What We Played #30

How are you all coping with your TESV: Skyrim addictions? PopCap might be colloquially known for their ‘digital crack’ but few companies can produce gaming drugs that are quite so life-consuming as a Bethesda RPG, even if you do risk suffering the occasional bad trip due to glitches.

The latest TSAer to succumb is Blair who at least admits his addiction. “I can’t get into any other game right now”, he tells me, “not when the world of Skyrim has so much to explore and I’m only thirty hours in”. It took some concerned intervention from some friends to try and rehabilitate him with some co-op Rayman Origins. Here at TSA we also tried to help by asking him to review Super Pokémon Rumble but that only provided temporary relief.


Aran is also spending his waking hours in the digital unreality projected into his mind by Skyrim and showing all the classic signs of continuing addiction. “I am right near the end of the main quest and the game is just epic” he says. Then the cravings return, “I love it and I still have so much to do. Side quest and miscellaneous objectives just seem to pop up all the time.”

In a classic case of denial he even tries to claim that it is the game itself that is trying to trap him within its virtual world:

I did run into what I feel was a bit of bad area design in one of the main quest locations. I was fighting some dragons and I was retreating into a tower to replenish health. To get to this tower, you have to cross a tiny wooden plank. Now, I fell off the plank and became trapped between the rocks with no way of getting out, meaning I had to reload my last save, luckily that was just before the dragon fight. But something like that shouldn’t be there.

Despite that psychological trauma, even a recent terrifying bad trip where his character’s race oscillated between various fundamental physical particles hasn’t persuaded him to put the controller down. “I fell through a mountain while walking along it” revealing that he must have briefly become a neutrino. “That was strange”, perhaps he’s a quark now, “but I came out at the bottom and just walked back up again” having finally returned to a collection of atomic particles. Maybe the Havok physics engine the game uses is more capable than we give it credit for?

[drop2]Killzone 3 is still the headline title on Tuffcub’s list. Next up was Bulletstorm “which was an awful lot of fun”. There was however one taint on that otherwise fun experience, “the extra sweary bad guy near the end” who’s language was “unneeded”. Apparently “he doesn’t shut up and every other word is *bleep* or *bleep* or *bleep* or *bleepety bleep* or *bleeep* or *bleeeeep* or *bleep-bleep* or something like that”. Censored it sounds like one of club tunes Tuffcub’s so fond of. He’s been playing plenty of other games as well:

I’ve started Dead Island which is very atmospheric unless you are interacting with a NPC, they all come from the Fallout school of acting.

Started Modern Warfare 3 – things explode a lot, soldiers are shouty. Quite good.

My commute to and from work is taken up playing the PS mini A Space Shooter For Two Bucks which is a gem of a game. Proper old school blaster, really like it. However didn’t find Pixeljunk Shooter much cop – floaty chill out music does not work with a shooter.

Also played a bit more Child Of Eden (rave on!), a soupcon of NFS:The Run (oh dear) and some split screen Blur (the game of choice when Hubby is here and we need to decide who is going to get out of bed and make coffee).

That was all before falling prey to Skyrim though:

Finally, I have been playing a lot of Skyrim. Its broken and I hate it. However Fallout 3 is broken and I hated that as well to start – but in the end it turned out to be one of my favourite games. I have a feeling Skyrim may do the same. But it is very, very broken and I’m just starting to get the “save game lag” which is worrying.

After picking up a copy of the Prima guide to L.A. Noire Jim is breezing through the game’s interrogations without tearing his hair out. He has temporarily managed to overcome his Skyrim addiction and has put the game back on the shelf until he can afford to immerse himself in Tamriel’s environs over Christmas. In the meantime he’s “blitzed through” Assassin’s Creed: Revelations despite the game feeling “fatigued at times”.

Then with the thought of the impending festivities on his mind he realized it was about time to tackle last year’s gaming presents, starting the the Sly Trilogy:

Having only played Sly 2 in the past, going back to the original has been a real treat and it’s easy to see where gameplay elements have also been transferred to the inFamous series. The slick and precise platform sections and rewardingly formulaic design still hold up, Sly easily being one of the best games I’ve played this generation and it’s almost 10 years old. Having tied up a few loose ends and opening the hidden vaults I’ve bagged myself another platinum trophy and have started to make progress with the sequel.

Chris has been experimenting with his preferred brand of designer drug, Starhawk, which has prevented him for doing almost anything else. He did try to break Starhawk’s hold over him with a spell on Spiderman Shattered Dimensions. While Chris found that to be “pretty enjoyable” it couldn’t distract him for long as he found himself “ not quite hooked enough to finish it but that’s only because of the lure of Starhawk is pulling me away”.

Finally we have a tale from Peter, perhaps revealing that the guy near the end of Bulletstorm had been playing a particular Nintendo title:

I sat on the edge of the bed, face illuminated by a faint upward glow, swaying slightly to the left and to the right. My feet lifted as my whole body tensed and a string of expletives flowed through gritted teeth. Just at that point, my wife walked in, “Are you playing Mario Kart?” she said, with the kind of laser-guided premonition that eight years together brings.

So, yeah, I’ve been playing Mario Kart 7 mostly this week and I’ve been loving it. I still can’t get the start boost right and I hate the blue shells with the kind of passion usually reserved for racists, homophobes and old people that stop to talk in shop doorways. It makes me swear, completely involuntarily. Like a kind of digitally induced tourettes. I was once banned from playing Mario Kart Wii after I called my 4 year old nephew a “cheating little c*nt”, loudly, in a room packed with my wife’s extended family.

As for myself I’ve only played Gran Turismo 5 and Skyrim but you already knew that didn’t you.

What have been your gaming drugs of choice this past week?



  1. I put NFS: Hot Pursuit in my PS3 last night. I’d forgotten how good it was! Went online for the first time too, which was fun!

    I’ve also been playing Flick Golf (down to 10p on the Android Market) and FIFA 12 (Free) on my Xperia Play. Both very entertaining whilst having 15 minutes to waste.

  2. So much Skyrim is being played – I’m determind not to get it though, I’m not hugely into melee combat and I simply don’t have the time for such an epic game. I must keep reminding myself about all it’s bugs.

    I’ve only been playing MW3 this week. Partly because I haven’t played much at all, but also because “just one more game to unlock [ACR/Claymore/Blind Eye Pro/FAD/MSR…etc]”. There’s always something else to unlock!!

    • Had it not been for my local boozer I would have played the Golden Eye and Rage demos last night. Instead I’ll try these later, since I had been keeping an eye on both of them and Rage is uber cheap now.

  3. Plenty of variety for me this week.

    Driver San Francisco has received most of my attention. Stupid storyline but an otherwise awesome game. Have found it hard to walk away from it some evenings.
    Slowly chipping away at (roughly) my 10th playthrough of Tomb Raider 2. Still one of the best games ever imo in terms of puzzling, exploration, etc :)
    Played the first couple of chapters of Condemned also. As creepy as I remember, ranking right up there with Dead Space in terms of atmosphere and tension.

    Looking to hopefully start Warhammer Space Marine this weekend with a bit of luck :)

  4. Starhawk!

  5. Battlefield 3, Marvel Super Hero Squad, Sly 3 and a dose of Plants Vrs Zombies. All of this running upto Xmas when I can finally unwrap my copy of Skyrim and become “One of you lot”.

  6. Portal 2, it’s ace! Sonic Generations, it’s not!

  7. Played alot of Modern Warefare 3 and thats it really been busy so just been having a few rounds on that.
    Buti did get to play the Rage and Goldeneye demo which are both awesome! my girlfriend got me them for christmas with her store discount costing £34 for both!

  8. Skyrim, Skyrim and some more Skyrim. And a bit of Tales about a Blob, cause the lil’one likes it.

  9. Left for dead 2 and minecraft, wanting to go home on sunday so i can crack on with uncharted 3, battlefield 3 and Ico/Sotc, then get skyrim. I are exite.

  10. Rayman Origins to completion, WRC2, which thankfully was bargain basement priced as it’s merely a quick polish over from WRC1. Booted GT5 last night for the latest seasonals and to win that GT-R Acadamy Special car on offer for doing the Time Trial ;)

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