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What we've been playing

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

16th of September, 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: laundry, guild problems, and back to hell.

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

Arcade Paradise, PS5

Ian plays Arcade Paradise.Watch on YouTube

Apparently, I'm drawn to doing mundane things. Perhaps I'm inherently boring. I just can't get enough of tidying up, though, or folding someone's clothes, or washing them. Or cleaning the toilet, and I never thought I'd write that. And I know that isn't really the point of Arcade Paradise - the point is growing an arcade out the back - but it's the mundane half of the game in the laundrette that really balances me, and the game, out. Beautiful monotony - something to gently latch a restless mind onto and occupy my hands with.

Plus, the mundane tasks aren't really mundane, not like they are in real-life. They're gamified. So when you pick gum, a little power gauge rapidly fills and empties, challenging you to stop it at the optimum moment for the most pulling power. When you take the bins out, something similar happens; when you clean the toilet, something similar. Play permeates everything you do, even washing someone's underpants. So even though it all looks mundane - and that's half the charm, I reckon - it's secretly the same sort of thing as playing the arcade cabinets out the back. Neat!


Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus, Android

Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus trailer.Watch on YouTube

On Wednesday morning this week I booted up Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus as normal and nearly cried. I had been kicked out of my guild.

Those aren't my words, either. The game actually displayed a message that said "you've been kicked out of your guild". I was shocked, at first, then confused. Why had they done this? I hadn't spoken to anyone in the guild, called Black Legion, since joining a month ago when the game launched (more here, if you're wondering why I started playing). I had contributed. When other players asked for in-game items, I gifted them. I played every day. I took on each and every boss in the guild raid mode. I even joined the discord server the guild leader had set up.

The discord! Surely this was a mistake. Surely someone had accidentally pressed a button somewhere. All I had to do was go on our guild discord and ask what had happened.

I had been booted out of the discord, too.

My confusion quickly turned to anger. At least tell me I'm getting kicked out before kicking me out. Cowards!

Was it something I said? My only communication in guild chat was to agree that the last PvP event wasn't great because of a lack of team variety. That doesn't sound controversial to me. I didn't speak in the discord - why should I? In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war - not small talk.

Were Black Legion carrying me? I suppose. Had they upped the minimum power level? It's now set at 22 (I had a look at my previous guild in-game to check up on them - maybe they had deleted the guild?). I'm power level 20. Fine. Still, tell me first?

I was surprised to find myself feeling sad about all this. At the time I was unceremoniously booted out of Black Legion, we had a guild raid position of 18. There are thousands of guilds on the leaderboard. We were one of the best guilds in the game.

It was quite nice being in a top tier video game guild. Members spoke enthusiastically about the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop and shared pictures of their models in our discord. There was the occasional tactics talk - which item is best for this character? How do we defeat this impossibly hard raid boss? That sort of thing. And the rewards were great, because we were powerful enough as a group to defeat high level enemies. Now, it's all gone. Just like that. Without explanation.

As I write this it's been two days since I was kicked out of Black Legion. I almost quit the game over what happened, but I've come to accept it, I think. I've joined a new guild called Sons of Sanguinius. Minimum power level one. Perhaps starting afresh as one of the good guys is what I need right now.

Hmm. The discord invite link is still on Black Legion's in-game guild page. Perhaps I'll pop my head in and see if they've said why they kicked me out...

Wesley Yin-Poole

Hades, PC

Hades tips!Watch on YouTube

I consider myself a bit like Nintendo. Not because I'm worth billions of dollars (I'm priceless, actually) but because I'm usually slow to hop on whatever's popular or trending.

That's why I'm playing Hades for the first time, and I'm having a bloody good time. This is an ultimate "just one more run" game for me, and when I check the clock I've spent four hours hacking my way through the Underworld and praying I don't run into Tisiphone.

The gameplay loop is addictive and there's so many different combinations of weapons, trinkets and boons that guarantees experimentation with each run. The art style is wonderful and the music is fantastic too. I'm a sucker for hot Greek gods and I'm not ashamed of that, okay?

I've still got a long ways to go with Hades - so far I've only managed to get out of the Underworld on 3 Heat, but I'm not complaining about having to spend more time with this game. As Zagreus repeats the loop of getting to the surface, I find myself falling more and more in love with Hades.

Liv Ngan