9pm and I get to sit down at the comp for play not work because it’s Friday, bits PMs me – ‘games?’ I umm and ahh for about a minute then jump on TS.
But what shall we play? With an initial bunch of only five of us, it should be easy to find something we all have, right?
While I have a glorious arsenal of the games in my personal library, I sometimes lack the jeu du jour which tonight was Payday2, given it has just gotten a recent patch or DLC or something.
I’d have been content to sit out a round or two, but with our limited numbers we decided to plump for something none of us had any excuse not to have – TeamFortress.
Because we are 5punk, we cannot possibly contemplate playing a regular, standard game of TF – unthinkable! We go for some balloon-race variant, where each team has their own floating ship which kind of ambles towards the goal via some stopping-off points but which of course can be hindered by the other team slaughtering your own crew.
Nobody knew what was really going on – which is a great leveller. Some 5punkers are alert and keen at 9pm on a Friday, while others are perhaps tired and emotional (that means drunk). We gave it a couple of rounds to see what it was all about, then decided it was a bit rubbish as even the most lucid braniacs among us couldn’t really figure it out.
After a couple more players and a brief sojourn with a 5punk-only Payload map, we switched to a public one. That’s the one where one team has to push a cart/train while the other defends.
TF is a slightly different animal these days to those who’ve played it since birth – while the general classes remain the same, there are so many items which modify your stats in interconnected, complex ways it seems ridiculously obtuse at first.
It isn’t though – none of the adds are overpowered, and the game promiscuously displays rewards of new players in an almost constant stream. It’s as delightfully balanced as it ever was, and twice the fun for having you try to position yourself in the best place to exploit your unlocks, which inevitably put you in the firing line. Our newest players delighted at how the game gave them instant rewards and accolades and made them rethink their opinions of themselves as not being very good. In TF its virtually impossible to be a detriment to your team – as soon as you go out of the base and start doing stuff, you’re helping – and it’s great that the engine acknowledges this, tracks and rewards it.
Of course, we got bored of that too, and a game of Monaco ensued.
I played Black Mesa while that was going on, as it’s another title I don’t own.
Later, and rather late – we found something most of us had was StarcraftII – so we went for that.
There are many, many mods for StarcraftII, such that it’s almost like Little Big Planet in that it’s almost like a game-designing toolbox rather than an actual game. Many of these mods bear very little resemblance to the base game.
We played LightBikes, aka Tron, aka Snake, where you had to make each other crash into your dotted trails, the wall or each other. I became a bit too adept at skipping through the dotted trails though, so we switched games.
Dodgeball was a bit random, and we tried a zombie survival mod in which we failed to survive in rather short order. Another mod had one team hiding as cows while the other hunted them down, but it too seemed a bit hit and miss.
The Pictionary mod though, was rather splendid. Draw a picture and have others guess what it is supposed to be – yes, still StarcraftII, but not really anything to do with it.
We also tried a space battle mod which kind of had potential, but seemed a bit slow, such that the victors were those who get got bored less quickly.
Oh, the title. “We have a dream.”
Well, there are various versions which kind of hinge on multiple copies of assorted genitalia mentioned in the chat, but actually the general dream is that all 5punkers will have all the games installed. Or that all 5punkers will have all the games. Basically – say it – play it – it’s just there.