I’m a man of simple pleasures, if “simple pleasures” are “games where number-crunching, stat-manipulation, engaging, visceral combat, and complex narrative threads reign supreme.” So when I decided to play some games on the weekend, they’re usually RPGs. And hey, sometimes they’re not. As you’ll see, I’ve got some new and some old on my plate for this weekend – take a look:
City of Brass
When I heard that this first-person adventure was created by former senior BioShock developers, I was very intrigued. Then I got my hands on it, and realized that it is a nice, agreeable first-person rogue-like with an Arabian setting. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but I was hoping for something a bit more ambitious.
Luckily, City of Brass has kept me engaged thanks to its strong character-based gameplay and more importantly, its even stronger customization options. Using a “burdens and blessings” system, players can customize the more difficult aspects of the game’s basic runs and make them easier, or heighten the challenge if they’re feeling truly brave. It’s not the best rogue-like on the Switch, and it also never quite reaches its smoothest performance, but it’s worth a few good runs here and there.
Hey, speaking of rogue-lites, why not try this first-person shooter on for size? Having finally found a friend to play with online, RICO offers a co-operative rogue-ish experience with each of its randomly generated cases, which contain a network of smaller missions of variable difficulty. You start with a base loadout and have to work your way up to stronger gear by completing optional objectives and collecting loot during missions.
It’s extremely addictive, though it’s not without some flaws. Server freeze-ups cause hours of progress to be lost, and they happen more frequently than I’d like. Still, hopping on and gaining experience for the character perks with a friend is a fun way to relax after a stressful week. This game also features great door-kicking action, an underappreciated element in video games.
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
I’m not going to lie, despite the train-wreck that was Game of Thrones Season 8 (don’t @ me, it’s not even possible on this website! …Right?), I miss my weekly treks to Westeros. Its bleak atmosphere and grounded world were a nice respite from games like Super Neptunia RPG and Blade 2: The Return of Evil. And sure, Dragon’s Dogma – a game in which you mount Chimera and cut off their heads in order to take them down and craft stronger armor – might not scream realism, but the dire, decaying state of the world and the weight of its NPC and quest interacts felt like an extension of George R.R. Martin’s world. I like to imagine Gransys is some tucked-away corner of his world, dealing with its own problems while Daenerys DOES STUPID THINGS AT THE END OF THE SERIES WITH LITTLE MOTIVA-
…Let’s move on.
Slay the Spire
Let’s face it: even on the weekend, we might not have all the time in the world to get to do some gaming. That’s why titles like Slay the Spire, with its daily challenges, manage to keep me coming back. I’ve yet to solve the problem of how to make The Silent a decent character, but I also have a number of unlocks still to go with The Defect. Either way, I’ll be giving away a good hour to a daily challenge run, and maybe even some more grinding, as I attempt the climb with that stupid green deck of cards.
That’s all I’ll be playing this weekend, though there might be a few unexpected additions and surprises thanks to sales. As always, we’d love to hear your own playlists in the comments below, and feel free to ask any additional questions about any of the games mentioned here!