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Thread: What ARE you playing in 2020?

  1. #576
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I love exiting a level in the most outlandish costume, mind you. Agent 47's grim face, the tense music, and there I go, dressed up as a big-ass flamingo, walking off into the sunset. Getting a Silent Assassin rating for that is the hilariously straight-faced cherry on top. (Though yeah, it would be nice for the series to allow for that kind of consistency between the games.)

  2. #577
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Yeah, the flamingo outfit is a delight.
    I'm a bit worried that they've said they're going for a more serious tone in the next game. I love that in the levels, they've been prepared to let you be as goofy as you like. Sure, the cutscenes take themselves far too seriously, and always have done, but I feel goofiness has always been a part of the Hitman games and should remain so.

    I would love it if they started rendering the cutscenes using the in-game engine, allowing you to have otherwise serious moments be funny thanks to 47 wearing something ludicrous. That was one of the best things about the Dead Rising games for me
    Last edited by Malf; 29th Jul 2020 at 18:01.

  3. #578
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    I played Assassin's Creed Origins not long ago. It's been 9 years since last time I played an AC game (Revelations), but the Odyssey free weekend got me curious again. I'm glad I got back into it, because Origins was really fun. It evoked that feeling of, basically, time traveling back into a certain part of history, that I remember from playing old AC games. Origins is awesome in that regard. The clothes, the architecture, the representation of egyptian culture, everything is really well done. I often set my character to slow walk, just to take in the sights. The open world itself was varied enough with the contrast of big cities and vast desert. It was a joy to explore.

    I generally don't like leveling systems in games, but here it ended up being largely inconsequential, since I did so many sidequests that I ended up being overleveled most of the time. Still, the idea, that assassinations are not insta-kill (depending on the level of the opponent) irks me. But apart from the arbitrary numbers increase, leveling also allows you to get skills, which are nice since most them are an actual, meaningfull addition to the gameplay. Speaking of which, the basic gameplay loop proved to be super addicting. Most of time, you have to clear out camps and rescue people, but I never got bored of it. The stealth mechanic isn't even that deep, it's basically hiding in bushes luring out enemies, but it was just fun. Stealth isn't always an option unfortunately, and some of the late game "assassinations" are straight up bossfights, which I wasn't a fan of. Especially the ones in the DLCs were obnoxious.

    Anyway, the addictive gameplay loop was part of the reason why I did every side mission, the other being that they all added some story and lore. The other activities I did were getting the vantage points (it wouldn't be an AC game without them), the tombs, and the papyrus puzzles. I feel these were all meaningful stuff that didn't feel like arbitrary map clearing that open world games often get accused of. All in all, I really enjoyed my time with this game, and it reignited my interest in the franchise. I have some of the older games on uplay from free promotions, so I'll probably check one out before Valhalla releases.

  4. #579
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    At the start of lockdown, I went through Origins and Odyssey, and I'm now well and truly burned-out on the Ubigame formula.
    I got Watchdogs 2 for free during their Not-E3 event. While I initially enjoyed it and the mechanical differences to AC, it soon settled in to the same old Ubi rut of repeating the same few gameplay loops until it had driven them in to the ground. I've subsequently stopped playing it altogether.

    The other problem for Ubi is that RDR2 exists. And RDR2's world and run-of-the-mill NPCs make the Ubigame equivalents look like the shallow placeholders they are. Every person you meet in RDR2 feels like they have a story and a reason for being where they are.
    But the NPCs in Ubigames feel like soulless set-dressing by comparison. Little more than the animated crowds in sports and racing games.

    If they concentrated on reducing the size of the worlds their games take place in, then populating said worlds with more interesting NPCs and more varied quest / mission types, I think I could get behind that. As it stands, unless Valhalla and Watchdogs Legion REALLY shake up the formula, I'll be ignoring Ubigames for the foreseeable.

  5. #580
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I found Origins to be superior to Odyssey. It has the Pyramids, exploration and unique angle of having the player as the last of a dead order (of the Medjay).

    It also has a superior wildlife system (which in addition combines better with new crafting system in regards to weapons and armor) and more fun arena. Its much less story heavy and far more about the game play and exploration. I absolutely loved it.

    And man is the scenery in the DLC beautiful.

  6. #581
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Malleus View Post
    I generally don't like leveling systems in games, but here it ended up being largely inconsequential, since I did so many sidequests that I ended up being overleveled most of the time. Still, the idea, that assassinations are not insta-kill (depending on the level of the opponent) irks me. But apart from the arbitrary numbers increase, leveling also allows you to get skills, which are nice since most them are an actual, meaningfull addition to the gameplay. Speaking of which, the basic gameplay loop proved to be super addicting. Most of time, you have to clear out camps and rescue people, but I never got bored of it. The stealth mechanic isn't even that deep, it's basically hiding in bushes luring out enemies, but it was just fun. Stealth isn't always an option unfortunately, and some of the late game "assassinations" are straight up bossfights, which I wasn't a fan of. Especially the ones in the DLCs were obnoxious.
    I do mind that Ubisoft's implementation of the levelling system turned enemies into arrow sponges. In an Assassin's Creed game, I want there to be certain methods that are *always* one-shot. If there's a fear that this makes some enemies too easy, make things more difficult by means of the mission design or the AI, but I don't get any enjoyment out of Ubisoft's main strategy, which is HP inflation.

    While I enjoyed Origins immensely to begin with, my enjoyment of it dropped considerably about 2/3 into the game, and I mainly played the DLC for completeness' sake (and yes, they do have some very nice environments). This is also the main reason why I've had Odyssey installed for at least a year but I never played it: I burned out on the gameplay. I was positively surprised by how varied and specific Origins' environments were - the cities all had their own flavour and the desert was also more varied than expected - but the gameplay, mission design and storytelling just don't keep me engaged for more than 20-30 hours. After that point, most Ubisoft games can't hide the extent to which they're rinse-and-repeat games.

  7. #582
    I recently completed the main story in Hitman (2016). The Hokkaido level was going great until one of the guards started annoying me.

    When the level was over I had killed 58 non-targets.

  8. #583
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Ah yes, the best laid plans of mice and hitmen...

  9. #584
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Or possibly Hitmice and Hitmen. Though I think Agent 47 would probably be a cat rather than a mouse. I can almost imagine a mission ending with a straight-faced feline 47 leaving the mission area on a Roomba.

  10. #585
    To be fair, I hadn't really made any plans at the time I met that guard, I was mostly just scoping out the location. But one thing led to another ending up iin a major shootout that killed almost all of the guards and several medical workers, which led to me basically having "free" access to every location. The last guards were killed on my way to the second target and out of the mission.

  11. #586
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Looking through forums and such, it seems the majority of people prefer Origins to Odyssey. I'm wary of Odyssey, because even though the greek world looks interesting, it seems way more heavy on rpg elements. Even during the free weekend I came across situations where I assassinated a random mook, but it didn't kill him. That was disappointing. Origins was way more reliable in that regard as apart from specific mini-boss type enemies, everyone around my level could taken out by an assassination, or predator arrow and even owerpower attacks during combat were reliable one-shots.

    Valhalla certainly doesn't seem to shake up the overall formula, it'll be more of the same with some changes and additions, which I don't mind as I'm not tired of it yet. One of the good changes though, is that assassinations will be one-shot kills again, with the caveat that if you try it on a high level enemy or boss, you have to pass a quick time event. It seems ... reasonable.

  12. #587
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Malleus View Post
    Looking through forums and such, it seems the majority of people prefer Origins to Odyssey. I'm wary of Odyssey, because even though the greek world looks interesting, it seems way more heavy on rpg elements. Even during the free weekend I came across situations where I assassinated a random mook, but it didn't kill him. That was disappointing. Origins was way more reliable in that regard as apart from specific mini-boss type enemies, everyone around my level could taken out by an assassination, or predator arrow and even owerpower attacks during combat were reliable one-shots.

    Valhalla certainly doesn't seem to shake up the overall formula, it'll be more of the same with some changes and additions, which I don't mind as I'm not tired of it yet. One of the good changes though, is that assassinations will be one-shot kills again, with the caveat that if you try it on a high level enemy or boss, you have to pass a quick time event. It seems ... reasonable.
    Odyssey is most certainly FAR more RPG heavy, and by extension more story driven. It also has far more of a mythological angle, with fantasy style bosses (eg Minotaurs, Giants, Medusa etc etc). Origins does have that too, but only in the DLC, and the one I'm thinking of with that was supposed to be in the Egyptian afterlife so it makes perfect sense there. Odyssey is far more of a time sink compared to Origins. If you do all the content (as in all DLC, all side quests, all optional bosses, cult investigation etc) then your looking at 4 months roughly. You could get all of Origins done in a month.

    PS: Snake suit was my favorite in Origins. Even when I got better gear, I just loved the look of it so stuck with it.

    One thing Odyssey got right, that I would have liked in Origins was the cult investigation stuff. That was really good and super time consuming. From a purely gameplay and exploration perspective though. Origins anyday. The negative to both Odyssey and Origins is that neither feels AT ALL like an "Assassin's Creed" game. In Origins case, it makes sense due to reasons revealed later in the game + the DLC. Odyssey though, is just Hercules the game (or Xena if you go Kassandra). The new upcoming AC Vikings game is very likely to have the same issue.
    Last edited by icemann; 30th Jul 2020 at 09:01.

  13. #588
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Playing Bendy and the Ink Machine.

    The concept is pretty cool, I love the aesthetics (even though the sepia palette gets old real quick), the story is fairly interesting, but the actual gameplay is severely lacking. This is like a typical indie horror game that has a bunch of neat ideas, but the execution feels a bit half-arsed. The horror stuff loses its edge early on in the game, and the jump scares don't make things any better. There are a bunch of really simple puzzles, and visiting new areas is sort of fun, but most of the game seems to be annoying fetch quests that make you visit the same places over and over again. They should have crammed this game into a tight 2-hour package and it would have been much more enjoyable, now there's way too much filler content. The melee combat and boss fights are particularly bad, but that goes for everything involving any kind of action in this game.


  14. #589
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Welp, that's Descent 2 in the bag. On paper, I want to say it's better than Descent 1. More detailed/complex maps, guidebot, proper difficulty curve, more bosses, badass new weapons and abilities (headlight, afterburner, etc), better enemy AI, etc.. On the other hand, fuck the Bandit bot (which Rebirth, mercifully, let's you despawn) and all of the other fast/swarm enemies that are a PitA until you get the gun that auto-aims. There's something about the first game, with all of its issues, that I think I prefer. I think the maps in the original have a better flow. The hunting for switches to open gates/doors/forcefields in the sequel isn't a good time. The complete lack of hostages to rescue in the last third of 2 is weird. I dunno, they're both great games I want to replay on harder difficulties at some point.

    Next up I'm going to do the official Vertigo campaign for D2, which isn't included in the GOG or Steam versions for some reason (the data files you need are easy to find). Then I'll probably play 3 to finish off the series.

  15. #590
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Yeah I also played a bit of Descent 2 and I agree with you. It feels like a lot of the kinks have been ironed out, but at the same time it didn't grab me like the first one did.

  16. #591
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    After finishing chapter 4 of Red Dead Redemption 2, I'm playing a bunch of shorter games, in this case the bite-sized - and free - point & click adventures Midnight Scenes: The Highway and The Supper by Octavi Navarro. Especially the former, a Twilight Zone pastiche suffers from feeling unfinished, ending very abruptly, but both are beautifully crafted mood pieces, the gorgeously stylish pixel art (think LucasArts at the height of its P&C powers) and pitch-perfect music working together to create a certain ominous tone. I'm not sure I'd trust Navarro to tell a longer story on his own, as the weakness of both of these is definitely the stories they tell (especially The Supper is neat while it's happening, but it doesn't necessarily add up), but I'll be there for any future games he works on.



    I then got started on MO:Astray, a weird, moody puzzle platformer that, much like these other two games, excels in terms of atmosphere, even if the story and storytelling aren't great. MO's visuals are a blend of the cutesy and the gruesome, and while the puzzles can sometimes get a bit frustrating (especially when you know what you're supposed to be doing but you fail at the twitchy part), they're still reasonably clever and don't overstay their welcome. While the tone is very different, I think this might appeal to people who like the Oddworld games - as long as you don't mind a more indie, somewhat anime-inspired aesthetic.


  17. #592
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Finished MO:Astray, a nifty game, but one that didn't give me a single reason to care about the plot. Which is okay, but I like storytelling in games, so this won't end up particularly memorable for me.

    I now briefly got started on CONTROL, and my first two impressions: 1) Remedy is a bit hit and miss for me (loved Max Payne 2, disliked Alan Wake), but this looks like a hit, and 2) this is probably the best showcase I've seen yet for raytracing. With DLSS 2.0 and good performance at high settings, it makes a surprising difference for light to act this naturally yet stylishly. Yes, you can do a lot with technical trickery, but particularly the way things are reflected feels very distinctly real. It's difficult to explain, but the way CONTROL uses raytracing reminds me of the way Max Payne 2 used physics to make the world around you feel more tactile and real. Is it necessary? No. Is it nice? Hell, yeah!

  18. #593
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    wot i been playin

    Tons of Hardspace:Shipbreaker, Snowrunner, and Golf on Mars BUT ALSO:

    Fall Guys - This is a PS+ game this month (along with COD:MW2 Remastered, good month!) and I played a few rounds yesterday, tho the servers are getting hammered so it was kinda hard getting into games. It's a 60-player physics-based multiplayer race through a bunch of randomly picked minigames. The aesthetics makes it look Human Fall Flat-esque, but the actual physics are significantly more simple than HFF. Eh... I kinda like it tho? At only 4GB I think it might become the kinda thing I keep around and fire up from time to time.

    Erica - Last month's PS+ game. It's an FMV game! Interesting to see what can be done with this genre these days. There's some nifty ways live action video and interactive elements are blended together in this, but beyond that it's not much to write home about. The acting is so-so and after a couple sessions 2 nights in a row I feel like I've already lost the plot. It's only mildly compelling and not very well told.

    KIDS / PLUG & PLAY - Picked this up when it was in the Swiss Games Sale on Steam. The artstyle is lo-fi black & white, very smoothly animated, looks nice. They each cost a few bucks and take 10-20 min to play through. I played KIDS first and it's kinda like a typical pretentious arthouse montage of weird shit that maybe means something to someone. After that I played PLUG & PLAY and hooooooo boy, this one is WILD. Definitely recommended, if you wanna see... some... stuff...

  19. #594
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Finished Descent, Descent II, Descent II: Vertigo Series, and Descent: Maximum (ported to D2 for PC). I no longer have any sense of direction or equilibrium.

    Vertigo Series was...good! I think I generally liked it more than D2, despite it not really adding much to the formula. What it does differently is focus less on environmental themed levels and more on interesting/novel level ideas. And they re-introduced robots from the first game, which somehow works (probably because homing weapons and quasi-hitscan weapons seem nerfed compared to the original). Anyway, I enjoyed the expansion.

    Descent: Maximum is interesting. It's supposed to be a port of D2 to the PS1, but it has entirely different levels that remind me more of Vertigo Series missions but much easier/smaller. The first few levels are probably the smallest levels I've ever encountered in a 3D game (seriously, they're on par with the hubs in DXIW or something). On the plus side, the small maps work really well for a run-n-gun playstyle and the levels have a bit of the novelty aspects found in Vertigo. Not bad on an easier difficulty, but I think it would be fun to see how far I can get on Insane.

    No idea what I want to play next. Something old probably. Maybe Ultima Underworld 1+2 or System Shock Enhanced.

  20. #595
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    I finished Quake, using the QuakeSpasm source port. I tried a few of the HQ mods but they all had bugs or things about them that I didn't like so I decided to go with the original look. I appreciate Quake's level design and gameplay now more than I did when it came out, back then I was more into Duke Nukem 3D. It also helps that I now have the music tracks by Trent Reznor (I downloaded them but they're included on the GOG version's CD images so technically I paid for them, just didn't feel like mounting the images and ripping the tracks myself), they add a lot of atmosphere. When it came out I played a pirated version without the music, and now that I do have the tracks they make a big difference in the immersion factor.

    Great game that holds up well! The gameplay is simple but refined and I love hunting for secrets. I thought of playing on Hard skill, but I decided gaming, especially after a busy work day, should be relaxing so I chose Medium instead.

    Next up is Machine Games' Episode 5, I already downloaded it, and then I plan on playing the expansion packs Scourge of Armagon and Dissolutions of Eternity and finally the fan favorite mission pack Arcane Dimensions.

  21. #596
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    The Witcher 3. It's better than I remembered.

    I played TW3 in the summer of 2015, when it was released. I even finished the main story-line. The game was good, but somehow I didn't feel satisfied. I don't know why. The combat system was maybe not fun ? It took me a while to understand the game-mechanisms to a point where I could really use them (talents, alchemy, crafting). I didn't like constantly needing food. I didn't fully understand the story: what was important, and what were fluffy secondary quests. Who was Ciri, and why should I care about her ? I knew Triss, but why was Yenn more important ? I bought the DLCs in 2018 or so, but never could be bothered to play/finish them.

    So I played the game in 2015. I read the first 2 books by Sapkowski since then. And now I've seen the tv-series. So I understand the world and the story a bit better. Yennifer isn't a stranger anymore. I know the difference between Temeria and Redenia, etc. I still remembered the game-mechanisms. I'm looking up what I don't know (what the heck does adrenaline do ?). Dark Souls has thought me to dodge everything enemies throw at me. I remember needing a *lot* of time to play the lower levels in Velen. Now, in my 2nd play-through, things go much faster. In 2015 I avoided using fast-travel. Now I do use fast-travel, but only when I'm going to the next stage of a quest. For everything else, I just ride Roach. It gives me more focus on the quest I'm doing, less distraction.

    The game looks awesome. Better than I remembered. In 2015 I had a i5-3570K@4.0GHz, a gtx680, 8 GB of ram and a 27" 16:9 screen. Nowadays I still have the i5-3570K. But I have 16GB of ram, a gtx1080 and a 35" 21:9 screen. I run the game at the highest settings, getting a constant 60 fps (at 2560x1080). Maybe the hardware makes a difference. I suppose CD projekt has improved the engine in the mean time.

    I'm not sure, but I got the impression that a few small quests have been added. Cutscenes are added, or changed. The ramblings of NPCs have more diversity. Everything seems to have a bit more flavor. More polish even.

    I'm positively surprised. I'm certainly gonna finish the game, and play the 2 DLCs. I'm gonna try and take my time. No hurrying.

  22. #597
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Wish I could enjoy it all over again
    The DLCs are both spectacular, and prime examples of how DLC / expansion packs should be done.
    I'd also recommend some mods to even out the somewhat janky gear system. As it currently stands, by the time you're high enough level to use a piece of gear, it quickly becomes outdated.
    The main one I use is Leveling Witcher and Relic gear.

    There's a bunch of other excellent mods out there that fix other stuff, such as Ghost Mode, which rebalances a LOT of stuff and fixes things that still don't work properly in the vanilla game.

  23. #598
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    I played Blood&Wine for a few hours. I remember I had to go to a feast, and do dumb stuff. I hope it will get better later. The other DLC is supposed to be excellent, and longer, I think ? Well, I'm gonna just play the main game first.

    I'm searching for all the witcher gear (cat, griffin, bear, and normal, enhanced, superior, master). I'm gonna upgrade everything as soon as possible, and wear it immediately. My build and gear are probably not optimal, but I don't care. I'm using the new Gourmet talent. It makes everything trivial (now, maybe not anymore at later levels). I'm playing at normal difficulty, so I'm sure I manage, even if my gear choices are inspired by looks over function.

    But thanks for the recommendation of mods. Imho, mods are not always worth the trouble. I'll check them out a bit.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 8th Aug 2020 at 14:27.

  24. #599
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Late to the party, but I spent an evening with Prey: Mooncrash. And it's both an amazing design construct, and not-sure-if-its-for-me kind of game. It seems to be aimed at all the careful explorers and perfect ghost save scummers in immersive sims, as it basically kicks you out of your comfort zone and forces you to see that that the real fun is elsewhere. Going with the flow, playing past your mistakes, improvising and changing play styles is where it's at. And it sure leads to some really interesting emergent stories, especially with the time limit thing.

    But then again, I like my careful explorer style Maybe it's something that is worth experiencing and then agreeing to disagree afterwards? I plan to spend a few more evenings with it, but all in all, I'm happy that I didn't let it fly under my radar.

  25. #600
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Late to the party, but I spent an evening with Prey: Mooncrash. And it's both an amazing design construct, and not-sure-if-its-for-me kind of game. It seems to be aimed at all the careful explorers and perfect ghost save scummers in immersive sims, as it basically kicks you out of your comfort zone and forces you to see that that the real fun is elsewhere. Going with the flow, playing past your mistakes, improvising and changing play styles is where it's at. And it sure leads to some really interesting emergent stories, especially with the time limit thing.
    That's the kind of viewpoint I love hearing, because it tells me there's gold to be mined as long as one takes the effort of swinging the pick. I need to get back to this game soon.

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