The staff over at ASTRO Gaming not only creates some of the best video game equipment around, but we also live by the philosophy of “Work Hard, Play Hard.” We’re going back to our roots of sorts of letting you know what games we’ve been getting into recently. Every couple of weeks, we’ll highlight some of our staff and the games they’ve been playing till the wee hours of the night.

Randall – ASTRO Warblade – Community Manager
I’ve delved into the Free2Play world of FireFall. After trying out the game at least year’s PAX Prime (and their ever so plush carpet), it had some interesting concepts to it, with a big focus on competitive gameplay. Last year they also brought onto their staff Morgan “Rhoulette” Romaine, formerly of the FragDolls. With her focusing on bringing FireFall to the eSports audience, I was able to see a lot of great changes made to the PvP (Player Vs. Player) aspect of their game.

Visually the game is stunning as you wander around islands full of mountains and plateaus in a slightly cell-shaded art style. The PvE (Player Vs. Environment) mode is still lacking, as the AI doesn’t seem to respond to players that much. Still, the game is in the early beta stages and has tons of content to come. Red5 Studios has a good thing going for them and I think I’ll enjoy both the PvE and PvP parts of the game.

XBL GT: Warblade

Phil – ASTRO McPhilthy – Customer Support
I spent most of my gaming time during this past week deeply lost in the world of Civilization V. Last weekend two of my friends and I randomly decided to play a game around noon on Saturday, We bunkered in and before we knew it, my roommate had come home…and it was dark. We had spent roughly 9 hours playing the game without noticing it. What’s worse is that it took about 10 minutes of constant reminder that we should probably stop for food for any of us to break away from the game.

There’s just something about a game with a ridiculously deep and intricate set of game mechanics that I find captivating, and completely worth devoting 9-12 hours for a single game. I’ve always stuck by the mantra of buying games for gameplay first and foremost over graphics, and while I’m not saying that the game is ugly by any definition, I am saying that what keeps me coming back to the Civ series is the gameplay.

I mean come on, where else can you wage nuclear war against Gandhi as Cathrine while you build the Eifel Tower in Moscow?

Chris – ASTRO ChChang – Graphic Designer
I love the Mass Effect 3 franchise, and recently have been living bi-curiously through Shepard. ME3 is one of the few games that makes you feel attached to the characters and the game tells its story so well that it keeps you glued to it. Theres so many options, fun action sequences, and romance-able characters, that Mass Effect is one of the few games that I have the patience of going through the single player multiple times. You can play as an infiltrator, have a lesbian romance, and commit genocide with one Shepard or you can play as a soldier, have a straight, but alien romance, and be the savior of all species with another Shepard.

Most modern games are pretty complicated, so I look forward to playing Fez, a pixel platformer. It is not only reminiscent of simpler old school games, but it merges modern puzzle games and 3D platforming games within a 2D environment. As a designer, I also appreciate Polytron’s pixel graphics as an art form and the soundtrack simply sounds awesome. I’ve always complained about the new generation of gamers not appreciating the Asteroids and Mario games of the early days, and I believe Fez will give gamers of this generation a reminder of what games were like back then.

XBL GT: misterninja85

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