So, what are you playing?

by: Randy -
More On: What we're playing

[Far Cry 5 illus. by Anri Ford]

Why no, this isn't the first time Russian state media has used a video game clip to purportedly show Syrian war footage. The Black Panther movie's success, set in an autonomous black universe, proves a demand for racial diversity in video games. And how much has changed in 14 years since the EA Spouse letter challenged the video game developer's crunch culture?

So, what are you playing?

Dave Gamble
Freshly back from a PC-free week, I treated myself to the DCS Normandy Map plus Asset Pack. Once DCS in mode VR became usable to me, I couldn't wait to escort a flight of B-17s over German-held territory in my powerful and nimble P-51 Mustang, fending off Messerschmidt 109s and Focke-Wulf 190s as the bombers flew their comparatively sedate routes. It reminded me of the drive down through Alabama the week before: miles and miles of boredom, interspersed with moments of sheer terror when a speeding foe got right up on my six. Seriously, they dive hard in that neck of the woods.

Fresh from defeat at the hands of the Luftwaffe, I started playing Elium – Prison Escape for a review. It is not going well for me. It's a sword fighting game to at least some degree, something which I am very, very bad at, and it is a bit stingy on save points. It is thus that I have died a dozen times at the hands of the very first meaningful opposition and been thrown right back into the initial cut scene. It's Groundhog Day writ both small and irritating. I'm starting to consider just staying in the cell.

Eric Hauter
I've been spending the week ramping up Far Cry 5 content for the eventual onslaught/media blitz. As a result, I haven't had too much time for actual gaming.

I did play a bunch of Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology on the flight out West last weekend, and I love it as much as I ever did. I also have Blasters of the Universe on PS VR all queued up and ready to roll as soon as I have a bit of free time. I'm really looking forward to that one.

But for the most part this week, it's all writing and editing and file conversion and uploading and writing and editing.  

Randy Kalista
I've gone from being a small-town rapscallion to a knight of reasonable renown. Even though Kingdom Come: Deliverance doesn't have a character creator, my story as Henry of Skalitz has felt singular. A preacher once drank me under the table before we took a couple milkmaids up to the bell tower; next day, the hungover preacher begged me to handle the sermon—where I, also swaying from last night's debauchery, took to the pulpit and denounced the preacher in front of his entire congregation. One refugee threatened to knock me out during a job interview, so instead of giving him a job as a cook or a water carrier, I let him go clean latrines instead. On the other hand, I stopped one of my old buddies from throwing the miller's assistant into the river. See? I can be noble.

But, by the time this publishes on Friday, I've hopefully made progress up the Assassin's Creed Origins ladder. Polishing off the main story is taking awhile. It's a big, big game. And that's what's keeping me from tackling The Hidden Ones DLC. Origins' world is a historically accurate re-creation of Egypt. Kingdom Come is a historically accurate re-creation of Bohemia. Theoretically, I should be into both. But Kingdom Come is so much more of an immersive sim, whereas Origins is (not "merely," but) merely a neat action game. Sorry, folks. It's only week 3 of 52 of me writing love letters to Kingdom Come.

Nicholas Leon
Outside of editing/crying over my thesis, this weekend will probably see me playing Battlefield 1. Perhaps next week, I may get back into some single-player games, as I've yet to finish Persona 5 or get through the rest of the playthroughs for NieR: AutomataHere's to hoping!

Kevin O’Connell
I am smack dab in the middle of a reallllyyy challenging puzzle-solving game called Bridge Constructor Portal. The game sounds ridiculously simplistic until you partake. The imagination needed to complete levels will challenge even the best problem solver. There are portals, speed goo, turrets, non-building zones, and the like to make the job even hairier than just making a bridge. Add to that a "convoy" stage on every level (where multiple vehicles must survive your creation) and it is a heck of a time!

I have put South Park: TFBW on hold, both because I am involved with the construction game and I want to finish TFBW with my brother. Oh well, the masked raccoon will have to wait.

Halo 5 was going to be a return game for me this week, but I just cannot bring myself to play. The game was such a disappointment that anyone could be the hero and I just would not care. Instead I am going back through Mutant Football League—using the "orc" team for fun.