What I've Been Playing This Week (aka Pile of Shame Sunday)

Screenshot from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Are you sure this isn't a Corona ad?

The following post is part of a series of posts that are published every Sunday to update readers on what Mark G has been up to with respect to finishing off games on his "Pile of Shame". The games to target are picked by Choicest Games contributors Choona, Luke and myself. As I'll be talking about my progress through these games, there may be spoilers ahead, especially for games containing a narrative. Consider yourself warned.

Battlefield 1

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 100%
Why hello there. Another game I can cross off my Pile of Shame, you say? Don't mind if I do! It's actually about time I crossed Battlefield 1 off the list considering its sequel Battlefield V (yes, the numbering is a bit confusing) is being released in a couple of months.

I did participate in the BF1 beta and dabbled around with it a little bit when it was first released but Rainbow Six: Siege proved to be a major distraction and I never got around to completing the single-player campaign or playing the multiplayer much again, until recently.

Overall, I enjoyed the single-player campaign especially the codex entries that give you facts about World War I. Since I completed most of the single-player campaign in about 4 hours, I'm guessing in total the single-player campaign probably takes 5-6 hours, which is probably par for the course for AAA FPSs. I also really enjoy the soundtrack since I have a soft spot for the Battlefield theme and it's even better returning to its roots: i.e. played by an orchestra!

Despite the War Stories being based on actual conflicts, I found some of the scenes a bit far-fetched, such as the mission where you're clad in platemail, armed with a machine gun, and taking on the might of the Austro-Hungarian empire – just a bit romanticised methinks. The AI, super enemies and level design are aspects I also dislike, but hey at least the game looks pretty. Oh, and cutscenes are horrendously slow in terms of framerate – I don't know what's up with that.

Stardew Valley

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 20%
On hold while I'm playing other games. 😊

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 25%
I haven't made any further progress on this – it's now on hold while I am distracted by… well… a lot of other games 😊.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 30%
So, I just finished raiding a sugar plantation and ended up assassinating almost every guard on it before I had a clean shot at looting the warehouse. I didn't realise you could sabotage the alarms so that'll be something to keep in mind for next time. Next mission appears to be stealing a Spanish Galleon. I'm loving some of the game's cutscenes, they can be quite pretty despite the engine being a few years old now: one of the most recent cutscenes I experienced looks like it's straight out of a Corona commercial, just a bunch of mates, sitting on a Caribbean beach, enjoying some drinks as the sun sets.


  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 88%
Doesn't feel like I'm close to finishing the game so my "percentage complete" might be a bit off, but only one way to find out, hey? I completed a long mission that took almost an hour which involved hacking into a Neopets server (and I only just discovered that Neopets is an actual thing – I've obviously been living under a rock all these years): the mission involved investigating developer PCs which were acquired by hacking into a Git Repository and recording their IP addresses. Eventually you gather enough login information lying around to access the mainframe. I do love the developer humour in this game, such as reading about some guy who now feels smart because he found some "regex on Stack Exchange": there's only 10 types of people in the world and only one of those groups will get it.

Unfortunately, the game does annoy me at times, like the time I had to hack into an eOS phone and I forgot the default login details (and it's not recorded anywhere in Hacknet Labyrinths, at least if I recall correctly) – this meant having to do a Google search to find the answer, which is not an arduous task, but it felt a bit like cheating. Anyway, I've rectified this by editing a txt file in the game to include this password.

[ The Pile of Shame ]