What are we all playing this weekend?
Pretty weird. I woke up this morning, and everyone was gone. The office (by which I mean our Slack channel) was cold and empty, and a shining beacon of light rose from my monitor screen and proclaimed that I was now an honourary Alice. And as such, the heavy responsibility of compiling everyone's weekend gaming plans fell to me. To entertain myself (and force those who left me in charge to think twice), I'll be writing a series of unhinged 90s-style "where are they now?" epilogues in italics for each person who neglected to send me words of their own.
Alice Bee fell into a timeloop and wasn't heard from again until 70 years later, when she was spotted in a quaint little cafe in Clogherhead, trying to explain to fellow patrons that games are in fact terrible, and always have been. It was later revealed that she jumped into the timeloop deliberately, so she'd have more time for writing. Her 94th murder mystery novel is out later this month, and critics are already hailing it as one of the best things... That's it. Just one of the best things.
Alice0 eventually completed her life's work and revealed that the single greatest thing in games is... Alice0 herself. She has been there all along, in every game, every sprite, every polygon, carefully orchestrating events so as to cause the maximum amount of L33T. Jubilant at this discovery, she dove headfirst into the Challenger Deep and began her new life as a sea cucumber.
After an unexpected badminton injury left him without several major organs, Ed commissioned a number of marble sculptures of himself holding various guns from his favourite FPS games. The sculptures were sold to numerous art collectors across the world, and finding them all has become one of the main side-quests in Ed's hotly anticipated augmented reality meta-experience, Ed Thorn's Philosophical Perplexities.
It's the start of a lovely week off for me, and it's probably going to be dominated by the Steam Deck. I'm about 20 hours into Red Dead Redemption 2 now, after putting it off since launch because it's just so big. Portable really is the way to go with this game, I reckon. I'm also planning to pick up Dredge because my goodness it just looks so good. Since this is an extra bumper week off edition for me, I imagine I'll also end up playing the Resident Evil 4 remake at some point in the near future. Lots of games to play, which means lots of time to lounge around in bed thanks to the Deck.
In an effort to stave off the heat death of the universe, James relocated to the inside of his PC. There he became one with the code, and spent many long years pouring over old Dota 2 matches and trying desperately to stop his cat from clawing her way in to see him and compromising the integrity of the one and only barrier between him and the abyss of eternal night. Eventually he let her in anyway, and challenged the dying universe to a Random Draft game to determine his fate. Later, the universe accused James of bad sportsmanship, match-fixing, and cyber-bullying. The court date is set for 6th September.
After GDC eating up my previous two weekends, I'm glad for a quiet weekend in... to play Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries Of Honjo. Not the most relaxing game, by any means, but I started playing this on my flight back from San Francisco and was hooked immediately. More please.
Realistically, I'll be spending this weekend recovering from my recent trip to PAX. In-between naps, I'll be obsessively playing Powerwash Simulator on the Steam Deck which has consumed me in ways I'm not really willing to admit.
Just yesterday I heard about a new third-person take on the Counter-Strike formula. The game is called Veiled Experts, and it's in closed beta at the moment but you can sign up and immediately gain access through Steam. I thought it'd be awful. Abusing third-person mode to peek around corners safely in a low-time-to-kill environment? Yuck. But somehow, it's pretty great. They force people to stay on the move with a shrinking border and a huge emphasis on scanning enemies to reveal their whereabouts. The production values are crazy good, and the heroes all sound very fun to play. It'll be a good weekend.
I’ve got a couple of indies on my radar for this weekend. I wanna play The Wreck after Katharine gave it our coveted Bestest Best badge in her review, and I also have my eye on Terra Nil and Sludge Life. I’ve had Sludge Life in my backlog pile for years, but the devs have made the game free upon announcing the sequel - so I’m up for giving it a try.
My partner and I recently picked up Sherlock Holmes Chapter One again after an unintentional six-month hiatus, and for some reason, the main story has just clicked for us in a way the opening section didn't back then. Achievement completion rates show that we weren't the only ones who dropped off after the somewhat underwhelming prologue, but I'm really glad we got back into it, because beneath its polished surface it still has that Frogwares magic we love. This weekend we'll be helping an elephant avoid a murder charge! You know this nonsense is my jam.
But you, reader dear, what are you playing this weekend?