What We Played #74: XCOM, Resident Evil 6, Dishonored

What We Played

The great weather last weekend saw me actually cycling around and about on my bike making the most of it before autumn settles in for good here in the northern hemisphere. That left little time for gaming but with another Mass Effect 3 weekend operation underway I had to spend a little time trying to save the galaxy.

With my usual accompanying trio on holiday, suffering from dead-PS3-itis or just plain ill I was faced with a stark choice; play solo or chance my arm with randoms. Naturally, I tried solo first. With the weekend’s squad goal being to extract within 20 minutes my odds were not good. I could get sub 21 minute extractions but could not find the extra few seconds.


Time for my first try with randoms then. The first game I joined had one player who could not grasp the concept of standing in the extraction point when the clock runs down. After a couple of goes the other three of us quit and I joined another game and was lucky to get three very competent players.

Fifteen minutes later the squad goal was done and I surprised myself by ranking top out of the four of us. I thought they had all been playing brilliantly so maybe I am not as bad at Mass Effect 3 as I thought.

With this week’s release of the Retaliation expansion for ME3’s multiplayer I have been back on for an hour or two, playing solo, to see what is new. With a new enemy, the expected Collectors, new versions of two existing maps with environmental hazards and the new challenge system there is plenty to see.

And when not playing you can keep an eye on your progress at the new N7 HQ page on BioWare’s community website. I am going to be playing ME3 for a while yet despite the stats below suggesting I have played plenty already as I need to start racking up some challenges. Clicking the image below will take you to my own N7 HQ page.

If you have been paying attention you will know how enamoured Alex is with The Unfinished Swan. His suggestion for how best to enjoy the game, find an evening you can dedicate to it “and just play. Glass of wine, curtains shut, peace and quiet. Let yourself absorb the story and play it at its own pace, and just enjoy the ride.”

He suggests it may well be one of those games to savour when you are alone. “I tried to show it to someone this week in a rush and it wasn’t quite right.” The “brilliant fun” Derrick The Deathfin also crept into his gaming time as did Super Hexagon “if only because by playing it I get the sense that – wherever he is and whatever he’s doing – Peter gets annoyed about it”. And that’s probably as good a reason to play as any.

Speaking of Peter, he’s been playing Dishonored, which he loved. He says that it is possible though that he may be enjoying XCOM: Enemy Unknown “even more than my time sneaking around Dunwall”. The review went live this morning, where he expands on he said to me: “it’s a fantastic turn-based strategy with light base-building elements”.

I’ve also played a fair bit of Bad Piggies on iPad. Once you’ve done a fair chunk of the levels, the Sandbox stage becomes really interesting. You basically unlock more stuff as you progress, which makes the Sandbox more possible. The whole thing is designed really well so that you’re often on the very edges of what’s possible with the contraptions you build.

[videoyoutube]Having settled into his university routine Jim is finding time to get his gaming back on the schedule between lectures. His main focus this week has been War of the Roses, a game “combining precise, action-based melee fighting with your traditional online FPS tropes, it’s an acquired taste to say the least”.

Mostly to be found playing as a longbowman or spear-wielding knight he says the game “definitely has its high points though there’s no escaping the common sense of frustration produced by the game’s distinct close-knit melee fighting. With that, War of the Roses definitely shows that Fatshark isn’t afraid to try something new.”

From the titles I think Kris has been playing some obscure indie games this week as well as indulging in some video game voyeurism:

I played “Why is everything in this radio studio breaking?”, “God I hate being sick” and New Star Soccer. I also watched people play loads of Madden.

Having committed mass zombicide in his quest to review Resident Evil 6 Aran offers the following verdict: the game is not as bad as people are suggesting but neither is it a great game. “There’s so much potential but Capcom spread themselves too thin by trying to please everyone.” His fuller appraisal will be up soon so you can read all the details then.

Buoyed up by the amount of value he has got from his £4 investment in Clive Barker’s Jericho Tuffcub splashed out the same amount on Quantum Theory. This time though “first impressions are that I got ripped off”. Oh. I apologise for the forthcoming mental image but he says he has also been “shaking my funky stuff to Dancestar Party and Zumba” while continuing to unleash Hell in Jericho and, shock horror, he’s been playing Killzone 3 again!

Last up this week we have Chris who, like Peter, has been kicking alien butt in XCOM: Enemy Unknown:

Amazing game which is really accessible but once you’re in it’s extremely deep too. Thanks to the dual nature of ‘ant farm’ base building and the mission structure it always invites “just one more go” and so far it’s easily one of the best games I’ve played this generation.

As the season’s big hitting games continue to arrive apace, have you been keeping up with them or staying with old favourites?



  1. I don’t know much about ME3 but top 2% is good, nice work!

    I’ve almost exclusively been playing LBPV just creating my level, apart from a couple of races on Rage. It’s my son’s 2nd birthday at the weekend so I’ve been arranging stuff for him this week!

    This is the time of year I’d have usually bought XCOM, Dishonored and Resi6, but with AC3 and Hitman coming out soon, and with LA Noire, Rage and LBP2 still in the backlog, I’m sticking to my “old favourite”, which also give me more money to spend on the boy! Might pick all 3 up after a price drop, possible over Christmas, in that order.

    • I’m waiting for a few price drops too,I picked up dirt showdown new for 12 quid! Also how are you finding rage? cause I throughly enjoyed it!

      • Wow, that’s a good price – you should join the Meets, they are popular! Its not the money as such, more the lack of time I have to play them….although with a price drop I can justify them sitting in a pile more than if I’d paid full price, lol!
        I only did about 4 races on Rage before the wife came home from work so couldn’t really tell you, but from what I remember playing when I started it ages ago I really like it, and visually it’s great! Next time I play I’m going to check I haven’t missed any collectables to avoid a second playthrough for the Plat! I really want to finish it before AC3 later this month!!

      • You should join the meets (Tuesday & Sunday) for showdown. More players=more xp=faster levelling.

        It does of course vary by how well you do, but with more players you can afford to be not so good, as you’ll still get better xp than with just a few.

        Showdown is also an unpredictable beast & one event you may be towards the bottom, but the next you may be near the top. All depends how stuff develops during the events.

      • As Youles says, you should definitely join us in the Showdown meets (Sunday @ 6 or Tuesday @ 8) as it’s a good laugh.
        I thoroughly enjoyed Rage, although the ending was terrible.

      • I will join the meets for sure!

    • Yeah defo get the collectibles,there are a few that you can’t go back to! I found out the hard way and had to do a second playthrough lol.

      • I found out the hard way & it never saw my console again.

        Games that deny you going back to areas, yet have collectibles in them aren’t worth my time tbh.

      • Thanks – I don’t like to following guides but I’m doing the occassinal check to ensure I haven’t gone past a point of no return. I’d rather that than another playthrough just for collectables! I may also backup a few save files just in case!

        @R1M….shame to hear about the ending, although a platinum “pling” might ease the disappointment ;)

  2. i played Supreme Commander… got my base destroyed thanks to having a Tech 3 Power Generator destroyed thus beginning a Domino Effect that took out all my other power generators and my big robotic commander thing (it builds stuff) blew up.. like a nuclear explosion.

    Game over.

  3. I’ve been playing with my snake. ;) Also, i managed to reach level 7 in the TSA RPG. Tis crap. No points to dump into any of my stats, no perks and i swear there is no plot. -1/10.

    Played Skyrim untill Wednesday. Managed to pick up MGS HD for £25 brand new in an indie shop. :O So i’ve been playing that since. Well, MGS 3. Turns out i’m a bit crap at stealth. Got fed up of how many times i had alerted the enemies so started a new game last night. Only alerted the enemies 3 times. All due to the controls. Instead of going backwards, i went forward, straight into their field of vision. Or i made a mistake and assumed that they wouldn’t see me in the grass. Untill they walked straight into me. MGS 3 is the best of the series imo. Although still getting to grips with the CQC controls. I think i’ve managed to avoid sliting their throat when i try to grab them and then interrogate them. Currently 1 and 57 minutes in on the new playthrough. Just at the bit after Ocelot’s introduction. Oh and it turns out that Kojima was advertising Rising in MGS. Due to Eva. ;)

    Going to do it in order of plot. MGS3, MGS PW, MG1&2, maybe MGS1(played it a few months back), MGS2 then the film that is known as MGS4. Should take me a few years. May end up with a Big Boss beard though. :O As well as having a tendecy to CQC random people in the street. :op

  4. I’m still ploughing through borderlands 2! I got 100% on Hell Yeah which is amazing, and I know im late but I picked up the joe danger bundle having never played the first. Its as brilliant as I’d hoped :)

    • Yeah, Hell Yeah was fantastic, reminded me of old Snes platformers.
      Joe Danger is awesome (except for the nightmare last level) and JD2 is equally good fun.

  5. Have invested A LOT of time into RE6 this week (a game which is rapidly becoming my game of the year to be honest). Three and a half campaigns down and everything from the improved gameplay to the great storyline/presentation keeps me coming back for more. Mercs is also insanely addictive (as always) :)

    Other than Resi, I did pull myself off it long enough to try the Forza Horizon demo, which is insanely good. Terrific visuals, an excellent soundtrack and rocksolid gameplay. My mate and I spent a good couple of hours sending rival requests back and forth, shaving valuable seconds off our best times. Great stuff, to the point that I’ve cancelled my Dishonored preorder so I can pick it up day one

    • I have also been playing re6 this week, just finished Ada’s campaign and i must say that i enjoyed every second. Definitely my goty so far. I tried to play re4 after but i just couldn’t get into it.

  6. Just been playing mgs4 & LBPV really loving this games the first ever LBP I managed to get over 50% trophies in, I hate it on ps3 but on vita it’s a joy to play. I need a buddy though to play with feel free to holla at me ha

  7. Currently hopping between Derrick the Deathfin, Joe Danger 2 and F1 2012 with the occasional blast of Tokyo Jungle thrown in.
    Tonight however will most likely be WRC3 … assuming the damn postman hurries his ass up and delivers it.

  8. God, Super Hexagon is such a frustrating /thing/.

  9. Tried the Forza Horizon demo. Enjoyed it immensely!

  10. What have i played this week? Not much outside of the meets tbh.

    I have had a sprinkling of Crash Time 4, a dab of Borderlands 2 & a bit of scooting about in THPS, but that’s about it really.

    Oh & there was an impromptu ‘defib only’ match on BF3 (which was hilarious!) & a bit of impromptu Burnout too – The latter i have not played literally in years (was stuck in the broken 60GB until recently), but its still amazing fun & remarkably still stands up to many a game released today graphically.

    • Crash Time 4….. did you like it?

      • Jury is still out on that one at the mo – As i have said to others that have asked, it was very slow to start & pretty much held your hand for around the first half an hour of gameplay. It also has a tendency to look a bit rubbish at times.

        Other than that, its a little weird as you never actually see the main characters, just hear them talk (all i have seen so far is cars & the building they were in at the beginning to indicate where they were), the dialogue is absolutely ABYSMAL & i have had a couple of cars that i was supposed to be pulling over (i.e. ramming them & parking in front of their car) respawn & just drive off on me!

        That said, the game has now opened up for me, providing me with ad hoc missions, sidequests & whatnot & the driving is at least relatively decent (which is kind of essential for a game where you are driving all the time!).

        Overall, i am glad i took a punt to give it a go, but i definitely wouldn’t pay anything more than i did (£15).

Comments are now closed for this post.