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The QueueDec 29, 2023 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: It’s the most wonderful Queue of the year

I admit, the headline may be debatable. But it’s the last Queue of the year so I’m gonna give it a shot.


I really like the story (so far) of Bioshock 1. Here’s the problem. I’m so bad at shooters, even when it’s ‘easy’ mode. I’m still in the first third of the game and then bad things happen to me.

Anyone know of any plans to make Bioshock into a tourist game, or one where you have text commands instead of aiming? or ideas so I can play the game and experience the world without it being a shooter? (I don’t really know what I’m asking here, but work with me people!)

I have been in the same boat as you. The Bioshock series has some great stories and an immersive setting to explore. But it’s also a first-person-shooter and I am very bad at those. I did play it back closer to release day, but I went back more recently thinking I wanted to play through the story again which, just … no, I have passed the time in my life when I am interested in slogging through gameplay I’m just not good at.

I’ve taken to YouTube to just watch these games instead of trying to play them myself. (For some games this doesn’t work very well because there are story choices you may want to explore, but Bioshock is pretty linear with only one major choice leaning you towards a good/bad ending.) The key words to search for on YouTube are “no commentary,” and “longplay” and/or “full game.” (Though you may have to skip around a bit to find one that focuses on the story, finding the audio logs, etc.)

It may not be quite as satisfying as playing yourself and exploring every nook and cranny of Rapture, but it’s a lot less frustrating. I know some people in the comment recommended cheat codes, certainly a solid option if you actually want to play and explore on your own. But for me, I lean into watching longplays. (And Bioshock is such a good one!)


What was the best thing (game/movie/book/show/etc) that came out this year that you were really looking forward to, and it delivered?

What was the best surprise thing that came out this year, that wasn’t even on your radar beforehand?

There’s one game in particular that came out in 2023 that I’ve been waiting on for a decade: Diablo 4. And while the game isn’t perfect — the seasonal model is rather rough and there isn’t nearly enough transmog to collect — it really delivered. It has the actiony Diablo gameplay I enjoy, a lot of depth in the talent system, absolutely incredible environmental design, and a lot of attention given to character and story (something that’s usually very mediocre in Diablo games). I think the game knocked it out of the park, though we’ll have to see how it plays out over time, and whether they keep refining and improving the seasonal experience.

And the thing that surprised me: the Barbie movie. I was not paying attention to it and I did not expect it, but it was great.


Q4tQ: When do you think Blizz will announce the release date for 10.2.5?

I think we’ll hear about 10.2.5 the first week of January. If Blizzard intends to keep its schedule — and with a very aggressive 2024 roadmap there’s no sign they’re slowing down — the patch has to be out in mid to late January, and that means an announcement very soon. We’ll probably get a date as soon as people are back in the office from the holidays, maybe next Wednesday or Thursday.


Q4tQ What game are you looking forward to playing the most in 2024?

Hype is the mindkiller, sir. Every video game wants to get you hyped up with exciting trailers and sky-high promises that may never materialize, or may not accurately represent the game. Getting hyped up based on marketing previews is a recipe for disappointment, so I try not to.

But it can be hard. The hype machine is well-tuned.


When do you take down your Christmas decor? It has always bothered me deeply to see trees in the trash on Dec 26. I would think New Year’s Day is the minimum, though I’m old school and hold out to January 6th.

I like to leave stuff up through the end of December, at least. It’s a shame to decorate the house just to take it down — though admittedly I have done little decorating this year because we’re having work done on the house over the holidays (when everyone except me isn’t here). I really just put out my great grandmother’s ceramic Christmas tree and bought tiny foot-tall pine that is planted in actual dirt. That one will stick around (though I’ll probably take the lights off it soon), but the ceramic tree probably needs to go back into the basement whenever work hits the area I’m keeping it. I’d be pissed (in no small part at myself) if it got broken while workers are shuffling around.

Next year, though, I’m going all out on decorating and it is absolutely staying through the beginning of December so as to fully enjoy it.


*rolls out of his sick bed* if I must…

Q4tQ: what were your top games of 2023? You can also include past games if you just got around to playing them this year.

Q4tQ: what game mechanic do you hate that has bafflingly only gotten more popular over the years? I don’t know if it was Dark Souls that started the trend of health flasks, but it needs to stop. Just give me a health bar I can level up, not a tiny one and 20 flasks. End result is it forces me to keep chugging flasks during a hectic boss fight where I take as much damage trying to heal as the stupid flask refills!

This is a tough question, as I have played but not finished any of the big games of 2023. I’m partway through Baldur’s Gate 3 which has a really engaging story, just the kind of thing I love (though the turn-based combat makes me a little crazy). And I bought Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, but haven’t even found the time to touch it yet with how busy I’ve been between moving and home repairs in the last half of the year. (Also I never finished the base game because what even is time, so there’s also that.) I talked a little earlier about how great I thought Diablo 4 was, but I’m not sure I’d call it my favorite game of the year, either. Maybe Mask of the Rose, a visual novel set in the Fallen London universe. It had its flaws, but I enjoyed it (and have been meaning to play it again now that it’s gotten a couple of patches).

Hm. And no particular features have caught my ire this year, as you say with the health flasks thing.

So I don’t have a good answer for either of these questions, but I appreciate you taking the time to ask them and want to put them out there for everyone else.

And that’s all I’ve got for the last Queue of 2023. Take care everyone and have a happy and safe New Years. I’ll see you in 2024!

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