What Are You Playing This Weekend – Holiday 2019 Edition

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Phoenix Point

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Happy holidays! Well, soon enough. ‘Tis the weekend before the festivities begin and holiday season is in full flow. Every PC game store under the sun (or should that be snow?) is running its winter sale; there are discounts galore, everyone’s winding down and, barring those of you travelling to see family, it’s the perfect time to shut curtains, have a few dozen mince pies, and get on down to the serious business of gaming.

Jon – I’m not heading down to see the folks until Tuesday so I’ve got a marvellously clear weekend stretching ahead of me. All the new releases have dried up so my plan is to delve into some of the goodies which Xbox Game Pass for PC is serving up. Top of the list is probably going to be Phoenix Point. I’m an absolute sucker for turn-based tactics and this XCOM-alike from Julian Gollop himself has certainly piqued my interest. There are few genres I can session as long as tactics. There’s nothing better than a piping hot cup of tea while I mull over whether I should risk moving my sniper forward under cover of smoke, or weighing up the percentages of a mid-range shotgun blast. 

As well as this, there’s another Game Pass goodie I’ve been meaning to get back to. The Outer Worlds definitely ticked a lot of boxes for me but it came out at a time where there were a ton of other games and I had some sort of lurgy to boot. I did smash through the first area, or planet I guess, and I loved what I saw. Once I stepped foot into a new area I put it down and haven’t been back. I’ve mentioned a few times that I haven’t liked Bethesda’s way of doing things since, well, Oblivion, really, and the tighter design of The Outer Worlds definitely sorted out the issues I have with Bethesda games in terms of long-winded writing, flabby combat, and haphazard map design. Outer Worlds definitely doesn’t seem to be anymore near as expansive, which may turn folks off I guess, but I’m definitely keen to put some more time in this weekend and see if it can maintain the highs of the early narrative. 

Corrupted Cyborg – Red Dead Redemption 2. Basically.

Felix – Oh my goodness, I am spoilt for choice at the moment. I am thinking of getting in to Planet Zoo and seeing if there is anything I can give to those ravenous lions, that they won’t eat. Can they eat an entire elephant or will the elephant run amok in the lion enclosure crushing some of my prize cats?

Otherwise I always love a good bit of sci-fi (especially strategy and 4x games). With that sort of thing in mind I am being called towards Age of Wonders: Planetfall. A slow, steady, hour-consuming strategy is exactly the sort of thing I want from a game during the holiday period. Alternatively, like a good book to snuggle in front of, I might pick up the RPG, Disco Elysium. A highly innovative indie that turns a few RPG gameplay mechanics on its head and earned itself a place in our Global Game Awards 2019 this year.

Squee – The wonderful thing about America, God bless ‘er, is that Christmas officially starts right now, with the epic eat-a-thon that is Thanksgiving, hotly followed by Black Friday and the now-quaintly-old-fashioned-sounding Cyber Monday ready to swallow up any disposable income we have left after the recent AAA glut. Then it’s pretty much a quick nap until Christmas. 

I have a relatively open schedule for the next month, gaming-wise. A brief flirtation with Planet Zoo perhaps, and no doubt plenty more Disco Elysium – it still has options I’m yet to explore. After that, I might beg some Christmas money early and try to get a look at Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order. Reviews seem to fall somewhere between ‘not bad’ and ‘fairly good actually’, but I’m a sucker for Star Wars. Write me a halfway decent action adventure, slap a Stormtrooper helmet on it, and I’m golden. 

What are you guys thinking of playing during the 2019 holiday season? Are you sticking to PC games only this Christmas or are you going to spread over to a variety of consoles?