Finding MMO qualities in an offline console game

The UK’s winter continues its wet and grey trend so I’d expect my free time to be almost fully focused on online gaming. As it happens there’s not much beyond my current Neverwinter fix that excites me. I’m waiting on a new cycle of the living story in Guild Wars 2 to start on the off-chance it’s more to my tastes. Everquest 2 and LOTRO have both dropped off  the play-list as both require more time and too much “kill 10 rats” for me at the moment – at least the questing in Neverwinter is streamlined and efficiently designed (i.e. overlapping quest goals).

Of the new games due this year I’ve not much to say; I’m signed up for the ESO beta because I want to try it (for free) but no luck there as yet. Wildstar remains in beta with no launch date – there was a good article on Massively about this yesterday. Guild mates in WoW think Draenor will not hit before the late autumn/winter season. I’m not of the mind to pre-order Draenor as an instant level 90 is of no benefit unless I want to repeat the gearing treadmill I’ve been on since returning to the game.

So other than some very enjoyable session of SWTOR and a fair amount of Neverwinter what can I fill my time with? I’ve been tempted to try Oblivion again on the PS/3 but that’s only an option if I have time to myself and until I’ve capped my wizard in Neverwinter I’d rather be doing that.

Instead I’ve been playing a lot of Skylanders with my partner. We played it for a while back when it launched in 2012, but it had sat gathering dust for a year. Since we play on the PS/3 screenshots are pretty difficult to obtain, but the colourful graphics and ample, well-written humour really has me hooked at present. There’s surprising depth to the gameplay as well. The characters level and have mini ‘talent trees’. There are simplistic gear upgrades (hats) and the sequel (the Skylanders Giants game) even has a form of customisable housing (the skyship). All in all the games offer a lot of the advantages of playing MMOs plus the benefit of relaxing on the sofa at the same time. Perhaps I should reconsider MMO gaming on the PS/3 after all…

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