What Are You Playing This Weekend?

An intrusion like the moon through clouds. A misplaced man, a misplaced question. The question: one of play. But what of play?

So rude, crude; a thought pre-chewed. Its exhalation an imposition, its intonation an accusation. So to play we return again. Reveal your secrets, my secret brethren.

The first time I wrote one of these weekend posts, I mentioned that I wanted to play Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. I didn’t, though: I played more Wasteland 2. I regret nothing, at least in part because it means I get to play Bloodlines this weekend instead.

I rather enjoy the old CRPG convention of a game assembling a character for you based on your responses to a series of questions. It’s a little like taking a Voight-Kampff test except that you get to play a lovely game afterwards, rather than being a bored authentic human or a dead synthetic human. More games should do this. So long as you’re still allowed to fiddle with your character build afterwards, I don’t see why anyone would object.

The first time I fired up Bloodlines I ended up with a character belonging to the creepy, sneaky, pointy-faced Nosferatu clan. This time around I’ve been placed with the brilliant but insane Malkavian clan, which so far has largely involved occasionally hearing voices and having to decipher my nonsensical dialogue options before I select them.

In an era when so much video game dialogue appears to have been written for either transparency or with recourse to excessive cliche, this is wonderful. I tried to imitate it in the opening few lines of this post. It’s… not easy to write cryptic nonsense which retains meaning. This newfound knowledge gives me greater respect for professional crossword designers.

But how about you, folks? Something old or something new? Something borrowed, perhaps? Blue? Or maybe you’ll all be playing Grim Fandango. It does rather seem like the time to do so.

103 Comments

  1. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    I’m playing Last-Minute Self-Assessment Tax Return Submission Simulator 2013-2014! It’s really great so far.

  2. suveraan says:

    Combat Mission: Black Sea!

  3. macc says:

    MALKAVIAN! is the best!

  4. lowprices says:

    Neo Scavenger after a quick game of Crap It’s My Friends’ Birthday And I Forget To Get Him A Present.

    EDIT: Also some Shadowrun: Dragonfall if there’s time. Such a massive improvement over the previous campaign.

  5. Bull0 says:

    I got Grey Goo last night, it’s like a secret Command and Conquer game! I’m enjoying it a lot, it really is a lot like C&C 3 with more up-to-date graphics and peculiar South African aliens. It was completely off my radar, I think I heard the name and assumed it was another indie physics puzzler thing (don’t get me wrong, I like those, but it sounded derivative). Ha!

  6. mathead says:

    Quite certainly Shin Megami Tensei IV and possibly some Evil Within. We’ll see for the rest.

  7. slerbal says:

    I am making the Angevine Union/Empire in EU4 with the brilliant “Veritas et Fortitudo” mod and am planning on spending the weekend convincing my English and French nobles to cooperate and found Angevine colonies in North America.

    Also maybe some Science Mode Kerbal Space Programme as the sandbox overwhelms and I find the full career mode a bit broken money-wise. Too easy to get completely stopped.So far though the Science Mode seems goldilocks.

  8. FreeTom says:

    I picked up The Walking Dead: Season 2 in the Steam Midweek Madness whatsit, so that should keep me going.

    I’m not sure I can really remember enough of the decisions I made in S1, though…

  9. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    I’m going to be eaten by space angler-fish a hundred times while exploring the thorn-planet in The Outer Wilds.

  10. NathanH says:

    I remembered I’d never played much of Knights of the Old Republic, so that’s what I’m on at the moment. Maybe a gamebook or two as well.

    • Immobile Piper says:

      Should I warn you about the awful undercity slog before game proper begins or are you comfortably over the hump already? Taris as a whole is… ok I guess? It’s just the undercity bits that I found far too dreary.

  11. kav2k says:

    Darkest Dungeon will be a pastime. It’s quite a treat for being a backer!

    Other than that, I’ll be getting ready to GM for the first time in my life, with Numenera, on Monday. Wish me luck!

    • dare says:

      Good luck with gamemastering! It’s a thrill like nothing else.

      Also, Darkest Dungeon for me as well. The visuals are incredible, and the dungeon is just as stressful as it seems!

      • Hex says:

        So I’ve put a bit over a dozen hours into Darkest Dungeon so far. It’s pretty exceptional.

  12. TehK says:

    Somehow… strangely… Guild Wars 2.
    Played it at release for a month, but after that I haven’t even thought of it for … what is it… one and a half year? Suddenly last week I felt the urge to reinstall it and somehow it still motivates me to keep leveling. But I’m sure that’s just a phase and it will pass. I’m fairly confident. At least I hope so.

    • MOKKA says:

      I’m in almost the same boat. I played it for a few months after Release and then stopped until last week. The main reason I started playing is because I’m short on money at the moment and there’s still a bunch of content left for me to explore.

    • therighttoarmbears says:

      Sorta ditto here! Except I’m exploring it for the first time, as I picked it up on sale last weekend. Haven’t played an MMO since the original Everquest, when I was in high school. So far I’m thoroughly enjoying it, though I’m still in the starter-ish area, I think. The sheer amount of info on character builds, and the astounding amount of jargon for these things is rather overwhelming and paralyzing, but I’m making good progress in the game and just gonna save various resources up for later and enjoy easy quests for now.

  13. golem09 says:

    FI-NA-LY Divinity Original Sin. Found someone willing to play with me. Maybe we’ll even get through character creation today!

    • Premium User Badge

      teije says:

      Your timing is good. Substantial balancing patch released yesterday.

      Skyrim for me – never have played it, thought I should see what all the fuss was about…

  14. Boosh says:

    I was going to pickup elite dangerous again, but then combat mission Black Sea was released, so it’ll be that!

    • muppetts says:

      Still trying to enjoy Elite D, grinding away and after 20 hours still not having any fun, shame really I really really want to luv it.

  15. Fergus says:

    XCOM the Board Game. Hopefully it’ll be a bit less punishing than Long War is being at the minute.

  16. dethtoll says:

    Borderlands, the original. It’s been a number of years since I managed to get through the game, and I’m enjoying it now that it’s finally shed its GFWL-ness and friends can join me.

  17. varangian says:

    Well thanks to the post before this one I think I shall be playing the Dead State demo this w/e. Liked the idea of it but picked up a few negatives about it here and there so held back from a purchase. Sounds like the demo will give me enough of taste to make me own mind up. And if it’s rubbish I shall finally get round to playing Wasteland 2 instead.

  18. SuicideKing says:

    Hitman: Blood Money. Freaking amazing.

  19. Barberetti says:

    My cousin was on about playing some Elite Online this weekend (I only bother playing it when he wants someone to chat to on Skype while he’s playing), so it might be that.

    More likely though is my modded version of Minecraft, which I’ve been putting together for a while now. I got sick of the direction they’re taking the game in (meandering all over the place with no set vision more like), so I decided enough’s enough. I picked one of the old builds that I liked, added mods for better dungeons, more monsters, beer, longer day/night cycle, and some ocean additions plus a few other bits and bobs, and that’s it. That’s “my” Minecraft and I’m sticking with it.

    • Burgmond says:

      I am with you on the, hate the new stuff they’ve added, bit. I still have Release 1.2.5 and rocking about 20 mods and a 128×128 Sphax texture pack.

  20. Anthile says:

    The Banner Saga, at last. Perfect game to play when it’s snowing outside.

  21. MrEvilRobot says:

    Dying Light (+ DL Companion)
    Played a couple of hours before I went to sleep, then dreamed all night about what will happen next.
    Don’t have that very often…
    This game is a great experience.

  22. jeeger says:

    If I have the time, I’ll play some more factorio and maybe start another Rinworld colony. I’ve been neglecting my early access purchases in the last months.

  23. Vurogj says:

    Working through stuff I picked up in the Steam xmas sale, this weekend it’s mostly WazHack and ToME, both seem fun so far.

  24. trooperwally says:

    Planetside 2 – I thought I’d kicked the habit but it’s just pretty epic and I can’t seem to get enough of it.

  25. skyturnedred says:

    Most likely toying around with GameMaker with some Heroes of the Storm mixed in.

  26. povu says:

    The new beta update to Ziggurat is pretty sweet (sprint jumping!), so I’m playing a ton of that.

  27. erekosee says:

    The darkest dungeon EARLY ACCESS!!!!!!!!!
    Here my first footage ever… it is quite TOUGH and UNFORGIVING… link to youtube.com

    • jeeger says:

      Hah thanks for telling me. Now I just need to check whether I pledged the right amount.

  28. KDR_11k says:

    Well, they just released Castlevania Circle of the Moon on the European Wii U store, it’s the only metroidy Castlevania I haven’t played. I found a copy in a Gamestop once but the save battery was borked so I returned it.

  29. bonuswavepilot says:

    Getting through Grim Fandango in bits and pieces – funny how the old adventure-game instincts are still in place – steal everything that’s not nailed down, mess with everything which is interactive etc. Just got to… Act III I guess it would be? After the second of the ‘1 year later’ titles.

    That and some more Dungeonmans, probably. Finding it quite entertaining, though some character types seem to be very much easier than others.

  30. melnificent says:

    Dying light, mainly coop but with some modding to improve framerate and turn off that bloody film grain.

    • jonahcutter says:

      What performance mods are you using for Dying Light? I’m enjoying it, but it does chug a bit at times.

      • melnificent says:

        I’m using winrar and notepad with agent ransack to locate the files I need to extract.

        There’s a reddit guide link to reddit.com that should help.

        But I’ve been playing with all the settings in varlist_performance.scr Turn Simpleshadows ON, to use the prebaked shadows instead of the realtime stuff, and then you can turn sunshadows off without too much difference. I’ve managed to get a playable 25-30fps on my laptop (i7/740m 1gb) It’s not as good as the main rig, but playable and is “console” level visual quality.

  31. Gryz says:

    Thief.
    I played Thief in 1999/2000. Ever since 2006 or so, I planned on replaying the game. The problem is, I think it’s only good to play Thief in the dark. That means at night. And during summer, there is no night. So every year, around November, I plan to play and finish Thief. Took me a few years to get going. I played a few levels last year. But I got stuck on The Sword. Constantin’s Mansion has too many areas to explore, so I never finished the mission last year. This month I started playing again. (Fuck Warlords of Draenor, fuck garrisons, fuck WoW, and fuck Blizzard). I’m at the end of Return to the Cathedral now. Three missions left.

    After I finish Thief, I might try Dying Light.
    I was done with shooters many years ago. But Dying Light has no guns, just melee. And as I am a rogue (and thief) at heart, this game might be ok for me.

    Or Arx Fatalis. I played the demo for a bit when the game came out. I always intended to try out the real game. But other stuff got in the way. (Did I tell you already: fuck WoD ….?) I probably need to hurry. Because GTA5 and TW3 are new games I’m excited about. There hasn’t been a new game I was excited about since Skyrim.

  32. Shadowcat says:

    Outlaws

  33. Ham Solo says:

    Sub Rosa, Naval Action and some War Thunder.

  34. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    Sim City 4, for my bored-alternative- to-surfing work moments, and Gat Out of Hell when I’ve got some proper time.

  35. Severian says:

    ONE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

  36. Jalan says:

    Probably going to finish up the remaining achievements I didn’t get in Gunpoint (all less than 10 of them). Afterward, probably going to look for a satisfying Doom mod that doesn’t require me to turn on both mouselook and jumping to be able to progress anywhere in it.

  37. Darth Gangrel says:

    It’s funny that you mention Bloodlines, Shaun, because over at the official forum planet-vampire.com they’ve just announced some serious mod news. While the game is 10+ years, it still gets updates for its mods and now even a completely new mod has arrived, the long in development Antitribu mod will be released a week from now. Also, the Final Nights mod will be updated to v. 1.3 next week. The unofficial patch recently got updated to v. 9.2 as well, so it’s a good time to start replaying Bloodlines.

    • Shaun Green says:

      Oh, that is very cool! I installed the unofficial patch late last year when I failed to really get going with Bloodlines, but haven’t looked at anything else since. I’ll check out some of these things you mention. Thanks!

  38. Premium User Badge

    Nathan says:

    Life is Strange came out, so I think I’ll take a shot at completing that. Perhaps GW2 can fill some of the spare hours.

  39. substationradio says:

    Sunless sea! couldn’t quite wait the week for it to leave early access but I’m not running into much unfinished on my quest for my pops bones

  40. tr76 says:

    Besiege! I just bought it the other day, and I keep coming up with cool stuff I can build. One thing I’d love for them to add in the next update would be some sort of symmetry control, like in Kerbal.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Waiting for a demo or something of that one (“har har, good luck, they can make people pay for those now”, etc.), but it looked need from what I’ve seen of it.

    • Gibster says:

      I plan on getting that this weekend. It’s exactly my type of game, think of creative ways to wreck stuff.

    • Jakkar says:

      And grouped devices, for changing a whole set of props/spinners/springs to different binds or settings…

      And balloons for sustained levitation, with droppable ballast to increase altitude and ventable gas to reduce it.

      And SO MUCH MORE GIMME GIMME. It’s wonderful!

      I’d prefer it if there were limited fuel supplies, in the form of tank-objects of varying strengths and volatilities, for the wheels and devices, though. It feels wrong to be able to drive/fly/explode around without limitation.

  41. Philopoemen says:

    Dragonfall – a 4-day weekend equaled a wonderful opportunity to try and force the game to be played as a completely non-violent, smooth talking wimp. No combat skills at all for my PC. It’s started off quite interestingly…

    …except it’s been out on hold as I’ve been recalled to duty for the pesky bushfires that are popping up seemingly everywhere in my neck of the woods. Evacuating towns reminds me a lot of Lemmings…except for more fire and smoke.

  42. ExitDose says:

    868-HACK, Bonaparte’s Penninsular Campaign, and I’m hoping to take a look at the new Starbound patch.

    • scottyjx says:

      Yes, 868 for me as well! My goal is to get up on that streak leaderboard before Monday.

      I’m also playing Dragon Age II finally, which I like so much and don’t understand the hatred it inspired! It’s certainly different from Origins, but I wouldn’t say it’s *bad* different. Just different.

  43. amateurviking says:

    I DON’T KNOW.

    I’m staring at steam and I got nothing.

    • Llewyn says:

      I seem to be playing this a lot recently. Don’t understand how it’s so hard just to pick something.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Go outside. Go on a hike. Go to the library. Go hang out at a coffee shop, or the pub.

      Your brain is telling you something.

  44. Demon Beaver says:

    In honor of my newly arrived gaming rig and screen, I installed the prettiest games I could remember off the bat: Crysis (it runs maxed out at 2560X1440 without a hitch), Assassin’s Creed 2 and Dishonored.

    Any other suggestions regarding pretty games to play on it?

    • Guran says:

      Bioshock Infinite is infinitely pretty! The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is also lovely to look at.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Remember Me is gorgeous.

    • Demon Beaver says:

      I do have Bioshock Infinite! Installing now…
      Also, Max Payne 3 is apparently very pretty. The other two games I’ll try to get at the next sale… thanks for the advice!

      • Burgmond says:

        Borderlands 2 maxed out looks quite pretty. And if your in for a little adventure – Halo CMT SPv3 Truth and Reconciliation level. Its rather pretty if you ignore the game’s engine forcing animations to run at 30FPS and nothing higher. Ahh, the past.

  45. Gibster says:

    I had a fun bout with Fractured Space last night. It was hard to get into but once I found my ship of choice, the Assassin, I was getting 5+ kills per game and a k/d ratio of 2+. Thus I certainly plan on spending more time with it in the near future. Aside from that, the usual TF2, WT, maybe even a bit of 4X or rts thrown in (we’ll see).

  46. John O says:

    Oh oh oh i’ve been waiting for this question! And nobody will care what i have to write! Weeeee!
    I’ve been playing The Saboteur. It’s rather old, and really charming. I like it so much.
    Apparently the criticism at the time was “it isn’t mercenaries”, and critical reception was positive, but not overwhelming. I don’t even know how i got the idea to look the game up. Coughed up 5€ on one of those sites selling keys with random discounts. And oh it’s gleeful. The main character is irish and if he stands still for a couple of seconds he’ll inevitably light a cigarette. I’d call it a mischief simulator. You’re in a pretty, if aging, wartime Paris sandbox, there’s no good Nazis everywhere, and you get money for blowing stuff up. What’s not to love?

    • Crafter says:

      I remember The Saboteur !
      I would have preferred to have a French protagonist instead of the mandatory anglophone one but that internationalization for you ..
      I mostly remember the pretty good music and 40’s ambiance.
      One thing I did not like in this game is that the German controlled areas had a pretty good art direction with only black, white and red whereas each time you liberate a zone, this color scheme is replaced by very dull semi realistic tones.
      At the end of the game, the whole map looked less interesting than at the beginning.

  47. fish99 says:

    Stalker Lost Alpha, which has been excellent so far. If you’re a Stalker fan you need to play it, it’s basically the Stalker GSC wanted to make before they ran out of money. It’s also free, you don’t need to own Stalker.

    Also some Dying Light.

  48. Taiylz says:

    Silent Hill: Shattered Memories!

  49. LogicalDash says:

    Invisible Inc. is idly strolling around the corner and I’ve got a zapper in my pocket.

    • John O says:

      I’m excited for it. I bought it already, but i want to wait until it’s finished before really getting into it.

  50. vanhisa says:

    Valkyria Chronicle. Still not deciding to fo with superior Japanese dub or the english which is almost as good ans contextually correct in wwII Europa.