It’s the weekend, and the perfect time to fire up a game or two and enjoy the break.
The US celebrates Memorial Day on Monday, which means it’s a three-day weekend for most. Over in the UK, on Monday, folks will be enjoying a Bank Holiday, so it’s a nice time to relax for both regions.
And what better way to spend the time than by playing video games?
Of course, this is in between holiday cookouts, maybe a bit of horseback riding, spending time with the folks, and doing things around the house. But in between, we plan to spend some time in space, listen to folks talk in Simlish, try something we haven’t before, and maybe even visit an old favorite.
Here’s what we’ve been playing and plan to dive into this weekend.
Alex Donaldson, Assistant Editor – Mass Effect Legendary Edition – and a bit of off-grid downtime
E3 is coming, and the leaks are getting fat and all that – and while there’s no physical event that I’m gearing up to fly out to this year, it does mean that I’m sort of preparing my soul for an emotionally and mentally exhausting few weeks as we desperately try to talk to as many developers and see as much of as many games as possible. The fact that it’s different this year doesn’t really change that, and it doesn’t matter if it’s E3, or Summer Games Fest, or some weird amalgamation of two events both trying to claim third-party conferences and briefings as their own – it still looms large.
Why does this factor into what I’m playing? Well, just because I’m probably going to have a little bit of a weekend off.
I plan to keep playing Mass Effect Legendary Edition – in my Insanity difficulty trilogy play-through I’m about halfway through Mass Effect 2 now – but that’ll be strictly casual. Otherwise, I plan to unplug – though part of my unplugged activities does involve reading Iwata Asks, the newly translated book featuring pearls of wisdom from the former CEO who passed away six years ago next month. Even when I’m unplugging, video games feature heavily – not that that’s a bad thing…!
Dorrani Williams, Video Producer –Hunt: Showdown, or maybe nothing at all
I won’t lie, I’m super burnt out on games at the moment and I’m just not excited to play anything in particular right now.
I get into this mood like twice a year and I think it’s healthy to take a break from thinking about games 24/7.
If the mood lifts I do want to give Hunt: Showdown a look since I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and PvPvE games are right up my street.
James Billcliffe, Guides Editor – Genshin Impact
Have you SEEN how good Genshin Impact looks on PS5? Now Paimon’s wondrous beauty matches her angelic and not-at-all incredibly, gratingly annoying voice.
I played a decent chunk of the game last summer when it first dropped, and it looks like it’s time to pick the free-to-play RPG back up and get my character ready for the new stuff on the horizon.
It’s one of the few free RPGs that doesn’t feel super stingy with its items, and during the story, I’m yet to run into the same time-wasting mechanics that seem ubiquitous elsewhere.
Lauren Aitken, Guides Writer – Mass Effect Legendary Edition – Mass Effect 1
Having finally finished Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, it was time for me to begin a completionist playthrough of my favourite trilogy of all time. I’m just about to head to Ilos and will probably complete Mass Effect this weekend before catapulting myself straight into Mass Effect 2.
The Mass Effect trilogy holds a special place in my heart as I played it over and over at one of the lowest points in my life, so to be replaying it in stunning 4K quality during one of the happiest times feels really special. Plus, I’m playing it on an OLED TV on my PS5 so it looks fuckin’ mint. I am very much looking forward to romancing Garrus for the 20th time instead of pursuing other options once again.
Aside from that, I’ll probably get some stonks in ACNH and play a little more GTA 5, which I started for the first time a few weeks ago. I say play, what I really mean is wreck myself in completely avoidable car crashes because I can’t drive for shit. C’est la vie.
Rebecca Jones, Guides Writer — The Sims 4
There’s a joke among Sims fans that you play the game in cycles: specifically, you spend a few weeks dedicating every spare hour to it, then barely think about it for at least two months. As you can probably tell by me bringing it up in the first place, I’m doing the former at the moment.
With convenient timing to feed into my current obsession, The Sims 4 base game got a significant gameplay update on Thursday, supporting the release of the Dream Home Decorator game pack next week. The headline new feature is the ability to select up to 20 likes and dislikes per Sim, across categories including hobbies and music genres. I love building Sims’ personalities, and I could easily see myself spending several hours just going through my saved games choosing everyone’s favourite colours. Serious business, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Fortunately, it’s another three-day weekend here in the UK; and while last time I did manage to make something of my comically over-ambitious bank holiday plans, I’m thinking of doing the exact opposite this time. Cozying up on my sofa and sinking as much of those 72 hours as possible into The Sims 4 sounds like a very relaxing way to spend the long weekend. (Assuming the weather’s too miserable to go outside, that is… which feels like a safe bet after the month we’ve had here.)
Stephany Nunneley, News Editor – Don’t Starve, maybe something else
This weekend may be a bit too busy for me to spend hours and hours playing anything. The D&D group I have played with on and off over the last few years has decided it’s time to get the band back together, so I may pop over to my buddy’s house and play a session this weekend. I am also supposed to go horseback riding with my aunt on Saturday, but it looks like it might rain, which it always seems to do on Memorial Day weekend in my area of the state. To be honest, I haven’t been on a horse in ages, and I am worried I will be too sore to do anything but lounge on the couch and get sloshed afterward. So, it may or may not happen. We’ll have to wait and see.
As far as games go, I was looking over my Steam library the other day, browsing through the plethora of games I own that I have not played. We have all done it: bought a game through a Steam sale and just never got around to giving it a go. But I plan on trying to at least get my money’s worth and play something I haven’t yet.
Speaking of sales, the Steam Open World Sale is going on this weekend, and there are plenty of things tempting me. The Forest is on sale, so is Divinity Original Sin 2, both of which have been on my wishlist for ages. Considering the prices on each are rather nice, I may have to bite the bullet and add them to my library.
While looking over my library, I noticed I haven’t played Don’t Starve in ages. Like, since 2016! It has to be one of my favorites games, honestly. I mean, I have put 109.5 hours into it. I have tons of cool Steam Workshop offerings installed too, and there are many more I could add to spice things up a bit, so I plan on firing it up. Plus, the latest expansion, Hamlet is available, and I have yet to try it out three years after its release.
If you have never played Don’t Stave, or like randomly generated open-world games with elements of survival and roguelike gameplay, you should really give it a try – or any Klei Entertainment game for that matter.
Tom Orry, Editor-in-Chief – Dead Space
I’m a sucker for earning Microsoft reward points. On the Xbox, these can be earned by the Rewards App and via Game Pass Quests. One quest this week needed me to play Dead Space, so I obediently downloaded it and gave it a whirl.
I was a big fan back on its release, and it’s nice to see that the game has aged very well indeed. It helps that the game is so dark and moody, hiding a lot of the visual shortcomings of the Xbox 360 era.
While the series ended up going a little wayward with the third mainline game, this is still a franchise I’d love to see return one day, complete with modern visuals that would surely come alive with new-fangled lighting techniques.
So that’s what we’re up to this weekend. What are your plans for the long weekend? Surely you will have time to pop in a game or two and enjoy yourself. As always, we’d love to know what you plan on playing.