What Are We All Playing This Weekend?

Alice has been away this past week, and so I’d imagine is presumably playing the game of “If I swim to the other side of this loch and run away, perhaps I’ll not have to return to work on Monday.” The rest of us however remain on dry land and I’ve gathered the team to ask them what they’ll be playing this weekend. Leave your own response in the comments below.

Let’s start with lovely comrade Joe Donnelly, who has been pitching in this past week to cover the absences of Adam and Alice. Thanks Joe!

Joe: Much like Graham and Alice of late, I’m still playing The Phantom Pain. But it’s taking over my life, I feel. The other day, I watched a new neighbour move into the flat across the road from my window and thought about what I’d like to Fulton from their delivery van, and what I’d let them keep. I was waiting in line for bread at the local shop and pondered choking out the man in front who was taking an inordinate amount of time to count his change. I caught myself scoping out the crowd at the train station, placing make-believe orange markers above their heads, wondering if they’d rank A or above in medicine or combat. I bought a horse. I need help.
Alec: I’m keeping a beady eye on the Civ Beyond Earth Rising Tide situation, and planning to hop back in if a patch for its currently unhappy diplomacy system arrives. Will my feelings towards it warm if I’m not constantly under siege by malfunctioning AI? It’s a funny old situation; in a way, it feels unfair to have reviewed a game with a known problem and a fix in the pipeline, but on the other it seems even more unfair to have released something broken and expect people to pay a whopping £30 for it. I would genuinely like Beyond Earth to have a redemption song, so it’s a great shame that this was a bit of a bungled launch.
John: [Alas, John remains steadfastly taciturn. But luckily we have an answer from reader ‘lowprices’ who writes:

“This weekend John has been driven feral by his crying child. He remembers what a lovely time he had playing The Forest, and has run into his local wood, choosing to spend his weekend taking an axe to the local wildlife and running in fear from strangers. He’ll return on Monday, half-naked and covered in blood, refreshed and ready to form some strong opinions about Videogames.”]

Graham: You know, I think it might have happened. I think my love of The Phantom Pain might have run its course. We’ll still remain friends, I hope, but we’ve grown apart as time has gone on. So I’m at a loss. I don’t know what I’ll be playing this weekend, though I have many games I’d like to try: Mad Max, Armello, Prison Architect, more 80 Days, Concrete Jungle, Samurai Warriors 4-II. Gosh, the world is my lobster.
Pip: This weekend I will be mostly watching the group stages of the League of Legends World Championships – it’ll be nice to have the time to get my teeth into it after the frantic pace of the previous weekend, trying to keep an eye on it while absorbed with Road to Blizzcon things! During odd moments I’ll either be working my way through solo stuff on Hearthstone, finally, or desperately trying to save my small cluster of outposts and factories from destruction at the hands of my friends in Subterfuge on my mobile.

But you, dearest reader, what are you playing?

118 Comments

  1. Lakshmi says:

    You have 2 Johns. They are both wearing hats.

    I think I might pick up The Witcher again and have a wander around. That article on the upcoming DLC made me nostalgic for the game world.

  2. Jonfon says:

    Galactic Civilization 3. Til 3 in the morning! I haven’t done that in years.

    And now I’m trapped in a weird haze of grey, foggy tiredness and children are hassling me to do stuff. Dammit!

    • Jonfon says:

      Also I just noticed that the “Upgrade to Windows 10” icon has reappeared on my desktop despite my nuking of the updates responsible a few weeks ago. So another round of “Nuke the patch and hidden multi-GB download” is in order.

      I’m not a crazy, rambling “down with new things” sort, I’m using 10 on this Asus T100 as I type, just don’t see the need for it on my main PC and wish MS would bugger off and respect my decision.

      • DailyFrankPeter says:

        I had to remove 3 Windows updates (google it) and disable recommended ones for this to stick.

        • Jonfon says:

          Yep. I did remove all 3 already but didn’t disable updates, cos that seems drastic.

          Not sure what to do. I guess I’ll disable automatic updates and get in the habit of what I do on my Linux Mint work laptop, review updates every week.

          Well played MS. You’re actively encouraging me to disable auto updates by spamming me.

          • realitysconcierge says:

            Hey, I don’t know if you’ll see this, but here’s a link to the new nag update Microsoft issued recently link to forbes.com

          • Jonfon says:

            Thanks and arrgh. It’s like trying to be rid of a particularly persistent STD. on my computer (which I suppose is a nice change… I’ve said too much)

            Thing is I know I’m an outlier, MS don’t care about me, most people will just be assimilated according to the wishes of the MS hivemind.

    • wombat191 says:

      i suggest investing in some velcro suits for your kids and stick them to the carpet

      not that i ever did that while babysitting or anything

  3. Lars Westergren says:

    Trying to finish Bioshock 2. Fantastic game. Once I reached Fontaine Futuristics the game started crashing within seconds of starting. Luckily adding “-dx9” to start properties solved it.

    Dota 2. Currently in a big win streak. As usual after a new balance patch you can see which players inflated their MMR by playing 1-2 of the currently “overpowered” heroes and dominant strategies. Once those gets nerfed, they are are suddenly useless.

    Fallout: Shelter on my pad. Charming, not without its merits, but beneath the polish beats the rotten heart of mobile “f2p” economy. Is it even possible to progress far without buying boxes? The resources drain feels like it is constantly increasing, while income from reaching goal slowly decreases over time.

    SOMA installed, haven’t had time to start it.

    • Vandelay says:

      Played with a Leshrac recently that had obviously heard that he was the bestest, best, thing to best everyone, but completely failed to know what to actually do with. Cue lots of failed solo dives and randomly wondering around the opponents woods with no vision.

      We still won, but the never abating tenacity of the failing Dota player never ceases to amaze me.

    • epeternally says:

      I wish there was a fix for Bioshock 2’s awful crosshairs. It’s one of my favorite games of all time, but those make it needlessly hard to play, and if you boost the FOV they go from just too big to obscenely and ridiculously too big. A simple dot would be greatly preferable.

    • Scrape Wander says:

      I myself tend to avoid F2P bullshit entirely, but something about Fallout Shelter is compelling. I’ve had it on my phone for 2 weeks, and I still check into it every day. It’s like a really, really low-rent Sims, but with a comparable decrease in emergent narrative. Yet, it remains.

      I myself bought one pack of lunchboxes and a robot, and figured for 2 weeks of gametime that was a fitting financial return. I had literally zero need to buy them, and I know that I won’t purchase anything again. If you’re consistent with hitting your objectives, you’ll maintain a stream of lunchboxes – there are 2 in my queue as we speak. Don’t worry about spending nothing on this.

    • Carra says:

      I’ve also started playing Bioshock 2 for the first time. Picking up some slightly older games now that my PC is aging. Lovely game so far.

    • welverin says:

      I had a handful of crashes in Bioshock 2 over the course of the game. Minerva’s Den however, trumped that within the first few hours, can’t remember another games crashing as often as that bit of dlc did.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        Same, I recently tried to play it and it freezes before I can even reach the first autosave. Happened twice so I’ve given up. Shame, it sounds good.

        • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

          Minerva’s Den I mean. Never had problems with Bioshock 2 but I played it on release.

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          Thulsa Hex says:

          I just finished Minerva’s Den, and while the crashes do continue to happen throughout, it definitely seemed to be at it’s worst at the start of the game. The first half hour was quite frustrating as it sometimes crashed when I hit the quicksave button, but that particular problem subsided after a while, making it much more playable. I’d still make sure to save after anything significant happens, though!

  4. Jekadu says:

    Haven’t decided. If my depression doesn’t flare up too badly I’ll play either The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls Online, The Secret World or Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.

    Also Fallen London during meals.

    • welverin says:

      Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, make sure to duel wield machine guns or auto shotguns (if their in that one, I forget), always put a smile on my face.

    • DevilishEggs says:

      I feel you on that account. I tend to stagger all my gaming after the day’s exercise so my interest level is a bit higher. (The age-old struggle of “Should I be using this time to read instead?” remains vexing.)

      I’m lucky to have a psychologist who is a bit of a gamer and doesn’t immediately discount game time as wasted time. It’s a much more social pursuit, in this day and age, plus it offers a certain kind of meditative structure.

      • Jekadu says:

        So far I’ve played a bit of TOR (decided to level my Miralukan Gunslinger), a bit of ESO (I adore the open structure of the game; it truly is one of those “log in for ten minutes and make solid progress” type of games that a lot of games aspire to be and oh look this parenthetical is longer than the actual sentence) and a bit of Fallen London. I also showed the Torment: Tides of Numenera alpha to a few friends by way of Steam Broadcast who were all suitably impressed.

  5. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    I don’t know! I’ve got a free Saturday, home alone, perfect for an epic gaming session but I’m now frozen with indecision on what to actually play. Getting a bit tired of Phantom Pain now, so not that. Maybe get back to the half finished Witcher 3? Or try Prison architect?

    Need suggestions, please help, or I’ll end up playing Hearthstone or FIFA all day and feel dirty.

    • Vandelay says:

      Been playing Prison Architect (not huge amount, only reached level 4,) and been enjoying it quite a bit. There are definitely a few bugs here and there though. I found the 3rd level a bit frustrating due to lots of workers constantly getting stuck or just ignoring all the building work I was trying to do.

      Still, I’ve not played a good management game in a while and this certainly fills that need.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        Yeah, that’s what I went for in the end. It’s really satisfying to play a Bullfrogy management sim after so many years. Seen a few bugs, one which stopped me completing a campaign mission til I googled a work around. As a newcomer the story mode is a great tutorial, eases you in without being too hand holdy. Just reached mission 4 like you, will definitely be playing some more over the coming week.

        But now for some Red Orchestra 2 (see below).

    • welverin says:

      Since your tired of MGS5 (how does that happen?), go back to The Witcher 3.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        Tired was the wrong word, I love it don’t get me wrong, just too much of a good thing syndrome. I’m going through missions too clinically, not necessarily enjoying them as a new challenge (I’ve just reached Africa which seemed very exciting but initial play seems…highly familiar). Figure I’d enjoy the second half more if I took a break for a few weeks and came back to it. I have too short an attention span to play big games in one go, MGS5’s 25 hours is pretty much a personal best actually for unbroken obsessing over. I shall wait and savour it all over again, as I’ve done with Witcher 3.

  6. Oakreef says:

    I finally really started playing Undertale properly yesterday and I could not stop blood laughing during the confrontation with Papyrus. This the funniest game I’ve ever played. Monkey Island might have a lot of jokes but Undertale has humour built right into its mechanics. If the game had ended right after the Papyrus fight it would have been worth the price of admission for me. I love Papyrus, I love Toriel, I love Sans. They’re lovely and this game was clearly made by a complete dork and it’s brilliant.

    I will never be able to do an evil playthrough of this.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thulsa Hex says:

      Found it a huge test of will to not pull the trigger on buying Undertale the other day. I can’t justify spending more money on games right now, but I’m really, really looking forward to playing this.

      • Tacroy says:

        Undertale is really one of the best experiences that gaming has created so far; it seems to be one of the few games that really understand the unique things games can do with narrative, instead of just aping either cinema or literature.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Undertale is my #1 game of all time. With refunds being a thing now there is no reason, no matter who you are, not to give it a shot. Not only is it one of the funniest things which exists, but its story hit me harder than Brothers’.

      Vague spoilers ahead.

      Brothers was an incredibly told but unoriginal tragedy, Undertale was an extremely unique story in which bad things happened in part I did something wrong. And that made it so, so brilliant.

  7. Premium User Badge

    SoundDust says:

    I was looking forward to finishing Pillars Of Eternity this weekend, but it looks like I might need a few more xp levels on my characters to do that..

    After watching the first season of the Marco Polo Netflix series, I’m itching to play some Civ with the Mongols..

    • Laurentius says:

      Well, this weekend I am determined to finish Pillars of Eternity. I am level 12 so it’s time to put this adventure to bed. Maybe, then I will finihs Stasis and finally I will be able to jump into ShadowrunReturns:HongKong. GTA5:Online ? most probably.

  8. Agnosticus says:

    I’ll be trying to enjoy the graphics and the sound of Battlefront, while it’s in open beta and at the same time trying to not get bored to death by the shallow gameplay.

    Also, I’m getting slowly into Starcraft 2 again to get prepared for Archon mode and coop missions of LotV! :)

    And still: Red Orchestra 2, because it’s just great!

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      RO2! Yes, it’s been too long – good shout. I might join you. BANZAI!

      • Synesthesia says:

        oooh i’ve been thinking about going back lately. My fully leveled up mosin nagant is calling.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Installing RO2 right now. You guys convinced me to get back to it.

        And hey, it may run better on my new PC as well. Can’t wait for some bolt action shooting at things I can’t see properly.

        • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

          You….uninstalled it!?!

          • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

            Oh, new PC, I see! New monitor here, so equally excited. Hoping increased resolution will help me spot people easier (who am I kidding)

          • Stellar Duck says:

            I did! I’m a monster!

            Or rather, I left my PC back in the old country and now that I have a new one I can say this: it runs brilliantly! And oh my, I have missed it.

            Is there a group of RPS people playing, anyone know?

          • klops says:

            If there is, I’d like to participate

  9. Blackcompany says:

    Warframe. Again. Because as many things as frustrate me in that game – and there are a few – I cannot get over the combination of slick movement and solid, shooty/hack and slash action. That, and with this being my weekend to work, I need something I can jump into for an hour or three and then put down again, which Warframe does well.

    Perhaps I will even find a mythical piece of the new Trinity Prime frame. I frankly think someone left them off the loot tables – I jest, sort of – but I can try.

    If you have not given the game a go, I highly recommend doing so. Choose Excalibur for your starter frame. He is absurdly powerful now and can easily carry you through end game. The game is a grind, but lots of us folks in the RPS clan are willing to offer up numerous items to help speed your progression at no cost so come out and give it a go. Taken for what it is, its a fun time.

  10. lowprices says:

    Hooray I was right!

    This weekend I’m playing The Swindle. I’ve got 30 days left, 1,500,000 of the Queens Pounds, all the upgrades, and access to the police station. It ends this weekend.

    Then once I’ve done that, I’ll be giving the Steam version of 80Days a bash, and I’ll attempt to hug everyone in Dropsy.

    • Scrape Wander says:

      I love the Swindle, ever since the earliest versions of it I played. Still, I find some controller issues to this day.

      In spite of that, I’ve been making my first regular Twitch stream an ongoing attempt to beat it with the first character – this to me seems like an impossible Steam achievement. But I’m trying! I’ve made it as far as The Casino.

      • lowprices says:

        Just completed it for the first time. It does still have a few ragged edges (though it’s been tightened up a good deal since launch) but it’ll definitely be on my personal Goatee list come Christmas time. The final mission is the tensest I’ve felt in a videogame since the first time I played Amnesia.

        Good luck with the achievement hunt, by the way. I think that level of play is beyond me.

        • Scrape Wander says:

          I can’t begin to imagine what playing the final mission is like with Henry Beresford. I’m genuinely concerned for how completely fucked it must feel to experience a loss on that level on a run like this…if I ever make it.

          One thing is for sure: I’ll be buying the teleporter!

  11. Stellar Duck says:

    I don’t know!

    I finished my two and a half month long PBEM campaign of Civil War 2 last night, crushing the Slavers Rebellion.

    And what a victory. I completely routed Beauregard in Atlanta. Like, completely.

    It was late February, 1865, and he was running out of supply so he was forced to start falling back towards the coast in harsh weather with no supply. His army cohesion was completely shattered and as I’d almost completely encircled him I was able to shatter most of his army again and again. He managed to slip one corps towards Richmond but they got completely trashed when they attacked Sherman how was sieging Richmond where Longstreet was trapped.

    In that final turn he tried to dislodge me with all his might. I ended up taking something like 60000 prisoners and 25 or so of his general officers were killed or wounded. Including Lee and Jackson. Bushrod Johnson, Pat Cleburne, McLaws, Macgruder and more were killed.

    It was a grand but futile gesture.

    I’m quite literally at a loss about what to play. I cannot imagine anything being as engrossing as a two month long game.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      I just wanted to say that I’ve been following your war stories for the past few weekends and they’ve been great reads. I, too, share your love of obscenely long strategy games, not to mention military history, so it’s always fun to hear about the alternate histories that emerge from someone’s campaigns.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Thanks! It’s great that someone liked reading it. It’s one of those things I always kinda feel like I need to share.

        I’ve tossed around the idea of writing the entire thing up for a proper AAR. I basically have a catalogue of several hundred e-mails with the various turns in so I have version control on the entire game along with all the comments both my opponent and me made in the mails. So, if I took the time I could do a proper write up of the entire thing. May be a project for a few lazy Sundays.

        • Premium User Badge

          zinzan says:

          Yes please to the AAR write-up. I’ve also been fascinated by your comments most weeks. I loved the first version of this game, and plan to get 2 one day when i have the time to play such an involved game.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Thulsa Hex says:

    This weekend I’ll mostly be playing with our new kitties. I’ve never owned pets as an adult, but now I’m starting to understand why people seem so bloody obsessed with theirs. They’re so cuuuute.

    Game-wise, I finished the main story in MGSV during the week, and finally got to the end of Alien: Isolation, so I had a poke through the auld back catalogue. I installed Bioshock 2 so that I could play Minerva’s Den for the first time, but it seems that the audio is all messed up on the PC version. I’m sure I have it on my old Xbox 360, though. I’ll probably dust that off so that I can play it without the sound cutting out intermittently. I played through the first 45 mins of the original Bioshock just now, to test if this PC version had similar issues (it ran fine in compatibility mode), and by jaysus, I’ll always love how this game starts. I hadn’t played it since release and I have to say it really holds up, even now. Looking forward to see if Minerva’s is all that it’s cracked up to be, now.

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      Thulsa Hex says:

      Looks like I messed up the XHTML code in that comment :|

      Anyway, I’ve also been trying the Battlefront beta. I think it certainly looks and sound the part, but the gameplay feels underwhelming, and more than a bit frustrating.

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      Thulsa Hex says:

      FWIW: I went back to the PC version of Minerva’s Den soon after trying it on Xbox 360 as I didn’t get on with the brutally slow texture load times and lower resolution. Turns out the sound issues with the PC version can mostly be mitigated by avoiding triggering alarms or having hacked bots follow you. It’s not ideal, but it definitely feels better to play. Crazy amount of crashes, though. It’s a real shoddy port, all ’round.

  13. Scurra says:

    80 Days, like Sunless Sea, keeps drawing me back to find new stories and interactions. The only drawback is that there are several loose ends that keep dangling because I haven’t found any of the resolutions – that’s a rather frustrating experience since it makes me feel as though it’s the writer’s fault even though it is obviously an aspect of the game itself.
    (I shall be spending the day finishing off my 100% run at Lego Marvel Superheroes in preparation for the Avengers title. And getting annoying that the Lego Dimensions game will not be available on the PC. Even if it is a money pit.)

  14. Xocrates says:

    Myself I’ll also be watching LoL Wolrds. As well as putting some more time in Rising Tide (aka BERT) – which I was unimpressed at first but am growing quite fond of, though there was a lot to relearn (Hypersonic Fences being nerfed to oblivion being the major one. They’re little more than a polite note asking the aliens to kindly stay off the grass, and no-one checked if they could read) and there are certainly things that need to be fixed.

  15. epeternally says:

    Nuclear Throne seems to be taking up a decent portion of my game time. It’s way overrated but still pretty fun, even if it provokes a decent number of expletives. Doesn’t take a lot of time or brain power so it makes it a good fit for this chronically ill gamer. There’s so many things I want to play that just take more mental processing spoons than I have to give them. Also been playing Dex a bit which is interesting, even if the combat is pretty wonky. A little disappointed with how short / small it seems to be, but for the price I guess it’s not totally unreasonable. I’d like to get back to Mad Max, it’s just not that engaging.

    • Scrape Wander says:

      You know – and I really want to apologize because this feels like throwing shade at the devs – something about Dex just feels so….cheap? I don’t mean the gameplay being unforgiving, I mean like the entire presentation. The story seems sort of immature, the characterizations have been done many a time before, and the action in it seems poorly thought out.

      And yet, there is something about the game that stops me from writing it off. Maybe it’s years of cyberpunk genre adoration. I don’t know, but something about the game makes it better than the sum of its parts.

  16. Vandelay says:

    Last week I said I would play Book of Unwritten Tales: Critter Chronicles. Managed about an hour.

    I actually wasn’t enjoying it that much. The opening section was quite amusing, even though it was with the weakest of the characters from the original game. Then I moved on to controlling the titular Critter and started losing interest. His thing is cute and amusing for a minute or two, but makes the gameplay rather tedious, where half the puzzle seems to be figuring out what he is trying to indicate. This just led to aimlessly using objects on other objects until something worked or knowing what to do, but no idea as to why (why do I want to make this penguin chase this fish?)

    Instead, I will continue playing Prison Architect. Might play some more Dying Light too, but getting a tad bored of this too. Not helped by an “upgrade” to your attack that let’s you do a power swing that is far to sensitive and takes forever to strike.

  17. trn says:

    Feeling a bit burnt out on PC games at the moment – sometimes after spending all day working at my PC I find it hard to settle down to enjoy playing at it.

    Its been a really busy few weeks work-wise and so I’ve found that my gaming life currently consists of: Nuclear Throne dailies and old DS games (Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: And Justice for All…; Inazuma Eleven 2; Final Fantasy IV).

    • Kitsunin says:

      If you like the PW series, I highly recommend you try to figure out a way to play the Prosecutor’s Path fan translation. While Investigations #1 wasn’t that great (better than Apollo Justice, perhaps) its sequel is, in my opinion, easily the best game out of the entire series.

  18. aepervius says:

    I am actually undecided if I continue my playthrough of MGS5, Divinity original Sin, or continue with witcher 3 with new patch (did random inkeeper with bet of 5 oren (no special cards) always have those incredible decks with 4 rares and lot of resurection/spy?), maybe a bit of all one after the other. I am a bit in a difficult mission with MGS5 so maybe I’ll let it rest a while otherwise I might get angry at being stuck.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    I have been playing MGS5 The Phantom Pain, and I’m somehow only 27% through even though I’ve done a bunch of missions and spent many hours on side ops (too many side ops perhaps, compared to actual missions).

    • welverin says:

      There are three times as many side Ops as main missions, so you’ll be doing more of them regardless.

      I think the completion percentage in this is similar to that in Ground Zeroes, how objectives you complete in a mission along with your ranking probably goes towards your completion percentage and not just the total number of missions you’ve completed.

      THis is what I shall be playing along with some TF2.

  20. Le blaireau says:

    After 10 years the Age of Decadence is nearly upon us. The developer has said that there are only minor changes before the Wednesday release, so to all intents and purposes it’s good to go. Which means a lot of dying this weekend basically.

    • Premium User Badge

      Andy_Panthro says:

      Wow really? It feels like it’s been in development forever.

      I remember playing the demo ages ago. Found the combat really tough but enjoyed the alternative pathways through the puzzles. Hopefully it can live up to my expectations!

    • neotribe says:

      Woah, this looks good.

  21. Mi-24 says:

    Reinstalling Deus ex HR after the article on the mankind divided demo. I’m not sure whether it’ll live up to my memory (the graphics seem so basic now) but hopefully it will. I would replay the original, but I can’t bring myself to because last time I put so much effort into trying to find every secret area in the first mission it took the fun out.
    I will get there someday though.

  22. goettel says:

    Wildstar, not so much playing it as smoking it. And like anything addictive, it’s best shared – so hurray! for the unwashed masses of fresh F2P players.

  23. Cyrus says:

    Diablo 3 with a new class, Demon Hunter. Was time for a ranged class after the Crusader.
    I’m doing the campaign once again also.

  24. younzo says:

    Elite Dangerous :)

  25. TheAngriestHobo says:

    No idea. Mordheim still appeals, but I’ve been playing that pretty consistently for a while now. I may end up giving the Shadows DLC for Endless Legend a fair shake, since I bought it on release but was deep in a Distant Worlds: Universe game at the time. Whatever I do end up playing, it’ll likely be a strategy game… I feel the need to build an empire this weekend.

    Oh, and I’ll also be playing Thanksgiving weekend with the Extended Family DLC.

  26. Horg says:

    Scaling the imposing north face of Mt. Backlog, i’ve reached the Cliff of Risen. It was one of those open world games where I bailed after a few hours just overwhelmed by the scale and number of paths available. Going back to it years later, it feels less imposing and i’m enjoying the hell out of it. Piranha Bytes retained all the best bits of the Gothic games while smoothing out the rough edges like inventory management and clumsy character movement. The story is fairly mediocre fantasy fare, the voice acting is mostly just passable (occasionally wooden), but just as with the Gothic games i’m happy to give them a pass just because of how well designed the world is. Risen presents a smaller space to explore than the Gothic games, but that merely downgrades the land mass from unreasonably massive to large. I think this one will be absorbing a few more weekends.

  27. bonuswavepilot says:

    Going to have a go at the new Plague Knight content for Shovel Knight and probably also have a look at the new bits in Cities: Skylines. Hurrah for free updates!
    Also, are we taking guesses about what John will be doing next weekend? I think he has transcended our ordinary causality, and is now staring – just a bit worried – at the fractally branching multiverse, trying to remember which branch he was supposed to be in (or at least one that seems close enough).

  28. K33L3R says:

    Taking a break from System Shock (thanks Gog and Night Drive Studios) and the Long War mod for XCOM to play Transistor. Need something less intense to play for a bit

  29. Monggerel says:

    Probably going back to S.T.A.L.K.E.R again since I moved back to *unspecified Eastern-European country* and it’s basically the same thing anyway.

    Except Chernobyl has less bandits.

  30. Jediben says:

    Elite Dangerous and Mad Max. Both have stunning visuals when in vehicles and Max is one of the few games where it is a true joy to spin the camera 180 to look over your shoulder at the billowing dust and crazy war boys roaring up your exhaust. Great stuff.

  31. malkav11 says:

    Mad Max for sure. It’s a gorgeous game that I very much enjoy, but which is repetitive enough that it’s best played in installments. Especially with a few Scrap Crew projects built, so you earn some Scrap passively while not playing.

    I’m torn between spending another weekend deep diving on Dragon Age Inquisition or going back to the other Bioware game in my life at the moment, The Old Republic. I have a time limit on meaningful progress in TOR that is rapidly running out so if I want to do that more at all, I should probably get back to it. But do I? Right now I’ve finished the Bounty Hunter storyline (apparently considered the worst – and I can see why), and the Jedi Knight storyline (much better but decidedly not Sith enough). I’ve got a level 29 Sorcerer (my original character) that I’d kind of like to finish as well, and everyone says the Imperial Agent is amazing. But will I actually finish? Who knows.

    I’m also behind on my podcasts so dipping into something like Diablo 3 or Marvel Heroes that’s podcast-friendly would be nice. We’ll see.

  32. quidnunc says:

    Hex: tcg which is my go to game after I got bored of Hearthtone.

    Yesterday I finally finished Portal 2 which I stopped halfway through after getting stuck on a puzzle and never came back to it wondering why because that puzzle and all the other puzzles were easy.

    Since it’s only until the 12th I think I’ll play the Star Wars Battlefront if I get a chance. I had been planning to play Dragon Age Inquisition DLC but that can wait I guess.

    I’m also playing Super Meat Boy on the Vita in extra moments.

    • Scrape Wander says:

      Am I the only one who is severely annoyed at the soundtrack change? I adore Danny B’s original score for SMB, and find it considerably harder to get into the game without it. It was a free PS4 download this month, and I was excited to return to it; after an hour or so, I fired up my steam version to enjoy the original tunes and scamper my way through the leaderboard.

      I hear that Edmund and Danny B had a falling out. That’s understandable – but please, PLEASE don’t alter the soundtrack to a pre-existing game!

      • malkav11 says:

        They didn’t. Binding of Isaac and Wrath of the Lamb retain Danny’s amazing original soundtrack. Unfortunately, Rebirth is considered a separate game and they presumably would have needed Danny’s okay to use his music in it.

        • malkav11 says:

          Oh, wait, you’re talking about Super Meat Boy. Um…yeah, dunno about that. Maybe it’s just that the PS4 version is a new SKU?

        • Kitsunin says:

          I think you misunderstand: The PS4 and Vita versions of Super Meat Boy have a different soundtrack. Rather than brilliant I’d describe it as passable. For a game so driven by individual tenacity and concentration it’s practically a death knell towards my individual enjoyment of the game.

          Basically Danny B. stopped working with Team Meat (apparently not a falling out) after WotL, and wasn’t satisfied with the license fee they offered for new releases of SMB.

          • Scrape Wander says:

            Falling out toe-may-toe, falling toe-mah-toe. I feel like I read about bad blood between them, but maybe I’m just hallucinating that.

            All the same, can’t agree with you more. If you’re going to touch SMB, add some characters, remove some characters, but please leave that soundtrack intact. I was first peeved that the songs were different, but after I played a few levels I found the new soundtrack unbearable. Luckily, steam has you covered.

            Did they actually alter it on the 360’s original download? If that was my only way to play it I’d be genuinely PISSED OFF. As it is, I’m just like meh, I’ll play it on Steam.

          • Kitsunin says:

            It’s changed specifically for the PS4 and Vita since those were re-releases and they needed to re-license the music.

            As for the relationship, they stopped working together because they wanted a style Danny B couldn’t provide for Mewgenics. From there, Edmund said their working relationship ended from “creative differences, drifting apart, personal stuff…” but Danny B said if there were creative differences, he wasn’t aware of them.

            Sounds like it wasn’t anything explosive, but neither has much interest in working with the other. From what little info I see I’d bet its more business than personal. Edmund mentioned Matthias created a track for Mewgenics very quickly (cheaply?) while Danny B wasn’t satisfied with their re-licensing offer. It might just be that Team Meat isn’t willing to pay what he costs. Or that might just be speculation.

  33. Premium User Badge

    zinzan says:

    5x Combat Mission: Beyond Normandy PBeM games, plus rearrange eldest daughters room and then do same to front room (probably some wii idiocy once front room is done.)

  34. ToomuchFluffy says:

    As always, it’s a bit complicated. I have finished SOMA on Monday and even though I have mostly been playing Torchlight with an Alchemist (Level 29, mostly with Pyre and summons) since then, I’m in the mood for something story- or dialogue-heavy. I just have no clue what I should play in that respect. And I still have a few playthroughs of other games going.

    Vampire – The Masquerade: Redemption has been on hold for god knows how many months now. Still planning to give it another try.

    I’m also more than 30 hours into Gothic 1, but I’m not very motivated to finish it. I doubt that I would miss much. The later stages of Piranha Bytes-games seem to never be particularly good. At least according to what I’ve read and considering my current experience with Gothic.

    Also started a playthrough of Fallout 3 with Weather- and Vegetation-mods not too long ago, but have not been playing it a lot after the first 20 hours. The odd thing about it is, that in spite of a good amount of dialogue and even some reactivity in them, it still seems to mostly succed (for me) as an ARPG (thinking of Diablo and such). In regards to killing and collecting stuff, leveling and improving equipment, I mean. I think that may hint at some of the reasons why some old Fallout-fans (and not just them) have problems with enjoying Fallout 3.

  35. aoanla says:

    Still working my way through bundle backlog (inspired by noticing that I’d not played Fez after owning it for about 18 months or something), I’m planning on trying out Gone Home, after a confusing initial experience with Dear Esther earlier in the week (I am uncertain if I actually “enjoyed” my time with the latter, and probably need to give it another go to work out what I think about it).
    Oh, and probably some Wheels of Aurelia, given that it got recommended by so many cool videogame types.

  36. floogles says:

    Finished up shadowrun returns, which was better than I’d expected, having not played a turn-based rpg since forever. I found myself really enjoying the lack of voiceover, making it more like a book. Also, I was constantly stunned at how many criticals I landed on hard.

    Will keep going on Edge, up to the extended levels now. Its rare I play a puzzler where I exclaim “wow” on most levels, and I’m still excited by the changing level design and mechanics.

    Also started up FTL again, after quitting years ago right after getting smashed in my first encounter with the final boss. Going to finish it this time.

    • Ben King says:

      “Road Not Traveled” was on sale last week so I’ve been fooling around with it. It’s pleasant and puzzling, with an unexpected emphasis on wacky crafting recipes. I can see it quickly turning into an impossibly complex struggle as the levels pass and the years advance. It’s dark side is a total surprise- sacrificing lost freezing children in the woods to spare my own life for one more year, weirdly thoughtful txt dialogue, humorous one moment and dire the next: “ninja bear is surprised you could get so close” vs: “Ninja bear asks you if you love yourself” as if I wasn’t already dwelling on the muffled screams of a child reached too late carried off into the ether by a wisp, or the quiet sobs of panicked parents. It’s weirdly heady stuff for what otherwise feels and looks like a totally lightweight puzzle game.

    • Ben King says:

      I meant to suggest you glance over a walkthrough the FTL boss- there are things you can do in that fight that make it near impossible, and other pretty basic steps you can do to make it a much more manageable fight. I never would have figured out the tactics to beat it without a little help from the Internet- really love that game even if I will never play it on anything other than EASY.

      • floogles says:

        Thanks for the reminder, that’s why I quit last time (took me weeks to reach the boss on easy). Road Not Taken looks great.

  37. Scrape Wander says:

    Going to ArtCade in NYC today (late birthday event), so will be playing a number of things. Additionally, I intend to try to complete Cryptark, which is absolutely terrific but hard as balls. I recommend anyone with the mettle to deal with its hardcore roguelite action sci fi elements to give it a shot. It’s quite deeper and harder than it seems at first blush.

    It’s very strange that I’ve pulled the Phantom Pain suckers from my arm. Put it down for one day and have successfully avoided it ever since. I think I’ll give it a shot this weekend, would love to check out its multiplayer aspects, which I’ve wholly ignored.

    Is anyone here waiting to play The Beginner’s Guide? I feel like the RPS WIT did not present it with a glowing recommendation, but it’s one of the greatest gaming experiences I’ve had this year.

    Maybe, MAYBE return to the Star Wars Battlefront beta, but jesus, almost everyone I play with is a fucking master at it. Maybe one of my most humiliating FPS experiences in a good long while. Also, the drop pod map is incredibly dull.

  38. Carra says:

    I’ll be playing Prison Architect and enjoying the tutorial campaign. There are some things that I still don’t get. Some buildings just keep being in the “foundation busy” state. I’ll have to figure out what’s causing it.

  39. horus_lupercal says:

    This War Of Mine. A friend gifted it to me last night round 7, I thought I’d have a quick play… then suddenly it was 4am. Now I’m home from work and it’s time to scavenge!

    I do like this game so far, it’s interesting how I started not looting from people and then food runs low and that old defenceless couple have plenty of food sat in their fridge…

    • Boult Upright says:

      Yes – this. I played for the first time on Thursday evening and only got to Day 28. One mistake sets a chain reaction and it’s all downhill from there. Interesting you mention the old couple, in my current game I actually quit whilst at the old folk’s home as I beat the bloke up. I know I will eventually have to do it, but I don’t have to do it yet.

  40. aircool says:

    I’m trying to play Wildstar again. Whilst it’s fun to find out where all my equipment disappeared to, crafting has become a real kick in the nuts to colourblind people.

    There’s not even any bloody tooltips on the sockets or stat icons to tell you which colour they are. To make things worse, I can choose whether I want to disable the appearance of Fire of Water sockets. I presume they’re red and blue, but that doesn’t help one bit.

    I’m raging… It’s 2015 FFS; the only two minorities that no-one caters for these days is left handed people and colourblind people. I’m both!

  41. Philopoemen says:

    Arcanum

    Just started annual leave – going to devote the time to play; as a Fallout/Torment/Bloodlines fan, I don’t know how I missed it so long ago, so loking forward to oldschool RPG action

  42. derbefrier says:

    I’ll be riding that hype train all the way to the Citizen con live stream. should see some Squadron 42 stuff which should be cool and whatever else they have planned. Probably a bit of battlefront and also continuing my first play through of KOTOR2.

  43. Premium User Badge

    cairbre says:

    Morning was spent playing the witcher 3. Might try and get a game or two of CoH in too. Should be picking up the steam link next week. Plc gaming on the main tv. Oh the excitement

  44. DevilishEggs says:

    Finished Bastion last night, and it left me a bit hungry for more ARPG. Might have to dust off Torchlight 2. Otherwise, playing Arcane Intern as recommended by the first Free Loaders post and might crack open Stasis at some point.

    Bastion was a great experience, although I wish the levels opened up a bit more and had more flat areas to run around and tussle with humanoid (or at least more mobile) enemies. There’s an over-reliance in the later maps on stationary, deadly plants that shoot junk at you.

  45. christmas duck says:

    I’ve just started on that HOT NEW GAME all the kids are talking about…Grim Fandango.
    Yeah better late than never, interesting to be playing through this game now with 0 nostalgia for it, some parts of it are wonderful, I can’t fault the concept or the aesthetic design and the voice acting is top notch so far but other parts are the camera.
    The dialogue is an interesting case, it’s not bad at all but going back to the old stop/starting “click everything in this list” style of adventure game dialogue after having gotten used to the more flowing styles of modern adventure games has been a little jarring. It’s something that’s come a long way.

  46. Urthman says:

    I’ve explored and uncovered about 1/3 of the Guild Wars 2 map, and I think I have said “Holy Shit!” more times playing this game than in all the other games I’ve played combined. The environment design in this game is unbelievably beautiful.

    Last night I finally got to Lion’s Arch, the big capital city, and I was feeling almost weepy at how grand it was. Especially thinking that after they built this astonishing sand castle they had the balls to just kick the whole thing over for a big event a couple years later and left it in ruins for a while before it was rebuilt to what it is today.

  47. Premium User Badge

    zigguratvertigo says:

    I’m playing Longest Journey. A few weeks ago John included it in his list of the greatest adventure games and at the time I hadn’t heard of it. I bought it then, I haven’t got round to playing it til now. But it is good.

  48. Zenicetus says:

    I dunno… I’m in the mood for some strategy, but nothing in the collection is floating my boat right now. I’ve put away Endless Legend for a while so I don’t burn out on it. GalCiv3 still doesn’t feel ready for prime time… I’ll dive into it after the next couple of major patches. The BE Rising Tide expansion sounds disappointing, especially at that price, so I didn’t pick it up for the weekend. I might have to re-install Civ 5 and take another run at world domination in that game.

    Been playing a bit of New Vegas to get in the mood for the upcoming F4, but I think I’ve done enough of that now.

    I should also crank up X-Plane in the FSEconomy game. I’ve got a 100 hour service interval due on the twin turboprop engines in my plane, and that’s going to eat a chunk of my virtual bank account. Gotta fly some assignments to pay for it.

  49. fish99 says:

    Been playing some new games this week, all of which I’ve owned for ages but have never tried. The result is I’m currently addicted to the Battle Royale mode in H1Z1. It’s very tactical and varied, and I love games where you can outwit people. Gonna try the survival mode too at some point.

    I also gave CS:GO a try, just playing DM and Arms Race with bots since I’ve never played any CS before, but I love the feel of the guns.

    And I gave Titanfall a go, which was fun and easy to pick up.

    So three new games which I’m definitely looking forward to playing more of.

    I did also try the Battlefront beta but was hugely unimpressed. It’s not a good Star Wars game, but it doesn’t look like a good Battlefield game either.

  50. Llewyn says:

    Same thing we do every weekend, Pinky: try to take over the world! (Yeah, still and always EU4)