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Friday, July 19, 2024

What did you play last week?

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Christopher Livingston played Ashwalkers, a survival game high on narrative significance, low on color. Except for the red blood on injured characters, that is. Apart from that it’s mostly ash-gray in the post-apocalyptic wilderness your band of survivors cross, managing meager supplies and deciding how to deal with each story encounter on the way. No, you don’t have to punch any trees.

Jonathan Bolding played Element TD 2, a tower defense classic resurrected. It’s a genre that doesn’t get much attention these days but that hasn’t stopped Element Studios from innovating as if tower defense never went away. It’s a deep and complex take on the format, with a bunch of multiplayer modes but enough singleplayer content that it won’t be pointless if it doesn’t hold a 2021 audience for long.

Steven Messner is still playing the divisive Outriders, and he’s come down on the thumbs-up side. It’s the loot in this looter-shooter that’s won him over, thanks to a crafting system that lets you disassemble any item to make mods you can apply to other items, keeping abilities you like from old gear even as new gear outpaces it. 

Natalie Clayton has been playing Halo 3, thanks to the Master Chief Collection. But while it’s still a fun multiplayer shooter with plenty of custom maps and ways to turn it into five other games whenever you get bored, it’s also got a bunch of new progression systems and unlocks. Halo is starting to bloat with the cruft of a modern live-service game, which is at odds with its nostalgic appeal.

Enough about us. What about you? Have you been freeing the Mudokons in Oddworld: Soulstorm, or freeing yourself from a monster basement and a religious family in The Binding of Isaac: Repentance? If you’ve been playing with loaded dice in Baldur’s Gate 3, don’t worry, there’s no judgement here. Just tell us what you’ve been playing!

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