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Which games are keeping you company this weekend?

Videogames are great at helping us escape reality but sometimes they choose to throw us inside some even more distressing realities that might be oppressive, sinister, or just incredibly bleak. And we love them for it! What was the best time you ever had with a less-than-cheerful game? Did it make you think? Did its themes hit too close to home? Was its suffocating setting a breath of fresh air in a sea of light-hearted or superficial games? Speak up!

Surely you've got some gaming planned for this weekend, too. Go on, share your Weekend Playlist with us. It can include single-player games, multiplayer games, console exclusives, anything - we are not judging. In fact, we are sharing too!

Looking for some additional inspiration? The releases of the week might help:

- <span class="bold">Headlander</span> puts you in control of a floating head, looking to overthrow our mechanical overlords by gaining access to the space station's most secure areas. There's a strong 70s campy sci-fi vibe going on here, similar to <span class="bold">Deadly Tower of Monsters</span>.

- <span class="bold">INSIDE</span> is a strong candidate for Most Bleak & Thought-Provoking Masterpiece of the year. It definitely got people talking, including the folk from CraveOnline who attempted to offer their own -SPOILERY- explanation on <span class="bold">what it all means</span>.

- <span class="bold">LIMBO</span>, the somber, beautiful, but occasionally horrifying puzzle/platformer that put Playdead on everyone's radar, is infamous for its ambiguous ending. A while back, Kotaku gathered some of the most plausible (yet mostly morbid) theories about what actually happened in <span class="bold">this article</span>, that's obviously full of SPOILERS.

- <span class="bold">Cossacks 3</span> is a grand strategy that challenges you with managing both your vast armies and the economy behind building and sustaining them. If the guy from the main art seems vaguely familiar, perhaps it's because he looks a bit like your good pal <span class="bold">Olgierd von Everec</span>.

- <span class="bold">Offworld Trading Company</span> is a great way to test your economy skills in a foreign environment that constantly tries to throw you off-balance. PC Gamer had some <span class="bold">nice words of praise</span> to spare for it.

- <span class="bold">Batman</span> hardly needs introductions. Protector of Gotham by night, unwilling member of the city's aristocracy by day, he is constantly faced with tough choices, as Telltale's adventure game aptly demonstrates.

So, GOGlanders, what are you playing this weekend?
This weekend I've dipped my toe back into the Stalker CoP mod Call of Chernobyl, with permadeath... definitely gets my pick for favourite bleak game. Using the autumn textures pack, then walking outside with dark and rainy weather. Completely beautiful but very bleak.

Also some mates are getting around Grim Dawn multiplayer so I'd like to take a look at that.
I just begun Ultima 6 and Sword of the Samurai, which was just bought on the Black Friday sale.
In Ultima 6, my avatar explored the castle of the Britannia and went to Britain city around the castle.
Unlike predecessors, the game map is not scale up/down when entering cities/dungeons, which is rather confusing me.

In Sword of the Samurai, my samurai served Oda clan. He was fighting bandits, ronins and ninjas a lot and eventually promoted to Hatamoto(lieutenant) by the lord Oda.
Melee and sword fighting mini games are difficult and sometimes frustrating.
Post edited November 26, 2016 by yoshino
Pokemon Sun. Got through the first trial just now.
LIMBO and BLACKHOLE. Funny that both games use capital letters ;)
Well my mood is a little low and the weather don’t help much *sigh*

First I will launch the preload of “Watch Dog 2”, after that a FPS “The Division” or survival “Planet Explorer” or a strategy one “PlanetBase”, not sure -_-

For the oppressive, sinister, or bleak game, hum… I would vote for “Stalker SOC
Post edited November 26, 2016 by Sarasa
>>>Fallout 2<<<
Still playing Disciples 1 Gold
Saga's completed and now the Divine Empire quest chapters

Bleak game?
LIMBO is indeed a good one for that (it's dark & foreboding atmosphere, Lord of the Flies kids, glowing brain parasites, ...)
Braid's fiddling with time and if I recall correctly, it's ending was a bit weird too
willie995: >>>Fallout 2<<<
If you think about it, it doesn't get more bleak than Fallout... ;)
Post edited November 26, 2016 by Vythonaut
Blood and Red Alert 2, maybe some Shadow Warrior 2
dtgreene: Depression Quest, which I have not actually played, is likely rather bleak, though in a completely different way. The game even warns you that playing it might not be a good idea if you actually are depressed. (When I mentioned this game in another thread, one other user mentioned one game that said user thinks does that game's job better. Unfortunately, I don't remember what game it was.)
The Cat Lady. The esp. the "coming home" scene. That hits home, and hurts, if you have experience with depression.

Depression Quest is really not worth it. I'm pretty sure the author has no actual experience with depression. It's... "off". Also the writing is really not good.

As for the playlist:
I'm going to check out a number of games I own, but haven't played yet: Saboteur, Mirror's Edge, Risk of Rain, Kholat, Escapists, Crysis...

Bleak games:
Aforementioned STALKER and Max Payne are good choices.
Or Master of Orion 3, but entirely different reasons ;-)
Post edited November 26, 2016 by toxicTom
I've just wrapped up my second match in Civilization VI, and may possibly start a third, though I have this itch to go back to Civ 3 and 4 (and the Call to Power games which are on GOG and are my favorites in the series to this day).

As for best bleak game - the first that comes to mind is Shadow President from the early 90's (and the 1995 sequel Cyber Judas). It's a pretty deep political simulation with statistics and data from the CIA Factbook. That heavy grounding in reality combined with the player's surveillance abilities and all the backroom deals going on in that game just makes it feel incredibly oppressive and dark.
It's all just presented with an Uplink style computer interface with a world map and occasional vignettes of cities being nuked.

A more obvious answer would be the Souls games, which I thoroughly enjoy too.
gwent and shadow warrior 2 for me!

best bleak games...
i actually love this gener...
fallout series, witcher series. deus ex series... grim dawn also come to mind. also the walking dead season one and two sould be noted as well...
Best bleak game? Silent Hill 2, of course.

I'm surprised it's only been mentioned once before in this thread - and I feel it's frankly insulting that Depression Quest got more discussion, considering that this game was clearly written, directed (and scored) by people who may have actually suffered from clinical depression at some point in their lives. Even with it's ropey voice acting, the game still manages to hit me in the feels harder than The Walking Dead or The Last of Us ever did.

The first Deus Ex may also come in as a close second, due to how startlingly prophetic it's dark vision of the future has turned out. Both it and SH2 deal with subject matter that hits rather close to home, and that's ultimately how "bleak" stories manage to affect me.

(As for what I'm playing this weekend... Serious Sam TFE, maybe? More Quake? These days, I think I spend most of my free time watching other people play through games on the internet.)
Post edited November 26, 2016 by pbaggers
Yeah, LIMBO is amazing at being bleak and moody (and a great game overall) but I will have to go with The Cat Lady - its twisted depiction of the tormented human mind was really a thing of dark beauty.

Playlist: I'm catching up on some GWENT this weekend and I'm planning on mixing it up with Dishonored 2 (now that it's actually playable) or INSIDE tomorrow.

Gotta find some time to try Tyranny soon, as well.
maladr0Id: Yeah, LIMBO is amazing at being bleak and moody (and a great game overall) but I will have to go with The Cat Lady - its twisted depiction of the tormented human mind was really a thing of dark beauty.

Playlist: I'm catching up on some GWENT this weekend and I'm planning on mixing it up with Dishonored 2 (now that it's actually playable) or INSIDE tomorrow.

Gotta find some time to try Tyranny soon, as well.
I would love to play Gwent IF I would be accepted for the Beta Test / get a Mail that I can join the Beta Test