Whatcha playing?

Gaming threads pop up occasionally but maybe we can try one in the same format as the TV/movies and music threads…

I’ll kick off: lifelong gamer, now middle-aged so fairly big into retrogaming, but also a big miser, so currently working through the greats on Xbox 360, now that the consoles are cheap and the games are for nearly nothing. Highlights so far are the Portals (and their soundtracks!), Tomb Raider 2013 (which I didn’t think I’d like, but man those visuals), and Red Dead Redemption (the “main” game was damn good but I didn’t quite get all the fuss, however Undead Nightmare really puts the putrescent cherry on the cake and completes a classic package).

That’s just the tip of the iceberg though: there’s plenty of 8-bit, PC indie and former-generation stuff in my rotation too, although I have to fit it all into a few spare hours every week due to RL.

What about the rest of you mutants? Is videogaming the newest artform or Skinnerbox BS? Any faves you want to shout from the rooftops? I can talk pretty much any platform - don’t get me started on 3D Ant Attack on the Spectrum - bring 'em on! :slight_smile:


So this weekend I started playing an old second-hand copy of Half-Life 2, which somehow passed me by…

Wow! Now I understand its reputation. At heart a basic FPS, and indeed a bit more linear than I usually like, but the deft storytelling and atmospherics are genuinely a cut above. It’s clear now why the internet has an obsession with Half-Life 3. (Also, I’m not very far in yet, but I gotta say it has the BEST exploding barrels).

For a change of pace I’m also playing very slowly through the mighty, mighty Star Control II, the legendary PC space strategy/RPG game with great music and even better humour. Any other campers on the BBS? You can download the brilliant fan remake Ur-quan Masters here.

(Fun fact: a new Star Control game is on the horizon. I personally have high hopes for it as lead writer is IMO the best of the Cracked.com funnymen, Chris Bucholz, who has also dropped a couple highly rated SF novels, although I haven’t read 'em yet myself)


HL3 Confirmed!


Overwatch. Lots of Overwatch.

(I have an Overwatch hoodie, and nearly every day at least one person comments on it, asks me if they should try it, or who my favorite character is.) (And I used to say D.Va, but lately I’ve been playing a lot of the Random Heroes mode and enjoying the variety. Probably my answer now is “anyone who isn’t a sniper.” Though Orisa in the public test server is a lot of fun.)

Just this weekend I started on Unexplored, but while I’m more or less enjoying it, I’m also reminded I kind of don’t enjoy some aspects of roguelikes.

1 Like

Haven’t played Overwatch, but I gotta say I LOVE the idea that the pre-eminent competitive shooter is a glorious explosion of colour and character.

It features a lot in the Kotaku Highlight Reels too and seems always good for a laugh :slight_smile:


For the last year or so, my two go to games have been 7 Days to Die and ARK: Survival Evolved. They’re both “survival” type games, albeit with different themes and game mechanics.

Both games have the basics of survival and require you to find food, water, and shelter.

7 Days to Die has been described as something like Minecraft, but with much better resolution. Almost everything in the world is destructible and provides some resource or another. Building is very flexible and fairly free form. You can reinforce existing structures or build from scratch, or even dig your own warren. Of course every 7 days (hence the title), an ever stronger horde of zombies will come after you, regardless of where you hide.

ARK involves riding around on dinosaurs. While there are a great many things you can harvest for resources, the world isn’t nearly as mutable as the one in 7 Days, but you can’t tame and ride a therizinosaurus in 7 Days. The building system is good, although not as flexible as 7 Days. (For instance, you can’t dig, and the few pre-existing structures can’t really be altered.) On the other hand, in the default game, you don’t have a horde coming for your brains every week.

Both of these games are a lot of fun with the default game, but mods only improve them! The creators of ARK, Studio Wildcards, is even sponsoring some mod development teams, with the eventuality of including the mods in official releases.

I also started a new game last week, Firewatch. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one, especially since it had been a while between when I put it on my wishlist and when I bought it. From the linked site: “Firewatch is a mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio.” I’ve been finding it rather engaging, with a nice bit of humor, strangeness, and a lot of poignant emotional moments.

All three of these are available on Steam and run very well under Linux Mint.


Ahhh… I loved Red Dead Redemption and am very much looking forward to its upcoming sequel. Quite coincidentally (I just found this thread only now), my son and I dug up RDR out of the garage yesterday and started playing it together. I don’t plan to let him get very deep into the story, as its M rating is well-deserved (unlike, say, Halo’s) and he’s not quite eight. But it’s a truly beautiful game, and we’ve enjoyed riding around the countryside ahorseback.

He’s a somewhat pacific soul. Doesn’t mind shooting bad guys, be they human or space alien, but didn’t want no truck with shooting the bunny rabbits or coyotes in Bonnie MacFarlane’s garden… He shooed them out instead.


Sorry… Fat-fingered the Reply button before I was done.

Anyway, both my 7 year old son and 9 year old daughter and I have been playing the remastered Skyrim and enjoying it immensely. My daughter in particular is really into it. She has 3 characters going and really loves the character creation and side quests. It’s been funny to me how neither of them are too anxious to finish the main quest. It’s been months now, and neither of them have quite gotten around to retrieving that Elder Scroll from Blackreach yet.

We’re a bit spoiled for choice. We still have my Xbox 360 with a couple dozen games (like you, the Portal games being probably our favorites), and my Xbone with maybe eight or ten games, and a WiiU which is mostly for them, although we all love Mario Kart 8.

I have the 2013 Tomb Raider but haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve been told great things about The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition but I’m only a couple hours into those, and neither has grabbed me yet. (It doesn’t help that I got the 360 version of DA:I, which is horribly janky and ugly and barely runs on that platform.)

My favorite games of the last generation, in addition to Portal and Portal 2 were Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. I had over 150 hours of pure fun on both, once the release bugs got patched. I was rather disappointed by Fallout 4, but still played it a lot.

I loved all the Halo games until the lackluster campaign of Halo 4 killed it for me. Didn’t bother with Halo 5. Liked Destiny a bunch, but the MMO grindy shit killed that one for me. I bought and played all the DLC up through The Taken King, but didn’t bother with Rise of Iron. Story is very important to me. Now Joe Staten ain’t there, story isn’t important enough for Bungie anymore. But damned if Destiny doesn’t have just the sweetest FPS feel.

Oh, and I really enjoyed L.A. Noire, though it certainly had its flaws. Rockstar is very good about making an immersive world wherein I just like driving around, listening to the radio (or, in the case of RDR, riding my horse around, listening to the sagebrush). I’m not into any of the GTA games… Too realistic and grim, not enough escapism. I appreciated GTA5 but couldn’t enjoy it enough to finish it.


Final Fantasy XIV, with the most regularity. Counterstrike, Left 4 Dead on occasion. I finished “The Beginner’s Guide” not too long ago, but I know some might consider that to be more of a visual novel…but I enjoyed it.

I also have quite a few small-time games purchased and waiting on Steam, maybe someday I’ll get around to playing them all.


Just opening my copy of D-Day Omaha Beach because I am internet-copying this awesome let’s play wargamer playthrough a different scenario on the same-ilar system.

I am a horrible wargamer. But they are cheaper than the monthly payments on a Tesla.


I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus with games - busy at work, parenting, etc all seem to prevent me from enjoying the hobby. But before I got busy I was playing Talos Principle (puzzler), Valiant Hearts (historical platformer), Inside (trippy platformer), and The Culling (survival PvP). I also played Firewatch and didn’t think it lived up to the hype. I was trying to get in the Mad Max but found it was taking too much time :confused:

I’ve been trying to play some mobile (iOS) games too; After The End (puzzler), Pandemic (board game), Severed, Road Not Taken, YS Chronicles II…



Just. nethack.

That is all.


Man, it sure is. I do enjoy it and want to finish it, but… I dunno. It’s a bit of a slog.


The Banner Saga 2, if I can find some time for it.


Oh! Yeah, that was a good one. I took time away from 7 Days and ARK to play that. :slight_smile:


For me right now, it’s Elder Scrolls Online (don’t laugh) which is making me nostalgic for Oblivion. Not playing with anyone, not into PvP, but it’s entertaining enough, and I paid less than for anything else in the series. Have done DA:I and am interested to see where they will take the story.

Saints Row IV was a lot of fun.

Every time I downloaded in the past, I seemed to get a broken copy. It either won’t let me save or would crash like crazy. Which is sad, because I LOVE StarCon II.

Hearing that Bucholz was chosen as lead writer for a sequel was glorious. I just hope it doesn’t turn into vapourware.

1 Like

Since my kids have been enjoying Skyrim so much, I dug up Oblivion on Saturday so they could give that a go. I wanted them to see what Cyrodiil looked like, particularly how lovely and green it is compared to the snowy Skyrim.

They never got out of the dungeon. They hate the ten-year-old graphics, and they hate the bad NPC face modeling and dialogue animations. I didn’t press it, since I never finished the game myself when I played it back in 2007. I enjoyed farting around in Cyrodiil but every time the main quest required me to close another Oblivion gate I found the game too oppressive and grim.

How is TESO for a single-player PVE experience? Any good quests? I imagine since it’s an MMO I have to deal with online randos, but it still sounds like it might be fun.


Didn’t they just release a Morrowind expansion?

1 Like

For TESO? Or for Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind?

The latter seems unlikely, given its age. I haven’t played either.

1 Like


Ah, here we go. Knew I’d read something.