So then; an old-fashioned “Now Playing”, just like your mum used to make. Mmm, a delicious slice of hot games!
Vindictus: Recently out in Europe, this is another eastern MMO – but wait! It’s not actually a WoW rip-off with twelve times more grinding! It’s basically a hack-and-slasher (using the source engine, oddly enough, so enjoy some physical physics) with some party-based fun included. It’s not really a proper MMO in that there’s no persistent world, and the only other time you’ll see players outside your party is in the hub-town everyone hangs out in for quests, shops, and the like: it’s essentially completely instanced. I’m actually kind of enjoying it, though, is the thing. The combat is uncomplicated, but it’s fairly satisfying at it’s base level. Substantial gear isn’t just handed out willy-nilly, sogetting a new armour set or weapon is quite an achievement, and the party-system works fairly well. There are a few criticism, though – the character choice is limited to 3 characters (who you can semi-customise), which isn’t amazing, and it’s a bit of a drag to get the items you need sometimes. Still, I’m having fun so far, and it’s nice to see a skill-based MMO instead of a stat-based one, since level has relatively little to do with your power.
Europa Universalis III: Still loving this game. I’ve been trying to recreate the glory days of my old Rajputana game, only in the context of the oh-look-99%-of-Europe-has-died scenario. There are a couple of differences between the scenario, even for a power so far from Europe; tech-groups are now equally viable (i.e. all at 100% efficiency), Sikhism is part of the game (thus making India more prone to religious tension – and making me make a fool of myself by letting vast swathes of my country convert before realising there was no “convert to Sikhism” decision to click on), and obviously the balance of power is shifted significantly as to who you’ll be fighting in the late-game. Here’s how I’ve done circa the mid-16th century;
Assassin’s Creed 2: I remember the original being so very boring that I gave up playing mid-way through the second city-hub. Also I couldn’t be bothered to use my sister’s Xbox 360 every time I wanted to play the darned thing. I’m finding the sequel much better indeed, thanks for asking – the addition of an inventory improves virtually any game, and the impulse to get money to upgrade the town and buy more gear keeps me happy. The storyline is basically conspiracy-theory madness much in the same vein as Dan Brown’s doings, but I guess it’s ok for what it is.
Also: I tried out Shadowgrounds from one of the Humble Bundles, and didn’t much care for it. I’ll give Shadowgrounds: Survivors a go soon, I think, since I like the concept of shooty-diablo.
In other news: Sword of the Stars 2 comes out in less than a week! Blimey! One day before I start an actual job! Bugger! Then Skyrim soon after, which will eat even more time up. Crikey, it’s very exciting!