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Thread: What are you playing in 2021?

  1. #26
    So I might have binged a bit too much on Hades, to the extent that I this night actually got to hold a feast. It feels like the last time I got this hooked on a game was with Morrowind.

    Hades is really worthy of being considered GotY 2020, the core gameplay is really smooth with very satisfying combat and truly meaningful decisions in each run. The difference of the various aspects for each weapon makes for different strategies as do the gods and weapon upgrades you're offered in each run. I also love the way the story plays with all the classic Greek myths, including some stuff that would normally be considered fairly obscure by most.

    If you haven't played it yet, go do so now.

  2. #27
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    There's a few story beats after the feast that I've had so far, but the narrative definitely seems to have slowed since. I suppose I've got to finish up with Thanatos and Dusa at some point, but after that it's just the core gameplay and adding complexity through the Pact.
    Still, 100% agree, a very worthy contender for 2020 GOTY.

    I did mention before that I find it a little pretentious, and I still hold to that. It's hard to describe, but it's a combination of tone and art-style that just rubs me up the wrong way a bit (it may have something to do with my professional background and having to deal with "Creatives").
    Nowhere near as badly as something like Braid, but along similar lines.

    Nothing that prevents me from enjoying the game though

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I have to admit that I have zero interest in continuing the Thanatos story, and I don't think it's a matter of sexuality: I just don't like the guy and I don't find him particularly interesting. If there was a potential romance storyline with Achilles, I'd follow up on it, because I like Achilles, but obviously he's already taken.

    How much do I have to flatter the Olympians with gifts etc. before the feast? Do they all have to be maxed out with Nectar or even Ambrosia?

    Meanwhile, I'm probably, hopefully entering the last few hours of the Assassin's Creed Odyssey main storyline. I'm enjoying the game for what it does well, but I don't want to glut myself on the shallow, samey kill-and/or-deliver missions and get sick of the game. After all, I've got... oh, so many games on my list, but mainly I want to check out this glowsticks-and-robots game I got from Jeshibu. Something with stars and wars and fallen orders.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    I have to admit that I have zero interest in continuing the Thanatos story, and I don't think it's a matter of sexuality: I just don't like the guy and I don't find him particularly interesting. If there was a potential romance storyline with Achilles, I'd follow up on it, because I like Achilles, but obviously he's already taken.

    How much do I have to flatter the Olympians with gifts etc. before the feast? Do they all have to be maxed out with Nectar or even Ambrosia?
    Just Nectar seems to be enough, I got the feast before giving Ambrosia to Poseidon, Aphrodite, Artemis or Demeter (and from what I've read you can't even give Demeter Ambrosia until after the feast).

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I've got a pile of games to get me through the next while. On Switch I got Paper Mario, which, as reviews have noted, is pretty light for an RPG, but that suits me. It's cute and funny, and the basic actions like throwing confetti to patch holes in the world or whacking everything with hammer are fun.

    I also got Hades. I've never gotten into roguelikes, but the way this is structured, in that dying actually furthers the story, is genius. I wish the graphics were a bit more distinctive, but I can still see myself playing this for a long time.

    From the e-shop sale I also bought A Short Hike, Guacamele, and Dead Cells, though playing two roguelikes at once feels like a mistake, so I might hold off there.

    From the Steam sale I bought Death Stranding, and I'm looking forward to seeing how embarrassing it turns out to be. One reviewer described the core gameplay as kind of like wandering around in Breath of the Wild, which sold it for me. I also picked up Return of the Obra Dinn and Outer Wilds. And I plan to finish Kentucky Route Zero, having only completed (but loved) the first chapter.

  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    I also got Hades. <snip> Dead Cells, though playing two roguelikes at once feels like a mistake, so I might hold off there.
    I like Dead Cells, but overall I feel like Hades does the whole roguelite thing better. As you noted dying doesn't feel as much like failing, since you still get story progression that way and you get to improve your abilities for future runs.

    The main difference between the two (beyond the perspective) is how they use weapons. In Hades you pick your weapon at the start of each run and stick with it for the whole run, defining your playstyle for that run. In Dead Cells you're expected to toss your weapon and picking up something new several times (outside challenge runs obviously).

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Hades kept me engaged for longer, not least because I think the various systems are more interesting and better implemented. Having said that, I prefer the moment-to-moment movement and combat in Dead Cells. It does a better job of making me feel like I'm part of this world, it feels more solid. But it doesn't have the sheer variety of Hades, a game that makes me enjoy trying out different options; in Dead Cells, I'd always try to go for a build that I already know I enjoy.

  8. #33
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Hades' difficulty curve is also a lot more gentle than Dead Cells.
    There's doors in Dead Cells that require 5 boss cells to unlock, and to this day, I've only managed to get 1.
    Whereas I much prefer the progression in Hades, as it always gives you something for a run. The higher echelons don't feel quite so out of reach.

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    Hades kept me engaged for longer, not least because I think the various systems are more interesting and better implemented. Having said that, I prefer the moment-to-moment movement and combat in Dead Cells. It does a better job of making me feel like I'm part of this world, it feels more solid.
    Seems about right to me. On its own I probably wouldn't particularly enjoy Hades' combat, but as a whole game everything meshes so well. I've made it up to the third level so far, and I feel very motivated to keep going. With some weapons I'm useless and will still die before the first boss, but I guess that's as it should be.

  10. #35
    "It's the beginning of a very long education."

    I've just started my long time coming project of getting into driving games. What finally set it off was MudRunner being free on the Epic store. It turned out to be the perfect game to start with: I can get used to driving around and handling a vehicle, while also doing things I already know I enjoy, like problem solving, exploring, and taking it slow. No forced racing or multiplayer. When done hauling logs, I spend extra time driving around having stupid fun, creating my own challenges, or exploring a seemingly impossible spot. I can even turn off the engine whenever I feel like it and just be still for a moment. I had low expectations coming in -- not because I thought it was going to be a bad game, but because of rightly doubting my own skill -- but now I can honestly say that I love the whole experience.

    Another motivator was watching someone play Beware, thinking to myself that I would love that game if only I didn't suck at driving. Maybe one day I can handle that too. I've also been sticking to the same few genres for a while now and the excitement isn't the same any more, so I felt like it was time to take somewhat of a break from the regular games and try something new.

    A related project is going through my backlog and not buying any new games until I'm done with that -- with "done" possibly meaning different things for different games. First out will probably be Hitman and GTA (got both for free).

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    Started playing Doom Eternal after picking it up in the Steam sale, and... what the hell happened?

    Agree with this, but we seem to be in somewhat a minority opinion. It's... a decent game, and I am interested in playing the DLC at some point, but it's nowhere near the awesome game that Doom 2016 was. Like you said, they doubled down on all the bad bits at the expense of the good bits.
    I feel they would have mitigated most of my issues if they'd just raised all the ammo caps, though. The game becomes a lot more playable if you put all of your points into increased ammo capacity from the start, but even with it maxed out, it's still woefully low.

  12. #37
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I see similar complaints on every forum I visit (and they're valid ones in my opinion), but I suspect that because of the overwhelmingly positive press reception the game got, id won't pay attention to them.

    What I really don't understand is how they completely fucked up the story. The story worked in Doom 2016, because it didn't take itself seriously. Now all of a sudden you've got a whole buttload of useless lore that feels like its been written by 15 year old edgelords.
    Yet it's written by the same people, and I'd watched videos with them after the release of Doom 2016 where they completely understood that the story succeeded because it didn't take itself seriously.
    What went wrong?

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    To be fair, Yahtzee (Zero Punctuation) did call it out as well.

    But I've seen a fair number of people who think Doom Eternal is better than Doom 2016, which I don't get.

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I’ve tried two or three times to get into Doom 2016, and I finally just uninstalled it. I don’t know why exactly, but it didn’t hook me. Give me Doom 1993 any day.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Same here. I can’t remember many games as well-received as DOOM (2016) that I bounced off of this hard. Though I’m generally not into fast-paced shooters, so that may be a part of it.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    I'm playing Halo 2. A while ago another forum member (forgot who) said he didn't like it as much as the first one, and for the most part I agree. I've just finished the Arbiter levels where you hunt the heretic, now I'm playing as Master Chief again on a new Halo ring, I welcome the pretty scenery after the dreary Covenant ship levels.

    For some reason, I don't feel in control as much as in Halo 1. It's very chaotic gameplay and I'm still making mistakes with the added complexity of being able to dual wield but dropping the second weapon as soon as I throw a grenade, often something else happens than what I was planning to do. I mean I'm not doing terrible, I'm passing the levels just fine, dying once in a while but not so often it becomes frustrating. But it's a difference compared to Halo 1 where I felt I was truly in control of what I was doing (on Normal difficulty at least). I'm still having fun, but not as much as in Halo 1.

    The biggest thing I don't like about Halo 2 is that only the cutscenes have subtitles. I miss about two thirds of the banter and order-giving during the heat of battle and it doesn't help that the Covenant speak in warped voices. And is it just me or is the story kind of hard to follow? I have trouble keeping the Covenant main characters apart, those elites all look like a cross between Protoss and Predator to me. By the way I found two of the terminals that provide extra story cutscenes. Is there one of those on every level? I found two or three in Halo 1 and so far two in Halo 2.

    But I like it enough to keep going so far. Glad I'm back on a Halo ring though, I like the lush nature environment more than the sparse environment of Covenant ships.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Deck 4 Cargo Bays
    I decided to give Control a try, after the disappointment of Doom Eternal. I gotta say, it is a tasty burger. It's like a mashup of SCP, X-Files, and MIB. Good actiony gunfights, exploration, and really fun puzzles. About the only thing I want more is perhaps a VR version, to really get immersed into the power fantasy stuff. It ticks all the relevant boxes for me.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    I’ve tried two or three times to get into Doom 2016, and I finally just uninstalled it. I don’t know why exactly, but it didn’t hook me. Give me Doom 1993 any day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    Same here. I can’t remember many games as well-received as DOOM (2016) that I bounced off of this hard. Though I’m generally not into fast-paced shooters, so that may be a part of it.
    Oh thank goodness, I thought it was just me. I couldn't get into DOOM at all. I found it rather tedious.

    What I have been playing lately is Terraria. It's a real time sink. Can't say I'm a fan of the way you're just plonked into the game with scarcely any direction as to what to do. I'm quite enjoying all the exploration but the combat is a bit more frenetic than I'd like, and I find myself often wishing that the enemies would just sod off so I can do some more digging. I'm still not really sure what the purpose of it all is, but I've clocked 40 hours in less than a week, so I can't fault it on value for money.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    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. On a similar note, one of A Short Hike's joys is mapping the island in one's head. I bought the latter game for about a half-dozen friends while it was on sale a few weeks ago.

    After its positive reception here, I played Hades long enough to beat it once. It's a very good game, but it's still a roguelike, and I feel these appeal to some of my worse qualities, namely my tendency to fixate, the compulsion I feel from gambling loops, and the compulsion I feel when rewards are trickled out at a slow pace. This is not a criticism of the game, so much as criticism of myself.

    Beating Hades made me think about games that appeal to my better qualities, so I'm replaying Celeste. I'm much better at it this time, enough to beat the B-sides. It's a game about anxiety whose mechanics serve as symbols of anxiety, while also (in its Assist Mode) giving the option of release from that pressure. Its challenges are wholly skill-based, rather than roguelikes' compelling mix of skill and chance. It treats all its characters with care and understanding. Also, both the game's creator and I realized we (and Madeline) were transgender in the year after the game's release, and in retrospect the color symbolism is spot on. Madeline's hair outright takes on the colors of the trans flag, pink when she's at her most capable, blue when she's feeling the most depleted.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: British Columbia, Canada
    uh hey! Lately I'm falling back into Stardew Valley because the world is exhausting and it's all I got the energy for. But that said, I recently picked up a whole bunch of older gen consoles (GC, Wii, and WiiU) and I plan to revisit some titles from those systems. First up will likely be The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD as I've never had the chance to play that until now. Cheers!

  21. #46
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I've been having an odd nostalgia for Jedi Fallen Order, which I played a year ago, so I started it up again in NG+. I say it's odd because it's a game I had very conflicted feelings about. On my replay I've mostly been enjoying it, but then I get to the second visit to Zeffo and I hate it all over. The combat is such infuriating bullshit. If this game is an accurate representation of what it's like being a Jedi, I would most certainly become a Sith in no time. Every time I have to fight one of those Purge Trooper assholes I give in to anger, which in our universe just means lots of swearing followed by angrily turning the game off. Why the hell am I playing this again?

  22. #47
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Yeah, I found some of the difficulty splikes infuriating, and I seem to remember the last fight in particular being complete bullshit, so much so that it required cheezing.

    Also, the stubborn adherence to verisimilitude for actor models weirded me the fuck out, and in a way that only usually happens with big Hollywood movies. I wasn't able to fully invest in the characters, as I saw the actor rather than the person they were supposed to be playing.
    I don't know if this is due to some weird SAG-AFTRA agreement that actors' likenesses must appear in games after Elliot Page kicked up a stink over The Last of Us or whatever (rightfully so, I might add; Ellie's resemblance to Elliot was obvious to anyone who played the game), but I really hope it doesn't become a common thing.

  23. #48
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I'm really enjoying AC: Unity so far. The setting is the best so far and the graphical upgrade from Black Flag / Rogue is only enhancing that.
    I remember this one getting a lot of hate for technical issues on launch, but not sure why it sits at such tepid ranking on the AC games list. Possibly my favourite in the series so far.

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Louisville, KY area
    Picked up Farcry, Farcry 5, and The Forest on steam over the weekend. Farcry was only 2 bucks. Farcry 5 looks great, but I haven't played it for very long. I played the Forest on peaceful mode to see how it played. I like it. Minecraft on roids I guess you could say. I played Fallout 4 more than anything over the weekend.

  25. #50
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Finished AC:Unity. Probably my second favourite after AC2.
    The ending was a bit fucking weird though. Character gets cast out by the assassins, then kills The Foremost Antagonist, then credits roll.
    So no denouement in terms of the organization you're working for? No "you were right all along"? Either way, still a great game - going to do the DLC now and maybe mop up some of the Paris stories, mostly because I just dicking about in revolution-era Paris. Then on to Assassin's Creed: Parkour blimey guv'nor*

    * Pun nicked from an RPS comment, not mine

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