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Thread: What are you playing in 2021?

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    I'm done with Control at last, finished the DLC and everything. Fantastic game, I thought it wasn't that great at first, but it somehow sneaked into the list of my favourite games. It's one of those games where you have that feeling of emptiness when it ends, and it's hard to find motivation to start anything new. I'm not sure if anyone else gets that.

    So I started playing Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. I thought that The New Order was okay, The Old Blood was great, so surely this should be pretty good as well? Well, nope. Wolf II is a lot like The New Order, but somehow they've managed to make it much less fun. I've only made it through the first few missions, but I find this rather boring so far, and that's not good when we're talking about a pure action game. The environments are boring with the narrow corridors and invisible barriers, the guns don't feel good at all, the enemies aren't much fun, the story is still one big cliche, and the characters are shallow and annoying, BJ Blazkovicz possibly being one of the least likable video game protagonists. And everything is so dark and gloomy and oh-so-serious. That may have been quite harsh, as I'm still playing the game, but I'm still just waiting for the point where the fun begins. I played through the first episode of Wolfenstein 3D (or actually it was Wolfstone 3D - you can play that within the game on a "console") and I honestly had more fun playing that. Perhaps I should just give up, but I suppose I gotta save the world from the nazis, and somehow Wolf II has got great reviews pretty much everywhere, so I guess I'll just try even harder to find the fun.

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    I dunno about great reviews everywhere - I thought it was pretty universally agreed that it wasn't as good as its predecessor.

  3. #78
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    @Tomi:
    I too recently played through New Colossus, and for at least the first third, possibly half of the game, it's a miserable experience. I almost gave up completely when I got to New York, as it's a horrible map; dank, gloomy, so much detail as to prove messy and aggravating, just really bad.
    It does get better after a certain story beat, but the mission before that story beat is one of the hardest in any recent FPS, expecially if you're playing on "I am death incarnate!"
    And not hard in a good way either; just unfair. I ended up knocking the difficulty down a notch to get through it.

    There is some nifty stuff after that, and it's criminal it took that long to get good. But even then, it never reaches the heights of New Order (in contrast to you, I loved New Order and didn't really like Old Blood).

    I also feel like Machine Games are wasting a lot of their potential in these Wolf games. They are made up of a lot of the guys who were at Starbreeze when they were making Riddick, and I feel if they'd continued down that path, we might have had another company making decent immersive sims instead of pretty much just Arkane now.

    Still, it's good to see someone in the triple-A space making games that are exclusively single-player, even though Return to Castle Wolfenstein's multiplayer is probably my favourite multiplayer FPS ever (Note: NOT Enemy Territory. Splash Damage took control of the multiplayer without understanding what made it great in the first place. It's still very good, but doesn't reach the same level as RtCW thanks to over-complicating the formula).
    Last edited by Malf; 1st Feb 2021 at 10:10.

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: melon labneh
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomi View Post
    I'm done with Control at last, finished the DLC and everything. Fantastic game, I thought it wasn't that great at first, but it somehow sneaked into the list of my favourite games. It's one of those games where you have that feeling of emptiness when it ends, and it's hard to find motivation to start anything new. I'm not sure if anyone else gets that.
    I gave up pretty early on because it seemed like a by-the-numbers action-adventure with predictable and tired TPS game design (always the same collect-a-thon of audio logs and readables, very limited and scripted interaction with the game world, bland levels with invisible walls everywhere, run-of-the-mill shooting and boring protagonist). After the first 40 minutes I just hadn't seen anything special about it except pretty and moody lighting. Does it later transcend its game mechanics? Should I give it a second chance?

  5. #80
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    I remember being disappointed by The New Colossus on release. Everyone in my circles was raving about it, but it felt to me like the gameplay was just re-hashing its predecessor, except this time married to significantly worse writing. By the end of the game I just wanted it to be over.

    Anyways, I just finished Far Cry 5. I thought I was done with now-generic Ubisoft open world free-form RPG shooters, but I found the writing of the villains compelling enough to stick around. The game feels very artificial and contrived through-and-through, with any idea of immersion or believability taking a backseat to gameplay, but that gameplay is a polished Skinner box that kept me going between story beats. Worth playing on sale, glad I didn't buy it for full price.

  6. #81
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    I too recently played through New Colossus, and for at least the first third, possibly half of the game, it's a miserable experience. I almost gave up completely when I got to New York, as it's a horrible map; dank, gloomy, so much detail as to prove messy and aggravating, just really bad.
    Ah, I'm currently playing the New York mission(s), and yeah, it has been such a miserable ride this far that I'm almost ready to give up too! I'm looking forward to that certain story beat, because I know that Machine Games can do better than this miserable rollercoaster of negative emotions.

  7. #82
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Quote Originally Posted by Briareos H View Post
    I gave up pretty early on because it seemed like a by-the-numbers action-adventure with predictable and tired TPS game design (always the same collect-a-thon of audio logs and readables, very limited and scripted interaction with the game world, bland levels with invisible walls everywhere, run-of-the-mill shooting and boring protagonist). After the first 40 minutes I just hadn't seen anything special about it except pretty and moody lighting. Does it later transcend its game mechanics? Should I give it a second chance?
    I'd love to say "absolutely yes!", but it might just not be your cup of tea. Then again, it took me a while for that cup of tea to warm up, so perhaps you should give it a second chance. 40 minutes certainly isn't enough, at that point I was still very confused and wondering what it's all about. Once I got some more special powers (levitation for example changes things quite radically!), a bunch of quests, and new places to explore, that was when I couldn't put the game down anymore. Gameplay-wise I don't think that Control is so unique, even though the special powers are pretty cool, and the game looks absolutely great in action. The destructible terrain is just so fun though - the aftermath of a battle in an office section is quite a sight! The level design might seem a bit boring at first, but it gets a bit more interesting soon enough. What invisible walls are you talking about? As for the protagonist, she does seem rather ordinary (ahem), but I think that's what makes her rather likable. What makes Control somewhat unique is the whole setting, in my opinion. It delivers a story that goes a bit over the top at times, but you never really know what's around the corner. There could be something absurdly silly or something terrifying.

    If you really didn't like the game during those first 40 minutes though, the chances are that you'll never like it. It does change (to better) but I think it's like any "metroidvania" game in that regard - you'll learn some new tricks and get some new weapons, and that opens new areas for you to explore, but at its core the game remains the same. Will that be enough for you? I think only you can answer that.

  8. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Briareos H View Post
    I gave up pretty early on because it seemed like a by-the-numbers action-adventure with predictable and tired TPS game design (always the same collect-a-thon of audio logs and readables, very limited and scripted interaction with the game world, bland levels with invisible walls everywhere, run-of-the-mill shooting and boring protagonist). After the first 40 minutes I just hadn't seen anything special about it except pretty and moody lighting. Does it later transcend its game mechanics? Should I give it a second chance?
    The core of what made Control work for me was the setting and background information, the gameplay is decent enough but nothing special. It's things like "The Rule of 3s" and how they're used to further the story and gameplay that turn it into an experience worth going through.

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: melon labneh
    Thank you both, that is very valuable insight. I never reached the point where the game becomes a Metroidvania and I actually didn't know it was going to become one (!) as I like to go blind in stuff that people recommend to me.
    What I think I will do is, because the game seems to be really atmospheric, next time I'm in the mood for a gaming experience that focuses on aesthetic, I'll play it and get at least two hours in. At least until I reach the aspects that I know I would really enjoy (destructible environments, interesting powers and metroidvania).

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I found Control enjoyable enough, but I also thought that too much of it was pretty samey. There are some cool setpieces, but for me the Oldest House suffered from one part of it looking and feeling much like any other part for 80% of the game. That's also why the Metroidvania aspects didn't much work for me: I found the backtracking dull due to the samey environments. Then again, I loved the setting and the ideas of the game in theory, but other than in Max Payne 2 I've found Remedy's writing to be flabby and in dire need of an editor. (MP2 is also self-indulgent in its writing, but there the combination of the setting, tone and underlying weirdness worked for me.) For me, Control was a good, fun 300-page novel that unfortunately is 800 pages long.

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Picked up Elderborn and it is gooood. First person barbarian hack and slash with Dark Souls style saving and progression system. Kicking hapless baddies off cliffs hasn't been this fun since Dark Messiah.

  12. #87
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    It [New Colossus] does get better after a certain story beat, but the mission before that story beat is one of the hardest in any recent FPS, expecially if you're playing on "I am death incarnate!"
    And not hard in a good way either; just unfair. I ended up knocking the difficulty down a notch to get through it.
    If the story beat that you're talking about is the execution, well, wow. As ridiculous it is, I think it was done in a pretty cool way. That's a memorable plot twist for sure! And you're right about the game getting better too, the last missions have been quite enjoyable, even though I don't know what that hard mission that you're talking about is. I'm only playing on "Bring 'em on" though, so maybe that's why. The story is getting more interesting too, but nearly thirty years ago when I first played Wolf 3D, I never thought that I'd have any part in BJ Blazkovicz's relationship drama. Good to see that BJ isn't as much of a psychopath as he was in New Order, but the miserable/macho combo still is quite odd and off-putting.

  13. #88
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Louisville, KY area
    I just bought a Bioshock bundle off Steam for 12 bucks. Bioshock 1, 2, and Infinity. Also grabbed XCom 2 for 5 bucks. I got Thief Gold and Thief 2 for less than 2 bucks on GOG. It's going to be a very good time.

  14. #89
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Talking of Control, if anyone's on the fence and has PSPlus, it is free on PSPlus this month.

  15. #90
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    So I'm playing Oblivion for the first time (having played both Morrowing and Skyrim before). One thing I like about it is reaching new cities and learning about their local affairs. Like I reached Skingrad and everyone talks about their amazing wines. I like that it's something so... mundane? It actually makes it feel believable. Like "yeah that makes sense I could see that being a thing". I just got to Cheydinhal and hearing rumors about imperials discriminatingly the dark elves and the racial tensions. So that's interesting.

    It's almost like mini-scratching a travel itch I wasn't able to do because of Covid and all the travel restrictions.


    However, there is one thing that's been really grating on me, and that's the dungeoneering. It's just starting to feel really tedious. Going to a cave and fighting Goblin Berserkers, needing to dodge, use block, and going in for strategic blow? First two or three is super fun. But by the time I'm on my fucking 20th goblin I just feel SO done. I just did a multi-layered, 2 map cave full of those fuckers and... there was nothing at the end. No cool loot, no stack of gold. I just spent an hour bashing the same bullet-sponge enemy for nothing.

    Hnnnghhhhh

  16. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    However, there is one thing that's been really grating on me, and that's the dungeoneering. It's just starting to feel really tedious.
    As far as I recall, most non-quest caves have trash loot in the early levels. The loot only improves as per the levelled random drop tables, which iirc aren't worthwhile until around level 16-20.

    It is also possible that you ran into a quest cave and did everything possible without the quest active.

  17. #92
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Wasn't there something in Oblivion that made trashmobs scale with your level? Bosses too, maybe? So when you level up, and get better gear, the enemies all get stronger, get more health, and hit harder. There was a lot of complaining about that early in the game. I played the game a few months after release. I think I disabled that auto-scaling. Via config-file editing, or a mod. Or maybe Bethesda added a UI setting for it? I can't remember. But if I were you, I'd make sure the auto-scaling is turned off. The Elder Scroll games are great fun. But the combat itself isn't one of its strong points.

    I bet someone here on TTLG knows the perfect solution for this problem.

  18. #93
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    I wouldn't bother just randomly going through dungeons until you've exhausted all the quests that you get from the cities and guilds and random settlements and daedric shrines and such. The questing is the highlight in Oblivion more than the spelunking is, and the few dungeons that are interesting are all places you get sent to as part of quests. There is some rewarding exploration, but it's scarce enough that I'd save it for endgame when the combat is less annoying because you've outlevelled everything.

  19. #94
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    I did play through the first training scenario a while back, but when I saw that there's like 4 more training scenarios it turned me off. Is it viable to just skip the training and jump straight into the game? Also does it play well in singleplayer?
    The training just gives you the gist of each playable role. Captains steer the ship, mechanics weld leaks and fix machines, engineers look after the reactor and fix wiring etc.

    It was most likely intended to be multiplayer, since the AI is kind of janky, having to be micromanaged for every task, I can't imagine having fun in a solo campaign.

  20. #95
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: melon labneh
    Speaking of unfun solo campaigns in multiplayer-focused games, I lasted about 2 hours with Battlefront II SP before uninstalling. It's the first game that truly makes me feel sorry for the amount of effort that went into the art and technology, both are impeccable and representing insane amounts of work in service of low-tier aim-down-sights Battlefield-for-dummies gameplay. Oh and vehicular combat is atrocious (I hope Star Wars Squadrons, which I have yet to try, isn't any similar). I'm sure a decent FPS could be made with the assets and engine but this ain't it IMO.

  21. #96
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    I finished Wolfenstein II! (The New Colossus) Thanks for that little push Malf, the latter half of the game was indeed so much better! I really enjoyed some parts of it, and in the end I think I enjoyed New Colossus about as much as The New Order. The Old Blood still remains the king though - I'm just not really into the whole sci-fi nazi thing, I suppose. Occult nazis ftw!

    The guns in New Colossus are a bit meh, I think. I was carrying a huge arsenal of guns with me, but I just didn't find the bigger guns or the futuristic ones very fun to play with, so most of the time I stuck to the "basic" weapons. I felt that even they are lacking a bit of punch. The stealth is actually surprisingly good - it's very basic, but I like how unforgiving it is without being unfair. When your cover is blown, the enemies don't just go "oh well, it was probably just rats" after thirty seconds and forget that anything ever happened. They'll keep looking for you until they and their friends are dead. I kind of wish that more games were like this - perhaps one day we'll see a proper stealth game where the failure of stealth doesn't result in boring gameplay or quickload.

    I didn't really like the gadgets that BJ gets about half-way through the game. The sneaky one that allows you to crawl through narrow tunnels and pipes was okay, the two others weren't. "Battle walkers" or whatever was just annoying, but the game was almost over when I got my hands (or feet) on it. The story changed from the initial cringefest into a decent revenge story; that big plot twist was honestly quite awesome, whereas the very ending was a tiny bit disappointing. I kinda liked the commando missions where you assassinate all these nazi generals, but after finishing the main story, I don't really have the motivation to go back to them anymore for some reason. I'm a little tempted to play the game on "I am death incarnate!" (the toughest difficulty level) though.

  22. #97
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomi View Post
    The stealth is actually surprisingly good - it's very basic, but I like how unforgiving it is without being unfair. When your cover is blown, the enemies don't just go "oh well, it was probably just rats" after thirty seconds and forget that anything ever happened. They'll keep looking for you until they and their friends are dead. I kind of wish that more games were like this - perhaps one day we'll see a proper stealth game where the failure of stealth doesn't result in boring gameplay or quickload.
    You'd think that a proper stealth game would be primarily stealth focused -- that the goal is to get back to stealth as quickly as possible, not switch to a different type of gameplay. And if anything, I'd say these games are very underrepresented and that games where stealth is optional and you just switch to being a murdermachine when your cover is blown are much more typical. Dishonored, Metal Gear, Deus Ex, etc...

  23. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomi View Post
    I kind of wish that more games were like this - perhaps one day we'll see a proper stealth game where the failure of stealth doesn't result in boring gameplay or quickload.
    And what do you think really should happen? And why would you expect your solution (if implemented in a "proper" stealth game) would not be the equivalent of either a game over/reload or "hide until the guards calm down" situation?

  24. #99
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, I HATED that about Wolf 2. It was infuriating.

  25. #100
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    I spent the last two months playing Code Vein. I did one playthrough a year ago, but there were endings I haven't seen, so decided to come back. While I was at it, I got all the achievements too. This involved some farming, but it was the better kind, where you get guaranteed drops every run. I remember in some Dark Souls games, it could happen that you do five runs and not get a single drop. Now that is soul destroying. None of that here, luckily. In one of the playthroughs, I decided to solo all the bosses. For those who don't know, in this game, you get an AI companion by default, and the game seems to be balanced around that, so doing a solo playthrough is a bit of a challenge run. But I managed to do it, and even managed to beat the DLC bosses like this. I recorded these, if anyone cares, though IIRC I'm still the only one on this forum who played this game, apart from... Starker, I think? Anyway, here are the videos:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...u2ujveANHAEG76

    For those who just want a glance, the Hunter/Claw/Throat and the Hellfire Knight videos are probably the most representative. Anyway, even though I got all achievements, I still feel like playing this. The plan was to go to NG+, which is a way bigger jump in difficulty than in the Souls games, but Nioh 2 just came out, so I put CV on hold.

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