PlanetSide 2 (free to play) – pretty huge, grindy, and pointless, but somehow quite engaging. It’s an MMOFPS which means it is absolutely pointless. You capture territory then ten minutes later someone else captures it. You find some non-braindead teammates and go around and capture various bases with them. Then you go offline, log back in a few hours later and find out they’ve all been re-captured. I think this is how the game goes for the next 3 years. There are three factions and three continents. What that means is that on every server, each faction will dominate one continent and largely ignore the others. We have Amerish, the Vanu have Esamir and the filthy Terrans have Indar. The battle lines have barely moved on each since release. As a result, I haven’t actually played Amerish because nothing ever happens there. We just occasionally swap one place for another. Well, that’s war I guess. Having three warring factions is really strange. When the Vanu have 90% of the map, you see the Terrans as a sort of ally. Until they turn up while you’re assaulting the Vanu Biolab and start attacking your supply lines. GO HOME TERRANS. IDIOTS. I managed to squash one with my drop-pod today. It was glorious. Until I got sniped 0.8 seconds later.
The XP grind is very slow. I think the best early investment is in the medic class because you can rack up XP relatively fast by resurrecting teammates and you’re still just as effective as anyone else at killing infantry. Unfortunately, you get no XP for resurrects if they were teamkilled. And in some fights, it does seem like 90% of your dead teammates were teamkills. We’d have taken this tech plant hours ago if we tried shooting the enemy instead of ourselves! One bad grenade bounce = 8 dead teammates and no XP.
Skyrim (Steam sale) – I am late to the party with this one, but I was waiting for it to drop to below £15. I always feel that Bethesda’s RPGs are the Emperor’s New Clothes, but people seem to really really really love Skyrim. Maybe it’s a whole wardrobe.
Then I bought the Humble Bundle. A lot of people are whining that this one is against the spirit of the HB as it’s Windows only and linked to Steam (DRM). True, I can see that. On the other hand, it’s the first one with games I’ve been interested in enough to exchange them for money:
Saint’s Row 3 – I could call SR3 a shameless GTA ripoff, and indeed half the time my brain is trying desperately to map streets in SR3 to streets in Liberty City because they look so damn similar and it just can’t process the fact that the cities are actually not the same, but that would be slightly unfair as it doesn’t fall into the traps that GTA4 does. It’s kind of a natural progression of GTA1 and 2 into a modern game. The problem with modern day GTA is it wants to be a serious game while also jumping on every opportunity to undermine itself by being ridiculous and immature. You can’t have both. SR3 foregoes the seriousness. It does not have an identity crisis. You blow up loads of people, the mechanics/garages are called Rim Job, but there is no “cousin, it is your cousin!”. Also you can choose your character’s hair/makeup/shoes/etc. Hours of fun right there. This game provides new clothes of a very visible nature. GTA ripoffs done right, I guess. Compare and contrast to the disaster that was Mafia 2.
Metro 2033 – No idea. I think it’s a cross between Fallout and Soviet Russia.
Darksiders – even less idea
Red Faction Armageddon – Wow, I never even knew this became a series. I played the first one. I remember three things about it: 1) it was set on Mars, 2) you could explode the ground, and 3) there was a black guy that got killed. It was okay but nothing special. Maybe the series got better. I bet the black guy came back in the second one as your arch nemesis. [edit: I looked it up and he didn’t.]
And some other games I am not interested in. Having said that, I wasn’t interested in Sid Meier’s Railroads! or Railroad Tycoon 3 when I got them in a Steam pack last year AND YET THEY CONSUMED MANY HOURS OF MY LIFE. Watch and learn, London Midland.