What Are We All Playing This Weekend?

Alice is on holiday, leaving it to me to ask us and you that timeless question: whatcha playin’ there buddy?

Adam: I’m replaying Hitman: Blood Money. Recently, I’ve found that when I refer to a game as either an exemplary model of its series or a particular form, I’m keen to go back and work out why that is. There’s a tendency to use certain games as short-hand for GOOD and other games as short-hand for BAD, and I want to explore why that is. With Bloody Money, I’m planning to play as much as possible so that I can analyse each level – look at what is actually accomplished and why it stands baldy head and shoulders above the rest of the series.
Philippa: This weekend I suspect I will be mostly playing MOBAs of some kind. There are Dota heroes I want to try having watched The International but I’m also determined to get better at League and I still haven’t taken that squirrel, Ratatoskr, out for a spin in Smite. That said, I’ve just caught sight of Cradle in my unplayed list on Steam so I might sack off “playing with others” entirely and curl up with that.
Graham: I have a beta key for the first-person videogame SUPER HOT, and have been enjoying it a lot thus far. I’ve exhausted this early build’s story content and have moved on to its endless mode, which pits you against respawning enemies for as long as you can survive. The game is quite Hotline Miami-ish, in the rhythm and violence of its action and in the meta-narrative that surrounds it, and I’m enjoying slicing and blasting through red goons.
Alec: I am playing Dear Esther follow-up Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture and alternately marvelling at its fidelity to middle Englandism and recoiling from it, but I can’t talk about that here, because PS4. I’m also playing Thomas Was Alone follow-up Volume, but I can’t talk about that either, at least not until next week. I’m also playing a prototype of a thing I’m doing some things for, but I can’t talk about that yet either. Hmm! What can I talk about? Well, I bought a really big Transformer because I’m a ridiculous man-child, and I’m playing with that a bit whenever I need to gather my thoughts. Relaxes me, see. All being well I should be playing Shadowrun: Hong Kong before too long too, which I’m very excited about it, presuming it can continue the escalation in complexity and flexibility that the returned series has managed so far.
John: This weekend I am at my mummy and daddy’s house, but when I get back I want to squeeze in some more GRAV, an early access space building doodah that I rather enjoyed a quick peak at. It’s been out for ages, but the dev pointed me toward it after my interest in Empyrion. I have a lovely house with a balcony.

Also, I really want to get around to some Hacknet, but there are too many games and too much family. One of them has to go.

But you, fair commenter, what are you playing this weekend?


  1. Awesomeclaw says:

    I’m getting pretty close to finishing Path of Exile for the first time but there seems to have been a pretty big difficulty spike in the last act. Also more Witcher 3, and I picked up The Darkness 2 when it was on sale recently so I might start that.

  2. shrieki says:

    moved to a new house and to celebrate i will be playing cities skylines for the first time – if i can get myself away from Empyrion.

    i would be interested how GRAV is turning out. i played that game for a short while and at first i enjoyed it too- really pretty visuals. but then i got to the rest of the game and realized it had a strong mmo vibe which i dislike.monsters hang around in mobs,look atrocious and emitted terrible sound effects.just couldnt immerse myself in it. specially the dancing put me off … lol :D i might give it another try but GRAV and Planet Explorers are both the only early access games i uninstalled so far.

  3. bill says:

    I just finished Ico.

    I had a like/hate relationship with it.

    The location is great, the feel of the environment and the way the puzzles and paths cycle back through previously visited areas and open up new routes is really tightly designed. I hear that is what Dark Souls is like. It’s what I liked about great level and environmental puzzle design in games like Jedi Knight and Sands of Time.

    On the other hand i HATED the combat. Not the combat-actions per-se (those were just dull) but the way the game had clearly designed and placed the combat encounters to force you to replay huge sections of game. 40 minutes of great puzzling, always followed by a combat encounter just before each save point.

    And, through the frustration of the combat encounters, I therefore mostly hated the main character that I was apparently supposed to care for. All their work in making nice gameplay mechanics about holding hands and nice animation all goes down the drain the first time you have to replay a 45 minute section for the 3rd time because you failed to save her and she didn’t do anything to save herself.

    I can see how it would have been influential.. infact I can see the direct influence on Sands of Time and Brothers. But Sands of Time blows it out of the water in every possible way. Still, good to have finally experienced such a hallowed classic.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yes, the combat in ICO is so, so terrible and so obnoxiously central to the experience. If they’d just skipped them it would have been a lovely game.

  4. William says:

    Heading back to the wasteland with Fallout 3. Finished it years ago but I have been adding mods and its not bad.

    • OmNomNom says:

      If you have FONV you owe it to yourself to try Tale of Two Wastelands which lets you play FO3 and FONV as one big game on the FONV engine. There are a shit ton of compatibility patches for mods too so F3 mods work with FONV mods and vice versa.

  5. dangermouse76 says:

    I managed to get into the main camp at The fort in Fallout New Vegas whilst vilified and before starting any of the main NCR quests from the embassy on the strip.

    I snuck in with a minigun and killed every one in the camp. Very satisfying.

  6. DarkLiberator says:

    Been playing a lot of Project Reality. Its a standalone mod for Battlefield 2. Its sorta in the middle, more realistic then normal Battlefield but less then ArmA, which is a perfect amount for me. The community is fantastic (microphones are a must) and lately been playing a lot of squad leader and building up bases to resupply infantry. Building TOW launchers to take down enemy vehicles is also super important.

  7. Freud says:

    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

  8. CarbonCopy says:

    Dark Souls 2: SotFS
    I finished the game once when it released but am now playing it again with all the DLC.
    I got into the Crown of the Old Iron King DLC and am finiding the first area (Brume Tower) to be one of the best designed areas of the game. It’s very vertical and has lots of shortcuts and hidden stuff. Reminds me a bit of the masterful game design of the original game.
    I liked DkS2 alot but it did lack that magic touch that DkS and DeS had. It still lacks it but it’s a great game nevertheless.

  9. alisonburgers says:

    MGS Ground Zeroes. I’m getting way too hyped for Phantom Pain and short of watching the long gameplay previews too many times (which I’ve done), this is the closest I can get for now. Practicing my CQC skills and making C4 booby-trapped guards for now.

    • welverin says:

      Wait, can you knock guys out, slap C4 on their back and then let them get up and wander off only to explode them later?

      • alisonburgers says:

        Oh definitely! When a guard is knocked out you can kick them to wake them up and they’ll get right back up.

        What I’ve been doing is holding them up, make them lie down then put C4 on them, then make them call out to other guards and then boom.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Very much in the same boat.

      Oh, and to those surprised by the ability to plant C4 on dudes: Metal Gear is an absurdist immersive sim. If the game gives you a tool or a weapon, chances are it can be used in every way you imagine.

      • alisonburgers says:

        One of the first things I’m trying is going to be sniping various pieces of gear on soldiers to see what happens. I expect radios will be disabled, but I wonder if you can shoot grenades etc

  10. OmNomNom says:

    Terraria 1.3 (if you haven’t revisited yet I recommend it, there is SO much more content now, and Expert Mode


  11. luis.s says:

    Continuing my efforts to work through the many games I own and haven’t played, I am playing Just Cause 2 and the Stanley Parable.

    I’m having quite a bit of fun with JC2, although the KB+M controls aren’t the best. But I’m getting used to that and really enjoying hurtling through the world.

    I finally played the Stanley Parable today. Spent about an hour and a half trying different things. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood, but I was mostly underwhelmed. At best it got a vague grin out of me sometimes. I’ll give it one more try tomorrow with some different choices.

    Oh and continuing the them of me being current and relevant with my gaming, I played this game called Gunpoint earlier in the week. I think I might replay some missions this weekend as well. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the writing in particular, and now I’ll finally understand the constant references to it in the Crate and Crowbar :p And I really appreciated the colourblind mode, even though my colourblindness is very minor. Normally it’s not an issue for me in games, but the particular shades used for the green and yellow circuits look very similar to me, so stars and circles were much better. It’s the same thing that made taxis in GTA3 look green to me haha.

    • piedpiper says:

      I played Stanley high as fuck on weed. It was one of the best gaming experiences in my 20+ years of gaming.

  12. amateurviking says:

    This weekend is the weekend I finally finally make a start with Fallout New Vegas.

    It’s gonna stick this time. Honest.

    Also, Monster Hunter, because I have problem.

    • shrieki says:

      i tried playing through new vegas two times. first time i got pretty far into the game – 60 hours but then lost interest. now i was already 15+ hours into it again,enjoyed it up to the point when i reached the strip. the place is so underwhelming, so many closed doors that i ended up deleting the game again.
      i just cant warm up with the whole faction thing and the story feels limiting to me.the fist ten hours are really like a narrow corridor and when you leave you die. there is little joy in exploration and yeah all the closed houses irritate me alot. :D lol i still like the game just not nearly as much as fallout 3.

  13. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Might give Magnetic: Case Closed a go having nabbed it when it dropped beneath the magical price threshold in a sale. Or it might be another weekend of Yet More Bloody Attila.

  14. Premium User Badge

    zinzan says:

    Other than getting my turns in on my 5 PBEM games of Combat Mission: Normandy I’m BBQ’ing with my fellow Geeks and geekettes so little gaming but lots of talking about games. I’ll be desperate to NOT get into any new games as my STEAM list is SILLY.

  15. The Dark One says:


  16. Cryio says:

    I just finished Mass Effect 3, loved it to death, including the ending ! (extended cut obviously).

    Now I’m replaying Mass Effect 1, this time as femshep renegade as a Sentinel.

    • karthink says:

      I’m replaying Mass Effect 3 too, first time since 2012, and it has such great character moments–emotional payoffs that rely on three games’ worth of characterization. And I’ve always liked the shooty-bits, even back in Mass Effect 1, IF you play as a biotic.

      But the main plot and plot structure is so abysmal, it’s hard to believe they weren’t just winging it. I feel like they wrote stuff without planning from the start of the trilogy, or jettisoned their earlier plans along with some writers. There’s a world of difference in tone between Mass Effect 1 and 3, and I find myself vastly preferring the lore/mechanics consistency of ME1. Heck, I miss even the simple things, like walking through the hatch into the Normandy.

      • Silith321 says:

        As far as I know they actually were winging it. There is a mission in ME2 (Tali’s recruitment mission IIRC) where a star is dying much faster than it should and some other stuff is explained. As far as I know this was at one point supposed to be the reason for the Reaper invasion (details elude me). Obviously that got changed and is never mentioned again.
        I love the Mass Effect series to death and ME3 is my favourite game of all times (even though I loathe the ending – I simply stop playing before the last mission, instead I play the Citadel DLC and imagine that everyone died and is in the afterlife already). I just try to ignore the inconsistency.
        Now I want to replay ME3. :D

        • karthink says:

          Yeah, all I can think of as I play ME3 now is: What A Shame. This could have been something great. All the ideas are there, there’s just this lack of vision and a terrible case of too many cooks. Even mechanically, the cutscene actions follow a completely different logic from the combat, which follows a completely different logic from some boss fights. The space battles are described as engagements from tens of thousands of kms apart, but are actually dogfights from every space game. It’s like they couldn’t make up their mind if they wanted to hew towards Star Trek or Star Wars and ended up with incompatible elements from both.

        • malkav11 says:

          As far as I can tell, every time the writing team changed they changed course with the overall plot, making it pretty disjointed by 3. It’s sad because I believe Karpyshyn (the lead writer on ME1, which IMHO is the best of them) had plans for where things were going that subsequent games simply ignored. And I bet those plans would have been full of SF awesomeness the way the first game was. Oh well.

          I still liked the sequels, mind you.

  17. Ben King says:

    I’m trying to replay deusexhr, but am realizing that what I love about the game is the story and world people’s reactions to you and the constant battle of conservative/liberal news personalities combined with sneakiness and some really neat options with approaching stealth/combat. What I don’t love is the feeling that I need to hack every computer only to read identical emails, sell every dropped weapon, explore every vent and KO every person just to gain XP and tiny amount of cash. Like Dishonored any screw up leads to some really entertaining moments but leaves me so resource depleted that half the time I end up reloading just to skip combat knowing that I’ll need the grenades and health more later.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I remember that as being one of the few things I didn’t like about the game.

      One level in particular… I had just cleared a large office floor by sniping from a vent. Then I climbed down, and faced a huge number of desks with terminals filling the area. I knew I’d have to search every damned one, spending 15-20 minutes of game time on the most boring activity imaginable, and I almost quit the game right there.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      The hacking in that game was terrible. It is probably the most save scummiest mini-game I can remember in years.

      • suibhne says:

        In contrast, I thought it was one of the best “hacking” (or “lockpicking”, since it’s basically the same thing here) mini-games I’ve played – far from perfect, but not even remotely as asinine as, say, the Bioshock conduits. The DX:HR mini-game was only save-scummy if you didn’t invest anything into those skill categories; with some Praxis investment, it was mildly entertaining and never required a reload. So it’s really your call: don’t worry about hacking things; hack things at the lowest skill level and reload a lot; or invest Praxis into those skills (c’mon, there’s way too much Praxis in the game anyway) and get through it without an issue.

        • suibhne says:

          By the way, you probably already know this, but my enjoyment of the hacking mini-game went way up when I realized you can deal with 2+ nodes simultaneously – something DX:HR never explicitly tells you. This realization took the mini-game from “irritating and save-scummy” to “actually pretty entertaining in short bursts, and occasionally even tense and rewarding”.

          I still groan when I open a door and realize there are a dozen hackable devices in front of me, tho.

  18. El Goose says:

    God, I initially stupidly assumed that when John mentioned GRAV he was talking about a typoed GTA V, thus proving just how incredibly mainstream I am.

    • malkav11 says:

      You are not alone.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I only know about your t because a few months ago Steam REALLY thought I should be playing it (I haven’t.)

  19. Kefren says:

    HOMM2. Finish off Left 4 Dead 2. Trying the mutators – I just want to play single player, one character only, normal game but on easy. Unfortunately, there isn’t a mode for that.

    • welverin says:

      Are you sure? I wouldn’t be surprised if there was, I’ll ask my friend who actually makes stuff and pays more attention to such things if he’s aware of one. If not, he might get inspired and make a mutation allowing that himself.

      Though it kind of misses the point, if you’re playing solo you can’t get set on fire by your friends.

      • Kefren says:

        I sorted all the mutations that came with the game and only two were single player. One is called Last Man on Earth, but is where there are no normal infected, only specials. I would sneak about slowly (much more fun than the normal game pace of having to run everywhere) but then get attacked by a few at once and it was game over, fun ended. The other mode has normal infected and boomers only, but you only get a pistol. The first time a load of infected come at me I just can’t take them all out with the pistol, even on easy.

      • Kefren says:

        I tried online multiplayer but it confirmed how much I hate it. One game had someone leave saying we were all “fucking noobs”; in another I was having fun, then got kicked out of the game by the people I’d been assigned to. Everytime I try playing with people I don’t know it’s like people aren’t playing for fun, just for competition.

        • welverin says:

          If you’re newish to the game and would like some people to play with who won’t act like dicks, let me know and we can try to work something out. Mind you, I live in the eastern time zone, so depending on where you are it might be a bit of a challenge.

          If you’re going to continue playing solo, you still want to play with bots, as bad as they can be the game is designed around four characters, even if someone made a mutation as you wanted it would be highly challenging (I did ask my friend he knows of nothing, but said it would be relatively easy).

  20. Vandelay says:

    My current time sink of Dark Souls has reached a point of massive frustration for me. I’m at Anor Londo fighting the two bosses. I never stand a chance when I try fighting them solo, getting stuck constantly dodging attacks from them and never getting room to land a bit. I have no humanity and keep having to grind for it with the room full of the Assassin Creed wannabes.

    Each time I have finally become human I fuck up either leading up to the fight when I am trying to summon Solaire or at some point during the actual boss fight. Solaire also seems incapable of avoiding the attacks of these bosses and never makes it much beyond one going down. What’s more, I have only one encountered another player to summon. I felt certain we would be able to defeat them, but he decided to attack the big hammer guy first, leaving us with the much harder knight to battle. It was also not helped by him having a lightning weapon that was doing zero damage to him.

    I now have no durability on my crystal weapon and no other weapons that really scratch them. I’m going to have to one again grind for humanity, if I want to summon Solaire, but my heart is really not in it. I have got another character I could go play with, but that one is struggling against the Capra Demon. I did start another character this morning, who was going to focus on strength, but I am feeling a break from the game is in order.

    The other day I started a second play through of The Talos Principle, with the hope of getting all the stars. I also have the last episode of The Wolf Among Us to finally get around to. Last weekend I finished off season 2 of The Walking Dead, which was probably the best episode of that season, so I am hoping good things from the Wolf Among Us, which has been much better throughout.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I am also struggling with Dark Souls. I’m not as far through as you though.

      I’m at a point where I can’t beat the Gaping Demon (Depths), so I tried getting to Blighttown through Valley of Drakes, but I die in Blighttown instead. So I figured I’d try the Catacombs, but the spinning wheel skeletons kill me off every time. New Londo Ruins results in me getting killed by ghosts too.

      So I have a few options, but they all seem far too difficult for me at the moment.

      I only managed to get past the Capra Demon by exploiting the narrow ledge above the stairway and doing jumping attacks on it’s head. (It can follow, but when it attacks it will fall down and that’s the moment to strike).

      • Swordfishtrombone says:

        The gaping dragon actually isn’t too bad once you figure out its attack pattern. Basically, fucking leg it and keep as far away as possible until it does its little roary charge thing, after which it will be exhausted for a short while: during this period you should beat it upside its weird dangly head. With the halberd, preferably. Then effing leg it again and repeat. You shouldn’t even need Solaire.

        • Andy_Panthro says:

          My problem I think is I’m far too attached to Sword & Shield combat, I find it hard to adapt to using other weapons. I do have the Gargoyle Halberd I think, and Lucerne. Might have others.

          • Swordfishtrombone says:

            Yeah, S&S in Dark Souls is massively satisfying. I used the Knight’s starting Broadsword for pretty much my entire first playthrough. The advantage of longer weapons is that you can jab at stuff from outside their attack range which makes you feel a lot safer! Give it a go. I can’t quite remember where you get the Halberd from now… I think it’s outside the Church in the Undead Burg.

          • Andy_Panthro says:

            I am ever thankful that DS is so popular, it does mean there are always people around to get advice from! I’ll give the Gaping Demon another shot, I’m stuck in the Catacombs at the moment (trying to summon Paladin Leeroy for the fight against the skeleton wheel things, managed it once but got mobbed when I should have stayed away).

          • basilisk says:

            Yes, the halberd is outside the church. And it was the one thing that convinced me not to give up on the game. Lovely, lovely halberd.

          • Swordfishtrombone says:

            Oh god, those bloody skeletons… So many ragequits as a result of those. I found that the best way to deal with them is to VERY carefully lure one out at a time, down the narrow corridor that leads towards the room with the ladder back up to the higher levels of the catacombs. They should spin past you into the wall and then you can unleash hell on them without (or at least with less) fear of being destroyed by another one of the *&%*£^$ flying into you from behind.

          • Andy_Panthro says:

            My attempts in the Catacombs and in the Depths have both ended in death and frustration. I’m not sure how many more deaths I can take. It really is crushing when you get stuck on one particular part.

          • Kitsunin says:

            In the catacombs, do you know about the route which takes you past the blacksmith? It allows you to skip just about everything, save for some of the wheel skeletons, which I think it was just barely possible to simply run past from the side-passage.

        • Vandelay says:

          I found the Gaping Dragon pretty easy too. I mainly just attacked its backside whenever it did its stompy charge thing. It was slow and took forever, but it wasn’t difficult to do. My main issue was that I was cursed, so I would often die to a single hit from it. Only realised afterwards that I could have backtracked a little way to get a purging stone, which would have made the battle even easier. As with all boss fights, become human and you can normally find a summon nearby, be it an AI one or a fellow player looking for some “jolly co-operation.” That always makes them vastly easier, particular if you can get more than one. Strangely, there seem to be very few people to summon where I am; like I say, I have only encountered one.

          Not sure why I am struggling so much with the Capra Demon with my new character. I took it down pretty easily on my first character, using the stairs method, but this time he keeps catching me on route or he gets up the stairs before I can take out the dogs. It is one of those fights that doesn’t put Dark Souls in good light, with a character that has a massive attack, sitting in an incredibly confined space. Most of the time I agree with those that say Dark Souls is fair and you just need to learn how to play, but that fight really is bullshit.

          • Geebs says:

            Gaping Dragon: don’t bother with summons, stay the hell away until he’s finished charging then take a couple of swipes. That way the only thing that can get you is the puke attack.

            O&S – are just bloody difficult. A decent human player is a gigantic help. The Gargoyle Halberd is a pretty good weapon. Basically try to keep an eye on both at the same time and watch out for O’s rush attack.

            Capra Demon: is bullshit. Roll right immediately, run up the stairs to the left, kill the dogs, drop down and then keep running upstairs and trying to get drop attacks.

          • Andy_Panthro says:

            I finally managed to kill the Gaping Demon today, and in celebration I got myself summoned a bunch of times to help others defeat it too. So the upside is, I managed to kill it about 10 times (once solo, and the rest as a phantom), and now I have tons of souls. Farmed some Large Titanite shards and green shards, so I think I’ll head to the blacksmith next.

            Thanks for everyone’s help!

    • Swordfishtrombone says:

      What you need, my friend, is the halberd. Crank it up to +10 and it kicks all manner of ass.

    • jonahcutter says:

      If Solaire goes after Smough, let him tank him and take out Ornstein first. If I remember correctly, be prepared to dodge his dash attack, then hit him. Rinse repeat.

      When he’s dead, and if Smough croaks Solaire, then use the pillars around the chamber to block Smough until you can get in for a quick attack. Rinse repeat.

      I’m no DS expert by any means, but that’s the strat I’ve used the couple times I’ve beaten them.

      • Vandelay says:

        I think what is frustrating me the most about this battle is that I feel like it is so doable, particular with Solaire, but I just keep messing it up. I then have to spend the next 10-30 minutes trying to become human again before I can give it another bash. Is there any trader that sells multiple humanity? I heard you could buy some from the moss selling lady, proceeded to spend ages backtracking to her, only to find out that she only had one!

        Definitely figured out that Ornstein is the best one to kill first. His attacks are less predictable than Smough’s and harder to dodge. That was why I was so pissed off when I finally was able to summon an ally player and he proceeded to attack Smough first! Doesn’t matter too much when Solaire does it, as I can easily take out the other before him, but the other player just beat me to it.

        • Geebs says:

          Gaping Dragon: don’t bother with summons, stay the hell away until he’s finished charging then take a couple of swipes. That way the only thing that can get you is the puke attack.

          O&S – are just bloody difficult. A decent human player is a gigantic help. The Gargoyle Halberd is a pretty good weapon. Basically try to keep an eye on both at the same time and watch out for O’s rush attack.

          Capra Demon: is bullshit. Roll right immediately, run up the stairs to the left, kill the dogs, drop down and then keep running upstairs and trying to get drop attacks.

        • Gustaw Gnusny says:

          There is no trader that sells humanity. But more efficient way to get some might be to get summoned. You earn +1 humanity each time that you and your host win a fight with a boss. This might sound crazy, as you have difficulties with them, but:
          a) You will be able to see how other players deal with him that way.
          b) As a summon it is usually enough to just part the two bosses. It gets so much easier when they are not concentrated on one player. So you don’t even need to attack that much unless the second round of the fight.
          c) There will be most likely three of you for the fight, as in my experience most people summon two helpers.

          Give it a try – should be faster thatn farming humanity on enemies and the exp will be more relevant for your own progress.

        • jonahcutter says:

          Rats drop humanity at a decent rate. Doing runs through the sewers is the most efficient way to farm a good amount I think.

          Once the sewer has been cleared at least once and the doors are unlocked, I would bind at the bonfire just before the giant rat, then follow the stairs down and clear out the groups of rats throughout the cellar. Once you learn the route, you can run it easily without encountering the basiliks (bug-eyed poison frogs) at all. Then run back up and respawn enemies at the fire.

          Each run takes just a few minutes and you can usually farm 1-2 humanity per run. Add in the souls from killing the rats, and it’s an efficient way to spend 45-60 minutes. Especially if you’re caught with low souls and no humanity whilst facing a tough foe (or two), as it sounds like you are.

          Just put on a podcast/stream in the background, and farm away for a bit.

        • jonahcutter says:

          Also I’ll say that fight is absolutely doable as you suspect. And once you beat it, you might find you like it quite a bit.

          Ornstein and Smough are just about my favorite bit of Dark Souls. Everything about that encounter, from the difficult lead-up to it, to Solaire possibly being involved, to the intro cutscene, to the lore behind the characters, to how hard-but-fair it really is (not always the as-complete case as some insist about DS, occasionally it is just flat-out unfair or cheap), it really sums up Dark Souls at its best. For me anyway.

    • Gustaw Gnusny says:

      What SL are you? There should be tons of summon signs near the bonfire near the round staircase. Did you open the shortcut? You can pretty much run from there to the boss fog, ignoring all the enemies on the way with some practice. Most co-op players will understand your intentions right away. I always stay there for a while to help others – on SL40-50 I get summon all the time.

      If you don’t see any signs, you might be either too high or too low level (most people are around SL50 when getting there).

      And I guess your summoner went for Smough first, as Super-Ornstein drops better ring after defeat. Though he is the harder one of the two. Most co-op players go for Smough first. I usually wait to see which of the two will be attacked by the host first.

      • Vandelay says:

        By SL I assume you mean level? I’m 46, I believe, so sounds like I am about the right level. I’ve been hanging around the hallway just before the fight. Waited there about 5-10 minutes last night and didn’t get anything. Perhaps I will have a look closer to the bonfire.

        • Gustaw Gnusny says:

          Yeah, the bonfire is the right spot for that fight. I usually place my summon sign between the chairs (so I won’t get backstabbed by red phantom right away – happened to me once :)), but there should be plenty around.

          And another thing – keep in mind that DS network code is a mess and you need to actually play the game for like half an hour, to get it to work properly. At first you are not connected to any other worlds, your IP pool needs to grow before summon signs will apperar. This is another argument to get summon to other players – the IP pool grows faster when interacting with them.

    • Vandelay says:

      Thanks to everyone for the advice they have given. Despite saying I would give the game a break, I did as jonahcutter suggested and went and killed some rats in the sewers. Got to 10 humanity in about 40 minutes or so. There were a few runs where I got nought, but I would ever so often get 2 or 3 in a run, so it worked out ok. I was also fortunately able to upgrade my Crystal Halbard, so it repaired its durability.

      Headed back to Anor Londo, managed to summon SexyCosplayer, who helped me on my way to victory in the first attempt! I felt that Ms. Cosplayer did most of the legwork, but makes little difference in the end.

      I then proceeded to groan a little at the numerous messages stating that an amazing chest was coming up, when I realised what they were referring to. I have also realised at just how much more of this game I seem to have to go, now that I have been told what I have to do next.

      • Gustaw Gnusny says:

        Good to hear that!

        I actually didn’t get the “amazing chest” messages before Queelag at first… And was searching for a damn treasure after the fight.

        Now that you beat them, have a look at this: :)
        link to youtu.be

        • Gustaw Gnusny says:

          (I mean at 12:09, but whole playthrough is quite entertaining :))

    • Eight Rooks says:

      I ragequit Dark Souls over those two and uninstalled for much the same reasons. Much as I love the whole demanding-pattern-memorisation schtick I just knew I would never – NEVER – be good enough to do that fight solo, Solaire never helps with more than one of them (if that) and no-one was turning up to be summoned (understandable, given how old the game is, but still). A great shame – I was quite enjoying the frustration up until that point – but life’s too god damned short, quite honestly. Oh, well, giving up on the series saves me some money, at least.

  21. GuyNice says:

    XCOM: Enemy Within with the highly acclaimed Long War mod. Took me a while to give this gem a try, but having done so I can say that the praise is entirely justified. I originally bounced off of the vanilla EU/EW campaigns (played a total of 20 hours, a drop in the ocean in a game like this), but Long War has had me hooked from turn 1. Can’t recommend it enough.

  22. FreeTom says:

    Fallout NV: Honest Hearts. Thought I should finally get through all the DLC before number 4 gets here.

  23. Cinek says:

    Bit of World of Tanks. Bit of Anno 2070. Bit of Superpower 2 (want to give it another chance).

  24. TehK says:

    More Dotes, some Dirty Bomb and HackNet since I picked it up yesterday. Started out nice, but stays linear quite long. Now it seems to open up and I’d like to see where it’s going.

    • TehK says:

      Well, that didn’t work out. It came to my mind that Path of Exile released an expansion…. and there went my weekend…

  25. trn says:

    I finally beat Dungeon of the Endless this morning and so will be dedicating myself to finishing Kyn. Also, as forever, getting whipped by Nuclear Throne. I finally looped yesterday, but always flop on the dailies :(

  26. caff says:

    I’m playing “Beer Festival”.

    Initially it seems quite cheap as you pay £12 to start the game. But you find yourself downloading lots of DLC in the form of “Ale”, which in turn leads to you harder levels of the game.

    There are bonus levels where you have to “Find the toilet” and “Eat as many crisps in the space of a minute as you can”.

    Some of the NPC pathfinding is a bit wobbly, but overall it’s a fun game that generally ends on a high.

    • luis.s says:

      I’ve heard that has problems with crashing on some systems.

  27. Herzog says:

    Not the Bees!

    Died this morning at the hand of thaumites in Dungeons of Dredmor. Bounced off the game two years ago dying on level 1 or latest level 2 a few times with no experience with roguelikes. Rushed way too much.This time I took my time and made it to level 5 with my latest character. Played very carefully, only made a small mistake and some thermolobby burned me to death after I got hit by two traps…

    This morning I started another character with ´No time to grind` enabled. The run ended on level 4 due to bees. Fun game, would like to meet Dredmor at least once. Afterwards I can have a look at other roguelikes. Cave of Qud a good follow up? Setting seemed fun!

    Also a bit of Civ 5 with Brave New World. Bought the expansion last year but never started another game. Time for some tourism!

    • malkav11 says:

      Dungeons of Dredmor is at the lightweight end of the roguelike spectrum. Caves of Qud is a full on hardcore obsessively detailed roguelike experience at close to the opposite end of the spectrum. It might be a bit of a culture shock. I’d maybe try things like ToME 4 or DoomRL first. Maybe a touch of Dungeonmans.

      A lot of people recommend Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and personally I just can’t get started with it. I’ve never lived past floor 2. And I’ve been playing roguelikes (starting with Moria) for decades. It just doesn’t click with me for some reason. I dunno.

      • geldonyetich says:

        I’d say the difficulty of Caves of Qud varies wildly depending on your character build.

        Crawl is hard because it was developed in mind of being Nethack with no easy ways around anything. No engraving Elbereth, no blessed scrolls, ect. Yet, different builds still make a big difference, a troll monk being fairly easy.

    • zontax says:

      I think you should try Brogue, it is easy to learn but hard to master. Brogue was the game that made me fall in love with roguelikes.

  28. Steed says:

    Going to finish off Cryostasis, then hopefully a bit of Darblow 3

  29. piedpiper says:

    For the day – Far Cry 4. It is better than the third one because of relatively fresh setting, some new activities and more believable storyline and world.

    For the night – Dead Space 2. Just finished first and it turned out a bit overrated. Combat is very good, but monotonous station which just doesn’t seem real kinda kills a mood. Overal it is ripoff of system System Shock 2 with watered down… everything. Plot more stupid, player progression more primitive, levels more linear, etc. Also I haven’t find neither horror nor survival there. My friends and press hyped it so much so I was hoping for revelation. But it is just a good linear shooter like DooM 3. And with a lot of plagiarism.

    • Koshelkin says:

      Dead Space 2 is definitely the highlight in the series. Dead Space 1+3 are very close in quality, with 3 being more diverse and more action-oriented. I enjoyed Dead Space 3 alot, too, but don’t get any DLC, silly cash grab.

      • piedpiper says:

        I started Dead Space 2 and found in the first store a bunch of free DLC top guns and suits. This is fucking ridicolous, they call this game survival horror? More like walking under light brezze in a sunny afternoon. Fucking EA morons!

        • suibhne says:

          That’s “free DLC” because of you playing it now – that stuff was unlocked awhile after release (or maybe available at release for PC players, can’t recall). It’s not part of the game’s original design and difficulty tuning, in other words, and you’re making a choice to massively imbalance the game on your first run-through if you use that stuff.

          • piedpiper says:

            Well, then what should I do about it? Just pretend it does not exist?

          • suibhne says:

            Yeah, pretty much your only choice (unless other solutions have since presented themselves). It stinks, but so it goes.

            The funny thing is, my recollection is that EA did this (in the 1.1 patch for the PC version) because of coming under a lot of fire for pre-order DLC packs that 1) were retailer-specific, and 2) weren’t available on PC at all. Especially due to the latter point, many PC players complained. EA’s answer was to auto-install these for *everyone* via the 1.1 patch, so all of these items are crowding the store inventory whether or not you want to use them.

  30. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    In about 10 minutes, I’ll be starting a rainy day video game marathon with a friend 6 time zones behind me. I anticipate much absurdist emoting in Elder Scrolls Online, for instance hitting people with impotent hammers while they’re looking at their inventory. It’s great fun when you get a reaction, and the (rather nice) “hammer hitting wood” sound is so perfectly ridiculous in many situations that it’s amusing even when you don’t get a reaction (but you usually do, if you’re patient). Also: Sitting on a magically-appearing wooden chair in inappropriate places is fun, such as on top of burning coals and inside piles of corpses. No role-playing — just good old absurdism.

    I’ll probably also play some coop Serious Sam 3 or something, because there will almost certainly be more rapid-fire questing than I can tolerate in one evening.

  31. Serenegoose says:

    I’ve a lot of games that I want to finish off, and a really bad habit of getting a bit over half way through RPGs and then getting fatigued, so I’ve arbitrarily decided that the game needing finished most is Pillars of Eternity. Then, if I get the chance, finishing off Shadowrun Dragonfall before SR:Hong Kong launches. Beyond that, I’m checking out Rising Thunder, World of Tanks, Armored Warfare, and World of Warships, but in a very noncommittal way. I played a lot of those before deciding my singleplayer games needed some love, so they’re on the backburner, a round or two a day between them tops.

    • Koshelkin says:

      Plan at least 40hrs for Pillars and another odd 20hrs for Dragonfall. Both are worth it alot, Pillars can be slow at times.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Bioshock 2 for the first time. I managed to skip over it for some reason, between #1 and Infinite.

        I’m about halfway through, having fun setting traps and ambushes instead of constantly plowing ahead the way you do in Infinite.

        • Zenicetus says:

          Reply fail, supposed to be a new post.

          Anyway, PoE does get slow here and there. Some of that is the filler combat, especially in the travel zones. I dealt with that in the second half of the game by just equipping everyone but the tank with firearms. A few volleys is enough to take out most of the trash mobs.

  32. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I will quickly alternate between shooting mutants in the face and getting blown up in Nuclear Throne.

  33. Scobles says:

    Portal Stories: Mel


  34. Mud says:

    Empyrion Galactic survial, great game despite it’s early access.

  35. Swordfishtrombone says:

    I finished the Witcher 3 about two weeks ago and I have genuinely lost all gaming motivation as a result. I haven’t been so emotionally invested in a game since Skies of Arcadia on the Dreamcast (when I was young and impressionable).

    • Merrypetal says:

      Devastating feeling, I’ve been there too. So I went back to Skyrim, familiar world that buffered the gap until my next game and eased that loss. I hope there will be plenty of Witcher 3 DLC in your future!

      • Swordfishtrombone says:

        The thought of the DLC is the only thing keeping me going! It’s akin to the feeling of being forcibly dragged out of a world when you finish a really great book and genuinely miss having the characters “around”.

    • piedpiper says:

      I’ve benn there recently when ended The Evil Within with all DLCs. Couldn’t start any new game for two weeks.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      I know that feeling well. I suffered the same thing when I first played the ME series, and like you, I just finished my first playthrough of Wild Hunt, so I’m back there again. I’ve dealt with it by replaying TW2 (much shorter than I remember) so I can import a completely different save than I used before.

      BTW, I’m not sure how many of you realize this, but TW3 doesn’t sort your saves when importing. It creates a list with all manual saves on top, autosaves in the middle, and quicksaves on the bottom. It turns out that I used a manual save made before the epilogue the first time I played through TW3. I’m wondering how many other people made the same mistake.

      • Swordfishtrombone says:

        I realised about 30 hours into The Witcher 3 (i.e. having barely even started exploring Velen) that I’d forgotten to import my Witcher 1 & 2 saves as they were on my old computer. I’m kind of gutted that I played through it the first time without having imported – would have made it even more amazing being able to tie everything in (although I think a lot of the default choices were ones that I’d made). Does Iorveth ever crop up?

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          I’m guessing… probably. My first playthrough was with an imported TW2 save where I had sided with Roche, who was definitely around throughout most of TW3. I only just imported my Iorveth save, but I’d imagine either he or Saskia make an appearance somewhere in there.

        • Freud says:

          You get to pick the choices you made in Witcher 2 that matter in this game after the prologue so there isn’t really any need for an import.

          Iorveth isn’t in Witcher 3.

  36. Bullfrog says:

    Additional trimming of THE LIST this weekend which should include Dark Crusade, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and Black & White but will probably end up being Isaac, Football Manager and bucket loads of prevaricating.

  37. Merrypetal says:

    D&D Neverwinter. I’m a n00b at MMORPG’s and I wish there was an Etiquette Code for how to play, such as when is it okay to request someone join you; how to politely decline a request without offending someone – the social side of things stress me out. Are emotes enough? If I’m invited into a group, I always pass on loot – when is it okay to pick up? Those sort of things … anyhow. I mostly play solo. It’s fun, I’m having a blast and it has completely sidetracked me from beating Lords of the Fallen, I’m so close, so may jump back into that too. It’s good with some innovative ideas that I really like, but it’s not Dark Souls.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I think with most MMOs, you have to either fully commit and join a guild with voice chat and everything, or just casually solo everything. The in-between experience of grouping with randos is probably the worst.

      • Awesomeclaw says:

        I think it varies hugely by game. Most games I’ve played tended to have players who seem to know what they’re doing and mostly work as a group. That’s mainly on non-endgame stuff though, and I imagine that once the difficulty ramps up you’re going to want people you can reasonably depend on.

    • malkav11 says:

      If they talked to you before they invited you, you can just say “Sorry, I don’t feel like grouping right now.” If they didn’t, then you can just ignore the invite or decline it and not feel bad. Just randomly inviting people without speaking to them is kind of rude and they’re probably a) not going to be great group material and b) not personally invested in whether you, specifically, join. I don’t know how Neverwinter handles loot rolling but the default in most games is Need Before Greed, so Need on stuff you’re actually going to use – i.e., that’s an upgrade for your character – and Greed on stuff you’re just gonna sell. Again, if you’re running with random people they’re generally not expecting you to abide by some sort of arcane system of rules about looting, just the game enforced ones. The only thing that would be dickish is Needing stuff you aren’t going to use.

      But yeah, I’d mostly solo everything you can solo. Grouping with random players isn’t usually very fun, anymore.

      • Merrypetal says:

        I joined a random invite playing Neverwinter yesterday, what a great experience – just felt more confident based on your advice- thanks for all your helpful replies! Also, I’ll feel a lot better declining group invites now or ducking one early, I thought I’d be blacklisted or something if I refused so endured some horrible groups. I could finally afford to buy a mount, nothing quite like a beautiful black horse to traverse a fantasy world. Thanks again to everyone, this game just got a whole lot better for me!

  38. Silith321 says:

    I went back to DA:I for the new DLC and after having played through it I kind of want to start a new playthrough from the start… Instead I should really finish the Witcher 3 but I can’t bring myself to do it. I really like the game, I really do, but after running around the world for what feels like 100 hours I’m having trouble finishing the main quest. It just… drags. I’m at the point [Spoilers follow, obviously] where I have finished off Imlerith and am back in Novigrad with C. [end spoilers] – can anyone tell me spoiler free how much more I have to go? I’m kind of hoping that I’m nearing the end and that I should just push through another 2-3 hours or so but I don’t know and I can’t deal with the prospect of another 10 hours of main quest. Ack. I really dislike the way that story heavy games like DA:I and TW3 have done open world – I simply can’t do both, either have a story focus OR open world but combine the two and it doesn’t work for me.

    • Aluschaaf says:

      You’re quite close to the end there. And trust me, the ending is definitely worth it.

      • Silith321 says:

        Thanks! I hope I can finish it this weekend then if it’s only a bit more to go!

  39. Gibster says:

    I’ll be playing “Trying to get Imgur to load the r/civ Battle Royal MK II album”. Aside from that, I’ve been digging some TF2 lately so that, and maybe some World of Warships as long it floats my boat (pun intended).

  40. Clippit says:

    Nothing so far, but hopefully Live For Speed on Sunday (that’s now). I borrowed my mate’s steering wheel so I can learn to use it. I wanna see if it makes a difference next track day (when things go sideways). I should finish Tribes Vengeance after having started it again, play some of the new UT if there’s anyone to play with and probably fail to avoid playing Dota.

  41. MetalGearJess says:

    Hey Chaps! :D Long(ish) time reader, first time poster.

    Waiting patiently for The Phantom PAAAAAAAAIINN. And already achieved 100% on Ground Zeroes. So I found the perfect item in my backlog to pass the days: Sam & Max, the Telltale years. Playing the 3 seasons in order. Finding a not-insignificant amount of pleasure with them. The episodic format is great, (as long as you can binge.) Each episode is 3-4 hours, so one episode per evening is a satisfying accomplishment. And while every episode is wildly different (north pole, white house, zombie outbreak) there are running jokes and recurring characters that improve as it goes. Puzzles are decent, though I’m not expert. Tons of dialogue that’s all aiming for humor, and some of it lands. Plus there is a small psychological boost from knowing I bought them on sale, while they still cost $35 per season! Cheers!

  42. fr3udes says:

    I thought i’ll do some grinding in SMT Nocturne, but i think will finish Lost Odyssey

  43. kirby_freak says:

    Most likely Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker to prepare for Phantom Pain (picked up the legacy collection), and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate because it is amazing and I’m getting close to getting G-Rank after 107 hours.

  44. Wobsey says:

    Total War: Napoleon. Or is that Napoleon: Total War? Actually, I think I’ll go with War Napoleon Total.

  45. yan spaceman says:

    Aside from Banished I was lucky enough to be given a review copy of Labyronia RPG. I believe it is released on Steam today. I am clueless about games of this genre so I have nothing to compare it to, but I am quite enjoying it so far.

  46. mpk says:

    I’ve been in Dundee playing some of the entrants to this years Dare to be Digital contest – Squish Fits and A Dance of Fire and Ice being favourites of my six-year-old, while I enjoyed the concept behind Selfienation, although I feel bad that I didn’t vote for that game with retro propaganda-poster aesthetic (quite embaressed that I’ve already forgotten its name).

  47. Minglefingler says:

    EU IV. I’ve been putting it off for a while because the learning curve frightened me but I started a game yesterday and I think I marginally understand a tiny fraction of the mechanics. I have a silly idea about starting a game of CKII as a Viking and playing that save through both games, I’d like to think that common sense would dissuade me from such a foolhardy endeavour but all the evidence thus far suggests that I’m not in possession of any.

    • Cinek says:

      EU IV is relatively easy to learn. CKII on the other hand… now with that come someone really tried hard to make learning curve a chore.

      • Minglefingler says:

        Hmm, I found CKII fairly straightforward to get to grips with, EUIV seems to have a lot of extra layers of complexity that I’m still trying to fathom. Perhaps it’s the abstraction of playing a nation rather than a person.

  48. raiders says:

    Civilization Beyond Earth
    New Car Game Wreckfest
    Project Cars
    Blood Bowl Chaos Edition

  49. tsff22 says:

    Dragon Age Inquisition, Grim Dawn, Kyn, and Secrets of Grindea.

    Also hoping to pick up Afterlife Empire next week.

  50. Gustaw Gnusny says:

    Dark Souls again – helping people with O&S in co-op. Got inspired by Vandelay.