Look who’s back! Back again! Back from outta space! Wait- no, mixing my songs there. In any case — I survived the holiday. I might even go so far as to say I had some fun. It was nice to get away for a while even if only a short one. It did however rain from the moment we left to… Well; the moment we left. The drive home was probably the first time we saw blue sky.

But it didn’t overly hamper us from doing anything, even the outdoor activities.

The highlight was without doubt, the tree-top obstacle course. And rain or no — I can tell you; you keep very warm doing it. I made it up to level 4 (of their 6 difficulty levels) after which I was absolutely done. Leg muscles in particular had a few things to say about it all the next day, too.

In any case – games! I’ve played some.

Some more that is. In the last Eclectic Gaming Day post I’d run through a bunch of stuff I’d bought. Sometimes even bought and played.

But that hasn’t stopped me from jumping into all new things this time around. As much as I like the idea of extracting value from my games, sometimes… Sometimes I just need to let loose, you know? It is an incredibly potent palette cleanser just to let go and try ALL THE THINGS.

No Man’s Sky

An older shot from when I was playing last year — but still the save I’m playing!

The ‘Desolation’ Update for No Man’s Sky is out. It’s not what prompted me to poke my nose in again though. I had no idea another update was even imminent. A conversation with some old friends about the game planted the seed in my head, enough so that I decided to download and poke around.

The Desolation update isn’t one of the ‘big’ ones like Next or Beyond. Rather it is one of the more incremental updates that over time and weight of numbers add up to big changes in the experience.

This particular one sounds quite interesting though and offers a new form of exploratory content. It seems to expand upon one of the (to my knowledge) more or less untouched storylines of the alien ‘goo’ around the place leading to some facilities to be abandoned. But now — it’s entire Freighters which have been overrun and abandoned.

You can seek them out, look to clear them and hear the stories the crew left behind. The actual layouts internally of each Frieghter is procedurally generated to an extent too.

Honestly though, I only intended to do a quick poke into my old save before jumping into a new game (potentially). Some three or so hours later, I was still going. I forgot just how much there is to do in this game now and how many things to chase after there are. I had quite a number of projects on the go. And that’s before considering the new stuff added since I last played! There were no Living Ships or Exo Mechs last time around. Eesh.

Death Stranding

One of the shots from the trailer — but now able to be captured by ME, on PC. Yay!

I’ve been waiting for this one a while now. I managed to hold myself back from simply picking it up on PS4. But then when it released this weekend, I hesitated.

Would I like it? I don’t much enjoy walking simulators. Much of the game could be characterised that way. Granted a more mechanically advanced one. But still. Would the story carry it for me? It’s possible. But then story is often something that runs away from Kojima.

In the end (clearly) I went for it. But my ambivalence meant I didn’t pick it up until Sunday evening, so I didn’t get to spend any time with it until Monday evening, after dinner, etc. And then I spent a little over 2 hours with it straight. There was likely more cutscene than play in those two hours, but I was expecting that. It kept me interested, too. Don’t get me wrong — there is definitely a lot of gobbledygook and words they refuse to explain the meaning of to save on exposition in the midst of screeds of exposition.

But I find I’m generally pretty tolerant of these things if I’m at least on board with the ideas. So far I am, and of the things I’ve tried over these eclectic gaming days, is the most likely to draw me back to playing something steadily.