18 February - 24 February 2019: What video games are you playing this week?
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Tell us what you're playing, how much progress you've made, what you like, and what you dislike this week.

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1. Video Game: Prey (2017) [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:596]
Video Game: Prey (2017)
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Indiana
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I feel like I've been lied to. laugh

I can't think of another game where the whole apparatus of professional reviewers failed so completely. Not because I think they were too harsh or too quick with undeserved praise, but because they seemed to barely even register what type of game they were playing.

I knew this game probably should not have used the Prey title - being one of the few people who played the 2006 original, I knew it wasn't in any way worth revisiting. But I did not know that this game severs the connection completely... so why have any association at all?

I knew that this game was developed by Arkane Studios, the same folks behind Dishonored. I knew that it was vaguely associated with the same lineage as Deus Ex, System Shock 2, BioShock, and of course the more recent wave, including both modern Deus Ex titles (Human Revolution and Mankind Divided) as well as both Dishonored titles.

I did not know that, from the game's very first moments, it is obviously, and I mean OBVIOUSLY, a lovingly crafted homage to that legacy, a monument dedicated to those games. For christ's sake, one of the research projects that your character discovers right away is called Looking Glass.



I've been playing for about 5 hours, and this game is more Deus Ex than Deus Ex.

And it might be the best game on the PS4. I can't wait to find out.
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2. Video Game Theme: Sports - Baseball
Video Game Theme: Sports - Baseball
Michael Hopcroft
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Portland
Oregon
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Two of my leagues are coming to a head this week. I expect my Strat-o-Matic free-agent draft to begin Saturday -- I have the 11th pick but don't know that there will be anyone left worth first-round money. I've been wondering about Starlin Castro, but he might be available in the second round. The franchise-altering players will be gone to other teams by the time I get to sign anybody.

In APC Baseball, I am expecting the process for the King of Diamonds spring season to begin any time. We have to decide a theme, then each member has to choose a team from their chosen franchise that meets its requirements. I have not been good at picking teams of late, and somehow we'll be in our 29th season and running out of teams for most franchises that haven't already been used.
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3. Video Game: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:673]
Video Game: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
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After getting the chance to play some VR shooters yesterday, I was in the mood for more gunplay. When I last played this, I had completed the story on normal for the Doppelganger - and may have jumped around between the other low-level characters I had made. Last night I decided to focus on making some progress for the Gladiator, and today I made it to Condordia. I have over 200 golden keys, so I'm not being stingy with them even at level 7.
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4. Video Game: Resident Evil 2 (2019) [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:1298]
Video Game: Resident Evil 2 (2019)
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More Resident Evil 2, although I don't know for how much longer. This game is so relentlessly dull it's almost unbelievable. I've railed against the silly "define games by what they don't do as if it's a good thing" nonsense going on in the "indie" and "art" game worlds for a long time, but I never thought I'd see it in a straight-up big-budget AAA production. What the goddamn hell is this, and why did Capcom think it was a good idea?
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5. Video Game: HITMAN 2 [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:2055]
Video Game: HITMAN 2
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Finished the final mission of H2 with a 3 star effort. Pretty good on my first go. Fun mission in a beautiful old castle on a stormy night.

Think I'm level 64 now.

This has been a good time. I nailed the Elusive Target tonight too. Took way too bloody long, think an hour, but I got him. I almost had a SA, but I flubbed one moment, and then got too impatient to wait for that moment again.

Also tried the Sniper level. Got a decent run on that, just blasting away.
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6. Video Game: HITMAN 2 [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:2055]
Video Game: HITMAN 2
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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Went back and got the SASO and Sniper Assassin challenges for Paris and Sapienza. For Sapienza, I blew the wall into the lab, shot the stalactite over the virus, waited for Francesca to come down to see the virus and shot the stalactite over her walk path, then I killed Caruso in the observatory with the VHS tape distraction. Then I did the mission stories and a lot of the odd little assassination challenges for Sapienza, which got me lv 20 mastery pretty quick.

I played the sniper challenge Austria level a couple times and beat it, but I don't think I'll be going back to it. It's kinda fun I guess, but not as good as any of the regular levels. And the unlocks it grants are only usable in the sniper challenge level.
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7. Video Game: Metroid Fusion [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:377]
Video Game: Metroid Fusion
Chris
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Chicago
Illinois
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Finished up Ocarina of Time and started up Metroid Fusion. Really excited to go through this again! Playing it on the SP, the old square one. It kinda sucks, but I don't know where my DS is at the moment or if it still works, so for now this is my plan.
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8. Video Game: Final Fantasy II [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:4019] [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy II
Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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Final Fantasy II -- Played via Final Fantasy Origins on my PSP.

Took another run at the Mysidian Tower. I was loaded down with Ethers and Hi-Potions, and had grinded a couple of weapon levels for Firion, Maria, and Gus. We make pretty good work of the first few levels, beat the first Boss (Fire Gigas), and the second Boss (Ice Gigas). I'm feeling pretty good about myself, although we still have trouble with the Imps whose Muddle spell nearly wipes out the party a few times. A couple of times I survive with one member left, and are forced to use a lot of MP or a combination of Phoenix Down and MP to get everyone back into fighting shape. Finally make it to the Thunder Gigas and get everyone at full health and the best MP I can manage. (Using Osmose to help Maria reclaim MP helps conserve Ethers.) I equip the Spellbinder (previously known as Evil Staff or Wizard's Staff) and head in for the fight.

BOOM. Thunder Gigas is not only super strong and tough, but the Spellbinder is worthless. It targets a random target each time. There's four of us, one of them. So 80% of the time it targets us, and it's powerful enough (Poison 16) to kill Maria or Ricard, or seriously wound Firion or Gus. So the hell with that thing. So I move to more traditional attacks. It takes a few tries but I finally manage to kill this thing and move on. UGH.

On the next stage, I elected to go fight the White Dragon to get the Black Robes. Using Fire Bow and my other basic attacks, this guy went down easily enough. Pfft. We move on, find Minwu, then get the golden globes and the Ultima Scroll. Woo! Then fought my way back to Mysidia, healed and saved, then started grinding spell levels for Maria and Gus.

Next I intend to grind magic levels for a while in order to get Flare, Holy, and Ultima powered up. Of course for Ultima this will take a while as I will need to level up all of Gus's spells and weapons. Hes' pretty far along in Axe, and has some levels in Staff since I was having him dual wield with a mace for a while. I'll have to grind some with sword, lance, and dagger as well. So it might be a while before I move onto the next story beat.

This game is both fun and frustrating, but I am still enjoying the story and the gameplay.
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9. Video Game: Gear Stadium [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Gear Stadium
Luke Jaconetti
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Simpsonville
South Carolina
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Batter Up -- Played via emulation on my GBA. Next game for the Giants was against the Lotte Orions. Things did not start out well, with the Giants going three up, three down in the 1st, but the Orions scoring a run off of a FC in the bottom of the first. Giants took the lead in the 4th off of an RBI double and then a fielding error. The Orions then tied it up in the 6th with a booming solo HR to right field. I was starting to get concerned as we moved into the later innings. The Giants were able to put some men on base and manufacture a run with base hit, then hold on for the win. Up next will be the Namco All-Stars, so no idea how that is going to go!

I also played some more Woody Pop, just having fun breaking bricks as I work towards my 5 hours of Game Gear play for the multi-platform challenge. I really need a copy of this game for my collection, even though my GG is essentially inoperable at the moment.
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10. Video Game: Pool Panic [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Last week I was on vacation and so played some portable games.

I played Pool Panic on Switch (not in the database, I just submitted it). It's ostensibly a pool/billiards game published by Adult Swim Games. There are over 100 levels that are all completely bizarre, with anthropomorphised balls. Most stages ask you to hurl your protagonist cue ball into the other balls to knock them into some hole in the stage, finishing with the 8-ball, though every level has some sort of charm or twist. One stage is set in the old west in a gunfight, another at an ice cream stand where the balls are all getting ice cream, another is a motorcycle caravan that feels more like Road Rash than pool.

The game is a joy to watch and discover, but can be a bit tedious to play. The "final boss" in particular was a pain and a departure from the game's "don't worry, take your time" attitude, since it's easy to make an error that forces you to start the 10-minute stage from the beginning.


After I finished that, I played through McPixel, a similarly absurd game that puts your character into ~100 different bomb defusing situations. Each scenario has about 3-5 items to interact with, and every interaction resolves the scene with varying results. The stages cycle through a set of six until you get the 'right' solution for each. The solutions are never meant to be a puzzle, but rather are usually found by brute force. The game feels very much like wario ware in that each scene is over in a few seconds and never drag. If you're into ridiculous slapstick humor, I recommend it. It only takes about an hour to play and maybe another hour to 100% since each scene is so short.


Last night I started up Sonic Mania Plus on Steam. It feels so much like Sonic 3 that it hurts. In fact, the first act of each zone is about 70% recycled from some previous game (eg. Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant, etc) with a few twists, while the second act of each zone is an homage/remix of the zone, complete with remixed music. I recognize some of the Sonic 3 special stages which are reproduced to a T. The new special stages (UFO chase) are kind of irritating; I'm slowly learning how to do them but on the third stage now I don't know how I'm supposed to catch the damn thing.

I'm doing a playthrough with Sonic & Tails, and will probably do another playthrough as Knuckles (who seems to have some slight differences in stages compared to Sonic) and then likely run through the new "Encore" mode to get a chance to use the new characters.
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11. Video Game: Master of Orion [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked]
Video Game: Master of Orion
Andrew Hodkinson
Canada
Owen Sound
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Plans keep getting changed. Set out to play SimCity 2000 and Baldur's Gate 2, but ended up playing through Kingdom Rush Frontiers.

Am currently in the middle of a starter game of Master of Orion, Klackon mid-size and simple. Also playing HλLF-LIFE² as much as vertigo will allow. Never played either of these before.
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12. Video Game: Far Cry 5 [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1768]
Video Game: Far Cry 5
Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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New Game +

The new game plus aspect of this is a little underwhelming. The only new perks (skills) available are ammunition carry capacity increases. Carry more ammo is good and all, but doesn't really add anything.

Have my crazy guns from the Mars DLC for this playthrough but I don't use them much. They kind of remove any challenge from the game, though having a pistol sized rocket launcher with unlimited ammunition (just a cool down instead) is amusing. As is a pistol that disintegrates things. And a pistol with homing shots. Fun, but not challenging.

Anyways, having fun doing my... third playthrough? Sheesh. Solo, co-op with daughter, and now co-op new game + with daughter. Yup, third playthrough.

Such a stupid game. Totally a tonal mess. Brainstem humor open world game play and missions, super serious main story. Doesn't work well together at all. But the game play is so good. Such a fun homicidal pandemonium simulator. So many shenanigans.

Cleared out an enemy out post by sniping the two alarms so reinforcements couldn't be called then set the whole place on fire with incendiary ammo and explosives. Watched as the bad guys, who never even knew where I was, ran around screaming. Good times.
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13. Video Game: Path of Exile: Ascendancy [Average Rating:10.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:10.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Path of Exile: Ascendancy
Rudy
United States
No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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I reached my goal of level 80 as a solo character without trading for any equipment. As a testament to how strong Arc is, I only have it in a 4-link and I reached level 80 with no problems. My last goal, which I might not try for, is to grind for a 5-6 link on my chest and maybe see how crazy Arc can get. It's been a slow but fun league for me.

Edit: Crafted a 5-link, but I forgot to level up a spell echo gem. I suppose I could grind more to level it up, but I think I am mostly done and satisfied with my progress this league.
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14. Video Game: Final Fantasy Tactics [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:52]
Video Game: Final Fantasy Tactics
♬ Stephanie ♩♪♩♪♩ ♩♪♩♪♫♪
United States
In the middle of nowhere
New York
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I finished up Ch. 4 of a speedrun this morning.
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15. Video Game: Super Daryl Deluxe [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Super Daryl Deluxe
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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This is longer than I thought. I crossed the 20 hour mark today and I'm probably about halfway through only. But I'm still enjoying myself and it's still fun to discover new hidden rooms, secrets and complete more tasks.

I like the distinct style and weird theme of this action RPG adventure metroidvania or whatever it's supposed to be.
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16. Video Game: Crackdown 3 [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Crackdown 3
Ryan S
United States
Dallas
Texas
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What!? I finally get my very own video game, but it's a mobile game?!
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So I've been interested in this game for a while, but lately the news about the game has seemed really lackluster, like they really missed the boat with this one.

I didn't want to spend $60 on it, so I decided to try the $2 trial of Gamepass for 2 months.

Wow.

Crackdown 3 is pretty ridiculous. This is a AAA title in 2019 that looks and plays like a 360 game from 2010. The graphics are very basic. The menu is very old school with terrible loading times, and the controls are very dated as well.

I've played the game about 3 hours now, but I think I'm going to give up on it. It's still fun to run around and beat up baddies with super powers, but I'm surprised Microsoft even allowed this game to represent their platform.
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17. Video Game: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:961]
Video Game: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Ryan S
United States
Dallas
Texas
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This game is on Xbox Gamepass, so I decided to check it out. I've been wanting to try it for a while, but wasn't sure about buying it. It turns out it's quite interesting, but it's hard to play for long periods because of the voices and whispering.
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18. Video Game: Forza Horizon 4 [Average Rating:8.33 Overall Rank:3129]
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Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Eleventy billion hours invested.
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19. Video Game: Melty Blood: Actress Again [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Melty Blood: Actress Again
It's V-Y not V-R
United States
Alabama
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オーケー・ブーマ
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Microbadge: Who cut the cheese?Microbadge: Golden GeeklisterMicrobadge: Final Fantasy VII fanMicrobadge: Feeling lousyMicrobadge: Alien fan
Been playing around with Melty Blood mindlessly since I picked it up, but tonight I looked up a few of the systems on wiki pages and Steam guides. I still doubt I'll invest as much effort as with a Guilty Gear or BlazBlue game, but the wacky characters are fun to goof around with.
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20. Video Game: Full Metal Furies [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Full Metal Furies
It's V-Y not V-R
United States
Alabama
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Microbadge: Who cut the cheese?Microbadge: Golden GeeklisterMicrobadge: Final Fantasy VII fanMicrobadge: Feeling lousyMicrobadge: Alien fan
Ran through a few missions in my single-player game, and remembered why I hadn't played it since Jay had joined me - it's just a lot better with friends than when jumping back and forth between characters in single player.
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21. Video Game: Resident Evil 2 (2019) [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:1298]
Video Game: Resident Evil 2 (2019)
Ryan S
United States
Dallas
Texas
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What!? I finally get my very own video game, but it's a mobile game?!
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I played through the Ghost Survivor story for the mayor's daughter earlier today.

It was way different than I expected it to be. I thought it would be a stealth based mode where you had no means of fighting, but it was weird kind of quick mission where you had to get from point A to point B while finding keys to unlock the sequential doors in the way. It's brutally difficult, and after dying several times, I went to Training difficulty and finished it.
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22. Video Game: Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:2588]
Video Game: Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
Ryan S
United States
Dallas
Texas
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What!? I finally get my very own video game, but it's a mobile game?!
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Microbadge: Hahahahahahaha!Microbadge: Call me QueenMicrobadge: Love and Peace!Microbadge: I'm the main character?Microbadge: Dood!
Ok so this game has been on my radar for a little while, but I wasn't really sure what it was.

Since it's on Xbox gamepass, I decided to give it a shot. I'm actually quite surprised by how much I'm liking the game. It has great dialog between the characters, and I like the exploration and combat.
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23. Video Game: Final Fantasy XV [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1193] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy XV
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
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Move to the Frenzy
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Microbadge: Terry Pratchett fanMicrobadge: xkcd fanMicrobadge: Let's do something CRAZY!Microbadge: I prefer to do something that's in my comfort zone.Microbadge: I Love Summer
30 hours in, level 35.

I'm torn between doing sidequests, pushing the main quest, or just exploring. I suppose the sidequests will take me to most of the places on the map. Maybe I should just do the sidequests as open up. Maybe not the hunts, unless the rewards look tasty. I don't like the feeling of sailing past stuff I could be checking out. But exploring is sometimes annoying, the way the terrain is set up with long walls.

One reason the side quests are so bad, is that they're totally unconnected with the larger story. They're about fishing, catching frogs, obtaining goods for merchants, upgrading the car, hunting monsters, taking photos, obtaining goods for cooks ... nothing to do with the invasion.

And they're also just badly written.
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24. Video Game: Fallen London [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:6116]
Video Game: Fallen London
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Microbadge: The cake is a lie... But VGG's 5th birthday is not!Microbadge: I was here for VGG's 5th birthday party!Microbadge: I was here for VGG's 10th birthday party!Microbadge: VGG Community - Why not join today?Microbadge: Video Game Geek of the Week
I had a long weekend away, so didn't have access to my PC... I was still able to play this on my tablet from time to time.
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25. Video Game: Fallout 4 - Nuka World [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:2904] [Average Rating:8.17 Unranked]
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Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Microbadge: The cake is a lie... But VGG's 5th birthday is not!Microbadge: I was here for VGG's 5th birthday party!Microbadge: I was here for VGG's 10th birthday party!Microbadge: VGG Community - Why not join today?Microbadge: Video Game Geek of the Week
Before I went away.. and now that I'm back, I'm playing this DLC for Fallout 4..

I'm still in the very early stages of the DLC at the moment, in what seems like quite a long introductory area!
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