This Week In Games: The Drought Is Over. Or Is It?

The thing about games is they're a seasonal beast. Sure, games come out all year round, but they tend to either come out before the end of the financial year, or just before the end of the actual year. September is when the floodgates are supposed to be cracked open for the chrimbo games — so where are they?

Well there's some! But just some! A couple of good ones though. Quality over quantity, yada yada yada.

Diablo III (360/PS3)

What is it? Hahaha! You know what it is. Should you care? I skipped the PC version, so this is essentially for chumps like me. I feel as though I missed the train a bit though. Finding it hard to be motivated and treat this as a new game I 'must' play. You may feel a little different.

Outlast (PC)

What is it? A first person survival horror game that looks like a genuine pant filler. You have to explore an asylum for some reason. Should you care? I like proper horror games. This looks promising.

Total War: ROME II (PC)

What is it? Arguably the biggest release this week. In all senses of the word. Should you care? Fans of this series have been salivating after this one. Massive scale battles and whatnot.


    Total War: ROME II... salivating is right. Waited seven years for them to announce it as a sequel, then another one for the release. Less than twenty-four hours now. Sucks that I just returned to work from a week off =\

      this is why I took the rest of the week off from Wednesday :-D

        lol same here :D
        Preload finished, waiting for day one patch. Hopefully it's under a gig. I'll be great annoyed if the day one patch is something like 3 or 4 gigs (but thats unlikely)
        From my understanding, it should all be unlocked from about midday tomorrow I think.

    Diablo 3 finally hits the platform it was seemingly designed for.
    maybe after all the patches & stuff it'll be ok. but I wont bother finding out.

    Outlast however.... sleep is for squares, so I'll be grabbing that one.

      They added a dodge roll! To most people that's probably on par with Malibu Stacy's new hat but it's a pretty huge change to gameplay.

      Unfortunately, the rest of the game just isn't enough to get me to come back. The loot is boring and when the entire point of the game is to grind out awesome loot, that's kind of a huge failure.

      EDIT: And I'm saying this as someone who has finished Inferno difficulty.

      Last edited 02/09/13 10:18 am

        Why is the loot boring? Lack of runes? Granted it's no WoW but I didn't think it's that much different from D2.

        Like I posed below, it's much easier now. You don't have to grind act1 for days just to survive act2.
        It's pretty easy to finish inferno now.

          Because the best in slot items are just max damage, max main attribute, max vit. Maybe some crit chance and crit damage as well to maximise the deeps. Uniques don't offer any interesting modifiers and although it's easy to change skill builds, I didn't find the skills that interesting either.

          I played it from launch to patch 1.0.5 where I got two characters (Monk and WD) to act 3 Inferno. A few months ago, I picked the game back up to see if it was any better. Finished Inferno with my Monk and it was easier than Hell difficulty at launch but the loot and skills still felt boring.

          Yes, the game does deliver in making combat feel meaty but there's just so much with the game that doesn't hold up.

          Making it plot focused was probably the biggest flaw. Most people who play Diablo treat Normal as the tutorial level, after that all interest in the plot is thrown out the window.

          EDIT: I was a huge defender of the game when it came out. Blizzard did well to fix many of the flaws and I thought changes like the new skill system so you didn't have to grind up a new character just to test something out were great. Doesn't change the fact that Blizzard placed too much importance on the wrong things and not enough on the right ones. They forgot what made Diablo 2 good.

          Last edited 02/09/13 10:49 am

            I agree they broke the loot a bit when they made it too easy.
            Before, you had to get resistances and life steal and things like that. I think that made the loot choices interesting. Even having to carry different resistance sets was a possibility. That borders on too much effort for me, but hey, that's what Inferno is supposed to be.

            By biggest gripe is when people complained how easy Normal mode was.
            If they let people play Nightmare as "Normal" and called Normal mode "Easy" then they would have saved a lot of heartache. I think it was one of the main complaints I heard that were not "always online" or "lag" related.

            At the end of the day, like a game and play it, don't like it, don't play it.
            My monk has 96 hours of play time. I think I got my moneys worth.

    Wow, D3 is coming to 360 as well? Not sure how I missed this one. Why did Sony make so much fuss about it if it was coming to both consoles, I swear MIcro didn't mention a thing.

      Now that you mention it, despite knowing it was getting a console release I was completely oblivious it was coming to the xbox as well. Weird...

        Not many know about it probably because Microsoft didn't even give them development kits like they did everyone else. When that happen Blizzard from then on preferred Sony. Microsoft is also the reason why we have to wait longer for the next-gen versions of the game. They've gotten pretty far along with the ps4 version but not the Xbox one version.

    So excited 2 great games this week!!! Can not wait to get back into D3, and Rome 2 is looking great

    i may end up buying D3 again when it hits next gen (pretty sure it is?)... just because i enjoy playing that style of game with a controller

    apart from that its a quiet week for me! hooray

    The list is also missing Killzone : Mercenary.

    The MP Beta is getting very positive previews, the game looks ridiculously good (to the point you wouldn't believe it was a handheld game)

    Can't wait! :)

      Yes i also thought KZ:M was releasing on wednesday!

    Tales of Xillia and Killer is Dead were also released in the last week. Decent enough games for PS3.

    Is Rayman Legends not out this week? I can't wait for that. Also 15 sleeps until GTAV :)

      Rayman has been in stores since last Thursday!

    I actually played some D3 again last night.
    It's still fun (I enjoyed it originally), still has some lag and rubber-banding problems (at least on my laptop, have to try the desktop too).
    But it's still fun.
    There is some MP brawling now (didn't try it), and Inferno is much much easier.
    I'm on two minds about that. On one hand, the old inferno (when i stopped playing) was pretty much impossible. Fully tanked up, with high health and resistances I was getting 2 shot and it was made even harder by rubber-banding. I like a challenge, and I didn't mind the difficulty but dying because the game ported you back to where you were 2 seconds ago (in fire) got very annoying very quickly.
    Oddly enough that only started happening after patch 1.6 I think. Till then, the game ran fine and I loved it.
    But now Inferno feels like hell. I was playing with 2 other friends and we did about half of act 3. I died about 3 times and that was in the first few minutes while I was remembering how to play again.
    After that I didn't die once.... felt weird for inferno. I guess it's always tough to get the right balance of difficulty vs, challenge but I think they've gone too far the other way.

      yeah inferno became alot better when they added in monster power (the old players 8 command)

      You can up monster power (MP) which makes it as difficult as it previously was. But you're right, inferno without MP turned on is as easy as hell was.

        Oh I didn't know that. Does it increase magic find or anything? Is there a point to increasing MP?

          It increases the base MF and GF, it changes the % drop rates for the ilvl of weapons. (e.g. MP10 will have a very high chance for the items dropped to be ilvl 63, when compared with MP1 or 0) and it increases the HP/Strength etc. of Monsters.

    Shit. I gotta go buy a new computer to play this. Or maybe build one? But wait, I don't know how to build one? But I will pay way more for a bought one? But why don't you learn to build one?

      Can you read and follow simple instructions? Can you put together lego?

      Putting together a PC is pretty much as hard as a lego kit nowdays, everything is made so it can only go together one way, simple as all hell. Probably scary as all hell for a newbie but once you get it done you realise how simple it really was

        I'm inspired. I've even started a spreadsheet with all of my proposed components.

        I can build a computer but I couldn't put this together.

    I think it would be incredibly important to mention KILLZONE: MERCENARY, it's the first Triple A Vita game in a long time, and a lot of people are looking forward to it, as am I.

    I loved the original TW: Shogun. My friends and I used to play it together for hours and hours almost every day.. We kind of made it out to be a simulated board game and took it in turns to play as the different generals etc.. we played that game into the ground..

    When I saw that TW: Rome II was coming and I looked at the new updated battlefields, which is my favourite part of the game, I was excited... but knowing that a lot of time has passed between then and now, I decided to buy Rome I.. I researched all the other TW games first to see which might be the most up to date in terms of experience I might have in Rome II.. but at the end of the day, factoring in everything, I opted to try Rome I..

    I didn't like it.. I found the game had changed into more of a world-map-level game with battles that took the backseat to the rest of the game. Thinking about it, it makes sense that the battles shouldn't really be taking the stage in a game like this... but because that's my favourite part of the TW games, I was disappointed and frustrated that I had to do some much wheeling and dealing, fiddling and scrambling on the world-map.. it's all a bit too complex for my liking.

    I understand that that's what people wanted though.. they wanted a richer, deeper, more complex world-map experience.. but it's ruined the game for me personally.

    Each to their own I guess.. I'm just disappointed that my nostalgic hole can't be filled by this game.

      I'm in much the same position myself, shogun was as fantastic a game as it could be but the rest of the series just haven't grabbed me the same way. Rome 1 did for a while but empire, medieval 2 & shogun 2 are sitting in my steam account with only a few hours on them

        You really should play medieval 2 with one of two FANTASTIC mods.
        Either Stainless Steel, which is a ridiculously polished enhanced version of medieval 2, so still set in medieval Europe, just a lot more polished, better ai, better campaign AI and events, more units, better looking units etc.
        Or Third Age, which is a phenomenal LOTR mod for medieval 2. I've put literally 500+ hours into LOTR and I am still playing it right now. There are a lot of sub-mods for this too. I recommend MOS.
        Both mods you can get from
        I found empire and shogun both to be lacking.
        Empire because the combat to me was really boring. Line up gun dudes, put from arty behind, wait for guys to die.
        Shogun 2 because it had no replayability, since pretty much all factions have the exact same unit roster.
        (edit: though neither simplify the world map 'campaign' phase that the OP seems to be seeking)

        Last edited 02/09/13 1:15 pm

          Thanks for the suggestions and I may yet give things another try. One of the reasons I avoided Medieval 2 was all the reports of poor AI in battle when they get near to forts/castles etc. It seemed all those people were pretty frustrated with the experience. I had a look to see if any patches had addressed this but I couldn't find anything..

            Sorry late reply (my Kotaku notifications don't load often)
            Those two mods I listed both improve on the AI quite a bit, certainly as far as army composition goes. The Battle AI can still be a bit dumb, but from my understand they can't do much with that apart from tweaking settings for morale, movement speed, etc.
            But certainly Third Age has some better AI that splits its forces (usually) during sieges etc. Also Third Age features some truly glorious custom settlements of the big locations, Minas Tirith, Edoras, Helms Deep, Isengard, Minas Morgul, Moria, and many more. Some of them are truly spectacular.
            Plus some great tweaks, so orcs/goblins for example spawn very fast and have large unit sizes (250 odd per unit), but low stats and morale, vs dwarfs for example that are slow recruitment and low unit count (about 120-150 per unit), but very strong in melee combat, but slow (as they are short).
            Once you visit the 'big' locations you also get short movies from the movies that play which add a real nice LOTR feel.
            You really get some massive battles, for example holding a bridge with 800 units against a horde of 8000 orcs :)

    The fact D3 has 4 player couch coop makes it a must buy on 360 for me!

      Yup can't wait for D3 couch co-op. Gave it huge thrashing on PC last year and look forward to playing it on the 360 tomorrow night.

      So totally this. I'm not sure whether to grab it for PS3 or wait for the PS4 version that's no doubt not that far away.

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