Between Gamescom and The International, it’s been a busy week. We’re all very tired. Which video games will balm our spirits and soothe our tired eyes? We’ll tell you:
I’m flying back to Blighty tomorrow and will spend the weekend playing imaginary versions of Stellaris
in my head. I’ll probably pick up my Football Manager
career as well because FOOTBALL has begun again. If memory serves, I’m managing Swindon and we’re tipped for relegation from the Championship. It’s 2027. If I play for a few more seasons maybe Football Manager will become Stellaris. Yes.
I finally took a look at The Talos Principle so I could make at least some sort of meaningful noise during any conversation about it. Uh, I liked the bit with the puzzles? Right now I’m mostly playing Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon
though. It’s the latest game from former Ion Storm fella Harvey Smith’s studio Tiger Style. It’s a straight sequel to 2009’s eyetelephone-only but delightful and quietly sinister Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, but rejiggered thoughtfully for PC and with a new layer of insect-gobbling strategy. Also leaderboards if that’s your thing, which right now are filled with the names of various other developers and games scene-folk. THE INDIE CONSPIRACY IS REAL. Anyway, it’s all about webspinning and pouncing as space-management puzzles, but it also manages to be very true to spiderishness, rather than spinning off into Charlotte’s Web cutesiness or Arachnophobia bollocks-horror. Lots of quiet environment story-telling too. More on that next week, anyway. I think you’ll like it.
I’m playing the fun game of Oh God I Need To Clear Out My Old Flat By Sunday And It’s Full Of So Much Garbage I Don’t Want But Throwing It Away Is Wasteful Help Who Wants My Stuff? I’ll be trying to convince friends that they really need my old PC and my old laptops and my big chunky graphic novels and these books and these magazines and… agh. I moved to Edinburgh with as much as I could carry myself on the train, which turned out to be about as much as I want anyway. There is so much stuff. Why did I collect all this stuff. This is an awful game.
This weekend I will be playing no videogames, but instead enjoying sleep and peace and quiet. I’ve spent the past week at Gamescom though, which means I’ve played a number of games over the past three days. Here’s just one: Star Wars Battlefront
. I tried its survival horde mode in co-op with a stranger. It seems to me like Battlefront might be part of the same lineage as early, arcade Star Wars games, which were limited in terms of control and consequence but which offered FMV clips of the films or their characters in order to sell the fantasy. Battlefront feels like an uninteresting game but with enough authenticity – EA’s favourite word – in its modelling of Stormtroopers and laser rifles and AT-ATs that people will enjoy it, or at least buy it, anyway.
This weekend I have a friend coming to stay, so I shall be playing NOTHING AT ALL. Instead we shall be watching bad action movies and going to the zoo. And hopefully causing the events of a bad action movie at the zoo.
Although there’s no way I won’t be sneaking in games of Alphabear whenever possible. And tweeting the gross stuff I make them say.
I have literally not played a single thing except one round of Alphabear while queuing for a plane. I have watched dozens of hours
of pro Dota
But you, dear reader, what are you playing this weekend?