What Are We All Playing This Weekend?

The weekend is upon is; ready thyself. What are you playing this weekend between your raves, book readings, park wanderings, working, building, and destroying? If you need a little inspiration, here’s what Team RPS are playing:

Alec: I’m back in The Witcher 3, primarily to sniff around all that free DLC for a piece published yesterday, but now I can see all those question marks on the map and unfinished quests in my journal and I could really do with a posher doublet and aargh. Geralt of Rivia, you have me again. Then tomorrow I’m visiting a chum’s new house, and I’m hoping we might get to take the controversial new Warhammer rules for a spin and see if they’re as preposterously dim as Captain Internet loudly claims. This is presuming he’ll lend me an ogre or two,as all my Chaos Daemons went to eBay during a recent house move, which I of course entirely regret now.
Alice: Inspired by Alec, I’ll be dropping back into The Witcher 3. I’ve a new episode of Tales from the Borderlands to dig into too. And I might revisit Live Is Strange Episode 4 to gather my thoughts and have a chat with Pip that’s more than half burbling, half grunting. I’ve barely touched Itch.io’s new releases this week, so I’ll treat myself to a good root around.
Graham: We’re at the top of a long flume called ‘Release Season’ and, unusually, I find myself excited. That’s in large part because the first spiral of the flume is called Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I drifted away from the series after the first MGS and only came back with Ground Zeroes, but that game was good enough to pique my interest. I’ve spent the past week re-playing it, completing its alternate missions in the small detention camp in which its set while dreaming of the larger world that awaits in just ten days time, I’ll keep doing so over the weekend; I’m looking for some C4 I can strap to a guard.

John: This weekend I shall actually be playing some games! My wife’s going out all Saturday afternoon with the boy, so I’ll be able to just… to just… play stuff!

So then what? I’m not sure I want it to be a work thing, even though I need to get back to GRAV (which, as much as it looks like it, isn’t a typo of GTA V), and oh dear me what happened to that poor Neverwinter Nights 2 playthrough? And goodness me, I’ve such a backlog of new releases I’d promised myself I’d look at. But maybe I want to sit with something classic, that I love. Writing about Beyond Good & Evil has me wanting to play that yet again. But I’m also dying for another play of Tomb Raider Legend. And I want to start The Darkness II again!

So in the end I’ll probably get absorbed in some silly discussion on IM and watch YouTube until I hear the front door and realise I’ve wanted the entire opportunity.

Philippa: This weekend is the first weekend I’ve had at home for a very long time. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with it in terms of gaming, to be honest. There’s some freelance work to polish off and I’m feeling a bit burnt out and exhausted. I might skip PC gaming entirely and read Sandman and play Destiny instead.

But you, dear reader, what are you playing?

125 Comments

  1. reyla says:

    Zombi on PC.

    Playing the one life only mode is awesome. I ave died 3 times in the tutorial an it makes me giddy.

    • DeepFried says:

      Let us know if its any good, I like the look of it but I hear its a bad port.

  2. Rob Lang says:

    Going to build a pub in minecraft, going to build it under a pre-existing automated melon waterfall.

  3. lowprices says:

    Hearthstone, same as it ever was. Other than that? More of The Swindle, and just started Volume. Really enjoying it, so far. Love the old-school MGS stealth, and I’m liking the story a good deal more than Alec did.

    • lowprices says:

      Played a couple more hours of The Swindle, and it’s slowly becoming one of my favourite games of this year. At first I wasn’t sure about it, but it’s got that Spelunky/roguelike quality of being more fun the more you figure out how the game works. Now that I’ve figured out the earlier levels, I’ve got more time to be rubbish on the later levels, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

  4. karthink says:

    KERBAL SPACE PROGRAM.

    The bug’s bitten me. My last Mun landing failed because I miscalculated the amound of delta-V I’d need to get back to Kerbin, and so I’m going to fix that.

  5. Csirke says:

    I’ve been playing Invisible Inc recently and oh my gosh it is as good as they say it is. The alarm makes sure that the best tactic isn’t being very slow and very methodical, and the fact that hits aren’t percentage chances makes the tactics much more satisfying to me.

    I was a bit surprised that I managed to beat Beginner and Experienced difficulties on the first try, but I’ve failed Expert twice already, so I’ve found my proper challenge.

    So any time I have on the weekend is probably gonna go to that. I’m trying for the Faust+Brimstone achievement with Central and Dr. Xu now. Xu was useful for opening the safes when I was low on PWR with the starting programs, but after a server mission I feel like I’m on track now.

    • Ace Rimmer says:

      I can admire the elegance of the design, but I’m still not really built for vaguelyroguelikies. I want to tinker and putter, to try out different approaches at any state of the game, both in search of the perfect angle and just to see what happens. The permadeathy, no-save mechanics just make me focus on getting through the game rather than actually enjoy playing it, which I find far too stressful.

      I managed to get beyond that to derive some enjoyment from FTL, maybe eventually I’ll be able to see past it in Invisible, Inc. as well. Or perhaps these games just aren’t for me, which is fine, except I can see that they’re really well made.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Note that you can give yourself up to five “rewinds” per missions (lets you redo a turn, even on expert you get one by default, which is brilliant because it’s just enough to smooth over “goddammit I had no idea that could happen” moments). There’s also an option to let you restart any mission. So you can practically turn the roguelike off, aside from the campaign structure.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        I feel you. After reading RPS for a couple of years, I’ve come to terms with the fact that they like the vaguelyroguelike genre (I like that term, did you invent it?) a whole lot more than I do. Invisible Inc isn’t a bad game, but it never felt very deep. In theory it’s infinitely replayable, due to the randomized maps and goals, but in practice, no two maps are really all that different, and after a couple of days, you’ve seen all the tricks the game has up its sleeve.

        If you want a strong showing in the vaguelyroguelike genre, I recommed Tales of Maj’Eyal. Feels a bit closer to Rogue in spirit, and it’s chock-full of content.

        • geldonyetich says:

          “Roguelike” should probably go on the next list of terms to never use to describe a game. It’s basically thrown at nearly everything with procedural generation these days, with the exception of 4X games.

          Procedural generation itself is not necessarily good nor bad. It’s just a tool in the drawer of game developers that can be utilized well or poorly in any given example of a game.

          Personally, I share RPS’s optimism that procedural generation has great potential, both in replayability and emergence.

        • aoanla says:

          Eh, I dunno about TOME as a “strong game in the spirit of rogue” – it’s much more like a 2d RPG style thing (there’s more complexity, to just about everything, than in most roguelikes I’ve played). As far as I remember, even the permadeath is not quite permadeath.

          (Disclaimer: I bounced off TOME hard when I first went to a town and encountered the world’s most complex menus of tons of stuff that I had no context for knowing if I should care about it or not. My roguelikes are things like Brogue and Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup…)

  6. goettel says:

    Just started Veni Vidi Vigo in Witcher 3, so maybe I’ll finish it this weekend. Hopefully that sea of question marks I left behind will soothe my RPG itch until November 10.

  7. crowleyhammer says:

    I might play the sims 3, or Mount and Blade, and probably tomorrow will play Project Zomboid with the mrs, we are currently trapped in a laundrette with an angry horde outside with little food and no medical supplies so yeah.

    • Jannn says:

      God I took the part about currently trapped literally at first, and thought you were explaining why you couldn’t play this weekend. Gave me chills.

  8. Geebs says:

    Finished off Vanishing of Ethan Carter and was vaguely disappointed to find that the twist was exactly what I’d thought it was since about 10 minutes in.

    Otherwise going to be playing Volume. Locksley’s voice-over is truly wretched, but on the whole the voice acting is less horribly mannered than in Thomas Was Alone, even if taking-England-back narratives tend to make me feel faintly nauseous. The actual MGS1-but-better gameplay is great, though.

    • piedpiper says:

      Hey, I like voice in Thomas Was Alone!

      • Sarfrin says:

        It’s also pretty much Danny Wallace’s normal voice, so I’m not sure where “horribly mannered” comes from.

  9. Vandelay says:

    I played a little bit of Infinity Wars last night and remembered that I really enjoy it and should play more, so likely playing that. I am particularly happy about them adding an option to only match you up with new players, as my last play on it was against ridiculously good people.

    And, no doubt, more Dark Souls. Not played it too much since last weekend, but since overcoming my frustration against the Dragon Slayer and the Executioner, I have defeated the Moonlight Butterfly (a beautiful boss, who I beat on my first attempt,) and also the big wolf with a sword in its mouth (second attempt.) Then I got horribly murdered by the Four Kings and decided to go somewhere else, so headed to the Duke’s Archives. Unfortunately, I am a little ashamed to admit, my previous frustration with the bosses at Anor Londo caused me to bend the connector on my controller’s USB cable. Although I have bent it mostly back in place, it now has a habit of cutting out at really bad places, so I really should get a replacement.

  10. Zallgrin says:

    Shadowrun: Hong Kong, of course! I’m sleep-deprived and have to force myself to stop playing it.

    • geisler says:

      Don’t play too much too fast, it’s fairly short. Even though some claim it’s padded, those people haven’t played CRPGs too much.

      It is funny to me that this could be called padded, while The Witcher 3 open world MMO-inspired grindfest with fetchquests and reiteration of the same “hunting” mechanic for all the sidequests, is lauded as a game full of substantial content.

    • Ace Rimmer says:

      Same. I need to get some work done, but will probably try to squeeze in a few more hours somewhere. From what I’ve seen so far, I think Alec’s complaints in his WIT seem largely justified, if perhaps overemphasized. It’s definitely a more sprawling (possibly flabby) experience than the tightly focused Dragonfall (arguably continuing a trend from Dead Man’s Switch through Dragonfall to Dragonfall: Director’s Cut), which is a mixed blessing: There’s loads more to do and see, but I’m struggling to keep track of where I am in the various NPC’s stories and (so far) am less involved in developing my character’s relationship with their companions. I’m not as keen on the setting, either; the soulcrushing poverty and systemic misery of the slums of Hong Kong are a lot less fun than anarchic, progressive Berlin. So far, I’m missing a bit more of the sense of humour of the previous campaigns. (Also, WOO WOO OMINOUS DREAMS has been a tired device since before BG2). These are all minor issues, though: I’m still enjoying the hell out of the game, both it’s writing and it’s mechanics.

      The only serious issue so far is the new decking system. Aesthetically, it’s a vast improvement, and in terms of narrative and theme, it makes a lot more sense with a system centred around evasion and decryption rather than the frontal assault of the previous games. In terms of game mecanics, though, it’s a flaming nuisance. I don’t play turnbased tactical rpg’s because of my great reaction time; where the old system was perhaps perfunctory and workmanlike, but perfectly serviceable, the new one, at least to me, is a chore involving a lot of tedious swearing and reloading.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Same here, and while I’m having fun with most of it so far, I’ll agree with Alec’s WIT about the areas being “big for big’s sake, and not supported by quite enough to do.” I’m doing a lot of running around in hopes of not missing any hidden pickups or clues, and so much of the hub and other areas is just pretty but empty artwork.

      Also I’m not liking the new Matrix at all. I thought it would fit the theme better to have a “stealth” component, but I wasn’t expecting it to be real-time. It just isn’t fun. It won’t ruin the game for me, but I think they blew this opportunity to improve the hacking aspect of the game.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        FWIW, I quite like the new Matrix, and find it much more fun than the old one. Particularly the incredible tediousness of moving around in turn-based movement even after all the enemies are gone.

    • eggy toast says:

      Shadowrun for me as well. I’ve been really enjoying it, it’s much better than the first one was at launch and has lots of improvements over the 1.5 campaign also.

    • plugav says:

      Also playing Shadowrun Hong Kong a bit more than I should. I really like it, but I don’t like that there’s almost no tutorial for the new elements. First time in the Matrix, I had no idea what I was doing.

  11. Le blaireau says:

    Underrail. That is all.

    • eggy toast says:

      Is it good?

      I got it in a Greenlight bundle ages ago and still haven’t played a minute. Something about playing an RPG while it’s still in Early Access seems like I’ll just be spoiling it for myself.

  12. Agnosticus says:

    I’ve put some time into Crypt of the Necrodancer since it’s out DRM-free on GOG now. Seems to be as awesome as people said it would. Looking forward to the 2-player coop!

    Other than that I’m playing Legendary Encounters: An Alien deck building game with friends, which is absolutely awesome! I really captures the feel of the movies. Great coop game! I have yet to try out the hidden agendas and the rule which makes it a semi-coop game – you’ll respawn as an alien when you die :D

  13. Llewyn says:

    Work. Yay.

  14. Arthur ASCII says:

    I’m just finishing the last few Riddler challenges after completing the main Arkham Knight (PC) story last week to get the 100%. In the “Batman mood” at the moment, so I think I’ll continue with an oldie I never finished before, ‘Batman Begins’ (PS2). Of course, it isn’t as good as the Arkham series but it isn’t too bad either. One of the very few movie tie-in videogames that was surprisingly good! After that, ‘Batman: Vengeance’ is on the list and possibly if I have time, Sin Tzu. I need to experience ALL of Mark Hamill’s awesome Joker performances. Oh by the way, did you hear he’s currently working on the project he said he always wanted to do… the animated movie of ‘The Killing Joke’. Yes! Finally!! :)

  15. caff says:

    A new release of Rimworld has just come out, so a bit of that.

    And some Rocket League. Because I am addicted.

  16. Lizergamid says:

    Witcher 3 (after Kaer Morhen battle) and Hearthstone (new stuff is coming soon).

  17. ghossttman says:

    I’ve taken to using Saturdays to multitask, like what them there youngsters do: football on the radio while playing through my Artifex Mundi HOG collection. This week it’s the turn of Nightmares from the Deep 3, likely to be followed by Call of Juarez: Gunslinger in the evening.

  18. DeepFried says:

    A bit of Rocket league, here and there, plus some path of exile – starting to get into that. And maybe sundry other games, though I may end up doing some work :(

  19. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    Dark Souls (Thanks to some encouragement from last weeks WAWAPTW), I’m past the Gaping Demon and have beaten Pinwheel. Next stop: Blighttown.

    I’m also playing The Swindle, and the recent changes/tweaks have really improved it I think. The early game feels much less punishing.

    I also realised I’d pre-ordered Shadowrun: Hong Kong (Loved SR:R and Dragonfall), so I might dip my toes into that one too.

  20. Aberration says:

    I realise this makes me pretty unique (the outpouring of hate on the steam forum is quite something to behold) but I’ll be playing The Flock.

    • Cipherpunk says:

      While I understand the gripes about bugs, I had a blast last night playing with friends. I guess I didn’t buy The Flock expecting triple-A polish but because I wanted a unique multiplayer experience.

      We screwed around for the first couple games but we had to start getting really creative to steal the light. Even the carrier had some awesome plays like dousing the light and waiting for us to pass just to burn everyone from behind.

      The mechanics are simple and few but the enjoyment is only limited by your inventiveness. That might explain the mixed reviews.

  21. Minglefingler says:

    Hopefully finishing a game of X-Com, along with some Galactic Civilisations III, possibly some EUIV and some Space Marine for when I need to stop thinking.

  22. Marblecake says:

    Lots of Hearthstone and TONS of Rocket League. Because that game is brill.

  23. gabrielonuris says:

    This weekend I’ll finally finish Stalker SoC with Autumn Aurora 2 mod, it’s sitting on my “waiting to be finished” list for months now. If I finish it before the weekend ends, I’ll install Risen 1, bought in this last midweek sale, and see what makes it the worst better RPG ever (or best worse RPG).

  24. Kefren says:

    Well, it would have been Witcher 3, but after 4 days downloading and installing it, it refused to run because of a graphics card thing. I won’t go into all that. Quite a saga.

    Instead I installed Two Worlds 2m because it might be Witcher-ish, and I had enjoyed the first one. I played the main game for about two hours, but the writing/acting was pretty bad and overly melodramatic. Also the controls felt like I was battling against my PC rather than groms (I use arrows for movement, but couldn’t seems rebind skills and weapons to the keys above [Del/End/PgDn etc], they seemed to be hardwired to using 1-0). It did weird things like making me use mouse buttons to sneak or run. And, unlike the first Two Worlds game, that let me have a first person perspective, this was restricted to third person which I find it hard to get immersed in. I think I entered a grom lair, got killed by a grom that was stuck in the scenery, and switched to the expansion with pirates. Again, laughably bad dialogue. They told me to kill all the bears on a small island but I refused because I didn’t feel like slaughtering all the animals there, so stood punching the pirate who told me to do it. He ignored me, my punches connecting with thin air. So I jumped in the water and found I could swim and float in full plate armour. I saw an interesting floating island and swam towards it. It took ten minutes. I kept hearing creepy swishing noises and thinking a big sea monster had surfaced behind me, but when I turned there was nothing there. I think the surround sound was just a bit over-enthusiastic. Then I got near the interesting floating island, was excited to explore it … and a message popped up on the screen “out of play area, turn around” (or something). A big wobbly barrier hovered there. I couldn’t face swimming back. Even though the graphics were nice, everything in Two Worlds 2 screamed “this is a game”. I uninstalled.

    Looks like it will be HOMM2 again, Wizard’s Isle levels.

  25. Kefren says:

    Can I just say that the mini RPS icon in the browser tab/URL sections looks like link to media.rockstargames.com

  26. Henson says:

    Well, I won’t be playing Dreamfall: The Longest Journey because I just finished it yesterday. And boy am I glad I won’t be playing it. Everything about that game is wrong. The puzzles are nonexistent, the writing is mostly uninspired, there are long stretches of exposition where I have absolutely no input (11 minutes of conversation that plays automatically. blech.), the story goes nowhere, and the protagonist is the most boring personality void I’ve ever seen. Everything about that game frustrated me. I haven’t hated playing a game this much since Hitman: Absolution.

    So instead, I think I’ll get back to Spacechem. That’ll soothe me.

    • ansionnach says:

      Dreamfall was a travesty. There was a lot of overly-long exposition in The Longest Journey as well, but it was an adventure game (and a superb one, I thought). No clue what Chapters is like, but it’s discouraging that they didn’t just bury the Dreamfall name in an unmarked grave.

      • malkav11 says:

        I thought Dreamfall still had really strong writing. It’s just that they stripped a lot of the incidental writing/interactions and replaced them with shitty combat and shitty stealth.

        • ansionnach says:

          Only played it once and it was on release. I do remember liking the writing, not that I can remember much about it now. Would have been nice if there was a game to go with it. The absence of an adventure game was an insult. TLJ is still a much-loved game but they don’t want to make a proper sequel to it.

          • Kitsunin says:

            I think Dreamfall was a rather good game. Was a rather good game. I thought it was gorgeous and enthralling back in 2006. Having played it again within the last year for the sake of Chapters, I’m reminded of Super Bunnyhop’s recent review of Megaman Legends.

            It felt like a lot of its gameplay and even storytelling was good, even great, but by trying and doing a so-so job at being on the cutting edge, it’s become terribly dated. Still a pretty decent story in there, but nothing all that worth experiencing considering the brilliant stories out there.

          • malkav11 says:

            I’m not a huge fan of the puzzles in TLJ, but I would have happily taken them over what we got in Dreamfall. Still, the writing is the main reason I play adventure games at all and the Longest Journey series represents some of the best in the genre in my book.

        • Vandelay says:

          I recently replayed it in preparation for Chapters. I was surprised at how much I didn’t like the writing very much. Zoe is a pretty unlikeable character as well. The story was pretty good and had some really great high points, put the dialogue wasn’t much better than your standard gaming fair. The only real difference was that it focused on characters that were slightly more “normal” than your average game. I would say that The Longest Journey was better, but it has been a long time since I played that.

          I’m enjoying Chapters though. It still follows a similar gameplay style to Dreamfall, but has ditched the combat and stealth sections. Really, I just hope that they get on and make a The Longest Journey 2, as was hinted at during their Kickstarter campaign for Chapters.

        • RabbitIslandHermit says:

          I remember liking the writing except for the third of the game that dealt with the most boring man in the multiverse.

          • ansionnach says:

            Really can’t remember that bit. Perhaps all I can muster is initially being impressed, but becoming increasingly annoyed as realisation set in as to exactly what it was I was playing. Not sad I can’t remember as much as I usually do, but in a word, I think travesty is fair, especially when you consider it was supposed to be a follow-up to TLJ.

            TLJ itself was more than a bit shonky from the get-go, so even if that appears aged… perhaps it’s not too different from the original experience? I got it in a bargain bin and when I was first watching the intro with the creepy adult-looking children and the granny I thought that maybe yer man Underdogs had gotten it wrong. Fortunately, it was a great game in spite of its technical issues.

          • Henson says:

            Huh. Personally, I found Kian interesting: here’s a guy who is important enough to be a player character, yet embodies many of the qualities of an antagonist. He’s zealous, single-minded, and merciless, yet being one of the player characters heavily teases the possibility of changing or showing nuance. Sure, his voice is somewhat monotone, but that fits his character. His dialogue with April Ryan in Marcuria is some of the best writing in the game, allowing the two very different philosophies of these two very different people to clash with each other.

            No, for me, the boring one was Zoe. Simply put, she has no personality. Everything she says is just so empty, I have no idea who she is. And her reaction to the things happening to her is always the same: “I don’t even know what’s going on”, said the flat-toned piece of cardboard.

      • RabbitIslandHermit says:

        Chapters is defiantly like Dreamfall. They make a joke about Dreamfall’s hated stealth sections and then make you do stealth sections that IMO are worse than anything in its predecessor.

        Mostly it just serves to remind me how awful some old school adventure mechanics were and thank god we have titles nowadays that don’t confuse busywork for gameplay. It’s a bit of a shame as there are some interesting ideas in the story and sometimes the game is very pretty.

        • Det. Bullock says:

          I have Dreamfall in my GOG.com library since last year, while I’ve replayed The Longest Journey (boy, the things I forgot that were in that game!) I’m still not sure if I really want to dive in something that stinks like another attempt to make “hip 3D” graphic adventure not unlike Broken Sword 3.

        • ansionnach says:

          Dreamfall is hardly an old-skool adventure (apologies if I’ve misinterpreted your meaning!). Whatever about the adventuring mechanics, adventure games almost invariably did action bits very poorly indeed. In Full Throttle it didn’t really matter as the action was pretty easy, and merely a smokescreen to hide some minor puzzling; in Fate of Atlantis it was a button mash and did suit an Indy game; in Dreamfall there was no real adventuring so it was all a mistake.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            Yep, that’s exactly what worries me, and in Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis the combat bits were all avoidable by choosing certain paths do they don’t really count, sincerely I don’t know anyone who ever completed the game using the action path.

          • RabbitIslandHermit says:

            Yeah, you’re right old school adventure isn’t the correct word. What I meant is that Dreamfall and Chapters especially has a lot of incredibly unfun gameplay that seems to exist only to slow down players for the sake of making sure it’s not just an interactive story, whereas most newer adventure titles seem to take after telltale and care less about including gameplay as an end in of itself. Chapters in particular includes puzzles that I can only describe as the modern equivalent of pixel hunting and one of its main maps seems deliberately designed to be confusing and inconvenient as all hell. I guess what I’m saying is that they aren’t new school, even if they aren’t old school either.

            Obviously puzzles and even stealth sections and such can be fun, but in Chapters they aren’t at all and I have no idea why they were included other than to pad playtime and out of a belief that adventure games need to have a substantial amount of gameplay, no matter how horrid.

          • ansionnach says:

            Me. Fate of Atlantis is my favourite game of all time. I was about three points short of having all the IQ points (solving every puzzle in every way imaginable) when I finally gave up. Perhaps those who don’t think FoA is even the best adventure ever don’t quite realise just how much game there is in there, or they may not know just how many ways you can solve different puzzles. Objectively, no adventure comes close because it doesn’t have the replay value or absolute massiveness of this game. Implementation, writing, puzzles and even mazes that aren’t that annoying (at least you can’t get lost in Atlantis).

            I thought the action path was really fun. I also loved the team and wits ones.

            A few months back I went to the trouble of hacking the CD version to remove all the spoken dialogue but keep the sound effects. I also translated it into International English. It’s a great game – everyone should play it (with no voices).

          • ansionnach says:

            Haven’t played too many recent adventures. Finished The Book of Unwritten Tales and So Blonde in the last week and they must be about the most mean-spirited pixel huntathons I’ve ever had the misfortune of playing. Much forced back-tracking and general nasty, mean-spirited game “design”.

            Hear what you’re saying about Telltale games. I enjoyed The Walking Dead but that was a once-off for me. Prefer my games to have gameplay as well as story. I really do rate their Monkey Island game (my third favourite), although I think the episodic nature of their games limits the puzzle complexity and size of the immediately explorable world.

        • ansionnach says:

          Aren’t most games these days more busywork than gameplay?!?

          • RabbitIslandHermit says:

            IMO games, especially adventure games, have been moving away from that, YMMV. What I can say is that I’ve spent at least half of every episode of chapters aimlessly trying to fetch someone or something wondering to myself how on Earth anyone could think this is fun. And I thought Papers, Please was fun so it’s not like I have super high standards.

          • RabbitIslandHermit says:

            To clarify, I mean that they’re choosing to go with minimal or nontraditional gameplay rather than including pointless busy work instead.

          • ansionnach says:

            Point taken. Makes me feel sad, though. I don’t see fetching and finding as being problems with traditional adventures… but when done poorly it can be incredibly annoying. I’d say poorly would mean forced back-tracking and giving the players the run-around. There’s one sequence I wrote about in So Blonde where you’re sent from Tom to Dick to Harry, each of them getting you to do something for them before eventually saying that they don’t know how to help you (but they know someone who does).

    • piedpiper says:

      When I was 16 I fell in love with Zoey. And when I finished a game it was like she broke my heart. Oh my god I was a miserable fuck in high-school.

  27. Kitsunin says:

    Well I thought I’d be playing some physical games, Flash Duel, Zombicide, maybe Citadels, depending on the players and atmosphere. But it turns out I was just lucky to find some folks to play with last time I popped into my 430,000 person-strong city’s only FLGS. So…so much for that.

    Otherwise I’ve covered three of the five routes in Katawa Shoujo, with Rin and Hanako’s to go. It’s really been making rethink my opinion of pure romance stories. I’m realizing I don’t like them because of a set of cliches (Misunderstanding-based conflicts and vast overemphasis on the beginning of a relationship being the tip of the iceberg) and not because romance isn’t capable of drawing you in just like the best Fantasy or Sci-fi.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Also, Touhou 15: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom. It’s a goddamn monster, even by Touhou standards, it’s gonna take some real work to even beat it on Normal difficulty.

      Pointdevice mode is brilliant, and I could see it being a fantastic way for beginners to jump into the series and properly grok it.

  28. Gilead says:

    I accidentally bought Eldritch because it’s 99p on Steam at the moment and I confused it with Ziggurat in the heat of the moment, so I’ll probably have a go at it to justify my purchase.

    Aside from that, I’m still playing Anno 1404, and I want to give Endless Legend another try before they release the next expansion.

  29. ansionnach says:

    Think I’ll be not playing anything. My Dungeon Master play-through has stalled, but I’ll come back at it with renewed vigour that real-time blobbers can’t conquer at some stage.

    Finished a couple of adventures recently: The Book of Unwritten Tales and So Blonde. Both were pretty bad, with trolling design, much pixel-hunting, searching for things and just basically taking the piss out of you. There was something slightly likeable in So Blonde even though I don’t agree that Steve Ince’s writing was that great. Both of those games took me over two years to complete (no guides!), but had mostly been parked for all that time since I really didn’t like them. TBoUT gets a special award for services to pixel hunting, adding new stuff to screens you’ve already searched and generally confounding the player in a mean-spirited way.

    If I don’t try and get through Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder next I might give Broken Sword another crack. Never liked that much either, particularly the writing and the puzzles. Was stuck on that goat “puzzle” for years. When I got unstuck I got quite a bit further but when I packed it in it was because I didn’t like the game. Might have to start all over again to get an accurate idea of what I currently think of it. My versions of both Broken Swords were the Virgin White Label versions and I think I snapped them up as soon as they were out on budget… so it’s been a very long time.

  30. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    There will probably be a bit more Elder Scrolls Online this evening, and again after some real-life hiking tomorrow.

    I “hiked” in the game over this past week from Morrowind up to the northeast corner of Skyrim. With my level 16 character with no invisibility capability in this mid-30s to 40s region, this made for a lot of tense, exciting sneaking and plotting between far-flung wayshrines (checkpoints, more or less), soul shards (1/3 skill point thingies), and loot chests (chests of loot) I stumbled upon. I was almost detected or eaten by bears, mountain lions, and trolls a large number of times. The game continues to impress me with how open it is with its exploration, too. I know it’s an Elder Scrolls game and thus should be open, but I keep expecting invisible walls, oversimplified collision boxes, and much more railroading in an MMO than what I’ve encountered so far. I haven’t even touched the so-called main quest yet, although the way to Skyrim may have been opened by a major side-story quest I did there.

    Another thing about the sneaking before I loose my opinion, though: The only time I actually died was when I snuck through a bandit fort, following a random player who was killing everything. I was distracted by a skyshard at the bottom of a pit, but I got a bit too close and fell down. There was no-one around, so I got my third of a skill point, but the way out meant guaranteed (but fair) detection unless that other player came and slaughtered everyone. That didn’t happen, so I made a run for it, took a wrong turn, and was comically instagibbed. Fortunately, I respawned at the fort’s entrance/exit, but I still had to sneak out of the fort exterior since the way back was just as blocked now that the bandits (killed by that other player on the way in) had respawned. It was some of the most fun I’ve had in the game yet, so I’ll be doing some more of that for sure over the next week.

  31. TheAngriestHobo says:

    “And I might revisit Live Is Strange (sic) Episode 4 to gather my thoughts and have a chat with Pip that’s more than half burbling, half grunting.”

    So does this mean we’ll finally be getting a verdict-o-chat on LiS episode 4? I think it’s starting to feel left out.

  32. malkav11 says:

    Really tempted to run some Shadowrun: Hong Kong, but I’m still midway through Dragonfall Director’s Cut, so I should finish up that first. Had a bit of momentum knocked out when I got well into Blitz’s personal mission and hit a gamebreaking bug where the enemy turn never finished. I don’t think any of my progress on the mission was saved, either. It’s a shame, really. It’s a neat mission that displays a more varied approach to decking than is evident in decking sequences in the main plotline and seems to have been successfully balanced to be viable but tense for a run where you have a lot less manpower than usual (though as a rigger, I practically count as two people in combat). I’ll have to see if I feel up to repeating it, possibly to get the very same bug and be stonewalled again, or if I’ll just choose a different mission at the U-Bahn and leave Blitz hanging.

    Should really also invest some time in my steadily expiring SWTOR subscription – just haven’t felt super MMO-y lately – and although many will scoff, I’m continuing to enjoy Final Fantasy XIII. Just unlocked the “upgrade” system, which is kind of like crafting if crafting materials were just varying amounts of XP to level a level bar with the occasional (hidden) permanent boost or penalty to XP rate on a given piece of equipment. I…don’t really know why they did it that way. But whatever. It’s a weird game, probably not the best in the series by any means, but for me it’s still capturing what I’ve always enjoyed about them. And I seem to enjoy a lot of the FF games that other people love to disparage – FFVIII was my favorite of the Playstation era, FFX my favorite overall so far (though XII is pretty interesting in the early parts that are all I’ve played to date).

    Might well get sucked back into Warhammer Quest, too. It’s super simple and pretty random – sometimes punishingly so, as when I had a fight with a necromancer’s apprentice and some skeletons, then was promptly ambushed by a necromancer’s apprentice and some skeletons, then a vampire thrall and some skeletons, then ANOTHER necromancer’s apprentice and some skeletons, with the spellcasters all spawning way out of melee and repeatedly paralyzing 75% of my party. But it’s got that hook of loot and levelling and smashing things’ faces in in turn-based combat with just enough nuance to be interesting, and the atmosphere’s great and the upgrades meaningful. And it’s more or less something I can play while listening to podcasts, which is nice.

  33. Awesomeclaw says:

    I gave TSO a shot a while ago, and while it didn’t really do anything to keep me playing, it seemed pretty OK. Maybe I’ll give it another look.

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      God damn it comments system, this was meant to be a reply to particlese.

      Also I was going to say that I recently tried to get back into Diablo 3 in preparation for the new season starting, after a long stint of Path of Exile. It’s just as ‘spectacular’ and easy to play as ever, but it feels kind of empty.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Basically, I love TESO/ESO/Trans-Siberian Orchestra so far because I can play it like a normal Elder Scrolls game, but I find it really boring when I play it “like an MMO”, a qualification which is entirely based on my experience with Guild Wars. Grinding quests and baddies for the sake of leveling up, crafting for the sake of getting better at crafting and making fancier clothes, staring at my agro circle on a minimap (using an addon) to get to the next area, etc. are not very enjoyable for me in this game. I do them when I’m in the mood, but I’m free to do plenty of other stuff. Guild Wars didn’t seem to give me much of a choice, and I ultimately tired of its MMOeyness. TESO seems to have enough openly-accessable terrain with hidden things here and there and without baddies blocking the way to keep me interested in exploring for quiiiiite a while. o_o

      Oh, and I really like the rock-climbing in TESO — just about as much as in Skyrim — and this is one of my favorite things to do when exploring in Elder Scrolls games.

      • Awesomeclaw says:

        One thing I found about both TSO and SWTOR (and The Secret World) when compared with e.g. WoW, is that having NPCs be voice acted makes things a fair bit more compelling. You’re still killing 10 rats or activating the 4 ancient artifacts of plot advancement, but I think having some speech (and maybe a bit of back and forth, as in SWTOR) adds a lot to the experience of playing the game.

        That said, yeah, it’s still an MMORPG. I think getting the most out of any of MMOs involves grouping up with a decent guild – I’ve never found playing them solo to be particularly fun.

  34. JFS says:

    I ragequit XCOM yesterday because of Sectopods and I’m not sure I’m going back.

  35. tsff22 says:

    Picked up Dungeon Siege 3 + DLC, Risen 3 Complete, Dead State, Insanity’s Blade and Gryphon Knight this week. So far, I like all of them.

    And let it be known that DS3 is not NEARLY as bad as the critics said it was. I have six hours clocked in so far and it is a BLAST! Its been far too long since I played an RPG where the bosses and even some of the regular enemy groups are actually a legitimate challenge!

    • malkav11 says:

      I think a lot of the people who didn’t like Dungeon Siege 3 either was a fan of the Dungeon Siege franchise and got a rude shock when 3 played nothing like them (I maintain that being a fan of the franchise up to that point is a mark of insanity, but nevermind), or were looking for a traditional plot-light, loot-heavy ARPG experience. For my tastes, DS3 is phenomenal. And despite some questionable decisions in how they handle coop, even more fun with other people.

      • ansionnach says:

        I finished the first DS and played at least some of the expansion. Enjoyed it a lot in co-op. Took a look at it within the last year and it has aged terribly. The word “dire” might be fairly used to describe it. Low-poly 3d models that are barely animated. Think I had issues with my geforce card – triangles cracking and obscuring the whole screen, as though the z-buffering wasn’t working or something. Worked with the internal Intel card but even when you can get it working it’s still a game that should probably never be played without company.

  36. Serenegoose says:

    Well, I finished Pillars of Eternity yesterday, so I think I’m either onto Darkest Dungeon or Shadowrun Dragonfall? The problem is, since Pillars didn’t have all the character classes in NPC form (except Hirelings, which I didn’t bother with) I kind of want to go and see what barbarians and monks and rogues and stuff play like.

    But really I should just play Dragonfall, since it’s excellent, and Hong Kong is waiting for me.

    • JFS says:

      The expansion will be out in three days, maybe wait for that :)

      • Serenegoose says:

        Is it that soon? I thought it was a way off yet. Well fair enough then, choice made. Thanks :D

  37. lglethal says:

    I started Watch_Dogs last night. Only played a little bit so far but already struggled with a few bugs and the god awful controls. You can absolutely see that its been designed with a controller in mind. Which sucks because I hate controllers and own a PC so that I can USE a Mouse and bloody Keyboard. Still there’s been enough interesting things in the game so far that I will persevere a little bit longer, at least until I either give up due to the dodgy control scheme or I get over it and stop noticing the stupid damn controls.

    Have i mentioned how bad the controls are yet? ;)

    • nearly says:

      It definitely plays better with a controller, though still not quite how I’d like. There were some strange decisions for the control schemes.

      Good fun for cheap, though, and I’ve enjoyed my time with it more than GTAV, oddly enough.

    • Kerr Avon says:

      Thanks for reminding me I never finished Watch_Dogs which I shall do tonight but don’t you own any wheels, joysticks throttles or pedals either? How can you be a gamer if you don’t own an old 360 wired gamepad for PC? Have you never played any 3rd person games before like say, the Batman Arkham series, Sleeping Dogs, GTA V, Mercenaries 2, Red Faction Guerrilla or Just Cause 2? Have you never played any sports games like Speedball 2, PES, Fifa, NHL, MLB, NBA basketball or any fighting/boxing games? All of the above play terribly clunky and wrong on a keyboard since they were intended to be played with a controller, specifically the PC xbox 360 gamepad. It’s been the standard for 3rd person games for years. Why would you expect Watch_Dogs to be any different?

  38. ExitDose says:

    Ultimate Space Commando and Ascension are the only games that I can see playing at the moment. It’s possible that I might dig into LOTR LCG again.

  39. Meowcenary says:

    Probably a bunch of CoD: Advanced Warfare. Picked it up recently despite of all the flaws I heard about it and I have to say I am really pleasantly surprised. If that plan fails then back to the CS:GO grind I go

  40. ToomuchFluffy says:

    I have mostly been playing the very first Gothic for the last few days and I like it. It doesn’t really impress me, but that’s probably due to the fact, that it is 14 years old. And it’s the kind of game in which exploration of the environment is a key component of the game. Which of course makes the stone age-technology, especially since it’s in 3D all the more problematic.

    I have also jumped back into BioShock (also the first) and have played a few hours (I’m somewhere in Neptune’s Bounty and have acquired the camera.) on Hard, which is actually hard. Big Daddies have murdered me countless times, which I think is also the reason why I broke off my last attempt at replaying it. Hopefully I will persevere.

    • ansionnach says:

      Only briefly played the Gothic games. First one seemed very clunky and buggy. I died a lot because it’s a tough game (which I’m receptive to), I died a lot because of bugs and clunkiness.

    • Vandelay says:

      BioShock’s enemies, particularly Big Daddies, could be a real chore to battle on Hard difficulty. Very, very bullet spongy, whilst the respawn mechanic would encourage just throwing yourself at them repeatable, until they eventually fell over.

      I definitely enjoyed Bioshock a fair bit on my first playthrough, but it is a game that I have always struggled to enjoy when I have tried to replay. I don’t think it has aged particularly well.

      • Minglefingler says:

        I agree about Bioshock aging badly, I tried it for the first time around two years ago and I just couldn’t get into it at all. At the time I imagined that I would have enjoyed it if I’d played it on release but the poor shooting didn’t work for me and I thought the audio logs had lost any power they once may have had due to the game industry’s propensity to endlessly regurgitate every idea that was once novel. Although it’s entirely possible that I was just in a shitty mood that week.

        • ToomuchFluffy says:

          It’s quite weird. I have never managed to play through BioShock a second time, even though I have tried two or three times. On my first playthrough I liked it more than Half Life 2 and I still played through the latter six times. Don’t ask me why, beacause I can’t explain it. Especially since I’m not even all that big a fan of Half Life 2. I especially felt like that, when replaying Episode 2 recently. I guess part of the reason might simply be, that Half Life 2 is very straightforward, fairly atmospheric and pretty easy. Nostalgia might also be a factor.

          But I don’t think that BioShock has aged badly. I’m not even sure what you are refering to. I think that in terms of atmosphere there are still only a few games which can compete and the combat and the tools you have for it, as well as the interaction with the environment, are all pretty well done.

          • Sarfrin says:

            I couldn’t get into Bioshock 2 because I just didn’t want spend any more time in that claustrophobic, lonely environment.

          • Minglefingler says:

            Well, the gunplay just didn’t work for me, I didn’t like how it felt, I can’t be any more specific than that without playing it again to refresh my memory but I do recall finding respawning enemies an annoyance and a lack of varieties in the enemies who levelled with you didn’t work for me. In terms of the logs, I went into Bioshock having heard about the game’s fantastic narrative but I found that it used the audio log system which I was heartily sick of by that point having seen it used in so many other games, I was also listening to descriptions that sounded like events I’d heard described in newer games as well. I didn’t finish the game and I’m not criticising the story at all, I just regret not playing it when it came out.

  41. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Duskers. My drones shall poke and prod at decaying things and eventually be destroyed by a simple mistake. Just like me at an antiques fair.

  42. kud13 says:

    The Witcher 3, of course. Same as every other weekend since I started this game.

    Played till 4 AM last night (I’d have just gotten to Skellige on my previous play session, see).

    I will also be buying the Season’s pass today, so that maybe around the time I fifnsh this, it’ll be time to replay with the extra content.

    This game, it’ just too damn good. And I just felt like I was slowly working my way out of the whole “compulsive gaming” thing.

  43. trn says:

    Not at home this weekend, so no games. I need to get a new handheld…

  44. piedpiper says:

    Still crying far. Fourth time. If you know what I mean.

  45. moms says:

    I’m still in The Forest.
    I went in on Sunday.. but I see, now, it’s Saturday… I didn’t realize..
    I do think, I’m lost.

  46. Freud says:

    Finished Zelda: Twilight Princess. The dungeons in that game were generally fantastic. Strong themes and fun items.

    • ansionnach says:

      I picked up that one on release day for the GameCube. Found it very disappointing: like Wind Waker (which I adored) it was way too easy; unlike Wind Waker it wasn’t absolutely inspired – being a rather misguided attempt at pretending Zelda can be “dark”, and otherwise being an Ocarina re-tread (without any challenge). The wolf bits were rubbish. Not a popular opinion on this game but I rarely have those!

      • Minglefingler says:

        I’d say that a lot of people share your opinion on Twilight Princess, I’ve seen a lot of articles slating it and those that have been on the internet tend to have comment sections that are broadly in agreeement. I actually preferred Twilight Princess to the Wind Waker, nothing to do with the graphics, the Triforce fetch quest was just too tedious for me to get through. I’d love to play the Wii U update though.

        • ansionnach says:

          If I’m a little harder on WW and view the game from the perspective of someone not taken in by the spell the graphics and music cast… it is way too easy, you do go back and forth a lot… and some of the bits that (maybe) had me a little misty-eyed pulled on the Nintendo heart strings I didn’t realise I had. The opening stealth dungeon was annoying (probably said everyone ever). Take the emotion away and there’s a well-designed game with a lot of back-tracking, but with very little challenge. Would be hard to say it’s bad, especially since it doesn’t really make any significant missteps. TP had the wolf bits, but I could see those who could look past them (or maybe not hate them) liking it quite a lot. If they could also look past its lack of challenge and similarity to OoT.

          One thing I really loved in TP was the title screen. Watched it for maybe forty minutes before even playing, utterly delighted that I’d managed to snag the only copy I could find in Dublin that wet December 8th (massive shopping day here). Skipped a work Christmas party to play it. Took quite a while for it to dawn on me that it wasn’t the game I’d been hoping for but I persevered through the wolf bits and the annoying hand-holding from Midna through to the very end.

          Anyone like Phantom Hourglass? If so I’ll just shut up for once!

          • Minglefingler says:

            I think I was more receptive to Twilight Princess because I’d had a long break from gaming (broken xbox and a pc that struggled to run Quake 2) before I got my Wii. I remember the Wind Waker having that outstanding monent where you enter the underwater castle and realise where you are, unless my memory is being selective there’s nothing that beautifully evocative in Twilight Princess.
            I’d no idea that 8th December was a big shopping day in Dublin, this is interesting to me because I’m from up north and I now have a deeper appreciation of my own ignorance.

          • ansionnach says:

            Well, it’s the traditional day for country shoppers to come up. Perhaps it’s less so now than twenty+ years ago. Get what you mean, though: have really enjoyed games that may be derivative when I haven’t played their precursors.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Frankly I disagree with the assessment that TP is too “dark”. It’s aesthetic is very dim compared to anything post-WW, but it feels like a jump back toward the look of OoT and especially MM, but more timeless. It certainly doesn’t look “gritty” just leaning a bit more toward a realistic palette.

        The big thing for me is that it has a world which feels connected. Maybe I’m crazy, but I just don’t get that same sense of grand adventure from a bunch of disconnected islands, be they in sea or sky.

    • ansionnach says:

      Twilight Princess was the fault of crazy fans who hated Wind Waker because it looked childish, even though it was taking its inspiration from the best Zelda game (A Link to the Past). Probably more Nintendo’s fault for listening to them.

  47. yan spaceman says:

    I’m just about to have a look at Viridi. And for the first time in my long blighted life I am seriously listening to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Imagine that.

  48. AriochRN says:

    The urge to play gamebooks hit yesterday so I’ve patched up the Destiny Quest trilogy to the latest versions (which involved online errata, a typewriter, scissors and a gluestick) and I’m several quests in and luuurving it.

    I might have to get another pair of dice though, or somehow try to get the current pair to go antiphase. Dice hate me :(

    Might have a faff around in GTA5 as well.

  49. Baron Bacon V says:

    Reinstalled The Witcher 2, as I just picked up a rig decent enough to play the game above 10fps. Also been playing through Human Revolution in preparation for Mankind Divided.
    Might play a wee bit of Ground Zeroes, as I am currently engulfed in MGS5 hype.

  50. Machtkampf says:

    I think I will play Etherlords or maybe Crusaders of Might and Magic…