It's the weekend! In fact, it's Friday 13. To dodge all that bad luck flying around outside, we'll be locking ourselves safely indoors to play some videogames. Here's this week's account of what we'll be playing this weekend, and why.
Which I can't talk about. I was not a huge fan of the first one - the world seemed nice, but I hated who I was playing, the dialogue was malfunctioning all over the place, and I don't like games where women throw themselves at me - it always seems like such a sad thing to fantasise about. But Rich Cobbett keeps enthusing about the second one, so I'm keeping an open mind for that.
It's one of the most anticipated RPGs of the year, so obviously it would be grossly mean of me to sit here, smugly patting the review code and looking forward to getting back home tonight and get back to hacking monsters with a silver sword/wooing sexy sorceresses. So far, I'm having much better luck attracting the first than the second. Art mirrors life, I guess.
It's definitely not a perfect game - for all the Polish polish and obvious love and attention that's gone into it, it's an RPG with more than its fair share of rough edges, but I've been having a great time with it so far. Can't say much more than that right now for all the usual pesky embargo reasons, but look out for the review... oooh... real soon.
Mount & Blade's potential enthuses me to the point of enthuso-mania: carving a groove into central Europe with my dastardly hussars, leading cavalry charges in two-hundred man battles, my trusty scimitar removing heads with ease. In practice, the grubby presentation and weird internal logic (I had a village elder tell me his tiny hamlet's main exports were cheese, milk, sheep, cattle, weaponry, textiles, metal, wood, and wine. There were nine people in the village. Either they were the nine most industrious villagers in south Poland, or he was LYING.) mean that I give up before I've recruited a party, and need to shout the words FIRE and SWORD to stop myself getting distracted by a passing bumble bee.
This time, I'm going to play it properly. I'm going to roleplay my character, raiding bandits and robbing the rich to give to the poor. I'm going to shoot men from horseback and make kings and emperors bow to my army's whim. Or I'm going to find one villager and ride my horse into him again and again because it's funny.
Yeah, Portal 2 is good. But how cool is Valve's perfect implementation of cloud saving? I come to work, I play for an hour at lunch. I go home, and pick up exactly where I left off. It's amazing. I take some screenshots for a feature at home, they're waiting on my Steam Cloud screenshot page at work. It even saved the miniscule amount of progress I made when testing if it would run on my laptop.
Sure, we're in a privileged position where we're actively encouraged to play games at work. But what a privilege Valve makes it.
PC gaming is brilliant.
There are too many games . I haven't even started on Shogun 2 or Dragon Age 2. I've got Cargo and Capsized . I should spend more time with Ace of Spades . I've got the first ten hours of Deus Ex: Human Revolution tempting me to a second playthrough, I've got code for future indie hotness Voxatron , and Tom and I have yet to finish Portal 2's co-op. PC gaming is mental and amazing and exciting and simply too much.
But if I had to choose just one game to play, it'd be Shores of Hazeron . It's an indie MMO set in space, in which you build your own spaceship - designing the deck plans, even - and then explore a galaxy of planets you can land on. I haven't played it yet, the website looks like it was designed in Microsoft Publisher circa 1997, and it might be awful, but hot damn if it doesn't sound like a game worth devoting a sunny weekend to.
This weekend I will be playing Super F!@#*£g Meat Boy, to give the game its full title. I will be cursing my way through the hundreds of impossible levels, failing time and time again, all the while ranting with increasing fervour at the tiny red character on my screen. Here's an excerpt, with some select words altered to protect those of a delicate sensibility.
"Why the jolly did you jump there? What the Darwin do you think you're doing you silly , silly , little lump of joy ? Call yourself super? I'll give you super you aesthetically pleasing , bag of flowery loveliness !"
And then one of my flatmates will burst into my room, screaming "Tom what the Shakespeare are you ranting on about? It's 5AM in the forking morning!"
What will you be playing this weekend?