What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them?
What have you been playing lately? Discussion about video games and board games are both welcome. Please don't just make a list of titles, give some thoughts about the game(s) as well.
Sorry, I usually post this on Monday and just realized I didn't do it this week. I'm bad at this and obviously need to add a proper scheduled-posting feature.
I've been playing Baba in my off-time this past week, and I've fallen in love with it. It's extraordinarily charming, and damnably frustrating. I feel quite an idiot, at times. The manipulation of rules is really rather clever, that's not a mechanic I've seen before.
I think the mark of a good brain-scratching puzzler is the ability to make you feel simultaneously dumb while you try to figure something out, and a genius when you finally solve it. I really love the rules manipulation element, though I also feel a bit unhappy with how inelegantly I end up finishing some levels. I'll admit that I haven't fired it up in a little while, but from what I remember you don't get a recap of your solution? I think replays would help, by letting you reconstruct what you actually did.
Hah, this is exactly what I had in mind when I mentioned that!
Blast from the past but I decided to play through Batman: Arkham Asylum again. Can't believe it's been ten years.
The game holds up very well. In fact, it holds up better than I remembered it holding up. There are just enough differences between it and the rest of the series to make it stand out, but since it's the first everyone probably remembers its gameplay to be more like the later entries.
First of all, I love how the game captures every aspect of the Batman universe so well. There's a design to this game that the rest of the series unfortunately lacks, it evokes something between gothic horror and cartoonish Halloween sort of a feeling. Looking across a section of the island with these huge, uninviting old buildings in front of possibly one of the best looking skyboxes in gaming looks great, even all these years later.
The combat is trickier than I remember too. I remember it being more of a button masher than it really is, but it's actually about as punishing as Dark Souls, especially on Hard mode. Okay, it's nowhere near as difficult, but the game forces you to be precise with your button presses. Mashing buttons is a great way to suddenly lose half your health as the enemies gang up on you. I didn't realize until I replayed the game but it encourages variety and being aware of your surroundings a lot better than many other games that took this game's approach to combat. Those Mordor games are easy as hell compared to this. Spider-Man is a lot easier than this as well.
And then there are the stealth combat sections, which are honestly some of the best stealth gameplay design in modern games. I love how the enemies get more panicky as they realize they're alone. I love how they start freaking out when they get scared. What a wonderful turnaround of the usual stealth format where you, the player, are afraid of the enemies and are trying to avoid them to survive. But this is Batman. You're Batman. You are fear. And it feels so gooooood. It's like living that first Batman combat scene in Batman Begins over and over. Something I had forgotten about is that Joker taunts his henchman as you take them out as well, letting them know when one of them has gone down. It adds an element of dynamism to these stealth sections that I haven't experienced in many other games either. You go in, you get out. There's no easy line where you can run through a level taking down guy after guy with impunity, like a Splinter Cell game.
I love the level design in this game. Every room is its own challenge in some way, either forcing you to figure, fight, or sneak your way out. I remember the game being more Metroidvania than it is, but it basically works more like a linear series of buildings you visit and then you can go back if you want to get that Riddler Trophy laying around. Each room is so different from each other, and there's no mistaking what they are. The building layouts all make sense as well, nothing really feels out of place. And then traversing through the rooms as the pathways and doors are blocked off, and using the vent systems an effective way to feel like you're skulking through this compound.
Speaking of the Riddler Trophies, one thing that this game had that the rest of the series doesn't is actual riddles. You walk into a room, and then you get notified about a hint. Then it's up to you to figure out what it's referring to and basically get a scan of that thing in the environment. It's a wonderful way to get players to pay attention to the world, flex their Batman lore knowledge, and explore the room to find things they may not normally find. It's something that I miss dearly in the rest of the series, and it really is one of the best examples of a collectible in games.
Detective mode was much touted as being too useful to the point where people kept it on. And yet I found myself not using it as much as other games that took this from Arkham Asylum. Yes, it's very useful for finding enemies but it's not very useful for traversing the world. Even in combat, it's very distracting. I wouldn't say it was perfectly balanced in Arkham Asylum but it was used enough that I can see why it became the new paradigm in gaming.
In terms of Batman, this game is such a wonderful love letter to the character and universe. Bringing in Paul Dini to write this as if it was another part of the 90's Animated Series was nothing short of genius, complete with the original voice actors (Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill!) So not only does this game look and feel like a Batman game, it's a complete Batman story. The way the characters interact, the unstated backstory to their relationships, the small little things they included for villains both in and not in the game were on point. They even remembered to give Batman a slight sense of humour when appropriate, something which so many adaptations miss. The game even keeps how dark Batman is. Gotham City isn't a Marvel city, it's no a thriving Metropolis. It's a corrupt, broken, dismal place and the game keeps that feeling. I had forgotten how many people actually die in this game, in all kinds of ways. It's almost rarely onscreen, but the deaths you hear about off-screen are pretty gruesome sounding. Much of Batman's rogue's gallery which doesn't make it onto screen because of how violent and gorey they can be, so to hear them at least acknowledged by this game is heartening—you know you're getting a Batman story by someone who really loves and knows the world.
Also, I got to relive one of my favourite subtle scenes in gaming. The entire game, you fight enemies with a certain level of health and toughness. It takes x many hits to bring them down, and the Titan enemies take quite a bit of work. But when Batman is drugged by Scarecrow, he fights these odd skeleton illusions but luckily they go down quick. After the last one, Batman finally gets control of his senses and wakes up... only to discover piles of unconscious enemies around him. Turns out Batman has been holding back the entire time, and when he was drugged up he finally unleashed his real power. And it took out all these enemies like they were nothing.
Replaying through Undertale. I played through it once, as in I got to the ending and didn't pick it up again, when it came out (2015 I think?) and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I never realized that there were multiple endings and options based on who you talk to and/or fight (I'm kind of dense like that). Going back through it and trying to find all the little secrets has made me realize why this game has such a cult following. Playing through it the first time was enough to make me cry, but going through it again I realized that there's so much stuff that I missed because I only played it once.
Other than that, I've been playing the new character on Slay the Spire. I like it so far but I can't wait until they get beta art for the cards; my brain has been so used to playing cards based on their pictures with the previous characters that having to read each individual card before playing it to figure out what it does is kind of getting tedious (first world problems, I know).
Speak of the devil, I just restarted the game yesterday. :) Though, I'm just playing the pacifist route again. I love the heartwarming aspect of the game, and have zero interest in deviating from that.
And I really need to pick up Slay the Spire. Every part of it is right up my alley. I'm just spoiled for Steam sales and so am waiting for one. :p
What kind of programmer would I be if I used someone else's perfectly good, existing solution, instead of unnecessarily rewriting it myself, just because I want it to work slightly differently?!
But really, annoyance is a great motivator. If I set up that script to make the posts for me, it'd be a lot easier to keep avoiding adding proper post-scheduling, even though it's something the site should really have.
I got to play Breath of the Wild for the first time last week, which was exciting. I promptly annoyed the hell out of my partner by climbing up a cliff in the opposite direction of main quest (I exaggerate), but I got my paraglider eventually. I also died enough times to notice that the red X on your map says "RIP" when you hover over it.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere and what little of the environment I got to see. It's so pretty and evocative.
Apex Legends. I'm finally getting good. I've been playing since release and as i only play alone my games are a bit all over the place but i've got to the point i can generally get a win in every 5-10 games and i'm rarely dragging my team down. It's the first console shooter i've played since BLOPs so i had a bit of catching up to do (Holy shit black ops came out 9 years ago!) The battlepass and daily challenges keep me at about an hour a day and still making "progress". I started off playing the faster characters like Bangalore and Pathfinder and while pathfinder is stupidly fun (he reminds me of the Tribes Ascend game) i find i am more successful as the slower heavies like Caustic and Gibraltar.
Rimworld. I've had a Farming Union of (Something) going for a few weeks now. Randy Medium and i want to become as rich as possible selling drugs and clothes and making my pawns as bionic and happy as possible. I usually rush research and build a tonne of turrets and stuff but this time i have been playing slow. I've only recently had to move up to the higher tier research because i had no steel and it was not time or security effective to have a constant trade caravan heading to nearby settlements buying steel. Raids and Randy events are starting to get a bit rough with my lax security so i need to start thinking about base security. Turns out manhunter elephants treat steel doors like paper!
Been fully invested in Xenoblade Chronicles X for the past couple weeks. Got just over 50 hours into the game now, and feel like I can start making some real opinions about the game. The combat and system for getting side quests is a 1000x better than Xenoblade Chronicles 1(XC1). And the side quests themselves feel much better and I'm more interest in playing them. Exploration also feels so much larger and interesting to wander around and see what exists.
But what I'm not liking is the main story and how real the world is. The main story just hasn't done much to draw me in, while they have had some good twists. The enemies and reason for the conflict just isn't interesting, I don't feel the stakes are very high and I just aren't worried about what is happening. Part of the issue is I go from beating up the enemy and farming xp from them, and the next cutscene has everybody worried about the number and how hard the enemy is to beat. Than I get into the combat with them again and wipe the floor with them without any issues. They just don't feel like this world ending force to me, more like an annoying pest I have to deal with on occasion.
Now my issue with the world comes from the lack of alien interaction. We get introduced to some other races, but never really have any good interaction with them. And they feel less like aliens and more like costumed humans. XC1 gave the other races entire areas dedicated to them, massive cities and quest chains that made them feel like different interesting beings that are different. But in this game I find their quests while they are hanging outside of the coffee shop and it just doesn't really feel like an alien. Plus the one alien we are introduced to confuses me where he comes from, finished Ch 7 and he is the only one of his race I've seen yet. Starting to think this guy is some intergalactic spy, drops into a planet and learns about the races by himself before leaving and reporting his findings to the intergalactic government.
If I was to give it a score at the moment, XC1 would be somewhere around a 8/10, while XCX would be just a 6/10.
Most of the things you are complaining about will be improved later in the game. Especially later in the game when your colony gets a new area to explore.
Without spoiling things too much, the narrative is much more compelling and urgent towards the end, but because of some fumbling towards the end it might not actually raise your score from where it is now.
But the Xenoblade games, IMHO, are better enjoyed as an exploration of a number of gameplay systems, so I would recommend meandering, doing all the sidequests, buying all the things, and just exploring in general. XCX is better described as a playground than an RPG.
Yeah, the contrast between the narrative and mechanical constraints is really rough. If I'm absolutely creaming a boss, I don't want a cutscene where suddenly it's overpowering me and someone jumps in to save me from the threat.
That's disappointing to hear. I haven't played through either of them but I'm huge fan of Xenogears and had high hopes for a good story. I know it'll never happen but I keep hoping for a Xenogears remake similar to FF7.
I started The Last Guardian, which I bought months ago on a sale. I went through a retro phase in like 2016 where I bought a used PS2 to catch up with a chapter of console gaming I kinda missed and Shadow of the Colossus was maybe the most impactful experience among these games. It's really something else. Sadly, it seems TLG is closer to Ico than SotC, which means tons of platforming with sluggish controls. For every movement, you have to wait about a second for the animation to play out: lean back to decelerate, left foot sideways, right foot over it and noooow we've turned around. Repeat, ca. 20 times a minute. The puzzles usually revolve around you getting lost, somehow finding the little gray recess in the giant gray wall and then getting Trico to stand in the right spot to use him as a ladder.
That being said, it's an absolutely gorgeous game to an almost surreal level. The feathers on Trico fluttering in the wind, the vast temple ruins stretching out hundreds of meters above and below (especially below, I'm getting mild vertigo seeing that kid jump around those platforms), it's just a beautiful place to explore and experience. And that's mostly it, isn't it? It's like one of these concept art pieces you see popping up on the internet where you say to yourself, "geez, why isn't anyone turning that into a videogame environment?" and here it is, a perfectly realized world of ancient wonder and mystery, for you to get lost in.
It's a bit disappointed that, over the course of a decade, they couldn't come up with any new mechanics. The feather rendering is pretty damn amazing and Tricos walking animations around all kinds of terrain are seriously impressive (especially since it all works while you're crawling around his back) but it's basically just a perfect blend of Ico and SotC. That's still pretty amazing. But compared to the mind-blow that SotC was after Ico, it's a step back, creatively.
I finished Control. I loved it except for the the 2nd to last run of enemy encounters. It forced me to play differently from how I spent the whole rest of the game playing and it took at least a dozen attempts to get through. Terribly frustrating difficulty spike in an otherwise fantastic game.
I've put a couple hours into Hades and wow that's fantastic. It's a tough run-based game, but it keeps adding in more new stuff every time I fail. One of my biggest gripes with Rogue Legacy was that every run that didn't accumulate a particular amount of gold was a complete failure. Hades is actually adding in more stuff to see and talk to as I keep failing. I'm guessing I just haven't hit that progress plateau yet. But I'm going to force myself to stop playing because the game is incomplete and I do not want to burn myself out on it before it's finished.
Chapter 9 in Celeste. I think I still have a lot left. And it is really hard already at the part I am at. Loving the new mechanics so far.
For anyone who has not yet started Celeste, the Switch version is currently 50% off on the eShop, which is how I finally picked it up earlier this week. It may be on sale on other storefronts as well, but the game’s screen-by-screen gameplay makes it excellently suited to the kind of stop-and-go gameplay that the Switch often calls for.
Oh, and it probably goes without saying, but even though I only just finished Chapter 1, I’m completely in love with Celeste. The only thing stopping me is my own limited gaming time, and the fact that I share the Switch with my partner (who is currently obsessed with the Super Famicon version of Puyo Puyo).
My answer this week is the same as last week: WoW Classic. I'm getting a little burned out on it though. Not because of the game itself, but just because there are way too many people around competing for limited mobs to get much accomplished. "That's the classic experience" you might say, but I don't think so. Admittedly I started playing WoW during early BC, but my "classic" experience was soloing most things and grouping up for harder quests, dungeons, etc.
But now there are literally dozens of people trying to kill the same limited number of enemies as you and it means finishing quests takes forever. Rumor has it things clear up a bit in the 30-60 range, but I'm currently "stuck" at 20 without any motivation to continue. Think I might just stop playing for a few weeks and see where it's at. Even if I get on really early in the morning (6-8am), it's still a bit much.
Seems silly, I guess. The world certainly feels more alive than it has on retail for years, but competing for kills isn't fun for me at all. The solution might be to just roll a new character on a lower population server, but with classic leveling being such an investment, I don't know if I can bring myself to start over.
Edit -- well this morning (9/13) I managed to get into a group for Deadmines and now I'm fully hooked on the game again! Finally hit lvl 20 and I've got a bunch of dungeon quests to turn in. It was the most classic experience I've had so far. A few wipes, but it felt so good to be challenged by a dungeon again. We discussed strategy on VC. I haven't done that in like 10 years!
Yeah, speaking as someone who was around in the very first rush of Vanilla, competition for mobs was fierce when there were so few zones. It was terrible. You wanted the longest of long range attacks just so that you could tag your prey from further away than the other people sprinting towards it.
The worst is when you're a caster and some hunter snipes your kill with an auto attack while you're casting. Wands and instant cast curses aren't my ideal way to start my rotation on my Lock, but it does help with tagging mobs.
Sounds like maybe this is the proper Vanilla experience thing, after all. I just don't like it :P
I recently bought my first gaming rig (the gaming laptop that I bought 6 years ago doesn't count in my eyes) for $500 (monitor, keyboard and mouse included :D), so I've been on a whirlwind trying out all the games I couldn't play on ol' reliable.
Most of the time has been sunk into Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings. It's everything I've wanted from a single-player computer game for a long time. Huge story, huge graphics, huge characters, huge game. I always go for a "sniper/assassin/sneaky" build in these types of games, so I'm trying to either put my spec points into the Mage or Alchemy trees this time.
Another game I fired up for a while is Abzu. It is GORGEOUS, and had my mouth open while playing it. I have headphones that I wear, and the monitor is so much larger than my laptop screen ever was, it feels like I'm actually in the water there. It's honestly incredible, surreal, and beautiful. I can tell there's a backstory somewhere among what I'm doing but the atmosphere of the game is so incredible I can't bother to think about the story right now. Highly recommended.
Dragon Age Origins is yet another game I've tried out. Seems a little more RPG-ish than Witcher, with maybe(?) a little more focus on tactics and less on actual combat. Still is pretty cool, I chose the dwarf noble to start out as, has an interesting backstory to say the least. I can see this getting VERY in depth very quickly for sure.
Hmm, I hope you don't hit a wall with this. The Witcher games follow the character of Geralt pretty closely, and he's already a specific type of "class" in the universe, so there's not much variety in terms of possible builds. From what I remember, there aren't many opportunities to be sneaky in the game, and most combat by the end is direct close-range fights.
So far it seems like you're right, but I may not have been quite as descriptive as I could have been. I was just thinking I'd focus more on the magic or alchemy skill tree, than the swordfighter one. Whether that makes me a straight alchemist or more of a battle mage... well, I guess we'll see.
While most games I play for narrative or mechanic enjoyment, ABZÛ was one that I enjoyed pretty much entirely for its aesthetics. It was beautiful and lovely -- outright stunning in places.
I've been reliving a bit of my childhood (well, my late teenage years) by playing the Spyro Reignited Trilogy on PC. This absolutely delights me. I've often wished that my nieces and nephews could enjoy these games, but if I set up the old Playstation 1 for them to try it, I get complaints about how old the game looks. Admittedly the original Spyro wasn't phenomenal, graphically speaking.....but nor were any of the other games we had back then. So I'm hoping the kids will give this version a better chance to capture their hearts as it did mine.
I'm also absolutely thrilled at the modding community that has sprung up around this remake. Already there are people creating mods to revert all of the sounds and music back to their original form, which I highly prefer.
I finally finished chapter 2 of Dragon Quest Builders on my Switch. There's something very satisfying about having the freedom to build (although you're limited to your town's radius) while still being guided by objectives. It feels like the days are a bit short sometimes. As with a lot of games, there's New Game+ kind of content, challenges to complete (that you only learn about after finishing a chapter), but I don't think it's enough of an incentive to actually go and replay. I'm pretty content just going through once.
Last night I also fired up Divinity: Original Sin 2, also on my Switch. I played some of the first one on PC, but I got a little stuck. Regardless, the writing, depth, and mechanics are really alluring. Hopefully having it on a portable console will let me pick it up a bit more often!
I just bought Resident Evil 7 on a Steam sale. I played the demo on PS4 when it first came out, and as creepy as it was, I wasn't sure that it would hold up to extended gameplay, but I'm glad to see that it does. Because the game uses depth of field effects like crazy (which it should; it's very dark), it doesn't really improve much of anything to play it at 4K, so I would recommend aiming for higher refresh rates if you've got a 120+ Hz monitor.
While I'm really enjoying the game, I have two complaints; number one is that the button prompts for when you find something interactive are mostly black, so it can be easy to miss important things. I had a really tough time trying to find a key because one of those prompts was up against a tub full of black water. The other one is that I'm running into a bug; sometimes when the game needs to load more data (typically when you approach a door), the game will freeze up for a short time. This isn't too much of a pain, so I haven't bothered to fix it yet, but it can be a bit more annoying when you start a conversation and the lips are not in sync.
Got a new PC with a code for Control, so I tried that.
Gave up after a while since there's no difficulty setting and I consider myself a casual gamer- play for story and visuals, but not having to grind a level over and over again because I keep dying.
That, together with the relatively long loading times(10 seconds is long if you die about once every minute) made me quit. It looks cool, I'd love to love it but I just can't play it.
I finished with The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which I liked overall but didn't fully love. I thought the setting was lovely and the individual pieces of the game were great, but something about it didn't fully "click" for me. I wish I had a more cogent criticism of it, but I can't really put my finger on why it didn't grip me as it should have. Nevertheless, I'd still recommend it should someone want a solid, creepy, atmospheric adventure game.
Outside of that, I've only had time to do little bits of gaming here and there on my phone. I can't remember who brought it up or what thread it was in, but someone mentioned Holedown which has been a go-to piece of mindless momentary fun for me. It's reminiscent of Peggle, which is another mindless favorite of mine (but its mobile version is awful). Hexa Turn, meanwhile, is a minimalist puzzle game that's simple enough to pick up easily but challenging enough to require some legitimate thought. I also put Professor Layton and the Curious Village on a DS emulator, which is perfect for phonescreen gaming given that it doesn't need a controller at all.
So now I'm playing holedown, so thanks a lot for that.
I do know that there was a version of the original Peggle on Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.popcap.peggle_row) and if you happen to stumble upon the original files, it might still work for you.
Borderlands 3, this weekend. Both PC and OneX as I have family that have one or the other but not both. It's definitely a Borderlands game. They changed some aspects, I'm still not sure if I like the changes or not. Still worth the $99 for the "Super Deluxe" version, even though the free starter weapons SUCK.
Gears 5 was last weekend. I like it much less than B3, not sure I'll go back.
Started into AD&D5e too. Hated 2e-4e. Got Dungeon in a Box subscription and it's really good, but its 5e... "Had" to get the 5e three-set rule books :). It's D&D, but different. Still good.
How does it run? My PC barely meets their minimum requirements, and I haven't heard anything good about its performance
I have an i5-4670k, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, 1070 GPU and run the game from a 2TB HDD.
At 1920x1080, 110fov, and medium settings, I get a steady 90fps. Plenty good enough for this game.
My son has an i7 something with a 2070 and at 4k Ultra he gets 80fps-120fps. He's lives on his own, so I haven't seen if 4k is really better or not.
Thanks! Sound like I might get something along the lines of 30fps or so on my machine (i5-3550, and GTX770)
I’ve been eyeing Starlink: Battle for Atlas for quite some time, but didn’t get it earlier because 1) price (esp. the toys for life version, which if you want all can take you back 300€), and 2) there were some negative reviews in the line of “good, but repetitive gameplay”, “weak story, characters are not memorable, StarFox saves it all” etc.
Now it was highly discounted on the Switch eShop, I took the plunge and got the version with the first (of two) DLC pack for 30€ …and boy, was I in for a good surprise! I had a hard time putting it down. In 10 days I clocked in 35+ hours and seriously had to force myself today to put it down and save it to savour it more a bit later.
Not only do I like how the game plays – the controls are tight; there is a lot of customisability both for the same (paintjobs) of it and functional – but also the content. The story starts meh, but then is more than OK – let’s be honest, space shooter games rarely have a fantastic and groundbreaking story. But I was also very pleasantly surprised by the characters. Sure, no-one pops up as iconic, and whom you play as does not change the progress of the game, but it does change the dialogue, which is a nice touch. The pilots are quite varied in skills and the ships as well (although with mods you can beef up any ship really well) and I haven’t even played as StarFox, as I’m saving him for his own missions. Around 20h in, I got the second DLC pack (discounted for 20€) which includes just the rest of the pilots and weapons – that’s how much I like the game!
What I’m currently doing is playing every ship with the pilot that owns it (e.g. Shaid in Nadir) to level them at least to the point where their mentor skills are maxed out. So far I’m on my 6^th^ ship+pilot combo (out of 8 available digitally) and they all have their pros and cons. Can’t say any is overpowered or particularly more fun than the others. I think the pilots are so varied that anyone can find someone they like more and although I share the dislike of Levi’s personality (both with many gamers and in-game fighters), I like it that they included a directly dislikable character in the roster – spices things up :)
Sure, the game is not perfect and there could be more variations in quests (most are fetch, kill, or scan quests) and enemies, but I honestly don’t mind the grind. It gives it a somewhat resource management strategy vibe that is kinda like a ultra-light-4X game.
The look, sound (use headphones!) and feel of the environments is really good as well. I miss some more interaction between the fauna and more difference between the day and night cycle, but that’s nit-picking already, I guess.
Oh, and I finished the main story of Super Mario Odyssey – great game, loads of polish, will happily continue playing its post-game content. (Yeah, Starlink left such a good impression, that I mention Mario in passing.)
Whew, had to get that off my chest. I guess this week I’ll pick up something more relaxing, perhaps BotW, TumbleSeed, ARMS, Hollow Knight.
Boardgames: - I've been playing a lot of 7th Continent with my friends lately. It's a cooperative 1-4 player tile exploration game where you and your partners try to break the curse you've been struck with (there are many curses, one curse per play through). It's very humerus and enticing to play (it's hard to stop) and features multi session game play (it can be saved anytime). Games typically take approx ~20 hours (split up). It takes place on an unexplored continent in the early 1900s with magical undertones. Not for everyone, but I enjoy it a lot.
The Longest Journey I just finished this one last week for the first time. This is an old game but with the residualVM and HD graphics packs, it makes for one of the best point and click adventure games I've ever played. You play as a young woman in the future and she gets caught up in an adventure to save the world. Not a shooter and there are no weapons in the game. It's very puzzle like (as in you have to figure things out with the resources you have available). It took me about a week to complete playing very casually.
Witcher 3 - This ones a little more recent but I just modded it up with the HD packs and expansion packs. Still at the beginning but it feels VERY similar to Skyrim (walk around or ride around on a horse through the old times). It's a slasher and magical RPG with many quests and side quests. Great voice acting, beautiful graphics, and so far has a fun story.
Age of Empires 2 HD - My partner and I just recently started learning the ropes of this 20 year old remake RTS/Civilization building game. We're about 100 hours in each and it's becoming our weekly ritual to play together. For multiplayer, you create civilizations and armies/navies and battle them against each other or cooperatively. I've heard the campaign modes are great but haven't played through.
Dota, but with the Battlepass ending I'm slowing down with the grind.