The #1 selling video game (in box stores, anyway) over Black Friday and Cyber Monday was Call of Duty: WWII. China wouldn't let PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds into the country—until the game was given a socialist makeover. And the AV Club dug up a bananas clip of Quentin Tarantino acting in a 1996 FMV game.
So, what are you playing?
Sean Colleli, Staff Writer, @scolleli
I might join the resistance and fire up Star Wars: Battlefront II...from 2005. With a decent HD mod you're getting a far better experience than the new hotness, even without the loot box gouging.
I've also nearly wrapped up Dead Space 2, which is a little sad. I might also be tinkering with my Retropie build to update it to the latest version.
Dave Gamble, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
I found myself in a big hurry to finish up my review of The Drone Racing League Simulator. This has been a tough one—I kinda sorta knew from personal experience that four decades worth of flying both R/C and real airplanes that the muscle motions ingrained from all of that fixed-wing flying was going to make the transition to a first-person-view (FPV) drone was going to be murderously hard. It has been. I would like to say that I have now mastered the operation of a racing drone, but it would be a flat out lie.Whether this points to the authenticity and fidelity of the sim, or vice-versa, is not something that I can determine as yet.
As soon as I get that done, I will jump right back into my current obsession, for which I have Cyber Monday to blame. Just Cause 3 for $7.99? Give me a sec to think abo— okay, long enough. I'm in! Yes, it's a goofy game, the AI is as dumb as a bale of straw, and the graphics aren't up to current spec, but...the AI is dumb, which means I can kill and kill and kill and kill them while they only manage to hurt me as rarely as me winning a drone race. But that's not all! There are soooo many creative ways to go about it! My favorite so far was to use my reel to attach to an innocent bystander and a big cargo trailer stacked up on another one. Then I used another rope to attach my friend to a big red 55 gallon drum of something explosive. I hit the reel-in button laughed with glee as the 55 gallon drum flew into the human, and the unlikely pairing then flew together into the cargo hauler, there was a big explosion, followed by the cargo hauler falling off the stack and crushing the human. This is a hard game to put down! What else can you say about a game that has an achievement for attaching a guy to a compressed gas tank, then shooting it such that it rockets off into the sky, pulling the victim behind it? It's called My Little Rocket Man, but I call it Great Smokin' Gobs o' Fun! I have also taken to calling it Just Cuz, as in: "Why did you slingshot that old woman a quarter mile out into the ocean?" "Just cuz I felt like it."
I'm also working through an indie-developed FPS that goes by Soldiers of the Universe for a preview. It's an early access title on Steam. So far, that's exactly what it feels like, if not just a bit too early to be accessed.
Eric Hauter, Staff Writer, email@example.com
I took my first cautious steps into Skyrim VR last weekend. I did the opening sequence, went to the first town, and hopscotched up a mountain to the first dungeon. Yes, the textures are fuzzy and the world looks slightly out of focus, but I'm still digging it. I've decided on a fire-centric build, and being able to shoot fire out of both hands is empowering. I have zero issues with bouncing around with the teleport method of travel. Doesn't feel weird, doesn't bother me a bit, motion-sickness-wise.
I'm continuing through the opening hours of Horizon Zero Dawn. I love the storytelling and beauty of the world. I'm not sold on the combat yet, but I'm willing to keep trying.
I also have a Switch arriving this week, so while I'm not really sure what I will be playing on it, I'm sure to pick up something. I'm ashamed to admit it, but the thing I'm most excited about is the Project Octopath Traveler demo. I was a huge fan of Bravely Default and Bravely Second, so I'm really interested in anything that this particular branch of Square Enix feels compelled to work on.
Randy Kalista, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
It's been a quiet year for me, strategy-game wise. But Northgard makes my short list of pretty good games of the year. Of course I'm in love with the Scandinavian craftsmanship, but I'm also cool with the one- to two-hour game length. It's tight. It does what it does. It doesn't overstay its welcome. It plays with the speed and intentionality of a board game. That's OK by me. Plus, after getting stomped on half a dozen times, my last game finally let me do some of the stomping, which is nice.
I'm tiptoeing back into EVE Online, but there's no way I'll stick around. Yes, they've taken steps toward hand-holding a new player through their first hours in the insurmountable EVE universe. Yes, space is prettier than ever. Man, those ship designs are still some of my favorites—and I'm counting any sci-fi property you can name from TV to video games. But I'm in no position to be dropping $15/month for an MMO anymore. Ten years ago, yeah. Now, no.
And RimWorld is what I'm playing when I still have some other lite reading or homework to do at the same time. Getting to know their little sim-like personalities is great. My current run is populated with former staffers that we still keep well in touch with. I've got Sean Cahill. He's an alcoholic, but the guy can build anything you put in front of him. Matt Mirkovich is a social butterfly and a natural Doogie Howser when you hand him a scalpel and sewing needle. Jeremy Duff? Well, he's psychically sensitive, trigger happy, and lazy, so we're still trying to figure him out. The dog seems to like him, though, and the colony is coming along just fine. I love those crucial first few days after the crash landing.
Nicholas Leon, Staff Writer, email@example.com
I've beaten all the DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, but in my most recent playthrough, it crashed three times in one hour. So, along with working on three papers and a presentation, I'll be playing Battlefield 1.
It's been a year since I played it on Xbox One, and I've noticed a clear distinction in playstyle between this game, and Call of Duty: WWII and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. I won't go into the differences, but I find it really interesting how unique each of the voices are in these games.
Anyway, I've got the complete edition of Battlefield 1 and this game is a blast. They Shall Not Pass especially drives home what I identify as the game's thesis, which is to truly capture the feeling of WWI. Constantly pushing back and forth, progress is incredibly frustrating, but it's still just so fun. I can't wait for the next two packs. Hopefully they'll come sooner rather than later.