Lauren Morton played some Kingdom Under Fire 2, which is an MMO that's also an action-RTS. Apparently it's quite good at the second of those things and not so good at the first. As someone who often thinks MMOs would be vastly improved by not being quite so massive or multiplayer or online, I too wonder at the game it could have been.
Christopher Livingston played the beta of Yes, Your Grace, a game that lets you be king and then saddles you with all a medieval king's problems and a wallet full of cobwebs and bats. It sounds like Long Live the Queen viewed from the other side, only you're the one deciding to marry your daughter off to some rando because you need his army. Fun!
Tom Hatfield played Narcos: Rise of the Cartels, which turns drug busts into XCOM. Or at least, the squad tactics level of XCOM. There's no strategy layer in between, just some clips from the TV show it's based on, which is a frustrating shortcoming. The research and building and shopping is super important, the potatoes of its meat-and-potatoes dish.
Luke Winkie has been playing Hearthstone Battlegrounds and bonding with Bob, its shopowner NPC whose supportiveness contrasts with the highly competitive game mode he's in. Other multiplayer games could probably learn something from the value of Bob.
Joanna Nelius has been playing a bunch of games on Stadia, including Gylt, Destiny 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. And while the first, a game designed for the platform, works perfectly everything else seems compromised. If you can't afford a gaming PC, you probably can't afford decent enough internet for Stadia to replace one. I can see it working for public spaces, like gaming cafes or libraries, maybe?
I've been playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a solidly OK game. Fighting stormtroopers is fun and there's some solid voice acting, but when I'm slogging back to my ship or hunting for collectibles only to find another room where Cal can say, "They used to store things here," it feels flat, missing the spark that would make it great.
Enough about us. What about you? Has anyone been playing Rune 2, or Black Future '88? What about Shenmue 3? Let us know!