The weekend playlist

Tom Senior at

Shogun 2 spearmen

The weekend is looming like an angry but awesome bear. We've been planning ahead, drawing up master strategies for the best way to spend our spare time over the next few days. Should we trim our bonsai trees? Alphabetize our DVD collections? See our loved ones? No, of course not. We'll be busy diving into the latest and greatest PC games. Here's a list of what we're going to play this weekend, and why.

Total War: Shogun 2, Crazy Taxi - Graham

This is my tradition: one weekend of every year I sit down and try to get in to a Total War game. It hasn’t happened yet, and I’m not sure why. I’m a guy who plays Dwarf Fortress and Supreme Commander - and I will tell you that repeatedly, while beaming - but I always bounce off Total War games, never lasting more than a couple of hours before I wander off to more immediate thrills. Still, I’m convinced that there’s endless fun waiting for me if I can get over the initial hump, and I’m more hopeful than ever that Shogun 2 is the game that will get me there. I love the setting, and it seems way more streamlined than Empire, or even Napoleon.

If I lose the fight, Crazy Taxi will be waiting in my corner with the spit bucket and instant gratification.

Portal - Craig

You have a month until the release of Portal 2. After being forced to play the opening 45 minutes of it, it gave me a hankering for more girl on rogue OS action. It’s still great, if a bit slow to start off (a criticism you’d be unable to level at the second). Replay and prepare for more twisted Aperture Science.

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DC Universe Online - Josh

After leveling two character to max and creating somewhere between 4 and 6 billion alts, I’ve finally figured out the type of character I want to play at endgame: a Sorcery-powered healer with a bow, super speed and Wonder Woman as a mentor. Now I just have to level one. Thank God it only takes 25 hours or so to hit max level. I’m also happy that the Valentine’s Day events are finally gone, and that they took their creepy anime-style “bad boy” baby angels with ‘em--although I’m worried that the St. Patrick’s Day events will be just as disturbing. I heartily vote no to any weird, creepy babies in my videogames.

Total War: Shogun 2 - Tim

I’ve discovered a terrifying new talent for winning Shogun 2 multiplayer matches. I’m going to playing online until the rest of the world discovers my secret. What’s my secret? Light cavalry. I use them early to harry and harass spear and archers, pulling them out of shape and drawing them into my archer’s cones of fire. If you spot me online, don’t be afraid to say hello - I’ll be hanging around the in-game chatroom of the PC Gamer Shogun 2 clan.

Please don’t tell anyone my secret.

Dragon Age 2 - Tom S

If you're worried about creating a balanced team in Dragon Age 2, don't be. You're supposed to have a warrior or two absorbing damage, a rogue to take out big threats and a mage to keep everyone healthy. Forget all that. I've been rolling with a mage - mage - mage - rogue combination. I thought my fragile wizards might need extra health potions, or more skill points in the healing skill trees to stay alive. I was wrong. Find your mages' most apocalyptic area of affect abilities, max them out and watch the battlefield explode with every attack. The Darkspawn won’t get close enough to land a blow, and the sight of all that magical mass destruction never gets old.

Total War: Shogun 2 etc. - Owen

Last night I learned that I suck as a general. Disappointing. This weekend will be dedicated to getting good at Shogun 2: Total War.

I will learn the way of the Shogun. I will achieve victory. If that fails, I'll resort back to the familiar world of Poké-trading. I know it's not strictly a PC game, but Rich is playing it too and, according to the latest US podcast, a few members of the US team. That makes it ok, right?

Throwing Up - Tom Francis

I'd dabbled with throwing up a few times before, but I didn't really get into it until eating a dodgy beef carpaccio at a restaurant in Austin Texas yesterday. Since then, I must say, I've been hooked. Every two hours, without fail, I get the itch again and just have to go and expel a slurry of semi-digested food and gastric juices into the nearest toilet bowl or sink. Sleep, friends, social life, not being covered in sick - I've given up all these things to go back to it. Turns out you don't even need to successfully digest any food to play! Once my stomach is empty, I'm able to simply dry-heave until I choke on my own phlegm.

I'm hoping to complete it this weekend, I'll let you guys know how it turns out. I'm hoping this 'Tom Francis' character gets killed off, I'm pretty sick of being him.

Homefront - Evan

I played the first half-hour of the single-player last night--for all the criticism that’s wafting around, I like that Homefront immediately gave me an enemy I couldn’t wait to shoot at. Oppressive Koreans in multilayered kevlar, in my Colorado suburbs? Not on my watch. Then I picked up my first rifle. Ugh. There’s no sense of nuance or believable recoil--at least with the weapon I grabbed, there was no feeling that the gun was a set of moving parts rather than a model with particle effects attached to it.

Still, I feel a need to finish it. I'm actually glad that it won't take me more than five hours. I’m shamefully curious to see how rampant the White Castle product placement is, too.

What are you all planning on playing this weekend? Let us know in the comments.