Tom Senior: Come raid or shine
Aw, no Division 2 raid for us this month. I’m fine with developers delaying updates so they can get it right, and raids are hard, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed that we won’t get to write about the eight-player Operation Dark Hours for a few more weeks.
I’m used to raiding mainly in six-person teams in Destiny’s spectacular sci-fi locations. A larger team in the gritty aftermath of a disease outbreak in Washington DC is a very different prospect, but the datamined details sound tasty. A tease you get to see at World Tier 5 indicates that players will take a chopper to the raid location, which means this and future raids won’t have to take place in the city limits. I’m looking forward to seeing how D2 grows in the coming year or so.
Samuel Roberts: RPG renaissance?
I found the comments about RPGs from Aaryn Flynn, formerly of BioWare, kind of interesting here: "Roleplaying as a genre, I feel, is due for a renaissance." In the interview where that quote came from, he also praises Larian, and talks about how RPGs have changed in recent years: "So many folks have maybe softened the edges of roleplaying a bit too much. There are so many teams who are doing experiences, like Larian, and I look to them for inspiration. I'm asking myself: 'How can you do that in a multiplayer situation? What kinds of things can you do there?'."
It's true that RPGs have sort of merged into every other genre, like how Assassin's Creed is built upon those elements, but I'm not sure RPGs are due a renaissance. Like Flynn says, the Divinity games are top notch, and they're just the most successful of a mini-CRPG revival, which includes both of the Pillars of Eternity games, Torment, and Wasteland 2. Maybe big budget RPGs could use fewer softer edges, but I wouldn't apply that to the entire genre as it stands.
Chris Livingston: Goo-d Lawd
World of Goo is going free on The Epic Store. That's good. It's been updated to run better on current PCs. That's also good. What's not good is the reminder that it's been around for ten years. Ten years! Every now and then we're hit with the realization that a huge swath of time has passed incredibly quickly, but it honestly feels like I sat down to play World of Goo for the first time... maybe three, four years ago. I thought maybe I'd even reviewed it.
But, nope. It was 2009. Ten damn years. I didn't even work for PC Gamer then! Time flies, and it flies just a little too fast for my liking.
Sarah James: Play nice
While I haven't been playing much WoW, I have managed to get into Stellaris in a pretty big way. It's a huge surprise to me that I enjoy this game so much—considering space stuff doesn't particularly interest me outside of Mass Effect or Red Dwarf—but unfortunately, that doesn't mean I'm any good at it. I've lost (nearly) every single war I've been involved in and, as a consequence, try to be as polite as possible to other empires so they'll leave me alone and let me enjoy expanding my own empire in peace.
Perhaps one day I'll figure out the intricacies of the game, but until then I'll just hang on to the weird satisfaction that surveying countless systems and colonising new planets seems to bring.
James Davenport: Suprabland
Supraland came outta nowhere. It's a massive, sprawling first person puzzle game set in a kid's sandbox. You're a little red action figure on a mission to do… something? The blue guys are bad, this I know. There's a disparate set of abilities you acquire along the way to solve increasingly complex puzzles, but they've yet to really stretch my imagination. I'm a few hours in and so far I feel like I know the solution to most puzzles the second I enter a room, or a minute or two into fiddling with all the pieces.
From all the positive buzz I expected a little more, and maybe it's still coming down the pipe, but Supraland hasn't done anything to stand out so far. Still, I'm sticking with it. Apparently it's mostly the work of one developer, which makes the scale and design all the more impressive. And I'm curious if there's a moment where things change and the setting becomes more than a cute tilt-scaled novelty. It's not doing much for a grizzled puzzle game vet, but if this is your first puzzle game, I'm sure it's a stunner. One to gift to a new gamer, maybe.
Wes Fenlon: Just a construction yard!?
Come on, Petroglyph. How are you gonna tease me like that? I know you're working on C&C Remastered, but I'd hoped to mostly forget about it until the game popped up in front of me nearly fully-formed, and I wouldn't have to wait long to play it. Teasing me with a single jpeg of a high-poly construction yard just won't do. Either show me the goods, or let me hibernate until I can command, and also conquer, once again.