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Grandma gaming into the new year

Screenshot from Far Cry 4. This is obviously team play, with one player on the gun in the foreground and one riding the elephant.

I know you’ve been waiting breathlessly for my next gaming update, so here it is.

Destiny, a sort of futuristic first-person shooter/massively multiplayer online (FPS/MMO) hybrid, was released on September 9 and I jumped in with everyone else. Gorgeous game. Rolled a titan and worked hard to level up, playing solo. That limited me to the PvE (player vs environment) half of the game, with the other half being player-vs-player (PvP) and group strikes/missions. I’m a poor player, with a slow, deliberate playing style that just doesn’t fit in well with a group of run-and-gun players. By the time I got the titan to level 27, the game was getting pretty repetitious and boring, so I decided to roll a warlock. Got her up to about level 10 and was ready to quit, so when Far Cry 4 released on November 18, I was more than ready for a new game.

My level 23 Destiny warlock

Far Cry was a nice change after Destiny. It’s a huge open world, in beautiful mountainous terrain in the fictitious country of Kyrat; think Nepal/Pakistan/India. There are more things to do than I care to describe, but as in FC3, you capture radio (or in this case, bell) towers to open up areas of the map. You gather collectibles. You hunt animals to get skins for making gear. You gather plants for making a variety of serums/potions. You learn to ride and attack with elephants. You operate ATVs, cars, trucks, gyrocopters, hovercraft, boats, and probably more that I’m forgetting. You get a grapple for climbing cliffs. But without having gotten very far into the actual story missions, I’m tiring of the game. I’ve done a great deal of almost everything except the actual missions, which I find difficult and frustrating (especially since I was able to finish Far Cry 3).

When the grandkids got out of school for the holidays, my grandson (age 12) was given special screen privileges for the duration and was allowed to play Destiny for the first time. So I jumped back into that game and we played together via Xbox Live, doing PvP almost exclusively (his choice). He got to play an hour a day, maybe two. Then came the infamous Lizard Squad hacking on Christmas Day and it was another two days at least before we got to play again. Hope he enjoyed it as much as I did, although it was all I could do to keep up with him (and I was about 4 levels higher).

Meantime, for Christmas my son gave me Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (they’ve added a playable female character since the game’s release) and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Both are fantasy role-playing games (dragons, elves, magicians, swords, etc.) Repetition and grinding are killing my interest in Destiny, and difficult missions have stymied me in Far Cry (has me wondering if the game is getting harder or I’m just getting older … ), so I anticipate loading up one of the new games any day now. I’ll probably try Shadow of Mordor first, because I expect DA:I to run longer.

I do keep my hand in Ingress a bit too, though I decided months ago that driving around for hours to capture imaginary portals, only to see them recaptured a few hours later, was much too expensive for such a brief reward. (Recently, though, gas has dropped below $2 gallon here.) I have a “couch portal” behind my house so can collect XM (“exotic matter”) and then recharge a few portals each day without ever leaving the house. And yesterday, after realizing the submission and acceptance of 7 more portals would get me to level 10, I went out and photographed and submitted 11 new portals for consideration. Will be at least a few weeks before I get the verdict on those.

Anyway, for you gamers, that’s my story to date.

Lithariel, the playable female lead in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Nice look for a grandma, isn’t it?


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