"We don't need a game about dividing players between winners and losers," says Hideo Kojima, "but about creating connections at a different level." If you're a gamer, you might already be an excellent unmanned aircraft operator. And YouTubers with videos that have guns in their video games (like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Destiny) are having their videos demonetized by the hundreds from an uncompromising YouTube algorithm.
What are you playing?
Patrick Aloia, Staff Writer, @PatchesAloha
I am replaying Wolfenstein: The New Order. It's an amazing game, with really intelligent storytelling, drive, and clarity of intention. It reminds me why games can be like movies, no matter what Ian Bogost says—though I appreciate his take and think he raises invaluable points since a lot of games that behave like they're movies are, um, less than great at storytelling. The gameplay has a really good kick to it, and the level designs are so smart. It's been a blast.
I have also been playing Pyre, which is as weird and great as everyone has been saying it is. What a fun game, though. I'm not sure if I'll ever totally get used to controls for this weird basketball game they've created, but I'm sure after a few more hours I'll be saying otherwise.
Sean Colleli, Staff Writer, @scolleli
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I've been playing a lot more No Man's Sky. Unlike a lot of gamers who (rightfully) abandoned the game soon after its launch last August, I stuck with it for a while. I admit to hate-playing it for a couple months, but that time spent gives me an interesting roundabout perspective on the latest update. It feels much more like an actual game instead of a rickety alpha build—I'd say it's 70–80% of a full game now—and there's considerably more meat and structure to keep it from seeming so aimless and pointless. That said, it still needs several rounds of balancing and a full-featured multiplayer. It still feels like there are too many redundant steps to everything, from fueling your ship to crafting goods, and the economy is still a nightmare. Everything is far too expensive, necessitating more tedious cash grinding than ever. Hello Games may be technical geniuses, but their core gameplay loops only ever improve in frustratingly meager increments. No Man's Sky is ostensibly a game about wonder, exploration and getting delightfully lost in a sci-fi pulp cover, so I'm not sure why there's still so much grist distracting from that wonder and standing between you, the player, and fun.
Dan Colonna, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Just finished up a quick puzzle game about preventing murders—The Sexy Brutale. If you're looking for something that makes you feel like you come from the near future, try this game out.
Although I haven't started it yet, I picked up Agents of Mayhem. I long for a single-player experience in this always-online gaming landscape. Let's see if Agents of Mayhem does the trick.
Kinsey Danzis, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Still Pokemon Sun for me. I've been grinding away to get Ditto and Bagon, and I've been pretty lucky so far with randomly encountering Comfee and Passimian. Eventually I'll start breeding, but I've only just passed Sophocles' trial and it seems like I should wait longer to actually start playing like I know what I'm doing. I do have a pretty solid team insofar, but it could always be better.
Dave Gamble, Staff Writer, email@example.com
I'm playing through a nice little indie programming puzzle game called Silicon Zeroes—I really like these kinds of logic games, and I especially like games that are being developed by small one- to three-member studios.
I'm also repeatedly being beaten by the first boss on the VR rail-shooter Archangel. It's bad enough to have lost on at least a dozen attempts, but doing so on normal mode is embarrassing. I'm torn between toughing it out or losing a couple of hours of progress to start over in easy mode. Twenty-first century decisions are hard!
When I sit down to play just for fun, my newest VR obsession is VTOL VR, which is a completely addictive pure VR flight sim. It's quite innovative in the way it's flown (no external joysticks etc. required) and has more technical depth than I expected. Great game.
Randy Kalista, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
So, Lewis Carroll, Carol Channing, and Channing Tatum crash land on RimWorld—stop me if you've heard this one before. Yep, I'm back on my b.s. This losing-is-fun story maker is the only game holding my attention, since I was spinning in my office chair for hours yesterday, trying to figure out what to play. I'd reinstalled Torment: Tides of Numenera but didn't play it. I'd reinstalled Civilization V but didn't play it. I'd reinstalled Crusader Kings II but didn't play it. The roulette wheel wouldn't stop spinning until it came back to RimWorld.
And, well, of course during installation of all those games, I was checking Design Home on my phone. I was feverishly decorating a floor-to-ceiling purple Tokyo apartment. Or drawing sharp white-and-wooden contrasts in a Baltic Pearl high rise. And even looking for the perfect sideboard to accompany the bizarre blue Kinfolk Sofa I won in an earlier round. Somebody: Please send help.
Rob Larkin, Staff Writer, @Rob_GN
Between taking Friday off to handle some business in London and the Bank Holiday on Monday, it's a four-day weekend! Hopefully I'll be starting on my first review back from a bit of a break, and finishing up the platinum trophy in Fallout 4. I also have an eye on Just Cause 3 as the PS Plus game of the month, and have Firewatch sitting downloaded but unplayed as well. Other than that, I'm sure I'll get a lot of time in with Fire Emblem Heroes as I've mostly only found time to play mobile games in the few minutes the new baby gives me.
Nicholas Leon, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Well, I got NieR Automata. 'Nuff said. Just kidding. But seriously I will be playing some NieR Automata. I can't wait for this game to make me think hard about my existence. It should be fun. Also, Persona 5 is coming in the mail. Now that is enough said.