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Weekend Play: To Live and Die in Los Santos

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Posted on September 27, 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!

First, let me tell you what I won’t be playing this weekend: Grand Theft Auto V. Already well aware that my tastes in gaming can be unique, there’s something about me and GTA single-player that just don’t match up. It’s obvious from sales and player opinions that Rockstar makes one of the most well-produced and gripping sagas in our industry, but I also know that I stopped playing GTA IV a fourth of the way through due to how little connection I was feeling to its narrative—and nothing I’ve seen about makes me believe I’ll be more interested this time around.

No, what I’m waiting for is Grand Theft Auto Online—because, unlike its single-player, I invested a ridiculous amount of time into GTA IV‘s multiplayer portions. That was where the world Rockstar had crafted truly came alive for me, so with GTA V‘s online side not yet launched, I still have at least a few more days before the game destroys any of my social life.

Instead, I’ll be spending my weekend delving into Sony Computer Entertainment’s rain. While Sony Japan’s output this generation has been pretty pitiful, when those studios make games, they tend to make games that really feel special. rain has a concept and atmosphere that seems truly unique, so I’m looking forward to finding out if its performance will be as strong as its premise.

I’ve still got a couple of review games to play through, but I do want to spend some time this weekend playing through the heartwarming tale of a downtrodden Eastern European immigrant eager to make his way in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Yes, it’s true—I simply can’t get enough of pseudo-Serbian protagonist Niko Bellic and his penchant for slaughtering innocents that he doesn’t want to harm. He’s forced to! His hands are tied! He didn’t mean to unleash a grenade in Star Junction!

…Enough of that nonsense. I’m looking forward to seeing what Grand Theft Auto V does in rectifying my biggest complaint with GTAIV. No offense, Niko, but while I don’t agree with all the recent complaints about “ludonarrative dissonance,” your tale was Exhibit A as far as I’m concerned.

After my long sojourn to Japan for Tokyo Game Show, I’ve amassed quite the backlog during my absence from my living room. Primary on my list, like most of my EGM cohorts had said last week, is to work through GTAV. I’m only a couple hours into it, and not very far along in the story (I’ve been doing sidequests like a madman), but I am extremely curious to see how things develop over what I’ve heard entails a 40-hour-plus campaign. Hopefully, playing it now instead of immediately at launch will also prepare me better for next week’s launch of GTA Online.

I will be playing a game this weekend, but I’m unfortunately unable to tell you anything about it at the moment. In fact, I’m apparently unable to say that I’m playing this particular game at all, so you’ll have to make do with a redacted version of my original Weekend Play entry and a screenshot of the 1984 Val Kilmer comedy Top Secret.

This weekend, I’ll be settling in for a long anticipated gameplay sesh with ████████████. This particular game has been on my radar for a while now, but it’ll be interesting to experience all of ███‘s story from start to finish in final form. Based on what we’ve seen so far, I feel like there could be some exciting gameplay experiences, like the scene where ██████ meets █████████ and then they ██████ in the ██████ with the █████ ██████ ████████████. And don’t forget about ██████! I’m still not sure how I feel about the talking dog sidekick, though, if I’m being completely honest.

While I’ve barely put a dent in Grand Theft Auto V myself, spending the past week or so reporting on it again and again and again and again—not to mention listening to countless discussions happening here at EGM and among our peers at other outlets—has pretty much burned me out. So instead, I’ll be playing what is arguably the opposite of GTAV: Pokémon Y.

I haven’t played a Pokémon game since the original Red and Blue duo (I don’t think dabbling in Black during my flight out to California back in March counts), but for some reason I’ve been really jonesing to play X and Y. I think I might be depressed. That might explain all the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn I’ve been playing the past couple of days…

One week later and I’ve still barely even scratched the surface of what Grand Theft Auto V has to offer. I’m only about 25 percent complete. As a result, this weekend I’ll be busy continuing my trek down into insanity as I attempt to pull off the third heist. The last two went OK, if you don’t include the needless shootouts.

I also jumped on the Final Fantasy XIV band wagon. I haven’t been playing long—I’m at level 7—but so far it’s fairly enjoyable. There’s a little too much running around for my liking and the quests are spaced out too much, but the combat is fun.

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