What we’ve been playing | Eurogamer.net

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What we've been playing | Eurogamer.net

July 29, 2022

Good morning! Welcome to our regular column where we write a bit about some of the games we’ve found ourselves playing over the past few days. This time: dogs, time and gameplay emerge in the garden.

If you fancy catching up on some of the older editions of What We Been Playing,
here are our archives.

Resident Evil: Director’s Cut, PS5


The adorable dogs from Resident Evil.

I know pretty much every jump scare in the Resident Evil remake, so imagine my surprise when the notorious zombie dogs bursting through the east wing windows produced a startling scream unbecoming of me in Resident Evil: Director’s Cut.

There’s a certain trigger that activates this cheap (but effective) fear in the remake, which means you can avoid these annoying enemies for as long as possible if you avoid crossing the east corridor after your first visit. In the original, however, the dogs seem to break the windows on your first trip.

This change in the remake, along with many others, helped build tension for players who had experienced the original and knew its set-piece triggers like the back of their tasty hands (the dogs weren’t (Aren’t they supposed to be here? Why haven’t they broken the windows yet? Oh my God, where are they!?).

Yeah, it’s got dated tank controls, ridiculous voice acting, and polygonal character designs that I probably just love out of nostalgia – but playing Resident Evil: Director’s Cut is now the most tense experience for me. It’s so familiar, and yet I’m wary now of what I’ve grown accustomed to due to the remake’s piece and puzzle subversions.

The exact reason the remake added tension is why the original now terrified me to enter each of the once-familiar rooms of the Spencer Mansion.

Jessica Orr

Chrono Trigger, trailer for Chrono Trigger on PC.

Chrono Trigger is timeless – pun intended. From the iconic music to the evocative pixel art and puzzle-like combat system that doesn’t rely on grinding, it still feels like a new experience today nearly three decades after its release.

Partly, that’s also because of all the modern features the game has introduced. No Random Battles! Multiple endings! New game too! Chrono Trigger was an advanced and experimental release at the time, bridging the gap between the mature storytelling of Final Fantasy 6 and the lyrical vision of Final Fantasy 7.

What really stood out to me, however, were her layers. It starts off as a fairly straightforward, linear, time-traveling adventure with likable characters and a heavy dose of anime exuberance. But gradually the game itself turns into a giant puzzle. The Freedom of Time Travel brings clever overarching gameplay puzzles, but also a way to explore its themes of generational conflict. The way it meshes with various game endings means this (relatively) brief JRPG becomes a giant puzzle box to slowly and satisfyingly twist and turn and open.

I originally started gaming on mobile years ago, but found the touchscreen menus a pain. I’m so glad I finally got back to it on Steam. Along with recent remastered versions of Chrono Cross and Live A Live, Chrono Trigger seemed like essential background research for JRPG; now it is on my list of favorite games.

Ed Rossignol

PowerWash Simulator, Xbox PowerWash Simulator Trailer.

Tom: I can’t remember the last time I lost sleep over a game, but I’m all for PowerWash Simulator. It’s not a difficult game, and you pretty much do the same things over and over again on each level. That said, every time I start a new mission I have to complete it even if it means playing until a silly hour and then falling asleep and seeing its patterns in my mind. It’s compulsive, and I’m now completely caught up in its percentage trackers, its five-star completion ratings, and also yes, its in-game story about the mayor’s missing cat and an impending volcanic eruption. Why are you playing, Wes?

Wes: Honestly, I’m not sure. I have to have fun, because I play it. A lot. But why? PowerWash Simulator gives me time, time to listen to things, like my beloved Warhammer 40,000 audiobooks (don’t say anything, Tom), podcasts like the wonderful Eurogamer Newscast, radio and music. Sure, there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from cleaning up dirt from a virtual playground stegosaurus, but that’s more about zen. For you, PowerWash Simulator keeps you up at night. For me, it helps me fall asleep. What I’m curious to know, Tom, is how do you play PowerWash Simulator?

Tom: I’m methodical. Very methodical, as you noticed when we tried to launch a multiplayer session last weekend (hope the new patch fixed those crashes)! At first, I pick something to focus on and try not to get too distracted, although I inevitably do. On playgrounds and skateparks, that might mean finishing the floor first, or just picking a corner and practicing from there. In the later levels it got harder – last night’s helicopter was a real pain – but it helps when you backtrack at the end to finish anything not quite 100 clean %. I think it’s faster that way…although if you’re playing to fall asleep, that might not really be a problem!

Wes: The other night, while I was absentmindedly and unmethodically cleaning dirt off a playground floor, I noticed a recognizable shape. Like spotting gods clashing in the clouds, I spotted what looked like the stereotypical noir detective staring at his phone, surely trying to decode an all-encompassing murder mystery. This detective appeared in the middle of the powerwash chaos – it’s emergent gameplay! You don’t get that right angle powerwash, Tom.

Tom Phillips and Wesley Yin Poole

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