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?