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”.
[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”.
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.
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?