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Thread: What are you playing in 2021?

  1. #51
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    They're selling early access to the Oxygen Not Included DLC, so I'm playing that.
    There's a nifty new creature called a "Plug Slug", which eats metal ore but recharges your power grid at night if you leave a bare wire available for it to "plug" in to.
    And apparently they've made getting in to space easier, but I can't see it myself. The asteroid I'm on, while abundant in Plug Slugs, seems to have no way of making textiles or plastics, so I have no way of making space suits

  2. #52
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    been playing a buncha stuff

    QUBE 2 - First person puzzler. Like Portal, but without any of the charm. The story is some kinda generic sci-fi mumbojumbo about AI taking over and whatnot. Honestly I enjoyed the game more when I just tuned out the story and listened to music while doing the puzzles. The actual puzzles are solid, and your character's hand animations are great at selling the feeling of you being some kinda space wizard. It's fun, in a Talos Principle kinda way.

    Bad North: Jotunn Edition - If you've always wanted to play one of those Total War games that's all about positioning your units and watching as they clash together with enemies, but the whole Total War thang just looks too complex to bother with, then this is the game for you. Minimalist RTS that's all about positioning your units to defend small islands from attacking hordes. It's satisfying in the same way that tower defence games are, and it's all wrapped in a FTL-esque roguelite progress-structure where you move from island to island and upgrade your units inbetween.

    Crumble - Fast-paced grappling-hook-focused third person platformer where you're a ball and also you HAVE a ball because the game is FUN. When I first played it, I thought "wow this is like one of those Sonic 3D games except not bad!". But then I got bored after 10 minutes. I did play a second session, and have now played the game for a total of 29 minutes. I bought this game weeks ago btw. So I dunno what to say. Technically very well put together and very fun ON PAPER, but for some reason it's not really grabbing me.

    Grim Fandango - Yeah, still playing this whenever I can't sleep. I'm past Rubicava now, which someone here said was the best part of the game, but I gotta say STRONG DISAGREE. It was way too big, way too much running around all over the place, not knowing what I was doing, and I had to resort to a walkthrough like 6 times in that section. I much prefer the smaller, more focused sections that just trap you in a room and tell you to figure it out. To be fair, I'll admit that I'm absolutely playing this game THE WRONG WAY, by only dipping into it every few weeks or so. And usually when I get back to it I've forgotten everything that's happened so far, so if I gotta remember something that some character told me in order to solve a puzzle, I can't do that. I'm trapped underwater now, which I'm enjoying more than Rubicava.

    Rain On Your Parade Beta - Unfortunately the developer's strict NDA prevents me from telling you that this is very good.

    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    Finished AC:Unity. Probably my second favourite after AC2.
    I should play that at some point. My fave AC's have been the ones set in relatively modern times. Have fun with Syndicate, that one's my favourite in the series.

  3. #53
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    ...but for some reason it's not really grabbing me...
    BY THE BALLS!

    *Ahem*
    'scuse me, don't know wot came over me.
    Oo-er. I seem to be trapped in some kind of innuendo box.

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Just finished replaying the main Borderlands 2 campaign. Despite the questionable level scaling (enemies gain health and damage output faster than the player does) it was pretty good. Better than I remembered. Not as cringy as I remembered. I'm on the fence about going back and trying the DLC again, because the BL2 campaign was twice as long as the BL1 campaign already, and there's just too much damn content. You can tell it came out during the beginning of the "I'm gonna give games positive reviews based on how long they are" era. Things kinda lose steam around 2/3 of the way through and I feel like it would have been a stronger game if it hadn't kept feeling like things were nearing an end and then going "and another thing!" over and over.

  5. #55
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    I should play that at some point. My fave AC's have been the ones set in relatively modern times. Have fun with Syndicate, that one's my favourite in the series.
    If nothing else, it is 100% worth it for the setting. I may be biased as I've spent a fair bit of time in Paris, but it is an amazing bit of artistry.
    The AC games get written off as factory line UbiMapIcon games (which they are to an extent, if you just look at the gameplay loops), but the effort they put into the places they make is astounding.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    If nothing else, it is 100% worth it for the setting. I may be biased as I've spent a fair bit of time in Paris, but it is an amazing bit of artistry.
    The AC games get written off as factory line UbiMapIcon games (which they are to an extent, if you just look at the gameplay loops), but the effort they put into the places they make is astounding.
    While the locations are amazingly well realized, the gameplay is very much by the numbers.

    I liked exploring Victoria Era London in Syndicate, but the gameplay itself was mediocre at best (and downright atrocious in the worst parts).

  7. #57
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Isn't that what I said?

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    The AC games get written off as factory line UbiMapIcon games (which they are to an extent, if you just look at the gameplay loops), but the effort they put into the places they make is astounding.
    It's what makes them so frustrating to me: they get some key things right that I absolutely love, namely the sense of a real place, but then they fill these places with samey, shallow gameplay loops, and so much of it too, so I always grow sick and tired of them about 2/3 into the game - yet it's not like I can get the things they do well elsewhere. I don't think there's another franchise that I've got as much of a love-hate relationship with.

  9. #59
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Same. I want to play them all because I really enjoy their aesthetic, and the gameplay isn't bad, it's just repetitive.
    I'm looking forward to moving on to the newer ones as there has been something of a reboot (though the length of the games seems to be much increased, so probably I'll burn out on them anyway).
    It's taken me this long to get this far through them because I get enthusiastic and try to play through them sequentially, then burn out.
    I end up taking ~2 year gaps between burn out and going back, but the excitement is always there, just anonoying it comes paired with that sense of "Eh" about the extended gameplay.

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I finished A Short Hike more or less, but I don't think I'll go back to complete it. It did get rave reviews. For me it wore its influences too visibly. There were the mechanics and visuals taken directly from Animal Crossing, but worse was the writing, which felt too much like it was trying to be Night in the Woods. Night in the Woods gets away with its jokey, this-how-millennials-talk dialogue because of its deep characterization. In A Short Hike it seemed derivative, and it grated. But it was only 45 minutes long, and the flying was fun, so whatever.

    I've been also been finally playing Kentucky Route Zero. Last night I did "The Entertainment," which -- holy cow -- had all my hairs standing on end. What a brilliant, beautiful game. I don't love it unconditionally -- sometimes it is a bit plodding -- but otherwise so far it's moved me as much as any great postmodern novel. After a KRZ episode I'm always left with this unusual anxious calm, like I just woke from a deep dream. I am dumb for not playing this much sooner.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    If you didnt finish A Short Hike you dont get the best bit of the game, the final flight. It is quite something and made me feel.

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I did get to the top, and then I didn't quite realize what was happening, and I dive-bombed back to the beach in like 3 seconds. My fault, I guess. What I meant, though, is that I didn't try to get all the feathers or win all the races or catch all the fish.

  13. #63
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Loving AC: Syndicate so far.
    The combat and parkour are a step down from Unity, but the setting and characters are really likeable and the missions are a LOT more interesting vs Unity.

  14. #64
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    I always go with COD

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    Here are the ones that stand out in memory since I last posted. Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker is an exercise in self-restraint, with tiny puzzle-box levels and a very short list of possible actions. However, this allows one's mind to readily encompass the entirety of a level, which is a rare pleasure in gaming.
    I also got this on sale, and I agree with you. I love that each level has its own self-contained theme, and the touch of surrealness in their details.

    I also started Death Stranding because I watched Tim Rogers talk about it, and he called it "the most Hideo Kojima game he's ever made." Going into with that attitude, I'm enjoying the absurdity of it all rather than balking at it. Rogers also called it "the Gran Turismo of walking simulators," which is apt. I had a very exciting time shifting my weight left and ride as I tried to walk a short distance to the waystation, with a comical amount of cargo on my back (much of it unsalvageable).

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    I was in the mood for some Star Wars action, so I thought that I'd give SW: Battlefront 2 a try. It took a while to just download and install, but the loading times... dear lord... they're just ridiculous. I haven't experienced anything like this since the 1980's when I loaded games from a cassette tape on our good old Amstrad.

    So yeah, installing Battlefront 2 on HDD instead of SSD was probably a mistake, but there's no reason at all for this game to run so slowly. I played the first mission for a while and it seemed fun, but as soon as the game decides that it wants to load something, it just gets unplayable. So I uninstalled it and I'll give it another chance some time later when I can be bothered.

    Oh well, I went back to playing Control - you can almost feel the Force in that game too. Also, it runs perfectly fine, looks awesome, and is pretty damn fun as well.

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: British Columbia, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    ... Death Stranding ... Going into with that attitude, I'm enjoying the absurdity of it all rather than balking at it. Rogers also called it "the Gran Turismo of walking simulators," which is apt. I had a very exciting time shifting my weight left and ride as I tried to walk a short distance to the waystation, with a comical amount of cargo on my back (much of it unsalvageable).
    I really think Kojima hit it out of the park with Death Stranding. I loved the absurdity of it all. I read about a rumor today that some additional content is on the way, so I hope that's enough reason for me to go back to it at some point because I want more.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    I also got this on sale, and I agree with you. I love that each level has its own self-contained theme, and the touch of surrealness in their details.
    Yeah, it's a treat. It's also good to see a major developer putting out mid-price games of modest complexity. The blockbuster-driven approach of most big studios seems like a recipe for disaster.

    As of late, I've been obsessed with finding geometric representations of weird groups of small order, leaving not much time and energy for games. I have, however, started up Spiritfarer, which seems absolutely lovely so far. The gist of the game is that you're responsible for helping lost souls come to peace with their deaths and move on, and you do so by spoiling them rotten. The animation style is top-notch (and consummately furry), with character details conveyed by the animation; for instance, an overly-conscientious snake who tries her best to wear human clothing and make human gestures, even though the results are absurd. I'm still early in the game, so I'll have more to say about it later.

  19. #69
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    Halo 2: Anniversary done. Felt more in control during the second half of the game, so I started to have more fun. The difficulty was well-balanced, no section was too frustrating.

    Still, I find that after a workday I'd like to play less intense games than this to relax my mind, so I'm not moving on to Halo 3 for the time being.

  20. #70
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I don't know who's in the market for a charming and chill lo-fi train driver game that's playable in-browser, but here: https://powersaurus.itch.io/cab-ride It's nice to just watch the landscape roll by while doing a bad job at picking up and letting off passengers.

  21. #71
    I've been playing the current EGS freebie Dandara for a couple of hours and it's an interesting twist on the Metroidvania genre (which has a tendency to be fairly by the numbers in the gameplay). This is almost purely due to the movement system, which doesn't let you walk around and jump as you would in a normal platformer or Metroidvania. Instead you have to jump in a straight line to specific areas, which makes exploration a different type of challenge and you need to think about each area in a different way than you usually would. The combat is a bit clunky, having to charge your shot for half a second or so instead of just firing on tap and the special attacks requiring holding down the attack and tapping a different button. I expect they did it that way to let you aim, but the basic attack doesn't cost anything so there's little reason IMO to force holding down the attack button (even if just briefly).

    Having Dandara as the weekly EGS freebie was a stroke of minor luck, as I was already looking for a new Metroidvania to play. It's been fun so far, even if the bosses can be a bit frustrating. But the movement and exploration is fun and I may actually complete it.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I've not had all that much time over the last couple of weeks to play, but after finding it initially difficult to get into Star Wars: Fallen Order (because it takes so many elements from the Soulsborne games, the ways in which it plays differently cause friction at first) I'm now really enjoying it. It does a great job of bridging the period of the prequels and the original films while having the kind of Star Wars aesthetic that I really, really dig. I also like the environments and what exploration there is - there's a coherence to it, so that three or four planets into the game I've developed a sense for where there might be nooks and crannies that hide goodies. While I don't dislike them, I don't particularly like the characters, but the environments almost become characters in their own right.

  23. #73
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Yeah like I've said before I also have complicated feelings about Jedi Fallen Order, but I did just finish my second playthrough, and I'm glad to hear there's rumors of a sequel. EA recently lost their exclusivity on Star Wars IP games, but they're apparently still going ahead with Fallen Order 2. I was so-so on the characters, Cal is your regular white bread protagonist, but Cere did grow on me as the story went along, and I did like Greez a lot, and also another character you might not have met yet, Merrin.

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I have to say I'm a bit ambivalent with respect to what I think they could've done differently. Part of me wishes they'd committed to the Dark Souls-style combat and made it as solid, crunchy and brutal as the combat in those games, while another part thinks they should've gone for something along the lines of God of War instead, because the gameplay is too floaty in its implementation to be satisfyingly Soulsborne-like.

  25. #75
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I wouldn't want it to be as hard as Dark Souls and I don't want it to be a spectacle fighter like GOW, I just would've wanted it to be exactly like it is but tighter and gooder. In both my playthroughs I played the game on Hard until it became too infuriating and then switched down to Normal, which was... mostly fine, I guess. The biggest problem with the game is probably the janky animation tho.

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