Weekly Round-Up Wednesday - 1st June 2022

Screenshot of Sean and Daniel in motel room in Life is Strange 2
The bros watch their favourite TV show

The following post is part of a series of posts that are published every Wednesday to update readers on what I've been playing during the week (this also includes games on my "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.

Among Us

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 100%

Until recently, I've only been playing Among Us on the default map called "The Skeld" which is a level set on a large spaceship. I've finally tried out the other three maps in the game including: "The Airship" (which is, not surprisingly, set on an airship), "Polus" (set on a planetary base) and "MIRA HQ" (set in an office high up in the Earth's atmosphere). After playing these maps though I think I'm in a good position to review the game since there isn't really much to it. I like how each map has a different theme and the varied settings are welcome. It's also interesting how sometimes players create their own variants to the game such as one I played called "Shift and Seek": no reporting or sabotaging is allowed in "Shift and Seek" despite the impostors having the ability to shapeshift. The only way the crew can win is to complete all their tasks in time.

The game is still occasionally buggy though: I had a black screen once and the game froze, so despite being out for a few years now, they haven't ironed out all the bugs yet.

The Oil Blue

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 93%

I've finally reached Level 3, which doesn't really mean much to be honest, but hey I'm slowly making my way to Level 1. Once you get to the higher levels there is so much grind and I can see similarities between the end game in The Oil Blue and the Cook, Serve, Delicious! games. The game definitely feels quite easy once you've got the hang of it but since there are only four machines you need to master, this makes Cook, Serve, Delicious! the superior title, considering each food has a different way of preparing them, which keeps things "fresh" (no pun intended).

Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 33%

I've been building so many wonders as China but I think I'll start slowing down now (China's ability to rush wonders only really applies to Ancient and Classical wonders). I've finally commenced construction of a Great Wall between two mountains which should make it extra hard for Brazil to attempt a land invasion. In terms of religion and culture, our team seems to be doing okay, but not so much on the scientific front so I've built a campus in one of my cities and I intend to build more in the future to ensure we catch up.

Life is Strange 2

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 60%

I've been steamrolling through this game and I'm already halfway through Episode 4 (and there are a total of 5 episodes). The episodes aren't short either by no means as the first episode was a whopping 200 mins and I've already been playing the game for 14 hours.

There are so many themes to explore in this game with every episode having a different season and setting to experience (somehow after playing this game I really want to go on a road trip of the Western United States - just minus the gun-toting rednecks). So far in the game, I've visited the states of Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada.

You play the role of a half-Mexican teenager called Sean who has fled his hometown of Seattle with his 9 year-old brother Daniel. You're trying to find a way to evade the police as they believe you're responsible for killing one of their own but with your father dead (after being shot by the deceased officer) your only plan is to keep heading south and eventually make it to your father's home town of Puerto Lobos in Mexico. The game touches on a lot of themes such as the racism and xenophobia prevalent during the Trump era (this game was released just before Trump was elected president of the United States). But it also covers more subtle racism, such as well-meaning White folk naively thinking the authorities would treat minorities fairly.

The game also promotes the notion that "love is love" and it's probably the most "adult" Life is Strange game I've played, featuring sex, nudity and drug use. I'm surprised the game wasn't refused classification in Nanny State Australia but I'm not surprised it received the highest rating of R18+.

Gaslighting, emotional trauma and coming-of-age are other themes that feature prominently in this game so it really does cover a lot of ground. The game reminds me of Telltale's The Walking Dead quite a bit since just like in that game, you play the father figure to a young kid that has to survive not only in the wilderness but against those that wish to inflict harm on you (instead of zombies, it's mainly rednecks, the police and drug dealers in Life is Strange 2). A good chunk of this game involves parenting dilemmas, choosing when to fight your battles, as reprimanding Daniel too much will only push him further away but not reprimanding him enough might get you in trouble with those who are in power.

The only downsides I have with respect to this game is that unlike Max in Life is Strange, your main character doesn't have any special powers, meaning you're actually quite vulnerable to a lot of things. Also since you play a homeless, penniless, half-Mexican fugitive in this game, you're at the receiving end of a lot of racism which just makes you even more cynical about the way the world actually is. Sure, there are good souls in each episode, but they're the exception rather than the rule.

Oh, I also like it how decisions you made in the free game The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit actually transfer into Episode 2. It's a neat little touch.

LINK: [ The Pile of Shame ]