Game of the Month - April 2021

What has been your primary game this past month? It could have been a recent title, a new discovery, or something from your backlog. Or perhaps an old favorite you returned to years later? Honorable mentions are also welcome, these would be other games that you enjoyed this past month, but not the one you spent the most time enjoying.

For April my game of the month is:

  • Space Hulk: Deathwing - Enhanced Edition - so I picked this up after bouncing off it a few years ago, and I am enjoying it enough to make it my gotm! I’d say I am about half way through the campaign, missions are long and fights seem almost overwhelming at times. The setting is just fantastic.

Honorable mentions:

  • Filament - messed around a bit with this puzzle game, really liking it.
  • Per Aspera - started playing this again, gonna finish the campaign soon!
  • Deep Rock Galactic - Doing my weekly missions, so much fun.

What game defined April 2021 for you? What was your Game of the Month?

I think it was a combination of Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Ultima III. I successfully solo’d the latter, which I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do, and then spent some idle time holding down the space bar so turns would pass, monsters would spawn, and I could fill 2/3 of Sosaria with treasure chests. As you do.

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Also had a minor Slay the Spire relapse and got my Ascension levels a couple notches higher.

Still Nioh 2, just as it was for February and March. Probably getting close to shelving it though. I’m near the end of Dream of the Nioh (aka NG+++++), and that will probably make a good stopping point.

I thought I was going to put more time into Monster Hunter Rise, but it hasn’t grabbed me quite as hard as I expected. Still need to give it more of a shot.

Stellaris - 3.0.3 beta has really piqued my interest in this game again, after having set it down over a year ago in frustration. It still has some of the same old warts and drag at certain points, some in typical PDX style, others part of the 4X genre flaws. I probably have nearly 15 hours in the last two weekends, so it has its hooks in.

The main improvement is that the planet management/economy system makes a lot more sense now - so much less fiddly than before. There are many complaints about the pop growth system, but I think 3.0.3 beta has shown that the mechanic itself is fine, its just the values that needed tweaking, so I’m confident that will be fined tuned to a point where it feels just right (it’s more or less there for me).

I am also enjoying the espionage and first contact additions - espionage and intelligence (or fog of war, including on empire characteristics) is a meaningful mechanic that I didn’t know I wanted until seeing how well Shadow Empire did it - great to see that spreading in the genre. First contact is mostly fluff but does a lot for atmosphere. I haven’t made up my mind on the galactic senate or other new 3.0 mechanics yet, as to whether they are meh or meaningful, but they at least aren’t negative.

Dysmantle - This is an early access crafting game set in zombie apocalypse. I have always wanted to try crafting style games but never could get into them. This is a great gateway game: the zombie premise, the cartoony graphics, and the responsive combat and straightforward gathering/crafting cycles drew me right in.

Skyrim SE - I am constantly surprised how easy it is to get sucked into this game - especially with mods. While I enjoyed some of the more recent open world offerings like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077, I’m mostly done with them. But Skyrim keeps drawing me back.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel was definitely my game of April. I’ll probably finish in the next couple weeks and then move to Cold Steel 2 as soon as I can.

Honorary mentions go to Nioh 2 and NieR Replicant ver. 1.22474487139 (the latter is only an honorary mention because I played very little of it in April).

Anything particular you would recommend from your latest experience? I’m thinking of doing another playthrough soon, and haven’t played it since pre-SE, so I was thinking of largely playing it mod-free but open to something particularly cool - especially virtual world stuff

Sword of the Stars: Multiple campaigns in this one, first to learn the ropes then the one I just finished for real. Absolutely loved it. Taking a time out to play Rome Remastered now, but I’ll be returning to start a new campaign with a new race. And then of course start yet another one with the mod Bastard of the Stars.

Super Mega Baseball 3: Having a good time playing this one coop. It’s interesting pitching every other inning (and playing outfield while the other player pitches) and batting every other at Bat. Actually a bit more tense because you don’t quite get into as much of a groove which makes it more challenging.

A few for me this month:

Compound - One of the finest VR games I’ve ever played. Just astounding. Like an old-school shooter with amazing movement and gunplay, and random levels. So freaking great.

In Death: Unchained - I can not stop playing this one. It’s just so god damned fun. The combat is amazing and unlike anything else I’ve played. and so, SO satisfying.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon - I began a stream series of this one and LOVE IT. I played a little Zero, but this is the first Yakuza game I’ve really dived into and I keep thinking about it.

I will compile a list and post them in the Skyrim SE thread. Most of my favorites don’t change the core gameplay drastically. They just help create a better sense of “place” for your character.

Battle Brothers: As I have peppered throughout a half a dozen threads, it came out for the Switch and I didn’t have a working PC for the last couple of years on which to game. I snagged it and have played over 150 hours in about 6 weeks. Maybe more or less because the gameplay tracking was broken on the Switch. It bounced off of me when I played in Early Access all those years ago, mostly because of the difficulty and the distraction of other, easier options and life events that required my attention. This time I was determined to learn how to play before diving in probably because the Switch and PS4 have so few tactical strategy games (compared to the PC) and those are my thing… Watched a bunch of Filthy Robot guides and plays and got pretty decent (on easy, which isn’t actually that easy if you have not played). For me, it is the perfect balance of challenge, inventory management, levelling characters and brilliant tactical battles. Battles that in thinking back are much the same each time are imminently enjoyable as the tactical battle mechanics are superb. You have to really think and pay attention instead of just being up your dudes and rolling over bad guys. I like doing that, too, but this just clicked with me for some reason.

I was playing a lot of Super Mega Baseball on the Switch until Battle Brothers came out. Such a perfect balance of sim and arcadey baseball (for me, at least).

I got a new PC a week ago so I can get back to what I like most about gaming, which evidently is more Battle Brothers on the PC version and BB’s child, Urtuk: The Desolation.

Divinity Original Sin 2 - @ShivaX and I are something like 50+ hours into a (re)play through and a lot of this (almost all of it, narratively speaking) feels like a new game since we last played (which was around three years ago, or more). I don’t know if I could recommend this as a single player game - there are a lot of moving pieces and combat would feel like a real slog with managing everyone’s turns/inventory/crafting, all that stuff, but as a co-op experience it’s one of the best RPG’s out there.

We Happy Few - There is something about this game. I can only play it for short bursts but I keep coming back to it. Its like nothing I played before.

Totally agree with Scott regarding Divinity Original Sin 2. Played it with 2 buddies (I controlled two characters) and it was fantastic. Are there any other RPG’s where this is possible?

I’ll be the first Monster Hunter of this thread.

Not on PC yet; otherwise it would figure somewhere in my list, I’m sure.

haha, PC sucks!

Nioh 2 for me. Beat the snake boss in mission 3 to death with my fists, such an intense fight. Haven’t been this obsessed with a Souls-like since I imported the original Demon’s Souls.

ELEX - Oh how I have missed you, Eurojank. I love an inverse difficulty curve so I’ve been enjoying trying to get by in this.

Contradiction Spot the Liar - Thought it was pretty good overall, the actors are really great. It gets to a point where each character has like a hundred statements and if you have no idea which character is lying, you are screwed. Wasn’t a fan of the resolution, and it sequel baits. The FMV makes the adventure game tropes hilarious to me since Jenks is just stealing peoples shit and visiting them dozens of times in a span of several hours.

I’ll be second!

I played a lot of Monster Hunter Rise on the Switch. I also got back into In Death: Unchained on Oculus Quest.

Finished Days Gone. Great game. Combat is supremely satisfying. Excellent motorcycle physics. Taking out hordes of zombies is terrifying fun. I hope they make a sequel.