What Are We All Playing This Weekend?

You do realise, of course, that time I spend writing this is time I can’t spend playing XCOM 2. I’m sure you understand the need for brevity. Come on, chop chop, tell us what you’re playing this weekend. Here’s what we’re into:

Adam: I’m playing XCOM 2 again. Even though I was brave, handsome and clever enough to complete it once before almost anyone else in the world had a chance to do so much as sniff the tutorial, I’m playing it again. I’ll take a break on Sunday to watch the Super Bowl and eat some nachos because it is important to live a life of varied pleasures.
Alec: I will be taking a toddler to see her aunt on a train, instead of playing XCOM 2. I will be trying to fix a broken shower, instead of playing XCOM 2. I will be doing some freelance work that I desperately don’t want to do, instead of playing XCOM 2. I hate you all.
Alice: XCOM 2! I started last night, and may already be doomed. Slowly discovering quite how the campaign works… I may have focused on the wrong goals and researched the wrong things. All these ticking timers on the campaign are exciting (and I do quite like the countdowns in some missions too, so far at least) even if I’m not really sure what they’ll do. End the world as we know it, I suppose. Pip may not be playing XCOM 2, but I have created her and brought her with me so she can’t avoid it. Come on, Pip! This’ll be fun! Here’s your gun!
Graham: I have a thousand small errands that have been piling up for months, such as haircuts and eye tests and housework, and this is the weekend I’m going to power through all of them. But I have also booked Monday off work, with the slight hope that there will be time left over to play XCOM 2 and eat so many purple Yorkie’s that I throw up.
John: [Reader ‘Dorga’ caught sight of John last week, and it sounds like he may still be there. “I was playing the Witness last night and I think I saw John stuck underneath the sand temple, but the puzzle that makes the elevator work is really hard, so I think it’s going to be a while before he gets out.” Do let us know if you’ve spotted him anywhere, as I get a bonus for completeness of my logbooks -ed.]
Philippa: This weekend I will be playing boardgames with friends and there is nothing you can do to stop me. TFL might have a better chance at stopping me if their tube strike has gone ahead though. If that happens I will be in bed reading a book about relics.

But you, dearest reader, what are you playing?

160 Comments

  1. varangian says:

    Well I won’t be playing XCOM 2 as the wretched game failed to launch. Bah! I did have a brief play at a new (to me) game called ‘Get a Steam Refund’ and won that in an hour so that was good. Guess I’ll be firing up Invisible Inc. for a bit of turn based mayhem instead.

  2. heretic says:

    Finishing Bioshock – Burial at Sea Episode 2… I’m so confused!

  3. GernauMorat says:

    XCOM 2, which is amazing despite how horrendously it runs on my (admittedly weedy) laptop

    • Vurogj says:

      Joining the dodgy laptop club here. XCOM2 runs, but it doesn’t half complain about it.

    • geisler says:

      Don’t fret, it runs bad even on high-end full tower desktop machines like mine. I’ll be waiting several patches and/or driver updates before touching it again.

      • polecat says:

        Definitely seems like it could use further optimising, but I dropped graphics quality to medium, overclocked my cpu a bit and now I’m happy. Medium still pretty!

      • phylum sinter says:

        Also here – Wanting to play XCOM 2 but the game is totally broken on my rig at the moment – between what appears to be a memory leak, the audio desyncing and freezing in cinematics, and straight up near-crashes that require me to ctrl+alt+delete then magically go back to the game post-cinematic, it’s unplayable at the moment. I’m surprised none of the reviews mentioned this terrible, seemingly widespread issue.

        Dropping quality settings alleviates some of these issues for a few minutes, but i still end up with all of the same issues. Needs patching, badly. Feels like it might’ve been released half-baked.

  4. CarthAnne says:

    Just pulled the trigger on Fallout 4 for $40 bucks on steam. Kind of apprehensive about it, heard a lot of mixed things, but Fallout is my favorite video game series ever, more for the lore than anything else, so I imagine I’ll squeeze some enjoyment out of it.

    • Unsheep says:

      There’s lots of content in the game so I definitely think you’ll be getting your money’s worth of gameplay. Judging storylines is always tricky, apart from being subjective, especially when you as the gamer can change the path and outcome. I sided with The Institute faction in F4 and had a really fun time story-wise.

    • Rhodokasaurus says:

      If Fallout is your favorite game series, I don’t think you’re going to enjoy F4 much. It seems specifically made for people who have not played Fallout before.

      • fish99 says:

        Given that the Fallout series includes both Fallout 3 and New Vegas I’d say that F4 is quite similar to at least 2 other Fallout games. I’d describe Fallout 4 as Fallout 3 trying to be New Vegas and not quite suceeding. It’s very similar to Fallout 3 though as RPS pointed out in their review.

      • CarthAnne says:

        5 hours in, can already say that 4 isn’t near as good as Fallout 2 or New Vegas, at least for me. ;( The pacing is all wrong. The apocalypse needed a lot more build up during the prologue and I haven’t met a sincerely interesting character yet.

        • fish99 says:

          The game definitely has problems with boring characters, factions and story. There’s a few gems in there (like Nick Valentine), but nowhere near enough. It’s just very dry.

          I found by the end I barely even cared which faction won and lost.

          The fun in the game is just exploring, finding stuff and the combat is enjoyable enough. You might get a kick out of the building stuff too if that’s your thing.

          • CarthAnne says:

            The building isn’t bad per say, but I haven’t yet discovered any real reward or motivation for spending time on it instead of adventuring. I’m just not seeing any real benefit to spending what money I have on materials for expanding my settlements, rather then buying ammo or weapons mod or something like that. Basically, the settlement building seems really divorced from the rest of the game, from what little I’ve played. And yes, I agree, Valentine is awesome and so far my favorite character by far. Danse is okay as well.

  5. Awesomeclaw says:

    I’ve got somewhat back into FF14 so I’ll probably play that a bit (although I’m trying to pace myself so I don’t burn out completely). I might also go back into Darkest Dungeon, although it seems kind of grindy and I find it stressful in the same kind of way as a Souls game.

    • Unsheep says:

      That’s my problem as well with rogue-likes and similar, you can’t get anywhere without grinding. I think many of these games would actually be more fun if designed as regular games, that allowed for longer progression. They would probably even sell more units this way.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    I’ve got XCOM 2, The Witness and American Truck Simulator all downloaded and ready to go…. and I won’t be playing any of them because I’m off to a music festival.

    Though I quickly revisited XCOM 1 during the week and I think I’ve found out where John’s been hiding.

    • lowprices says:

      Just be glad you don’t have John as a healer.

    • mgardner says:

      These three for me also, much more interesting to me than anything that came out before the holidays. Plus I can now have dreams about drawing a line to turn on the truck ignition, and driving my rig over all the aliens.

  7. Lakshmi says:

    Lots and lots of XCOM 2. Most of my troops come back gravely wounded, but they’re (mostly) making it back alive so far.

    • Premium User Badge

      Benratha says:

      Yep! If there was a Medical Bay expansion, I’d be building it! I’m having the same ‘problem’ as Alice, too – so many clocks counting down and missions appearing I think I might be missing the whole Doomsday Timer thing

      • arkhanist says:

        Advanced Warfare Center plus an engineer doubles as a medbay – it halves healing time. I’ve got it pretty much staffed fulltime! You can also increase healing at resistance HQ instead of gathering intel, but you’ve got to be really desperate to spend the time on it.

  8. LionsPhil says:

    Heart of Thorns arrived (cheaper on Amazon than directly, although you’ve got to wait for a pointless DVD case to arrive), so I am harvesting SO MANY onions.

    Somewhat annoying that the four-day “account verification” bit only starts ticking down after you become a non-free account, so I still can’t bury my friend in mountains of buttered toast this weekend.

    (Also apparently you can fight in this game or something.)

    • LionsPhil says:

      Also the From the Depths update…has kinda knobbled my fleet a bit. Hmm. Replacement for custom cannons didn’t fit the same role and needed switching out for advanced, and the hydrodynamics have murdered their performance in strange ways.

      Plus there’s a bug that’s stopping anything with a resource collector from spawning. Boo.

  9. rahji says:

    The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth where I try to unlock the last 30 or so items. Just today i managed to beat boss rush with The Lost so I am sure that I can beat all the other bosses, too. Sometime. With the right items.
    Also doing some riding and shooting in Red Dead Redemption. Great game, it is like GTA in the wild west.

  10. LennyLeonardo says:

    I’ll be playing Mad Max because it simultaneously fulfils both my childhood dreams of being a psychotically violent itinerant Australian hobo, and living inside Gorkamorka. If only it was a good game, too…

  11. Immobile Piper says:

    Not planning to buy XCOM 2 before I beat XCOM 1, and so far classic ironman has proven difficult. Anyway, not playing that this weekend.

    Hovering between Dark Souls 2 Scholar edition and learning Crusader Kings 2. Sword-sorcerer is doing good so far, and I agree with some of the criticisms I read last week or so. I just sort of bumped into a couple of the bigger bosses and beat them no problem. To be fair playing a sorcerer with NPC buddies helps. And I did accidentally sequence break myself a super wizard staff that helps.

    They really shouldn’t have hidden Huntsman’s Copse like that, I’ve been a tad overleveled for a while now.

    • Parrilla says:

      Now is pretty much the worst time ever to try and learn CK2. New patch last week introduced a couple of new mechanics (or ones copies from EU4) that were implemented poorly and make it pretty unbalanced. I’d give it a little while for it to be patched out.

      • Immobile Piper says:

        Well that explains a few things. Might just concentrate on DS2 or give XCOM1 a whirl for the next week or two. This is the main reason I lag behind with the releases gosh darnit, my games are supposed to be all patched up when I buy them.

  12. Blackcompany says:

    After working, some American Truck Sim most likely. Really enjoying it, and pleased to see the modders taking to it already as well. Already looking at real UPS, FedEx, Uhaul, CAT and John Deer brands in the game, and a very nice Peterbuilt 389 beast of a truck. But honestly, SCS, the devs, really nailed this one – the world, with its big skies, open spaces, larger cities and those beautiful, movie headlights…just a sheer pleasure to drive through.

    Also, I might play a bit of ‘surf the unexpected but entirely welcome Steam sales page’ for a bit, too.

  13. horus_lupercal says:

    XCOM2 for me, after deciding to have a little play at midnight when I got back from the pub there were some time distortion shenanigans and it was suddenly 5am. I just need to walk the hound and then back to saving the world!

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      It’s rather good, isn’t it! I’m currently suffering from 2 late night sessions in a row. It’s one of those great games where failing just makes me try even harder. I’m failing a lot, can’t believe how many soldiers have laid their lives down for the cause already! Need to learn to stop trying get to 100% levels – leave that unconscious comrade, let someone suicide run at the big bad to buy the others a window to escape. Whenever I don’t the whole group get mauled. Great fun!

  14. Sorbicol says:

    XCOM 2. It’s not XCOM that’s for sure. So far I’ve restarted about 3 missions out of 6 (including the second “not quite a tutorial but almost” mission. First attempt ended in a total squad wipe) and I’m regularly getting my Arse handed to me.

    It’s fantastic. But you really do have to unlearn everything you learnt from the first game.

  15. Unsheep says:

    Its all about racing for me this weekend.

    SBK X, Superstock, as Domenico Colucci, with my Ducati 1198R.
    DTM 2013, as Mike Rockenfeller, with my Audi RS5 DTM.
    WRC 5…I swear this game is way tougher than Dirt Rally.
    Project Cars, continuing my career.
    RaceRoom, some casual Hillclimb racing with some new cars.
    Ride, continue with my collecting of bikes.

    If time I’ll play some Euro Truck Simulator 2 in the evening, while listening to GiantBomb podcasts/beastcasts.

  16. kelmorg says:

    Xcom 2 with little dips into darkest dungeon. A Turn based weekend.

  17. lowprices says:

    Like everyone else that reads and/or writes for RPS, I will be playing XCOM 2 when I can. Except I am visiting family for some of the weekend and I don’t think they’ll appreciate me bringing my laptop, so Sorcery! 2 and Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain module on the telephone will be the fallbacks.

  18. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Playing the game of Trying To Decipher The Steam Sale. Don’t know if it’s a response to people only buying games during flash sales, but with every Steam sale it gets harder and harder to work out what’s on sale on any given day. Makes me less inclined to spend money as I’ve no idea if I’m getting the best deal for that game on that day.

    In terms of actual games, yup, another for XCOM2 here. At first I didn’t like the constant rush, timers on every mission plus events popping up (I couldn’t even do a 3-4 day scan at first without a new mission appearing) made it feel exhausting rather than exciting. But a little way in (got tier 2 guns and armour) and the pace has slackened a little, so getting on with it better.

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      I think they’ve realised that all the gimmicky nonsense from previous sales just confuses people. Now everything which is getting a price drop has it all the time, and the ‘daily highlights’ really are just highlights, rather than any kind of timed deals.

  19. khamul says:

    XCOM2.
    A grenadier has just made it to Sergeant rank, after barely surviving some quite harrowing missions. So she gets to have burn scars over half her face. Now she’s the grizzled vet all the rookies turn to for reassurance when the mission goes south – how will they cope if she dies?!

  20. banananas says:

    Dragon’s Dogma.
    Currently in the Post-Game, inching very slowly and carefully through the outrageous DLC content, which is hard-as-nails and gets even harder the further I decent!
    It went something like this: “Ok, so what fool is gonna get rekt next by my totally over-leveled archeress of doom? Wait, what? End-Game goblins that almost one-shot you? A room with a colossal Eye of the Beholder leading to a 45min stand-off? A room with two (!) giant cyclops monsters and three super tough giant wolf beasts? Are you fucking kidding me!?”

    Kinda reminds me of my Dark Souls progress and I am just loving it. It’s amazing!

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      If you are referring to what I think you are referring to, that is not the post game. You are still playing the game.

      The DLC is Bitterblack Island.

  21. Anthile says:

    I’m wrapping up new game plus in Dragon’s Dogma. What a ride it was.

  22. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    I’ll be raiding some tombs this weekend.

    • ariston says:

      That’s it. And it’s finally all about the tombs again, yay! Amazing world, really great graphics, oh the wonder of it all.

      I haven’t even finished XCOM EU.

      Oh, there’s always room for a little frustration in Rocket League. Makes me bite my keyboard sometimes, but I keeps coming back.

  23. Michael Fogg says:

    I picked up Crysis on an Origin sale (boo, hiss, I know) and was genuinely shocked what a splendid FPS that is. So I’ll be finishing that and probably playing some Crysis Warhead to boot ) the sale is still on until the 9th).

    Plus a fun game of trying to fix up a family members laptop that was ravaged by some horrid CryptoLock extorsionware virus. Watch your email attachments, people.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Crysis does so many things right, I’ve had so much fun experimenting with different suit powers, finding out that you can approach and complete a mission in so many ways.

      It’s really fun to use the Speed power to literally run over lone Korean soldiers (“Sorry, didn’t see you there”) or trying to throw them as far as possible by jumping up in the air and then releasing your choke hold.

    • welverin says:

      While not as good as one Crysis 2 and 3 are still fun SP FPS’

      • Unsheep says:

        Crysis 2-3 received a fair deal of hate but as FPS games they were still really fun in single-player, and very cool. Sure the first game is open-world and thus grants you more tactical options. However I still really enjoyed the urban combat of Crysis 2 and the post-apocalyptic industrial settings of Crysis 3.

        Regardless of franchise a good sequel should offer an environment or setting that’s different from the previous one, in my opinion.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Crysis is a lot of fun. I just wish they hired some actual artists to work on the game. It’s pretty tech wise but as far as any style goes it is it looks like a bland Unreal engine video.

      There’s also too much reliance on enemies that just fire a constant stream of bullets at you with 100% accuracy at you. I hate those types of enemies. This is especially annoying because whenever you try using a mounted gun it is like Michael J Fox firing a paintball gun on a sea-saw.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Editing is for suckers.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        That analogy is kind of not cool, right?

      • Michael Fogg says:

        I hope no Crytek artists read this and had their feelings hurt. There’s plenty of good art in the game, the alien lair, the island after the freeze, the design of the aliens themselves.

        I also now despise the common but misguided opinion that ‘Crysis one is only good for the first half’, when in reality the escalation is handled really well and it holds up to the very end. ‘B-but the ESCORT MISSION/DOGFIGHTING…’. No. All of that is gold.

        • fish99 says:

          The first half of Crysis you’re using the suit to get from cover to cover, picking off enemies and then disappearing. It’s a very fun open world stealth game. From the moment you enter the alien spaceship though, there’s very little of that gameplay. It becomes a regular shooter, with a bad flying level, a bad turret section, an annoying freezing mechanic level, and then an end level where your suit is irrelevant and the lock-on mechanic you rely on to finish the game is prone to bugging out.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        I feel like you’re judging an almost 10 year old game in light of everything that has come after it, most of which was influenced by it to some degree…

    • Immobile Piper says:

      Crysis is fun, the latter portions aren’t bad but they’re not casual fun times like most of the game is. Warhead expansion though is excellent, it takes the awesome half of Crysis and nothing else. Roughly half the length, no alien nonsense. Just you, your suit and some hapless Koreans.

      Crysis 2 is a fun FPS too, but it’s far more linear and just feels generally more CoD-esque in the bad ways. I’d say it takes three steps forwards and three steps backwards. Give or take a step there.

  24. gabrielonuris says:

    Elite: Dangerous. Not Horizons, DANGEROUS… I finally got a new job after months of unemployment, literaly licking my screen everytime I saw this game on sale, eager to explore the space looking at that juicy cockpit. And now I can.

    And no, I don’t give a flying duck about those negative reviews saying it’s boring, it’s a space game, it’s meant to be boring (in a good way of course).

    • Unsheep says:

      People who say Elite Dangerous is boring have missed the point entirely on what kind of game it is, even though the marketing for the game has been very clear about it.

      People like this also tend to impulsively buy games that look stunning without actually thinking about whether they will enjoy that type of game in the long run. Instead of blaming themselves they then have the audacity to claim these games are boring.

      I see this happening all the time with sim racing games. Project Cars was a great example of this. Media builds up the hype by pushing the visual quality while ignoring the content, and people are dumb enough to buy into it because they simply want own a pretty game.

      • Minglefingler says:

        That’s not entirely through though, Frontier did release this as the launch trailer: link to youtube.com. There was also this: link to youtube.com. I’m not having a go at Elite here, just pointing out that some of the marketing made it appear to be more action orientated than it is.

        • gabrielonuris says:

          That’s the reason why we should never mistake a cinematic video with gameplay itself, almost every game out there has its share of “fake” videos.

          I got your point, but as far as false advertisement goes, at this day and age, one should never spend money before they know what they’re getting into; in the case of video games, we can always watch an hour or two of pure gameplay before making a decision, even more when it comes to expensive titles like this one.

          • Minglefingler says:

            Yeah we can and should research games, I never buy before reading reviews and watching videos but Fronier did market the game as action orientated to some extent. I’d also say that there are people who find Elite tedious for other reasons rather than they didn’t know what type of game to expect, features like exploration aren’t very well fleshed out for example and whilst a lot of players enjoy exploring it’s not something that I could do without losing all interest in the game. That’s one example, there are others. Still, I’m not here to put the boot in, just to say there are valid reasons to find the game dull even for people who like slower space games. I’m sure you’ll get more than your money’s worth though, it’s amazing how good it feels to fly, the audio is outstanding and Frontier have done a great job in creating the galaxy.

  25. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Probably more Elder Scrolls Online for me. I played some high-level stuff with some high-level guildmates and my relatively low-level character last night, and I had a blast! On top of that, stealthing my way around the (imperial) city before joining the group was the sort of slow excitement I haven’t had in the game since my long spell of questing started. The quests and crafting and so on are nice and all, but there are many other non-gamey modes of enjoyment to be had in that game which I’ve been neglecting recently. Tsk, tsk.

    …However, there is a chance I’ll get distracted by looking at computer parts since I discovered last night that Oculus is now shipping to Switzerland and Austria, including those Kickstarter presents. o_o

  26. JFS says:

    XCOM 2. But what the f***. I found XCOM 1 to be hard on “Classic”, it felt a little cheaty. Didn’t have any problems on Normal with second wave options enabled, which put the difficulty between vanilla Normal and Classic.

    Enter XCOM 2 and I just failed the f***ing first actual mission, the first one after that intro/tutorial, twice in a row. Also, it doesn’t seem like I’m ever gonna make it without a lot of luck and designating at least one guy for sacrifice no matter what. On Normal. Which, the game says, should be “an adequate challenge for people who’ve played XCOM before” or so.

    I will not switch down to the easier option (“for people who’ve never played tactical games before”), but what the f***. The difficulty is ridiculous. Also, it runs a little dodgily even on medium graphics. That shouldn’t happen on my machine. Oh, Firaxis! And oh, RPS, why didn’t you tell us about the ubiquity of timer missions and about the Nintendo hardness.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      That’s actually quite similar to my experience with Dragon Age:Origins. I played it on normal, because I’ve played lots of RPG’s before so no way in hell do I need to take the Easy way out. Lots of combat, lots of tedious encounters, spell/skill descriptions inadequate, stamina system sucks. Lots of lag in the end game clusterfuck battles meaning health potions, or even skills/spells, don’t activate before you’ve clicked on it 5-10 times. Normal difficulty enables Friendly Fire, which along with the delayed activation of spells, because lag, often fries my guys and makes big AoE spells useless.

      Sometimes, great games aren’t that great and/or you simply suck.

    • Sorbicol says:

      As I mentioned above I have spent most of my game time so far unlearning everything I learnt on how to play the first game. It takes a lot of cues from The Long War mod – especially in making the aliens are real sod to deal with – but get your research up and running and the counters are there. If you can afford them

      My mine grip so far is that getting hold of scientists and engineers is much harder, and you are dependent on them to do so much early game, engineers especially. I’ve only got one and its severely hampering my efforts to get The Avenger up and running.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I am playing through on Rookie because well, I am a rookie. I only played the first for a small amount (was a PS+ game so I naturally bounced off of it) and the closest game I have experience with is Invisible Inc.

      With that said, easy does seem REALLY easy. I have yet to lose a single soldier after maybe 4-5 missions, other than the two the tutorial basically makes you lose. I am still enjoying it though. The game does actually seem to be a lot nicer to newbs than the last.

      • JFS says:

        And that is what I want to avoid. Easy and Normal in XCOM 1 were very unchallenging. I want a little tension and terror in my game, but again there seems to be a big leap from “normal” difficulty – which is quite easy – to the next “classic” step, which makes you eat your own intestines. Second Wave mitigated that in XCOM 1, but we don’t have that here.

        I also fear that by choosing Rookie (easy) difficulty, I’ll spoil the game but still don’t learn to play it properly. Suceeding at one difficulty should enable you to have a good shot at trying the next level, but that wasn’t the case in XCOM 1 and probably doesn’t work here either, because you need to think in wholly different categories.

        I’ll try that first mission again, now. Let’s see what happens.

        • Horg says:

          As far as difficulty scaling goes XCOM 2 is much better than XCOM at the higher levels. I jumped straight in at Ironman Legend as i’ve played Long War to death. So far it is much more fair than XCOMs Impossible. A 4 man squad is still very brittle (more than one high percentage miss per turn can be devastating, and deaths too early are had to come back from) but with concealment, patrolling AI, better overwatch mechanics and much larger and more varied maps it all plays much more tactically than the original.

          • JFS says:

            I guess if you’re used to Impossible, XCOM 2 isn’t that problematic :) I made it through the fight now, but it couldn’t have been closer. One squaddie dead, one wounded, disarming the detonator in the last round possible, 100% hits (no margin for error or bad luck) and no loot. Boy oh boy. I’m not sure about Veteran difficulty.

        • Blastaz says:

          A couple of the workshop mods can give you a boost in the early game: there’s a simple increase to rookie accuracy and an over powered starting rifle. Maybe toss some of those in to try and smooth out a harder difficulty level.

          Someone has also already modded out the time limits…

    • melnificent says:

      I find the difficulties fine but that extremely short timer makes everything a rush. I understand we’re on the lamb and desperate, but what happened to tactics?

      Just glad there is a disable timer mod so I can play tactical and try not to get overwhelmed by alien reinforcements instead…. still feels like a fight for survival, but I can plan my first move.

      • JFS says:

        Yeah, it basically boils down to the timer. That first mission wouldn’t be so hard if you had more time to get to the mission-critical device. I’ve made it through on my third try now, and the difficulty is a little softer afterwards. In one hostage extraction mission, it was even fun playing with the timer (even though it was again a little too close for comfort, evacuating everyone in the last possible second). However, basically every mission seems to have a timer or a “timer-like”, such as the civilian counter in terror missions. In some scenarios, the timer makes sense – such as disarming a bomb or stealing a prisoner from right under ADVENT’s eyes, but I’m now in a mission to hack something, and there’s *also* a timer until the mission-critical device shuts down. I’ve not even blown cover yet. How and why, Firaxis?

        • Mi-24 says:

          There’s a mod on the steam workshop that only satrts the timer once you have been revealed, sounds like just the thing for you (and me, I keep running up against these timers);

          link to steamcommunity.com

    • Raoul Duke says:

      “Oh, Firaxis! And oh, RPS, why didn’t you tell us about the ubiquity of timer missions and about the Nintendo hardness.”

      To be fair, they have talked a lot about the hardness.

      But not about the timer missions, or the massive technical issues, or the various other things which some people might not like about the design choices. I have been finding more and more that RPS displays an unfortunate level of groupthink about these particular games. I know reviews are subjective, this is a private site, blah blah, but I think game reviews are stronger when they address potential weaknesses as well as strengths instead of just gushing about how much the writer likes a given game. In the end a review is surely there to inform people who don’t currently own a game about whether they might like to buy it?

  27. dangermouse76 says:

    Gonna be hitting up the Fallout 3 DLC ( £5 on steam just now ). Anyone got any experience running it on Windows 10 64 bit ?
    Also it a house party tonight and we are doing Rocket league on the projector with in house bets being placed on goals scored and such.

    On a darker note all the deserts are vegan ” friendly “

    • Anthile says:

      Well, it doesn’t work at all with Win7-64bit so I would say it’s not looking good. I know there’s a workaround somewhere so prepare for some tinkering.

      • malkav11 says:

        It absolutely does work on Win 7 64-bit, and the same goes for Windows 10. There’s a couple of related issues where it freezes pretty much immediately on modern systems, but they can be fixed and I can vouch for it being playable, even with a whole bunch of mods. Not necessarily super stable, but that’s Bethesda games for you.

        • dangermouse76 says:

          Yep didn’t even need to switch to one core. Used a script to run in compatible mode. No problems. Have to say it did crash more on Windows 7 but that may just be me not setting it up properly.

    • dangermouse76 says:

      PS: Vegan truffle chocolate FTW !

  28. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Medieval II Total War. Having one campaign going as Venice and a Britannia campaign as Wales. And man, those English are pushovers.

  29. Darth Gangrel says:

    After finishing my mod for The Witcher 1, called The Weird World of the Witcher (a tribute to the Malkavian Mod), I’m now finally free to get it on with my backlog. First stop: Crusaders of Might and Magic. Very nice game. Simple, yet enjoyable, great soundtrack.

  30. GWOP says:

    Still playing Dragon’s Dogma. [SPOILERS] I’ve defeated the Big Bad Dragon and rolled the end credits, which resulted in… the sun being dimmed, the air being filled with ash, and the main city in the game being swallowed by an enormous chasm, from which came forth a stream of even worse monsters to roam the lands. Now everyone thinks I’ve conspired with the dragon, Grigori, to bring about the end of times, and I should do something about it, but I am having too much fun roaming the lands, seeing what has changed and looting new and exotic monsters.

    I hear the (final) ending is super weird.

  31. BananaGX says:

    Lots of (modded) Morrowind. Lots of (drunk driving) ETS2/ATS. Lots of Europa Universalis IV too probably.
    Maybe some NFS ? I don’t like the series but Most Wanted has a burnout-ish feel.
    And maybe,maybe i’ll find the strength to try and not be bored while playing Guild Wars 2. Maybe I’ll finally understand why my friends like it.Maybe.

    • roothorick says:

      Most Wanted 2012 was done by the same guys as the Burnout series and is very, VERY similar to Burnout Paradise. It’s basically Burnout Paradise 2. So, you’re quite right on that one.

  32. fish99 says:

    Not XCOM 2.

    Probably a mix of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (fantastic btw), Diablo 3, American Truck Sim, maybe some Ocarina of Time too. Really enjoying my new 3DS.

    I wanna get back to AC:Syndicate and start Darkest Dungeon but they’ll probably have to wait.

    • Premium User Badge

      pertusaria says:

      High five! The 3DS is a great system.

      I’m really not playing anything at the moment; juggling too much real-life stuff. I can see myself getting in some Pushmo before bedtime, maybe.

      • fish99 says:

        Yeah, I had an XL before but I now have the *new* (small) 3DS and the 3D is so much better. I also picked up a Wii U at christmas. You can’t deny the quality of nintendo games.

  33. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I believe there are some aliens that need shooting in the face, so I’m going to do that.

  34. colossalstrikepackage says:

    I’m playing ‘cramming for an exam while doing a busy job’. Tedious, but the boss battle’s in 3 days. :)

    Also looking forward to XCOM 2. Hope Firaxis can complete their ‘fix performance issues’ sidequest before then…

  35. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Playing “social” games as it’s carneval season. Can’t live in my hole all the year…

  36. Vandelay says:

    Resisting XCom 2 and The Witness and sticking with Bloodborne.

    Anyone that loves Dark Souls will love it, although I am a little disappointed that the mechanics are mostly the same or similar, just with a different name. In some ways it feels a little more forgiving (quantity of healing items, for example,) but I am starting to think that it is just a refinement of some of the systems that DS used.

    The setting is over the top gothic, but in some ways more interesting than DS’s twist on medieval fantasy (but that might just be because I am more of a horror guy.) Just as before, the world is fantastically realised and the history of Yharnham oozes from every cobbled street and every pitchfork wielding infected goon. Things seem a little bit more straightforward so far, but I am starting to encounter a few more characters and loading screens are showing plenty of items that I am yet to pick up with descriptions detailing another rich history to uncover.

    Combat, as everyone probably already knows, is faster paced than DS and it works well. I’m still not sure on what the difference between the different modes of my trick weapons though; the blade out on my saw weapon seems to be straight up better, so not sure when not to use it. I also picked a character that has a few skill points in Arcane, which I am still yet to use any of, but looking forward to giving that ago.

    Will also probably try and play some more Last of Us, although I am mostly finding it rather frustrating, with occasional good bits.

    • Unsheep says:

      While you have more healing flasks in Bloodborne, you don’t have a shield to protect yourself and you can’t use heavy armor. To me the enemies in Bloodborne are also more ferocious than in the Souls games, it is more aggressive on all fronts.

      • Vandelay says:

        True, which fits the theme of them being beasts rather than the empty husks of Dark Souls.

        No shield and no heavy armour may seem more punishing at first, particular if you played the game in the same way you played Dark Souls, but Bloodborne’s combat is much faster paced and relies more on dodging. As someone who always played Dark Souls in lighter armour, making sure I had a fast roll, this probably comes more naturally to me compared to someone who went down the heavy armour route, but Bloodborne also seems to give you more stamina, so I haven’t run into too many issues with being in a position where I can’t dodge after a few swings. Also, you don’t have to worry about weight of items and leveling up your stats to carry more, which I am actually liking quite a bit.

        Bloodborne does seem to have more fights against groups of enemies though. I’ve had a fair few deaths where I have just been pinned and unable to escape.

        I’ll be interested to see how the experience with Bloodborne carries over to Dark Souls 3. We already know that the combat is going to be faster paced, so it will be interesting to see how that works out in practice.

        A little lost in Old Yharnham at the moment. Just found some blood item that is apparently used as part of a “holy chalice ritual” (not really sure what that is about yet,) which was on an altar in a big hall with a big (supposedly) dead beast chained to what looked like a chandelier. I assume I have to reach where the guy firing the gatling gun at me is, but not sure how to reach it just yet.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      I picked this up and was disappointed to find it has the same opaque approach to combat and to explaining itself in general that Dark Souls has, as well as the utterly appalling user interface design.

      I know people gush about the ‘challenge’ of these games, but challenge should come from the actual gameplay, not from the player’s inability to know what the hell is going on at any given point in time due to everything being given obscure names and interacting in obscure ways.

      • Immobile Piper says:

        I’ve found that Souls games are best experienced when you can ask a friend for just enough help. Sure there are wikis, but those are prone to spoiling and giving too much information. Being able to ask “I ascended this to Raw and my damage dropped, why?” or “I’m at a dead end, is there a pathway I missed or should I go elsewhere?” helps tremendously.

        As pure solo experiences they are a bit more hardcore in ways I don’t quite fully appreciate.

  37. welverin says:

    TF2 (contracts), Evolve (weekend challenge), and my weekly D&D for sure.

    I managed to completely finish AC Syndicate last weekend, so maybe I’ll start Rise of the Tomb Raider, Transformers Devastation, or XCOM 2, but I have some TV catch up to do, so I’m not sure I’ll do any heavy playing.

  38. Hoot says:

    XCOM 2, as it’s pretty damn awesome and I’ve managed to finagle my graphics card into quieting the hell down a bit while I play it. I’m sure the performance will be patched soon though.

    Oh, and also Duelyst, which I HIGHLY recommend if you like strategy, CCG or awesome pixel art!

  39. Risingson says:

    I just woke up. I think this will be a “western hangover” evening. Gary Cooper waits for me. And tomorrow the same with Randolph Scott.

  40. Ufofighter says:

    Xcom 2, I’ve already been defeated once in Commander/Ironman because I didn’t pay enough attention to the strategic layer. Now I’m tearing those Ayyy’s apart. I can see myself replaying this for a very long time.

  41. lglethal says:

    Hopefully playing and finishing Watch_Dogs. I gotta admit I’m really enjoying it. And its super fun when people invade your game (even if I completely suck at this and normally lose).

    If i finish that, Rise of the Tomb Raider awaits. Although a question for the hive mind – Should I play the first reboot game before I play the sequel, Rise? Original is only €5 on Steam right now…

    • malkav11 says:

      Depends on how much time you have and how bothered you are by animations of Lara being impaled on branches. It’s a really good game that I enjoyed immensely and close-to-100%ed (which I don’t generally bother with), but it’s certainly got some brutal death sequences that some people find really unpleasant, and by most accounts Rise of the Tomb Raider is both a general improvement and contains much more actual tomb raiding.

    • anHorse says:

      Rise is more of the same but the original’s a fun game.
      There’s not too much plot crossover so you can get away with playing Rise first

      If you like one you’ll like the other

    • Unsheep says:

      I liked Watch_Dogs as well. It was quite repetitive but when you enjoy what you are doing its the good type of repetitiveness if you know what I mean.

      I feel the same way about games like Mad Max and Just Cause 3; give me a fast car to drive and tools for chaos, and I’m guaranteed to have a great time.

    • ariston says:

      The original was good, but not really Tomb-Raider-ish. Play it if you want to see Lara groan, moan, gasp, wheeze and get impaled a lot. She still does it in RotTR, but not quite as much. It’s more like the first two games, lots of beautiful and haunting scenarios and hidden pathways to discover (although they did overdo the “scuff marks on planks to show you where to go next”).

  42. trollomat says:

    As this is basically an XCOM thread, I guess I can just as well ask this here:

    I’m currently downloading Enemy Unknown (bought the Complete Edition on Steam). As my gaming time is VERY limited these days, I probably won’t ever manage to have a second play-through. So what do you guys recommend regarding playing with or without the DLC and/or The Long War?

    • Ufofighter says:

      Avoid Long War if your time is very limited. Standard long war campaign is around 100 hours repeating the same maps again and again.
      If you’ve never played Xcom:EW I would recommend to go to second wave options and deactivate exalt missions and probably activate the option which gives your planes a bonus (don’t remember names, sorry). Mostly because both mechanics are annoying and punishing for new players.

    • FLoJ says:

      Definitely play vanilla first.

      Long War isn’t TOO bad in terms of playtime if you turn on the Dynamic War option which by default makes the campaign roughly 50% the length (this can be tweaked via .ini files to adjust it longer or shorter as desired) but there’s a lot of added complexity and difficulty that will aggravate your rear orifice if you’re unprepared for it.

      Once you’ve done vanilla though I HUGELY recommend Long War – it’s just a massive improvement on the vanilla game and even with Xcom 2 released it’s probably the best modern Xcom experience (until a similar modpack is created in Xcom 2 which probably won’t take long).

    • Josh W says:

      I would recommend playing it unmodded, with the DLC. Basically because without the DLC the gap in difficulty between the missions themselves and the strategic layer is significant, (ie. easy easy strategy layer, reasonable missions, or reasonable strategy layer, and really tricky missions,) and you’ll want some of the extra options (and threats) to make things more interesting.

      The DLC basically just expands your options for unit customisation at the cost of having more variety in enemies and a few more ways for the computer to retaliate in strategy mode, which is actually a good thing in my book. Some of the enemy types actually make things easier early on, as you can work out tricks for fighting them that don’t work on other enemies and can significantly increase your survivability.

      Long war is a whole other level of difficulty, where you’ll need to have played something like “classic marathon ironman” at least to be ready for it, and honestly, you’re probably better off playing xcom 2, aside from the difference in cost with free of course. Then you can get difficulty, reactive enemy AI, but with challenges balanced for people other than the hardest of the hardcore.

    • varbles says:

      I was in your situation a while ago and I chose Long War because it seemed more rewarding. I regret it somewhat because after at least 80 hours of involved playtime I’m not even sure if I’m halfway through the campaign (even having avoided many battles as LW encourages). It makes for a seriously awesome game and I had a blast playing but the really slow pacing has killed my desire to ever load it up again, and I will probably never be able to enjoy the vanilla game after experiencing LW.

      With a limited amount of free time you should still go for LW, it is more to sink your teeth into even for short sessions. The critical part that I mistakenly ignored is the second wave options:
      For an ideal first playthrough be sure to add the ‘Dynamic war’ option for a faster pace (you can’t add these options on the fly). Cinematic mode I sorely wished I’d added because it would have meant fewer wasted hours on mission resets; the game is still brutal but it cuts down on the bullshit RNG rolls. Red Fog was one I did select and was a great choice for first playthrough. Aiming angles and Absolutely critical are interesting but remember you can’t change second wave options midway through a campaign.

  43. squeaker says:

    Playing Oxenfree. And Talos Principle. A nice change from Arkham Knight which I just completed.

  44. Minglefingler says:

    Pillars of Eternity, almost at the end now (I think) but I’m thinking of putting it aside until part two of The White March releases. American truck Simulator will get a look, as well as some Evochron Legacy which despite the less sophisticatd graphics look like it may be extremely rewarding to learn. Last night I was fighting some NPCs alongside some friendlies, we were escorting a capaital ship which got to its destination during the fight. The red hud display for enemy ships turned green which I assumed was a bug so I posted about it on the official forums. The dev responded, saying that this was rare but does happen, individual ships make their own decisions based on a variety of criteria, including territorial control. So it looks to me like these ships flipped faction due to the success of my mission (a success that I played little part in due to being shit.) Now whilst it would have been nice to get a broadcast saying as much, this is still dynamic as fuck.

  45. Kitsunin says:

    I got into the Paladins beta. It’s…actually pretty darned fun. Unfortunately, I’m 99% sure Overwatch is going to fill exactly the same niche, with far more finesse, and leave it crushed and twitching in the road behind.

    And XCOM 2 of course. Mmm…

  46. aircool says:

    XCOM 2. Not failed a mission yet (on normal difficulty), but lost a Squaddie (plus those two you can’t prevent from dying) and have a few in the infirmary. Currently up to two Sergeants who both look totally badass with the extra unlocks. Stun grenades have proved quite useful when breaking stealth on timed mission.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Damn, you’ve got two sergeants and you’ve only had one death? I just got my second Sergeant and I’ve already had 8 people die, only 4 of them rookies.

      • arkhanist says:

        Use high cover more. Half cover is better than standing around in the open, but not by much. You can get away with sticking close together early on before they use grenades, which reduces the odds you’ll trigger more than one pod at once – but still, try not to advance further when you’re already engaged. Don’t even try shots under 50% unless you have no other choice – you can often flank an enemy to get a better shot. Concentrate your fire, your goal is to leave as few possible able to get a good shot at you in their turn – sometimes that means rather than take a crap shot that leaves you stuck out front, you pull that guy back.

        • Kitsunin says:

          Good advice. I think my trouble has been not I’ve been misusing tactics too much, but that I didn’t understand that there are “pods” and assumed expanding my visual range was a good thing, and enemies would run in from the shadows otherwise even if I didn’t “trigger” them. I’ve constantly found myself up against nearly twice as many aliens as I have men, because it seems the best thing to do is to kill everything you see before advancing, as much as possible.

  47. malkav11 says:

    The big one is of course the Upgrading My PC And Hopefully Not Completely Breaking It game, which I am in equal parts anticipating and dreading. I’m upgrading from a CPU that came out in 2004 and a motherboard that’s got to be newer (DDR3 RAM didn’t happen until 2007) but not by all that much to a Skylake i5-6600K and an Asus Maximus VIII Hero, plus bumping up from 12 GB of DDR3 RAM to 16 (for the moment – planning 32 whenever I next have $100 or so lying around) of 3200 mhz DDR4 RAM and from a 3 year old Radeon to the piece de resistance, a GTX 970. So that should be a nice boost all around. Thing is, pretty much every time I crack my computer open and do any significant messing with the hardware, it seems to knock it out of commission for days until I finally manage to identify some problem and get it going again. I really don’t want that this time. But I’ll just have to risk it.

    Assuming I can get things back up and running in a minimal amount of time, I’ll then move on to fancy graphics-y games that should reflect my shiny new computer bits, such as Just Cause 3 (currently runs like a dog after maybe half an hour but supposedly has issues with ATI, and I’m back to Nvidia with this upgrade), GTA V, Fallout 4, and of course Rise of the Tomb Raider, which I got with my video card purchase. Also probably some of Hex’s lovely if sometimes infuriating PvE campaign, but that won’t exactly stress my system.

    I won’t be buying, much less playing, XCOM 2 anytime soon. I’d want to get through the first one, for starters, which I haven’t touched since a week or two after its launch. And I’m not sure I’m going to do that. I just don’t seem to have much of an appetite for strategy games anymore.

    • Bostec says:

      How strange, I just built my new machine and all those parts you have mentioned is what I went for too. The motherboard is nice but the software that comes with it is clunky and has a fair bit of tat.

      The overclocking software is a little dodgy. It did a overclock performance test and overclocked it to 4.7GHz. It runs fine until I play a game and then crashes the whole system. I knocked it down to 4.4GHz and that seems to do the trick. I have to manually put it down to 4.4GHz every time I boot it up as I have no idea to adjust it to remind at that level. More fiddling somewhere is required I think. Hope the build goes well!

      • malkav11 says:

        I was taken aback by how huge and complicated the aftermarket CPU cooler was, but aside from that, a brief moment of panic when it didn’t seem like my 970 would actually line up with the slot that turned out to be a false alarm (I just needed to use a slightly lower case slot than my previous configuration), the usual slightly awkward contortion of cables (it’s a good case but there are limits), and a bit of trouble getting one of the side panels back on, it went pretty smoothly. And I am back up and running a mere 3-ish hours later.

        I gotta say, this motherboard’s BIOS is a real sea change from what I’d been used to. I mean…it has a GUI and mouse support. And all sorts of other amenities, too, but having used a text-and-keyboard BIOS interface my entire gaming career until now, mouse support was what made an impact.

  48. baozi says:

    Crypt of the Necrodancer. Haven’t yet beaten the titular boss in even boss practice mode, kinda hard :/ (Dark Souls should have CotN’s enemies and bosses practice modes…)

  49. Mi-24 says:

    My brother is giving me an ultimatum in which if I do not play shovel Knight I do not get sweets. But also XCOM 2.

  50. Premium User Badge

    Thulsa Hex says:

    XCOM 2 on Commmander/Ironman as I’m a tiny bit of an XCOM sadist. It’s terrifying, but the highs are worth it!