The annual gaming glut is nearly upon us! Can we finish off whatever it is we’re playing now before our most anticipated titles hit? That’s the true test of a gamer. What are you plugging away at and what are you looking forward to?

Thursday, 8:40am – Gavin

As with Ricky, I’ve still been firing away at The Witcher 3, but not very much.  Due to household commitments, I sadly only had about 90 minutes to drop into it this week.  I continue to enjoy it, but I am being very critical of it because of the very high bar that has been set for it by pretty much everyone who played it.  Latest criticisms:

“Whoreson” being used as both a proper name and a general pejorative throughout this game is unnecessarily confusing.  It feels like they forgot that people have just been using that term casually throughout the game until this point.

The quests are generally quite interesting, but a lot of the world seems to suffer from a combination of Skyrim and Just Cause 2 syndrome.  So much of Velen just feels like they CTRL+C, CTRL+V’d everywhere, and many parts of the game feel as “wide as an ocean and as deep as a puddle”.  Multiple characters share one line and one voice actress (if I hear one more courtesan say “MITTS TO YOURSELF”, I’ll scream), all sex scenes appear to be literally absolutely identical so far except for the face of the other person, and many of the encounters just feel like you’ve done them a million times before.  Discovering a bandit camp or monster nest was fun for the first few times, but now it just feels like a chore blocking me from the quests.

I’m working my way through the Novigrad quests.  It really feels like I’m leveling up slowly, which is not gratifying.  Inventory management is still a chore on par with Mass Effect 1, and crafting and alchemy still feel as inaccessible as ever.  Having hundreds of different crafting and alchemy items gets incredibly overwhelming, incredibly quickly.  Having a different potion or decoction for every enemy type is tedious.  Having the game NOT tell you when a weapon or piece of armour is better than the one you currently have (think Fable 1 and 2) gets really annoying.

I expected to love this game the way that I loved Fable, based on the way people were talking about it, and right now I’m not.  I get the feeling that if I stopped playing tomorrow, I’d probably be OK with it.  I’m waiting for the game to hook me in and it just hasn’t happened yet, despite the dozens of hours I’ve put into it.  Maybe that’s a sign – if I can’t love a game after about 30 hours of it, then why am I still playing it?  I have so much more to play.  I even picked up Gears of War UE for $5.00 during a special promotional price at EB Games!

I owe it to myself to at least finish off the Novigrad quests, but if I’m not super hooked by then, then I really need to ask myself what I’m doing with this game and my limited precious gaming time.

I’m trying to work through this as quickly as I can before Deus Ex: Mankind Divided drops at the end of August.  It’s my most anticipated title of the year, given how much I loved Human Revolution.  Early screenings have been very positive, so we could have another winner on our hands!

Monday, 7:53 pm – Ricky

Still working on Hearts of Stone DLC for Witcher 3, though admittedly, I haven’t played recently as I’ve been on a Dota2 binge in anticipation of The International starting this week. That said, I’ve got a solid plan in place to wrap it up this week before No Man’s Sky drops on August 9th.