Everyone knows there’s nothing games journalists hate more than actually playing video games – we’d much rather cancel them for not being woke enough to satiate our political bloodlust. Since the people who really believe that are absolute morons, I’d like to stress for the record that it was, in fact, a joke. Here’s what we’ve been playing this week.
Stacey Henley, Editor-in-Chief
I’ve just moved house so I guess I’ve been playing Unpacking but like, in real life. With no internet connection set-up and most of my consoles still in boxes, I’ve been relegated to playing offline matches of FIFA. Once everything’s in place next week though I’ll finally be able to enjoy The Quarry on my new TV. Spoiler alert for next week’s column, I guess.
Joe Parlock, Tabletop Editor
Magic: The Gathering, obviously. Why play anything else when the best game to ever exist is right there? However, in a break from my usual weekend splurges on MTG Arena, I’m actually leaving the house and heading to Commandfest Birmingham to play it in person!
I’ve got my decks already kitted out and ready to rock (Kwain, Hamza, Isshin, and a pre-con for good measure), and hopefully I’ll not make a complete tit of myself and maybe even win a few games. I’m also looking forward to meeting MTG artist John Avon, and hopefully spending a frankly disgusting amount of money on yet more cards.
Despite being TheGamer’s Verified Card Boy, I’ve only ever played Magic in person with a very small group of people thanks to the pandemic. Being able to go and see friends I’ve made through the game is really exciting, although I am expecting to be humbled very, very quickly. How do you play Magic?
Helen Ashcroft, Evergreen Editor
Coming in slightly late to the party as usual, I’ll be exploring the Minecraft 1.19 Wild Update. I have three teenage kids (yes, I know I don’t look old enough, thanks) and we have a family Minecraft server. After my husband finally got bored of the youngest annoying him, we’ve reset everything and upgraded to 1.19. Now we have a swamp to search, the deep dark to uncover, and wardens to avoid.
So far, the server has been live for about three days. I have nothing but a one room hobbit hole in a mountain and a basic farm set up, while my youngest has set up an enchanting table underneath the end portal and filled the room with chickens. Last night I collected an entire stack of eggs while helping him fight the Ender Dragon; with just an unenchanted bow, seven arrows and a sharpness I diamond sword to my name. It’s going to be an interesting journey.
Harry Alston, Lead Specialist
We have entered a bleak timezone where there is nothing really I’m interested in playing other than the recently purchased Civilization 6. I’m probably going to go on a long walk this weekend and dream about a time when new games were coming out. Don’t believe me? The recent releases on Steam were DNF Duel, F1, and a game called Klonoa. YAWN. Just kidding, I’m sure they’re all great games. Really great.
James Troughton, News / Photo Editor
After leaving it on the backburner for over a year, I’ve arrived at Yakuza’s pearly gates all over again. I returned to Game Pass at long last, so this is my penance for taking the piss out of Majima to annoy Meg. Already I’m a sucker for Nishiki, the lovable twink friend to Kiryu, and Hiroki terrifies me in the best of ways. This game is bringing something out in me I didn’t expect, and I can’t wait to cry when everything goes tits up.
David W. Duffy, Evergreen Editor
I’m not sure if RPGMaker technically counts as a game, but my Steam library seems to think it is, so that’s what I’m going with. I’m still in the stage of learning the engine, which means building 16-bit villages loaded with fantasy tropes, where people say things like “well met” when you talk to them. I once made a fireplace that was a secret doorway to the best weapon in the game, hidden behind a password you got from a knock-off statue of Gandalf. I should really make a game based on TG Slack conversations. It’d be brutal. The battle royale to end all battle royales. Or probably just one giant, horny MTG piss-take.
Ryan Bamsey, Evergreen Editor
I have nothing quippy or hilarious to say, I’ll leave that to my colleagues. I will say that I’ve been playing Monster Sanctuary again and it’s taking over my life. The new randomiser modes added in the Forgotten World update have got their claws into me, a frequent Pokemon Randomiser player, and they are a bunch of fun. Also, the soundtrack is glorious and everyone should go listen to it, right now.
Rhiannon Bevan, News Editor
I’m traveling right now, making the Xbox Series S an absolute godsend. With that in mind, I’m planning to spend the weekend hunched over a small monitor playing The Outer Wilds. And if, like me, you missed out on this back when it launched, let this be your sign to pick it up immediately. Yes, it really is as good as everyone says it is. Hell, it’s better than that, in fact. Play it. Now.
Amanda Hurych, Evergreen Content Lead
I’m replaying some Doom (2016) this weekend! Just me and the Doom Slayer slaughtering the demon hordes of Hell. Should be fun. Honestly, I’m just playing Doom again so I can have some fast-paced action before Powerwash Simulator comes out on Xbox Game Pass. Once I get my hands on that, it will probably consume my life for a good few months. Which means every time I write up a What-Am-I-Playing-This-Weekend paragraph, it will be about Powerwash Simulator.
Justin Reeve, News Editor
I don’t know about you, but every once in a while, I just want to stomp around in a mech. Nothing quite satisfies like blasting away all of your enemies. In other words, I’ll be playing a lot of MechWarrior 5 this weekend. The developer behind the game recently released a bunch of new content and so I plan to jump right back in where I left off a couple of months ago. Crush. Kill. Destroy.
Vaspaan Dastoor, News And Evergreen Editor
It's been a weird one for me. I was craving a meaty RPG to get lost into while waiting for some new games to come out. I had a hankering for Skyrim after writing some content for it, but dropped it immediately after downloading it, because the combat no longer does it for me. So I booted up Ghost of Tsushima, diced some Mongols, and checked out Iki Island.
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