It's the weekend. Time for some games.
What a long week it's been. It has probably flown by for others, but for some of us, the weekend is overdue.
This means it is finally time to relax, have a couple of margaritas, enjoy the nice weather, watch the Kentucky Derby or a film or two, and play some lovely video games.
Here is what we are playing this weekend.
Alex Donaldson, Assistant Editor – New Pokemon Snap
For the most part, I plan to spend this weekend playing New Pokemon Snap. I reviewed it this week, and have 'completed' the core content of the game - but I've still got Pokedex entries to fill out, different rank photos to find, and just a bunch of... fun to have. Additionally, Nintendo has kindly sent over one of those Instax Mini Link, that little photo printer that's compatible with the game... so I'm going to try to take a bunch of photos that are actually worthy of being printed for real.
Also, I'll be undertaking another top-secret game review project. I've already finished the game in question once, but I'm going to try to squeeze in an extra play-through before writing my review for some time next week. Watch this space.
Dorrani Williams, Video Producer - Retrunal
This weekend I'm playing Returnal.
I've been excited to play this since I learned it was a roguelike. I've got a newfound love for roguelikes ever since playing Hades and I'm eager to see what Housemarque can do with a big budget.
I'm not gonna lie, £70 is a steep price to pay for a video game and it's gonna sting if Returnal does not live up to my expectations but I'm willing to take the risk on this one so you don't have to.
I'll report in next week to tell you if Returnal is hot or not.
James Billcliffe, Guides Editor - Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Do you ever wait ages for a game to come out, buy it day one, play it for 20 minutes, then leave it languishing in your backlog for a full four years - or is that just me?
I was recently reminded of the existence of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, a game I paid full price for and never played in 2017, along with how amazing the whole Danganronpa series is.
Between playing Outriders and Returnal for the last few weeks, I’m 100% ready to revisit a visual novel where the twitch reflexes aren’t turned up to 11 - even if it is still trying to fill me with lead and chew my face off.
Rebecca Jones, Guides Writer - Hades, Resident Evil 2 Remake
We've got a three-day weekend here in the UK and, as is tradition, I'll be convincing myself that I can cram in two weeks' worth of hobby-related activities thanks to those additional 24 hours of downtime. I've just started reading a 500-page novel I've been holding onto since Christmas, and I'll probably look at starting one of those 100-hour RPGs I picked up around the same time. You know, because you can totally finish those in three days.
Seriously though, if I decide to be sensible I'll probably spend my precious extra day off tying up some loose ends, gaming-wise. Thanks to a busy schedule over the past few weekends, coupled with some unexpectedly good weather (seems like that's over), I haven't yet made any more progress on Haven, the romantic sci-fi RPG I talked about for this feature a couple of weeks ago. I'm also still really keen to find out what's going to happen next in those Danganronpa and Vampire The Masquerade visual novel titles I gushed over last week.
But if I do decide to indulge my ridiculous belief in the time-bending properties of the Bank Holiday Weekend, I have actually got a couple of reasonably-sized games in mind. I recently fell in love with Hades, but haven't had a proper chance to pick it up again lately; or there's that run of the Resident Evil 2 remake I've been meaning to get round to for a while.
If I come back next week more tired than ever, I guess we'll know why: I'm not going to be able to fit all this in and sleep too.
Sherif Saed, Staff Writer - Returnal, Second Extinction
I have plenty of reasons to get excited about Returnal. It’s a Housemarque game, which automatically means I need to play it. It’s also a new type of game for one of my favourite studios. Returnal is the team’s first third-person shooter, in a rogue-lite wrapper, all while attempting to spin a (hopefully) compelling sci-fi yarn and translate the Housemarque brand of arcade action to a different genre. There's plenty there to explore.
James’ Returnal review really only made the wait for Friday more excruciating, even if I know some of those very same rogue-lite elements could make it harder for me to get into it. But no other studio does gameplay quite like Housemarque, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some preconceptions about rogue-lite games stop from playing it.
Even removed from that context, Returnal is the PS5’s first major release of 2021. After the disappointing time I had with Demon’s Souls, I was hoping Destruction AllStars would at least get me to turn on the damn thing every so often, but it just didn’t stick.
I only buy consoles for the exclusives, so I need a meaty game to get lost into the way I have with so many PS4 games over the years. I can’t wait to get off work and get started.
I am always down for some good shooty-shooty bang bang with friends. I’ve had an eye on Second Extinction for a while, but its arrival in Xbox Game Pass this week was all the convincing I needed to give it a try. It’s a small download, too, at just around 10GB.
I’ve only played the tutorial and a little bit beyond, but I want to get deeper into it this weekend. Something about the mechanical feel of Avalanche's games takes a little getting used to, for me at least. I've felt the same way about Rage 2, Generation Zero, and Just Cause before.
Being on Game Pass also makes it easier for me to rope people into downloading it and playing it with me. Second Extinction is the co-op shooter about taking on dinosaurs, in case you're new here. If you have Game Pass, give it a shot, it's out on PC and Xbox.
Stephany Nunneley - News Editor - Stardew Valley, The Lord of the Rings Online
Yes, I am playing The Lord of the Rings Online again this weekend. The Anniversary Festival is in full swing, and I have yet to acquire enough Anniversary Tokens to grab the Warhorse Steed cosmetics. They are 40 tokens a pop for each of the three items (what a grind) but I absolutely must have the caparison, bridle, and shinguards. I have a problem. Help.
I just plan on doing the seven quests needed to complete the daily, which means I will be shooting off fireworks more than once to earn some tokens. There isn't much else for me to do, as I have completed all the yearly quests.
Once I have finished up, I will be pouring more hours into Stardew Valley.
The big Stardew Valley 1.5 Update was released in winter 2020, and I still have yet to complete all the quests on the new area, Ginger Island. I almost have enough Golden Walnuts to unlock the Beach Resort and I will have unlocked everything there is to offer.
I am having quite a bit of fun growing Pineapple and Banana trees on the island farm, and it's great having another house to sleep in should you find you can't make it back to the valley in time before you pass out at 2am. I tend to spend most of the winter on the island, because I don't grow winter crops on my main farm, and the animals have hay in the barns to keep their bellies full.
Surely, my husband Elliott misses me terribly, but he has a novel to write so I am positive he is keeping busy. I do miss seeing Yeti, my dog (named after my dearly departed soul dog), running around the place, but I try to get back on the mainland at least once a week. Who wouldn't prefer staying on a tropical island over the winter anyway? I mean, I would prefer it at least, but then again I am not a huge fan of the cold.
According to Steam, I have logged 1,001.7 hours in the game. I know that sounds like way too much time on a single game, but I have two different characters I play with different builds and different motivations. I am sure I have spent the majority of that time playing my original character, which is the one enjoying Island Life right now.
Just like you, our tastes vary here at VG247 from horror games to shooters, and from RPG-sims to visual novels, our eclectic mix of tastes surely mirrors your own. No one plays just one specific genre, I don't think anyway. People like to dip their toes into all sorts of offerings. With that said, what are you playing this weekend? We love hearing about it.