E3 barely seems behind me yet my inbox is already full of chatter about Gamescom, the big German show in late August. While Gamescom doesn't have the mega-budget announcements of E3, it does have way more of a PC gaming focus, with all the weirdness and wonder that entails. With the Farming Simulator League starting soon, my big Gamescom hope is more niche digital sports grown from European sims. Oh! I know: competitive My Summer Car. That please, Gamescom.
What are you playing this weekend? Here's what we're clicking on!
This weekend I am going to sit on Hampstead Heath because one of my mates traditionally does their birthday there. This year he has drawn a map to where the party will be on the back of an envelope, and sent us a picture of it. I am counting deciphering this map as a game.
This weekend I'm playing The Sims 4, and I'm using the new CAS Stories feature in the way it was intended - asking my Twitch viewers to answer the questions for me, and see what starting conditions we get. Welcome to the trash fire. I'll also be playing a little more of Outer Wilds, as much as it confuses the hell out of me, it's fun to get lost in space and accidentally fall through a black hole or get eaten by a giant fish. But I'll honestly probably mostly play the Sims because I am a sucker for it and also the new update is enticing. We've had five years of The Sims 4 and it seems like we're going to have at least five more. I don't think there's ever going to be a The Sims 5.
With Destiny 2's PvP still ruined by an overpowered shotgun, I've revisited Playerunknown's Battlegrounds with the laaads. The new-look Erangel really is nice. I do like the tiny incidental detail of car radios too. There was something hilarious about driving into a near-final circle then forgetting to turn the radio off before we leapt out and scurried into cover, so cheery music was tinkling away as we took pot-shots and tried to hide. Inconspicuous.
I've always found Dwarf Fortress quite intimidating. It'll be featuring in a video I'm working on at the moment, though, so I asked Nate if he could grab me ten minutes of footage on account of his expertise with the Basement of Curiosity. What he gave me was a 50-minute personal let's play that we'll now be using as the Rock Paper Shotgun in-house Dwarf Fortress tutorial. If his love for the game is any indication, I'm in for a long weekend.
I'm going home to Ireland for a big holiday and family shindig. If a single game follows me there, I swear, I will have it shot and dumped in the Lagan. You've been warned, videogames.
This weekend, I will be going to a falcon sanctuary where I get to meet some birds of prey. Very much looking forward to it! I will also be accompanying my brother to a retro gaming market of sorts that's happening in London, so will be on the lookout for some bargains/rare games. What I'm getting at is that I'll have very little time to actually play games.
I dug out the ol' sweatbox this week, the grand facehugger, the screem sponges. The HTC Vive. It's been a rapid re-familiarisation with all my thoughts on VR: that the games aren't very good, that I don't really want to strap my face to a heavy monitor, but that I do still want the experience VR hints at. Plus Beat Saber is pretty good so I'll probably play more of that.
I'll be making some Night Calls this weekend, as I might as well make the most of my Xbox Game Pass on PC subscription while I've got it. Then again, Prey is also down to a mad £4 in Steam's latest space sale bonanza, which reminds me, I should probably play that through my Xbox Game Pass subscription as well.
No video games for me, please. I'll be in Newcastle playing 'visit old school friends who've been living in a separate world to you for the past five years'.
I recently went on a press trip and had a fellow journo talk about Final Fantasy XIV the whole trip. He called it one of the best FF stories of all time? A) is this nonsense, and B) is it madness trying to get into it now? Advise me, readers.
This weekend is mostly structured around a trip to Bristol to acquire some hermit crabs, but I'll probably get in a bit of Civ 6, because I've not tried Gathering Storm yet and I really want to play as the Maori. However, a darker task also awaits me. At EGX Rezzed, after admitting I'd never played a Final Fantasy, I rashly promised a crowd I would complete an FF of their choice before the end of the year. They chose Lightning Returns: FFXIII. The year is getting on, so I had better make a start.
A discussion in the office led me to the realisation that For Honor is probably exactly my type of game, and I don't know why I've never played it. Complex move sets, high skill ceiling, the ability to look ultra-cool when everything goes right... Go on, let's see if this is my new paramour.
Oh gosh who even knows waaah. I have so many estranged friends and relatives suddenly popping up and I still have to stock up on food and I still don't have a bed and I need new shoes and oh god maybe I'll just sleep. Or have another go at We. The Revolution. Last week I guillotined citizen Capet but spared Marie Antoinette. But perhaps I'll unwind with a bit of humble farming and tinkering in Kenshi.
But you, dearest reader, what are you playing?