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Thread: What ARE you playing in 2020?

  1. #376
    I got started on SOMA. It's good. I get the thalassophobia thing: Standing at the edge of a pit under water is somehow worse than above water.

    I'm not a fan particularly of horror; it's either too stressful, if it's good, or, more commonly, just plain annoying. SOMA gets away with it most of the time and has enough else going on to keep me interested. I especially like the exploration and almost chose safe mode, but went with normal mode, because I wanted the sneaking challenge and I had a... sneaking suspicion that I have had otherwise done the game a disservice. Safe mode feels like a thing I could do later to check if I missed some story or exploration bonus.

    The story touches on, or reminds me of, something I've thought about before (and, yes, I know it's not a particularly new thought): For machines to become truly intelligent they must sooner or later gain self-awareness -- either as a consequence (of being sufficiently complex) or as a requirement -- but then we can no longer use them as the tools we planned for them to be. If this is true, the real limit to how intelligent machines can become lies not in how complex we can make them -- or the rules they abide by -- but in what rights we would be willing to give them.

    Of course, a system of "independent" thought that is not self-aware can still be useful, but seeing how we humans always strive to improve the things we make, we might have to one day deal with the question of what we are creating perhaps being a new form of life, and, lest we wanted a violent uprising on our hands , still insisting on treating them as tools (i.e. slaves) would no longer be an option.

    Is a tool with rights less useful than a tool without rights?

  2. #377
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Well, I think that the final answer to that question boils down to a couple of things: sentience and self-awareness. If your tool starts to exhibit those qualities, is it really a tool any more in the classical sense? The answer, you'll find, is no.

    I'd posit that rights automatically apply to anything that classifies as sentient life, and they're really not ours to give; but the wilful taking away and abuse of them, that's something people can do, sure.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 12th May 2020 at 02:59.

  3. #378
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    After finishing chapter 2 of Red Dead Redemption 2 (and doing a lot of side activities, including getting all the satchels and hunting all the possible Legendary Animals), I took a break and played the Two Colonels DLC for Metro Exodus. By and large great production values (as long as you ignore some of the non-combat character animations) and atmosphere, but the design isn't particulary great. It was a good palate cleanser, but as a FPS I cannot particularly recommend it. The first half is repetitive, while the second doesn't offer all that much gameplay. If you liked Exodus for the open expanses, this isn't where you'll find them - it's strictly corridor shootery and not very good at that.

  4. #379
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Two Colonels is essentially an epilogue to fill in that stretch at the end of Exodus where Miller forks off, and I think it works in that regard, especially because they finally decided the whole silent PC schtick doesn't work. It wasn't an essential story, but it shows 4A can actually execute narrative somewhat better if it's the focus of the experience. Gameplay-wise, you're right, it's not particularly noteworthy. It's also very short, so I suspect it was intended as literally what you describe - a palate cleanser.

    Having said that, the next DLC is the polar opposite and properly huge. Prepare to dedicate a chunk of time to it if and when you start.

  5. #380
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'll want to play the second DLC at some point, but not yet. I might give the free Thimbleweed Park bonus game that just came out a whirl, and then I'll probably get back to RDR2 and play the next chapter. Now that I'm all satcheled out, I can focus on the missions... unless I get sidetracked and decide that the camp needs to be decked out to the max.

  6. #381
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    I'd posit that rights automatically apply to anything that classifies as sentient life, and they're really not ours to give; but the wilful taking away and abuse of them, that's something people can do, sure.
    That's well phrased.

  7. #382
    I have also been playing Trackless, a game I'm sort of supposed to review, but every time I think about it, my mind goes blank. It's like a black hole, but for thoughts instead of energy -- or, well, kind of energy too. (What if thoughts actually are a form of energy: wouldn't that be a hoot!?) It's not a bad game -- quite the opposite, really. I liked it. Maybe I even loved it. It's just that I can't seem to write anything substantial about it. Fuck it, me reviewing my efforts to review the game is the review. Yeah, that's it, I'm DONE.

    Edit:
    Venting helped.
    Last edited by qolelis; 12th May 2020 at 09:36.

  8. #383
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Hah. You're all right, qolelis.

    AF: thanks, and you know, if you ever want to let us know how Spirit of the North is, we'd be happy to hear it.

  9. #384
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I played Delores (the Thimbleweed Park bonus spinoff) for about ten minutes and then Alt-F4'ed outta there. Not only was there nothing in the dialogue that immediately hooked me - and there doesn't seem to be all that much other than dialogue - they also switched engine, and there's something about it that just doesn't feel very good to play. There's a word in German, Verschlimmbesserung, which means you make something worse by trying to improve it, and the engine switch seems to be exactly that. The differences are pretty small, but the result is that the game feels fiddly. Perhaps Thimbleweed Park also felt fiddly, but I wasn't immediately put off by that one. Then again, from what I remember of TP, I finished that one out of a sense of obligation to the part of my brain that responds nostalgia rather than because I enjoyed it.

    Anyway, back in Cowboy Country. I missed out on a fishing trip with Hosea (yay!) and Dutch (bleh!) because the mission had already been going on for a while and I had to go and make dinner. Since I don't remember having the option to throw Dutch in the water and drown him from when I first played the game, I don't think I missed all that much.

  10. #385
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    You missed a rather entertaining singing session, but there'll be more singing back at the camp anyway, if you choose to partake.

  11. #386
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    AF: thanks, and you know, if you ever want to let us know how Spirit of the North is, we'd be happy to hear it.
    Oh, thanks for the recommendation! I wishlisted it. I have a Steam category called "Goddamn Fox Games," so I may make a thread just for them at some point. It won't be soon, though, as there are still a bunch unplayed.

  12. #387
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    I haven't played an Assassin's Creed since Revelations, but I got interested in it again after the Odyssey free weekend, and bought Origins (I was more interested in the Egyptian setting). Gotta say, I'm not a big fan of the leveling system, but at least most of the skills in the skill tree are actual meaningful additions to gameplay. The combat is okay, but I try to do as little of it as possible anyway, but the stealth isn't very complicated either. Social stealth is gone, and it's basically about hiding in bushes whistling enemies over and generally staying out of their sight. I mean it works, in fact, stealthily clearing out bandit camps and outposts is one of the most fun parts of the game. As for the world, it's just amazing. The architecture, the clothes, everything is really well done. I sometimes set my character to slow walk and just take in the sights. There are ton of things to do on the map, but apart form following the main quest, I only do sidequests and synchronization points. These seem to be the most meaningful to me. All in all, it's a bit strange to see how AC became a kind of quasi-stealth historical witcher 3, but I'm really enjoying it so far.

  13. #388
    I got started on De-Void, but broke the game by wandering off exploring and ending up doing things in an order the devs hadn't anticipated, so I had to start from the beginning and now I'm not sure if I care enough to continue: the exploration isn't that inspired and if I end up breaking things again, then I'm definitely done.

  14. #389
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    So for the 3rd time I've had an in-progress play through halted due to bugs introduced in a patch designed to fix bugs. What game is this - Phoenix Point. Why do I keep coming back - Because the game is excellent, beyond the bugs. When everything's working right, it's great. Very hard yes, but if you persevere with it and learn it's gameplay, and the best strategies then you'll kick butt. As I did this time, because I knew what I was doing and further experimented with different weapon load outs and made more effective use of class abilities.

    Plus this time I had a FAQ to fall back on (which I developed, and is still the only FAQ on gamefaqs for that game), so I knew exactly what missions to do, what the side quest rewards are, what to research to get the best stuff, and how to get in good with the 3 factions in the game.

    So the Phoenix ending path of the game entails, and I'll spoiler tag it:

    1. Research The Phoenix Archives. May also need to research Haven Recruitment Protocols.
    2. Complete "The Symes Retreat" mission
    3. Head to "Rise By Sin, By Virtue Fall" location
    4. Head to "Frozen" location
    5. Complete "Prisoner of Ice" mission
    6. Research "Pandora Virus"
    7. Head to Time Vault location
    8. Research "Antediluvian Protocivilization"
    9. Complete "Seeking Dr. Symes" mission
    10. Complete "To Antarctica" mission
    11. Research "Virophage Weapons"
    12. Research "Yuggothian Entity"
    13. Research "Yuggothian Receptacle"
    14. Research "Virophage Injector"
    15. Complete "The Last Resort" mission




    After starting a new play through under rookie difficulty this time (I went veteran on my first play through attempt), I had completed up to step 8 of that. So 3 main missions and a 4 research projects left if I wanted to go that route. If you go with the other factions then from step 10 it requires additional steps. Anyways, play through was going wayyyyyyyyyyyy better this time. Just wanted to explore more of the globe, get more squads to alien base attack ready status (that being them equipped well and sufficiently leveled and skilled up, to be able to take on most opponents). Had 2 out of 4 squads to that stage, and was slowly going through some side stuff. Then Snapshot released a hotfix for the game designed to fix a whole heap of bugs (which I hadn't experienced), which added some new ones into the mix. One of which you see around midway through the above video, where a Haven under attack is instantly destroyed after 1 hour of ingame time has passed, when their supposed to last for a full day. And now if any of your squad gets mind controlled, the computer gets to move them immediately (prior it was on the next turn, same as it is for you if you mind control one of theirs). So if you have several guys on overwatch then it's bye bye mind controlled trooper.

    Good discoveries this play through:

    * Best equipment for heavies is the Anvil armor (from New Jericho), Fury-2 rocket launcher (New Jericho), Hel 2 cannon for when in close range, Deimos Assault Rifle at long range
    * Shotgun is the best close quarters weapon for assault. I like to go Deimos AR for long range. Many people on the Snapshot forums prefer the Piranha Rifle.
    * To take out a Spawnery in the Pandoran Lairs, in the fastest way. Move around it taking out it's spawn pods. Each one destroyed knocks off a sizable chunk of it's max health.

    So I'm going to wait till they fix it. I have never seen a game have this many bugs that keep breaking it. Ever. And by that I mean, where the devs keep patching stuff and in doing so add in completely new bugs each time. It's uncanny. And yet I still really enjoy the game and want to beat it so meh. Will have to go back to New Vegas.
    Last edited by icemann; 14th May 2020 at 11:25.

  15. #390
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'm surprised to find that I haven't yet given up on Mass Effect Andromeda. The main reason is that while I do think the whole first planet is mostly a terrible introduction to the game (and the game is generally terrible and introducing the player to its various aspects, beginning with its horrible UI), seeing the results of my actions (establishing a new base on Eos) did provide some motivation to go on, and playing on in turn made me more comfortable with the rhythms of the game. It's still not very good, but I'm understanding better where to get some enjoyment from it.

    I'm very much avoiding the obvious romance dialogue options at the moment, though, because it feels immensely pandering that you meet your crew for five minutes and you can already behave like a pick-up artist: speak this line to up your romance variable with character X. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to get to know people, even virtual ones, before I want to drag them to the nearest bunk for some quality R&R. I'm also realising just how much I hate it when pretty much every companion is into the player character. I'd feel much more of a connection to the team if they developed more of a relationship to each other than if they all were latently Rydersexual.

  16. #391
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Yeah, in recent games with romance options, I've MUCH preferred it when they've allowed me to play matchmaker instead of using sex as a reward. Obsidian have been very good with this, with the stand-out quest in The Outer Worlds being Parvati's romance, and the interesting exploration in Pillars of Eternity 2 of Xoti's sexuality through her initial childish infatuation with Edér, that matures into a more genuine relationship with Maia.
    I was too busy having fun being a pirate to concern myself with getting jiggy, but seeing things blossom between the people I travelled with warmed the cockles of my yarrr-heart.

  17. #392
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I remember being very disappointed in the direction she went (which you don't discover until the end when you hear about what happened to the characters afterword). Vowed to not have that crazy bitch in my party again, if I played it again. She seemed perfectly fine in the beginning. Kinda cute if anything. Then as the game went on, got loopier and loopier.

    In my play through, she turned into a mass murderer after.

  18. #393
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    I'm very much avoiding the obvious romance dialogue options at the moment, though, because it feels immensely pandering that you meet your crew for five minutes and you can already behave like a pick-up artist: speak this line to up your romance variable with character X. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to get to know people, even virtual ones, before I want to drag them to the nearest bunk for some quality R&R. I'm also realising just how much I hate it when pretty much every companion is into the player character. I'd feel much more of a connection to the team if they developed more of a relationship to each other than if they all were latently Rydersexual.
    I think these are meant to be flirting banter or something, but yeah, Bioware romances in Mass Effect have always been awkward attempts of gamifying relationships with a Poser porn style sex scene as a reward. That said, Andromeda did have one of the better sex scenes I've seen in their games to date and the romance I picked (the one I picked was Cora) wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. It almost seemed natural. Sexy, even. And I've seen some Suvi's flirting scenes with female Ryder that looked just adorkable.

  19. #394
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    Yeah, in recent games with romance options, I've MUCH preferred it when they've allowed me to play matchmaker instead of using sex as a reward.
    Do any other examples come to mind? I find that idea much more appealing than choosing from a harem.

  20. #395
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Hmmm, now you've asked for more, I'm struggling to think of any. That obviously means we need more romantic matchmaking in games!
    Let us meddle with other people's love-lives!

  21. #396
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Dragon Age 2 had one, if memory serves.

  22. #397
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    On topic however, I finished off AC Odyssey today, which apart from the Legacy of the First Blade DLC, was overall pretty damned good. Too bloody long, for sure. And full to the brim with copy/paste gameplay. But it had a surprising amount of heart, and was genuinely funny for a substantial amount of the time I was playing it. The side-quest "Family Values" was a particular stand-out.

    And fair play to the voice actors for this game. While not as consistently good as other games out there (although because of the sheer volume of dialogue, it's hard to imagine any other game remaining this consistently good for such a long-assed time outside of a Rockstar title), the timing and delivery in the funniest parts was brilliant. And the sheer number of ways the actress playing Kassandra found of saying "Malaka" was truly impressive.

    I honestly wasn't expecting something like this to be so light-hearted, so overall, I was pleasantly surprised.

    But yeah, to reiterate, too bloody long.

    Edit: Oh yeah, and the final episode of Fate of Atlantis gave me absolutely MASSIVE Saga of Pliocene Exiles vibes.
    Has anyone else who's played it read Julian May's sublime sci-fi series and its follow-up / pre-cursory series Intervention and the Galactic Milieu Trilogy?


    I'm now putting more time in to Gears Tactics, which is surprisingly fab. It's a very accomplished turn-based tactics game a la XCOM, with some very fresh new ideas and incredibly slick production values. Highy recommended for those of you who like that sort of thing. And this is coming from someone who is most definitely not a fan of previous Gears of War games.
    Don't buy it outright yet though! It's stupidly expensive if bought on its own, but can be played for free on Game Pass, which always has an interesting deal or two floating around. Hell, I let my membership continue (forgot to cancel it), and they've only charged me £11.99 for 3 months. Bloody good deal, that.

    It's also wild to see that it comes from Splash Damage. This is completely outside of their comfort zone of class-based, multiplayer FPSes, and yet they've delivered an absolute blinder on their first attempt at the genre. I can only hope we see more such fare from them. Indeed, it would be lovely to see what they could do if they turned their hand to turn-based RPGs.
    And much like Forza Horizon 4 (and Sea of Thieves), the polish is outstanding. It's good to see Microsoft really putting the effort in with these Windows versions of their games.


    I've also been playing a bit of Wonderful 101 having backed it on Kickstarter meaning I've had early access. It's really good!
    But the initial tutorials suck donkey cock when it comes to explaining the basic controls. It basically plays a little like Okami in that you're supposed to draw shapes with your team using the right-stick. But it never explicitly tells you that, instead showing you control prompts that look like joystick movements from beat-'em-ups like Street Fighter. One you twig it's more Amaterasu than Ryu vs. Ken, it still takes a while to get used to, as when you have only a few team members available, the movements to draw the required shapes are so quick as to be frustrating.
    But the Platinum special sauce is definitely there, and the music is superb. It also has a lovely tilt-shift visual aesthetic going on.

    I think it also has minigames to play in loading screens, but it loads so damned fast on SSD, I don't get a chance to play them


    And finally, I fully intend to tuck in to DMC5 at some point this weekend.
    I'm not convinced that it will do much to threaten the dominance (FNAR! *) of Bayonetta 2 in my list of favourite spectacle fighters, but it would be nice to be proven wrong

    *That's Finbarr Saunders from legendary UK toilet-humour comic Viz.
    Last edited by Malf; 15th May 2020 at 17:14.

  23. #398
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Just finished Quantum Break!

    How's it possible that I've loved every game by Remedy Entertainment that I've played in my life, yet I still have fairly low expectations when I actually start playing those games? Remedy games often tend to be quite ambitious and a little weird in a very unique kind of way that apparently isn't to everyone's taste, but I like that sort of thing. And just like always, Quantum Break turned out to be much better than I thought it would be.

    Posting screenshots wouldn't do justice to Quantum Break so I won't be posting any - you'll have to see the game in action. Actually, action is the keyword when it comes to many other things in this game as well. The basic gunplay and the combat feel somewhat underwhelming in the beginning, the lack of any kind of a cover system for example seemed a bit odd at first. However, once you realise that this isn't just a typical FPS and that your time-bending abilities are the main toys here, the gunfights get truly glorious and really fun. The visual effects look absolutely gorgeous too when you see them in action. Quantum Break has got to be one of the most stylish games that I've played.

    The story recycles a lot of old time-travelling cliches, but then again anything that involves time-travelling always tends to be rather clichey. I found it all quite interesting though, even if things get somewhat complicated towards the end, but it's all about the delivery of the story and that is masterful in good old Remedy style. Many people seem to hate the "live-action television show" stuff - the mini episodes between each chapter in the game - but I found them enjoyable enough. I tried to play one chapter a day; that was around two hours of actual gameplay, then I went to make myself a cup of coffee and a cheese sandwich, and watched the tv show (~25 mins) and had a pretty good time. I'd love to find out one day how much your choices actually affect the story, but there are other games that I intend to play first...

  24. #399
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Hah. You're all right, qolelis.
    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.

  25. #400
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Jafaville New Zealand
    I'm replaying Terraria. It's just done it's final major update the other day. With a changelog that supposedly spans 100 standard pages.

    Also managed to tick another game off my ever growing to do list. Toonstruck. Not as humorous as The Curse of Monkey Island. And is it me or is Shadow Warrior 2 just a bloody xp pain in the ass?
    Last edited by bob_doe_nz; 19th May 2020 at 10:54.

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