What Are You Playing This Weekend

Image: Nintendo

This weekend: the never ending tug-pull of Horizon: Zero Dawn and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Can anyone remember a time when two ope world games of this calibre launched in the same week? My poor wife and children. My poor sleep habits. My poor everything that isn't me staring at screen playing video games every waking minute.

Balancing both games has been extremely difficult for me. Mainly because each has the potential to ruin the other. Going from Zelda's free form open world to Horizon's more traditional design is tough, but it's also tough to transition from the visual feast that is Horizon to a world as sparse as Zelda. I honestly recommend playing one or the other. Or playing one then the other.

But both are incredible in their own way.

For now I'm playing Zelda on the Switch when I don't have access to the big TV, but switching to Horizon when I do have the TV to myself. Good strategy so far.


    After finishing Nioh i am now Playing Zelda BotW. really feel bad for putting Horizon down so soon but ZELDA.
    I also have Nier but i probably wont touch that till i clear at least Zelda or Horizon from my slate.

      I'm itching to get into Zelda, but I'm too far gone with HZD to stop now.

      I'll be playing the crap out of HZD until I can finish it....then Zelda.

        I was only a few hours into HZD so i felt knocking out Zelda would be more important (probably sell my Wii U after i finish since there's nothing else for it after this)

      Still holding off on Horizon (I actually have a PS backlog building, it's new for me)

      This weekend is all about BotW while the gf hogs the PS4 for Neir.
      Bless you Wii U tablet

    My attention is being torn between The Division, GR Wildlands, Zelda BotW and WoW.

    I hurt. Inside.

    Still going through Yakuza 0 and Rainbow Six Siege.

    Overwatch solo que ranking games...
    Queuing with people who have never played a comp game before yay!


    That and picked up 8 bit invaders for cheap so having fun making some 1 v 3 ai skrim matches.


    might also pick up slime rancher or fire up subnautica again

    Horizon Zero Dawn is what I'll be playing this weekend. Though Zelda is sitting in my Switch taunting me with all her delights.

    Oh, will probably play 1-2 Switch with the kids too. Most ridiculous game ever made......my kids absolutely love it.


    I have both Breath of the Wild and Horizon but honestly, neither has clicked for me at all. Zelda's immensely frustrating (mainly because of how easy it is to die if you make a mistake or do something it didn't want you to do) and I find the world to be bland and empty, plus it's got some really bad interface clunk. Horizon meanwhile is beautiful and feels tighter and more fluid, but the combat is already getting old and despite how pretty it is it feels a bit soulless and it's filled with so much annoying busywork. Stopping to craft arrows every 2 mins and picking up tons of junk constantly is getting especially old.

    I can tell both are good games but I'm not even remotely excited about playing either of them. I'd kind of banked on one or both of these two actually drawing me in and with both leaving me nonplussed I'm kind of scrambling through my Steam library trying to find something else.

      Sounds like you have a case of open world fatigue!

        Nah, I think I just want something that plays a bit better :) Though I did just finish Mad Max, which I really enjoyed overall, despite some ropey bits toward the end. I feel like that game was different enough that it doesn't really affect the other two.

        Zelda's biggest issue for me aside from the frustration of dying all the time and my mental struggle with the control mapping is the complete lack of any direction. I'm not an explorer type. I can't just dick around and waste time, I need to feel like I made progress in line with the amount of time I invested. I see people advocating turning the minimap off completely and that concept boggles my mind - I'd find it even harder to actually find anything remotely interesting to do in the game if I did that. I guess I'm the exact person that the Ubisoft Ur-game "Climb the Tower and it Vomits Icons Everywhere on the Map" trope is designed for because I actually like that, it gives me an idea what I can do next and lets me mentally create tasks and checklists for myself.

        Horizon meanwhile, I think maybe I just need to play more of. It seems like it does have the more guided experience and everything, and the world is very intriguing, but it overall felt quite superficial. Plus no icon vomit, though maybe that's later on. I also just really don't like the combat in it either.

        I think what's actually going on is that The Witcher 3 has ruined open world games for me. Everything in the style I've played since feels superficial or empty.

          Totally agree with you on the directionless open world games thing. I'm much the same, for example GTAV I thought was ok for the story, but I had no interest in making my own fun, I needed more direction. Not that it doesn't direct you but it wasn't very compelling. Btw Witcher 3 I'm playing at the moment and I am so intimidated by all the ?'s on the screen in Velen!

      Zelda's world looked a bit empty to me as well.

      People in general have such a hard-on for it though, I'm worried that reviewers were just swept up in the hype. I'm sure it's a good game, but people act like it's the second coming of Christ.

        It's a Nintendo game, the first home console Zelda game in a good while and not one that's saddled with awful Wii waggle mechanics. It also feels like it was specifically made to appeal to US game reviewers, it's right in the strike zone for a whole bunch of them and they're all universally singing its praises.

        Meanwhile what I really liked from that series was the tight, Metroidvania-style dungeon-unlocks-skill-that-opens-new-areas approach. I really dig that style of game. They haven't done it properly since Twilight Princess and the other games that have executed it well (eg Okami, Darksiders, Arkham Asylum) have failed and their developers disappeared, or they've moved away from it. And with the universal praise that Breath of the Wild is getting, we'll probably never see that style from Zelda again either.

        Every AAA game franchise seems to be going open world this gen and it sucks. It just adds more fluff and fat to what are often already bloated games. I struggle to finish 20-30 hour games, I don't want 50+ hour games full of open world filler. It's here to stay though.

        I can understand your suspicion given games media's tendency to get swept up in things, but I have to say it really is a great experience.
        If you have access to a Wii U or Switch, I highly recommend you give it a go to find out whether you like it or not.

    I have Zelda, but I am making a conscious choice to put it down and resume Witcher 3. I am close-ish to finishing it and I don't want to let it get forgotten.

      The Witcher 3 deserves your undivided attention. Good choice. Zelda is also amazing, but it can wait.

    If I get time, I'm going to go through that Ambient Mixtape 16 that was posted yesterday, that looks right up my alley.

    Buying Horizon: Zero Dawn and Zelda: Breath of the Wild at the same time - rookie mistake.

    "Can anyone remember a time when two ope world games of this calibre launched in the same week?" -- They're not open world, but wasnt there a CoD and BF game released less than a week apart a couple of years ago?

    That would have been similar issues with fans of the genre torn between the two.

      I though there was a fairly clear differenciation between the two games and most people played one or the other. A bit like fifa and pro evo.

        Was more an example of two high calibre games of the same genre releasing at similar times. The example of fifa v pro evo is a fair one in that 'sides' were generally taken (you were either a CoD or BF player, generally not both), but that wasnt the point. You could argue the same thing with HCD and Zelda.

        If they released both fifa and pro evo at the same time (now you mention it, didnt that happen 10ish years ago?) I'd use that as an example as well.

          It is an interesting thought experiment. And I would say there is more overlay between hoirzon and zelda than COD and battlefield. But what else has there been that was 2 games in the same genre that people want both of.
          I think the first example of it I can remember would be Total annihilation or Dark reign.

            TA and Dark Reign were pretty close together, so would be an early example. TA was late Sep 97, I think DR was early Sep (maybe late August), so there was a gap but it wasnt much. Certainly not for 1997 when your attention on a game was measured in months, not hours.

            Its an interesting one though. There will be sports games that have released at similar times, to correspond with season starts, or events like a World Cup or Olympics, and the sheer size of some genres means it will have to have happened at some point - I thought C&C and Warcraft went head to head somewhere in the 90's as well.

            Then theres the Christmas rush (which is when I remember the CoD v BF release happening) which can see multiple games in a genre in rapid succession, but it doesnt happen THAT often.

            If we're having to think back to the 90's it says something about scheduling avoiding each other pretty well.

    Finished Deus Ex Mankind Divided A Criminal Past and deciding whether to punish myself by finishing off the Picus Breach trophies.

    Stella Glow, which I'm still finding charming.

    Hoping my copy of Horizon will arrive today, otherwise I might have to play Hearts of Stone.

    Finishing off wolfenstein hopefully
    Then to decide what the next game focus should be for my solo time.
    Likely more The witness with my wife

    I'm having none of the BotW and H:ZD issues as I own neither, at least not yet. My time is being spent on The Witcher 3 which I picked it up cheap a couple of weeks ago.

    I gotta say, I had to struggle through the opening stages for about 20 hours. Playing on Death March, I would frequently die without upgraded abilities (and admittedly inexperience), and the load times my god, they are dreadful. I was on the verge of putting it down because it was so frustrating saving, re-loading, failing, re-loading on and on. Character progress was so slow. However...

    I've just reached level 12 and have fleshed out my abilities, and I die very little now. I can explore Velen and Novigrad at leisure and will only occasionally come across an enemy that's beyond me. I am finally enjoying it at the pace it was meant to be enjoyed at, and it's really grabbed me now. Perhaps Death March wasn't the wisest choice at first as it almost burned me out, but I'm stubborn and have reached the point where I can really enjoy the narrative and hidden areas littered around the land. Good god this game is huge.

    Its not perfect though - controls can be clunky as hell, even just trying to line myself up so a loot option appears. And I f*ing hate Roach the stupid piece of sh*t! Why do you always get stuck on trees or fences or spawn down a goddamn cliff face! Aghhh! But, despite these negatives, I'm finally seeing what everyone else does in this game. It really is something special.

      I had a similar experience - finished The Witcher 3 and Hearts of Stone a couple of months back. Massively late to the party. I found the first 10 hours awkward - the combat took some getting used to. But once I got it, I played it for two weeks straight. It's such a brilliant game.

      I ended up getting every single trophy except the one for a Death March difficulty playthrough. I obsessed and got all the Gwent cards, did everything except Blood and Wine.

        At some point I *really* need to dig it out and play the DLC. Heard so many good things, but I fucked up and got a bad end to the original game, one which felt was really appropriate at the time, but now apparently I'm screwed for the DLC so I've got to re-play the last ten hours or so of the game.

          Yeah I really need to do Blood and Wine. The only issue I had was I mainlined Witcher 3 and Hearts of Stone so hard I was slightly burnt by the time I got to Blood and Wine. It'd only just come out.

          Probably my bad as well for going full completionist on the base game and Hearts of Stone.

            I was technically unemployed for a lot of the time I spent playing Witcher 3 so I had nothing to stop me playing 10-15 hours a day and using it as a bit of an escape, so I definitely burned myself out on it too, it's hard to go back even though it's an incredibly good game.

          Really? What do you mean, bad ending?

          I got the Ciri becomes Empress ending.

            I liked that ending. I got the other good ending in my playthrough.

            The bad ending would be that Ciri doesn't stop the frost. Geralt goes back for the last witch and dies himself.

    Going to try to finally finish my placement matches for this season of Overwatch.

    It's my first proper weekend off in ages (although I go into nightshift Sunday night) so going to try to do things with the family.

    Then go back and play more Overwatch.

    ...I'm not addicted.

    Zelda. Lots of Zelda. And it's a long weekend this weekend for me, so I have a whole extra day of playing Zelda.

    I'll be playing NOTHING!

    Away from my home and consoles for a month starting tomorrow. I'll be working in another city and have been considering getting a switch. Might cut into the profits of this business venture and buy a switch with Botw.

    What's harder to give up- coffee or games? What is the meaning of life?

      Get the Switch and Zelda. Just make do with international roast

        Hhaha! Alright i'll do it! A mixed bag of advice..

        That international roast thing? Mcdonalds and 7-11 coffee is as low as i would slide down the coffee ladder. Even then I would rather quit than slide.

          You should try quitting. I did, and only have the odd cup now and then. I appreciate coffee more now than I did before.

            They'd run me out of Melbourne! Take back my state issued thick-rimmed, black glasses and tote bag!

            If you don't have the smell of coffee seeping out of your pores it's torches and pitchforks.

              I appreciate the concern Sephiroth but what if I told you to stop using Pantene Pro-v salon grade shampoo and conditioner?

              *glances over at the Midgar Zolom*

                That's my constant struggle when representatives of Redken and Schwarzkopf waylay me with their enticing offers of Mako-infused conditioner. "Make your hair shine like the Lifestream itself" they say. It's tempting, to say the least.

    Funnily enough, even though I know Horizon is fantastic - and when I play, it makes me smile - all I want to do is watch movies when I get home and put my feet up.

    Django Unchained and The Prestige last night. Argo tonight.

    Not sure why... probably open world fatigue.

    Seriously, bioware had better not bork Andromeda. I need to get out of this funk...

      Watch Luc Besson's "Leon" (again if you've already seen it).

      Appreciate the amazing cinematography and score.

      In particular the violin parts that build up to climactic scenes.

      Pure brilliance.

      Also, Gary Oldman.

        Good idea! I'm happily consuming the 5 star classics on Netflix most nights lately. Sounds like a plan :)

        Also, no one does bad guys like Oldman.

    Were I not so desperately poor, I'd be sinking my teeth into Breath of the Wild on WiiU, or Nier on PS4. Alas, happy to keep on carving in Monster Hunter Generations for now.

    I'm always a bit behind the times, but I feel especially behind the times at the moment. I'm gonna be playing New Super Mario Bros U.

    I got it a long time ago (possibly when I got my Wii U), but never actually got around to finishing it. I've now decided to sell my Wii U (I think I own two games for it, and I virtually never play it), but want to finish Mario before I do so.

    I'm also tossing up whether or not to buy Zelda before I ditch the Wii U (I'm not gonna buy a Switch - at least not for the time being). I might... but there's also Mass Effect Andromeda coming up in three weeks, which will monopolise my attention. And I don't think I can find the time to finish Zelda in less than three weeks.

    What amazingly first world problems I have. Don't get me started on the hundreds of Steam games that I own and have never played (but "I'm sure I'll get around to them someday!")...

      Same; though I'm probably buying a Switch this weekend, for the Zelda Big W bundle (Zelda for $50 is too good to pass up, and it was going to happen eventually, one day, getting a Switch), it will then go straight into the cupboard at home until I know what Andromeda is like from reviews. I don't want to *start* Zelda and then feel the pull of Mass Effect, when if ME is good I can knock that over first and then take my time playing enveloping myself all up in BotW at my own pace.

    Kinda broke at the moment, so not playing anything newish. But Deus Ex Mankind Divided is likely, or something in my Steam Library. Possibly Slime Rancher since that updated.

      Deus Ex Mankind Divided!

      Is a brilliant game.

      I love it.

      Even the stupid Breach Mode.

    Continuing with Horizon, but have spent a good bit of time playing Hitman the past few nights, so will likely try to finish the last few missions... I remember giving the beta a try wayy back (well, early last year sometime) and not really getting what all the fuss was about, but gave it another try on impulse and am really enjoying it so far.

    I kinda feel I've beaten Horizon after taking down two thunderjaws at the same time, and Meridian's final fight felt extremely easy... but there's still apparently a bit of story left.

    Also have discovered a bunch of (apparently not-terrible) Lovecraft film adaptations on Youtube that I want to watch at some point...

      Try double corrupted rockbreaker!

        Just found them... they died almost disappointingly quickly by blowing up their belly sacks and a couple of follow-up arrows to their backs, tho one might've been in a fight with a behemoth when I got there... the double corrupted behemoths were a lot harder.

      What would be said Lovecraft?

        Just finished reading Charles Dexter Ward and Color out of Space, and heard about The Resurrected (1991), so looking to watch that. Also The Unnamable, which is admittedly (apparently) terrible, and also apparently based on a different story of HPL's... Out of Mind: The Stories of HP Lovecraft is meant to be a decent blend of some of his short stories... Been trying to find a free copy of Die Farbe (2010), which I hear is one of the best adaptions of Color out of Space, but I'll probably have to rent it.

    The Witcher, Dishonored, Xenoblade Chronicles.

      Xenoblade Chronicles HD on *New* Nintendo 3DS?

      Great game!

        The only way. Every time I start to wear out on it, something new and exciting happens. And the scale, how could people not love it?

    Horizon Zero Dawn. About 6 hours in and feel its just about to open up. Amazed by the use of HDR lighting in this game...'dem candle-lit caves .Wow.

    Last edited 10/03/17 2:04 pm

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