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Weekend Play: Dragons, Jewels, Bullets, and Fools

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Posted on July 5, 2013 AT 05:00pm

Welcome to EGM’s Weekend Play, a weekly account of what games the editors of EGM are currently playing, and an open conversation with you, the reader, about what you’ve been playing.

After reading what we’re playing, let us know what games you’ve been playing and what games, if any, you’ll be escaping to this weekend in the comments below!

Remember this day well, for it is one that you will rarely see: I am going to be playing some Battlefield 3 this weekend.

That’s not a statement made due to some sort of feeling that EA and DICE’s blockbuster was a terrible experience, because I certainly don’t think that. No, it is because—as I said last week—I am typically terrified of going online with the more hardcore shooters, due to a certainty that I simply will not be able to hang with the committed crowd who know each map and weapon like the back of their hands.

All of that changed on Tuesday, however, when Sony decided to release Battlefield 3 as the latest free game for PlayStation Plus subscribers. At this point, I have little excuse for not jumping in and seeing if I can at least keep my head above water.

So, when not playing the other games I’ve got on tap for work reasons, if you’re online in Battlefield 3 on the PS3, you might just run into me. If you do, it’ll probably be as you gun me with down without hesitation or regret. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll be the one getting the point for the kill.

After months of controversy over some over-the-top character designs, I’m looking forward to putting all that aside and just enjoying Dragon’s Crown as a game this weekend. Will it manage to overcome some of the pacing problems seen throughout Vanillaware’s beautiful-but-flawed catalogue? Will it work as a single-player game? A multiplayer affair? And just what dark magick is holding up the Sorceress’, er, “assets”?

This weekend, I’ll be finishing up The Last of Us.  I’m about three-fourths of the way through (just started the “Winter” segment of the game). I know I’m going against the grain here in the game industry, and even with most of the staff here at EGM, but I am just not drinking Naughty Dog’s Kool-Aid. I am not enjoying this game nearly as much as everyone else has. Is it bad? Nowhere near it. But I’m not having my mind blown with each new encounter, the AI doesn’t impress me, and I could really care less if Ellie lives or dies. Could the final 25% of the game turn me around? Possibly. Guess I’ll find out over the next couple of days!

I’m having another real-life-stuff weekend full of cinema trips and meals, but that doesn’t mean that gaming is going to be moved to the back-burner. I’ve become completely engrossed with RIFT over the last two weeks, and I’ve almost made it to level 60—currently 58. I never really gave it a chance when I played last year, but now that I’ve actually sat down with it I’ve come to appreciate what it has to offer and really gotten into it.

It’s got so much to offer: Rifts, Warfronts, Dungeons, Instant Adventures, and much more. Star Wars: The Old Republic has got a little stale now that I’ve pretty much seen and done everything, and RIFT offers a nice change in pace with a ton of stuff to do. I’m hoping to really get into the game over the next few months, but no doubt something else will appear and take my time away. Hopefully by next weekend I’ll be 60 and finally get to see what the end-game has to offer.

Another weekend, another round of research. I never got around to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare last weekend, so I’ll be tearing through that game’s acclaimed single-player campaign tonight. Then I have Splinter Cell: Conviction to finally finish. Played it years ago, but before I had cultivated a genuine interest in stealth games. Plus, I need to prepare myself for Blacklist‘s co-op and Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer, which I know Josh’ll be asking me to play with him come August.

The SNES version of Wolfenstein 3D—which I’m re-reviewing for the magazine—is also on my plate. I’ll be playing that on the office’s Ouya, because I think it’s hilarious to play a console port of a PC shooter on an Android device. Oh, and when I need a break from all the shootin’ and sneakin’, I’ve got The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks as a palate cleanser. I don’t have a problem. I just like playin’ Zelda games a whole bunch. Leave me alone!

I’m hoping to extend my four-day weekend 100-fold by playing The Walking Dead: 400 Days. (That is, given my limited understanding of mathematics, science, and the space-time continuum, exactly how it works.) After that, I might finally dive into Rage, the game I’ve attempted to play on three separate occasions, only to give up from boredom as soon as I get to the first town. Fourth time’s a charm?

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