What I’ve Been Playing Lately

Hi there! It’s been awhile since I posted here regularly, as I’ve been staying busy with my novel writing. It’s going well. I’m hoping to finish my draft this summer, which will be a huge achievement that will finally allow me to pop open a bottle of wine I’ve been saving for the occasion!

Still, I’ve been missing this blog and have a few posts in mind — one post about a certain HBO show that will be wrapping up next week, and on which I have many thoughts and feelings. But for now I will start with a simple post about what I’ve been playing lately. =)

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Oh, this game. I’ve loved it, and I’ve loved to hate it.

The funny thing is, when I first played it back in 2014 – 2015, my main experience with open world games was The Elder Scrolls, and as much as I love that series, open world gameplay just didn’t feel right with Dragon Age storytelling. I loved the story and hated the fetch quests. As beautiful as the world was, I got tired of the exploration. Yet to experience the story, you had to literally unlock it by completing X number of side quests. You can read all about my thoughts here.

But playing Inquisition again, years later, is giving me new insights into the game. Maybe it’s because I’ve playing more open world games since then — games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Red Dead Redemption 2. While I believe those examples do a better job at combining storytelling with exploration, I feel less intimidated by open worlds than I used to, and I can enjoy their gameplay alongside a story much more than I did in the past.

In short, I’m enjoying my second playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition more than my first. So far, at least.

You can watch my playthrough of the game on my YouTube channel — it’s a narrative playthrough that focuses on the story and cutscenes, skipping a lot of the running around in between.

Mortal Kombat 11

I missed Mortal Kombat. After getting obsessed with Mortal Kombat X a few years ago, I couldn’t wait for this game to come out. Injustice 2 just didn’t do it for me — it has to be Mortal Kombat in all its chaotic glory. Plus, I really need to block with the R2 button.

After trying to play as my old favorite character D’Vorah, I decided she feels a little too slow to me this time around. So I tried out a few characters and settled on Skarlet as my main. The blood thing grossed me out at first, but I got over that. My husband says to think of it as red wine, which helps a little.

Skarlet in Mortal Kombat 11
My Skarlet’s two main looks in Mortal Kombat 11 right now.

Borderlands 2

My husband and I love playing co-op shooters together. It started with Halo, his favorite series which he introduced me to back when we first started dating. Then it was Gears of War, which I have such a soft spot for. Then it was an obsession with Destiny. Like, playing until our eyes crossed at 2AM, and spending all weekend in our pajamas playing, and having to make yourself stop and order a meal sometimes. That kind of obsession, which of course couldn’t last long but was so fun while it did. You can read my game log of some of my time with the first Destiny game here — it brings back so many great memories for me.

But it’s been awhile since my husband and I found a game to play together. We played some Destiny 2 last year, but it just didn’t hook us in the same the first game did. However, with all of this news lately about Borderlands 3, we decided it was time to give that series a fair try.

We’ve played a little bit of the Pre-Sequel before, and even some Borderlands 2. I love Borderlands but never actually finished a game — my husband, trying it with me years ago, thought it was just okay compared to the shooters he was used to. I think a lot of that opinion came down to it being an RPG, which he didn’t play in the past.

But a few nights ago we picked up Borderlands 2 and started playing, and we’re having a lot of fun with it this time. I’m playing as Maya, because I need my space magic; my husband is playing as Axton. Obviously I ship them now.

Maya in Borderlands 2
I’m playing as Maya right now.

Upcoming Games…

With Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski coming out later this year (I think? I hope?), I want to return to my re-play of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I started it last summer and got about halfway through the game, before newer games distracted me. But I think finishing that playthrough over the summer could be the perfect way to prepare for the Netflix series. Sometimes you just need to re-immerse yourself in a world, and The Witcher is one of my favorites.

I’ll also continue reading the books. I need to know more about what happens to Ciri in the novels…

What are you all playing these days? Obviously I am deep in nostalgia right now with my gaming, but I’d love some recommendations for new games!

— Ashley

5 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Playing Lately”

  1. I kind of regret not watching your Inquisition videos, but I’ve already played it myself twice and watched Moiren stream most of it, and I’m trying to avoid terminal burnout, especially as I still want to do at least one more playthrough before DA4.

    These days I feel like I give more attention to tabletop gaming instead of video games, but I do still play both. I find my interest in video games comes in fits and starts lately. When I find a game I really like, I still delve into it super deep, but I’m having less patience for average or mediocre games, and I spend less time gaming just for the sake of having something to do.

    I played Anthem very heavily for a while, but I’ve run out of content now, so it’s on the backburner. Still think it’s great, though, and I’m saddened by the (unfair, in my opinion) criticism it gets.

    I bought The Division 2, as well, but I play it only sporadically. I liked the original better, and the original wasn’t exactly making my list of all time greats, either…

    This month I bought a month of Origin Access just to try out a whole bunch of games. Most of them failed to hold my interest, but I did get sucked into Dungeons III (a city-builder/RTS game where you play as a dark lord a la Sauron). It’s very goofy and silly, and it’s nicely relaxing.

    I also recently tried a free to play sci-fi survival/tower defense game called Eden Rising, which is a bit simple but charming in its way. It’s very co-op focused; a lot more fun with a friend or two. I may play more depending on the interest level of the friend I was playing it with.

    As far as upcoming plans, I’m looking forward to Draugen, which is supposed to release soon. It’s an atmospheric horror game set in rural Norway in the 1920s. It’s from the same guy who created The Secret World.

    1. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Anthem! I feel bad for the people who worked so hard on the game, although its development did sound like a hot mess.

      I may have to check out Eden Rising, I’m always looking for more co-op games. And Draugen sounds intriguing! I’ll research about it, but is it an MMO?

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