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What I’m Playing: Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1. I love the Battlefield games. The strength of Battlefield is that you can do very well even if you’re not a 13-year-old with fast reflexes who plays eight hours a day. With intelligence, and even more so with communication, you can win and have fun. Battlefield 1 is the best so far at trying to help players focus on PTFO—playing the f’ing objective. Not only do you get points for things like giving ammo or health to your squad or capturing objectives, they also intentionally bury the Be All, End All stat of most first person shooters: the K/D ratio. “Oh, you’ve only got a 1.14? How long have you been playing?” “You have less than 1.00? You can never be on my team.” Getting in a tank with three buddies and calling out—and killing—enemies is amazing fun.

But if you ever play and your squad has three snipers… those guys are clueless. Switch immediately.

p.s. SUPER weird thing about this Battlefield iteration—the single player mode is actually pretty great!

What I’m Playing: Skyrim SE

Skyrim SE—I played Skyrim on Xbox when it first came out, finished the campaign, did the Dark Brotherhood quests, became Archmage—the whole nine yards. Why buy a game I’d already bought? Mods.

Here is where our sneering PC Master Race brethren are somewhat justified in their sneering contempt for those of us with inferior consoles (which cost less than their graphics card). With mods, Skyrim can be pretty. And it still is what it always was: fun. This is what the Assassin’s Creed games have missed. Beautiful art and an intriguing premise can only carry you to a couple dozen million sales. If you want players to pick up your game (for full retail price) a second time, five years later, and put many hours into it again, the game has to be fun.

Somehow, though, I ended up as a mage/stealth-archer AGAIN.