James Davenport: Kingdom come on
I’m about 20 hours into Kingdom Come: Deliverance, most of which has been decent fun, but after wrapping a relationship questline I feel a bit soured on the whole thing. I’d been returning to town to see a woman I was courting in game and figured it would take some time to get to know her. Not so. Three or four dates in, after spending a few evenings together chatting and drinking, our date abruptly ended in the bone zone. Henry woke up alone and then the quest completion drum sounded off. My Henry was imbued with a buff called Alpha Male, which has a few too many gross connotations to stomach, and as far as I can tell, that’s it.
It might pick up later—Kingdom Come is a massive game—but I expected her (staying non-specific to avoid spoilers) to get the same level of characterization as some of the other primary characters or Henry himself. Nah. The whole ordeal treats sex as the end goal, which, as in most relationships, is an excellent benefit, but I still know next to nothing about this person and the game doesn’t signal that I’ll even get the opportunity to find out. Lame. Hope I’m wrong about this one.
Jody Macgregor: Late to the party
Itch.io is constantly running new game jams, so many of them it can be hard to keep up, though there's a handy calendar here. Normally they're not something I'd be interested in contributing to, but this month one came along that actually does cater to my skillset: MANIFESTO JAM. All you had to do was write a manifesto, make some extravagant claims, and shout at people about how everyone is doing videogames wrong. That I can do.
Except I didn't. The deadline was Wednesday and I missed it like an idiot. I knew I was never going to come up with something as good as the Meatpunk Manifesto ("there may not be hope but we have each other and we can trust our fists and that's enough") but still, who doesn't want to be part of The Discourse? Fortunately I can still enjoy Manifest, an entry which lets you write your own manifesto or type whatever you want into its little box accompanied by pixel fireworks so you feel better about having opinions. No matter how ridiculous or late they are.
Tyler Wilde: Make your own mint
Today, we learned that Atari is getting into the cryptocurrency game, following in the footsteps of Crytek. Kodak’s got a coin too. Earlier this week, I found out there’s even a cryptocurrency you earn by watching porn. Yep, seems like everyone’s got a cryptocurrency these days, solving our long standing problem of not having enough currencies. This gold rush can surely only lead to good things, which is why it’s important to laugh at the naysayers, who are just jealous, and aren’t, say, concerned that with no anchor (a commodity like gold, or the productive capacity of a nation) the value of cryptocurrency is based purely on speculation (ie, a bubble), and that if cryptocurrency were actually widely adopted (unlikely given that it would disrupt the hegemony of the most powerful interests on earth), it would do nothing to improve conditions for the vast majority of people, except these guys.
Chris Livingston: Harmware
I hate new hardware. There, I said it. I had to say goodbye to my Roccat mouse of many years because the left button started registering a double-click when I just clicked it once, and I immediately felt the stress of owning a new piece of hardware. I feel like I should enjoy getting new toys, because who doesn't? But I think I am a creature of habit, and having to adjust to something new—even if it's better than the old—brings me no joy. I think my new Logitech mouse is probably just fine, but it's different. Vaguely different shape, marginally different weight, the thumb buttons are placed slightly differently—don't get me started on how the mouse wheel rolls with a slightly different sound—and each time I put my hand to it my muscle memory screams "Interloper!" I am set in my ways. Here's hoping it's another decade before I have to replace something else.
Andy Kelly: DayZ gone by
I was reminiscing earlier about the time I was hopelessly addicted to DayZ. It was before the standalone version, when it was still an Arma mod, and for about six months it was all I played. It was the most exciting online game I'd ever played, and it didn't even matter that the zombies barely worked: it was the player interactions that made it special. Those tense moments when you saw another player on the horizon, wondering if they were friendly. Or crouching in the bushes armed with a pistol and one bullet as a group of geared-up, camo-clad players walked by, inches away from you. It was a thrilling social experiment.
But I started falling out of love with it shortly after it went standalone. I'm not exactly sure why. It felt like very little progress was being made towards an actual release. Players seemed to get more trigger happy, firing on sight and taking away some of the tension, turning it into a ruthless deathmatch. And it's a shame, because an online game hasn't given me that buzz since. Battlegrounds offers a similar experience in some ways, but the difference is, there's no chance of making friends there. Everyone wants you dead. I don't know what state DayZ is in currently. It's been a while since I last played. But I think I might go back and see if I can recreate some of the magic of the hundreds of hours I spent with the old Arma mod.
Joe Donnelly: Bannerlust
This Lows entry has an element of positivity about it, but I wish we knew more about Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's release date. I loved my time with the multiplayer level Taleworlds showed off at last year's Gamescom, and my anticipation has grown steadily with every faction tease the developer has dropped since.
"I wish this was the title: 'Meet the Release date, one of Mount & Blade 2's most important details'," said reader Thiago in response to the headline we ran earlier today, and I'm with them.
Of course, I'm not suggesting Taleworlds rush things at their end—I'd rather see the best game possible when the time is right—but consider this me bemoaning my own lack of patience for a game I'm really looking forward to. It's been almost a year since Bannerlord graced PC Gamer magazine's cover—I wonder when we'll have its launch marked in our diaries.