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Video Games: Mystery Box Character Creation


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Desperados III deserves to win every award under the sun for its intricate and gorgeous level design. Today's mission - 7, I think - was a complex picking-off-enemies-gradually puzzle using verticality, every trick in my gang's arsenal (which was not as capable as normal as they were all suffering from massive hangovers) and a cunning spot where you could drop behind the toughest enemies and eliminate them in a surprise attack. It culminated in me throwing things at a bull to enrage it to the point where it killed six guards in a wild rage whilst I hid behind a nearby wall and observed the resulting carnage. Magnificent. 

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FPS vs. third person, I tend to find first person decidedly more immersive than third person. Third person is nice for games with melee combat, which obviously Cyberpunk 2077 has, but it's less good for impactful ranged combat which I suspect most people will tend to go with in most occasions (will be interesting to see who goes for 'street samurai' style character who just uses a bad-ass tech katana and cyber blades, and how viable pure melee is). 

I suspect it will be viable for a lot of the game, but there may be areas where it's non-viable (if the opponents have snipers on distant buildings etc), so going for a melee build with some gun capability might be wiser.

Something that still is in the game is a totally nonlethal playthrough, which apparently wasn't in the original plan but enough people asked for it - I suspect Deus Ex and Obsidian/Black Isle fans - that they made sure you can play through the game without killing a single person, although it's apparently extremely hard.

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Speaking of FPS, a new battle royale from Ubisoft called Hyper Scape is in beta, with a bunch of streamers playing it on Twitch ATM. Movement is very Apex Legends in terms of speed, but throws in elements from Overwatch (to pick an obvious example). Jesse Scoble, who was the lead writer of Guardians of Order's A Game of Thrones RPG (and who I'm friendly with), is the head writer. Not too much has been revealed about the characters and the setting yet, but presumably nearer to the public launch in July, I guess.

That's quite promising. The pen and paper game? That was one of the better-written RPGs of its time.

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45 minutes ago, A True Kaniggit said:

I'll watch it if I don't have to pay for DLC to see the finale.

If they're adapting Fallout 3 which had that exact problem, that'd be hilarious.

I have a suspicion they won't be directly adapting any of the games, though, they'll use a similar setup and then tell an original story that doesn't crossover with anything else. It'd be great if they stuck with the existing lore, used some of the free Vault numbers that haven't been used yet etc.

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5 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I have a suspicion they won't be directly adapting any of the games, though, they'll use a similar setup and then tell an original story that doesn't crossover with anything else. It'd be great if they stuck with the existing lore, used some of the free Vault numbers that haven't been used yet etc.

Yeah. This sounds right.

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I fully expect them to go the Fallout 4 route where the character was alive before the nukes went off and has to adjust to his strange new world. Possibly with ongoing flashbacks to pre-war times. 

Edit: I hadn't even made the Synths / Westworld connection. I hope there's not a lot of retreading all that stuff. 

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14 hours ago, Whiskeyjack said:
15 hours ago, Rhom said:

I'm with you guys.

There are DOZENS of us!!!

Same here.

So uh....that makes at least 4!

We are legion!

I think some players might find the character creation aspect part of the game and won't care if they never see the results 'live'.

Maybe not.  Now that I typed it out I'm feeling skeptical.

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So is there a complex plot or worldbuilding layered into the Apex-plus-Quake arena insanity that we saw on the Hyper Scape streams? Interesting. I'm genuinely curious, as I truly know approximately a one-sentence summary of the plot of every prominent BR I can think of. Escape From Tarkov has pretty fun worldbuilding content, but that's a very different game than HS. I did enjoy the collapsing reality of the circle closing, but I don't see much need to flesh out a low-grav squad arena game where there isn't much middle ground between lobby queueing and frenetic jump and running.

(I mean zero offense to your writer friend, who would probably explain very well just why I'm wrong for skepticism after watching one day of beta streaming).

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(I mean zero offense to your writer friend, who would probably explain very well just why I'm wrong for skepticism after watching one day of beta streaming).

As he said himself (when I congratulated him on being lead on this), this is no Game of Thrones. ;) I think they intend to provide something on the level of Overwatch or Apex Legends, presenting background to the setting of the game and to the various characters you can choose (although so far they are not as distinct as OW/AL characters, there's no unique abilities), and perhaps writing up the stories behind future events and seasons of the game, much as OW/AL have done. It's (probably) "just" lore to give the game some flavor for those who care about such things, rather than something integral to the experience. that's just a guess.


ETA: Apex meets Quake or Unreal Tournament seems right. Also the low gravity and movement in some ways reminds me of LawBreakers, the failed team vs. team game.  I admit the one thing I had hoped to see was some ability that let you "rotate" gravity, so that you could run up walls or along ceilings for a period of time.

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5 hours ago, Inkdaub said:

We are legion!

I think some players might find the character creation aspect part of the game and won't care if they never see the results 'live'.

Maybe not.  Now that I typed it out I'm feeling skeptical.

I played Anthem (I know... don't judge me) where you spend time making your Freelancer and doing all that stuff... and then every bit where you are out of your Ironman suit is in first person and you never see your actual character.

Character creation felt like a waste of time there.

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5 minutes ago, Rhom said:

I played Anthem (I know... don't judge me) where you spend time making your Freelancer and doing all that stuff... and then every bit where you are out of your Ironman suit is in first person and you never see your actual character.

Character creation felt like a waste of time there.

It honestly feels like a marketing shtick. You can slap a quick character editing shot at the beginning of every advertisement and 62% of gamers are braindead fuckwits who will remember being fulfilled by spending 15 minutes at the beginning of their Odyssey customizing the face of a camera. 

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18 hours ago, Werthead said:

If they're adapting Fallout 3 which had that exact problem, that'd be hilarious.

I have a suspicion they won't be directly adapting any of the games, though, they'll use a similar setup and then tell an original story that doesn't crossover with anything else. It'd be great if they stuck with the existing lore, used some of the free Vault numbers that haven't been used yet etc.

Most of the Fallout games have pretty mediocre stories, so I'd be shocked if they adapted one directly.  

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3 hours ago, briantw said:

Most of the Fallout games have pretty mediocre stories, so I'd be shocked if they adapted one directly.  

The only thing that might tempt them is that Fallout 4's setup is pretty good, with the cryogenic stasis being a great way of bridging the war happening to the aftermath. It's a good and economic way of explaining the future setting and then moving into the post-apocalyptic era.

If they do decide to do that, hopefully they don't have the same "MY BABY, WHERE'S MY BABY oh wait you need me to kill 50 radroaches for you, why not? What else would I be doing?" story.

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Ended up picking up a few more Steam sale games because the prices were so good: Devil May Cry 5, Skyrim Special Edition, FFXV, Prey, Yakuza 2, and Oxygen Not Included. 

So far I've only played a bit of Skyrim. First time I've touched the game since the 360 days, when I put in well over 200 hours in the game. I downloaded a ton of recommended mods and, yeah, its Skyrim. The mods do make the game look a bit nicer, and maybe there's a lot more content (I've only just gotten to Whiterun), but it still feels like that game I played 9 years ago. It's a good game, no doubt, but I'm not sure why its still such a massively popular game all these years later.

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Somehow I feel like I'm downloading more games than I actually get to play them this week. Mostly because I got the bright idea to test the limits of what my puny laptop can run. Also because after all this racing games nonsense has triggered in me that I want to play an open-world racing game with lots of silly car variety. Of course Forza Horizon being the king of that genre I ended up downloading a demo for Forza Horizon 3 despite my initial misgivings. It was utterly unplayable due to its insane system requirements. Then I read that Forza Horizon 4 had actually lower requirements, so I downloaded that. And... it was marginally smoother, as in that I actually got enough frames tied together that I had a bit of a feel for the weight of my car. It was still a dreadful dia show on the lowest settings.

Yesterday I then got the sudden idea to try out The Crew, the main competitor from Ubisoft. So I downloaded the trial... and while I still didn't dare to put the graphics settings too high up and thought the rain effects on the lowest setting to look dreadful, I was honestly stumped how well it ran and how much fun it was in this hour or so I played it. Though I already shoved it off my disk and now for fun download The Crew 2 Trial to see whether that works as well. Strange... Forza's PC optimization seems to be utterly dreadful...

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18 hours ago, Fez said:

Ended up picking up a few more Steam sale games because the prices were so good: Devil May Cry 5, Skyrim Special Edition, FFXV, Prey, Yakuza 2, and Oxygen Not Included. 

So far I've only played a bit of Skyrim. First time I've touched the game since the 360 days, when I put in well over 200 hours in the game. I downloaded a ton of recommended mods and, yeah, its Skyrim. The mods do make the game look a bit nicer, and maybe there's a lot more content (I've only just gotten to Whiterun), but it still feels like that game I played 9 years ago. It's a good game, no doubt, but I'm not sure why its still such a massively popular game all these years later.

I think freedom is the answer. I know Skyrim doesn't allow as much freedom as a game like Morrowind, but on the plus side it also tends to have much better writing which allows for more interesting role-playing. I can't play Skyrim every year, but every few years I'm happy to start a new playthrough, tailoring what faction and sidequests I do around what kind of character I play, and just enjoying the beauty of exploring the world. Or I can just ignore a lot of the scripted quests and form my own goals. Mods are a nice bonus, though I have to admit I find most of the mods with scripted content to be pretty bad.

Anyway, few RPGs allow for such freedom or the ability to craft your own stories and narrative, and I think that's why Skyrim continues to hold such appeal, until the Elder Scrolls VI comes out in 2029 (the same year as The Winds of Winter). I know the internet loves criticizing Bethesda for their engine and bugs and whatever, but that same engine allows each player to do a hell of a lot more than any other RPG series I've played. And the bugs are usually hilarious.

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