What are we all playing this weekend?

One of A. Hughes's illustrations for 'Sing-Song. A nursery rhyme book.'

I have come to a conclusion regarding weekends. They are clearly not times when everyone is off work and gets to lark about and play games as they please, right? And it sucks to have people talk about how great the weekend is when you yourself are working, yes? So: if you don’t work weekends, any time to talk up weekends to people who are themselves working, they may demand that you sing Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 right there and then. I couldn’t rightly explain why but that seems fair.

What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on.

Adam: I’m playing Stockholm Syndrome, a game of my own invention about being trapped in a city full of strategy games. It’s a lot of fun.
Alec: I thought I was close to the end of Prey after ruining my mind and body playing it from 10am to 1am every night for the past week, but John tells me I’m nowhere near, so: Prey! I’m also reviewing Tokyo 42, but Evil Doctor Embargo tells me that awful things will happen to me if I say anything about it just yet.
Alice: I do fancy a crack at the Mirage: Arcane Warfare’s open beta wizardly stabbing. Some of the faster classes look very much my sort of thing, dodging spells and lunging at wizzes. I’m also biting the bullet and installing the beta Stellaris patch fixing the bug that stopped AI from declaring war, in the middle of a game which so far has seen no war. Let’s discover quite how far I’ve overextended. That Quake Champions open technical test is live too.
Brendan: Probably Dead Cells. I have yet to get past the first proper boss in this “roguevania” thing. But every death only makes me stronger. Soon I will be storming the sewers within minutes and killing zombos with throwing knives and an electric whip. The creators say they’re going for a Dark Souls lite vibe. But it reminds me more of Risk of Rain. And you know what? That’s OK.
Graham: I’ve just started in on Prey, after a solid week of everyone I know talking about and praising it. So far: I don’t like fighting with the wrench or the gloo gun and I hope that patch really does fix the volume problems; I do like the setting, the hiding mimics, and the apparent structure of hoarding/manufacturing/upgrading. I’ll put a couple more hours in this weekend and see whether it’s a keeper for me.
John: I really plan to have a little game break, this weekend. It’s been an intense week with Prey and Rakuen, and I quite fancy some outside and some TV. Let’s see how that pans out.
Philippa: I forgot to set up a cheap bot to automate or possibly dictate my weekend activities so instead I am going to be striking out into the wide world to attend a hen party/Eurovisionstravaganza and then a four-year-old’s birthday. I assume I can just wear the same outfit for both just with varying degrees of DRAMATIC eyeliner.Â

But you, dearest reader, what are you playing?


  1. Magical Melvin says:

    I’m trying to kleep away from EU4 – picked it up in a sale a month or so back and I. Just. Can’t. Stop. New Prey looks good, and DOOM is on sale on Steam – but I know I’m going to sink hundreds of hours into EU4 so I might as well pick up those titles later, eh?

  2. dangermouse76 says:

    Would you believe I am still playing the waiting game for those shite bags Hermes to deliver my Ryzen 1600 and motherboard.

    It’s like DLC for my PC.

  3. Seafoam says:

    Modded Skyrim again.
    I do a playtrough of Skyrim every year. It’s not a scheduled thing, it just happens.
    I install a whole bunch of beautiful mods and make them stable as best as i can during a couple of days, and then I play it months on end until the game gets corrupted beyond measure.
    Uninstall everything the next year, new save, a whole new and different game,

    Fun thing is that I’ve done this every year on accident, and I might continue doing this as a tradition until Skyrim’s modding scene dies.

    Does anyone else have these weird gaming traditions? It would be interesting to know.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Hm, I replay Tyrian every December, I guess?

      Christmas has been detected. Activate Christmas? y/n

    • gabrielonuris says:

      Yes, exactly that, but with the Stalker series; I install a bunch of mods, pray that it won’t break the game beyond recognition and replay it until the credits roll or until I run out of patience.

    • floogles says:

      Playing space quest 1 EGA every year.

    • fish99 says:

      I replay Mirrors Edge every year or so. Such a gorgeous and fun game, and with a good memory you can get through it all in under 5 hours in one sitting.

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      Used to play Ultima 7 on a yearly basis. Then every other year. Now closer to every three.

      • SBLux says:

        I salute you

      • elnicky says:

        Just bought this in the GOG sale. One of those classic PC RPGs I’ve never played and been meaning to. Hopefully it lives up to my hopes (as does Planetscape: Torment and the rest of them).

  4. Mungrul says:

    I was intending to be immersing myself in all sorts of virtual worlds this weekend, having just taken delivery of a shiny new Rift and Touch controllers.
    But my graphics card’s HDMI output is a micro HDMI port, and I don’t have the right adapter in order to connect the headset’s full fat HDMI plug to it.

    • Mechorpheus says:

      I firmly believe this kind of situation is the sole reason why shops like Maplin still exist. I only spend money there when I’ve bought some new hardware, or some hardware has gone awry and I’m missing a vital adapter / cable / tool. Having to put off installing / fixing new toys just to wait for Amazon to deliver the missing item just feels like defeat.

  5. LearningToSmile says:

    I started playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and so far(I’m still in the early part of Prague) I’m digging it a lot, other than the hacking mini game. I can wander around the reasonably open map stealing cans of beer and looking for secrets, and that’s all I asked for, really.

    But I will probably play Quake Champions instead for the weekend, just downloaded the beta yesterday.

    • sinbad says:

      How coincidental, I just started my first playthrough of it yesterday and I too am in the early stages of Prague. Let’s hope we both enjoy it

      • Jac says:

        Mankind Divided is amazing, hope it’s not the last Deus Ex we get.

        It was a huge improvement in Human Revolution in pretty much every department, which I also really enjoyed at the time.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Yeah, it’s a really good game. If you like Deus Ex or Vampire Bloodlines, this is very much one of those and it’s a good ‘un. Feels like they learned a lot from the criticisms on Human Revolution and also from other games (like Dishonored) while bringing in even more links to the original. Also, no spoilers, but I think the complaints about the ending being too abrupt are hugely overblown. It very much feels like a middle game in a trilogy that (neatly) wraps up its main thread but also clearly builds to a sequel and to the events of Deus Ex 1. I think it would actually be really interesting if they ended Jensen’s arc with a third game and then started remaking the old games (1 & 2), bringing it full circle.

  6. Chorltonwheelie says:

    I eventually got bored of Dishonoured 2’s po faced miserablism so loaded up Saints Row IV. What a hoot! I can see the tone may get tiresome later on but for now I’m giggling away the evenings.
    And Eurovision!

    • Grizzly says:

      The tone never got tiresome for me: For all it’s parody, it’s also clear that Volition loves the stuff they are parodying. If anything, it’s more like an ode to silliness.

  7. Captain Narol says:

    Total War Arena, closed alpha weekend !

    Also : Magic Duels, Warband Bushido, Age of Gladiators.

  8. zinzan says:

    Combat Mission PBeM Turns processed, hopefully more to come. Looking after 7 year old and admiring the amazing Minecraft town she is developing.
    Watching World Superbikes, trying to decide between NEO Scavenger or Doorkickers for some fun “bits & pieces”.
    Oh also fighting temptation to purchase new MB & CPU – I DON’T have time to fit them next week so why buy them when price is falling weekly? :)
    Oh also trying to stop playing slither.io – 7 yr old pointed this out to me a week ago and it’s addictive!!

  9. Pich says:

    Purse Owner 5 again. The 7th palace is loooooooong and i sure love whoever put a though mooks fight, followed by a boss fight, followed by ANOTHER mooks fight, followed by a 2 phases boss fight at the end without saving between them.

    • mgardner says:

      I hear you. This is about the time (80+ hours in) that I decided “I just want to be done” and switched from normal mode to story mode. No regrets.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Oh god, I’m 80 hours in and only starting the 6th palace chapter. :/

      I r efficient

  10. Lowthor says:

    Hopefully finishing Dead Space 2, if my nerves can take it. I’m getting pretty adept at taking out even the most scary looking beasties, but when they just appear behind you I’m finding my spine vaporising and the escape key being called for.

  11. DaftPunk says:

    With a rig which can play everything released since 2017 on ultra details,im yet again playing older games;

    SC:Chaos Theory
    FEAR 1
    Freedom Fighters
    Blood Money

    They’re allot better than their newer versions.

    • Unclepauly says:

      I agree except for maybe Blood Money, that one is arguable.

  12. rootfs.ext2.gz says:

    I’ll be playing Strafe, trying to get a run where I don’t die before I install the teleporter piece in 2-1.

    • clonex10100 says:

      Hate to break it to you, but you actually have to bring 4 separate pieces, all on separate runs, to fix it.

      • rootfs.ext2.gz says:

        Aye, I found this out yesterday. On my second teleporter piece run, I managed to survive all the way up to 3-1.

        I’m really loving the game, but I really can’t play it when I’m even just slightly tired because I end up making all sorts of stupid mistakes.

  13. Vandelay says:

    Prey. Picked up the other day and played for a couple of hours. I can already tell that this is a game where I am going to spend the majority of my time bumbling about the space station and doubling the length of the game.

    As others have said, combat is not fantastic, but it has its moments. I also just got a shotgun, which I have only fired once and am already keen on. Also, I am liking that many of the “weapons” are actually tools that have more than the single purpose of murdering things. I have no idea if that continues, but it is really pleasant to see.

  14. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Yet to finish the main story in Xenoblade Chronicles X before starting on Prey or Dead Cells.
    It doesn’t help to begin the gaming day with “Forever Stranded” Minecraft modpack, these “short” sessions go on forever.

  15. Merry says:

    I shall be trying to find some joy in what is left of World of Warcraft: Legion.

    I got to fly last week, which is great. But there’s so very little to fly to now: just endless world quests plus a sequence of one quest a week that will unlock the sequence to get my class mount.

    It’s really dreary, and there seem to be no goals any longer. I just hope they come up with sonething in the next patch.

    Suramar from the air is absolutely stunning, though!

    • malkav11 says:

      This is why I hate their new take on flying. Make us run around on the ground to level cap, fine. I don’t think it actually improves a single thing, but I can deal. If you still want to gate it off a bit further, maybe have some cool epic questline to get flying that gives some narrative to the restriction and overcoming it. But making you do basically everything in the entire expansion in order to unlock flying makes it a largely pointless unlock because there’s nothing left to do with it.

      • Merry says:

        I don’t think it actually improves a single thing

        I do believe that being stuck on the ground gets you acquainted quickly with the layout of the map and where various things are. That doesn’t happen nearly so much from the air, and you’re forever following icons.

        there’s nothing left to do with [flying]

        Well there’s levelling your remaining characters at five times the speed!

        • malkav11 says:

          I get a much better sense of where things are when I can fly wherever I want. And I don’t play alts. That just feels like busywork.

  16. Lars Westergren says:

    I finally have my much needed vacation. Finished Prey yesterday. Agree with John, the last third or so wasn’t *quite* as brilliant, but still great. Still, one of the best games I’ve played in years, a true spritual successor to System Shock. I hope it sells millions (*checks Steamspy. Cries bitter tears*). Not sure about the 5 second ending John mentioned though? The cinematics were short, but the whole denouement took a couple of minutes and had a significant choice in it.

    Dota 2, two international ranked calibration matches. First one went really well and was fun, so I did a second and had one of my usual crushing demoralizing losses where I’m the solo support, and the whole team is floundering inefficiently while the opponents meticulously pick us apart, and our jungler never leaves the jungle.
    link to dotabuff.com

    I played Batman Arkham VR. Great graphics, fun to play a AAA vr title. A few really neat immersion and gameplay touches like seeing yourself in the mirror as Batman (I immediately did “jazzhands!” and was delighted to see old scowlface mimic me. It was also fun to tenderly caress Alfreds face whenever he got close enough. It’s probably not the weirdest thing that has happened with that boss, so I understand he was completely unfazed). Main “story” was finished in 30 minutes though, so unless you do the Riddler puzzles it’s not great value for money. Started on Riddler, but the first thing I faced was a whopping big memory puzzle. “Look at these 64 cards for 5 seconds. Now pick two that had the Riddler’s symbol on them.” Eh, pass.

    So now I’m unsure what to play. I still haven’t finished White Marsh expansion for Pillars of Eternity, Torment: Numenera, or played Tyranny at all. But I also feel like adventure games, and I have loads of those in the backlog, for instance Obduction, Life Is Strange, and What Remains of Edith Finch.

  17. caff says:

    Prey – it’s just brilliant. I played it briefly last weekend – this weekend I’m starting to discover it gives me that buzz of Deus Ex/SS2 where I want to explore the whole environment, read all the notes, and uncover all the secrets of the ship.

  18. obscured says:

    I will be playing Rising storm2 vietnam, Quake champs, Mirage: Arcane Warfare. Everyone should get Rising storm2 vietnam, it’s much better than their last 2 games, it’s still in closed beta but only costs 20 euro.

    • Agnosticus says:

      Seconded! Absolute gem already, that game! Tripwire is really publishing/producing quality stuff.

    • Leland Davis says:

      Oooh … I am so glad to hear that it’s good. I was an absolute fanatic on Red Orchestra 1, and it was my go-to game for something like 5 years. I never really got into RO2, though. I couldn’t stomach how the little bit of auto-zoom they gave to iron sights made everything so much slower and rifle-snipe-focused, and I never forgave them for NOT FIXING STUPID WOODEN FENCES THAT BLOCK TANKS.

    • DeusVult says:

      Iv been hooked on RS 2 Vietnam beta as well, Iv been waiting for a realistic Vietnam shooter since vietcong purple haze & fist alpha. Great game and refreshing to see there are devs out there focused on making a historically accurate game not pandering to society’s snowflakes *cough* battlefield *cough*….. I’ll also be continuing my sandbox play of the hafling master race in Age of Wonders 3, I mean cmon, what other unit has a throw chicken option?!

  19. skeletortoise says:

    Sold the silly motion peripherals that came with the PS3 I got off craigslist long long ago, which required me stepping foot in ye olde gamestop, and actually got a surprisingly decent price for them. So I finally caved and got Breath of the Wild with that monopoly money. And wow, the hype is definitely met. Which is a strange thing to say about a game that I’ve played for three hours and mostly experienced goblin smacking, instant hypothermia simulation, and randomly fiddling with my inventory peppers, all to please a mean old man who won’t give me a hang glider he doesn’t even really need.

    And this coming addiction is also problematic because I too downloaded the Arcane Warfare beta and I hope I can tear myself away to play it in time.

    Also, probably watching Master of None, which I highly recommend.

  20. fish99 says:

    Gave Witcher 3 another try last night, this time on an Xbox One pad. It’s beautiful and runs silky smooth maxed-out on my GTX1070. That’s the good stuff.

    The bad stuff – well Geralt still controls just as bad with a controller, and yes I tried the alternate movement controls, which were worse. The animations for the NPCs are pretty bad too, and the voice acting for minor characters is mostly poor IMO. Also straight away there was a quest with an unsatisfying outcome which you couldn’t predict or prevent.

    I’m sure there’s good stuff in there if you push further into the game, but so far it’s the same poor first impression as last time. /sigh

    Btw RPS log-in is still broken on Firefox. You log-in, which seems to work, then click a story and half the time you’re logged back out and can’t comment.

    • Walsh says:

      I think its broken on every browser. I’ve never had it consistently stick.

      • Vandelay says:

        Normally sticks for me with Chrome. My issue is that it won’t allow logins from multiple devices, so if I view on my phone I have to log in on there, but then have to log back in again whenever I use my desktop. Not a major issue, but it was the main reason I didn’t bother renewing my sub this year, as I was often logged out and missing lots of supporter posts right up until they became a regular post.

    • Unclepauly says:

      I’m going to go ahead and believe you.

    • Leland Davis says:

      Out of curiosity, what is a third-person game where you believe the character controls well? I am trying to calibrate my interpretation of your comment, because it seems at such variance from my own experience.

    • fish99 says:

      I’ve played a bunch more of the game now, killed the Griffon and left the first area, and I’m definitely getting into it now, although I’m kinda lost regarding the characters, places and story since it’s my first Witcher game.

      My opinions on the character movement hasn’t changed, but it looks like the game is good enough that it’s worth putting up with the clunkiness. Thankfully the movement is mostly fine during combat, it’s when you’re walking about and especially changing direction or trying to move a small distance that it feels bad. The swimming and horse riding are also pretty poor.

      I guess I’ve gotten used to the English country-bumpkin voices for the minor NPCs too.

  21. NetharSpinos says:

    Stellaris! Now that I understand just why I’ve been having such a peaceful game, I am torn between fortifying all of my systems & stations for the coming storm or just installing the beta patch and seeing what happens. Thing is, I’ve built my spacehumans to be ruddy marvellous at spacecombat (after my embarrassingly short first run of the game ended in surrender) so I should have a chance, but given the lack of fine control one has over one’s ships in combat…

  22. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    The Unfinished Swan (PS3) is my only gaming goal this weekend, with Devil Daggers and ESO having become permanent background noise.

    Meanwhile, thanks to Alice and a commenter mentioning Eurovision, Epic Sax Guy is playing in my head. I hope it’s not the 10 hour version.

  23. Gus the Crocodile says:

    Stephen’s Sausage Roll is currently making me question where I ever got the idea that I was fairly decent at puzzle games. I’ve managed 10 sausages so far, but wow.

    Still, impressed it’s managed to hold my attention for even that long. Normally I absolutely cannot stand anything remotely resembling Sokoban.

    • floogles says:

      Ha I had the same exact reaction to his other game English Country Tune. Wonderful game but so damn hard.

  24. floogles says:

    Crusader No Regret. What a fantastic game. Mind blowing secrets buried in the levels, a lot of which aren’t even in the strategy guide.

    Fingers crossed for a reboot or revival of this IP.

    • Turkey says:

      I loved those games back in the 90’s.

      I didn’t pick it up at the time, but they’re really an ode to Paul Verhoeven movies like Robocop and Total Recall. Even the manuals are filled with awesome corporate satire.

      Origin were on some next level shit. It’s sad that they’re not around anymore.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:


      There, got my weekly recommendation in.

    • Skabooga says:

      Ahhh yes! So good. I’m currently playing through Crusader: No Remorse right now – it’s ostensibly the same game, but Regret added a few important tweaks to the design, and perhaps more importantly, I feel like it had better level design. Still, I can’t get enough of all the cheesy FMV sequences, so I’m enjoying myself.

  25. poliovaccine says:

    Recently treated myself to a number of new goodies (well, mostly old goodies but new to me) in an attempt to console myself about my current rig’s inability to run Prey or much of the rest of the current gen…

    Utopia for Stellaris
    Pony Island
    Through the Woods

    Incidentally, I lurched to grab Through the Woods cus I remembered it from an RPS preview ages ago, and was super intrigued then, but never heard any more and forgot about it. Saw some mixed reviews, but the negative review seemed to have been written by a dink, while the gushing review was written by someone of evident intelligence, so I figure it’s divisive in the best way. Of what I got, it’s what I was least planning on, but am most anxious to get into now…

    Anyone have any experience with that one? Review coverage seems surprisingly thin for something that looked so promising in the past, and which bore out so many Silent Hill comparisons.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I played through it and loved it. It’s not a lot like Silent Hill though, you may be in for a disappointment if you want a horror survival game. It’s more (in atmosphere) like say Undertale, Oxenfree, Life is Strange, Gone Home… A story and especially character driven indie game.

      There are other aspects to it (which I won’t mention, cause spoilers…) but at its heart it’s about flawed but likable characters trying to cope with all that life throws at them, and a little bit of a coming of age story.

      • poliovaccine says:

        On the contrary, I have plenty of survival horror options, but what attracted me by way of SH comparison was more in regards to it featuring psychological horror via flawed characters, and to that end thus far it’s failed to disappoint… I am a bit disappointed in how it runs, since I should meet specs, but I was warned it isnt incredibly optimized and I do need an upgrade anyway. Still, for a game that’s not about action, I’m totally content with all that. Still curious why it got so little overall coverage? I mean I didnt even see posts anywhere when it came out, even places like RPS which had highlighted it as interesting before release.

  26. Kaeoschassis says:

    So far this weekend I’m playing Skyward collapse – the Arcen Game everyone seemed to hate (except Adam). And uh… I’m loving it? A lot, actually. Didn’t see that one coming. The sad thing is, I feel like I SHOULD have seen it coming – I haven’t played an Arcen game I DIDN’T enjoy, or at least find interesting enough to be worth the price, but I stayed away from this one for so long because of the poor review scores. Feel like a right idiot now.

    Anyway, it’s a fun and COMPLETELY unique strategy game in which you cannot ever solve a problem without creating two more for yourself, and it feels much like playing chess against yourself on a moving board with lemmings for pieces. Much like Last Federation, it also plays best when you stop trying to second-guess it or playing safe, and start just pressing buttons, throwing down random stuff and experimenting – then deal with the consequences. Brilliant stuff.

    • Sin Vega says:

      . Much like Last Federation, it also plays best when you stop trying to second-guess it or playing safe, and start just pressing buttons, throwing down random stuff and experimenting – then deal with the consequences.

      This is the holy truth of Skyward Collapse. It’s why I didn’t feel anything for it at first, as playing cautiously completely undermines the game.

  27. and its man says:

    Hands Free. I’m letting Everything play itself, with every autoplay setting set to max. I want to see what kind of mess this will lead to.
    First observation : looks like David O’Reilly and his team have strongly bridled the process at continental, star and galaxy levels, certainly to prevent the game from getting rid of “doors” to other levels and thus locking itself.
    But it’s getting beautiful at surface and soil levels.

  28. Seyda Neen says:

    What are all these changes to the header picture…

    My weekend is actually Monday and Tuesday, so sing! I just finished Mass Effect 3, good stuff, don’t know what I’ll play next. I’ve got some games I’d like to buy, but the last chapter of The Dream Machine is out and I need to replay the whole thing so maybe that.

  29. Darth Gangrel says:

    “Evil Mister Embargo, may we publicise a review of your game yet?”
    “It’s Evil Doctor Embargo, I didn’t spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called ‘mister’, thank you very much. And the answer is no.”

  30. DeadCanDance says:

    I am a bit afraid to ask but… why does john looks like a vampire digesting his dinner on plain daylight?

  31. AutonomyLost says:

    Prey, that’s most likely it.

  32. drezworthy says:

    My several year addiction to War Thunder continues unabated. I eagerly await the addition of the Italian aircraft tech tree! Also, trying to end year two on a strong note in Stardew Valley, gotta get those candles lit!!

  33. Orchids says:

    Elite and the new expansion for Renowned Explorers. Picked up Dark Souls III so I’ll probably give that a go and see if there’s anything worthwhile behind the hype and cod-fantasy trappings.

  34. yer taffin me says:

    Thi4f. With the news of a new Thief game in the works: link to escapistmagazine.com [going to write something on it soon, Alice?] it reminded me that I am yet to finish Thi4f, so I shall be continuing where I left off. Not the greatest Thief game by any means, but nowhere near as bad as the critics furiously shouted. Still best played at night with the lights off, obvs. Well, a solitary candle is OK but my disclaimer to that is you cannot blame me if your house burns down, thanks.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Man, as a lifelong fan of Thief, from back on since Looking Glass were alive and well, I found peoples’ gripes about the squeenix Thief to be wayyy overboard. I really liked it, actually – about as much as I liked Thief III, which is still to say that the second and first are the two best, in that order, but Thief with a 4 in the middle was, in my book, a totally solid bunch of stealth and the City and etc. I loved the semi-open world/city, of which Thief III only gave a little teaser of a taste, I loved certain changes like the “swoop” instead of a regular jump, found the AI to be perfectly satisfactory, the art style was gorgeous, the missions were varied enough that I enjoyed repeat runs of all of em, and in particular I loved the physicality of your character – actually seeing the hands open drawers or pick things up, or grabbing onto ledges or gripping corners where you lean around for a peek. Little additions like hiding in wardrobes were also totally welcome.

      I definitely concede it was a sin that they made the rope arrows extremely conditional, rather than letting you stick em into anything made of wood, but I struggle to see what was so wrong with the game as a whole. In fact, my only real gripe is that it was too short!

      Aaaand uh, so like, news of a new Thief game is totally news to me… gotta thank you for mentioning that, cus now I’ve got something new to drive me rabid with anticipation (though after the premature death of Tangiers I try not to get my hopes up about stealth games that havent happened yet – but the Thief IP is a lil more reliable, I’d think). Soo yeah. Awesome news. Thanks for sharing. I need a towel.

      • malkav11 says:

        Honestly, my biggest problem with it is that it made the process of looting the level bare utterly unsatisfying, simply because where in the original games you were stealing valuables worth hundreds of gold at a time, in the fourth game it’s like, scissors and pens and silverware worth sometimes as much as 10-15 gold but usually more like 3-5. Functionally it’s pretty similar, but in terms of the psychology it just feels super penny ante and not at all like you’re the master thief the game claims.

        • Unclepauly says:

          I suspect it was a little more realistic for the time, as a career thief can’t just steal huge ticket items. Although I never finished the game so I don’t know if the shiny valuables got better towards the end.

        • poliovaccine says:

          Interesting you point that out – I never actually noticed the discrepancy in loot value, cus I always played by the percentage of loot found in a given area, rather than paying any mind to the actual number. Doubt knowing that now would affect my experience if I went back, but yeah, I just never really registered that.

          Incidentally, I felt like that was one of the very few games where having multiple types of collectibles actually works – and again, I was paying more mind to getting all the loot and hidden or special items I could, rather than watching their total amount (never really had to pay it mind cus trying to 100% the loot all the time meant I was never scraping for supplies at the dealers/shops). But yeah, I dont see much use for that stuff in Assassin’s Creed or the GTAlikes, yet in a game specifically about stealing goodies, that just seemed to fit.

          Plus, I totally loved the addition of opium use, for my own idiosyncratic reasons.

          • DelrueOfDetroit says:

            One for Garret. One for me.

            One for Garret. Two for…


    • fish99 says:

      What’s undeniable is that it scored significantly lower in reviews (critic and user) than the previous entries. I don’t want to speculate since I haven’t played it, but there has to be reasons for that.

      • keefybabe says:

        I have. It’s undeniably the worst game in the series, and the animated transitions don’t help (if I see that blocking plank one more time I swear…) but I especially think that the biggest missteps they made were recasting Garret and giving garret a save the girl quest.

        Garret doesn’t need that, just tell him there’s expensive shit in there and you’re done.

        The game and the mechanics were OK. Not as good as the other 3 but good enough that if it didn’t have “Thief” attached to it, people would think fondly of it.

        • fish99 says:

          Thanks. I’ll definitely have a look at it someday. If the actual stealth mechanics work the same as T1/2, and it has some atmosphere, I think I would still enjoy it.

  35. Ushao says:

    Some more Nier:Automata for me, that game is gorgeous and I’m really digging the story. Also some of my usual weekend Warframe with friends and possibly some members of Rock, Paper, Skana.

  36. malkav11 says:

    The two major games on my docket are Prey, which I’ve played maybe an hour of since it unlocked and thought was quite cool so far, and Mass Effect Andromeda. Still. I’ll probably play more Andromeda than Prey, TBH, both because it lends itself better to conversation with friends and forums (Prey I wouldn’t discuss at all because it all feels like spoilers to me), and because there’s a bunch of major questlines kicking off for me at the moment. Very disappointing that a game that I am thoroughly enjoying got such an IMO undeserved negative rep that the whole series is being shelved.

    I do still want to play through Stories Untold, and knock out another chapter or two of Ghost Trick on my iPad, and of course dip into Hex as I do every week.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Many of Andromeda’s launch issues were hot-button ones or easily meme-ified. It was a perfect recipe for an internet storm, and that’s exactly what they got.

      It deserves SOME of that negative rep, yes, but not nearly that much.

      In fact, I just started an ME1 playthrough today. And I gotta say, without the rose-tinted nostalgia glasses, it is the inferior game in many ways.

      • Hoot says:

        Andromeda deserves all, if not more, of the bad press it received. Even if you don’t take into account the vapid characters, the juvenile dialogue and the glorified fetch quests then the UI alone damns the game to the seventh circle of Hell.

        I replayed the original Mass Effect lately as well, and although very much a game of it’s time (it’s 10 years old) it’s still a better game than Andromeda. And the sequels (especially Mass Effect 2) blow the new game out of the water.

        • brucethemoose says:

          ME1’s UI is a sore point too, IMHO.

          But yeah, the characters and dialogue… SAM is the only interesting one (and he didn’t get nearly enough development), Drak was OK, other than that I barely even remember anyone’s name.

          I was mostly thinking of the SJW accusations, which are bogus as far as I can tell, but got a TON of attention.

        • malkav11 says:

          Andromeda successfully executes on exploration (and the whole rover thing) a lot more so than ME1 ever did. It’s also got the best combat in the franchise, with all the things I liked about ME3 (weapon variety, skill tree branching, enemy variety, etc), some things I didn’t like excised (the fucking global cooldown system, random ammo packs spawning only when you were low on ammo), and added mobility and build flexibility.

          I still hesitate to call Andromeda the best in the franchise since ME1 still has a pretty good claim to that particular crown, but it’s in the running. The only advantage I’d give either of the other two over Andromeda are characters, and even that I think is as much to do with the overdramatic, lurid style of the latter ME games making them more memorable as it is to do with the characters actually being better. The games sure as fuck aren’t.

          • fiendling says:

            @malkav11 I agree 100%.

            I enjoyed Mass Effect 3 much less than Andromeda. Vanilla ME3 (sans DLC) was overall pretty “meh” with the exception of the Tuchanka mission and, to a lesser extent, the Rannoch mission. The ending was also abysmal, and not because it is sad. It was terrible because:
            1) It’s a bloody Deus Ex Machina
            2) It was completely illogical. An AI race, the reapers, periodically kills off all intelligent biological races in the galaxy to prevent them from developing AI that may kill off all biological races in the future? Who thought up this drivel? The abovementioned Rannoch mission also disproves this stupidity and it is in the same bloody game.
            3) It completely contradicts the lore and physics that was established throughout the games leading up to this shit-show of a conclusion. For example: in the ME2 Arrival DLC it was established that the destruction of a Mass Effect relay also obliterates the solar system it is based in. That is what happened to the Bahak system and is also why the Batarians were so (understandably) pissed off with Shepard at the start of Mass Effect 3. Those pretty, coloured explosions in the final cut-scene, completely destroyed the Sol system (Earth), Aralakh System (Tuchanka), Parnitha System (Thessia), Pranas System (Sur’Kesh), Trebia System (Palaven) and so forth. A reaper victory would have been less costly by far.

            Anyway, let me stop here before I really work up some steam.

          • brucethemoose says:

            One of the endings just damaged the relays instead of destroying them, right?

            The choices were the worst part for me. You either

            A: Unleash an FTL energy wave powerful enough to cover the galaxy, but ONLY destroys synthetic life. Mind you, this is from a large space station, not some planet-sized construct like the Halo arrays.

            B: Take control of the Reapers, as if a hyper-advanced AI would somehow allow that and be altered by a single human mind.

            C: Somehow merge all synthetic and genetic life together, all at once, with a pulse from that space station. That’s… That’s just WAY beyond sci-fi plausibility. Oh, and Shepard somehow showed the Reapers how to do that, and for some reason they don’t choose to do it themselves.

        • brucethemoose says:

          ME1’s UI is a sore point too, IMHO.

          But yeah, the characters and dialogue… SAM is the only interesting one (and he didn’t get nearly enough development), Drak was OK, other than that I barely even remember anyone’s name.

          I was mostly thinking of the (3 letter acronym) accusations, which are bogus as far as I can tell, but got a TON of attention.

          This is a comment repost, btw. My original one didn’t get through, I don’t think :/

  37. Reverend Dak says:

    Quake Champions Beta, CS:GO, and DOOM (2016). And tabletop boardgames.

  38. The Bitcher III says:

    Dizhonored 2. Just the demo. That’s a lot of free game right there.

    First playthrough as Emily on difficult got very bloody very quickly. Halfway through the second chapter, Clockwork Mother is emotionally mothballing me – as if I am killing the innocent out of choice, rather than desperately fighting off people who charge at me with swods and guns.

    Second playthrough has gone exactly the same way. Slipped off a roof, got trapped and left a huge pile of bodies. Ran down the wrong side of the street, and left a huge pile of body parts.

    Dammit. Good fun tho, and deserves the immersive tag.

    Third time is a bonecharm.

  39. redgore says:

    The waiting on steam to download on a game game. And then playing the game. Final Fantasy X/X-2 remastered. I did the usual thing of deciding I wanted to play a certain game a few hours before bed and realising I needed to download it still. lol

  40. FizicsMcmanus says:

    Dead Cells. It reminds me of Rogue Legacy. A nice little Metroidvania with Perma-Death that has somehow dragged my attention away from Prey.

    • phanatic62 says:

      Dead Cells, indeed! About to start my second round of play. I had to play around with the controller binds to find something I was comfortable with, but it’s an intriguing game.

  41. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Taking a break from Persona 5 to play Prey. Played about 3 hours last night and so far I am digging it. The wrench I don’t find to be that bad. You just need to time your hits. I’ve been playing on Hard in an attempt to maximize tension and you certainly don’t take too many hits. The good gun I haven’t fallen in love with yet, although I did feel pretty clever taking out a Typhon with a goo + explosive canister combo. Haven’t found any places to use it for exploration.

    I’ll probably play Persona 5 still. I am around 80 hours with 5 months left on the calendar so I’m a little burnt out at this point.

  42. Rainshine says:

    Stellaris. What with the fact I can in fact have two savegames at once of different races, I’m trying xenophiles. So far: the first four races I met have been militant xenophobes, and the primitive civ I went to uplift are also xenophobic. In the first five years, I spawned a cult faction and a pirate faction at the same time, which went on to devastate all my space stations, setting me back years. Finally got them built back up, triggered an event to give those nasty cultists battleships when I’m still in base corvettes. I did finally find another non-xenophobe though, so I’m working on building a Federation with them. And this is all my first time through Ironman, so I’m super paranoid and scared.

    Probably Subnautica too. I’ve got my second (well, third) base pilings down far away from all my other resources, where there’s nothing but lots of glowy bits and heat, so unlimited power. Pretty much no other resources though, so making lots of Seamoth runs for titanium to keep building with.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Are they purifiers?

      If not, you could end up being a vassal, which is actually an interesting way to play.

      • Rainshine says:

        Nope; I’ve actually got a federation going now with my buddies to the south, and have been using my influence to drop stations over every primitive planet I can to start helping them along. Then the Federation started growing; right now we’ve got four full members, and another three association I think. The militants have banded together, but there’s only three of them. And then the two Ascendancies; one that hates me because I colonized a Gaia planet that they happen to hold as Holy, the other because they’re Humans who want to kill everyone. My main issue right now is actually nearly every quest objective I’ve had spawn (collecting animals, wiping out cult, ancient predecessors) have all spawned in the territory of the guys who closed their borders to me. There’ll have to be a war eventually, but…
        Oh, I learned that borders can change backwards apparently? Space that I had built mining stations in got taken over peacefully when someone colonized nearby; I had thought that couldn’t happen.

        • brucethemoose says:

          Yeah. I actually just built a frontier outpost near a border to get a system with 2 zro in my territory, then another to secure it.

          • Rainshine says:

            This tip saved me. I went with hyper drive this game, because last couple had been warp. Unfortunately, I found myself hemmed in. North, rival, closed border. West, nothing but blackness. Southwest, Ascendancy, closed border. South, open, until a rival plopped down a frontier outpost awful close to the only lane out. Thankfully my buddies the Finu already had one just north of there, and it’s the only lane that exits my space. Southeast, aforementioned rival, closed border. West was what killed me — I had settled frontier outposts that way, no planets found habitable yet. There were two lanes, one with a 5k pirate squadron, the other with an Old Guard ~22k (my maxxed fleet was ~800 at the time). Somehow the rivals to north and south, without settling or outposting anything new, managed to cap off BEHIND me, the one system that led to my frontier outpost (direct connection, right next door). With your tip, I was able to push the border between my south rival and the blackness back (took three outposts — my poor influence income :( ) enough to get one clear lane around.

  43. criskywalker says:

    Well, after trying the Doom demo a few weeks ago I decided to get the full game, so I’ll probably be playing that.

    And obviously Rocket League, although I’m not sure about the changes they made to Neo-Tokyo.

    Also maybe some Hearthstone.

  44. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I don’t get it. That header image has got to be a Tenniel illustration. It’s definitely his style, and the girl in it is a dead ringer for his other pictures of Alice. And yet, that’s not his signature. Can any cybersleuths explain what I’m looking at?

    Also, I’ve been playing the Mirror’s Edge games, because I can play them both for $5 on Origin, provided that I finish them within a month.

  45. Shinard says:

    The Long Journey Home, I think (Yes, I’m in the beta. Yes, I’m mildly afraid of Cobbett sponsored assassins coming after me for revealing that). First time, I bounced off hard. Second time, I got to grips with it but couldn’t quite get the hook. Third time, I think I got it but my computer crashed. From everything I’ve heard, it’s a game I know I’ll love. Fourth time’s the charm?

  46. fiendling says:

    The Secret World Legends closed beta. Their NDA is very strict indeed, so I cannot say anything else.

    In between, for some fun, Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Isn’t it just an update, or a complete rework? I’m suprised the NDA is so tight.

      • fiendling says:

        Without going into any details (because I can’t), it is quite different. It leans more towards a complete rework than an update.

        If you prefer the intellectual side or mystery of the original you may not like this.

        The original will continue as-is, Legends will not replace it.

        • malkav11 says:

          But all future development will be for Legends.

          I’m really hoping it’s good, but I’m skeptical because I’m one of the people that really likes how Secret World plays now, combat and character builds in particular. I’m not saying there aren’t improvements that could be made but I’m not sure that those are even going to be part of the new version.

          • fiendling says:

            I am 100% with you, I really like Secret World as it is too. TSW Legends is more for the ARPG crowd. I prefer the original thus far.

          • brucethemoose says:

            I feel conflicted.

            Let’s put it this way: I’m in the ARPG camp (I like Andromeda alot). I like SWTOR’s narrative elements, but it’s hotbar combat and grind feel like the 7th circle of hell.

            Am I going to hate Secret World Legends, even though I’m interested in the setting? Never played the original, as a brief video of combat drove me away.

  47. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    I was playing some Deus Ex Mankind Divided DLC earlier, having finished the (excellent) main game. With the exception of Criminal Past, which I haven’t played yet, it feels like they should really have integrated the DLC into the main game (not “why is this paid dlc?” but “once bought, it should be seamlessly added like it was always there”, like Mass Effect or Witcher 3).

    Both System Rift and Desperate Measures, especially the latter, feel like side missions that could easily have fit inside the game proper. They both even take place during the events of the main story. They could have just had a quest-giver in Prague give you those missions then let you take the subway to the DLC locations. That way you could keep your augs and weapons instead of having to reset them each time (which is a hassle). It feels like the only reason they did this is to avoid dealing with the bugs and balancing issues that integrating them would entail, which are not trivial by any means but CDProjekt and Bioware did it so it’s not impossible either. Design-wise, it’s really inelegant. It’s Missing Link all over again. Maybe we’ll again have to wait for a GOTY edition for an integrated version.

    I’m also playing INSIDE. It’s very beautiful and understated but I haven’t been blown away so far given the adulation it’s received. It’s very linear. Feels very much like the followup to Limbo. The animation is rightly praised but it’s not nearly anything as complex or ambitious as The Last Guardian (which I still say was robbed at the awards and will ultimately be remembered as the more important and influential game, like Shadow of the Colossus and Ico before it, despite not getting nearly as much attention). I mean, I like the game (INSIDE, that is), but so far (halfway) I haven’t really been surprised by anything. We’ll see.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      I’m probably coming at it from too much of a mindset of “Alright, this better be good.” … Should probably just enjoy it on its own merits.

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        Reporting back: OK it’s quite good. It continues to be visually stunning, but it opens up the gameplay a bit later (less of the just going right and sometimes pausing) and the puzzles become more interesting and the world-building more intriguing beyond general dystopia.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      I should note I did enjoy the Deus Ex DLC, it’s just that they were clearly not meant as standalone experiences post-completion. Sounds like the Criminal Past DLC is though.

  48. second_hand_virgin says:

    Basically time travelin’ to the good ol’ times when games was ugly like rat ass and rage quit was more common than seeing You WIN! All this thanks to Domina and Crawl.

  49. RobbieTrout says:

    Going back to ’92 and getting stuck into the horror-themed adventure Waxworks, which is best described as “tough but fair”.

    However… I just bought two enormous boxes of videotapes from a fellow member of a magicians’ group, so I’ll be dusting off the VCR and watching a whole heap o’ video for the foreseeable future.

  50. panda says:

    I played a bit of Chronos. The sense of scale in that game is awesome.