It's been a while since I could do this: pinch and a pinch for the first of the month, and no returns! You've been... Octobered. Hey, don't sweat it. You can keep that bloody nose all month to get a jump on Halloween. You're welcome, by the way.
What are you playing this weekend? Here's what we're clicking on!
is on hols!
As I begin preparing for the most important holiday of the year, Cyber Monday, I'm feeling weirdly drawn back to Cyberpunk 2077. Even though not much is new since I last played, and it'd be better to wait for the expansion? Ah no, I have a new-ish Deus Ex: Mankind Divided save I've let sit for several months, I should clear that up. So much cyber, so little time (only 58 days to go!). Oh, and I've got to finish that that Brutalist Quake map pack.
We started playing Splatoon 2 as a family spectator sport last weekend. I think we'll probably carry on doing that a bit more, as both my kids really seem to enjoy it. Might give Grounded a go now that's out of early access too, although probably with the potato-spider mode engaged. I played the Beacon Pines demo a few Steam fests back and had an interesting time, so diving into it a little via PC Game Pass looks likely.
I'm a bit busy this weekend with - shock horror - a badminton tournament. So, err, I might be able to slot in some late night Xenoblade Chronicles 3 if I'm looking to feel re-energised by typically bonkers anime battles. Otherwise, I'll probably catch up on the new Lord Of The Rings show. It's pretty good!
It's Fifa time, which means it's the one part of the year when I care about football. It's going to be a long weekend of building squads, missing shots, and getting frustrated when the opponent keeps pausing in Ultimate Team. Maybe I'll stick to career mode and try to push Derby back into the EFL Championship.
I was struck down by post-EGX Covid this week, and while I think I've largely recovered (thank the stars), I'm still testing positive, so no outside fun times for me this weekend. Which is just as well, because I have a veritable mountain of games to catch up on now that September's crazy review season is finally over. First on the list: finishing Cult Of The Lamb on my Steam Deck while I'm tucked up in bed under a duvet. Then maybe more Xenoblade. There will always be more Xenoblade.
A month or two ago I realised that the Steam Deck is at its best when treated like a portable Xbox 360. Games from two console generations ago run out of the box with very few issues, barely draining valuable battery charge and controlling beautifully thanks to the Deck's Xbox-like sticks and buttons. This is all to say that I've been devouring the original Dead Rising this week, its segmented mission design and fixed save points proving a perfect fit for handheld play. This was a game that felt impossibly sophisticated when it launched in 2005, and here I am playing it at twice the frames while lying under a duvet. This device, pals. It's fucking sensational.
"Season 2 of The Cycle: Frontier released this week, and that means a server wipe and a lot of changes, including a brand new island to explore. I've played a few matches already and oh boy, have I missed the storms. Wonderful stuff. Obligatory link to my overly long rant about the best rain in games."
I'm still wrangling slimes in Slime Rancher 2 and it's going pretty well. I have my slime farm working efficiently and I've now got my sights set on upgrading all my tools. As much as I'm enjoying it, I can't help but be disappointed by how incredibly similar it is to the first one. Developers Monomi Park says that they'll be adding more interesting gameplay features throughout their early access development so I'm keen to see what they mean. Until then, I'll just focus on what's new, like the batty slimes (!) which are super (!!) cute (!!!) so I'm happy for now.
I'm still on the post-EGX recovery wagon, so I'm in the mood to not move from my sofa more than I have to this weekend. Luckily, Supermassive Games had my back with the free updates to Man Of Medan and Little Hope that dropped earlier this week. Hey, it'll be October when you read this: let spooky season commence!
But you, reader dear, what are you playing this weekend?