To escape from the current political and economic turmoil, we’ve been hanging out with bloodthirsty parasites and ruthless corporate sociopaths. Here’s what we’re playing this week.
Tom – Lead Writer
Playing on PS5
I played through Cyberpunk 2077‘s main campaign when the PS5 version was released earlier this year. However, I accidentally skipped over most of the optional side missions, and got a supreme bummer of an ending as a result. Now I’m going back to see what I missed, and hopefully get a (slightly) less depressing ending.
I’m having a great time, Cyberpunk is good now, blah blah blah. I’ve expressed these sentiments before. But getting back into the game has highlighted an issue I’ve often had when returning to games after months or years away: for those first couple of hours back, I had no idea how to play the game.
I did play through Cyberpunk‘s tutorial, of course, but that was in February. It’s October now, and I’m old, and I don’t remember anything. I think huge games like this should allow their tutorials to be replayed at any time. Contemporary open world games can easily swallow up 100 hours of your time, but I for one am unlikely to put in those hours consecutively. It would be great if more games had a quick way to refresh your memory, especially ones with as many layers of mechanics and systems as Cyberpunk.
Joe – Writer & Lead Editor
Playing on PC Game Pass
Vampire Survivors is a time survival shoot ‘em up with simple gameplay and roguelike elements. Initially obscure on release, it has soon become a viral hit, now featuring on PC Game Pass, no less. It’s also an absolute hoot. Several critics have likened the game to a pure dopamine hit and it’s hard not to agree.
The concept is simple: you select one of multiple characters with various starting weapons and buffs and control them on a repeating map. Your weapons attack automatically and your goal is to survive the monster onslaught for as long as possible. By defeating monsters, you collect blue experience gems which give you a choice of a new weapon, buff or the ability to upgrade a weapon each time you level up. In between runs, you can spend coins collected in-game on a number of permanent power-ups to help you last longer.
Each run begins in a gentle manner; your starting weapon is slow and the monsters approach in dribs and drabs. But after five minutes or so, you’re tearing through hordes of vampire bats with fiery missiles and projectile ice as bulbs of garlic and the King James Bible form a swirling ring of damage around you. It’s absolutely bonkers but the feeling of cleansing the map of huge crowds of enemies is akin to blasting the crap out of a dirty van in PowerWash Simulator. Bloody good fun.
You can pour one out for Dracula on PC Game Pass or in your browser over on itch.