If Elon Musk is going to dig himself into a hole, it's only appropriate that he'd do it with an enormous tunneling machine—controlled by an Xbox gamepad. Jolly Old England makes AAA games that sell around the globe, but the looming specter of Brexit is only going to make game development harder and harder for them. And after increasing government regulation on gaming, China's Tencent is making a so-called "business adjustment" and shutting down its Everyday Texas Hold'Em servers.
So, what are you playing?
With the Forsaken release finally out, I'm officially hooked on Destiny 2 again, so an unreasonable amount of my time will surely go to reset activities this week. Other than that, I'll most likely be dipping back into the Battlefield V beta before it ends. I had some time to sit down with it this weekend on Xbox One, and I am surprisingly skilled at the game. It's amazing how much more I enjoy a game when I am inexplicably good at it. The Blackout beta for Black Ops 4 will also command some of my time, as I'm itching to see how it plays. With the release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider coming this Friday, I have a feeling I'll kick off a playthrough sometime during the weekend. Any "spare" time I have will be willingly donated to Two Point Hospital, which is just as enjoyable and addicting as I had hoped.
I’m finishing up my week of teaching Tomb Raider, just in time for Shadow of the Tomb Raider to come out. Lara Croft is only one of my favorite video game characters of all time; even now, complex lead women are few and far between compared to the protagonists who are men, even though that split has been narrowing over the past few years. She was one of my gateways into the industry, and specifically the one that showed me that I, as a woman, was welcome in gaming, regardless of what some people think. I’ve had more fun than anticipated doing historical research on the games and looking into the balance between fact (or culture/mythology/folklore/etc.) and fiction, both for Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, so I’m looking forward to bringing that perspective to Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The franchise has a special place in my heart, despite its many flaws, and I would follow Lara pretty much anywhere, so I guess I’m headed south!
One of my choices from last week, American Truck Simulator, was an utter fail. It took an immediate and abiding dislike to my Fanatec wheel and pedals, as exhibited by constant lockups in the config screen. On to Iron Wolf VR. That went far, far better. The upgrades from the last time I played with it were so incredible that I was forced to write a second preview article about it. It still has one inherent flaw, though: it really only comes alive with a 2nd player and I don't know anyone else that plays it. Strangers don't work for me. Playing alone, I usually end up manning the anti-aircraft gun and just shooting down the attacking planes. The deck guns are, as is the entire boat, extremely well thought out for the VR environment.
With time to spare between working on a couple of reviews, I fell right back into Far Cry 5's outstretched Arcade arms. The brief missions fit in well with the split schedule I have to use when the wife and I are binging on a show (Jack Ryan) - I can usually beg a 15-20 break between episodes.
After wrapping up the main quest of Spider-Man I've set out to tackle all of the side quests and miscellaneous activities that are left. I've never been a completionist but I've loved every nook and cranny in the game and I love how it reacts to you completing something—usually with a J.J. Jameson radio report that puts a twist on the mission. The writing of some of these side missions is excellent and I've yet to experience a bad mission. Sure there's a lot of combat grind, but when it's this good it never feels like a chore.
Depending on the weather I might pick-up Forsaken as I've heard it's a major overhaul of Destiny 2. I've been itching to don the gloves of my old Titan, so this seems like as good of time as any to dig back in.
Just as I was getting my feet wet on Wasteland 2's neo '90s party-based RPG tactics, review code for Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition showed up. So that's where my head is at this week. Getting acquainted with a camera angle (isometric) and a role-playing sub-genre (party-based) and a tactical style of combat—I'll call it freeform vs. gridlocked—that I've never fully gelled with. But I'm here now. With the gel. Also, missed opportunity there, Larian Studios, calling this the Definitive Edition instead of the Divinitive Edition, eh eh?
While I am continuously developing and deploying my army of Super Vault Dwellers in Fallout Shelter, I will also spend some time on PC going back to some classics. I have been spending time with the remastered The Bard's Tale that came with the backing of inXile's The Bard's Tale IV kickstarter. I am also going back into 7 Days to Die periodically to keep my skills sharp, as it appears that the A17 build is due out soon, ideally within the next month. I also plan to have one final push in Diablo III season 13 before it ends this weekend, trying to wrap up my final goals. No new games on my slate, but that will change starting next month when the Fall AAA titles start hitting shelves.
Oh yeah, there is a little something that is downloading right now: the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 PC Beta, that I will be jumping on over the weekend.