What are we all playing this weekend?

After a traditional slow start to the year, video games have picked up and pelted a whole load of great games at us all at once. This week has brought Celeste, Subnautica, Iconoclasts, and The Red Strings Club, and Total Warhammer 2’s new expansion – and those are only the ones we’ve reviewed so far. A good time for good video games.

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

Adam: [Adam is legitimately away so, while he’s not fired, he is tasked with clearing out Graham’s slop bucket for one week -ed.]
Alec: Achtung, baby. Oh no. Oh no. I really just said that, didn’t I? Oh God. What I meant to say was ‘I’m spinning up the DLC for Wolfenstein 2, which there seems to be bloody loads of all of a sudden’, but I ended up saying something SO MUCH WORSE.
Alice: Having won Slay the Spire with both characters, I want to explore more styles for the Ironclad, who I haven’t liked as much so far. I am still a little sore about a Silent loss where I ripped through my deck with draw and discard, dealing damage and gaining bonuses all the way, and had barely been scratched on the whole final floor. Then the final boss was the Time Eater, who outright crushes decks built from many small moving pieces. But I do like how card theming makes the Silent feel so rogue-y, leaping and rolling all over while flinging blades and dropping attacks in feints.

And I’m finally about ready to invest in a crime business in GTA Online. This week I’ve dicked about doing BMX stunts in traffic and over players but I think it’s time for crime.

Brendan: I’ve Slayed the Spire once, with the red trousered swordsman. But I haven’t finished it with the poison-toting stab mistress. So I want to do that, then I can happily put it aside until the next character comes out. Matt has also convinced me to socially manipulate some corporate stooges in cyberpunk adventure The Red Strings Club.
Graham: I have started playing Slay The Spire, and so now all I want to play is Slay The Spire. I say this as someone who is not normally into card games, but Spire did a good job on my first life of giving me enough cards that I could start to see how I might craft an interesting and satisfying build. Now I’m trying to do work while thinking about ways to maximise my Strength across turns to swiftly steamroll enemies.
John: I really just want to play Subnautica. I want to keep playing Subnautica forever. I think Subnautica might be my ideal game.

You’ll find me amongst the fishies.

Katharine: I completed failed to finish Grow Home last week, so I’ll be returning to my giant silly space plant again this weekend to try and get BUD back home once and for all.

Edit: Good gravy, I just remembered The Room: Old Sins finally came out yesterday. Sorry BUD, but you’ve just been usurped by some deliciously tactile and spooky clockwork puzzles.

Matt: Like everyone else, I’ll be aspiring to slay some spires. I’ve managed to beat Slay the Spire once (on my first try, booyah), so now I’m determined to do it again with the game’s other character who uses an entirely different card pool. I reckon she’s a little under-powered compared to the knight, but I’m not gonna let that stop me. I’ll turn that hexaghost into hexatoast, you mark my words.

But you, dearest reader, what are you playing?


  1. Ashandore says:

    I just spent the last 4 hours in Subnautica VR… it really is something special. I’ve been playing sitting with a controller (in part because I just can’t get kbm to work in VR mode), and haven’t felt even a twinge of motion sickness. It is sometime a tad awkward – swimming up or down with the seaglide requires looking in that direction – but gosh, it feels wonderfully real to sit in the cockpit of a Seamoth, gliding around at night. Steam tells me I’ve racked up a total of 8 hours underwater; of everything in my embarrassingly large VR library it’s the first thing that’s felt more like an actual game than a demo, or a toy.

    VR aside, something I’ve really appreciated about this game as compared to other survival games is how the progression in recipes is woven in with small story beats in a way that makes them feel much more impactful. I love it.

    • Kowie says:

      HTC should have a talk with them imo to further improve on the VR experience then when Vive 1.5 is ready for release bundle the game with it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Interesting. I watched someone play the Early Access version in VR and it made me queasy just looking at it on a monitor given previous experience with similar VR controls (and he definitely got motion-sick afterwards). Did they improve it a lot or are you just impervious to VR-sickness?

      • Ashandore says:

        Maybe a bit of both? I’ve been seeing folks here and there talking about some relatively recent changes to the VR support, but I only picked up after the full release (and loads of needling from my brother; turns out he just wanted what was best for me). Normally non-teleportation locomotion stirs my stomach up just enough that I know it’s there, but not enough to stop. Then again I’m usually on a keyboard or the vive controllers… I can’t imagine how a gamepad would be any different, but I can’t rule it out since neither of the usual control schemes seems to be supported.

        Driving around in a seamoth does feel different – better, somehow, though sickness isn’t a problem for me elsewhere so I’m not sure what that means. If you do give it a shot and it doesn’t work out, maybe try again once you have something to zip around in.

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      particlese says:

      Ooo… And with that, you’ve moved Subnautica VR from a highly excited spot in the ol’ games queue (thanks to RPS’s vanilla version coverage) to “what I’m playing this weekend”.

    • fish99 says:

      I’ve played 33 hours of Subnautica in the last 2 weeks, all in VR (Rift). It’s amazing. I did get a bit of nausea the first few days driving the Seamoth but if you persist your brain gets used to it, and now it’s no problem. In the same way you eventually get over your fear of the deep as you explore more.

      The VR mode does need work though. There’s UI and control issues, but the main problem is performance, especially once you have a sizeable base.

    • PiiSmith says:

      It is shame that this game has no finished VR support. It would be great if they just worked more on it.

  2. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Having got it in that humble monthly thingy, I’ve been having a great time with Owlboy, so probably finishing that off. Then watching the AGDQ run of Owlboy so I can feel amazed/inadequate.

    • Vandelay says:

      I just had a quick 5 minutes on that after getting it from the Humble Monthly too (unintentionally. I forgot to cancel my subscription after last month’s, as I already have Civ VI.)

      Seems delightful already. The art is beautiful and the music is very pleasant on the ear. I’ve also enjoyed the fact that the character you play as fails at everything, which is a nice change from the usual perfect characters that most games have you control.

      I expect I will play some more of that. Elsewhere, I have Subnautica all downloaded and ready to dive into. I will hopefully be playing in VR, so I hope they have sorted out the UI from when I last tried it sometime a few months ago.

  3. Ghostwise says:

    What little gaming time I have this week-end is spent reworking and updating my list of Dragon Age: Origins mods and settings. For a playthrough that prolly won’t take place before May or so.

    “Plan ahead”, they said…

    • Vacuity729 says:

      Ah, I never finished my original playthrough of DA:O, and at this point I can’t remember properly all what had happened. I remember I’d [spoilers?} been to some kind of alternate dimension, [/spoilers?] and other bits and pieces, but not much.
      At this point I feel like I’d probably have to start again, but my enthusiasm for that is quite low; the world they made was just so unpleasant and drear that I always choose to play something else.

      • indociso says:

        I really want to finish this game but I’m terrible at the combat and I haven’t taken the time to get my head around the combat tactics. Every time I try I just end up getting confused and play something else.

        • Ghostwise says:

          The fighting has a reverse difficulty curve. That is, early fights tend to be tougher since your character lacks options. So starting the game on an easier mode than you intend to use, in order to learn, isn’t absurd.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            Yeah, I died like a dozen times in one of the early fights and my stupid pride didn’t allow even one dead/unconscious team member, so I spent a ridiculous amount of time reloading.

            Would have been much better to just start on Easy, which has no “friendly fire”, but my stupid pride made me play on Normal and therefore all the cool area-of-effect spells did more harm to my companions than the enemies (my melee companions just wouldn’t stop getting into them).

            I slowly, but steadily, started to hate the game, but still gave it a second chance since some games are better the second time (DA: O was, but not enough), so I’ve played it twice and since I’m a completionist it took me 305 hours across those two playthroughs. Despite me being a stupid, stubborn and slow learner, I learned a lot of valuable, but painful lessons thanks to DA:O, but at the expense of hating the game.

          • welverin says:

            Darth, I believe you can change the difficulty at any time, so the fact you chose normal initially wouldn’t stop you form lowering it later.

  4. michelangelo says:

    After some asking around and searching for an optional way of playing the game called Metal Gear Solid V with non-protagonist “Chef” character for most of the time and reading lots of words of being it amazing stealth game with deep world logic integrated in its DNA I finally dived in.

    And well, it’s complex and it’s fun. And yet I didn’t get to the point where I can, on missions, be someone else then “Chef”, I am already hooked. Originally thinking its main theme being military, prove me wrong by a spectacle of the introduction chapter revealing its Akira element as a part of mosaic and not being retarded with it, it pleasantly surprised me. Great stuff and I am gonna give it a time, even thou I expect it to consume quite a bite. Game for a next year or so for a player of my kind (generally not liking long and open world games and not playing dozens of hours monthly).

    I resuscitated this MGS—V idea after some deeply internal and intellectual aspects of Kojima’s new project, which is so different, that I just can’t help myself but feel automatic sympathy for it. I don’t care for what I’ve seen (desperately pointless mainstream games), I care for weird and from the first glance incomprehensible stuff. Something to explore, not to recognize.

    PS—I have no clue of Metal Gear series. I played only sidestep focused on robotic designs and slashing their synthetic beauty into pieces—Revengence.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      I’m beginning to suspect that you’re playing or running into search results from a German or French (or something) version of the game, but at the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it were possible to play through an MGS game as someone named “Chef”. And it sounds like it could be a great deal of fun if it’s actually in the English version…

      • michelangelo says:

        Hehe. Language wise I am playing default settings. Being named BOSS is so silly that I am taking it further and calling him Schef. But speaking of languages the game is complex even there. Russian soldiers speak Russian, so unless you recruit interpreter in your intel team, you have no clue what they are saying.

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          particlese says:

          Aha, I see! Well done. :D

          OH COOL! It always bugged me that Crysis hid its Korean-speaking enemies behind a skill level I couldn’t come anywhere close to enjoying, so that Russian thing sounds right up my alley. A simple checkbox in the options menu would have been cool, but integrating it into the game like that (with the interpreter) is just great.

    • welverin says:

      “I care for weird and from the first glance incomprehensible stuff”

      Heh, that’s quintessential Kojima right there, weird and incomprehensible.

  5. Vacuity729 says:

    Last weekend I was looking for something to play while I waited for Tomb Kings to unlock in Total Warhammer II (and to a lesser extent the Vaulters in Endless Space 2). I started a game in Age Of Wonders III, for my sins, and haven’t touched either of the games I was waiting for since.
    Currently conquering the world as a High Elf Rogue, and being ‘threatened’ by an invasion of Dire Penguins.
    Evil little b*ggers.

  6. Blowfeld81 says:

    Right now I try to step out of my comfort zone in gaming, to experience more diversity and so far I enjoy it.

    Last weekend I finished the true ending to Steins;Gate and this weekend will be a mix of RainbowSixSiege, testing My Time At Portia and some Dragon Ball FighterZ (my first classical fighting game since DefJam, as testing For Honor does not count ;)
    so I expect to be horrible at it and somebody at Steam already called my a “casual mong” which further verifies this theory.
    Still, even though I have no clue what I am doing, I still enjoy pushing 2 buttons to make Goku scream at people for half a minute before I throw them through a few mountains. It’s the small joys in life!

  7. Morat Gurgeh says:

    Humble monthly has jacked up my backlog from huge to insurmountable. Downloaded Civ 6 last night so there goes my weekend. The mrs will not be happy.

  8. Monggerel says:

    Sick BMX moves is an important and tragically underappreciated form of criminal enterprise, it’s how I used to pay the bills back in San Andreas!

    Playing X-Com: Enemy Within again. Loved EU, but EW’s new missions rubbed me the wrong way. The new troops were cool but unnecessary, so I just kinda never finished it. Wanna see how it turns out.
    Also want an alternate Xcom 2, wherein the Allens win, Earth is Combine-d, then you pick up the pieces some decades later as mercenaries (yes I still got Mechwarrior: Mercenaries on my mind), something like Jagged Alliance but with the whole planet Earth – maybe beyond.
    I heard that’s basically the Pirates mod for OpenXCOM, but, ‘mafraid a strategy game from 1994 probably isn’t gonna hold my interest at this point (I played OpenXCOM a while back – brilliant, but the interface makes me shudder). Jagged Alliance 2, even with its suite of community-made mods to improve it, was already a massive challenge to get acclimated to.

    So here I sit, in quite a pickle. Weighin my options, so to speak. (I have no options)

  9. rootfs.ext2.gz says:

    Now that I have a Nintendo Switch, I’ve been extremely addicted to Stardew Valley. It’s insane how much more better that game gets once you can take it with you.

    On PC, I’ll still be playing DUSK. Still have to understand what on earth is going on with the plot, but the action is brilliant.

  10. Avioto says:

    After finishing The Signal From Tolva (love that game), I went through my backlog and played a bunch of stuff to see what sticks and ended up with Infested Planet and High Hell.

    I’m also playing Tesla vs Lovecraft that just came out. It’s from the devs of Crimsonland and it’s just a way better version of that game.

  11. Carra says:

    Opus Magnum. I got to the end of the third part and it’s getting harder. Lovely game and seems more accessible then Shenzen or Spacechem.

  12. Bowak says:

    I’m trying to finish Hexcells Infinite without making any mistakes. Frustratingly I’ve managed to wrong click on 2 puzzles so far today, but I only have 4 left to finish now.

    Then I want to try and blast through a few different, short and fun looking games I bought in the last sale so that I can then justify buying Subnautica once payday rolls around.

    So I intend to have a lot of fun with Press X To not Die and OESE, with possibly a bit of Dirt Rally, Just Cause 3 or Mad Max as I haven’t fired them up in a year or so.

  13. Ben King says:

    I want to pick up Subnautica again but will probably play Deus Ex instead. I’ve yet to actually advance the main story, instead simply poking around the city and waiting for an invisible wall to halt my advance… but so far i keep being able to muck around without limits. Although the redlight district DOES seem completely walled off from me I’m hoping some sewer spelunking won’t eventually get me in.

    Also on the non gaming side of things I am actually seriously making Maple Syrup this weekend. I’m tapping a few Silver Maples, gathering sap in buckets and evaporating it over a little brick stove in the back yard of my apt. To entertain myself during the day long fire tending I will be listening to Crate and Crowbar’s ALL PIP Subnautica pod, and definitely some more of their Miracle at Greyhome C&C D&D adventure.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Oooo hoo hoo hooooo…hope the syrup turns out well! I only have the stuff they ship across the pond from Canada to grocery stores, but it’s still good – still maple syrup – and I will now be making pancakes tomorrow morning. It’s been far too long.

      And thanks for the tip on Pip’s pod. I was a bit sad she didn’t make an appearance somewhere in Castle RPS for a word or two about it with someone, but now I’m looking forward to hearing her go to town on the proper release.

  14. Risingson says:

    You know that moment when you are playing an RPG and your motivation is not so much to learn about the lore and the story but to finish it so you can finally delete it and forget about it?

    Gothic 2.

  15. icarussc says:

    Is there anything but XCOM2? Has there ever been? Finishing my current playthrough with WotC, and loving it. All Chosen down, so I’m just toying with the aliens before I go for the kill.

    This time through, my soldiers are named for the current or major leaders of the countries they came from. My ‘A’ team just came back from an op: the mohawked swordsman Mr. Duda, the pistol grandmaster Mr. Sharif, the K-pop shotgun killer Ms. Park, the zen sniper Mr. Sipila, and, to my amusement and chagrin, the orange-RAGE-suited explosion aficionado Mr. Trump. Fun times!!

    • hijuisuis says:

      This is such a great idea! Normally I name my soldiers after friends and family, but celebrities and world leaders from the country of origin? Gotta try that.

  16. Evan_ says:

    I told a buddy that I dislike survival games and Subnautica looks dull besides that. I tried it to check the scenery.

    Now I’m 25 hours in, and I feel I’m just starting.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nyarly362 says:

      I’ve had 140h in the early access. then took a break in Summer till now and I must say – they did it. I am scared again. Changed enough that I really felt vulnerable again. It is such a great game.

  17. cheesysmell says:

    I finally bought Elite: Dangerous, since the base game finally hit that magical sale price (£4.99) where I could buy it and not care if I turned out to hate it. It really is Elite, isn’t it? I thought I might get overwhelmed by complexity, but after a false start the other day (after half an hour trying to figure out travel and docking on my own I just gave up) I took some time learning the basics yesterday, and ended up playing for quite a bit longer than I intended.

    I have no aspirations to do great deeds in the game. Just enjoying flying around taking simple missions and gawking at the scenery. Of course, now it’s teasing me with planets I cannot approach without coughing up some more money, so I guess that’s what I’m doing tonight.

  18. MajorLag says:

    This weekend I’ll be going down this road feelin’ bad. If I’m really lucky, maybe I can escape Orange Hell.

  19. juan_h says:

    I will be playing more Street Fighter IV. My goal is to beat the arcade mode on medium difficulty. I came pretty close once, so I know I can do it. Unfortunately, I’m playing on Linux and controller support is, ah, not quite right. How not quite right, you ask? Well, when I hit start in order to continue after losing, the game thinks that a second player has joined the game and I end up in a match where I am controlling both fighters simultaneously with the same gamepad. It’s . . . pretty funny, actually.

  20. Nauallis says:

    I have a play-date with some buddies for Civ6 – the recent humble monthly bundle has been great for that. I’ve also been tooling around in Skyrim’s Dragonborn expansion, which I’ve never actually completed since its original release. Subnautica, if I decide to make the time… and if I can convince my wife to play, Terraforming Mars (board game). I love that game.

  21. zinzan says:

    Got my 4 PBeM games of Combat Mission out then..

    Was going to play Fallout:NV, but discovered MODS out of date – then spent 2+ hrs trying to reload mods etc before RageQuitting.

    After hour or so of sulking I loaded up Skyrim…. then discovered I (or someone else in the house)had installed special edition SkyRim so none of my mods or saves work………………………… RageQuit

    2 hours of housework later I decided to browse the internet and somehow got Satellite Reign playing, several hours later I’m reading wiki’s & guides before restarting. Happy now.

  22. caff says:

    Tesla vs. Lovecraft.

    It’s fantastically silly, keep throwing more toys at you, and is pretty addictive.

    I like it so much, I’m also thinking of trying their other game, Jydge.

    • hijuisuis says:

      I finished Neon Chrome and really enjoyed it – another one of theirs with a similar twin stick vibe. Looking forward to try Tesla.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I was very interested until I found out you can’t play as a tentacle-wielding HP Lovecraft. Now I’m only mildly interested.

  23. Ossian says:

    Having recently finished The Witcher 3, I’ve decided to go back to the first game. It’s been years since I played. Having experienced the newest game going back to the first one is, well, interesting. I don’t use mods very often but I’m going to check out what’s on the Nexus and mess around with it.

    Other than that maybe some Crusader Kings 2, or something new.

  24. Jonfon says:

    No pay for me yet. So that means more Path of Exile. But I’m at the end game now. Which means running maps, or rather myself and my zombie horde getting eaten alive on maps. 2 or 3 deaths a go and my XP bar is stuck in groundhog day. Looks like chaos damage bypassing my energy shield (and the stacked -60% resistances penalty for beating up some horrible cannibal god twice) is to blame.

  25. kud13 says:

    I’ll probably continue poking around in Mankind Divided. Having played the first iteration of the Prague hub, I’m now poking round in Golem City, trying to reach Talos Rucker without knocking anyone out and setting off no alarms. ENTIRELY IN FIRST PERSON (except for the ladder sequences). To see if I can.

    I’ve bound the dreaded “take cover” prompt to the tilde button, to ensure I never accidentally press it. I played the entirety of Human Revolution like that, several times, and now I want to see if it’s possible on MD.

  26. edwardoka says:

    This weekend I will be playing a combination of Hunt the Source of the Faint Burning Smell and finishing Thief 2 for the first time.

    Don’t know why I gave up on T2 many years ago when I was so close to the end, but now I’m on Masks and the end is in sight.

    Trying to get Thief 3 to behave itself on an elderly Linux laptop is going to be an exercise in fun.

  27. Dust and Cobwebs says:

    Iconoclasts. It really drew me in despite its rough edges (small platforms and box-throwing are way too fiddly). I’m currently looting all the chests I couldn’t get at earlier before starting what I’m pretty sure is the final final sequence. To tell the truth, I’m not sure I’m prepared for the end yet. The spectacle is obvious, but there are so many small meaningful touches that have made the characters real for me. And the final act is brutal.

    After a while to digest, I’ll probably go back to Endless Space 2. I bought the Vaulters DLC, but I’m not playing with them yet–I have forbidden myself other factions until I actually finish a United Empire game, win or lose.

    I’ll most likely mess about in Guild Wars 2 for a bit as well. I have a coupon for the expansions, but still haven’t decided if it’s worth it yet. Thoughts, anyone?

  28. Cryio says:

    When I see all these people talking about indies, it makes me think when they had time to finish all the interest looking AAA titles.

    Currently playing The Legend of Zelda on NES and God of War 1.

    • welverin says:

      THat’s some epic backlog you have there, if those games are as far as you’ve gotten through it.

  29. SaintAn says:

    Tomb Kings!
    I beat Arkhan the Black’s Vortex campaign yesterday and was disappointed of the ending. I guess it’s a hint that they’ll be adding Nagash to ME later.
    Going to start a Settra ME campaign soon. Waiting on a few mods to be updated before I start though. I absolutely love everything about them, especially the Books of Nagash which give perks like one creates sandstorms in a region where you sacked to took a settlement, one allows the holder to use Vampire Counts units, one unlocks a new hero type, etc.

    Bought Dragon Ball FighterZ last night and I absolutely love it. Had a huge grin on my face the whole time playing. Though it is very content light, way way overpriced, and the online lobbies are almost always full so I can’t do PVP. No playable Roshi or Mr Satan either.

  30. hijuisuis says:

    Half Life 1 vanilla. OMFG I can’t believe how much I still love this game.

    Finished up The Wild Wolf Among Us which was very good. Incredibly vivid at style and story, only marred a little by the usual Telltale annoyances.

  31. Chasdiel says:

    …I just found out The Room: Old Sins finally came out yesterday, so I’ll be on that. Thanks Katharine! It really is the only mobile series that’s managed to hold my attention.

  32. fish99 says:

    Pretty much only been playing VR stuff since getting my Rift a month ago. I’ve put 33 hours into Subnautica so far, which is both a very well made survival game (engine aside), and a fantastically immersive VR experience, despite having some technical issues.

    I’ve also been playing a ton of Project Cars 2 which is excellent in VR. Physics are solid, the tracks, cars and cockpits look great in VR, and the engine performs well.

    I’ve just got a third sensor today so I can now explore some room-scale games.

  33. TehK says:

    So I want to do that, then I can happily put it aside until the next character comes out.

    Hahahahaaaa! Yes, I told myself exactly that and here I am, 20 hours later, quite happily still slaying spires.

  34. Vasily R says:

    I started a new Europa Universalis IV campaign this weekend. I haven’t played the game in well over a year, so have to learn all the new stuff.

  35. welverin says:

    Assassin’s Creed: Oranges, I finished the main storyline early in the week and followed that out by visiting all of the question marks to see if they were things worth doing and then started doing ignored side quests.

    For a game that was allegedly about the founding of the brotherhood, the main quest line doesn’t touch on it at all.