Video Games I’m Playing: 11/10/20

Right now is the weird calm before the storm, the week before all the new consoles and games arrive for the holiday season. While I won’t be upgrading my systems for a bit, I do have my eye on some new releases, like SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES and ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA. But in the meantime, I’ve found plenty of things to keep me busy!

I finished ALAN WAKE very appropriately on Halloween, and I’ve juuuust dipped my toe into the tie-in DLC with CONTROL. I haven’t played enough to share my experience, but it’s good to be back in that weird paranormal world. I’m also slowly continuing with INDIVISIBLE and SPIRITFARER, and I might finish those off in the week leading up to new game releases. But since I last checked in, three games in particular have been eating up my time.

GENSHIN IMPACT
I had initially been intrigued by this fantastical looking anime world, with all kinds of magic and exploration showcased in the trailer, but had written it off as a “someday” game because finances are tight, and I had bigger priorities in the purchase queue. And then I realized it was a free-to-play game…but also somehow a GOOD free to play game? The game itself has drawn a lot of comparisons to BREATH OF THE WILD, with its hundreds of environment puzzles and very similar creature design. But there’s also a healthy layer of quests and plot draped over it, all of which you get for the low price of free.

The way the game makes money is by asking you to engage in their loot box mechanic of “wishes,” items that give you either a random weapon or, if you’re lucky, one of the few dozen playable characters you can add to your party roster. It’s possible to earn wishes through in-game play, but the developers very much would like you to spend real money to get to roll the dice several more times. I’ve spent 10-15 hours in the game so far and am having a fun time, and haven’t felt the need to spend money on wishes (though by the game’s reported earnings, plenty of people do). If anime is your thing and you have a PS4 (or high-end PC), this might be worth checking out!

DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN
I’ve actually been playing this for months, but keep forgetting to mention it! DIVINITY is an isometric RPG with a co-op mechanic. The plot is strange, the voice-acting can be grating, and the dialogue options are binary but my friend and I have been having a blast running around getting into shenanigans. This is a game that leans into the kind of insanity that comes from pen & paper RPGs, and tries (not always successfully) to let you interact with the environment in interesting ways. Like, for instance, realizing that shooting a fire arrow at an oil slick that is running downhill will cause the monsters at the bottom of the hill to explode in a ball of fire.

I’ve been playing pretty much once a week for four or five hour sessions with my friend since August, and enjoying boss fights and quests where we try to play match-maker for two cats in town. The co-op characters can run off in separate directions any which way they want as long as they’re in the same map zone, and can instantly teleport to the other. That means I can be taking care of shopping in town (a task I’m relegated to because my friend has been pickpocketing from the townspeople and getting caught, meaning he is pretty much attacked on sight if he enters the marketplace) while my friend explores. As soon as he stumbles across a nest of monsters, one click of the button and I’m in the melee! At this rate, we’ll likely end up going straight into the sequel when we’re finished, which I’ve heard is MUCH better.

MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN: THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS
I played and beat the utterly fantastic MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN when it released in 2018 and planned on eventually getting the story DLC, but never got around to it. With SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES coming out soon, I’ve dedicated the last few weeks to getting through that DLC, partially to remind myself of the controls, and partially for the story beats that help bridge the two games together. THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS consists of three DLC episodes that tell the tale of a maggia gang war that erupts over the super-weapons left behind after the plot of the main game. While the story isn’t earth-shattering, it was SO satisfying to play the combat again, especially since some optional challenge sections forced me to play with certain gadgets in combinations I hadn’t before. I’m very excited for the next game in the series. While not a “true” sequel (only 10-15 hours compared to 30-40 of the first game), it will focus on Miles Morales as he has a chance to be the only Spider-Man in town while Peter is away on vacation.

And that’s what I’ve been playing these last weeks! Any games giving you particular enjoyment?

20 thoughts on “Video Games I’m Playing: 11/10/20

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    1. I keep meaning to go play some of the older Final Fantasies, especially as many of them are on Game Pass right now. Genshin Impact’s a lot of fun, I just wish I had more time for it! I haven’t even finished the prologue yet. 😅

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      1. Not at all, I love talking video games! VII I played mostly for the “historical” factor, it was fun, but I didn’t LOVE it. Really enjoyed XV, it had a lot of fun combat, and I enjoyed the characters. Remake was a good time too. I’m REALLY looking forward to 16, it looks so different for the FF series!

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  1. I am playing Valhalla now, got my copy today! Maybe it’s a good thing that Cyberpunk 2077 got delayed because this going to keep me busy for a while. Not sure when I’ll be upgrading either, but I’ll probably wait until I can pick up the PS5 bundle to play Miles Morales, whenever that might be.

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    1. I’m a few hours into Valhalla, enjoying it! Still a ways off from actually getting to England. I’m still on the fence about Cyberpunk, the dialogue I’ve seen in various demos just has not won me over, much as I love a good RPG and Keanu Reeves. I probably won’t get a PS5 until Christmas at the earliest (been saving up rewards points and family gifts), maybe beyond that, Couldn’t wait that long for more Spider-Man!

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    1. It was really good, and I’m glad I played it right before Miles Morales. It was so much fun to visit places from the first game and see how things changed during the in-game year between the games. Watch Dogs Legion didn’t look quite up my alley, but I’m really enjoying Ubisoft’s AC Valhalla!

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