Gaming thus far

I’m .. not in a dry spell exactly, but between games at the moment. I’m deriving more value from working on imtg in my leisure time than I think I would be with any of the games available to me. Which, let’s be honest, really is all of them.

In the past year we justified purchases of a PS5 and an XBox S, and the justification was because we wanted to and we can. And that’s greedy to some extent but it isn’t as though we flew anywhere or even spent a night in a hotel anywhere. So there it is, we have them and enough discretionary money and time that if there is a game I want to play I can buy it and play it.

And I sure did. There’s a series of posts here up until the spring and I don’t remember everything that was said but I know I was talking about Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. And then sometime shortly after that we got the PS5 and I played Horizon: Forbidden West, and the motorcycle gang post-apocalpytic open world thing. And Assassin’s Creed: whichever it was. Perhaps the best Assassin’s Creed game, though with its increased rpg-ish focus there are good arguments to be made for several others.

I guess best from a mechanics standpoint is the position I would take?

Several other games too but let’s see what I remember of what.

Forbidden West is a good game. It’s a fine extension of the story though battling humans who have altered themselves into effective gods stretches credulity even taking everything else in the setting as given. I did enjoy it and look forward to more adventures in the setting, futuristic gods and all. It will be hard to convince me that Aloy has reason for using bow and arrow now that force shields and laser guns and whatever are commonplace but the shelf on which I will suspend that disbelief is low and readily accessible.

The motorcycle one is Days Gone. I had to look up the name which is too bad. After playing it I looked up the developers and apparently there hasn’t been enough affection for the game and its world to get investment for continued stories there, but yet it is well-regarded enough by players of games for it to be in Sony’s Playstation Collection.

I just looked back at my most recent post and it was from February? The one prior was just before taking the new job. Which is good, mostly. I have a healthier relationship with it than I have my previous couple of positions I think.

Days Gone was an interesting premise in an interesting part of the world that I didn’t know much about. Also it’s basically a zombie game and they do continue to be the most interesting-to-me monster archetype. I am not the sort who gives things scores but I appreciate the nearly modern-day/recent post-apocalypse setting. I don’t play a ton of games where guns and explosives are the things, and those ones tend to be by Naughty Dog and it’s been quite a while.

I guess like, SF settings are gun games too but the approximation of realism was sort of novel to me given the amount of fantasy or far-future type games I gravitate towards. I will keep an eye open for whatever Bend Studio does next, though I probably won’t go back to play the Siphon Filter games.

I played a moderate amount of Hades and quite a bit of Spelunky 2 through much of that. I feel like I’m missing another AAA title but the one I can think of next is Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. That one I did eventually remember.

I didn’t entirely follow the story. I know the modern-day story has become something of a boat anchor and this probably like mostly let them wrap it up maybe but I ended up going through a major story sequence late one weeknight when I should have been asleep and I couldn’t quite tie all the pieces together.

I certainly didn’t 100% it so there’s still a chance I could pick it up for an afternoon and do a couple more quests. I didn’t get far into the river raiding or the little roguelike game but all the major storyline quests and most of the blue dot things, events I think they were called? Definitely not all the gear, I basically kept the same set of armour and weapon through the entire game. I played on hard, whereas most of the games above I played on normal.

I wish I could enjoy games like these over longer periods of time. I don’t know if it is monotropism or what but I do attach to a single game at a time and I get very focused on working through the games without a ton of delay. I think something like this would be a different and ultimately more enjoyable experience to play at a harder level of difficulty, to think about gear and item use and skills more closely but also I think about all those things and it’s just so tiring.

I do believe that some of that perception of exhaustion is because there isn’t a good interface for these sorts of things and I guess imtg is something I’m doing to try to find that? I want to expose why the different items in the game have value and I do kind of want the choices about inventory and crafting and such to be intentional and consequential. I don’t want to speculate too much on that here however.

I played Kentucky Route Zero before Valhalla. I so deeply appreciate what they did but that same kind of “must get through this game” mentality is in deep conflict with what that game is. I adore that people are making spaces for slow exploration and thoughtful consideration and vague conclusions and I really enjoyed listening to the Eggplant: Secret Lives of Games podcast “Into the Depths” episodes about it and having the context to be able to do that. It was a game I worked through partly because of interest but also because it seemed academically important in its way. It is a notable entry in the canon? The songbook? It has resonance throughout the industry and there’s value in experiencing it for that purpose too.

I would like to be content with the experience of exploration in games. From a Bartle’s four types perspective, though I had to look the name up again. I suppose of the four I am most strongly an achiever. Completing a game is something that has value for me.

I played Tunic. It is a nice game that I wish I could attach to more. It has interesting mechanics and is a nice setting. I got blocked by a puzzle and then the PS5 arrived and I am not at all motivated to go back. I have several friends with similar experiences. I hope there is a Tunic 2 and that perhaps I am able to attach to it more.

I guess that is largely it, at least based on what’s currently installed on my consoles. There’s been bits and pieces here and there and I recently bought Cult of the Lamb but am letting my youngest child play through it first (via shared Steam library) and I have resumed doing a Spelunky run or two every few days as well but right now there isn’t anything available to me that, as I said, I would prefer to spend time on. I played an hour or so of Deathloop but I’m not sure I’ll get back to it.

A very solid year for games indeed. Few indies which is not super awesome. I’m hoping Cyberpunk 2077 or Last of Us Part II become available to me via one of the subscription services relatively soon but it will probably be a while before that happens. The only game I am anticipating buying and playing is the next Dragon Age.

Oh I played God of War! The viking one. That’s alright too.