What Are We All Playing This Weekend?

I’m feeling out of touch with the world. London is one of three cities in the world where anything happens – along with San Francisco and New York City – so a large chunk of everything I heard used to be directed at me. Everyone wants to talk about London, because isn’t London big and great? Edinburgh gets a little less focus. What’s happening here? Why does the world not focus on events directly around me? Obviously I’ll regret saying this once the Edinburgh Festival kicks off in a few weeks.

But come on, help dear Auntie Alice feel like a real person connected to the world. Tell me: what are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re playing:

Adam: I started playing Odallus: The Dark Call last night. It’s wonderful by virtue of being a retro game that actually looks like an old game rather than somebody’s idea of what an old game might have been like. Less neon and people shouting RAD, more barbarians and smart enemy patterns. The sprites are huge, chunky things, and the sound effects are a perfect horrorshow of digitised grunts and screams. Because the entire game feels like a genuine relic, the way the player character grabs ledges to pull himself up feels way ahead of its time. I’ve only just finished the first area but I think I love it.
Alec: I had a bit of a fiddle with Feist because its art style is so very lovely, but then I remembered that jumping puzzles make me want to run into the sea and never return, so I stopped after one level. If you like jumping puzzles then it has particularly attractive things to look at while you fail and fail and fail again, I guess. I’m also trying to get back into the Witcher 3 after leaving it alone for a few weeks, but clearly now I can’t remember who anyone is, what I was doing or how to fight a malnourished dog without immediately dying. The new movement in the 1.07 patch is a bit of a treat, though: Geralt feels like a person rather than a milk float with half-flat battery now.
Alice: I’m trying to evade the many deaths of Lakeview Cabin Collection, a curious anthology of… murderous emergent adventure games? Mostly so I can explain them better than that wishy-washy nonsense. They’re small sandbox where you and your pals are trapped with horror movie nasties, and need to figure out how you can use objects and the environment to stop them. Oh hey, and I’ve just remembered I have another episode of Tales from the Borderlands to play too.
Graham: Rocket League, Rocket League, Rocket League. I struggle to articulate the reasons why I enjoy this game so much without sounding simple, but: car go fast very nice; hit ball to score goal very exciting; wizard hat plus rainbows whoosh when boost. It also doesn’t hurt that there are so many people playing and the matchmaking is so quick that I can just keep clicking and keep playing without my flow ever being broken.
Philippa: This week I’ve been indulging in a click-a-thon thanks to Forget Me Not: My Organic Garden. I posted about it in a bit more detail on Friday but it’s a game about clicking various things in order to run a greenhouse where the plants produce organs – kidneys, stomachs and hearts – which can make inanimate objects move and bring dead things back to life (sort of). The abundance of clicking means I can also finally watch the final season of Gossip Girl without getting too fidgety and giving up.

I assume John’s silence means that he’s doing something far more important than sending me e-mails. Saving the world by heaving an erupting volcano into the sun across his broad shoulders, something like that.


  1. Meowcenary says:

    A lot of CS:GO after finally getting into it around a month ago even though I had it for like 1.5 years. If that fails then Trove because the game is just so fun

  2. Awesomeclaw says:

    I’ve been playing a fair amount of Rocket League with a few friends. We might also have a go at the DA:I multiplayer. Also Warframe. Lots and lots of Warframe.

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      Also: The Edinburgh Festival(s) are a total nightmare.

      • dangermouse76 says:

        Nightmare………try living on the Cowgate. I haven’t been handed a flyer yet. That’s when the cherries popped for me.

        • Awesomeclaw says:

          I’m lucky enough to live a bit further out of town. I know a few people who live around Grassmarket which also seems like a pretty terrible place to live pretty much at all times.

          • dangermouse76 says:

            We pray for rain most weekends. Keeps the streets quiet. A move out to Musselburgh is on the cards.

            I’m getting too old for this !

          • MrBehemoth says:

            Ooh ooh, aaand: my journey to and from work, which goes right through the middle of town, takes litterally twice as long. Grumble grumble.

          • dangermouse76 says:

            ” No I dont want to see your middle class, middle England play juxtaposing the beauty and depravity of the working class condition……..thanks though. ”

            I’m originally a Nerf herder from the Cotswolds ( disclaimer ).

          • Ross Angus says:

            Naa mate: the High Street’s the real nightmare. The streets are paved with flyers.

            We really ought to do an Edinburgh RPS social club.

          • Stellar Duck says:


            Taking number 3 from Mayfield out towards Calder Road gives me a daily lovely taste of Princes Street in all it’s obnoxious glory. I swear, that trip takes twice as long as it should due to that.

  3. AUS_Doug says:

    I’ve got a bit of a list this weekend:

    1) Minecraft; Haven’t played it for the best part of 6 months after getting bored with it. Updated it yesterday and, while it looks like they’ve added yet more crap, I’m going to give it an honest go again.

    2) Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix 4; I’ve finally finished the 2012 championship season I was running and I’ve got a stack of new season sets – including a 2015 mod – to play with.

    3) Madden ’09; It’s been sitting idle for about 6 weeks while I’ve been waiting for the free time to play the Super Bowl. Only dropped three games this season, and I’m hoping that my offense – lead by my QB combination of Brady & Roethlisberger – can make up for my defense which will be lacking after losing five of my starting players to injuries in a brutal slug-fest against Oakland last game.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Minecraft ‘s mods add a LOT of longevity past what the base game offers, if you feel like you’re out of things to do in vanilla add some mods and you’ll have like 10x as much stuff available. Be it bosses, industrial automation, space travel or whatever.

      • Gibster says:

        I have a hard time with Minecraft mods namely because I can’t get them working without downloading some form of malware that I have to hunt down and eradicate. Until someone makes installation as easy as a button press I stay away from mods for the most part.

    • Grendael says:

      I’ve been playing a total conversion called terrafirmacraft. Quite a bit more challenging.

      You can’t punch a tree down

  4. Boult Upright says:

    I have actually started the Defence Grid 2 campaign. And completed one Pixel Puzzle. Seven to go.

  5. Andy_Panthro says:

    I picked up Rocket League to see what the fuss was about (it was free on PS Plus), and it’s very fun. It’s a bit chaotic though, I managed okay playing against the AI opponents, but in online games it can be a horrendous free-for-all. It’s all part of the charm I suppose.

    Other than that I’ve been playing Dark Souls, and have managed to get past the Gargoyles and now I’m wondering what I should do next. I’m basically exploring all the areas to see what I’ve missed and to check if I’m good enough for a few areas that were too tough for me earlier on.

  6. KDR_11k says:

    I still need to kill Fishron and the Moon Lord in Terraria but both seem absurdly hard (especially Fishron’s super fast charge attacks) compared to what comes before. Going solo in Terraria always feels like a balance problem because you not only lack extra firepower but also have to beat the boss in one life as opposed to repeatedly respawning in MP…

    • Antistar says:

      Terraria here too. It’s the first time I’ve played not only since the recent humungous content patch, but since the previous humungous content patch. So much new stuff. For example I’ve never even heard of Fishron and the Moon Lord.

      Besides that… maybe some Lords of the Fallen? If I can work up the willpower to continue my slog through it. It’s just… not all that good.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Fishron and the Moon Lord are the new top tier bosses in the recent patch. Fishron is more of a bonus boss but the Moon Lord seems to be meant as the true final boss of Terraria. The sequence leading up to him is pretty awesome too and gives you access to a bunch of super powerful weapons (maybe too much, e.g. a melee weapon that shoots across half the screen and pierces all enemies and terrain, absurdly OP for crowd clearing).

    • Spacewalk says:

      When in doubt: skybridge.

      • KDR_11k says:

        I always use several levels of wooden platforms as my arenas so I have good mobility both horizontally and vertically. Fishron is so flipping fast that even that doesn’t seem to be enough.

        • Spacewalk says:

          He gets even faster if you leave the ocean biome but you don’t need to make your bridges that long. I had a setup of four asphalt bridges in a cross formation with campfires and heart lanterns dotted around, I had me frostspark boots and hoverboard on, shroomite armour, megashark with a few stacks of chlorophyte bullets, terra blade for backup and all the typical buffs going but he still got me the first time because I left the beach and I panicked when he flipped his shit and murdered my arse. The three times after that though I had the method down pat and could take him on in Expert mode without a lot of difficulty.

          Minecart tracks might be another way of tackling him but I can’t see how you could create a closed loop to circle him.

  7. Kitsunin says:

    I’m replaying Recettear. I just paid the second installation and I have the money for the third already + a fully stocked store. I’m shocked at how much of a difference knowledge of the game’s systems makes; I’m pretty sure I had to NG+ twice to beat it the first time.

    • KDR_11k says:

      It’s the “just combo” thing. Once you know how that works and how important it is the game becomes a whole lot easier but without that knowledge you’re going to have a tough time leveling up fast enough to make the installments.

      • Kitsunin says:

        That and the fact that it’s better to aim for a price which makes the customers happiest, because it means they’ll become more loyal and buy more expensive items sooner. I was shocked that the guildmaster bought the strange vase early on in the second week — I think the first time I played, it sat in my window until about the fourth week.

        It does make sense, since that’d be how you develop a good reputation, but bad game, for implying you should be haggling for the best price you can get!

        • BooleanBob says:

          Are either of you seasoned enough to be able to say whether whatever lies beyond the horizon of Serious Recettear is worth seeing? I had fun completing the story and mucking around with the post-game content, but when I started trying to fulfil even the middle-tier recipes the game suddenly transformed into an appalling grind. And the upper tier stuff requires multiples of middle-tier items… what’s the payoff? Hidden characters? Cutscenes? Anything at all?

          • Kitsunin says:

            I pretty much ignored synthesis myself, save for the stuff which fell into my lap, but I know they don’t get you any characters or dungeons, and I’m not sure if there’s any point other than the items themselves. The postgame dungeons unlock two or three new characters and have associated cutscenes, though.

          • BooleanBob says:

            Ah, good to know. Thanks!

  8. AriochRN says:

    About half-way with Star Trek A Final Unity (so much dialogue! Everyone has different things to say about the same things!) and the same with Star Trek 25th Anniversary CD-ROM Enhanced Version (couldn’t wait).
    Last week, Dune2000 ended with a victory for House Atreides, Syndicate Wars ended with my dirigible heading groundward in flames. I shall revisit at a later date…

    • Vandelay says:

      Must go back to 25th Anniversary at some point. Picked it up on GoG, but only played the first mission. Brought back a lot of memories though. Been watching the Original Series recently though, so prob finish the second season off first before delving back in.

      Is A Final Unity available digitally? Loved that game when I was young, except for annoying zoological research base where you had to collect umpteen samples very, very slowly. Would love to play that again.

      • AriochRN says:

        Sorry, I’m going off my original CDs so I don’t know.
        I’m also having a bit of an Original Trek re-watch, I’m enjoying the better SFX included in the newer release. The Shat is, and ever shall be, Acting incarnate

        • Vandelay says:

          Ah, may have to dig out my disc. It works fine on modern computers?

          The Shat may have been a shit to his fellow cast members, but, yeah, no one else could be Kirk, much like no one else could be Picard. It is always interesting to be reminded how the show started and the very different tone it had with the 90s versions of the show, which has become the overriding feel it is now known for. Watching the second season and it is really great.

          • AriochRN says:

            Yup, I run it through Dosbox without any major problems, installation was a bit of a faff but it plays fine.

    • ansionnach says:

      Syndicate Wars is hard. Got it at release and never finished it, although getting Civ2 at the same time meant that it eventually absorbed all my gaming time. Can still visualise that choke point in a compound that I just couldn’t get through. Not sure if the game’s harder than American Revolt. Couldn’t even get past the first mission in that, although I finished Syndicate itself without too much trouble. Think my budget copy of Syndicate Plus came in a box with UFO: Enemy Unknown in it so that won out over American Revolt in the end.

      Some very crazy people ported Syndicate Wars to modern systems by writing their own decompiler, decompiling the executable to assembly and re-writing it in C using modern APIs for sound and graphics. Doesn’t have net code, though. Not many people have the technical ability and patience to go to this extreme. Another guy ported Dungeon Master and Chaos Strikes back from the Atari ST to the PC using the same decompilation route.

      • AriochRN says:

        I’m not sure I ever finished SWars either – I remember loving the laser weapons, electron mace and whatnot and destroying buildings so I must’ve got *some* way into it, but having a sneaky Youtube peek at the last mission…no firing synapses at all.
        Syndicate definitely got finished on the Amiga, I remember the Atlantic Accelerator being a right bugger. No AR though, I think that was when I moving from the A500 to my super swanky (and super expensive) 486 SX25.
        I’m using the decompiled version you mentioned, it sorts out the superfast spinning icons on the executive holo-screen (and my CD turned out to have a small notch on its surface, from whatever had been sharing its CD case for the last 19 years or so).
        If I turn the game speed *right* down, I might do better next time…

        • ansionnach says:

          Being able to blow up buildings was one of the best things about SW. Just dug up my save file from July 1997 and I was on the Church of the New Epoch Reykjavik mission. Seems that’s a lot further on than I realised. Have electron maces, long range rifles and all body enhancements at level three. Really is jumping in at the deep end, though, as it’s one of the last missions in the game. Don’t think I did many of the Eurocorp ones, though, so if they’re easier I might not have too much trouble after the church ones.

          That choke point is exactly how I remember it – ran over there and was killed pretty quickly. Will have to see if I’m any better at the game than I was when I was sixteen!

          • AriochRN says:

            I think the Church missions were supposed to be much of a muchness with Eurocorp, I don’t think I ever tried them.
            The Magic Carpet engine was good (oh, must put that on the list! Still got the anaglyph glasses somewhere) and I remember hoping that the first-person view from Dungeon Keeper would one day make it into a Syndicate game…hmmm, I suppose the multiplayer missions from the fps reboot might qualify for that…

          • ansionnach says:

            Think I’ll try American Revolt if I ever finish Syndicate Wars. Never played either Magic Carpet game much. They seemed to be 3d versions of Populous, although with a more manageable number of levels (Pop and Pop2 had 500 and 1000!). One thing I didn’t like about the Populous games was that the levels were often quite similar and you were doing the same thing over and over again. Hopefully that doesn’t apply to MC!

          • AriochRN says:

            The Magic Carpet games are shooters, bloody good ones too! The only hurdle I’ll have to overcome is the mouselook controls – they’re reversed, like an aircraft joystick and no option to change them.

          • ansionnach says:

            Ah. Wouldn’t be a problem for me, then, seeing as I started with flight sims so I still use the mouse the right way around! I believe it’s possible to invert the mouse Y axis by loading a different mouse driver and switching it with that. Of course, this would mean the mouse cursor goes the other way, too! You can download the driver here:
            link to vogons.org

            What you need to do is extract the ctmouseY.exe from the ctm21b4x\inverted directory of the zip file, then run this before any game you want to reverse the Y axis (in DOSBox). Every time you exit DOSBox it will need to be loaded again, or you could add it to the [autoexec] section at the bottom of your dosbox.conf file to load it every time.

          • AriochRN says:

            Cheers for the suggestion but it now presents me with a quandary: if I reverse flight up/down, spell selection will become *interesting*. I think I may go for the simpler solution, to unlearn what I have learned. It’s been a long time since using a mouse for flight controls, but I’m sure it’s just like riding a bike, right? You *never* forget…[sets off, wobbles a bit, begins slow-motion crash to the side]

  9. dangermouse76 says:

    New Vegas run through at the moment whilst cooking a mutton curry ( long job ). Although I am going down a high gun high speech run. I usually neglect speech for brute force and treat the game like a FPS. It is also a great opportunity to go over some of the writing again. One day the Fallout series will have face and voice to match some of it’s great writing. Not that it’s awful now per se.

    Although the black widow options for Benny………….WTF man ! No. Magnum to head. And I dont mean slap him across the face with a delicious icecream snack.

  10. horus_lupercal says:

    Darkest Dungeon for me. At first I struggled with the new update, especially the corpses, but my tactics have adjusted though the Houndmaster class needs some work iMO as atm there’s no reason to include him over my mainstay classes – hellion, bounty hunter, occultist and arbalest though the Jester is fast approaching mainstay status.

  11. axolotl_questions says:

    I will be playing keeping up with a brand new puppy. If I get any time to myself, I hope to get some Netrunner in, if I can’t do that, maybe some Black Flag.

    • csbear says:

      Congrats on the new pup! Mine is sleeping next to me right now as I type away…

  12. Ejia says:

    I’m giving Phantasy Star Online 2 a go. I like bits of it.

    • mgardner says:

      Wait – what? I thought this was Japanese only. -wanders over to Google- I see. There goes my weekend. Thanks for the tip!

      • mgardner says:

        …or maybe not, looks like IP blocking is in full force outside of SEA. Oh, well.

        • Kitsunin says:

          Woah, considering there is, apparently, an English language patch, this might be one of the only times ever that living in SEA is actually beneficial for me.

  13. Joasto says:

    Recently picked up Elder Scrolls Online for 10 GBP, and I’m having loads of fun with it for that price! Also on the menu: Rocket League and some more Rocket League.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      A friend got me copy of Elder Scrolls Online, also on the cheap, a couple weeks ago now, and I’ve been enjoying the piss out of it. I even find it to be a better PC game than Skyrim in some respects, such as the loads of optiony goodness available by default and even more via actually-legitimate UI mods. Running around also feels noticeably better than it does in Skyrim, in part due to the unfettered ability to jump while running (GASP!) Skyrim has half a leg up on underwater exploration (it’s apparently not a thing at all in TESO, instead of merely pointless without mods in Skyrim), but I’ll take jumping over diving any day.

      I haven’t done any of the massively-multiplayer stuff so far, but I’ve quite enjoyed rampaging through quests with a couple friends, ignoring the dialog and the surprisingly excellent voice acting, often wandering off on my own by accident, and typing “/sitchair” in awkward places and laughing to myself as other players stop in presumed voiceless confusion/amusement. My favorite part of the game so far, though, has been playing it on separate character like I would a “proper” Elder Scrolls game: in first-person, at a walking/sometimes-jogging pace, enjoying the scenery, and generally ignoring the questing and crafting nonsense unless I’m in the mood for it. And when that happens, there’s that bizarrely-good-for-a-TES-game voice acting making it slightly more enjoyable. Worldly consequences for doing remarkable things are absolutely nill thanks to it being an MMO, but I don’t care since the exploration’s still good.

      Oh man, and then there’s the character creator — I must’ve spent a good 3 hours in that thing so far. I actually managed to create an Argonian I don’t hate (I generally think they’re terrible in this game), I created a grizzled geezer of a Breton (hey, it’s your mom! but also MGS4 Solid Snake), and I created an Altmer who looks like a really serious Mr. Clean with more facial hair. I think it might be as good as Saints Row 3’s, possibly with more minutiae to tweak, but it’s been a while. That said, it really needs a name generator, because it takes me a good 10 minutes of uninspired indecision before I resort to smacking the keyboard a few times and inserting/removing letters to make it pronounceable.

  14. lagiacrux says:

    ill play some dota2 on the new reborn client, mostly because i have to complete some compendium challenges. i really really want that enigma immortal.

    other than the pretty much the usual. ill keep pushing on my XCOM long war campaign on normal, and try to finish some games from the backlog. probably valkyria chronicles and valkyria chronicles 2. maybe ill add some dirty bomb, who knows.

  15. Vandelay says:

    I admit I was wrong. I have tried Dark Souls for a third time, after watching some of the Crate & Crowbar Let’s Play and it really is a great game. I’ve just defeated the Gargoyle (so easy with the help of a summoned ally and the knight chap) and I have rung the first of the bells.

    I still feel there is a level of unnecessary frustration within the game, with checkpoints located a long way from boss fights and numerous mechanics that are never explained (humanity and reverse hollowing being the worst culprit of this.) That is not to say every little detail should be explained to you, but at least a little bit of an explanation as to how some of the fundamental mechanics in the game work would be useful.

    But obfuscation also works in the games favour, encouraging discovery and rewarding your curiosity (at least it does sometimes, other times it absolutely obliterates you for making a stupid step.) Finally reaching that bonfire above the blacksmith was one of the most satisfying moments in any game, mostly due to it feeling like I reached there by my own skill and nerve. It is a feeling that is so rare in gaming nowadays and I hope that more and more developers pay attention to Dark Souls’s success.

    I will also be playing The Talos Principle’s expansion. Played briefly last night (only enough to complete Open Fields and get oh so very close to completing Through a Window.) Still as wonderful as ever.

    • csbear says:

      Nice to see you coming around! It took me awhile as well. I started up Dark Souls when it first came out on PC, but quit playing for almost 6 months. I was pretty frustrated… But then I got back to it and never looked back. I have finished Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, and Bloodborne and I actually prefer conventional RPGs to the action-y ones.

      It seems that once people fully realize that the DS games could care less about your feelings of anger, frustration, and sadness… happiness then ensues for the player. You accept the games for what they are, the good and the bad. However, the good stuff in the DS games are some of the biggest joys I’ve experienced in video gaming.

  16. Stellar Duck says:

    After 6 months without a PC I just got one last weekend and this is my first weekend where I can just indulge.

    So I was going to binge DA Inquisition but I’ve been surprised at just how much I don’t give a toss about the story. It feels like I’m playing an MMO alone and I don’t care about the Chantry and the Templars and blood mages. Those things was what made DA2 shite. Also the combat is absolutely wretched. But mostly, it just seems so empty. Reminds me of Kingdoms of Amalur, really, except less vibrant. And I swear to god, the story is disjointed. I just talked to some chantry lady and now I got to go to some meeting in Not-France? And go to the war room? And talk to some corporal? The journal system is abysmal and the UI is absolute terrible. I’m impressed they managed to make it worse than DA2. This is Bethesda level UI nonsense.

    So, I may just play Her Story, Talos Principle and Scourge of War Waterloo instead. Also, holy shit! Arma now runs really well! It’s glorious!

    • malkav11 says:

      I’ve liked what I played better than you have, I think, but I have had no real impetus to get back to Inquisition since February and I remain mystified by how glowing a lot of the press was. I mean, sure, it’s a stonkingly gorgeous game and I actually like a lot of the writing, although I am bitter about how heavily they call back to DA2 and particularly the awful act 3, and it’s really not cool to have introduced the main villain for Inquisition in an overpriced DLC for a game I don’t think too many people wanted more of by the time they’d finished. But it is, as you say, a game with bad combat that there is too much of and that is far too large for its own good. There are occasionally cool things to find out in the (semi)open world, but mostly it just dilutes everything. I really think that Bioware is better off sticking to linear corridor crawls. It suits their design and writing tendencies far better.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Concerning the writing, I think a lot of the individual bits of writing are really good and I’m enjoying those bit.

        But the world, the conflict and my characters motivations leaves me baffled.

        Here is my experiece of the start of the game: some lady was holding a meeting, I guess to try and unfuck the ending of DA2 and it exploded in a nugget of the purest green. That spews demons? I’m some elf lady and I don’t really know why I was at the meeting. My character stubbornly refuses to tell me what she was doing there. And apparently I’m Jesus? At least some thing I am. So I got to go talk to the chaps who were at the meeting that exploded? In order to…? Get them to stop fighting, I guess. Because I got to stop the Oblivion gates from spawning daedra. And someone set up the explosion but so far I don’t know who or why I care.

        Really, the intro to the game is so incredibly disjointed. And I distinctly remember that I cut off Lelianas head in a fight over the ashes. And here she is. Maybe she’s actually Jesus? I literally have no clue what is going on or why (or my character) should care. What are the stakes? Who is my opponent? Demons? Green?

        Casandra is really cool though. I like her.

        • malkav11 says:

          Yeah. Actually, I kind of liked her even in the brief flashes we got in DA2. As for Leiliana being resurrected… did you go and set up your world state before playing, on that one website? Inquisition doesn’t actually directly import your choices from any previous Dragon Age so if you don’t edit the starting world state on that website you’ll get a default version, which presumably assumes most of the DA1 cast are still alive but -not- the DA1 protagonist, since the only way the Warden survives is if you either have one of the NPC Wardens sacrifice themselves or do Morrigan’s deal, and since her deal is sketchy and it’s easier to bring back NPCs than a customized PC….

          And FWIW, the game does establish what happened at the meeting (at least, sort of) and what the stakes are not long after the point you’re at. It’ll still assume your DA2 character had an adventure involving the big bad that was in DLC released well after DA2, which I never played and would guess very few people actually did. But oh well, I guess.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Yea, I imported a save or set up the tapestry or whatever they call it.

            I’m assuming it’s a glitch or that they simply made her death not part of the canon as I’m assuming she’s spy master for a reason.

            The scenes with Cassandra in DA2 when she was interrogating the insufferable dwarf were my favourite parts of the game, hands down.

            At this point, I’m thinking that not having played whatever bit of DLC it is you’re talking about is putting me at a disadvantage. It was the same with Mopey Mage dude in DA2. I’d not played the expansion for DAO so I had no idea what he was supposed to signify.

          • malkav11 says:

            You should play Awakening, it’s great. Anders-as-seen-in-DA2 is like his dumbass mirror universe twin, though, depressing and shitty in all the ways the Awakening character was great, so having played it would just deepen the tragedy of his terrible characterization in 2. I don’t think you need the context of the DA2 DLC, though. Or at least, I haven’t had it and that is very much not my problem with Inquisition. I just think it’s a shitty move given that Bioware never discounts or price drops their DLC, doesn’t sell most of it through Origin (including DA2’s DLC), and of course it debuted long after many people had already finished the game. And who wants to replay DA2? Not me.

    • stkaye says:

      If you’d asked me about DA:I a month ago, I probably would’ve said exactly what you just did. I laboured my way through the main campaign story shortly after the game came out and was broadly unimpressed by the abundance of filler quests and stodgy combat mechanics.

      I’m just cruising through a second play-through now, which I only did to test out a new graphics card. My opinion has completely changed. I think there are a few factors contributing to much better gameplay: I switched up to a sword-and-shield warrior (previously I was playing as a mage or archer because my system couldn’t get the game to run smoothly enough to make close combat plausible), and now I think the combat mechanics are fun and crunchy. There’s precious little strategy, but I’m definitely having fun.

      Much more importantly, I’m now more motivated to really explore each of the regions in detail and dig in to the lore. And while there is still a lot of filler, it can easily be skipped. The real joy of DA:I isn’t really in the main plot (though I’d argue that the two quests where the story bifurcates – sadly you can only do one in each playthrough – are both really strong). It’s in the detail and consistent reward for exploration. You don’t just stumble into a random cave – you stumble into a temple where time has frozen and you have to figure out how to fix it. You don’t just fight bandits – you fight your way through a bandit fort, claim it, put your flag above it, and are given a dozen more quests to solidify your hold over the region. Your actions even change the gameworld sometimes, in a very satisfying way. And some of the NPC companions – Dorian and Varric in particular – are really interesting, amusing, rounded personalities.

      The result is that my little test run has turned into a full-blown complete run-through.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Hmm. I’ll grant that it may become better but I’ve played like 3 hours and I’m sick and tired of shitty trash mobs roaming the country side. It’s a waste of my time, frankly. And do they respawn? Because it does precisely feel like you just fight [Insert thematic trash mob here] over and over. As for the combat, I’m playing a rougue and it’s dreadful. The camera controls are dire and keeping at your target and pointing towards the combat without the camera going AWOL is neigh impossible. Pretty sure Neverwinter Nights 2 had a better camera.

        In fact! That’s what this reminds me of. NWN2. It’s very pretty but extremely unengaging and pointlessly bloated.

        Even more bloated than NWN2 really. It does feel like an MMO but with no trade channel to keep things at least amusing.

        • malkav11 says:

          Yes, almost all the enemies respawn.

        • malkav11 says:

          I think in a lot of areas you can accomplish certain objectives to turn off respawns/patrols of certain types of enemies but it’s not really a transparent mechanic.

        • Carra says:

          I started playing and quit after two hours. Got back to it later on and finished most of it, it’s actually quite a good, solid game. The combat does get a lot better later on once you get more skills, I found it too simple at the start.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Varric is the dwarf with the ridiculous crossbow, right? From DA2?

        Yea, he’s getting kicked from my party ASAP. I loathe him soooooo much. I used him only when the story dictated it in DA2 and never willingly engaged him in conversation. Can’t stand him. At all. :)

      • malkav11 says:

        The problem with skipping filler on a first run of Inquisition is that it’s largely impossible to tell what’s filler and what might pay off in an interesting way. Like, sure, there are caves with time lost temples or whatever, and those are neat, but there are also caves that are just caves with a few spiders and/or demons. Etc. It sure seems like there are a lot more of the latter than the former.

    • avtrspirit says:

      My tips for playing Dragon Age: Inquisition –

      1. Get out of the Hinterlands as soon as you can. (This tip is universally endorsed. The Hinterlands are boring.)

      2. Don’t do everything. Do NOT do everything. “Power” is not hard to come by, so don’t try to stock up on it unnecessarily.

      3. Corollary to above: Roleplay to pare down quests. Be a Chum and just do the companion quests. Be the Messenger and just close rifts. Be a Power Broker and just do the “main quest” in each area. Mix and match as needed.

      4. Rush to the main quests. Not all of them are great, but some are superb. My personal favourite is “Here Lies the Abyss”, which is available no matter which choice you make.

      5. Play the game in short sessions. It helps. I don’t know why (maybe it’s the whole single-player MMO vibe) but it does increase the enjoyment a lot.

      6. Final tip: since you are playing on PC, I recommend installing the cheat engine “mod” to manually trigger party banter. It might take some fiddling to set up (and needs to be update for each patch) but it’s 100% worth it.

      • bleeters says:

        See, when the best advice people can offer me with these kinds of games boils down to ‘don’t play large swathes of the available content, because it’s boring and/or unecessary’, I mostly just double down on questioning why that content even exists in the first place.

        I mean, it’s common advice that the Hinterlands are tedious to the point that everyone, developers included, recommends getting the heck out of dodge as soon as possible. So couldn’t they have just, y’know, not done that?

        • avtrspirit says:

          They over-corrected. They pretty much HAD to make a big freaking starting area, because people were predicting the end of the series after DA2’s restricted spaces. If they had started with something small (even if it were better for the narrative), then reviewers would have been biased for the rest of the game.

          Now, I don’t know why they chose to not put some of the more interesting quests in the Hinterlands instead of the other area. Maybe they wanted to build it up to more exciting quests as the game went on? I dunno. But “not playing vast swathes of content” has definitely been a successful design strategy in games like Skyrim. So, yeah, I think they over-corrected.

          • malkav11 says:

            That’s been Bioware in a nutshell for some time now. “You thought our inventory sucked in ME1? okay, we’ll remove equipment from ME2 almost entirely.” And only about half the time are they addressing things that were problematic in the first place. DA2’s very constrained scope could have been really cool if they’d taken the time and attention to detail to make all of the places you’re spending time in memorable and worth revisiting, and made the combat encounters specific, unique and tactically challenging. Instead we got a bunch of copy paste.

  17. DeepFried says:

    RimWorld. RimWorld. Rocket League. RimWorld.

  18. mathead says:

    Aliens: Colonial Marines. Why in hell would anyone do that, you may think. Because strangely, I find this game fun despite all the bashing it has received.

    • welverin says:

      Are you the guy Randy Pitchford mentioned in the Eurogamer interview?

      I on the other hand shall be playing at least a bit of Evolve and TF2 for the event and contracts, respectively. Besides those, it’s a toss up between all the other things I’m in the midst of: The Talos Principle, Life is Strange (catch up before the new episode), New Vegas, The Witcher 2, maybe start Game of Thrones. Whatever random whim leads to.

      • mathead says:

        Ah, no, I’m affraid I’m not that guy ^^

        Still, by far not as bad a game as I had expected. If you forget Gearbox’s promises that is, of course.

  19. geisler says:

    Like a lot of people, i’ll be enjoying The Talos Principe DLC (might replay the main game again as well).

    • Blinken6 says:

      Oh yeah! I saw that on steam and I had to gran it, such a great story.

  20. Thulsa Hex says:

    I was in a small bit of a fug after finishing the Witcher 3 last weekend (165 hours! I can hardly believe it kept my attention for that long…) but Rocket League has been an excellent antidote to the melancholy that comes with leaving something like that behind. It’s a lot of fun, but I’ve been playing with strangers and it can be frustrating when matched with players whose sole strategy is “drive fast at ball!” I’m just after playing a few games and more than once I’ve been lined up for what I’m sure were guaranteed shots on goal, only to be foiled by a teammate blazing-in from off-screen just to knock it completely wide. When you’re matched with players who actually do want to work as a team, however, it’s pretty fantastic. I imagine it’s even better if your teammates are people you know.

    I’ve also started KotOR II for the first time. It was probably not the best idea, considering I’ve just finished what was probably the heftiest RPG play-through of my life, but the recent coverage piqued my interest and… oops, I guess. I’ve finally escaped Peragus II and I’m really hoping it starts to pick up a bit now.

    But I still miss Geralt, so I bought Sapkowski’s the Last Wish and hope to get a good bit of that read, too.

  21. KaiUno says:

    Demon’s Souls for me. From Software has enslaved me somehow. Bastards.

  22. slerbal says:

    The ever excellent Card Hunter and Broforce. Those two games work really well together, refreshing the other after a long bout. Both won me over with their really brilliant designs, polish and sheer enjoyment. I’ve bought several of the expansions for Card Hunter now purely because I wanted them to have my money :)

  23. Agnosticus says:

    Putting the finishing touches to the great Freedom Planet, also discovered Bleed, which seems to be just the game for me.

    Boardgame-wise, me and my friends are playing Legends of Andor and are currently trying to beat the Mines. Good stuff!

  24. CaidKean says:

    Well, I just finished Onimusha Tactics on the GameBoy Advance.

    Pondering replaying Fallout 3 and New Vegas on PC.

  25. Risingson says:

    Syperhero League of Hoboken. Once my flatmate finishes watching Salvame Deluxe.

  26. caff says:

    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League
    Rocket League

  27. trn says:

    Going to be on holiday for a week sans PC. This means Cook, Serve, Delicious on my tablet.

  28. goettel says:

    7 Days To Die alpha 12.4 (bikes stick around now!), intending Witcher 3 again – but seem to have stalled.

    Maybe get back on Postal 2: Paradise Lost for some casual murder. It’s a full life.

  29. bilstar says:

    I’m going to be playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution DC. Had it for ages but just found out how to make it run properly and really enjoyed it on 360 back in t’ day, even with the lovely boss bits….

    And Rocket League. Rocket League, Rocket League, Rocket League.

  30. csbear says:

    Sylvio and Caves of Qud this weekend for me. Played a little Witcher 3 last night as well. Also, I finished up Bloodborne on the console. What a weird and wonderful world Miyazaki has created once again. I thought Mergo’s Wet Nurse was one of the coolest bosses I’ve fought in all my time playing video games.

    On the cardboard front, I will be diving into, oh boy, GMT’s Empire of the Sun (deep end) and Imperial Assault (shallow end).

  31. raiders says:

    Flatout: Ultimate Carnage
    Gas Guzzlers Extreme Gold
    Endless Legend
    MLB 2K15

    wish i had rocket league, but you cant own’em all, can u?

  32. ansionnach says:

    Dungeon Master is next on the list, although a 160km cycle tomorrow (after being off the bike for ages) might mean preparation and then sleeping are the other things I’ll be doing.

    The DM play-through is a kind of penance for deriding it in some comments on the RPS top 50 RPGs. Never really got into the game much before but have been preparing to play it properly this time. After losing notes and maps from other dungeon-crawling games like the early Ultimas and Phantasy Star, I want to keep them digitally this time. Tried out about fifteen different mapping programmes but didn’t like any of them. Have gone with my original plan: to use a spreadsheet. Means it can be as free-form as I want. Started by mapping the first level during the week, including making a table of all twenty-four characters and their stats. Hopefully I’ll understand better what these all mean once I’m finished with the manual.

    After DM and Chaos Strikes Back I’ll play Eye of the Beholder and its sequel. Never gave them much time either but had enjoyed EotB2 more than the others in my limited time with them. Seems many still rate DM as the best in this real-time dungeon-crawling genre. I’m not really a fan of this kind of game. If this is still the case after these four I’m on to Ultima V. Hopefully still have an Ultima IV character to import after I played through the first four Ultimas in a number of weeks over ten years ago. Looking forward to finally getting into U5. Many rate it as the best of them all. The amount of dedication required has put me off since then. Really need to get it and the various Ultima VI games out of the way to finish the series up to and including the under-rated Ultima VIII. Might then go back to Ultima IX. Have the collector’s edition of that but couldn’t force my way through it. May well not bother because it’s not very good.

    In a modern-day context I’d say Ultima VIII looks like a masterpiece, if only because you’ve got to use your brain to work out what to do – there’s no following quest markers. Really liked the adventuring part of the game, especially learning all the different kinds of magic. People still deride it for the jumping which was fixed by a patch released in 1995. It’s almost as if they never played it and are going on hearsay or something. Modern games get a comparatively easy time, with so many of them requiring patches after release. Ultima VIII was perfectly playable – its patch mainly made certain aspects of the game easier.

  33. melnificent says:

    4k monitor arrived so a long weekend of civ and endless legend.

    Just had to change the dp settings to 1.2 and it’s lovely.

  34. Monggerel says:

    Was going to play Killer Is Dead (yes, pervy, ew) this weekend but I tried it out for like an hour and a half in the evening on Friday and I had such vivid and fucked up dreams afterwards that I’m now conviced the fucking thing is cursed.

    Guess I’ll try to get back into Dota. I liked playing brainless melee kamikaze ala Skeleton King. Need more of that methinks.

  35. Darth Gangrel says:

    I’m gonna play or rather playtest The Witcher 1 to integrate an update to my funny dialogue mod The Weird World of The Witcher.

  36. geldonyetich says:

    In Elite:Dangerous, I’m decking out my Asp Explorer wholly through the pursuit of mining. Thanks to the addiiton of collector limpets, it’s less monotonous than it used to be.

    In Caves of Qud, I’m dying. Mostly dying.

    It seems there are certain mutation combinations that lend a lot to survivability. Eye lasers and temporal fuge have been mentioned here before – temporal fuge probably ought to cost more, temporarily multiplying your character is kinda OP.

    Another powerful combination is regeneration combined with heightened reflexes: easy kiting combined with advanced healing turns every fight into a battle of attrition balanced in your favor.

    I lost my last successful character built this way to a mysterious case of a disappearing up staircase combined with a lack of any means to pass through walls, effectively trapping him beneath the earth for all eternity, surviving on respawning qudzu stems.

  37. Zenicetus says:

    Getting back into Kerbal Space Program. I’ve been away for a couple of years, now I’m trying to remember what I used to know. The new (to me) career mode has just given me my first “Rescue a Kerbal” contract. Poor little guy is floating in orbit. I’ve got the rescue ship designed and tested, but was never good at rendezvous… matching orbital planes and all that. He might be up there a while.

    Aside from that, maybe some Age of Wonders III. I bought the latest expansion but haven’t tried it out yet.

  38. JonClaw says:

    Round robin of Crusader Kings 2, Shogun 2 (and picked up FotS on sale), Kerbal Space Program and, my biggest timesink, ROCKET LEAGUE. *airhorns*

  39. malkav11 says:

    I’d like to actually go and finish those Tales of the Borderlands episodes I keep mentioning every week that I haven’t got back to yet. Also test out the new Hex set, Armies of Myth. And play something I can use to occupy my hands while I listen to podcasts. I normally listen to them mostly at work, but work’s been so slow lately I’ve ended up reading a lot instead and I’m falling behind! Perhaps 10,000,000 or Marvel Heroes. Oh, and I’d like to actually finish Shadowrun: Dragonfall before Hong Kong comes out, so maybe work on that. I did get a fair ways in on the original version, but of course the Director’s Cut is a big improvement with incompatible saves, so it’s start from scratch time. This time I’m running a human rigger. Made it through the opening run, still quite a ways to go.

    But the focus of my weekend is likely to be Neocore’s lovely little ARPG, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. I am so pleased with the couple of hours I’ve spent with it so far. It didn’t seem to get amazing reviews when it came out, I think perhaps in part because if what you want from your ARPGs is a Diablo-style experience where you replay it infinitely grinding up the best possible gearsets and trying minutely different builds and doing your best to completely ignore any narrative context (or at least it seems like that’s what hardcore Diablo fans are into), Van Helsing doesn’t, or at least didn’t, support that sort of thing as well as other games might. Thing is, that’s not what I want from my ARPGs. I want two primary things: one, cool classes with lots of interesting powers to try out and more to making them better than just making numbers go up, and two, the same things I want from any other “RPG” – good story, worldbuilding, and questing. I would much rather have an awesome experience playing through it once than infinitely replay, and while it’s possible to make loot interesting to me (Marvel Heroes does), mostly I tend to be bored by it. Van Helsing’s baroque class skill trees have a whole bunch of ways to tweak and improve the powers, and while I can’t vouch for the base Hunter class or the other DLC Thaumaturge class, since I am playing an Arcane Mechanic, the Mechanic definitely has a lot of fun toys. Cluster bomb grenades and electric spiders and such. Lovely. And while Van Helsing’s writing, per se, is not its strongest suit or up to, say, Obsidian’s standards, the gothic horror atmosphere with its heavy reliance on eastern European folklore and weird mad science monsters is definitely working for me, as are its many and varied quests and, most importantly, a proliferation of secrets and largely uncued quests and bosses and such tucked all throughout densely packed levels. So densely packed. I’ve found literal “Easter Eggs”, triggered conflicts with sinister will’o’wisps and scarecrows, forged the Bunnyslayer, fed a frog god…it’s just such a wonderful incentive to explore every nook and cranny of every map and talk to all the NPCs, not just the ones with exclamation marks. Oh, and one more thing I really like about it – it knows that it’s far more satisfying to kill enemies en masse in ARPGs and where I had to mod Titan Quest and Torchlight II to get proper enemy counts (and while I’ve never modded Diablo II, it certainly didn’t start with adequate opposition), Van Helsing has everything run in packs from the off. It’s great.

    • Carra says:

      Never played it but sounds interesting. Been looking for a new Action RPG to play, I might give this one a try.

  40. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    In an effort to help dear Auntie Alice feel like a real person connected to the world, I’ll say that I too have now enjoyed swimming in chilly water in the wilderness. Granted, there were more rocks than trees around, and the water wasn’t very cold for the first half-meter (or couple-o-meters, depending on your definition of “very cold”), and the lake is technically man-made with a dam, and a lake rather than a pond (again depending on definitions), but there were glaciers and lots of plants and barely any people nearby. Okay, yeah, I’d shrivel up into a raisinsicle if I went pond-swimming in the winter, but at least I tried to make Auntie Alice feel like a real person connected to the world…

    Speaking of cold things, I finally finished up Dawnguard and actually really enjoyed the final boss fight and the lead-up to it, something I haven’t done in Skyrim since I got the upgrades and knowhow to avoid dying in dragon battles. And the bow and arrows you get near the end of the expansion are frickin’ fantastic. I’d prefer that they magically discriminate between hostiles and friendlies, but ah well. Next up, Solstheim!

    [I’ve also been heavily distracted by TESO, but I’m saving those remarks for a reply above in the name of correlation or somesuch.]

  41. Herzog says:

    Wasteland 2
    Got back after a 8 months pause. Just arrived at Angel Oracle after putting Rodia back to order. Let’s see if I can finish the game before the updated version comes along.

  42. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    I’m playing The Talos Principle: Road to Gehenna, and when my brain gets too tired, going back to The Witcher 3.

  43. Carra says:

    Started playing Dark Messiah of M&M. Quite fun so far: stab stab stab, KICK THEM OF A BRIDGE, stab stab.

  44. derbefrier says:

    Star Citizen put out a new patch (finally) and its pretty great. some major changes to the flight model have been made and its awseome.

    DnD 5.0, after about a month break my group is getting back into it.

    Twilight Imperium – I bought it last weekend and we played a game but didnt get to finish it since we were all learning how to play. This weekend I got a few guys who are determined to play a full game.

    Its going to be a good weekend

  45. Gibster says:

    World of Warships primarily using my Myoko, which is a great ship btw. Besides that I started a game of Age of Wonders III the other day and I’m ready to smash puny Elf people as my custom Orc dreadnought so I’ll probably continue that. Besides that, TF2 contracts and who knows what other indie games from my backlog.

  46. nyarlathotep says:

    I will be moving from Brooklyn NY to Edinburgh this November, and while at the moment in the few seconds of free time I have I am still slogging through the single-player GTA V campaign, I plan to save GTA IV for those upcoming moments of homesickness…

  47. Geebs says:

    KOTOR2, because of the re-release. It’s still not as good as the first, the combat is still ruined by terrible pathfinding, stupid environmental hazards and idiotic difficulty spikes, and Kreia is still immeasurably dull.

    When is it supposed to get good again?

    • Stellar Duck says:

      Are you a reverse clone of me? Kreia is a great part of the game and the game as a whole is miles better than the tropey first one. Which wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t as good as the second game.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I’m playing that also, but I remembered to add the SLRCM from the workshop. It sounds like maybe you didn’t! (also, Kreia dull? Wut?)

      • Geebs says:

        @Stellar Duck: probably, although (re:up-thread) I suspect that I’d hate DA:I too.

        @PancakeWizard: I actually left out the restored content mod, because I thought there was already way too much. It turns out they didn’t add much to the beginning of the game, if anything; it was always ridiculously long-winded.

        I’m currently post- not exactly rage-quit, more tedium-quit because my party’s on top of the polar base (having been shot down twice because Obsidian have no imagination) getting one- or two- shotted by HK droids after a mandatory 30-second cutscenes and dialogue tree, where none of the points I put into charisma and converation skills make any difference.

        Kreia has nothing to say. The point about weakening other people by helping them is utterly fatuous, and even if it’s kinda-sorta clever in the context of an RPG, it doesn’t work as a criticism of Star Wars because the characters in the films absolutely don’t go around helping idiots find their lost droid or whatever. She uses this ridiculous voice which is either trying, and failing, to sound like an old lady or is a dead giveaway that she’s up to no good. FFS they even put a character in there whose job is to be sick of her talking all the time! If I was actually allowed to role-play I would have dropped her off at Atlas Hugged, the retirement home for ageing Ayn Rand knockoffs, and been on my way.

  48. Blinken6 says:

    Ark! Just got myself a new server, time to build all over again. And tame some dinos!

  49. Minglefingler says:

    Victor Vran. I thought that the abundance of tanky enemies would put me off it after the first few hours but the combat is just so satisfying that I can’t drag myself away from the game.

  50. turnererika63 says:

    as Howard implied I am blown away that any body able to make $9925 in four weeks on the internet . look at here now
    >>>>>>>>>> link to 2.gp