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IlyaP
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Finished the 'main game' portion of Animal Well. I'm not sure I've ever encountered a game this good at teaching you how to use its tools. It's fantastic.

It's also an incredibly tightly designed world, puzzles running into puzzles and playing out across multiple screens without it getting tiresome or obnoxious (at least for the main game). It's one big puzzlebox, it's great. 

That said, while I do love a bit of indirect storytelling, and some (many, it seems) will fall in love with everything about this, I did feel it was a little too abstract at times. 

(this isn't really a spoiler, just a comment on the level of information presented, but since some will want to experience it as cold as possible, I'll spoiler just in case)

Spoiler

Essentially, having completed the main objective of the game, I still don't actually know what it was. I did a bunch of stuff because that's what you do in games, not because me, or my character, had a concrete goal or because I specifically wanted to see what was round the next corner.

I suppose that's more normal in puzzle games than typical Metroidvanias, and I am coming into it as more a fan of the latter, but even Fez- a major inspiration by all accounts- told you what you were doing, even if it then turned into a series of mostly unconnected challenges. 

 

That's mostly a minor gripe and realistically I recommend this game incredibly highly. But I'm not sure how deeply I'm gonna dig into the postgame, though I know for many that'll be the main appeal. Depends if I find a hook that draws me I suppose.

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The point-defence cannons on the Khar-Kushan in Homeworld 3 are my favourite things ever. They zip over the hull of the ship on rail tracks going "BRRRRRRTTTTTT!" like a host of angry A10 Warthogs.

Assault Frigates - pretty useless in the first two games - are also now worthwhile as they have three or four PDCs mounted on them spraying fire at fighters whilst their main guns are now okay at damaging super capital ships. Carriers and stationary PDC turrets are also sweet for this.

It's all a bit Expanse, which is interesting as Homeworld 2 coincided with OG BSG coming out, with both making heavy use of flak (not they could copy one another, HW2 came out a couple of months before the show).

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So, apparently like everyone one else in the world, after finishing the Fallout series I found that I wanted to play some Fallout. However, unlike everyone else here who chose a more recent game, I decided I might as well start at the beginning. So, Fallout 1...

I have played Fallout 1 before, several times, I'd even gotten pretty far in one playthrough but I have never finished it. Until today that is. I think calling it fundamentally unplayable is a bit harsh, it's not, say an Ultima Underworld, System Shock 1, or X-Com: UFO Defense, all great games that have incredibly unintuitive or just completely baffling UI's and control schemes, but it is very obviously an older game and it would benefit greatly from a remaster of some sort. Clean up the UI and control schemes and make some information easier to access. Fallout 1 comes from a time in PC Gaming when the games don't give a fuck about how easy it is for you to do a thing. But after only a few hours, the controls become almost second nature so it's not that bad.

What is bad, is that the perspective of the game (isometric) means that so much of the environment might be initially hidden from your view and clicking on what you need to click on can be a bit frustrating. Trying to unlock a door or interact with something that you are directly in front of or behind is... ugh.

It's also very quaint. Many of the side quests are very, very short. You get sent to do a thing, you go to the thing, there's maybe a choice about how to to do the thing, then it's done. It's a surprising amount of choice, for the time, but it could feel a bit quaint nowadays with games like BG3, the Witcher 3, the Mass Effect games or even Fallout: New Vegas being 'the norm' for RPG's now.

But, it's still good. It's short (I finished it in maybe 20 hours? I'm not sure, Steam didn't record my play time correctly), the combat, skills, character creation, story, and world are all still very good, good enough that they became the basis for multiple games and properties over the next 25 years. The choices can feel a bit quaint now but there's some pretty fun sequence breaking, doing certain things out of order, or making bad or dumb choices but still being able to progress in some fashion. The game just rolls with your potentially shitty choices.

However, the companions have absolutely no personality (except Dogmeat who is the goodest boy) and exist only to carry shit and make combat in the early possible and the game becomes incredibly easy once you get power armor in the late game. 

So, is it still worth playing today? Yes, especially if you're a big fan of the later Fallout games and want to see where it all started. It's not so old that it's completely unplayable, but it does require a bit of getting used to its unhelpful UI and control scheme. Also, it's pretty short which certainly helps. If it was 50 hours long, I'd likely get tired of it around the 30 hour mark.

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25 minutes ago, Durckad said:

So, is it still worth playing today? Yes, especially if you're a big fan of the later Fallout games and want to see where it all started. It's not so old that it's completely unplayable, but it does require a bit of getting used to its unhelpful UI and control scheme. Also, it's pretty short which certainly helps. If it was 50 hours long, I'd likely get tired of it around the 30 hour mark.

Pretty much this. The only thing I did upon installation was run the Fixt patch, which adds some minor QoL improvements. Otherwise, it was an easy game to get right back into. There's no hand-holding, so you can muck around and kinda just do what you want - though bear in mind a clock is ticking inside the game world. The pressure of that clock can lead to some fun and interesting playstyle choices and decisions. And the wonderful ambient music by Mark Morgan is also absolutely stunning and worth experiencing. 

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About a year late to the party, but just playing through Alan Wake 2. Looks absolutely amazing on my setup now. Great game so far.

I am slightly regretting starting it on the hardest difficulty available though and my brain won't let me turn that down now I've begun. The combat isn't that hard, but the mechanics and limited resources are kinda annoying which was my major problem with the first game (and why I never really got into it enough to finish).

Spoiler

Just hit the musical sequence which was completely unexpected and batshit crazy in the best way possible.

As a side note I'm finding most of the recent games I've tried do support the 32:9 aspect ratio which I was not expecting at all.

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23 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Pretty much this. The only thing I did upon installation was run the Fixt patch, which adds some minor QoL improvements. Otherwise, it was an easy game to get right back into. There's no hand-holding, so you can muck around and kinda just do what you want - though bear in mind a clock is ticking inside the game world. The pressure of that clock can lead to some fun and interesting playstyle choices and decisions. And the wonderful ambient music by Mark Morgan is also absolutely stunning and worth experiencing. 

I ran with the Fixt patch as well, primarily for the ability to tell your companions to get the fuck out of the way whenever they accidentally box you into a corner. Unfortunately it doesn't work on the BoS Commandos you get for the attack on Mariposa. Got stuck on an elevator by one of them and had to reload a much earlier save. *grumble*

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I also got the itch to return to the Fallout world, but I decided to play Old World Blues, Fallout mod for Hearts of Iron 4. It is simply amazing, one of the best mods out there, with more content in it than the actual Hearts of Iron 4.

All the units, technologies, doctrines, and even the user interface have been completely changed to make them fit with the Fallout universe, the new countries invented by the mod developers are well-written and balanced, and every update keeps adding more stuff and making it better.

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On 5/11/2024 at 6:17 PM, Werthead said:

The point-defence cannons on the Khar-Kushan in Homeworld 3 are my favourite things ever. They zip over the hull of the ship on rail tracks going "BRRRRRRTTTTTT!" like a host of angry A10 Warthogs.

Assault Frigates - pretty useless in the first two games - are also now worthwhile as they have three or four PDCs mounted on them spraying fire at fighters whilst their main guns are now okay at damaging super capital ships. Carriers and stationary PDC turrets are also sweet for this.

It's all a bit Expanse, which is interesting as Homeworld 2 coincided with OG BSG coming out, with both making heavy use of flak (not they could copy one another, HW2 came out a couple of months before the show).

So the reviews on Steam are dishearteningly mixed. I haven't delved too deeply in them, but it appears quite a few of the negatives are centered on the story, which is sad given how good the first two games were in that department despite being fairly minimalistic. There are also some negatives regarding path finding issues.

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2 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

So the reviews on Steam are dishearteningly mixed. I haven't delved too deeply in them, but it appears quite a few of the negatives are centered on the story, which is sad given how good the first two games were in that department despite being fairly minimalistic. There are also some negatives regarding path finding issues.

It's fine. It's better than Homeworld 2, but not a patch on HW1 or Cataclysm. I also preferred Deserts of Kharak's story, though the gameplay was a bit middling.

The histrionic bad guy is probably the most annoying thing in the game but she's in it for maybe ten minutes of the 10 hours or so it takes to complete the campaign (I took 16 but that's on Hard and some of the missions are brutal, I wish now I'd left it for a replay). I'm not a huge fan of the decision to lose the black-and-white cutscenes of HW1, 2 and Cataclysm, or the illustrated-rotoscoped effect of DoK either, especially as the CGI feels like 2007 vintage with some very exaggerated-dramatic acting.

It does have several of the absolute all-time best Homeworld missions and moments though. The stuff they do in this game in some missions is incredible, like the asteroid storm (which makes the one in HW1 feel very lame) or the chokepoint mission which is crazy.

The pathfinding is generally better than the earlier games in the series but still not perfect. 

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35 minutes ago, Arakasi said:

Think this thing can run Starfield or Cyberpunk on max settings? :p

Maybe.

But can it run Crysis?

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On 5/12/2024 at 12:12 PM, Durckad said:

So, apparently like everyone one else in the world, after finishing the Fallout series I found that I wanted to play some Fallout. However, unlike everyone else here who chose a more recent game, I decided I might as well start at the beginning. So, Fallout 1...

I’ve been meaning to play this forever, not necessarily because I want to, but because not having played it detracts from my credibility when pontificating about RPGs. Your review encourages me to have another go; 20 hours doesn’t sound like a huge investment.

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21 hours ago, Arakasi said:

Got my new “gaming” rig today. 
 

32 core, 3.6 ghz Ryzen Threadripper

GeForce RTX 4080

256 gb RAM

Think this thing can run Starfield or Cyberpunk on max settings? :p

No. My 4090 can't run CP77 on max settings, meaning 144 fps, ray tracing, ultra settings, path tracing etc. It can do that at 60fps though, but only just and runs hot (I turned off path tracing because the effect is cool but marginal). I don't think we'll see a game max out CP77 for real until maybe the 6090 comes out.

Wait, 256 GB of RAM? That's about five times what you need to run things even quite well (I have 64 GB and that was massive overkill, most people are still running 16 GB and 32 GB only recently became standard for new builds).

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I've just played Arkham Asylum again and am working my way through Arkham City. I've played these games before and every time I'm struck by how meticulously crafted they are. The attention to detail, the gameplay, the portrayal of the Batman world, the voice acting etc it all comes together to create what is, IMO, a perfect 10/10 game.

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1 hour ago, Darryk said:

I've just played Arkham Asylum again and am working my way through Arkham City. I've played these games before and every time I'm struck by how meticulously crafted they are. The attention to detail, the gameplay, the portrayal of the Batman world, the voice acting etc it all comes together to create what is, IMO, a perfect 10/10 game.

They are really good games, Arkham Origins is too.  Knight could have been as the plot was great but instead they wanted to force you to do boring batmobile combat shit.

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Never really got into CRPGs before, tried the original BG but lost interest quickly when I had no idea what I was doing, my party kept getting mad at me, and I just wasn't clicking with the combat.  That changed with BG3 and have played about 200 hours of that game, so I went hunting for others and picked up Divinity Original Sin 2 on my switch for a recent trip to India.  Did a first run on "normal" and realized I was playing very sub-optimally during the Fort Joy Simulator, so I restarted and dropped the difficulty so I could get used to the game and get into the story.  I'm about 30 hours in now and am absolutely loving it.  My main is a summoner/necromancer with a mage, ranger, and fighter as my companions.  All origin characters so I'm getting a ton of story and I'm starting to really get into my builds.  I'm really excited to respec in Act 2 since I know I made some bad point allocation, but even with that my characters are still very powerful on easy.  This is definitely a game I see myself playing for a long time and several run throughs

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Posted (edited)

Star Wars: Total War apparently in the works. Not 100% confirmed but apparently the source has been right before about previous games.

Huh.

That's on top of an unnamed historical project, which everyone was expecting, and apparently a 40K game, which everyone was also expecting.

CA: "You guys asked for another Empire: Total War, and you got! From a certain point of view."

Edited by Werthead
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