open-world shooty themeparks in general. They’re a fun way to lose hours, but after a while.. I dunno. The mixture of tropes starts feeling hollow and weird and..

    ..I need more sleep.

  47. Haphaz77 says:

    I’m playing ‘trying to stop my 8 month old son from upstaging his auntie at her wedding’. It’s a surprisingly involving and unpredictable game. I’ve seen an obvious exploit of taking him out before the ‘if anyone here present objects’ moment. It could do with a lower difficulty setting.

  48. SableShrike says:

    Busted a good bit of DA:I out, but I’ve decided to wait until they patch the PC version a good bit. And to be honest, the whole “Fade Jesus” thing doesn’t strike my fancy near as much as the Grey Warden story did.

    So it’s back to my freakishly modded Skyrim.

  49. Jeroen D Stout says:

    SMAC. Mindworms just destroyed Sparta Command, leaving me two barren cities, a Zakharov who is subservient and a Yang who has at least four cities and whose patience will run out. And I have to get into shape before the other human player discovers me and ponders my destruction.

    Having no capital and an aggressive planned economy I have no income, no research. All I have is my army and Spartan resolution to survive Planet.

  50. Anthile says:

    I’m going to wrap up Inquisition today or tomorrow. Besides from that I’ll mostly be watching foot-to-ball, which is as tense as any rogue-like.