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Thread: What ARE you playing in 2020?

  1. #401
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by qolelis View Post
    Heh, well, I'm trying. I finally wrote a proper review, hopefully the first of many again.

    Thanks, by the way, for reminding me of SOMA. I claimed my free copy on GOG some time ago, but never played it.
    Good review! I'm not sure Trackless is the kind of game I'd play, but I appreciate the perspective anyway.

    And you're welcome. SOMA's a game anyone who's interested in sci-fi horror that explores questions of identity by throwing players down into the bottom of the lightless deep should play. It's a masterclass in dark, melancholy storytelling.

  2. #402
    GTA V is free. Which is great because I got locked out of my old Rockstar account.


    If anyone wants to play online I totally will NOT wait until you least expect it and then launch a rocket up your backside

    Nah I totally would. GTA V is perfectly suited to that kind of thing. And I'd totally expect you all to do it too and start an entertaining revenge back and forth. Had a fun game like that on 360 when me and some other dude got into an air to ground war where he kept blowing up my cars and I kept blowing up his planes.

  3. #403
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    I realized recently I probably hadn't replayed either of the good Thief games since the run-up to TDS. So I'm currently doing a mission a night in Thief Gold, and I'm about to start Undercover. I dunno what has changed since the last time I played it, but I can honestly say I've enjoyed the hell out of every mission so far. This game has to have the best mission design of anything I've ever played. Basically every mission until you get the sword is a tutorial-but-not-really, teaching you how to be better at the game so you can tackle the harder missions that come later. And within each mission things are generally laid out so that things like making noise or avoiding patrols or dealing with monsters starts out relatively basic and by the end you're just owning every obstacle being thrown at you. And they did it by training you to play it while you play it, instead of shoving some half-assed RPG system in there. God it's good.

  4. #404
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Moyer View Post
    I realized recently I probably hadn't replayed either of the good Thief games since the run-up to TDS. So I'm currently doing a mission a night in Thief Gold, and I'm about to start Undercover. I dunno what has changed since the last time I played it, but I can honestly say I've enjoyed the hell out of every mission so far. This game has to have the best mission design of anything I've ever played. Basically every mission until you get the sword is a tutorial-but-not-really, teaching you how to be better at the game so you can tackle the harder missions that come later. And within each mission things are generally laid out so that things like making noise or avoiding patrols or dealing with monsters starts out relatively basic and by the end you're just owning every obstacle being thrown at you. And they did it by training you to play it while you play it, instead of shoving some half-assed RPG system in there. God it's good.
    No half-assed RPG system? So how does the game make money on microtransactions to boost your skills?

  5. #405
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    @Darkforge, having been on a bit of a Dishonored binge recently, I though I'd give Mankind Divided another go too, but quickly ran in to framerate issues and the inability to invert mouse. My system's no slouch, so the tanking FPS on that first level is massively disappointing, and was reminiscent of the last time I tried to run it; that was with a GTX1070, this time was with an RTX2080 Super. I honestly can't remember performance being this bad the first time I played the game on release, but I think I did turn lots of stuff down to get it running.
    The invert mouse thing however seems to be an ongoing problem, and as the game's not really being developed any more, probably unlikely to get fixed.

    It was enough to make me think "Yeah, I can't be arsed with this."
    Just on the off-chance you still gave a damn, I'm almost done with the Mankind Divided DLC now. I played through all of "System Rift" and most of "A Criminal Past" with pretty much every setting as high as it can go ("Ultra" and so forth) and everything was stable and smooth aside from two brief lags on the opening cutscene of "System Rift". However I'm up to what I think is the last part of "A Criminal Past" and have now starting experiencing some random crashes to desktop - why it's only just started doing this now is beyond me.

    Still, big improvement over my experience with the main game a few years back, so I guess it's still a win.

    EDIT: Turned off the DirectX 12 setting and that seemed to solve the crashing problem for the rest of the DLC. Still no idea why I only started getting troubles near the end but, hey, all's well that ends well.
    Last edited by DarkForge; 27th May 2020 at 05:40.

  6. #406
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Been playing a buncha things.

    Cloudpunk - Finished it! And yeah I stand by my previous assessment of "interesting characters, poor voiceacting, so-so flying, pretty visuals." Overall, it was ok.

    Kentucky Route Zero - Finished this one as well, the last chapter is very short. Yeah, this one is good n sad. Gorgeous visuals and music. It never really completely pulled me into it's world or really made me care about it's characters tho. It's one of those subtext-heavy things, and I'm not a SUBTEXT GUY.

    Mutazione - Only just started this one last night when I couldn't sleep. After KRZ this will be my new "I can't sleep"-gaming. It's about a girl who goes to a monster island and talks to the monsters. It's nice and mellow and twee.

    Snowrunner - I've pretty much wrapped-up Michigan and Alaska, and I'm about to get started on the Russian region. I mean... it's great. It's more Spintires y'know. Get some country music playing on Spotify and boot up Snowrunner and I'm in my comfort zone.

    Desert Golfing - Dunno why but I've found myself drawn back to the desert. It's good podcast-gaming. Specifically I've been listening to How Did This Get Played? and Doughboys episodes while playing it.

    The Outer Wilds - I dip into this now and then and there's always new discoveries to marvel at.

    Days Gone - Haven't played this in weeks. I haven't finished it. It's too damn long.

    Shadow Of The Collossus Remake - I've taken down 3 collossi, but I'm not really feeling it. I think once through this game(or its original, to be precise) was enough.

    Thy Sword - This neat lil' hack n slash platformer just got released on consoles so I picked it up for Switch. It's good! Also I'm biased in saying that since it's developed by some local boys so who knows maybe I'm actually lying! The only way to know for sure is to pick up a copy of THY SWORD today! Out now on PC and consoles!

  7. #407
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I'm glad to see that the universe has some sort of equilibrium. If you can't be engaged by the likes of KRZ and Shadow of the Colossus, then I don't have to feel particularly bad about telling Dark Souls 1's ponderousness to stick it where the sun ain't grossly incandescent.

  8. #408
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Thy Sword - This neat lil' hack n slash platformer just got released on consoles so I picked it up for Switch. It's good! Also I'm biased in saying that since it's developed by some local boys so who knows maybe I'm actually lying! The only way to know for sure is to pick up a copy of THY SWORD today! Out now on PC and consoles!
    Read this and got excited for a minute thinking someone had made a game out of the excellent Luna Brothers graphic novel "The Sword".

  9. #409
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Sulph, I was engaged enough to finish both those games once. Dark Souls had me hooked with its gameplay and worldbuilding, tho I never made heads or tails of the story.

  10. #410
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Sure, I was engaged by Dark Souls enough to admire its overall design, but the story was too diffuse to really care about.

  11. #411
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    The story itself is not very complex in Dark Souls -- you learn that you have been chosen (either to prolong the Age of Fire or to usher in the Age of Dark) and you're being led to that by two serpents, one who tries to manipulate you by telling lies and the other by telling the truth. It's all the background info and lore where things get murky on the details of what really happened and what significance did the events have.

    Incidentally, I've been getting into Demon's Souls again (I've only played it a bit before), and so far I like it nearly as much as Dark Souls. I think I still prefer the Castlevania / Zelda style level design, as it gives the place more of a sense of a continuous world, but the Mega Man style level structure kind of makes the world feel like a bigger place. It also helps that the worlds you teleport into do have some continuity and a unified theme. Other than that, it feels very From in all its aspects and I'm seeing lots of parallels from the old King's Field games as well as their newer ones. Latria was a surprise, though -- did not expect to see those fellas.

    Also, reinstalled Code Vein (basically anime Dark Souls) and Sekiro, whose saves I lost in a recent hard drive crash, but I don't know if I can be bothered to go through the motions again. I wasn't that far along in Sekiro, but I must have put some 20 hours into Code Vein. Hmm... maybe I should try out that Wasteland 3 beta before they take it down.

  12. #412
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    The two games using the Dark Souls kind of storytelling/worldbuilding that worked best for me were Bloodborne and Hollow Knight; with the latter, I still didn't fully understand what was going on while I was playing, but I definitely felt the pathos of that dying world more keenly. Other than that, From's games work for me as tone poems rather than stories, they're what a fantasy movie by Terrence Malick might look like (with all that entails, good and bad).

    I'm finding myself surprisingly engaged by Mass Effect Andromeda by now. It's still not great and I still don't particularly care about the characters, but I'm definitely having enough fun to want to continue. I do wonder if it's a case of accepting the game's flaws and adjusting my expectations, as well as having a better understanding especially of the combat, or just giving it more time, or if it's mainly that the first couple of hours are simply a bad introduction to the game and it improves later on.

  13. #413
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    @Starker: Sekiro has cloud saves, so if you were playing while online it should ideally have your progress saved.

  14. #414
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, the post-apocalyptic aspect of Dark Souls really appealed to me, the melancholy sense it gave you that you're just an insect walking among the ruins of a once great civilisation. And in the end, it's just ashes and dying embers, whether you blow on them one last time or not.

    re: Andromeda, I think it's just that the best parts of the game are found outside of the main path, or at least for me it was the side plots and characters that I was most engaged with. It was things like pondering the ethics of creating an immortal AI and assisted suicide or the hit and miss sitcom with your dysfunctional crew that openly disrespects you or even just generally driving around and taking in cool sights. The moment that won me over, actually, was when I jumped on the ship and got scolded by the pilot -- when a game bothers to put in little things like that, it can't be all bad.

    re: Sekiro, I just checked, but I play off-line most of the time, unfortunately, so no cloud saves for me. But I wasn't really that far into the game and it has been months since I last played it, so I think I could use some practice anyway. Code Vein, though... ugh...
    Last edited by Starker; 25th May 2020 at 04:17.

  15. #415
    BANNED
    Registered: Nov 2016
    Location: Trollinus Maximus
    war machines, trying to figure out how to make it work with a controller as opposed to the keyboard.

  16. #416
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Blasphemous does it as well. It's definitely a play once type game, but its definitely in that same mold.

  17. #417
    New Member
    Registered: May 2006
    Bloodborne is about all I've played since it came out. I've burned out on it a couple times and I've played a few hours of a bunch of other games (only finished a couple) but nothing has really grabbed me in the same way.

    Sometimes I buy something that's on sale and I feel terrible when I drop it a few hours in because I get an itch to play Bloodborne again. Also because my backlog is so long and I'll probably never touch again most of what's in there.
    Last edited by Danielo; 30th May 2020 at 16:06.

  18. #418
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielo View Post
    Bloodborne is about all I've played since it came out. I've burned out on it a couple times and I've played a few hours of a bunch of other games (only finished a couple) but nothing has really grabbed me in the same way.

    Sometimes I buy something that's on sale and I feel terrible when I drop it a few hours in because I get an itch to play Bloodborne again. Also because my backlog is so long and I'll probably never touch again most of what's in there.
    Eh, at least it's a superb game that you fixated on. Pity the poor souls whose one game is a Paradox one. Or... *shudders*... a MOBA.

  19. #419
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    I don't get to use the PC much these days apart from a few hours over the weekend, but here's what I've juggled over the past 2 months.

    • Call of Cthulhu - A fun, relatively short game, that will probably be the last "big" budget Cthulhu game we will see for a long time. Great voice acting, characters and an interesting detective story that had me hooked until the end. Definitely not a perfect game, with a few annoying puzzle sequences here and there, and it also got a bit silly in some parts towards the very end.
    • Hitman 2 - I purchase the standard version in a sale earlier this year believing that, as one normally would, that purchasing a game advertised as a sequel would include all of the main story content. It turns out that to get to see the ending you need to purchase a DLC that includes the final 2 missions at a price that is more than double the amount I paid for the base game. Apart from that, I enjoyed the missions up until that point. They are well polished, with some gorgeous settings, detailed environments and variety of options available to practice 41's dark craft. That said, the story is fairly lackluster, and is not helped by replacing the video sequences with low-res stills.
    • Darkwood - Only started this recently. Very creepy. I can't say I've ever played anything quite like this.
    • Ori and the Blind Forest - This is quite good, but nothing remarkable. Not really sure what all the accolades are for. I've played for 5-6 hours or so, so maybe this gets better later?
    • Return of the Obra Dinn - Love the atmosphere, music and originality on this one. It takes me back to my childhood
    • The Long Dark - Having completed all of the available Wintermute episodes (which are excellent, apart from a few quirky story choices), I'm currently playing survival mode with their new Fearless Navigator release, which keeps going from strength to strength.
    • Bloodborne (PS4) - I completed my 3rd playthrough a month ago or so, after doing an E2E run through of Dark Souls 1 to 3. Probably the best game of all time.
    • Nioh (PS4) - I've enjoyed what I've played of this so far but after the class leading combat fluidity of Bloodborne and DS, I probably need to take a break for a while to judge it on its own merits.
    • Sekiro (PS4) - I haven't made it very far yet -- I can't even beat the first boss!
    • No Man's Sky (PS4) - Fun at first, but starting to get very grindy. It also suffers from bland, poorly developed NPCs, that do little to break the generic, procedurally driven nature of the experience.

  20. #420
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    RE: Ori, really it's the pure charm and general design that's the most enjoyable part. It's also bastard hard, so that combines with a sense of relief and a wash of emotions when you plunge through an escape sequence and come out the other side to more gorgeous visuals. The new abilities that are dripfed are also quite fun when you're not, you know, ramming yourself into a spike patch. If that doesn't stand out, I don't think the rest of the game will. It's really just a profoundly pretty Metroid with a beautiful opening.

    Having said that, Ori and the Will of the Wisps has made Ori much more agile and combat far more punchy, which is a great combination when you set it against those ridiculously gorgeous backdrops. The story seems slightly (slightly) more involved, too.

    As for Sekiro, the first boss isn't that hard - if you're talking about Gyoubou Oniwa that is. He's pretty much a gating mechanic that tests how well you've learned to dodge and parry so far, as well as knowing when to pull back. He's doable if you have the grapple hook attack that lets you hook enemies and launch towards them, which lets you close the distance better.

  21. #421
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    That's a great list, Twisty. I'm very happy to see Darkwood and Obra Dinn, as they merit all the attention they can get.

    Here are a few smaller games I finished amidst the big'uns.

    The Herbalist -- A crafting game. You play as an amateur alchemist, picking flowers out in the woods to make potions to sell. I appreciated the fact that there's no guessing once you figure out the pattern of potion tier, but the gameplay wasn't engaging enough for me to play beyond the ending. I did like that you could drink every potion yourself. Most of them are meant for adventurers, and useless to you beyond an amusing cutscene. Also, being a furry degenerate, I appreciated the effects of the speed and vision potions, turning you into a bunny and cat. Your character is so mortified that she hides indoors until the potions wear off.

    Furwind -- A goddamn fox game. This one's a level-based platformer. It uses decent pixel art which looks much better in motion than in screenshots. The powerups are laughably ineffective, the translation is sketchy, the mood is cloying, and the story is forgettable, and yet I stuck with it and completed it fully. It requires a more patient, methodical approach to platforming, and that's what I was in the mood for. Also... it had heart. Silly as the game was, it was a work of genuine passion. The creators could do very good things if they found a sympathetic critic to point out their problems early in development.

    Alchemist's Castle -- A budget metroidvania. A student project, I think. It lacked understanding of what constitutes good exploration in the genre. Good exploration has you gradually loop and weave through the map. The main place ungated by a new ability should be fresh in your memory. Outright backtracking should be optional, and when you visit old areas of the map you should do so from a new direction/entrance. Bad metroidvania exploration has you zigzagging constantly, so that a chart of your traversal looks like a bunch of superimposed Z's, with the gate for the next main progression area long since forgotten by the time you found the powerup to bypass it. This was a bad'un, but short enough that I didn't mind. I skipped the final (and only) boss fight because of the way the story was heading. I always consider "quitting just before the last boss" a valid ending, even if I have to supply the details myself.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 1st Jun 2020 at 08:07.

  22. #422
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Fugue in Void - One of the most pretentious, self-indulgent pure art for art's sake walking simulator I've played, maybe just shy of 0°N 0°W and Aentity, but it can maybe get away with it because it is admittedly fantastic art. It reminds me of those old grafix demos back in the day, and if you take it in that spirit, it's a nice tromp. It has the semblance of puzzles and I don't know if you could call it progression, much less a plot arc, but it has a self-consistentish world and very much an aesthetic. I took 101 screenshots, so evidently I liked it enough.


  23. #423
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    Yeah I couldn’t figure out what it was about either, but I liked walking around the oppressive brutalist architecture.

  24. #424
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Every time I hear something called "pretentious" I pause and wonder, what is it pretending to be that's so bad? Pretending to be intellectual, when it's not? Pretending to be profound, when it's not? The word gets lobbed around frequently, and yet people rare pause to actually identify the pretense.

    Most creators that aim at profundity, and then fall way short, genuinely believe they're profound. They're not pretending, they're deluded.

  25. #425
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    The first thing you have to realize about my use of that term is that I'm a junkie for artistic indie games.
    A lot of us here are, though I think qolelis may be the only one that's a bigger junkie than I am, which is why I always want to hear what he's playing.

    But aaaanyway, usually the first red flag that identifies that kind of game to me is that it has a "mixed" score on Steam, and most all of the negatives are some variation of it being pretentious or pointless or alienating or that it's a whole lotta faff without much game or they just don't get it. I think good art should challenge and alienate people, and I even distrust art that's too comforting and doesn't challenge enough. But I also recognize there's a fine line between art that challenges and alienates to make our horizons grow and art that's just being difficult and ugly and going nowhere for no reason, or a game that's trying but is just clumsy and hamfists it. All of those kinds of games would get that profile, so it's not a guarantee it'll hit with me. It's the growth part that's important to me. But for me it's often worth giving it a shot, and I'll slog through 5 or so sludge games for the few jewels, and I'll appreciate that a game is at least making an effort at being something more than cheap, throw away entertainment, even if they don't hit what they're aiming for.

    Anyway, long story short, when I use that term, I'm usually inverting it to represent a badge of honor, and I'm not using it in the typical way.

    It reminds me of this scene from Frasier
    Martin: Right! We can cross the line and toast in the new year.
    Frasier: Dad, that's brilliant! And there was a delightful little restaurant just across the border.
    Martin: Well, the guide book said it was pretentious.
    Frasier: Perfect, let's roll!

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