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

Screenshot from Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Chloe and Rachel during happier times

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.

Quake II: Quad Damage

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 70%
I didn't play Quake II this week. I was playing way too much Life is Strange: Before the Storm as well as Godus. Will get back to this next week.

For Honor

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 10%
Didn't get around to playing this.

Stardew Valley

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

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 100%
Wow, this game is definitely an emotional rollercoaster ride and obviously I found it addictive since I've now finished it!

What I love about this game is that it's not only a story about the friendship (or romance) between Rachel and Chloe but it's also a story about their relationships with their fathers, which is why it probably moves me more than I would've thought (considering I'm a father of daughters). The game makes me want to be there for my daughters since it shows the tragic consequences of not being there for them (in body and spirit). On a side note, Chloe's mum Joyce must be one of the most patient mothers I've ever come across in just about any form of media.

The game also has interesting sub-plots, like how Eliot Hampden, a guy who Chloe has known since kindergarten, seems like a nice guy and is more or less harmless, but he turns out to be quite possessive and aggressive later on in the game (seems to be a commonly recurring theme in Life is Strange: beware the nice ones). What makes it interesting is that (especially for male players) you get to experience what it's like being a girl having to deal with "creepy guys" and actually getting an insight into what that actually means.

Before the Storm also has its fair share of ethical dilemmas, like when a jock is getting bashed up by a drug dealer for not paying up, you have to decide on whether to give the money you found in the jock's room to the drug dealer (in order to potentially save his life, but endangering his younger brother) or hide in the room, not interfere and just hope he doesn't get himself killed. What do you do?

Overall, the game was decent in terms of length – it took me over 9 hours to complete three episodes, which makes it about 3 hours per episode. Since it's only three episodes though, this also means the game is shorter than the original Life is Strange.

The game does have flaws though such as how conversations you've had in the past don't seem to register with people later (like they just ignore the fact that you regularly talk to drug dealers); also, some cutscenes show Chloe wearing the wrong outfit and there was also a time where one character called Frank kept on talking over himself (i.e. two audio files of him talking were being played at the same time). I also felt the ending of the game glossed over what happened to two of the supporting characters although their fates are somewhat implied in the epilogue.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 69%
I'm finding it hard to take on level 2 forts so it might be time to upgrade my ship which means more wandering around completing side quests or just generally looting things (and I'm really not a big fan of grind). Maybe I should just give up on taking them on and just continue with the main storyline… it seems the same problem I always have with open world games – I eventually get bored and then just want to finish the damn things!


  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 40%
Okay, I'm starting to get more Crashes to Desktop (CTDs) which is not cool. I've managed to wipe out the Astari tribe though (with a well-placed meteor shower) so the game is quite a bit easier now – the only challenge is grinding through collecting enough resources in order to unlock more land… the last beacon I had to construct actually required 100 minerals to build which you can only harvest from mines (which means building mining settlements). I'm slowly making my way towards a giant Ark which I believe is the primary objective of the single player campaign, but we shall see.

[ The Pile of Shame ]