Sunday 22 August 2021

The song remains the same

It’s been pretty consistent on the gaming front since the last post. I wrapped up Shadowrun Returns, a nice straightforward slice of magic cyberpunk; by all accounts Shadowrun: Dragonfall builds on the promising start, with a less linear story, so I’d like to get around to that, but maybe after a little break. Destiny 2 is coming to the end of the current season, I’ve been in my traditional soft cap ennui zone where the ever so incremental increases in gear score hardly seem worth it, new seasons are usually enough to perk me up again, but I might be heading for a longer break there; we’ll see what the Season of the Lost brings.

Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realm continues to be diverting, though, I can’t really put my finger on why; I guess it’s just not-idle enough to present interesting challenges of formation building with the various limitations and challenges imposed, then after settings things going you can wander off and still be scratching that loot-earning itch in the background.

Kards, the Second World War themed digital collectible car game, has also kept me hooked. A Battle of Britain event certainly helped, how could I possibly resist? It gave a few objectives: playing British and German aircraft, issuing Orders and such, which meant for a while I might not always have been playing optimally as I tried to spam out as many aircraft as possible regardless of whether they were the most suitable card, but it’s the sort of thing that encourages a bit of experimentation and stands you in good stead for learning what works and what doesn’t. The standard battles are against other players, but having built up 100 gold (the in-game currency) I bought the British PvE campaign, a short series of missions with slightly different set-ups in terms of objectives, starting positions and such. I thought I’d prefer playing the AI to other people, but after wrapping up the campaign I’m not so sure; either way you bump into those old imposters of Triumph and Disaster, but it’s somehow more galling when the computer pulls out cards that perfectly counter your planned attacks. I had a match against another human where I was on the verge of winning, they had no units on the board, and they drew and played a card that had the exact combination of abilities to finish me off first. Irritating, but at least they got a war story out of it. The PC? Unless the AI evolves to the point where it can head down to the pub with its AI mates and regale them with that time it pulled an Attack 5 Blitz card right when it was about to lose a match, it’s not really the same. Communication with other players is limited to a small set of defined phrases, and you can even turn those off if someone’s getting spammy, but the vast majority of time I’ve only seen “Good luck, have fun!” and “Thanks for the game!”, or their equivalents, so there isn’t much difference between PvP and PvE at the end of things. I think it might slot into my regular rotation, a match or two here and there alongside War Thunder.

City of Heroes has also slotted seamlessly back, like the good old days. Jumpers for goalposts, Positron task forces, isn’t it? Wasn’t it? The nostalgia rush briefly made me consider going back to World of Warcraft, following that original MMO-trajectory, but I snapped out of it pretty sharpish, there’s more than enough to keep me going in CoH with my occasional dabbling.