What We Played #34

With the additional spare time that can be found during the holidays it can be a great time to throw yourself into one of those games that can really suck up your spare time. That’s what a number of us have been doing over the past week.

The primary beneficiary of our time has been Saints Row: The Third which has been keeping Blair, Aran, Tuffcub and Toby occupied and entertained. Blair sums up the overall opinion by saying “it’s just mental and so much fun… it’s like what GTA IV should have been”.


Toby is “loving it’s complete disregard for reality”. “We’ll always want emotional roller-coasters and some serious shooting”, he continues “but it’s nice to see a game that focuses on the root of why games were developed in the first place – for fun.” The freedom and ensuing chaos are seeing Aran starring in scenes you’d expect to find in summer blockbuster movies:

I was taking out gang operations in a jet because I could, then parachuted out of the jet, completed a base jump, started walking away from the area and the jet crashed behind me and exploded. It was like one of those scenes where the hero walks away from an explosion looking cool.

It’s back to University for Blair this week and keeping him entertained on his coach travels has been Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS which he calls the “perfect handheld platformer”. In justification he cites both “the mechanics and the size of the levels”. He also tells me that it is one of those uncommon games that is equally satisfying whether you can only spare it a few minutes or have a longer while to “get stuck into it”.

Dan has chosen a different time sink heading deep into uncharted space with the almost-a-year-old Mass Effect 2 on PS3. Despite only being a few hours in it’s clear he’s enjoying it somewhat; “my goodness, it’s a fantastic game”, he says, “I love it”.

“Usually I like faster paced titles, but there’s something about ME2 that sucks you in” he says having become hooked like many of us. Certainly not a game that’s short of ways to make your gaming time seemingly evaporate, “it’s easy to spend an hour just wandering the Normandy talking to the crew”.

[drop2]My own free time (and then some!) has been spent playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. It’s the first MMO that I’ve played and I think I’m starting to understand what the fuss is all about. It’s fantastic and has led to me sweeping all other games aside.

Replete with BioWare’s trademark storytelling, fully voiced characters, interesting single-player storylines and the freeform co-op possibilities of an MMO (I’m sticking to PvE) it’s just brilliant. My smuggler (Jenn on the Sluis Shipyards server; wave if you happen to be passing) may only be level 18 at the moment but I already know what my next two characters will be and how I intend to play them.

At this rate it will take something like Mass Effect 3, which has got Dan’s internal hype meter set to 10 as a result of his ME2 gaming, to pull me away from SWTOR and that may only be a temporary situation.

One of the last games I expected Kris to tell me he’d been playing was FIFA 12 but he has apparently been playing “bucket loads” of it. When playing an ‘away’ fixture on his housemate’s console (said housemate being djhsecondnature who many of you will know from the internet) his team of choice is Tottenham while “home” fixtures on his own PS3 see him trying to recreate Man City’s real world league-leading performance.

I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t at the moment, but it’s very enjoyable. Most of the time I just can’t slot it passed the keeper though, it’s very frustrating. Working out where and how to place my shots is my next big challenge.

Last up this week is Jim who’s eclectic mix of gaming has seen PayDay: The Heist, Medieval Moves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception‘s online multiplayer and the original Max Payne on PC sharing his attention.

He also read his second video game-related novel Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth. He says he approached it with some scepticism as not only did the Dead Island novel he’d read fail to “tick all of the boxes” but he’s a big fan of the Uncharted series. He need not have worried though, “The Fourth Labyrinth is brilliant and definitely captures the essence and character of Uncharted”.

What games have you welcomed in 2012 with?



  1. I’ve played loads of different games for a change, and been trying to get lots of trophies…..Call of Duty Classic, House of the Dead Overkill (completed), Might & Magic Clash of Heroes (completed, 100& trophies), MW3 (Platinumed), Uncharted 3 (completed, just 2 chapters on Crushing to get my Platinum), and a little bit of Nazi Zombies on Black Ops (just need 2 trophies for 100%)! I should have Uncharted 3 and Black Ops at 100% this weekend so I can session Rage!

    • Spoken like a true trophy hunter :)

      • Lol, I’m not worthy of such a title (yet)…but it’s getting addictive. I’m not going to start playing rubbish games just because they have an obtainable Platinum. I get more satisfaction getting 100% from games like Limbo, or Black Ops that have some really hard trophies!! At some point I’m going back to Platinum the first Uncharted and Dead Space games (since I’ve Platinumed the sequels) and Ico…but I’m trying to keep up with my new games for now, so Rage and House of the Dead with my wife for now! :)

  2. Mostly Resident Evil Mercs 3D this week. Great little game and well worth the 15quid I paid for it in the Jan sales.
    Other than that I played a bit more of Saints Row The Third, which is a lot of fun and I also helped my Mrs get the full 1000 on Lego Harry Potter 5-7 yesterday evening.

    Just killing time really until Revelations comes out at the end of the month lol.

    • You do like your Resident Evil! :)

      I’m not into Harry Potter but the Lego PS3 demo which I played with my mother-in-law over Christmas was bloody good fun, a pleasant surprise!

      • Lego games rock. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of the subject matter, you can usually find some joy from Lego titles.

        Actually really looking forward to the new batman one. :)

      • Haha yeah I love those games. RE:Raccoon City is out this year too so there is plenty to keep this fan satisfied lol.

        Yeah the Lego games are definately very samey but they are great if you want to just sit down with your other half, switch off and unlock some trophies/achievements in the process.

      • As you say Forrest, I’m not really into comic heroes/Batman or Harry Potter but would probably enjoy them. I even thought Harry Potter had improved on the Star Wars and Indy titles (I had played the demos) Hard to think how they could improve on such a basic platforming principle, but the graphics and spells were excellent! Despite not being a Batman fan, I do enjoy the films and if they improve on the Harry Potter games, I can see it being a purchase! Plus, you can’t go wrong with a bit of co-op!

        Also – since a lot of people in the forums seem to have picked Rage up cheap…we might have good numbers for a buggy racing meet now!

      • the buggy racing was the only part of rage I enjoyed tbh. lots of fun :)

      • Oh really, I’m looking forward to starting it….the gunplay is nice and smooth for an RPG/FPS compared to Fallout and Borderlands. It’ll no doubt be a little repetitive but I find most games are. At least it will be something new since I seem to have just been playing sequels – MW3, Uncharted 3, BF3!

  3. Played a handful of games this week. Picked up Stranger’s Wrath and Infamous Festival Of Blood from the store, both good so far. Also been playing Skyrim of course and a little bit of MW3. Looking to play through the Back to the Future episodes this week.

    • How large is the install for Festival of Blood?

      I am really interested in it, but i am a bit screwed if it is anything near 3-4GB!!

      • 3.6GB :/

      • My friend google tells me its a little over 3gb

      • Cheers guys – Might have to give it a miss in that case, as i just don’t have the HDD space atm! :/

      • hmm sorry to hear that. After not playing Infamous 2, FOB looks really good. Very surprised by the change from the first infamous title. If you can clear the space its worth it, only £3.99 atm too

      • Yeah, that’s why i was interested in the size as it’s a great price & infamous 2 was brilliant.

        Hmmm, i wonder if there is some utility data i could sacrifice…

      • Just seen your comment that you have JC2, delete the install data for that. Should have enough then. Or bioshock?

      • Lol, Bioshock was deleted aaages ago (i traded it a while back when i was looking for spare space)!! Good thinking though, as the installs for both do tend to be around 5GB.

        & you would be surprised (i know i was) – The install for JC2 is actually only something like 1847MB (or something like that anyway)!

      • that hardly anything! RDR, Skyrim, fallout, Dead Island!

  4. Skyrim has absorbed my whole life. I just want to finish it so I can sell it. It’s too good and too addictive. I’ve got 8 other quality games at home needing a playthrough but nothing else is getting a look-in. I haven’t experienced this kind of gaming addiction since me2.

    • Trouble is, once you complete it, there still remains an element of “Well I’ll just do this, then quit, and this, and that, and this….”

    • I could as soon sell a teste as I could be parted with Skyrim.

  5. I got a couple of games for xmas & had a few i was working on anyway, so since the xmas break i have played Dead Island, Rage, Assassins Creed Revelations, The usual BF3 (hard to avoid when running a meet!), Worms Golf, Uncharted 2 (well, i guess i should get it finished up before moving on to Uncharted 3 right?) & Saints Row 3.

    I absolutely concur about what was said about SR3 as well, it’s just balls to the wall fun & i love it. It actually reminds me a little of GTA Vice City (which is a good thing!) & whilst i would still like to see a GTA HD collection, SR3 has calmed my desire for mayhem by providing it by the bucketload, so i am happy!

    • Did you ever play Just Cause 2? It sounds kind of similar and if it is, I will be buying it straight away. JC2 is to date in my top five all time faveourite games I think!

      • The tone between Saints row and Just Cause 2 is different. Whereas Just Cause is still somewhat realistic, Saints Row is simply insane. Thwy are somewhat similiar though, at some parts so similiar that while playing through Saints Row I sometimes missed the grappling hook.

      • I did indeed play JC2 & in fact still own it (really must get back to it to finish it at some point!) – There are indeed elements that are similar to parts of that too. I suppose it’s a bit like if Vice City & Just Cause had a baby.

        If you enjoyed the chaos of JC2, i think you’ll find a lot to like about SR3. The only downside is no grappling hook of course, but that is made up in other ways.

        SR3 has literally taken over my life at the moment. It’s THAT good (IMO of course).

      • Right you have both sold it to me. Need to go see where I can get it cheap since I’m pretty skint ha.

        I just know I’m going to miss the grappling hook too though!

  6. Mostly Uncharted 3 for me. Just not quite hitting the dizzy heights of the first two. Cannot for the life of me put my finger on why though. Also played a bit of RUSE and BTTF, and five minutes of dark souls. Can’t wait to get into that game though!

    • Totally agree with your Uncharted 3 comments. It is excellent but it’s just missing something. I’d have liked more mini-boses that weren’t just brutes, such as the Apache mini-boss from Uncharted 2. The plane sequence is good, but not as good as when you climb the train wreck in U2. Too many times do the ledges and precarious ladders you climb fall down, I guess we are just harder to surprise as we see it coming now. I did like more of the running/chase levels, and the child-Drake levels were a nice inclusion. Also Cutter and the London levels. What I like about Naughty Dog is their attention to details such as the London safety signs, and the markets looked fantastic. I also really apprecaited the random burst water pipe when climbing one of the buildings early on, just after when you and Sully go and meet Elena. The water and ship levels were a highlight for me, some of the best graphics on PS3 (along with Rage and BF3). The textures on the London tunnels were amazing, and the walls of the pipes actually appeared wet.

      • I too felt there was something missing. The plane mission for me was simply not long enough, in 2mins the sequence was over. The ship level was amazing though. At one point it had an open world feel to it as the battle areas were so big, the linear feel to it was lost at those times. Really enjoyed those bits. :) Also the story seemed to jump bits every so often, would have liked to have seen more of Cutter and Chloe in it too.

      • Yeah, I know what you mean.


        What even happened to Cutter and Chloe, I assume nothing, as they weren’t even included in the final sequence? I was hoping for a Cutter/Chloe level after the Drake/Sully Chateau level.

        Also, no one seemed to care what was behind the door where they couldn’t get in to (where the spiders chased Sully, Drake and Elena away)….or did I miss something?

      • Ignore that, it was the stars on the ceiling behind the door. I am stupid sometimes….I had just forgot since I have been skipping the cut-scenes in my Crushing playthrough!

      • yeah they seemed to disappear after they left on the bus, never heard from them again. :/ It was the stars!

      • The ending did seem a little short and rushed, oh well it was enjoyable all the same!

      • I also had no idea where Sully got the ring from, had to look it up. Either it was confusing or Im stupid. Enjoyed the game a lot despite all of this.

      • They intended to include Cutter a lot more in the storyline but the voice actor scored a role in The Hobbit part way through meaning they squeezed almost all of his mo-cap and voice work into just a few days


      • Aha, some good work Eldave0…at least that explains it! But did the actor not know Uncharted 3 is more important than The Hobbit? ;)

      • Ta, I got a copy of Drake’s Journal for Christmas from the Mrs and I’ve read it cover to cover already… twice ;) really interesting stuff. http://uncharted.wikia.com/wiki/Drake%27s_Journal

      • Wow, that’s pretty cool! Might have to keep an eye out for a copy!

      • I think you’re out of luck :( I got the impression from what he said at Eurogamer that it was to be a limited print-run. Ebay is bound to have a copy however. With delivery from the States my copy came to about 30quid I think but it was definately worth it :)

      • Oh I see…perhaps I won’t then! Am itching to get home and Platinum it tonight now!!

  7. mostly Saints row for me this week.

    god damn but that game is fun.
    i reached level 50 and finished the game, i’m virtually unbeatable now that i’ve unlocked no bullet damage, no fire damage and no explosion damage.
    i’ve also got infinite ammo on rifles machineguns and explosives weapons now, along with the instant reload, or no reload would be more accurate, i can put out a constant spray of bullets from my dual wielded death blossoms. ^_^

    it’s fun going toe to toe with a minigun wielding brute and just laughing off his bullets.

    also, as always, there’s Minecraft.
    i’m beginning to think i might be addicted.
    actually, take out all the words except the first and last and you’ll probably have a more accurate assessment.

    i have started watching a youtube minecraft series, or collection of series, under the moniker Gamechap.

    it’s these two guys doing this upper class british accent, you know, “what ho old chap” and “i’m going for a walk rind the hise” kind of thing.
    it’s bloody hilarious.

    Gamechap is joined by his cohort Bertie, who seems to be obsessed with TNT and coconuts.

    they do a series showing of various mods for Minecraft.
    each videogram, as they put it, invariably ends up with their house, sorry, hise, getting burned down or blown up.
    and Bertie coming up with the most implausible explanations for why it isn’t his fault.

    anybody who likes a good laugh would do well to check it the videos.

  8. Skyrim, still! 126 hours and counting. Also a spot of Super Mario 3D land on the tube and I bought Morrowind from Steam the other day to fuel my addiction during those times when the wife wants to impede on my rise to Thieves Guild glory by using the television to watch programmes – surely it wasn’t made for that?

  9. AC Revelations is keeping me from playing Skyrim, Uncharted 3 and Battlefield 3 at the moment. The story is not as good as AC2 unfortunately but otherwise thoroughly enjoyable game.

  10. Bargain Bin Christmas pressies for me. Finally started Deus Ex, which is good but frustrating when I keep setting off alarms, and Bullletstorm which is stupid but amazingly entertaining!

    • I’ve been thinking of getting Deus Ex, spotted it for a tenner in places. Is it good? I’m pretty tempted by the visual style too.

      I’ve just been on Fallout 3 again. Got a tad frustrated with the lack of VATS and head shots in Skyrim, but then, Skyrim has dragons and actually looks nice.

      • It is good, very strategic and tactical. Quite frustrating for non lethal players on the first boss. But apart from that it’s been good so far, looks great. There’a an RPG element to it too.

      • Yeah, I’m not quite non lethal. More guns blazing/lethal stealth. I never really see the point of not killing pretend people, so I should be fine. I’ve heard the bosses are a bit of a down point all round, still looks good, especially for a tenner.

      • Only doing it for the trophies at the end, and on hard difficulty it is actually easier not to kill anyone, entering a firefight is suicide :L

      • Aha fair enough, I’ll bear that in mind!

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