What We Played #49

While I still struggle with the dilemma of whether to buy The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings on 360 or wait to see if it turns up on the PS3 later this year Dan, the lucky sod, has already been playing it. You may have already read about his time with the preview.  Of the full game he adds that it’s a “wonderful game, and so far it’s been a fantastic port and I’ve come across no bugs”.

In the early days of PlayStation you may have spent many happy hours like me driving around tracks and arenas smashing into the other cars as much as you could all the while trying to minimise any damage to your own. Destruction Derby was enormous fun and Codies’ Dirt Showdown, which Peter has been playing thanks to a preview build, looks to update the formula and damage modelling for the current gen.


All he’ll tell me so far is that “it’s a lot of fun”.

Peter’s brevity may be because of one of the week’s new games that was so popular on launch it had Microsoft scampering down to their local big box retailer for some more servers. That game is Trials Evolution, the online leaderboard-toting, LittleBigPlanet of crazy stunt bike-riding that 360 owners have clearly been eagerly awaiting.

Says Peter, “it’s one of those games that I’ll play obsessively for a while because I know I can shave a second off my times, so it’s a case of quickly restarting at the first sign of a mistake”. Its predecessor Trials HD was popular amongst the crowd here and much like the leaderboard battling we saw recently with MotorStorm RC Peter’s expecting similar friendly and not so friendly rivalry. “There are a few people on my friends list who are around the same sort of ability as me too, so I’m going to get caught in a brief leaderboard battle before they outstrip my times for good.”

This week Aran’s managed to add Bioshock 2 to his list of completed games. “[It’s a ] fantastic game and definitely one that makes you think. I still can’t believe I waited so long to pick it up and I am definitely now looking forward to Infinite”.

After that it was onto 2008’s cell-shaded, free-running Prince of Persia starring everyone’s favourite over-used voice actor Nolan North, that last coming as a bit of a surprise to Aran. “[It was a] bit annoying to be running around the Middle East, with a Middle East protagonist having an American voice but I learned to deal with it”. While he liked the game’s art style the somewhat fiddly controls and camera combined with a story that he just didn’t find interesting took the shine off.

While not-so-patiently awaiting an announcement of DLC he’s also returned to those northern dragon-blighted lands of Skyrim and taken a new character, a high elf mage who gets far too much enjoyment from setting enemies on fire, out for a spin. Rapidly becoming a bounty-hunting bane of bandits throughout the realm he’s busy mis-begetting their misbegotten gold.

[drop2]He brought you the horrified granny thumbnail, now prepare to hate him for something completely unrelated. Tuffcub’s been playing Borderlands 2. “Yes, 2” he adds in case it didn’t sink in the first time. Bastard! And a word of warning for you, if you find yourself asking TC what he’s been playing be very, very sure to specify that the question is about video games. Details of some non-video game ‘playing’ he indulges in are not meant to be shared.

Toby’s been quiet and not playing much of anything of late due to his swiftly approaching exams but this week has found him warming a DS3 in his hands:

I managed to finally find time to unwrap Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Although I’ve only played for an hour, it’s already exceeding expectations – my stand out moments include thieving with a 14 year old Drake, uncovering the origins of Nate’s and Sully’s relationship, and meeting Chloe again. But what do you lot care? You’ve probably already finished it, found all of the treasures and are now anticipating the next one.

Not me, my copy’s still sat on the shelf. I’ve spent a few hours each in both Skyrim and Gran Turismo 5 and a similar amount of time watching Battlestar Galactica on Blu-ray and that’s been it lately. I did spend a bit of time playing around with graphs but that’s probably not your idea of playing is it?

Much like Toby, Chris hasn’t been playing much lately but aimed to change that by spending some time the this month’s PlayStation Plus freebie Need For Speed Shift 2. That didn’t last long as he “found it to be uncontrollable, unplayable rubbish made all the worse by the nagging voice-over”. Luckily a starving mammal and a Treasure-laden début title came to the rescue. “I also played brilliantly playable Hungry Giraffe a Mini which is similar to Doodle Jump and kicked back with Gunstar Heroes, still absolutely brilliant even after all this time.”

With the dust settling on his Free-2-Play series Jim finds he still can’t get enough of Wrath of Heroes.

I’ve always wanted to get into MMO-style PvP though found the learning curve and preparation time in World of Warcraft and similar games as a major barrier. WoH tears these down, combining the same skill-based gameplay with a matchmaking system akin to your everyday shooter.

I’ve started pouring money into the game, grabbing myself full ownership of Volrik, a support-class hero that may not be a heavy hitter but can easily ensnare and slow down enemies, whether they be in the centre of a crowd or trying to do a runner.

Aside from that he’s spent some time on his PS Vita with Unit 13 which he’s finding a worthwhile game despite some unrefined gunplay, that’s enhanced by its social/multiplayer features. He’s also played through Silent Hill: Downpour for our forthcoming review and been utterly unimpressed by the character-less, chore-like Armoured Core V. You can also expect a review for the “fantastic” new Uncharted 3 multiplayer maps.

Blair’s found an aspect of gaming that isn’t fun; having to write one for some coursework. You may have caught the start of his trawl through his unplayed Steam-sold games catalogue that include Windosill, BIT.TRIP Runner and Zen Bound 2. There’s also his Playback article detailing his recent encounter with Crysis 2 which he was pleasantly surprised to find he “liked very much”.

Over to you.



  1. TomBlitz, Ghost of Sparta and UC:GA have kept my Vita ticking over and on PS3 i happened upon a surely mistakenly-priced copy of Syndicate in a second hand shop (€10). I figured it was probably worth a chance although i couldn’t recall how it had fared in reviews. I have to say i’m absolutely loving it, just playing the sp and enjoying the tech and story. It has similarities to Deus Ex, but has it’s own cool abilities and also – it’s in colour! ;)

  2. I got my hands on Skyrim on Tuesday so i have been playing that. Unfortunaly, the being able to stick to one character problem i had with Oblivion has happened in Skyrim. So far, i’ve had a nord, A high Elf mage, Nord warrior, HE mage, Argonian. But i am going to create a new High Elf Mage tomorrow as it makes the game challenging and fun.

    Not a fan of the regenerating health as it makes healing almost pointless outside of combat. Wish i could toggle it off and there doesn’t seem to be an explantion why every person on Nirn can regenerate health without the use of magic.

    Love the revamped combat system and have gone “UNLIMITED POWAH!” on enemies.

    Oh and i found out that a poorly leveled up mage is crap against a dragon. A guard stole my dragon kill outside of Winterhold!

    Think i will side with the Stormcloaks as the Empire is getting out of hand, excuting someone for crossing the border!?

    On the new playthrough, i plan to level up all of the Arcane Arts, Smithing and Enchanting as it’s easy Septims. Oh and try my hand at roleplaying. Such as eating 3 meals a day in game, Sleeping, chopping wood and helping out at the mill in Riverwood to begin with etc..

    Already have a half completed backstory for the character. Had hoped that the cities that i’ve visited so far would be at least the same size as the Imperial City. Windhelm should have been but doesn’t really bother me. Oh and have not encounter any lag or crashes so far. :O And i’ve been in the water a lot. Music tends to play when it can be bothered to but the silence makes the world more immerisive. Wished that subtitles would display when you turn off the Hud.

  3. Kept playing Mass Effect 2, after I really disliked the controls from the very start and never really understood what all the hype was about.
    But, I have to admit, I’m sold, some of the storyline is the very best I’ve seen in any game so far, e.g. the background bit about Jack, so I’ll definitely keep playing the thing…

  4. Mainly been about the 3DS for me this week. Played unhealthy amounts of Mario Kart 7 along with some Resi Evil Merceneries. Looking to get some more games though soon.

    • If you enjoyed Mercenaries I highly recommend RE Revelations. One of my favourite RE games. Mario Tennis looks great too and of course there is now a new 2D mario on the way in August :)

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