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Video Games - Waiting for a New AAA Game (that isn't Elden Ring)


Gorn
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1 minute ago, Gorn said:

Daggerfall Unity is free on GOG now. It's an unofficial version of Daggerfall which integrates all the major mods. I've never actually played it, so it's a welcome addition to my library.

I still can't handle the 2D monsters. I'm young enough to have been around for the release of the original Daggerfall, and the 2D monsters annoyed me as much now as it did when it came out. Trying to strafe 2D enemies is *extremely* difficult and weird.

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Just finished Mass Effect 2 as part of the Legendary Collection, now moving onto Mass Effect 3.

On my previous playthroughs I really didn't bother with the Mako missions or planet scanning and this time around I'm 100%ing them, and it's quite interesting comparing my playtimes as a result.

My original playthroughs of Mass Effect 1 clocked in between 11 and about 12.5 hours doing the minimum of Mako planet hopping. By exhaustively doing all of them, it clocked in at 25 hours.

For Mass Effect 2 a scan-light playthrough took 25 hours, but by 100%ing every single star system with scanning, that pushes it up to 36 hours.

Both included all DLC.

That's a lot of time you spend driving the Mako up mountains or squinting at a screen trying to find the last drop of Palladium, for not a massive amount of reward. You get more war assets in Mass Effect 3 for getting above 100,000 of every resource, but by the end of the game with the three common resources I had 980K, 725K and 850K, and even Element Zero I had almost 150K. But ME3 is so easy to max out war assets without it, it's unnecessary. You don't even get achievements for 100%ing systems in ME1 and 2.

Mass Effect 3 was 29 hours for my last playthrough with not a huge amount of planet scanning, interesting to see how that effects it this time around.

Cool detail: the map of the Solar system in ME2 has been updated so Pluto now resembles the real deal, with an image from the New Horizons mission, which of course had not reached the planet when ME2 was originally released in 2010.

Also no achievement for dropping a probe on Uranus. Are these guy not even trying?

 

Edited by Werthead
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Finally got round to playing Jedi: Fallen Order.

I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but it wasn't a shitty platformer with a dull, uninspired story and irritating combat.

The only good thing about it is your little droid pal.

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I found a disc of Elden Ring for the PS5 on sale and pulled the trigger.

I'm shit at it but it has been fun so far.

I tried other FromSoftware games before on the PC but did not enjoy them as much. I guess these games are really better with a controller.

Maybe I will given some of them another try by using the PS5-Controller on my PC.

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Marvel's Midnight Suns: The First Preview
No, it's not XCOM, but it's a surprisingly endearing superhero RPG.

https://www.ign.com/articles/marvels-midnight-suns-first-preview-superhero-rpg-firaxis-pc-xbox-ps4-ps5

Quote

While I definitely think there's room to make Midnight Suns' arenas more interesting, evoking the exciting and often unconventional places superheroes end up fighting, I was only really able to scratch the surface of this combat system in the time I spent with it. And there are plenty of other ways this tactical RPG makes me really excited, from the excellently-animated signature abilities to the chance to discover new and devastating synergies between them. The plot is rich and compelling without feeling convoluted, and it oozes comic book flavor, even when the script feels like it could stand to be a bit less kid-friendly to match its dark premise.

 

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13 hours ago, Martell Spy said:

Marvel's Midnight Suns: The First Preview
No, it's not XCOM, but it's a surprisingly endearing superhero RPG.

https://www.ign.com/articles/marvels-midnight-suns-first-preview-superhero-rpg-firaxis-pc-xbox-ps4-ps5

 

The "card-based combat" gimmick has me rolling my eyes.

Why not just have ordinary combat? Including a card game in the middle of your turn-based combat game is just random.

It's like they said, "let's make Marvel XCOM" and then realised that'd be too good and make them too much money, so they decided to fuck around with the formula for absolutely no apparent reason.

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Interesting playthrough of Star Citizen showing it's in a promising state, but is nowhere near ready for release. The learning curve is more of a brick wall at the moment.

The ship blowing away in the wind was amusing, apparently an unexpected side-effect of a new physics engine which they're planning to fix.

Fighting an enemy and they get confused and fly into an asteroid was also funny, although unclear if it was a bug as well.

The FPS mode is looking better than it was, if still utterly unnecessary for a space game. As the guy says, having FPS go from an optional extra to an integral part of the game simply penalises people who don't like FPS titles but love space combat games.

 

Edited by Werthead
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The rest of the year looks depressingly sparse in terms of AAA releases.

The only game I'm even moderately excited for at this point is probably Callisto Protocol, only because I'm such a Dead Space fanboy, and I know Glen Schofield wont let me down.

Everything else looks like mediocre tripe.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

The FPS mode is looking better than it was, if still utterly unnecessary for a space game. As the guy says, having FPS go from an optional extra to an integral part of the game simply penalises people who don't like FPS titles but love space combat games.

I tried out the recently released alpha demo, and even on a top of the line system, this game was viciously unstable and in dire need of optimisation and some player guidance in the form of at the very least, some kind of logical menu system that lets you track quests and directs you. As much as we all like to bag Bethesda out, the little bar they included in Skyrim at the top of the screen made a *world* of difference and helped players of all levels of temperament out tremendously.

At this point, I can't see how it's possible for this game to succeed. It feels as though it's stuck in the same rut that Duke Forever found itself in - forever iterating, refusing to finalise certain features, adding new effects or features that impact other segments of the company, and placing a lot of pressure on itself to not suck. At least the marketing side of the business seems (at least to me) to be fairly sensible and restrained.

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Having put about 6 hours now into Victor Vran, I don't know what to make of it. It's an ARPG, but clearly one that's self-aware. And voiced by the wonderful Doug Cockle, of Geralt fame. The game features a void that provides commentary throughout the game, including "I used to be a monster hunter too, until I took an arrow to the knee". There's something for everyone, including Firefly fans. 

It's certainly fun, and the atmosphere, design, music, production, it's all sufficiently compelling, and yet the game makes interesting stylistic choices as well by having still art for plot/dialogue scenes. It also tries very hard to implement a logical roaming camera through the use of holding down the second mouse button, which lets players manually rotate the camera - which at times can be....inconsistent. But lordy how it tries to find a way to implement it in a logical and reasonable way. 

It doesn't quite have the same aggressive mob assault that I've seen in other ARPGs, which, depending on who you are and what you want from an ARPG, will be either a plus or a minus. 

That said - George Strezov's score is lush, gorgeous, and, to borrow a phrase from Matt Stover's Heroes Die, "goes balls out for glory". Matt Uelmen fans will find much to enjoy here. 

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

The "card-based combat" gimmick has me rolling my eyes.

Why not just have ordinary combat? Including a card game in the middle of your turn-based combat game is just random.

It's like they said, "let's make Marvel XCOM" and then realised that'd be too good and make them too much money, so they decided to fuck around with the formula for absolutely no apparent reason.

It's because 90% of mobile games have card based combat. Think of the micro transactions...

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Went and spent a bit more time in Diablo: Immortal this past weekend, to see what - if anything - had changed. The game's current Shadows versus Immortals storyline features a clan domination system, which seemingly all players in-game are told about via some charming hand-drawn stills and voice-overs. New mini-quests have also been added to each playable part of the world map, and can vary in length from a few minutes to upwards of half an hour. (The storyline itself is highly bizarre and seems out of place in the Diabloverse.)

For PC beta players, the logical options that should be present are still lacking - including resolution options and the ability to zoom the camera out a bit farther. At some point, Blizzard really needs to figure out a way to give PC gamers the functionality that they've come to expect in 2022 whilst still catering for the mobile market. Which, on that topic, the game's release date has been pushed back in China from 23 June to an as-yet unknown date. Several other countries in South-east Asia are also due to begin accessing the game soon (the game's already launched in a few places on this side of the globe, including Australia, New Zealand, and Vietnam).

A few new larger quests have also been implemented, which provide players with new dailies they can run to level up or gear up, including a Horadric sanctum that's tied to the Legacy of the Horadrim storyline/quest. So it does appear as though new quests, stories, items, fixes, and "content" is being rolled out, though how one responds to it depends on what one expects from a PC versus a mobile experience - with Genshin Impact being the standard/bar by which mobile games are (at present) judged/compared (I have not played Genshin Impact, but have heard of it frequently over the course of the last few months).

So it's clearly a work in progress. But a lot - and I mean a lot - more work is needed. The obvious gambling issue being the big one, followed by what feels like a clearly nerfed endgame experience that puts a far too severe emphasis on grinding and grouping in war bands to obtain legendary crests, which the game goes to considerable odds to advertise in its purchase section, which, once again, has been rightly criticised. By any measurement, Diablo 3, in its current state, is a far superior experience to this. Perhaps the one upside here for classic Diablo fans who took umbrage with the aesthetic decisions made in Diablo 2, is that Diablo: Immortal's art is closer in spirit to Diablo 1 and Diablo 2.

Meanwhile, fan engagement from official Blizzard representatives has been less than excellent - and I can't help but wonder if this is due to the company not having yet launched in China, with them perhaps waiting to really start working properly with the gaming community across both platforms (smart device and personal computers) once it's launched in that unarguably massive market. (With mobile games, companies arguably live and die by what content they provide - and how frequently. Which is not quite the same expectation with PC games, where support is expected, naturally, but longer-form storytelling is expected to take place over the course of numerous future patches, DLCs, expansions, etc.)

(...This went on for longer than I expected. This is what happens when Ilya has time to actually take a lunch break!)

 

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On 6/18/2022 at 8:51 AM, Werthead said:

Just finished Mass Effect 2 as part of the Legendary Collection, now moving onto Mass Effect 3.

On my previous playthroughs I really didn't bother with the Mako missions or planet scanning and this time around I'm 100%ing them, and it's quite interesting comparing my playtimes as a result.

My original playthroughs of Mass Effect 1 clocked in between 11 and about 12.5 hours doing the minimum of Mako planet hopping. By exhaustively doing all of them, it clocked in at 25 hours.

For Mass Effect 2 a scan-light playthrough took 25 hours, but by 100%ing every single star system with scanning, that pushes it up to 36 hours.

Both included all DLC.

That's a lot of time you spend driving the Mako up mountains or squinting at a screen trying to find the last drop of Palladium, for not a massive amount of reward. You get more war assets in Mass Effect 3 for getting above 100,000 of every resource, but by the end of the game with the three common resources I had 980K, 725K and 850K, and even Element Zero I had almost 150K. But ME3 is so easy to max out war assets without it, it's unnecessary. You don't even get achievements for 100%ing systems in ME1 and 2.

Mass Effect 3 was 29 hours for my last playthrough with not a huge amount of planet scanning, interesting to see how that effects it this time around.

Cool detail: the map of the Solar system in ME2 has been updated so Pluto now resembles the real deal, with an image from the New Horizons mission, which of course had not reached the planet when ME2 was originally released in 2010.

Also no achievement for dropping a probe on Uranus. Are these guy not even trying?

 

I don't know if any other collectables have a payoff, but 100%ing the Matriarch's writings collection in ME1 has a nice payoff in ME3 if some other things line up as well...

Spoiler

be nice to Conrad Verner

... it's a neat little thing (I think), and it gives you a handful of galactic readiness points, though those are not all that hard to come by in the Legendary edition.

Completing the minerals collections maxes out your starting resources for ME2, which then reduces your scanning commitments a bit to max out all the research in ME2, if that's what you are going for. Not sure there if there is any carry over benefit to ME3 with maxing out the research in ME2, so it's possible that doing all that research has limited benefit only in ME2.

One thing I never found out through my own plays through is whether making the renegade choice at the end of ME2 has much impact on ME3. I think in my renegade play through of the original ME2 I still couldn't bring myself to make that renegade choice, but if it has a material impact on ME3 it might be worth doing with my current ME2 play through, even though this Shepard on on the paragon path, albeit being a renegade as much as possible.

I see The Last of Us PS5 remake is going to be sold at the new normal $70 US price tag. Remakes are never worth full price in my view, if I have already played the original. It is curious that Most of my gaming is now in PC, because I can buy games that come off full price, on Steam, much quicker than games on console come off full price; though I still don't have a PS5, because I am waiting for that price drop too, another good thing about doing a lot of gaming on PC now.

Edited by The Anti-Targ
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I started a replay of Pyre, and wow is that game good. I really liked it when I played it at release too. But that was years ago, and Hades ended up such a big hit that it's easy to forget that Supergiant's earlier games were bangers too. The music especially stands out.

I also picked up FF7 Remake while it had its launch sale on steam. I don't recommend it, but for technical reasons. The game has a major stuttering problem that is apparently affecting a lot of players, including me. To the point that it was basically unplayable. Forcing the game to launch using DirectX 11 solves the stuttering for me, but it instead introduces some pretty bad screen tearing. That fortunately isn't constant and thee game is playable now, but these kind of tech problems are inexcusable for a major studio like SE.

Setting all that aside, I do like the game. I'm not totally sold on the combat system, but Midgar looks so good! And it turns out I do have major nostalgia for the original game; I've gotten chills seeing its locations in all their glory. I'm also intrigued by the changes made to the story. I'd heard they existed, but avoided the details. And I assumed they were mostly at the end of the game, but they've been popping up right from the get-go.

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