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What we've been playing

A few of the games that have us hooked at the moment.

15th of July, 2022

Hello! Welcome back to our regular feature where we write a little bit about some of the games we've found ourselves playing over the last few days. This time: demons, nuking solar systems, and slackers versus zombies.

If you fancy catching up on some of the older editions of What We've Been Playing, here's our archive.

Diablo Immortal, Pixel 6

The Diablo Immortal launch trailer.

Was I hard on Diablo Immortal? I keep thinking about this because I've gone back to it and started a new character and now I'm playing it fairly regularly every day. I really like it. And the things I worried about - the shop and spending money? I still haven't done that. What's more, I still haven't felt even remotely tempted to do that. I'm playing this game like a Diablo game and it's fulfilling everything I want from it.

And I hear what people are saying about a grind and for sure, it slows down after level 30, but that's allowed me to discover more of the game and understand the different components of it - to try groups, to try bounties, to mess around with skill set-ups. All of that rather than just dumbly following quest markers without ever really stopping to read what's going on (and I can still go back to that, it hasn't changed that much).

Maybe I'm easily pleased, but then I think about Diablo 3 and what the experience was like there and I remember a grind. I remember grinding through a boring story on an unfulfilling difficulty before I could get to the good stuff. And the experience of doing it was no better than here. I've looted just as many legendaries, if that's how you measure things. The only difference is here I've got much more to do and play with. This experience is better.

Look, I don't think Diablo Immortal is the second coming and I have reservations I won't go into here, because I haven't got enough space, but it plays a game of Diablo as good as Diablo 3 - if not better.

Bertie

Endless Space 2, PC

Endless Space 2 trailer.

I’ve been quite busy this week with managing my space empire driven by illegal trade and organ harvesting, but I can’t seem to stop myself from drowning in the ecstasy of absolute control. And, well, absolute control is what Endless Space 2 provides.

Getting to pick from a variety of space-faring races is just the tip of the iceberg in Endless Space 2, as right now I find myself either conquering the galaxy through debt via the capitalistic frenzy of the Lumeris or straight up nuking the sun of a solar system for laughs.

Note: Donlan asked for space pictures for his James Webb piece, and I then proceeded to play this game for six hours after work.

Paolo Balmes

Scott Pilgrim Vs the World: The Game, Switch

The Scott Pilgrim Vs the World: The Game trailer.

Susana Polo's brilliant Monday Funnies pieces on Polygon mean that I've been reading comics and graphic novels much more than usual. (I absolutely recommend The Nice House on the Lake and Eight Billion Genies, both of which I read about in Polo's column.)

Somewhere between all that and the recent Turtles video game, I decided to have another run at the Scott Pilgrim beat-'em-up. I have played this many times, but I'd never really ventured into the menus. And what's this? Extra modes?

So I spent a worrying amount of time this week smashing up zombies in Survival Horror. Just Scott - or whoever - and a single screen and an endless throng of milling undead.

It works beautifully, not least because the undead take a surprising amount of time to defeat, so I've really been able to get back on top of the move list. It's also a chance to see the little details in the animation that suggest the deep love that went into this video game. I don't play Scott Pilgrim often, but I've never deleted it from the Switch, while feels telling. I'm done with the zombies for now, but I've just noticed a Dodge Ball mode waiting below it, so I'll probably be back soon.

Chris Donlan

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