What We Played #26

Every week for six months. That’s how often I’ve been writing this post now. Around a thousand words a time mostly either culled or inspired from the answers I get to the weekly question I put to the other staff; What have you played this week?

Volunteering to write a weekly post seemed like a good idea at the time. Actually finding the 2-4 hours it takes to write, format and grab images for the post sometimes has me questioning my prior judgement. Let alone trying to find new and hopefully interesting and humorous ways to ask the others the same question every week so it doesn’t get too old.

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I do wonder what will happen when I eventually need a week off or cannot get to a keyboard. Everyone else is always up to their eyeballs trying to come up with more interesting and coherent posts than this one, so they’ve got no time to cover. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

[videoyoutube]What keeps me going is that these What We Played posts seem to have a loyal following with many of you returning each week to comment. I have even seen Mary Poppins and Space Marines getting a mention in the comments on another post so at least some of you are reading these. Here’s to the next six months.

This coming weekend I and many of you will doubtless be playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Peter has of course already been playing it for our review and and is suitably enamoured.

I love Skyrim. Like properly love it. It’s a whole other world on the other side of my TV screen that just is and I’m not the hero or the saviour or the last hope (at least to most of the people there). I’m just a Nord in Elvish armour that shoots fire from his hand and cares entirely too much when his horse is eaten.

He even suggests that you shouldn’t waste time reading his review because you would be wasting time that you could be using to play the game. On the contrary, what you absolutely should be doing, if you haven’t already done so, is reading his review.

What originally hooked me on TSA was the quality of the writing and that’s something that still holds true today, so long as you discount my posts. Peter’s Skyrim review is a great example of the quality that you can find here on the site. I thought the first paragraph of his review was brilliant, so here it is as a teaser to encourage you to go and read the rest:

As I brought to a conclusion my epic battle with a blood dragon, shouting flames into its face and driving ice spikes into its body, I absorbed the massive beast’s soul in a rush of light and noise. Flush with victory, I sheathed my enchanted sword and ran up the rolling hill to find my unfortunate horse had just been killed by a sabre cat.

He hasn’t only been playing Skyrim though. Peter is also working his way through Modern Warfare 3’s single player campaign (review imminent) which he is finding more enjoyable than he remembers Modern Warfare 2 being. The “disjointed, choppy story played through the eyes of multiple characters” with the requisite glut of “scripted set pieces” is faithful to the tried and true Modern Warfare recipe. “It does those things better than anything else” though, he concludes.

[drop]Alex answered the usual question in an offbeat manner this week by electing to tell me what he hasn’t been playing. He hasn’t been playing Modern Warfare 3 because “it’s not like a war, it’s not like real shooting and it doesn’t feature Mario”.

He also hasn’t played Halo: Anniversary because he doesn’t have it yet. Nor has he played PixelJunk Shooter “because I haven’t had lots of hours to dedicate to it yet and I’m not rushing through it on easy in case I get pulled up for it”.

Fortunately, before this post goes completely off the rails, Kris comes to the rescue with a few words on some games he most definitely has been playing. He rattled all the way through Sonic Generations in less than a day at the weekend. His verdict; the high points are “very few and far between” and he can’t see himself replaying it as much as the original Sonic titles.

He is also still plugging away at Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune discovering “hints of brilliance” in it but finding the cover mechanic sometimes “infuriating”. That sentiment is also true of the way the “interesting”, but “a little generic” story is told. “The sheer volume of cutscenes just becomes tedious” which leaves him feeling like he has control taken away from him too often.

Attacking the other end of the Uncharted franchise, Dan has been playing Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. “Love the visuals, the story and the banter so far”, say our newsmeister, “but I’m not overly keen on the control scheme”. The online co-op gets a big thumbs up though being described as “heaps of fun fun fun in the sun sun sun”.

Just in case there aren’t enough new games around at the moment that let you run around with a pistol or machine gun gripped firmly in your fleshy little virtual hands he has reviewed another one. With perhaps the year’s most spectacularly badly timed release, between Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded still manages to rate a “well worth a look” from Dan.

Aran is still glitching his way through The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion which he has finally had to concede will not be finished before today’s release of Skyrim.

This week’s Glitch of the Week award goes to the Daedra who tripped his ally off of a bridge while attacking me. I was on my way to close an Oblivion gate, walking along a high bridge, when I was attacked. This alerted another enemy and in his haste he bumped into a smaller enemy and fell to his death. I thanked the little demon then slayed him.

[drop2]You’ve got to be thankful for that kind of help. Cthulhu Saves the World is a game casting you as the titular elder god who has managed to go and lose his powers on the very night he hoped to rid himself of the pesky Earth. Naturally, the only way to restore his powers is to save the planet instead. Aran tells us that the game “is actually funny in places” and while “there’s the occasional difficulty spike” the little bit of backtracking you’ll find yourself doing “doesn’t feel like a chore”. Sounds like it’s worth keeping an eye on Steam’s regular sales for this “fun little game”.

Finally this week we come to Tuffcub who has been playing the “mindblowingly fab” Uncharted 3. He also shares with us a less common view on another recent game:

I have been playing Batman: Arkham City and it is very very very very very very very annoying indeed. The whole point of an open world game – as demonstrated by Deus Ex – is that there should be multiple solutions to each problem. There is not. There is only one solution, you have to use the right gadget at the right time and half of the time it’s not obvious what you are meant to do.

This is not open world, this is a linear game with a big play area which you usually have to cross from one side to the other just to get to the next mission. It feels like a watered down version of Arkham Asylum.

It’s also lies.

“Destroy the Titan crates!” is the mission. I hunt for crates. And hunt. And hunt. I’m standing on the spot where there crate should be but it isn’t because the tracking system only has compass directions and not levels of verticality so the crate is levels below me but the locator says is next to me.

Finally, I find the crate.

BUT IT’S NOT A CRATE. IT’S A GAS CYLINDER. I HAD WALKED PAST A COUPLE ALREADY. STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID GAME!

I don’t know about you but I get the feeling he hasn’t really been enjoying Batman all that much. How about you tell us what you have been enjoying this week?

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28 Comments

  1. Like TC, i have been playing a lot of Batman & whilst i agree that there aren’t a multitude of ways to go about things, it’s still really good (IMO).

    Other than that, its just been a bit of Battlefield 3 & Motorstorm Apocalypse (which i finally platted last night).

    Still not finding as much time as i would like to game though. Might have to take some time off work soon. :)

    • How did you get on with the cards in the end ? Was it a youtube job or did you attempt them with no guide.

      • I had a go at each of the races first of all & then reverted to a guide when i got stuck. Got most of them on my own though (well, with some help from the wife of course!). :)

        I would like to have words with whoever came up with the bright idea of having colectibles in a racing game though! Especially on the elimination races – They just became annoying. >:(

  2. LOL I’m glad you hate Arkham City as well Tuff. I loved Asylum but this new one is a pile of crud.

    This week I’ve been sharing my time between Uncharted3 and MW3. ‘Charted3 is amazing and definately the best game I’ve played all year, while MW3 is surprisingly decent and the fact it is brimming with content and is enjoyable in both single and multiplayer makes it a country mile better than BF3 imo. Skyrim tomorrow :D

    • Intially Batman is awesome but it has so many silly design choices, like the gadget selector which is like trying to drive through toffee.

  3. Mostly House of the Dead Overkill, a little Fifa 12, Hydrophobia Prophecy, Beat Hazard Ultra and some Dead Rising 2 Off the Record.
    Got Skyrim yesterday, played about 8 hours or so … it’s absolutely fantastic.

  4. Finished UC3 and played some split screen coop. After that I went back to Batman Arkham Asylum and regretted it instantly. I’m really not sure anymore that I can really finish this game without losing my mind. It’s just so annoying it’s ridiculous.
    I guess I’ll finally start L.A. Noire which I have since day one but never actually started.

  5. I’ve managed to make UC3 last the whole week by just playing an hour or two per evening, sadly i’ll be finished tonight or tomorrow. Also played some of Hydrophobia which is okay but i’m kinda glad i got it free on PS+.

    • Hydrophobia is a bit of a let down.

  6. This week I’ve been annoying my wife by spending far too much time on Uncharted 3 and ignoring her.

    Finished the SP story pretty quickly (it was fantastic though, hence why I shot through it because I wanted to see what happened next) and then started shoveling a lot of time into the MP aspect.

    • I’ll be back online next week for some rounds :D

    • Unfortunately my wife has been winning and UC3 has had to wait. Only upto chapter 7 but tonight is PS3 night and I’ll be spending the evening in the company of Mr Nathan Drake and a Mrs Stella Artois

      • “Unfortunately my wife has been winning”

        Is your wife Chrlie Sheen??:D

      • LOL – I’ll tell her that…

  7. This week I’ve been playing battlefield 3 like a man possessed. The multiplayer on the PC with it’s 64 player maps is so addictive, it should have some form of warning label on it.

    I guess it helps that I have loads of friends with mic’s and mumble willing to work as a team at the drop of a hat. We get so many ace squad ribbons that I’m starting to feel bad for the other teams…

  8. I have been playing MW3 campaign again to get intels and missed one apperently they were lazy, in game stats shows 2 in that particular level whereas there’s 3 Intel in that Level grr…. annoying.
    I agree with TC I did went passed Cylinders especially indoors but it said CRATES stupid still like Forrest said it is indeed a great game!
    I have been playing Battlefield Multiplayer and also co-op with skibadee which turned out to be great fun had a barrel of laughs when trying to fly helicopter but skibadee was the worst pilot I have ever flown lol! In the future let me be the Pilot skib ;)
    We also did some Spec-ops it was hard but we managed to complete certain missions and will continue on Sunday, had one quick go on Survivor and stopped at 18 waves, which is brilliant actually.
    I have been playing Madden NFL (Franchise Mode) and Homefront MP
    I just bought Assassin’s Creed Revelations but have been warned not to redeem content until the release date, so I’ll wait and stare the game on my shelf with a grin….

  9. Played Batman: Arkham City and absolutely hated it, just a horrible experience. After that I reverted back to an old favourite and finally platinumed The Saboteur. Great game and a lot of fun, then after it was done I got all sad that it was Pandemics swansong. That was a company that in no way deserved to go under.

    • I found The Saboteur to be highly underrated – Sure, there was a lot of grinding to be done with the freeplay events, but i loved the setting & the returning colour mechanic & the one-liners were superb.

      Any game that can combine the words ‘Knob’ & ‘Jockey’ & still be somewhat credible is an instant win as far as i am concerned! :)

      • Yea but the Irish accent was terrible, just truly terrible!

  10. this week i have been playing uncharted 3,crysis 2 and phantasy star portable.uncharted 3 is the best game i have played the whole year really deserves the reviews it is getting.

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