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What we're playing

by: Randy -
More On: What we're playing
John Madden, the man whose name is synonymous with football, talks about the stamp he's left on NFL video gamesA new Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is being made—without EA or BioWare. And psychologists use The Sims 3 to study how psychopathic people exploit anxious and kind individuals.
So, this is what we're playing.
Eric is Hitman's newest and biggest fan
Charlie Coleman
I've been away from gaming for a few weeks due to some personal stuff (all good on that front now) so I powered up my PS5 for the first time in a few weeks to get back to some games in my backlog. This time of year is usually pretty quiet in terms of new releases so I use it as an opportunity to tackle my ever-growing backlog.
Doing so has seen me go back and play through a few of the final missions in the Ghostbusters remaster. I'm a huge fan of the films and, considering the game is based on a script for a sequel and features original voice acting, it's been fun to play through. On the other hand, I'm also going back through a NG+ run in Dark Souls 3 to wrap up the platinum trophy. 
Eric Hauter
At what point do I decide to let go of Red Dead Online as my pandemic grind of choice? I'm still logging in every day, making money and buying stuff, but I'm starting to hit that point (as I do in every games-as-a-service title) where I ask myself, "Why am I doing this?" I already have all of the goodies I was working for. At this point I'm hunting for XP to push my battle pass thingy to level 90 so I can have a free dog, even though I have more than enough Red Dead Dollars to buy 10 dogs. But despite my qualms, there I sit every morning at 7:00 AM, blasting away at deer and turkeys. It's a weird thing, game addiction.
During my more productive hours, I've been digging into my Hitman: World of Assassination backlog. As I mentioned in my review, I'm rather stunned by the fun and complexity offered by Hitman's deep and varied levels. I've gone back into my Stadia backlog to try out some of the earlier titles, and have been enjoying the experience quite a bit. Hitman has been opening up a whole new world of gaming to me, and I'm really enjoying its more deliberate pacing. If only I could stop shooting elk long enough to make any progress.
I'm also starting a new game on Quest 2 for review. Yupitergrad has players swinging around a Russian satellite with two suction cup guns like a Cold War era Spider-Comrade. So far, I'm really enjoying the world and the graphics, but I'm having a hard time locking in on how to swing correctly. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to stand up for this one, which takes me out of my seated-VR comfort zone. More on Yupitergrad next week, I suppose, as getting through it is my weekend project.
Randy Kalista
My recent search history is nothing but "10 hardest games of the past 10 years," "best soulsborne games ranked," and "games like dark souls if you're pretty sure you suck at dark souls." Which brings me back to Ashen. It's taken me a decade to warm up to low-poly art styles, which Ashen has. And it's taken me a decade to warm up to Dark Souls' genre shenanigans, which Ashen also has. Turns out, the open-world map is wonderful, even if bad guys jump out of the shadows entirely too much, despite that being perfectly acceptable bad-guy behavior. But I sure like the mythology, which is on some Nordic creationism-level stuff. Even if my contribution to the world building is mostly just to pound suckers into the ground with my two-handed rolling pin.
John Yan
I'm going to have limited time this weekend to play so I need some quick games to fill in. I've been really into #KILLALLZOMBIES lately. It's 50 cents on Steam right now and it's basically a twin stick Robotron/Smash TV-type game where you fight against hordes of zombies. As you level up, you'll have an option to use one of four perks presented to you. Sometimes the perks are good. Sometimes the perks are bad. You get to choose, though, and they are random each time, so they can really change up the game even in its early stages. Because I have a lot to do this weekend to get ready for a new dog coming into the family, this will probably be the only thing I'll be playing this weekend.