I Played These Games Last Week. What Did You Play? Anything Good?

Illustration for article titled I Played These Games Last Week. What Did You Play? Anything Good?

I didn't think I'd be playing much of anything new last week, so I went and reinstalled the wonderful DarthMod for Empire Total War and imagined seven days spent conquering the world. Didn't happen! These games happened instead.


MADDEN 13 - Fun fact: despite my inherent Australianness, I'm actually a massive NFL fan. So I try and play at least some of each year's Madden. This year's is...well, it's getting better. It's still the "worst" EA Sports game, I think, in that it does the poorest job of recreating the sport it's representing. The blocking and running games, two of the sport's fundamentals, are still a mess. But I like the improved player visuals, and connected careers is a feature more games could learn from.

GUILD WARS II - I'm trying. God, I'm trying. But this is still too much of an MMO for me. Too many buttons, too much shit flying around on the screen at once. If I'm ever going to play an MMO it's going to be Skyrim where the other people are real people, and until that happens, I think I'm just going to have to sit the genre out.

MARK OF THE NINJA - Oh boy. Haven't been this pleasantly surprised by an XBLA game in a long time. The way it turns stealth - normally something passive - into an aggressive toolset is to be applauded. I'm having a blast with this.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: DIASPORA - If you own a PC, and you like BSG, you have, oh, zero reasons at all to not already be playing this. The crummy menu screens are about the only thing reminding you that this is a free game made by fans, and not something you just had to pay $40 for. The best part? The way it nails the little mushroom fields of explosions when the Galactica and Basestars go at it.



I'm still clearing through my Steam backlog.

I finished Arkham City (so awesome), including Harley Quinn's Revenge. I spent far more time than I should have speculating which villains will be in the next one - at this point, the only ones they haven't used are what, KGBeast, Killer Moth, Man-bat, Scarface/Ventriloquist, and Pyg? Oh, and Catman, but fuck Catman. I'm suspecting a JLA link at this point - keeping the focus on Bats, but bringing in other villains and small bits of other heroes (like how Robin was in Arkham City - shows up a few times, maybe gets some gameplay, but it's still a Batman game).

After that I tried Alan Wake, getting halfway through the second chapter. Very good story, but the gameplay's a bit weak, and I'm really just not in the mood for horror. Filed it under "try again later".

Then I tried Far Cry 2. Boring. The driving isn't fun at all; it feels like obvious padding. The shooting's not too fun either, and there's none of the strategy that I glimpsed in Far Cry (and loved in Crysis).

After that, I tried Rage, and I'm angry (see what I did there) that it's gotten such a bad reputation. It's fun. The shooting feels like Doom, in places, while still feeling modern. The driving is better than some racing games. It looks amazing, especially if you can get rid of the texture pop-in (pro-tip: turn down antialiasing, for some stupid reason that helps). And the story is decent - probably the best id's ever done, although I will admit it's a low bar to reach.