This week I played a lot of Team Fortress 2. Like, a lot. Far too much. I’m trying my hand at two classes which I haven’t spent a lot of time with, the Pyro and the Medic. The Pyro I’m actually enjoying a hell of a lot more than I thought I would, and I’m finding myself having to be a lot more aggressive than I would be with the classes I normally play. It’s an interesting way to change it up. My main class, the Demoman, normally relies on maintaining distance and picking off targets from a range with the grenade launcher, and I only really get up close to finish off a weak enemy. With the Pyro, however, the only way to make sure they go down is to ambush them with the flamethrower and keep the pressure on them, because if they get away from your range you’re pretty much dead. The particular weapon I’ve been using is the Phlogistinator, which allows the user to taunt and have free crits for a short time after inflicting enough burn damage, simultaneously replenishing all your health in the process. As such, remaining in the thick of things and taking a lot of fire is pretty much the only viable strategy, which can be nerve-wracking, but a lot of fun.
I’ve also been dabbling with Medic, at which I’m a lot worse. I’ve changed my typical loadout to include the Crusader’s Crossbow, which can be used to heal teammates at a distance, and the Ubersaw, which is difficult to use but can give you free invulnerability if you’re good with it. And on rare occasions, I can be, so that’s been pretty fun to dabble with.
Next on the list is more Rocket League. One of the features of Rocket League is a D-Pad-based voice command system, which allows players to express such emotions as “Nice shot!”, “What a save!”, and, my personal favorite, “Wow!”. A couple of friends and I, late one night, elected to change our Steam names to “Wow!”, all adopt the same profile picture and car customization, and spam the “Wow!” command every time we scored a goal. Hilarity ensued.
After that I tried a game that’s been on my list for a while, and it’s one that one of my friends so adamantly recommends to me that she actually went ahead and bought it for me so that I’d feel guilty for not playing it. That game is Psychonauts. Now, I’m not a huge fan of a lot of Double Fine’s work, and I’ve been pretty unimpressed by some of Tim Schafer’s actions to date, but I have to say, this game is fun. The premise of the game is pretty much what would happen if Tim Burton made Camp Lazlo. The writing is hilarious (playfully punching a seagull to death while cheerfully shouting “see ya in hell!” is one of life’s simple pleasures), the level design is clever, and the platforming is just really smooth and fun. I’m excited to dig deeper into this one, despite the fact that it creeps me out at times and most of the characters are (purposefully) hideous.
Last this week was a weird little game called Clouds Below. I don’t really know how I found this or why exactly I downloaded it, but it was free, and it was … sort of … fun? It’s kind of like if thatgamecompany’s fantastic Journey was mixed with The Wind Waker and run on a mobile phone with the Unreal Engine. I dunno. It looks nice, it plays really shoddily, and the exploration is decent. It took me about 15 minutes to finish, but … I dunno. I mean, it was free, and it’s not … unenjoyable. Just weird. Which I guess isn’t terrible. Check it out if you feel like it, I guess.
Next time on Weekly Update: More Psychonauts, undoubtedly more soccar and TF2, and perhaps even some Half-Life 2. Stay tuned.