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Video Games - Sequels of Dread and Anticipation

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57 minutes ago, Fez said:

The troubled development of VtM:Bloodlines 2 continues, and likely is even worse than the original's at this point. https://www.bloodlines2.com/en/bloodlines-2-development-update

The game, originally scheduled to release in March 2020, will now no longer be releasing in 2021 at all; with no information on any future release date. This coincides with Paradox removing Hardsuit Labs from being the developer of the game, with some new, unannounced, studio presumably taking over (the game isn't being canceled, so someone has to be working on it). Last year Hardsuit Labs had a lot of turnover, and it seems like there must've been a lot of issues going on in the background for Paradox to take this action.

They fired the original writer and project lead - who also was one of the main writers on the first game, and by himself gave the project legitimacy - for no given reason whatsoever (some rumours that the studio was unhappy with him having mental health issues impacting his PR duties, which would be quite a thing if true), then lost Cara Ellison, who is rumoured to have walked out at the treatment of other people. They then had to lose Chris Avellone (although fair enough in his case), although he wasn't a key writer on the project. Then development seemed to hit troubled times and now the whole project seems in danger of collapse.

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1 minute ago, Werthead said:

They fired the original writer and project lead - who also was one of the main writers on the first game, and by himself gave the project legitimacy - for no given reason whatsoever (some rumours that the studio was unhappy with him having mental health issues impacting his PR duties, which would be quite a thing if true), then lost Cara Ellison, who is rumoured to have walked out at the treatment of other people. They then had to lose Chris Avellone (although fair enough in his case), although he wasn't a key writer on the project. Then development seemed to hit troubled times and now the whole project seems in danger of collapse.

Yeah, though in all cases I believe the "they" you are referring to is Hardsuit Labs, who are the ones that Paradox just stepped in to remove. I think Paradox has been hands off up until this point; but has clearly lost confidence in things getting turned around by current management.

Also, I'd assume that the game would be outright cancelled at this point, except that Paradox doesn't want to return the pre-orders. So rather than write off development as a sunk cost, they'll try to salvage things somehow.

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3 minutes ago, Fez said:

Yeah, though in all cases I believe the "they" you are referring to is Hardsuit Labs, who are the ones that Paradox just stepped in to remove. I think Paradox has been hands off up until this point; but has clearly lost confidence in things getting turned around by current management.

Also, I'd assume that the game would be outright cancelled at this point, except that Paradox doesn't want to return the pre-orders. So rather than write off development as a sunk cost, they'll try to salvage things somehow.

I wonder if they'd bring in the original producer again.

I'm trying to think who could come in and save the project. The obvious choice would have been Obsidian (especially with many of the original devs still there), but given their ownership by Microsoft that could be too complicated from a legal standpoint.

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10 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I wonder if they'd bring in the original producer again.

I'm trying to think who could come in and save the project. The obvious choice would have been Obsidian (especially with many of the original devs still there), but given their ownership by Microsoft that could be too complicated from a legal standpoint.

Also Obsidian may be too busy with their current projects to take on something else, even if Microsoft was willing to make it work.

It is tricky though, because there aren't that many studios capable of making 3D games that aren't tied up with other publishers, if not outright owned by them. There's been a lot of consolidation the past few years. And I don't think VtM:B2 is such a big game that its worth it to Paradox to make an arrangement with Microsoft/THQ Nordic/Focus Home Interactive/Take-Two/etc. 

The three best options I can think of are Avalanche, Dontnod, and Spiders. But there's pros and cons to each of them.

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7 hours ago, Fez said:

Also Obsidian may be too busy with their current projects to take on something else, even if Microsoft was willing to make it work.

A studio of about 55 (at last count?) that's currently at work on 4 different projects? Yeah, no way they could take over. Between Avowed, Outer Worlds 2, and 2 secret projects...

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Unusually, I finished two different games in the last two days.

I finished Last of Us 2 -- which I've been progressing in for awhile. Frankly, in the midst of quarantine, I needed a break from the bleakness. It was a great game. I think I prefer the gameplay of the first but the story of the second.

Last night, I finished FFVII Remake which I mostly played during breaks of LoU2. I really enjoyed it -- the gameplay was fun and liked the new, broadened story. Really cool. Excited for the next chapter (and hoping I don't need a PS5 for it...)

Next, I'm thinking of trying one of the Souls games, Bloodbourne, or Ghost of Tsushima. I think I tried one of the Souls games and the lack of story just didn't grab me -- I need at least a bit of a story. Thoughts? Recommendations? I also haven't played RDR2 (or 1) ... or Skyrim ... or any AC games.

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Reports that Microsoft will host a special event next month when the Bethesda acquisition finalises. This will be more of a grand mission statement about the future of both companies now they've joined forces. Speculation they'll mark the occasion by adding Bethesda's entire catalogue to Game Pass on that date.

More intriguingly, the reports also indicate that Bethesda will have a significant event around the time of E3. They usually only do that when they a big announcement, so if that is the case, that's a great sign that Starfield will launch at the end of this year. At six years, that's the longest between Bethesda flagship games that they've ever gone.

27 minutes ago, IlyaP said:

A studio of about 55 (at last count?) that's currently at work on 4 different projects? Yeah, no way they could take over. Between Avowed, Outer Worlds 2, and 2 secret projects...

Grounded as well.

I think they have more than 55 people though, they were scaling up even before the acquisition.

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12 minutes ago, Werthead said:

 

More intriguingly, the reports also indicate that Bethesda will have a significant event around the time of E3. They usually only do that when they a big announcement, so if that is the case, that's a great sign that Starfield will launch at the end of this year. At six years, that's the longest between Bethesda flagship games that they've ever gone.

 

Seems arbitrary not to count their scam as a flagship effort. It couldn't have been signaled more clearly what that piece of shit was gonna be like.

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1 minute ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Seems arbitrary not to count their scam as a flagship effort. It couldn't have been signaled more clearly what that piece of shit was gonna be like.

Fallout 76 was put out by the Bethesda- Austin studio though, not the main Rockville MD studio. I imagine they probably got pulled in at some point to help salvage things, but probably not nearly all of them.

It's the same as how we can't blame main Bioware for Mass Effect Andromeda. Although, continuing the analogy, main Bioware's next game was Anthem; hopefully Starfield is better than that.

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17 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Seems arbitrary not to count their scam as a flagship effort. It couldn't have been signaled more clearly what that piece of shit was gonna be like.

It wasn't made by the core team, who were already deep into making Starfield when FO76 came out. It was a new multiplayer team they specifically acquired to make an online version of their franchises.

I mean, when they announced Fallout 76 they put some effort into saying "Don't worry, it's not the main next thing," before showing teasers for Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI.

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“It’s a big open world! No one’s gonna notice a few GLITCHES.”........ Fuckin’ Bethesda. 
 

-SAO Abridged Parody.  Episode 11. 

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

Grounded as well.

I think they have more than 55 people though, they were scaling up even before the acquisition.

Completely forgot about Grounded. There's that game as well. So that's five projects then. 

And maybe one day, if we're all very nice children, we'll get a sequel to Tyranny.

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  i have been loving valheim. it has no business being as pretty or as engaging as it is for a $20 game. some friends convinced me to get it and we have had a blast. we set up a server and have carved out a nice little existence for ourselves deforesting the country side to build a classy little village, rafts to take us on scary journeys to the black forest and an ever increasing number of pet pigs. 

I see images online of players decked out in metal armor living in stone castles while we are veritable cavemen in comparison. 

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Two Point Hospital, my favourite strategy/management sim of the last few years, has a new DLC that adds...time travel to the problems faced by hospital management?

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1 hour ago, MercenaryChef said:

  i have been loving valheim. it has no business being as pretty or as engaging as it is for a $20 game. some friends convinced me to get it and we have had a blast. we set up a server and have carved out a nice little existence for ourselves deforesting the country side to build a classy little village, rafts to take us on scary journeys to the black forest and an ever increasing number of pet pigs. 

I see images online of players decked out in metal armor living in stone castles while we are veritable cavemen in comparison. 

Yeah, you don't get the ability to build with stone until after the second boss fight, I believe, as you need the item he drops to gain access to iron.

We just beat the game's fourth boss (of five at present) last night.  It was surprisingly easy.  We didn't even burn through our buffs, which last five minutes.  The third boss was way tougher to kill.  That one took us almost twenty minutes.  The second one was more difficult as well, although I don't remember how long it took us.

We've currently got three different legitimate outposts complete with walls surrounding them, plus a few smaller outposts with teleporter access.  We started exploring the plains last night and they are fucking terrifying.

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Okay, I'm an idiot. Once again. I think I recently told you guys that a WW2 planning game I played with one of my classes inspired me to try and get Hearts of Iron 4. Well... I now did.

So... given my usual way to start small to get to grips with the mechanics, I started a game as... Brazil. Yeah. My idea is to watch the war on the sidelines while opportunistically throw my lot in with whatever seems best. And indeed I got the idea to turn fascist and go on an expansion spree in South America while the USA is busy elsewhere. Well... right now I'm actually using the game as an excuse to spend time working out, which I am in desperate need of. I keep the game running on the lowest speed in the background while going through my exercises. Probably not the most effective use of my time, but hey, makes me feel like spending the time usefully.

I'm still slightly confused though. Right now my focus is entirely on bringing my economy up. I have to build a few military factories because I have so ludicrously little, in order to get some artillery and planes, but other than that I guess civilian factories are the most important thing in order to build faster. Likewise I went now for the construction and infrastructure national foci, which seem especially neat since you also get another research team. In my government I'm also wondering whether Free Trade is worthwhile...

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Valheim looks fun as hell. Alas it looks like the fun really opens up with a couple more people, and I don't have any gamer friends really. At least, not a hypothetical group of 5 or so that makes Valheim really shine. As with almost all games except the two or three I sink all my hours in, I think I'll get my kicks out of this one watching Twitch guys I follow.

Edited by Argonath Diver

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17 hours ago, Week said:

Next, I'm thinking of trying one of the Souls games, Bloodbourne, or Ghost of Tsushima. I think I tried one of the Souls games and the lack of story just didn't grab me -- I need at least a bit of a story. Thoughts? Recommendations? I also haven't played RDR2 (or 1) ... or Skyrim ... or any AC games.

There is a story to the Souls games you just learn about it obliquely through item descriptions and such.  Bloodborne has a bit of that but also has more actual straight forward storytelling as well.  IMO it is easily the best of Fromsofts games but that also comes with the caveat that I love gothic horror and Lovecraft horror.  You are on a PS4 right... so doesn't make much difference but unfortunately it has not aged well on the PS5 because of the locked ceiling of 30FPS.  I hope to god they do a remake like Demon's Souls for it.

I also absolutely love RDR2, only briefly wet my toes recently in Ghosts (I'm a little played out on open world games), AC Valhalla is fun but don't try and beat it all at once as it is simply too long, the story becomes a slog but its repetitiveness lessens if you like go to take a month break to beat/play something else and then come back to it.  Same thing for Odyssey.  Maybe try Fallen Order, its a souls style game with more direct plot plus lightsabers, also has one of my favourite endings in a while. 

If you like Bethesda games then Skyrim is likely the best of them, even now almost 9 years after release. Plus it has some really fun mods if you get it on PC, I can't recommend enough the one that turns all the dragons into Macho Man Randy Savage.  Hearing the "Ooooooooh yeah" softly when one starts coming near is delightful.

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