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Thread: What are you playing in 2021?

  1. #226
    Human Revolution. I'm liking the writing somewhat less because the idea that people would start having augmented apartheid and coalesce around that instead of racial or other identity problems is beyond stupid. I could see that kind of thing like protests at augmentation clinics happening if legislation to create "aug registries" or such was created but not over there mere existence of augs.

  2. #227
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Sounds just like what an augie would say.

  3. #228
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Human Revolution does suffer somewhat from being so completely focused around a single issue. Everyone you meet has an opinion on augs, even randos in the street, and it's like there are suddenly no other social issues in the world. Definitely makes the world feel a bit two-dimensional, but the game is fun and stylish nonetheless.

  4. #229
    Recently bought Shadow of War in a sale and it's basically more Shadow of Mordor which is what I was looking for. I've gotten to the point where you're supposed to take over multiple regions and I can see how that could feel like a grind if not paced out over several weeks. From all accounts I've found, things have been sped up so that it's no longer a complete slog.

    Still the core gameplay is fun and there are new areas to explore, so I'm happy for now.

  5. #230
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Finished Mad Max recently, I understand its appeal now. Great performance, laughably easy, lets you feel like Mad Max in a post-apocalyptic world of plenty.

    Starting Return of the Obra Dinn, should be really good.

  6. #231
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Obra Dinn is an incredible experience, that you can only ever have once. Savour it!

  7. #232
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I finished Route B of Nier Automata over the weekend. Curious to see what they'll do with Route C (as well as D and E, which I understand to be much, much shorter), but I'm also looking forward to being done with the game before long.

  8. #233
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2012
    The Long Dark, almost exclusively. I'm amazed myself. It has put a spell on me or something.


    Oh wow... have I really just dared to make a post after all these years?

  9. #234
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    If you squint hard enough, 2012 and 2021 are basically the same year.

    These days, while I'm still playing some Control and DCS, mostly it's Teardown, another Henke recommendation. If you just watched his videos, you may get the wrong idea about what most of the game actually is. For one thing, only half or 2/3 of the missions are timed. The other 1/3 are about methodically tearing something apart, where you can take your time and play around with it. And even the ones that are timed, most of the mission is methodically setting up your run piece by piece in a slow and ambling way.

    And then aside the actual missions altogether, there are little hidden doodads all over the place that you can explore, and then you can just amble around and wreck sh*t up just for the sheer thrill of it. So it's a lot more chill of a game than I was expecting, which is a good thing.

    But you do still have these periodic runs for some action. Even then, they're only as frantic as you want to make them. If you only did the necessary objectives, you don't really have to push all that hard. But if you wanted to get all the optional ones as well, then you would have to be really clever and treat it like a Mirror's Edge speedrun that you've practiced a good number of times to get down.

    Anyway, fun game. Legit fun gameplay. Great art direction and world building. The story is funny. And you get to bash stuff apart and let off a lot of steam whatever else happens.

  10. #235
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Haha glad you finally got around to posting, RK, we need some new blood around here. Yeah TLD is great, I'm hoping they release the next story episode till next winter, as playing those when it gets cold has been a tradition for me.

  11. #236
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Haha glad you finally got around to posting, RK, we need some new blood around here.
    Thanks henke, I kinda remember you... I'm not really new, more like... reanimated?
    I was active in 00s with a different account. Then I screwed up and was, uh, "retired".
    Boy, this community became a lot calmer since then... But the cute old emoticons are still here!

  12. #237
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I played through the Resident Evil 3 remake. It's a step down from RE2, but still a good time. The initial city part was the most fun, tho the epic final bossfight had me cackling with glee as well.

  13. #238
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    A bit sad to say that I never came to see what others see in Nier Automata. I never hated it, but neither did I find all that much to love, other than perhaps the music. It did do some interesting things and I ended up not minding the near-replay that is Route B all that much, but I still feel I spent a lot of time on a game that I never really clicked with all that much.

  14. #239
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Started playing Assassin's Creed Unity and wow, this hits all the right notes. It's so good in establishing a sense of place and time, Paris is an amazing location, the architecture, the costumes are amazing, the character animations are great, the variation in NPCs are stunning, the city feels very lifelike, just walking around the streets is a joy. Combined with French dub, it feels super immersive. There are some mechanical improvements too, compared to the earlier games, the parkour up/down controls are better, and we can crouch now, which was really needed, and the whole thing feels less janky. Mission design is also much better than in the previous games. It's really impressive so far, I like it.

  15. #240
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    It's not even 10 in the morning and I've already played 2 cool new things.

    SABLE DEMO

    Yeah, there's a demo of this thing on Steam, available for the next few days. Quite meaty too, took me 70min to play through the whole thing, but you can take your time and explore and maybe find more stuff than I did. The missions and sidequests you can pick up are mainly just fetch quests, but it's fine since this lets you engage with what the game does best: moving around its world and taking in the sights. The hoverbike and gliding mechanics work as you'd expect and are fun to use and the game looks great. There's a bit of jank to the camera and movement, but nothing too upsetting. I'm hyped for the full release.

    Sophie's Safecracking Simulator



    Here's something you taffers might dig, it's a really in-depth safecracking simulator and it's DIRT CHEAP at 2. After doing the tutorial I feel like I might actually have a decent shot at cracking the simplest model of 3-lock safe by just feel. The game also gives you all kinds of tools to assist your cracking, including full X-ray vision, but the challenge is of course to crack it with as few tools as possible. Play with a gamepad and you can really feel each pin drop.

  16. #241
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Fuck yeah, comrades! There's a new boss in town, the Mi-24 Hind.

    You may recall my reminiscences of the nightmares this bad boy used gave me as a wee demagogue still only bent on neighborhood domination at the time. It's only still early access in DCS, but true to its reputation, they know how to bring an aircraft to life! Really cool to sit in one of these & (attempt to) cruise around and shoot up some local flora.

    Last edited by demagogue; 18th Jun 2021 at 08:12.

  17. #242
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    (So I was considering if should make a new thread for demos or Steam Next Fest, but given it's almost over, I decided to just post here)

    I checked out the Steam Next Fest and between the 700 demos (oof) I saw a few that piqued my interest (and I have not at all been snooping on their stats via steamdb for market research <_<). Here's some of my thoughts:

    Death Trash - my favorite demo from the fest. It has a dark oppressive atmosphere and art style that's very evocative of the OG isometric Fallouts. The premise is also quite interesting (you're rejected from a human colony and sent out to live on the planet with the rest of rejected humans. Except the planet grows meat all over the place for some reason? And also sentient robots are keeping peace?) While the combat was frustrating and clunky, the story and atmosphere alone make it worth it. Check it out.

    Rogue Lords - A strategy rogue-lite where you lead a party of horror creatures (dracula, bloody mary, headless warrior etc.) onto randomly generated branching encounters ala Slay the Spire. I don't know how to feel about it. The premise is cool, but it also feels like the devs threw literally every mechanic they could think of into it. There's turn base combat, tons of buffs/status effects, evolving/merging skills, freeform exploration, story and visual-novel-esque events, an (admittedly cool) "cheat system" where you can use your demonic powers to literally re-write the status of events (like change an enemy's HP or transfer their buffs to yourself), there's relics, there's random teleports, there's terror and and.... I dunno, it feels a bit directionless and all over the place, and I have a feeling the combat may be a little too RNG for my taste.

    Terra Nil - The game that has probably gotten most coverage out of all the Steam Next Fest demos (hello Devlover Digital), so you probably heard plenty about it. Seems alright, but more puzzle than strategy, will sell like hotcakes

    Toem - a cute little isometric adventure where you're a kid with a camera. The game changes into first person mode that lets you take photos to complete quests. Maybe someone wants you to photograph all soup ingredients? Another person wants you to photograph all monsters, etc. The game has fantastic style and oozes cute atmosphere and refine setting, but it has the same issue that makes it hard for me to get into Miyazaki movies - there's no reason to any of it. There's cute ghosts that talk to you... because. There's a periscope that comes out of a trashcan and sends you on a mission... because. There's a bear that runs a motel... because. Call me cynical, but I have a hard time getting into worlds that seem to be cutesy and creative for just the sake of being cutesy and creative.

    Spirit of the Island - an Animal Crossing-like with controls janky AF. Definitely needs more time in the Early Access oven. Also, I feel like there's a whole bunch of Animal Crossing/Stardew Valley-likes coming out right now so it's hard to even pick one over the other.

    The Excrawlers - played for only 10 mins but couldn't get into it. Perhaps I'm not "git gud" enough but it felt like a generic top down slasher where you can use ok melee and weak ranged and there's way too many repeating enemies with spammy ranged attacks that take you out too quickly. I died quickly and nothing about it rally made me want to keep trying again.

    Replitkator - another one I couldn't get into. The game didn't really explain what to do at start so somehow I picked up a rocket launcher I ran out of ammo in 5 shots, and when I finally found tutorial area I just couldn't do anything than use my weak melee. Also I think the music bugged out and tried to play the main menu music over the in-game music. Needs a serious testing pass imho.
    Last edited by Yakoob; 21st Jun 2021 at 05:01.

  18. #243
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    Call me cynical, but I have a hard time getting into worlds that seem to be cutesy and creative for just the sake of being cutesy and creative.
    Does this mean that Rain on your Parade is cutesy and creative for the sake of something else?

    Edit: I think I know what you mean. Like if it's a beach scene, the cutesy things around still have something to do more or less with a beach scene, not just random cute things popping with not even so much as a handwave towards context.

    I mean in a Miyazaki movie, it's part of the whole magical realism thing. You want to make the world seem somewhat alien to ours, so throwing in things like that that are out of place for us but taken for granted by their characters is one way to convey that sense, I mean from a design perspective.
    Last edited by demagogue; 21st Jun 2021 at 07:49.

  19. #244
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    Does this mean that Rain on your Parade is cutesy and creative for the sake of something else?
    I see what you did there ;p

    In case of RoYP there is a rationale why everything is the way it is - it's all imagined by a little kid, so it all looks toy-like. (There's also a deeper story about his mom and the weatherman that ties into it, but it's much more sublime). That being said, there aren't really too many "invented/magical realism" things in the world itself. Everything is just based just on our world - a wedding, a school, a coffee shop, etc. etc. So besides the clouds and talking frog, there isn't much to "explain" really.

    (And even Dr. Dryspell has an origin story if you read his cutscenes!)

    Edit: I think I know what you mean. Like if it's a beach scene, the cutesy things around still have something to do more or less with a beach scene, not just random cute things popping with not even so much as a handwave towards context.

    I mean in a Miyazaki movie, it's part of the whole magical realism thing. You want to make the world seem somewhat alien to ours, so throwing in things like that that are out of place for us but taken for granted by their characters is one way to convey that sense, I mean from a design perspective.
    Yeah I get that, and it's entirely a subjective personal preference. I'm more rational/logical and I like social structures, politics, etc. (I got a masters in that haha). So I like to understand HOW the world functions, not just what it is.

    So to give a concrete example from Toem - there is one point when you walk up to a trashcan and a periscope comes up and asks you to take a photo of a shady guy in a cloak. It just feels really random and playing off of the spy tropes, but I would appreciate it so much more if there was some backstory to it - maybe there's an underground spy organization that's crowd-sourcing its spy operation by asking kids in parks to take photos for them (thus also creating plausible deniability)? Maybe the guy in a cloak is an agent gone rogue trying to stop the organization from using kids to take photos for them?

    Also, why are some animals completely humanoid while others seemingly wild? Why are there ghosts casually hanging around? Why is a horse ghost a seemingly intelligent character while there is a cow kept in enclosed farm like a livestock animal?

    (As another point of reference, Turnip Boy puts you in a village of sentient vegetables and at one point explains it all (turns out there was a nuclear explosion that wiped out humanity and made the vegetables sentient. You can discover the remnants of human civilization and the great explosion and even find some humans hiding in a bunker somewhere! - I loved that shit and that whole segment was the highlight of the game for me)
    Last edited by Yakoob; 21st Jun 2021 at 18:23.

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