These posts are drifting further and further into the following week. This is ostensibly a post about the games I played last week, but hey, whatever. Here we are.
Not included: the game I’m currently gathering footage from for the next episode of History Respawned, and Civilization V, which I am currently running through a short playthrough for the streaming episodes of History Respawned. I guess I can say those don’t count, but really, are we ever not playing Civilization? Think about it.
Heroes of the Storm
I haven’t played as much as I would like this week, though this game is very much on the verge of me just writing “everyone assume I’m playing HotS, I won’t write about it every single time.” I’m actually a bit frustrated, because silly things like spending quality time with my wife have deprived me of the opportunity to keep at least one of those quest spots clear at the start of each day. I joke, but the truth is this is bothering me a little bit. Damn you, Blizzard.
I briefly thought I had gotten really good at Rocket League thanks to my son’s obsession with the game, but it turns out that I had read the rankings incorrectly and I am basically a little bit better than I thought I was. If you’re reading this and thinking about ranked play, I’ll say this: I’m as good as I could reasonably expect to be at this point having played a fair bit but remained casual throughout, I can pull off basic flying (I can’t change direction in flight) and I can hold my own in a game against a bunch of flying lunatics. I am in the bottom tier of ranked play. Hence the mistake of thinking I had gotten really good. Ah well.
I have only just started this game, but games like this are exactly why I love the Humble Monthly Bundle. It does make me worry a little bit that I should perhaps be supporting games like this (particularly adventure games) more directly with my wallet, but to be perfectly frank there’s no way I could gather the collection I am slowly amassing without the Humble Monthly Bundle.
Well, that’s not entirely true; I could, I just don’t. There’s a longer blog post in there somewhere, but the Humble Monthly Bundle is filling out my collection with games that I never quite buy but am thrilled to see in my collection once the bundle is announced. Broken Age is a great example; it’s controversial in some circles but I come to it months later with no baggage whatsoever and little expectation. I just want to see what the game does. I haven’t really had a chance to get into it yet but so far all the things that look great from the trailers are there: a lovely art style, an interesting world built for the player. Let’s see where it takes me next.
Satellite Reign is pretty great. You should probably play it.
Three Moves Ahead had a nice podcast episode about the game where Rob Zacny invited Austin Walker to come in and talk about it and they make some nice points about how this game functions as a cyberpunk game and the extent to which it does or does not follow up on Syndicate (1993). Their case is that, despite the promises implied in the game’s crowdfunding campaign, this game is not a revamped, rebooted, re-choose your own word Syndicate. I would agree with that, but I do feel that the game scratches my Syndicate itch a lot better than I anticipated.
Yet another contender for a longer post, my feelings for Syndicate are long-lasting and I have been waiting for years for a game to come along and become my new Syndicate. Or my old Syndicate. I’m not sure. I’m a bit confused. The actual, original Syndicate doesn’t really work according to these elevated expectations, so I’m very grateful for Satellite Reign. Not that this game works against those expectations either, failing to have the impact on my mid-30s brain the original had on my 12 year old one. That’s probably a good thing.
Damn this game.
I was, weirdly, turned off by the art style for this game for a long time. I say weirdly because it seems that was a draw for most people. I like the art style, don’t get me wrong, it just wasn’t something I saw myself wanting to spend a lot of time with. Here I am.
Don’t Starve is a no-brainer for my particular habits. I am often in a position where I can steal a twenty minute session before turning the computer off, and Don’t Starve is a great choice for that. I have a habit of taking those short session games and playing them for two hours instead of the game I spent two days waiting for a decent amount of time to play (hello again, Rocket League!). I have no compunction whatsoever about my hand being held to a certain extent, especially when I realize my hand isn’t being held at all, really. Finally, I enjoy building imaginary objects in an imaginary world.
This game works much better than I anticipated. The balance between tramping around gathering resources and avoiding danger is pretty good, and the advances needed for moving on to the next step of the technology tree are enticing until you achieve them and start yearning for the next one. I’ll have to see how it goes further on but I hear so many good things about this game. Most telling of all so far? I die (either stupidly or unfortunately) and more or less immediately start up a new game. Damn it.
No Else Heart.Break() this week. Don’t judge me. My character is at a party with a cool DJ and a girl he fancies. He’s doing just fine.