What Are We All Playing This Weekend?

Merry weekend, one and all! May you have a wonderful Saturday, and a calm Boxing Day. Why, perhaps you’ll even manage to get away from your friends, families, and loved ones after dinner to squeeze in a cheeky video game or two before you all wrap up and head out carolling! Here’s what we’ll be playing when we can sneak away:

Adam: Undertale. I think I’m near the end of my first playthrough and I’m already looking forward to starting again, partly because I’m curious as to what else there is to discover but mostly because I didn’t realise how much freedom I had until I’d made several terrible mistakes. It’s as well-written and funny as I’d heard, but also sinister and sad. The graphics might make you think you’re in for a nostalgia-tickling series of in-jokes but that’s not the case at all. While there are jokes and thoughts about RPG conventions, Undertale never leans too heavily on spoofing or tapping on the fourth wall. It’s one of my favourite games released this year and I’m not even sure I’ve seen half of it yet.
Alec: I think I might finally have burned out on Metal Gear Solid V (and if I were an unreflective, vindictive idiot, this would be the point at which I charged onto Steam and wrote a damning review that was totally undermined by having ‘200 hours played’ written at the top of it), so I’m ready for something else, and something very different. I’m half-tempted by SOMA but not sure I want to make my mood bleaker than it already is now Summer’s over, so I suspect I’m more likely to end up looking at Undertale, which I’m hearing tons of great buzz about. Presuming I can get over my knee-jerk reaction to the faux-retro art, anyway.

Alice: Like Adam and Alec, I am also planning to venture into Undertale. The demo a while back was delightful, and I’m very keen to return to its funny and charming world. I’m slightly put off by knowing I’ll want to replay it several times to see what changes, which is daft considering how much time I’ve spent – and will continue to spend – doing essentially the same in The Phantom Pain. I’m in Act 2 at the moment, still having a gay old time and reaching some wackier parts of the tech tree. Still having a blast. Still getting too into the Mother Baseville side of Deployments and Research and levelling up staff and whatnot. I want to make time for We Know the Devil too.
Graham: This weekend I shall be playing Phantom Pain, as per every other free moment for the last three weeks. For a change I’ll also be playing FIFA 16, however. I’m not expecting it to be dramatically different from previous iterations – that hasn’t been the case for the last five years – but I am looking forward to seeing where the balance falls this time around between attacking and defending. Last year was attacking-focused, so this year will almost inevitably swing back the other way.

John: [John has evidently decided not to tell poor old Alice what he’s up to this weekend, which usually would mean I might say something snippy or sarcistic here, but instead I shall turn it over to you. Readers, what is John playing this weekend? The closest to the truth will win a much-coveted Marvel No-Prize I swiped from Stan Lee on the night bus. -ed.]
Philippa: What I’m playing at the weekend is trying to remember all my best jokes about venetian renaissance artworks so I can bring the lols while on holiday.

But you, dearest reader, what are you playing?


  1. koeklimas says:

    For me mgsv only mission 46 is left. OMG I can’t wait to see what happens to the metal gearrrr

    Don’t worry, I am aware of the game being utterly unfinished.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    I started playing Undertale and I FUCKED UP

    • Shazbut says:

      I’m halfway or so and I fucked up in the same spot

    • Nioji says:

      Fucking up is part of the fun :)
      Also, if you fucked up the way I think you did, then that means you will get the ending I think you’ll get and let’s just say that it is very… special :D

  3. Fuzzyaardvark says:

    Curious Expedition is free to play this weekend, so I am having fun in that. So far I have learned that if I enter combat everyone will die. Oh, and fire likes trees.

  4. prof_yaffle says:

    I’ve just finished Soma. It’s a great game, though a bit frustrating at a couple of points and a bit too tense at times.

    So now I’m going to calm down a bit by getting City Skyline’s After Dark expansion and playing that for a bit.

  5. Dorga says:

    Is anyone at castle Shotgun interested in:Else.heartbreak? I would love to hear your thought.

    • Andrew says:

      I hope someone (Alice?) playing it for a review. Very interesting game in theory, but I’m not completely sold yet. And hurry up, Steam’s discount expiring soon! :)

  6. lowprices says:

    I went to EGX yesterday, and as a result I am cold-ridden and sick of AAA videogames (seriously, people were queueing for 3 hours to play The Division and there were mountains of energy drink cans everywhere. It was awful). So today I am going to relax with a roguelikelike or two. Possibly try Brogue, or revisit Dungeons of Dredmor.

    • lowprices says:

      Also, I’m in a survival game mood, so I’ll going to give my backer builds of The Long Dark and The Flame in the Flood some attention. The latter is particularly lovely, at once contemplative and urgent.

  7. wxid says:

    Rainbow Six Seige Beta. Mostly on Terrorist Hunt.

    And the conclusion is I suck, and the things has some pretty serious server issues but you expect that in a beta. Aside from some amusing clipping and animation jankiness it seems otherwise …. ok. ish. okish is a good word.

  8. Pich says:

    the Mighty Number 9 demo finally, it’s pretty fun

  9. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I’ll be continuing my (digital) Mordheim campaign. I’m loving this new update to the game – all of a sudden, it’s worth playing again. My Nurgle warband has been kicking hiney all over the city, with the exception of a brief losing streak when we kept running into the Sisters of Sigmar (those hammers hurt). Fortunately, a bugged out brethren on my side brought that to a close by spawning seven identical copies of himself during a battle. If I was playing as any other faction, I might have been upset, but I just chalked it up to a blessing of the gods of Chaos and took the victory. :)

    I might also dip my toe back into Fear 2 or my second playthrough of Undertale for a little variety. We’ll see what happens.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      So, is it good and/or worth buying at this stage of EA?

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Short answer, yes, I think so.

        Long answer… I feel like this is the stage at which they should have begun EA. Without a means of progression, players didn’t feel any attachment to their warbands, and love for your special snowflake troops are at the heart of the Games Workshop experience – especially with games that take place on a smaller scale, like Mordheim.

        I actually applaud the studio for taking such a disciplined approach to the design of the game; it must have been tempting to abandon their development schedule in favour of things the players wanted in the short-term. That stubborn persistence is probably why I’m enjoying Mordheim so much now. I do, however, feel that they shot themselves in the foot by putting the game in EA before it was, you know, fun, and stuff.

        • MrPyro says:

          Yeah, I largely agree with this. I can see why they released it earlier, so that people could give feedback on the basic combat mechanics and they could find any engine bugs early, but before today I played it for about 2 hours (most of which was loading screens), because without a campaign mode the random skirmishes were just a bit boring.

          I’ve put a solid few hours in today and enjoyed it enough that I’ll want to play it tomorrow (when I should be doing housework).

    • MrPyro says:

      I’ve got this but not been keeping up with what’s happening with it (I just see it update every now and again). I might take a dip in now they’ve got progression working.

      • MrPyro says:

        OK, replying to my own comment*, adding the campaign mode has made the game much more fun. Not just the advancement, but also the ability to pick and choose missions rather than just being dropped in to a random skirmish makes the game much better for me.

        It’s still a bit wobbly in places, but then it’s still in EA so to be expected. Definite signs of improvement.

        * I hear this may make me go blind

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          That’s a nice addition, yeah. It’s great to be able to weigh danger against profit before you commit yourself (btw, thanks to the XP bonus, danger is very profitable, even if you lose).

          The holes are still apparent, it’s true. I’ve only encountered one bug that required a restart so far (a sister whose attempt to ambush me was blocked by a wall), but there are a few smaller annoyances. AI warbands don’t seem to take much advantage of the cosmetic options, and you can’t see the name of the opposing force without targeting one of their soldiers – which you can only do on your turn – or by looking at their wagon on the map. I also haven’t seen much evidence that AI warbands spawn with old injuries, but unless they’re missing a leg or something (like poor old Faust, one of my slower marauders) it’s easy to miss.

          Still, the improvements far outweigh any minor inconveniences.

  10. Cross says:

    I’m playing the closed beta of Rainbow Six Siege, with a spattering of Dragon Age Inquisition on top. I love them both, even if Siege’s matchmaking system is totally broken, but i supposed that’s what the closed beta’s there for.

  11. Spacewalk says:

    I’m gonna give that System Shock thing another try despite my head and stomach not agreeing with it.

  12. pennywyz says:

    Would like to try something new this weekend, sounds like I should be trying out Undertale but maybe I will finally give Rust a shot… the dev blogs are appealing to the side of me that wanted to create games before I sold my soul to medical school/residency. Hopefully the usual online douchebaggery doesn’t kill it for me.

  13. Mashakosha says:

    I’m playing a fair bit of Torchlight 2, along with *whispers* Destiny. I’m sorry fellows, I’m a horrible person.

  14. Mud says:

    theHunter if their server can hold it this weekend,I regret I renewed my sub this week.

  15. James says:

    I’m playing FTL whilst listening to the new Portal song.

    link to soundcloud.com

    • Jonfon says:

      FTL here as well. A modded version with a load of extra weapons & drones I’d forgotten I’d created late one night until they showed up in the store.

    • Bugamn says:

      What is this new Portal song?

  16. Anthile says:

    Dark Souls for the x-th time.

  17. ansionnach says:

    Nothing new but had been replaying The Hand of Fate (Kyrandia 2) to test out a USB boot drive I made mixing the DOS from my old Windows 98 CD with FreeDOS. Most games I’ve tested run very well on my i7 laptop, albeit without sound. Syndicate Wars is the only modern DOS game I tried that seemed to lack a frame limiter (Daggerfall didn’t work, seemed like it may need slowing down to even run). Most of the 90s stuff seems fine. Mpxplay is the only programme I’ve found that supports Intel HD Audio (IHD) natively in DOS. It’s a pretty cool audio player with an ASCII “LCD” display. I’ve seen the idea floated to develop Miles DOS drivers for modern cards. Would be pretty cool but unlikely anyone’ll ever do it seeing as there are existing ways of getting most of this stuff running.

    Out of interest I’ve messed around with the existing Miles drivers, seeing how they work when I drop one in that a game didn’t already support. Part of the plan was to see if I could “unlock” PC Speaker MIDI or digitised speech in games using existing drivers (they exist and I was surprised at how good PC Speaker speech was in the demo, even though I’d heard it in old games before). While the driver switch works fine for most sound cards it doesn’t seem to work very often for PC Speaker as some games seem to have hard coded the music and/or sound off for the driver. I have “unlocked” the existing PC Speaker MIDI support in The Hand of Fate, however. It wasn’t selectable but I worked out how to select it in the config file. HOF.CFG has to look like this:
    B6 AF AC A1 A1 A6 A4 A5 00 B3

    Specifically, bytes #2 & 3 determine the card used for MIDI and synthesised sound, while #4 is digitised speech (A1 meaning nada). The last byte is used as a verification check and getting this wrong means the game prompts you to run setup when you try and play. Seems to work if you increment it by the same amount you incremented the three sound bytes. For testing I disabled the check entirely.

    There is a reference to the PC Speaker DIGPAK driver for digitised sound (IBMBAK.COM) in the game’s executable, but no variation I selected of that config byte seemed to enable it. Would be a lot of fun to play the game in its entirety with full PC Speaker music, sound and speech, especially since it was disabled for some reason.

    There’s also a reference in the executable to the DIGPAK driver that allows digitised sound to be played through an Adlib card (ADLIB.COM). That’d be fun as well. It’s an old driver so it couldn’t just be dropped into any game should someone get an Adlib emulator for DOS going. I’m not aware of any games actually using this. Interesting that it was developed anyway, seeing as Adlib was a synth-only card. In DOSBox, the Adlib barely approximates the digitised sample so it wouldn’t be clear enough to be used for speech (unlike PC Speaker).

    • ansionnach says:

      Anyway, The Hand of Fate sounds great with PC speaker music and SFX and not having the voices makes it feel more old-skool than it ever was. If PC Speaker could be enabled in all games using standard drivers it’d be an easier “solution” to playing games in DOS on modern systems than developing a Sound Blaster emulator and then try and support every single variation of modern sound hardware. Won’t comment on how difficult the SB emu would be as I don’t really know much about it, but I do remember the early SBLive forums being full of furious early adopters (myself included) seeing as it wasn’t Sound Blaster compatible and Creative’s emulator didn’t work in a lot of cases. When Creative bought Ensoniq they got their solution to PCI Sound Blaster compatibility. Probably isn’t an easy problem to solve seeing as nobody really managed it back when it was important. Best I saw was some integrated sound chips had BIOS support for SBPro emulation. Maybe it was on VIA chips. Seemed to work pretty well but I didn’t throw all my games at it. Other than a hardware solution, perhaps directly supporting hooks to the ports and interrupts in the OS might do the trick. Not sure if this could introduce incompatibilities if ever introduced in some future flavour of DOS.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        Thanks for the posts! I don’t have the inclination or (currently) the knowledge to delve into such things myself, but I love reading about it. It’s similar to the kick I get from reading monthly updates about the Dolphin emulator (GC & Wii), but your PC-based archaeology hits the old nostalgia bone, too.

        My fondest (also my earliest, not coincidentally) memories of Doom are filled with its wonderful PC speaker sounds. I think Crime Wave was my only experience with “digitized” sound coming out of that thing, though. (It used RealSound.)

        • ansionnach says:

          My earliest PC years were without a sound card so I appreciated games that had some sort of PC speaker sound. The Sega games Golden Axe and Outrun had great music and many shareware games at least made some noise.

          I’m by no means that experienced at doing this kind of thing but I’ve always been into tinkering since I was a kid. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a little inquisitiveness, even with no technical background.

        • ansionnach says:

          Too late, but I’ve noticed that PC Speaker was selectable in the install programme. You’ve got to select “IBM PC or Tandy”. My mistake!

    • yonsito says:

      Just out of interest: I thought the Kyrindia games worked fairly well with scummvm?

      • ansionnach says:

        Yes, they do. If you select PC speaker for the music in ScummVM it works (although I couldn’t get it to work for sound… and the non-MIDI third game doesn’t do PC speaker at all). It’s likely that those who ported the engine to ScummVM were aware that it was in there seeing as they’d have had to pull the disassembled executable apart. Very hard work, that!

  18. Orumo says:

    MGSV and, maybe, some blood bowl le, the second one seems to be the same thing with better graphics but fewer teams and no great improvements to make the matchs quicker wich, for me, it is a shame.

  19. Barberetti says:

    I’ll be continuing my adventures in Canada with The Long Dark.

    After hearing about it’s infamous wolves, I decided to play it on the easy mode until I’d got the hang of the basics. Good job too, as within the first half hour I realised my player character suffers from the “can’t jump” and “balsa wood bones” disabilities, the latter I discovered when stepping off a 2 foot drop and spraining an ankle and a wrist. Luckily I’d already found a small hut with some medical supplies, so I hobbled my way back to it and patched myself up.

    So later on I found the Carter Hydro Dam and plundered it for loot. I discover a door to a new location, so I figured I’d quickly pop through it and have a look before having a break from the game to make dinner. Bad move! The door is one way, and I find myself locked outside in a fucking blizzard with about 1 hour of daylight left. Thankfully I have an axe and a bedroll on me, so what follows is a night of switching between a manic chopping up of pallets, planks, and crates, keeping a fire going, with quick periods of sleep in between.

    Yeah, I had a late dinner that evening.

    So, yesterday evening, after a night in the game spent making sure all of my nice warm clothes are fully repaired, I get back to a farm house I’d found earlier and set about making a nice outdoor fire to cook my food on. That done, I pull a burning torch out of it and walk round to the front of the house … straight into a fucking bear! Having shat myself, I swipe the bear with the torch whilst backpedaling furiously … straight into the fire, which promptly sets my freshly repaired boots and trousers ablaze, ruining them completely!

    So yeah, the end of last night’s session involved me drinking beer whilst stomping around the Canadian wasteland in my underwear, muttering a combination of “Fucking bears!”, “Never harvest clothes, always keep them”, and “I only just repaired the fucking things!” every 5 minutes.

    If John is still playing this, I reckon he’s having similar experiences to me, but with added wolves!

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Canada is completely overrun with Dire Bears. You know what a Dire Bear is, right? They’re like regular bears, but dire.

  20. Andrew says:

    John either playing “Where’s My Electricity?”

    Or “Shave And Then Grow Back Your Beard Simulator 2016”.

    Or cheap synth on a street somewhere.

    (He is ignoring you guys a lot lately, so let’s make fun of him!)

    • plugav says:

      What’s he playing on the synth, though? Could it be “Crockett’s Theme” from Miami Vice, or is he more of a Beverly Hills Cop man?

      • Andrew says:

        Nah, he sings, too! With his voice, I think he starts with A-Ha – “Take On Me”, then Modern Talking – “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”. After that, maybe, Kenny Loggins – “Danger Zone”. After a couple more, he lulls people with something like Bryan Adams – “Heaven”, and then rickrolls them!

        But you can give him a fiver and he gonna do any piece from 80s for you. I’m making fun of him, but I’m not denying his talents.

        • plugav says:

          Wow. Now I’m kind of wishing I was there to hear it, maybe get him to play “Sunglasses at Night.”

    • Grizzly says:

      He’s very obviously playing Peek-A-Boo: SE

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    particlese says:

    I’m still very much enjoying The Elder Scrolls Online, but I’m slightly sad that it’s been the sole subject of all my gaming time for like the past 3 months. I think I will join the Undertale party this weekend.

    John tried to play Undertale as well but accidentally double-clicked on Hexcells Infinite.

    • plugav says:

      Probably. Every time you mention Hexcells, someone else “accidentally” double-clicks on it.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        I got Undertale, but I never got around to rebooting into Windows, so yup, I “accidentally” double-clicked on Hexcells Infinite. Can’t say I regret doing so, but…can I just blame your mention for making me a hypocrite?

  22. Scrape Wander says:

    Undertale most definitely – I love newer games that don’t force 40 hours into a playthrough. Tempering my MGSV gametime with this sublime bullet-hell RPG.

    Additionally, TOWERCLIMB IS OUT. Why isn’t everyone talking about this? I haven’t played it since the beta, but I’m trying to give it a solid few hours this week. It’s Spelunky in reverse meets Starseed Pilgrim. A wonderful and somewhat eerie labor of love.

    • Y2Kafka says:

      Man… I remember Towerclimb. I also remember dying of a heart attack trying to do a Quadruple jump. Good times.

      • Scrape Wander says:

        I’ve got at least 6 hours in this damn game and can’t top the 11th floor.

        So compelling, frustrating, eerie and inspired. I have a feeling I’ll be sinking many, many hours in this little game.

  23. kumasimc says:

    I’ve been excitedly working through SOMA (brilliant) and somehow ignoring MGSV and Witcher3 (I get in certain moods. I will get to them. I just like to know they’re there). What’s been eating most of my time lately is my “I know I’m late to the party” obsession with the Souls games. I beat ds2:SotFS (tho am having a hard time making a dent on the lost crowns), bloodborne has had all 3 endings, I just finished ringing the bells in ds1 and somehow decided that instead of entering sen’s fortress I would just start playing demon’s souls (which I’m halfway through now). Like I said, I get in moods.

  24. Phantasma says:

    Trying to play Skylines: Afterdark but i’m getting very weird crashes. The sound hangs and my whole system locks up. The same with Elite but much less frequently.
    I’m getting concerned as my system is not even one year old.
    Gpu temperature seems fine (if a little high at 70 degrees) so i’m out of clues.
    So i guess it will be troubleshooting for me :-(.

    • Phantasma says:

      If everything else fails i’m tempted to get back into Alien: Isolation. I aborted my first playthrough because the scripted agressiveness of the xenomorph in the medical complex completely stressed me out. But i’d really like to get past that section and carry on. Does anyone know if i could revisit the level later on to collect the various trinkets undisturbed at a more manageable pace?

      • csbear says:

        Can’t remember if you can revisit that particular area and pick up missed items, but I would carry on with the game regardless. I really enjoyed it and feel not only is it the best Alien game ever made, but also one of the best horror games. Typically enemy AI doesn’t bother me that much since I play a lot of video games mainly for ambiance, art, environments, etc. I felt that Isolation hit on those aspects quite well. Going through all those claustrophobic rooms was a thrill. The one thing I felt that CA should have done was keep the game shorter, but oh well, that’s AAA for you. It must be quadzillion hours long. That being said it wasn’t as long as your average open-world RPG, for example.

    • Styxie says:

      I had similar problems with a new build and it turned out being a faulty PSU. Yours should still be well within warranty too.

  25. melnificent says:

    I think John is playing the early levels of amuse the child simulator. The non optional paid DLC such as birthday presents and food microtransactions really make it challenging though.

  26. welverin says:

    The same things I have for the past month or so and will continue for a while: TF2 and MGSV.

  27. Ulaxes says:

    Just finished Metro: Last light redux yesterday and thinking about continuing my 81 hour Divinty: Original sin save game. It keeps repelling me with super hard boss fights but I refuse to lower the difficulty.

    Might switch to some Elite:Dangerous or DarkSouls2:SOTFS instead.

    On a side note: I’m really happy that I ignored reason and my slowly regenerating back account and bought that overprized Asus ROG Gsync monitor. Such fluidity, such joy!

    • Freud says:

      Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition will probably come in a month or two, so it might be worth waiting and start over with an improved version of the game.

      It’s one of those games you have to play and learn from your mistakes since the systems are somewhat obscure so starting over isn’t the worst thing.

      But if you are 81 hours in, you should be near the end.

      • Ulaxes says:

        I think I already invested too much time to start over in the enhanced editon, sadly. That is unless someone is willing to play it coop with me from the start. I couldn’t convince my girlfriend though, she was complaining about the lack of voice overs in the game (which is true and makes the game look more dry than it really is).

        Today I finally beat that bastard Balberith. But that was also because he decided in the middle of the battle to just stare down a wall and not make any ambitions to kill me anymore. I took the bug as a blessing and smashed all his minions. Next on the list is the lich lady Cassandra.

        For me the fights are almost like puzzles. Level differences matter a great deal. It feels good to come back to enemy groups hours later and crush them in the ground with totally OP characters. Especially after unsucessfully having tried to kill them in the past. Oh that sour moment when you realize that you should fight the enemies at this point (after 20 retries).

  28. Llewyn says:

    Have accidentally fallen back into EU IV. On the one hand this is a catastrophic mistake to make, but on the other it does appear to be my antidote to the attention span issue Alec wrote about this week.

  29. sillythings says:

    After having seen that a release date for Episode 5 has been announced, I started playing Life is Strange. I’ve been going through it faster than I expected and just finished up Episode 3 today. Now I feel like I should have started later.

    I guess I also want to finally get back into The Witcher 3 after being away from it for (now almost three) months, but I have to also finish a four page comic for an anthology before the month is over (I’m maybe 80% done?). So yeah, going back to Life is Strange, hooked as I am, is probably all that’ll happen this weekend.

  30. Ranger33 says:

    I just got some new headphones (Sony Gold Wireless, the PS 20th Anniversary Edition) so I’ve been trying out games that take advantage of that. Yesterday I played Insurgency and was able to really get into it, all the snaps and cracks whizzing by my head made it come to life.

  31. Scrape Wander says:

    I really want to try Elite: Dangerous (which has a somewhat amusing acronym, now that I think about it), but I haven’t played a space rambler game in many years. What is the most compelling reason to pick it up?

    I feel like when I read reviews about it, they are often by people who have lost their romance with it. Concerned that the things in it that bore fans of the genre will bore me WAYYYYY faster. Is it worth a purchase?

    • Phantasma says:

      This is surprisingly hard to answer.

      The fundamental feeling of being in space and handling your ship is awesome. Learning the ropes for the first few hours is tremendous fun and something i haven’t experienced for a long time (if ever, never was a sim guy back in the nineties).

      But the longer you play, the more obvious some gaping holes in the design become obvious.
      The mission system would put even the most derivative MMO to shame (fetch, kill, deliver ad nauseam), and although there are thousands of inhabitated systems, you’re quickly gonna realise there is no real reason to travel around much because they are all incredibly samey.

      So Elite is the top contender for my personal “incredible potential but released way too early” award.

      But having said all that, it also is my most played game of 2015 so far. Something always draws me back and makes me forget even my fiercest criticisms.

      So bottom line, i guess i can recommend it on a discount, by the time fatigue sets in, the first major expansion will be out and give something new and shiny to play with.

      But BE prepared to be confronted with the emptiness of space in more than one way.

      • Scrape Wander says:

        Thanks, I think you nailed what I was looking for. Being so bored with it, being able to “see through it” which I think is what you’re getting it – that’s what concerns me prior to purchase.

        As for a sale, it’s currently 40% off, which is what made me ask this question.

        I need to really think about this one. Thanks for your perspective on it!

        • Phantasma says:

          Don’t want to sway your opinion either way, but i think i want to add, that the obvious lack of structure or even content can be a surprisingly relaxing experience at times.

          Had quite a stressful time during summer and the only gaming i could stomach on the side was Elite, the sole act of traversing space or doing some menial task can be quite soothing, almost meditative even.

          But you certainly have to be in the mood for it.
          And even after a year i still couldn’t say if this serenity is deliberate design or just a side effect of a rather empty, albeit pretty, construction site.

    • Ulaxes says:

      I would buy it anyway. Even if it get’s a bit boring after 40 hours. The first 10-40 hours are so exciting that this alone is worth the money. For me it hits the right tone of being a sim and a game (ehm). Learning to navigate your spaceship and flying of into space is still one of the most remarkable experiences I had with a game. Shure, this could be because I played Elite: Frontier as a child and was equally overwhelmed and confused.

      Plus, the game get’s extended over time. Multicrew ships and planetary landings are already on the horizon. Even if it’s just rocky planets for season 1.

  32. imperialus says:

    I picked up Templar Battleforce this week so I’ve been playing that. Great little game so far.

  33. quietone says:

    John is clearly playing MUTE (link to rgbirdgames.com), a game whose existence I only acknowledged just now when trying to make this silly joke. It intrigued me, though (although it doesn’t even exists yet). So, thanks, John, for pointing me in teh right direction.
    Me? Oh, I’m playing the DoW2 pack from this weekend’s steam sale.

  34. malkav11 says:

    I am growing increasingly aware of the upcoming expiration of both my The Old Republic subscription and the subscriber 12x story XP bonus, so I plan to sink some time into that this weekend. I think I am fairly close to completing the Jedi Knight storyline, and would like to at least finish my Sith Sorcerer’s story (my original character) as well before those two things run out. I wouldn’t mind getting another character or two through, but that seems less likely. Since I had a bunch of cartel coins lying around as well (from the Amazon bundle I picked up, mainly to get Shadow of Revan access and a couple months subscription but the coins were a nice bonus, and from the security key and subscriber bonuses), and had already bought everything from the cartel market that I actually cared about, I finally broke down and bought a 24 pack of those random collectible item packs that was on sale. I don’t really approve of that business model and I wouldn’t deliberately buy coins to spend on that, but there’s not much else to spend them on once you have a few basic unlocks. I haven’t finished opening them (actually, I’ve opened less than half) due to inventory constraints and a desire to draw out the experience, but I’ve already gotten some fairly snazzy cosmetic armor, a decent cosmetic pet, and the most ridiculously swanky mount I’ve ever seen, much less owned in an MMO. It’s a palanquined hoverskiff piloted by a droid up front while your character lounges resplendently prone with a tray of grapes and other delicacies and is actually animated eating them. It’s absurdly decadent. (It’s also kinda impractical because it’s huge and blocks a lot of the screen, but ah well.) And it appears that it’s accountwide. As are the armors, -if- you bind the full set. I’ve only assembled one of those so far. Most of them appear to come in three boxes, only one of which you get per pack. (Those three boxes include the full 8 or whatever gear slots between them.)

    I will probably also put some time into Mad Max, which I am quite enjoying. I just got Jeet’s territory down to threat 2 but haven’t gone anywhere outside of it yet. I’ve only encountered one storm in about ten hours (aside from one that I’m pretty sure is scripted while assaulting the camp in Chumbucket’s area), so either they’re rarer than John made out or they get more frequent later. I was going to tough it out but I didn’t see any sign of Mutha Loot (and may not have unlocked that mechanic yet) so I hit up the stronghold and poof. I can see where the combat on foot is weaker and less fluid than Batman, but honestly, I prefer it. Batman’s combat is no doubt incredible IF you can master it but I flail around and lose combos like crazy. In Mad Max, I am a whirlwind of death, destroying all in my path with notable brutality, many combats taking less than a minute and leaving me entirely unscathed.

    I’m also looking at getting the remaining side ops and, where practical, cassettes in Ground Zeroes checked off, after which I will finally load that data into Phantom Pain and get that started. And I’d like to progress Hacknet and a few other things, but we’ll see.

    • Andrew says:

      Storms in MM are pretty rare, yes. But long. I hide from maybe three or four before my Opus was capable of handling anything (almost everything was upgraded, but still with V6).

  35. yan spaceman says:

    MGS V again. I am building up $$ and unlocking weapons and stuff, in preparation for a final push to the conclusion. I was also gifted Road Redemption by a kindly benefactor, which is a hoot.

  36. DevilishEggs says:

    Still in go go Wadjet mode, happily tinkering through the backlog. Midway through a Blackwell marathon. It’s fun to watch the games refine and progress with each successive title. I like the notebook puzzles, for the most part, and having two playable characters, while not the first time in an adventure game, adds a lot of variety to the walking, talking, and tinkering. My only real complaint is that the puzzle sequences required to send ghosts to their final resting places can seem picky and artificially complex.

  37. fish99 says:

    I started playing Arkham Knight the other day, now it’s mostly fixed, only to find that I couldn’t remember how to play Arkham games (the combat), so to refresh I played Arkham Asylum through and I’m now on Arkham City, so that’s what I’m playing. I only did the story last time so I’ll do the DLC and side missions this time too.

    Might have a look at SOMA tonight too since I picked that up.

  38. fuggles says:

    Dawn of war, because I want to get my mods progressed and passed on before my second child comes. Race!

  39. Det. Bullock says:

    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on Gamecube and Legend of Grimrock.
    Zelda in particular as it takes a lot of time to do anything as some parts of the dungeons reset when you save and quit, the camera is atrocious and the controls are almost impossible to use on the narrow planks you have to walk on (I really miss keyboard and mouse), also the game will tell you about the most obvious stuff EVERY SINGLE TIME while being completely vague on much of the most counterintuitive stuff.
    With Grimrock it seems I made a mistake in building my minotaur focusing on maces as I find only swords and axes, well, I’ll put a few points in axes to make them at least usable (even without pumping that skill the ones I’ve found are still better than the mace I have) and focus on armor for now, still mostly undecided about the mage and how to build him, usually when in doubt I put points on spellcraft, a pity I tend to forget spells that require more than one symbol during battle, the light spell is nice though, bye bye torches!

  40. Monggerel says:

    Same thing we play every weekend, Pinky;
    the same exact thing.

  41. Chicago Ted says:

    Still playing METAL GEAR, Also playing Ark with some buddies that got it while it was on sale just recently, and also playing Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage.

  42. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    John is obviously playing Frog Fractions 2.

  43. Vandelay says:

    Having finally completed Dark Souls last week and requiring some cheering up from life reasons, I picked up Dying Light in some Steam sale, a game that I had forgotten about for ages and then suddenly had an urge to try it out right before getting a notice that it was on sale.

    I’ve not played it too extensively yet, but I’ve enjoyed what I have played. It feels a lot more polished than Dead Island, although it does carry on some of the ideas from there. I do feel like it raises some of the questions RPS discussed just the other week about open world games though. You can feel the early missions demonstrating how the numerous little mini-games will work and you just know that soon you will be chasing blinking items on your map to repeat the same actions over and over again. I just don’t think I have the patience for that style of game any more.

  44. csbear says:

    Finished Stasis last night. One of my favorite horror/adventure games I have played in quite some time. Alec was so right…

    I can’t wait to see what The Brotherhood does next.

    • csbear says:

      Oh, I think I may be playing Undertale this weekend. Also, looking into finally playing Shadowrun: Dragonfall as well. And of course, SOMA had to come out…aarrghhh.

  45. Stellar Duck says:

    I shall be continuing my PBEM campaign on Civil War 2 again!

    Just got home from work and had a new turn waiting on me. Nothing beats that feeling of opening the mail and seeing a new turn.

    And by God, it was a glorious turn. Almost enough to make a man pour an Atlanta Sunrise.*

    Joe Johnston had entrenched in Memphis but Sherman managed to cut off supply, forcing Joe J out of his hole and then I pounced with all the might of the Army of the Tennesee. Meanwhile I’ve managed to salvage a failed invasion of Savanah and will be moving that corps elsewhere. To Fort Monroe in VA I think to poke at Richmond from the east, hopefully shaking a corps or two off of the Rappahannock, allowing me to get at Lee. And in the north Rosecrans did something magnificent. He trapped Stand Watie in a town in Indiana during a raid, laid siege and assaulted him, wiping out the entire cavalry division in one fell swoop, seemingly including Watie.

    And then Grant. Oh, dear, faithful, dependable Unconditional Surrender Grant. I ordered him to attack AS Johnston in Rome, GA, despite heavy trench-works. And he forced him out of the works and down to Marietta. Which was great. However! He also trapped Polks entire corps inside Rome and I’m now laying a massive siege there while I bring up Crittenden so he and McPherson can attach the other half of Albert Sydneys army. Oh, what a glorious turn.

    The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
    Down with the traitors, up with the stars;
    While we rally round the flag, boys, we rally once again,
    Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

    * Atlanta Sunrise:
    1. Shot Glass
    2. Shot grain alcohol
    3. Light it on fire

    • csbear says:

      Nice to see you are enjoying Civil War 2. I have it as well, but haven’t played it yet. I’m a wargamer (the boardgame variety), but when it comes to the digital versions, I always end playing non-wargames instead. Still, one day I will take the plunge.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        I hope you do.

        Civil War 2 is really great and it’s been my main gaming passion for the last couple of months.

        It helps a lot that at this point I’ve read a number of books on the war so it’s super easy for me to generate my own stories.

        One funny thing about this PBEM game: I tried my damndest to make sure the was wasn’t a rerun of the actual war but despite my best efforst Virginia is a stalemate, I’m approaching Atlanta at about the same time Sherman did in real life, just with Grant instead and only in western Tennessee am I in a different situation than the real thing. And that’s just because I’m behind schedule.

        It seems the geography funnels the war into the same patterns unless you try even harder than I did to change it.

  46. trooperwally says:

    No one else playing Satellite Reign? I’ve been playing it the last week but have just recently really started to get in to it. Now that I’ve got some good gear, abilities and an understanding of some sneaky tactics it’s great fun. I love the fact that it’s so wide open, multiple ways to attack each compound. Also, there’s a good number of choices about where to put your skills, research efforts and money in order to have a team that’s suited either to stealth or smashing down the front door and taking whatever you want. Awesome level design too – working out which things to hack and in which order adds another dimension to it. All in all, well worth the money and I’m super glad I backed it.

    For balance, there are some negatives too. Saves don’t record which things have been hacked so it rewards longer play sessions and punishes reloads. Also, no saving in compounds means that each compound attack has a certain roguelike feel to it which can get frustrating. I think that’s one reason my enjoyment has increased this weekend – I’ve not got enough big guns that when I’m frustrated on my nth failed stealth attempt I can blow them all to hell and back and force my way through.

    • Y2Kafka says:

      A real-time, class-based strategy game set in an open world cyberpunk city from the creator of Syndicate Wars. -Satellite Reign Website

      Sounds cool actually. I can’t believe I hadn’t herd of this until just now. Lack of real time pause seems a little… strange nowadays. I was never really good at RTSs but I’ll have to give it a shot if I see it on sale or something. Thanks.

  47. geldonyetich says:

    Glad to see Undertale getting some more notice. The game is a joy, a feather in the cap of PC gaming, and there’s even an unexpected amount of replay value built in.

    • Y2Kafka says:

      I wish Undertale had slightly better graphics. Not because I want them, but because the force of all the knee jerk reactions to screenshots could power a bicycle to the moon.

  48. Lanfranc says:

    I’ve been playing Grand Ages: Medieval, for a thing. Unfortunately. :(

  49. moms says:

    My soul is still wandering in The Forest, while the rest of me is playing Tourist: Viking River Cruises/Amsterdam to Budapest.
    I usually like to play Tourist as The Canadian. However, if there are too many hosers on ‘the journey,’ then I have no choice but to play The Big Fat American. (Something I play well, but don’t like so much.)
    Tourist is fun to play, with the Viking River Cruise series considered top of the line.

    Though it now seems that a recent update has opened a glitch that is spawning thousands upon thousands of Zerg into our ‘final destination’ of Budapest, causing some players to cry “foul”and “cheat.”
    Personally, I look at these Zerg as players, just like us. Like we would be if our home spawn had been hacked and attacked.

    I think we’re about half way through our journey.
    I know tomorrow we stop in Nuremberg.

    I’ve decided that I would finish this one off as an NPC.

    • moms says:

      The Meta
      The only game I can play, during this journey, is some Android game called Ruzzle. I stink at it (can’t spell worth shit), but if this John fellow is at a loss for games to play, this weekend, I’d be happy to challenge him to a round or two.

  50. Scandalon says:

    Airsoft with the bro-in-law. Not as fun as paintball, but still better than never getting out. Oh, and finished Dust:A something Tale last night, at like 89% completed secrets and such.