§ Imperator: Rome Platform: PC
Added: 30.12.2019 / Hours played: 0187

I avoided it on release because it seemed unfinished, even for a Paradox game. I picked it up when v1.2 came out and since then v1.3 has also come out. It's a lot of fun, and I'm very excited to see where they take it. I love the setting and the gameplay, and Paradox is amazing at scratching itches I don't even know I have.

§ Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Platform: PC
Added: 17.11.2019 / Hours played: n/a

I haven't played a Call of Duty in years, and I'm definitely too old and slow to enjoy the multiplayer. The campaign is reasonably enjoyable, and it's good to see that singleplayer FPS campaigns are not completely dead yet.

§ Outward Platform: PC
Added: 26.10.2019 / Hours played: 0010

It has great ideas and fun game mechanics, but the game world is empty and dead. There's a lot of room to grow with further updates, or even a sequel.

§ God of War (2018) Platform: PS4
Added: 06.08.2019 / Hours played: n/a

I feel foolish for not loving it, but it really does seem overhyped. It's a cross between the guardian/ward dynamic in The Last of Us and a Marvel-esque take on Norse mythology. Which would have been fine had it been a strong, linear game (like The Order: 1866, another game from the same developer). Instead it's loaded down with mediocre padding that makes it overstay its welcome. Too much fluff; open world, crafting, stats, enchantments, ability trees, currency! None of it works very well, especially the open world. I'm surprised they didn't try to shove in a battle royale mode in somehow.

§ Dragon's Crown Pro Platform: PS4
Added: 06.08.2019 / Hours played: 0020

I played it briefly when the original version came out on the Vita but I could never get past the Vita's awful controls enough to play for more than a few hours. The art style doesn't help its credibility when trying to convince someone that it's a good game, but it's a genuinely well made beat 'em up with a reasonably addictive gameplay loop.

§ Detroit Become Human Platform: PS4
Added: 26.07.2019 / Hours played: n/a

I really enjoyed it, even though I shouldn't have. The writing is awful, the plot holes are plenty, and the cast is mediocre. Still a lot of fun.

§ Battlefield V Platform: PS4
Added: 26.07.2019 / Hours played: 0013

I'm way too old for multiplayer shooters. I thought it might be easier on PS4 due to the gamepad handicap, but I neglected to remember that I haven't shot anyone with a gamepad in years, and I'm even worse at it than with a keyboard or mouse. It's a decent game, although the franchise seems to be on its last legs and I wouldn't be surprised if it took a long break.

§ Red Dead Redemption 2 Platform: PS4
Added: 16.07.2019 / Hours played: 0092

Hype aside, it's a beautifully told story set in the best open world I've ever encountered. I've always loved Rockstar's games and Red Dead Redemption 2 (story mode) is one of their best. It's a damn shame that the online feels like a free to play mobile game.

§ Final Fantasy XIV Platform: PC
Added: 26.06.2019 / Hours played: 0068

Great MMO, awful story. I hope to spend more time with it when my plate is less full.

§ Conan Exiles Platform: PC
Added: 28.05.2019 / Hours played: 0208

It's clunky and buggy, which seems to be obligatory for the genre. I still had a lot of fun with the great setting and gameplay. I would have played more had I not been interrupted by an sudden two week trip that made it hard to get back into it.

§ Project Hospital Platform: PC
Added: 28.05.2019 / Hours played: 0011

Sadly fails to come together. The pleasure of planning and building a hospital is present, but watching the hospital operate is very boring as there's very little to manage.

§ Fallout 76 Platform: PC
Added: 22.03.2019 / Hours played: n/a

Since Morrowind, every Bethesda game has held my interest for hundreds of hours. Unfortunately the formula doesn't work in a multiplayer setting. It's certainly not a terrible game but it's also not very good. In the best light Fallout 76 is a misstep with some redeeming qualities, but at worst it exists only because the marketing department wants it to.

§ Insurgency: Sandstorm Platform: PC
Added: 22.03.2019 / Hours played: 0049

I don't recall having this much fun in a multiplayer shooter in a very long time. I barely touched the PvP side, but the cooperative gameplay is great.

§ Arma 3 Platform: PC
Added: 15.02.2019 / Hours played: 0251

It still has plenty of the same flaws the series has had for almost twenty years, but I keep coming back to it. The worst is the AI. It's awful in a way few games can match, while consuming an incredible amount of CPU cycles. I admire the ideological insistence on having the AI not "cheat" and follow the same rules as the player does, but if it hasn't been working since the Operation Flashpoint days, surely it's time to give up on it.

§ Desolate Platform: PC
Added: 15.02.2019 / Hours played: 0004

An awful game with no redeeming qualities.

§ Kingdom Come: Deliverance Platform: PC
Added: 30.01.2019 / Hours played: 0077

What an experience. I initially intended to play it upon its release, but I held off after seeing how buggy it was. After another look a few months after release I wrote it off permanently. It looked awful. But somehow, the mood struck and I decided to buy it on impulse.

I'm glad I gave it a chance. It's a huge, buggy, over-ambitious mess. Besides the endless bugs and over-ambition, there are some genuinely wonky, bewildering ideas that I can't believe actually made it into the game. Ideas like clunky, awful 'big' battles that are a series of tiny skirmishes interrupted with loading screens. Or the save system that requires consumables that also happen to get you horribly drunk. Or the combat system that relies on one overpowered ability, and that aggressively locks on to enemies making fights against multiple foes a fight against the camera rather than the enemy.

Yet, despite its failings it's one of the most enjoyable and memorable RPGs I've ever played. The world is lovingly crafted and detailed; even the world map is gorgeous. The story, although poorly voiced (but the soundtrack is amazing), is beautifully written. The role-playing elements are incredible, and I frequently lost myself in Henry's world. For me, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is in the same league as the original Deus Ex and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, two of my favorite RPGs of all time.

§ Resident Evil 2 (2019 Remake) Platform: PC
Added: 29.01.2019 / Hours played: 0021

I wouldn't have considered playing it but I got it for free as part of an AMD promotion for purchasing a new GPU. It's very enjoyable and well made. The gameplay has plenty of irritants but the level of detail in the game world and audio design more than makes up for it.

§ Age of Gladiators Platform: PC
Added: 12.01.2019 / Hours played: 0002

I was expecting a spreadsheet simulator, but not one so brutally tedious. Any hint of strategy is drowned by meaningless numbers and random chance. At least the presentation is nice.

§ RIDE 3 Platform: PC
Added: 12.01.2019 / Hours played: 0014

It's like Forza Motorsport but for motorcycles, and on a smaller budget. It's great, but there are plenty of rough edges.

§ Forza Motorsport 7 Platform: PC
Added: 02.01.2019 / Hours played: n/a

I've been playing the series (somewhat obsessively) since the second installment, and when it was released this one was a massive disappointment because of obnoxious monetization through prize crates (of course). I didn't think much of it until I heard they removed the prize crates. Now? I'm finally happy to have Forza on PC.

Having the option of doing longer races is such a big deal. One of the most annoying things about the series had been the short 15 minute races, which combined with the lack of a qualification round meant having the AI on higher levels made it impossible to win races in time. Now, instead of being forced to do easy races I can finally enjoy genuinely exciting 45 minute races.

§ Bitlife - Life Simulator Platform: iOS
Added: 26.11.2018 / Hours played: n/a

Way back in the late 90s I remember playing a text-based, shareware game nearly identical to BitLife. The player lives through the life of a randomly generated person in a randomly chosen country, making major life choices and seeing the often unpredictable consequences play out. There's very little gameplay and what's there is terrible, but it's all oddly compelling.

§ Forza Horizon 4 Platform: PC
Added: 21.11.2018 / Hours played: n/a

My main delight in Forza games is building and tuning my own cars. Forza Horizon 4 doesn't add anything new to the Horizon series but unlike last year's Horizon 3, it runs beautifully on Windows with no crashing or performance problems. The only real issue with the Horizon series is the obnoxious presentation. They toned it down a bit this year, but being endlessly bombarded with notifications and distractions becomes wearisome. The strength of the game is its physics, car tuning, and gorgeous map. It's a shame it gets in its own way so often.

§ Sea of Thieves Platform: PC
Added: 21.11.2018 / Hours played: n/a

A superb, unique co-op experience. There's simply nothing like it.

§ Sid Meier's Civilization VI Platform: PC
Added: 01.11.2018 / Hours played: 0179

There's a dissonance between the generally excellent gameplay and the rest of the game. It has a Pixar aesthetic, a barely functional Fisher Price interface, and a Civilopedia seemingly written by a snarky, juvenile misanthrope wholly unimpressed with human civilization. I do genuinely like it; it's hard to put 179 hours into something I don't enjoy. I just hope the next Civilization game will have a sharper, more cohesive development.

§ WWE 2K19 Platform: PC
Added: 25.10.2018 / Hours played: 0034

I would normally have zero interest in a WWE game but I stumbled upon a gameplay video that convinced me to give it a try. I'm glad I did because it's a lot of fun!

§ Total War: ROME II - Emperor Edition Platform: PC
Added: 13.10.2018 / Hours played: 0208

Oh, the hype on this one before it came out. I remember looking at a two page screenshot in PC Gamer showing a siege battle simultaneously involving land and sea units and losing my mind. Once it actually came out, however, it had plenty of issues. It was still playable and I fondly remember finishing an entire campaign as Sparta, but I put it away afterwards. Five years on and Creative Assembly are still releasing patches (the last one was on 04.09.2018).

They've put a lot of work into the game and it's better in every way. The Total War series has always been incredible at the battles and merely decent (at best) in the campaign.

The most significant change is the faction politics. In theory, it's a great system. In practice, it's an opaque, confusing mess of buttons and menus and numbers. The game still generally feels simple in all the wrong places and complicated where it shouldn't be, but it really doesn't matter. It's very enjoyable despite its flaws. Where else can I conquer the ancient world, battle by bloody battle?

§ Automation & BeamNG.drive Platform: PC
Added: 03.10.2018 / Hours played: 0240 & 0076

Prior to first playing Automation in 2013, my passion for cars and video games only met in racing simulators. Automation allowed me to design my own engines and cars in pretty great detail which was (and is) a huge deal. There was always an anguish in Automation stemming from wanting so desperately to see the cars and engines I had spent hours designing actually work, but it was understandably beyond the scope of a small development team to also develop a driving simulator.

Somehow, the brilliant idea of exporting Automation cars into BeamNG.drive came along. Being able to go from designing a car to actually testing it across a ton of environments is an amazing experience. On its own BeamNG.drive is more or less a (very cool) tech demo, but the ability to export cars from Automation elevates the experience of both games beyond the sum of their parts.

§ Ryse: Son of Rome Platform: PC
Added: 29.09.2018 / Hours played: 0014

An unapologetically violent, cheesy adventure in Hollywood ancient Rome. The first time I played it was in 2016, and two years later it's striking how different it is from most AAA games that have come out since then. There's no crafting, loot, or any of the other extraneous mechanics usually thrown in. It's a short, focused experience that relies on three things; gorgeous visuals, a superbly acted (but simple) tale of revenge, and a brutal execution mechanic. Executions are triggered on low health enemies, starting a slow-motion quick time event where each button press results in something awful happening to the enemy. My primitive monkey brain reveled in the violence.

The game tries to provide some variety in gameplay mechanics, but each distraction is terribly done. There's a pointless troop-command element that pops up every now and then, clunky ranged combat, and even a bizarre Frogger-like sequence where I had to dodge war elephants as I moved up a bridge. Complaints aside, it's amazing at what it sets out to be; a game about a macho Roman soldier brutally killing hundreds in a quest for revenge.

§ Thief Platform: PC
Added: 24.09.2018 / Hours played: 0013

The first time I tried it in 2014 I couldn't progress past the prologue and the first chapter. This time I managed to get to the fifth chapter (out of eight) before I couldn't bear to launch it again. Rather than having large, open levels where the goal is to steal a valuable item, Thief relies heavily on a generic, nonsensical supernatural plot held up by bland design-by-committee AAA gameplay. The actual theft in the game is limited to looting random items like pens and knives out of drawers. The whole package is competent but boring.

§ SCUM Platform: PC
Added: 22.09.2018 / Hours played: 0017

I picked this one up solely to play around with one specific feature; its simulation of the human body, or what the game calls "Advanced Metabolism System". Its so much fun! This sort of thing is something I first experienced in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, with the main character's body responding to things like going to the gym or eating too much fast food. I don't recall any other game playing around with the concept until Fable touched upon it a little bit. There was another large gap in the exploration of the concept until Skyrim and its various survival mods came out. The system in SCUM is the most enjoyable take on the concept I've seen so far and it's a joy to play around with. The rest of the game is a typical mediocre survival game catering to the DayZ crowd. There's little gameplay beyond the joy of harassing other players, but fortunately the little gameplay the game has can be experienced offline.

§ Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun Platform: PC
Added: 11.09.2018 / Hours played: 0006

Figuring out what to do is a pleasurable process of observation. Actually doing it is a finnicky, repetitive process of trial and error to find the perfect timing. Practically this means a lot of quicksaving and quickloading. It's not unpleasant, but by the fourth mission (out of thirteen) the game had overstayed its welcome.

§ Monster Hunter: World Platform: PC
Added: 06.09.2018 / Hours played: 0051

A great concept, but very strangely executed. Review.

§ Assassin's Creed: Origins Platform: PC
Added: 02.09.2018 / Hours played: 0027

Once the initial wonder at the superb production values faded I found myself extremely bored. It feels like the kind of game made for someone who plays two or three titles a year. I might come back to it if I really want to spend a hundred hours zoning out, but these days I couldn't finish it even if I were paid to. I took a break from it for about month but nothing changed. It's a great game but I'm just not in the mood for the experience its offering.

§ Cities: Skylines Platform: PC
Added: 01.09.2018 / Hours played: 0265

Pocket City gave me a city builder itch that it then failed to scratch, so my only real choice was to go back to Cities: Skylines. I forgot how much depth this game has and how satisfying it is to play. Even now, I feel like I've only scratched the surface; I could easily sink a couple of thousand hours into this game if I didn't have other games to play. I came across a fascinating presentation by the CEO of Colossal Order. That such a tiny team managed to pull off the best city builder I've ever played is a stunning achievement.

§ Pocket City Platform: iOS
Added: 26.08.2018 / Hours played: n/a

A city builder for iOS with no microtransactions? Of course I had to try it. It's decent fun but closer in gameplay to freemium city builders than 'proper' city builders. There's little depth and I found myself bored after a few cities, despite city builders generally being a huge time-sink for me. But, I did find the random terrain generation and aesthetics a treat. As an aside, the game seems to be doing well on the App Store, currently sitting at #5 in the 'Simulation' category. I hope this encourages the genre to develop further on mobile.

§ Stellaris Platform: PC
Added: 12.08.2018 / Hours played: 0232

The basic recipe for a game of Stellaris is as follows. Create your own empire, specifying its governing ethics and the traits of its species. Then, get thrown into a galaxy with a bunch of other empires. Finally, season heavily with crises and various other aliens. The result? An engrossing roleplaying game with unpredictable, emergent storytelling wrapped in great 4X gameplay. I'm taking a short break to play something else, but I'm nowhere near bored with Stellaris. I don't think I like it more than Civilization V, but it's close.

§ For Honor Platform: PC
Added: 30.07.2018 / Hours played: 0034

Quite enjoyable; shame about the rocky launch. Review.

§ Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! Platform: PC
Added: 06.07.2018 / Hours played: 0003

I only played the first 'Cook, Serve, Delicious!' for two hours. With 'Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!', I managed to play for three whole hours. The first game was great, and the second one is better in every way. But just like the first game, it's too damn hectic for me to enjoy. The developer added a much gentler 'Zen Mode' that eases the pressure, but I still find the game more stress than fun. It's a superb game but not for me.

§ Pocket Run Pool Platform: iOS
Added: 20.06.2018 / Hours played: n/a

It's a pool game without an opponent, wherein the goal is to score points. There are ten balls and six pockets; each ball has a value, and each pocket has a multiplier. For example, sinking the 10 ball into the pocket with the x8 multiplier rewards 80 points. The clever bit is that after each ball sunk the multiplier values move clockwise; x10 becomes x8, and x8 becomes x6. Sinking the 8 ball rotates the multipliers a random number of times.

A perfect score of 800 would be easily achievable if it weren't for the one restriction the game puts on the player. Only three shots without sinking a ball are allowed. This always presents interesting choices. Do I use one of my lives to move the cue ball into the right position so I can get the 13 ball into the x10 pocket? Or do I sacrifice my 4 ball into the x2 pocket on the way? Each of the cue balls is worth 20 points, so not using up any lives means an extra 60 points at the end of the match.

There are a few different game modes but my favorite is 'Insta-Tournament'. It's an asynchronous multiplayer battle for the highest score, with medals presented for podium scores.

§ Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Platform: PC
Added: 09.06.2018 / Hours played: 0022

It's very enjoyable for what it is, and that's a basic co-op shooter wrapped up in the Warhammer license. I can definitely see myself coming back to it when I'm in the mood. The progression system is glacial and some of the bosses are more work than fun, but it's still a great game.

§ Dark Souls 3 Platform: PC
Added: 05.06.2018 / Hours played: 0039

A great experience, but with significant problems. Review and screenshots.