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Thread: What are you playing in 2021?

  1. #101
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I have mixed feelings about this game. I didn't hate it, but it did feel kind of like a bootleg Dark Souls, but the good kind that's basically close enough where it counts. It's as if I only like it because it's Anime Dark Souls.

  2. #102
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Played through Ryse: Son of Rome today. Holy hell, this game was cool as shit! It's a shame that they never made a sequel. A total surprise, definitely the worth $3-4 it typically goes on sale for IMO.

    Combat is simple but really solid. I played on Centurion difficulty and you actually have to pay attention to visual tells for when you should dodge, counter, etc. It isn't mindless button mashing.

    The hero Marius and his colleague Vitallion are total cool bros, extremely likeable. The is more or less a copy of the film Gladiator, but turned up to 11. You're in for a lot of over-the-top cinematic spectacle.

  3. #103
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    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...
    You have a good point there. A "proper" stealth game should definitely be stealth focused like you say, but does it need to be all about stealth? Failure is a part of any game, and the failure of stealth results in... non-stealthy gameplay? As much as I love the stealth in the old Thief games for example, I honestly find the non-stealthy action quite terrible. I can't remember anyone ever saying how much they love the sword fights in it. Speaking of stealth being optional, I can't think of many games where it is not. Thief? Not really - going on a killing spree isn't hard at all, but it also isn't very much fun. In some games there's forced stealth of course where it's game over as soon as you're spotted, but that's the worst way to do it.

    Wolfenstein 2 of course is an action game, and just in case I wasn't clear enough, I meant that its stealth is pretty good for its genre. You can go through the whole game in the murdermachine mode if you like, but the stealth brings some welcome change in it, and makes some of the tougher missions a bit easier. Also, it's not like all the guards in the whole level get alerted when you're caught, it's usually a fairly small (but logical) section only, and it's worth noting that you still don't have to kill everyone (in Wolf 2 it's more fun though), the guards will just keep looking for you until they've found you - I wouldn't expect anything else if I was caught breaking into a top secret military base!

    Quote Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
    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?
    These are good questions, and I haven't thought about it enough to give you a more specific answer. What would I expect to happen when the player gets spotted though? The short answer is that I'd expect the resulting gameplay to be challenging and actually fun. In too many stealth games the logical solution is to find a "safe place" - maybe a roof that the guards can't reach, the darkest corner of a room, or perhaps a conveniently placed cupboard - and then just wait there and do nothing for a couple of minutes until the guards forget that you exist (or just reload because you can't be bothered waiting). Then they go back to their normal patrol routines, don't mind the bodies of their dead comrades lying on the way, and you're good to go until you get spotted again. I'm a patient kind of a guy, but I find the waiting game just boring and most of all immersion-breaking.

    That was of course exaggerated a little, but only a little! (Well actually, not exaggerated at all in some games.) Again, when talking about stealth games, why would you automatically expect to hit reload or just go sit inside a cupboard until the guards to calm down when you're caught? What if getting caught wasn't such a disaster and it'd only bring a new challenge on the table, and you'd have to adapt your playing style to it. It wouldn't have to be the murdermachine mode from Wolfenstein, there are a hundred other ways to make it fun. That way the flow of the gameplay would be much more enjoyable.
    Last edited by Tomi; 12th Feb 2021 at 03:56.

  4. #104
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I think Dishonored does it quite well in that you don't have to default to combat if you're caught - you are highly mobile and it is fun to move around the environment. Escaping doesn't just mean running and hiding, it means navigating a place you've already explored, more or less. It's very rarely that I went on a murderous rampage when discovered.

  5. #105
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: melon labneh
    I'm with Tomi, I think we now have engine and AI technology to see a game where stealth failure has a much more realistic impact. How amazing would it feel to see (simplified) agents taking clues on where the player is or has been, mounting a plan to protect high-value targets, calling all possible reinforcements, keeping constant communication, barricading themselves, etc. You don't need AAA graphics, just large and open levels and complex methods of progression (a voxel open-world could work great). On the other hand to be enjoyable, the player would need to be highly mobile and quite powerful.

  6. #106
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    I can't imagine a studio putting the resources required into those kinds of systems if a good player would never interact with them. I'm kind of amazed sometimes at how much optional/conflicting content studios like Arkane and Obsidian have managed to squeeze into their games as it is.

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Moyer View Post
    I can't imagine a studio putting the resources required into those kinds of systems if a good player would never interact with them. I'm kind of amazed sometimes at how much optional/conflicting content studios like Arkane and Obsidian have managed to squeeze into their games as it is.
    It would basically have to be an indie passion project to ever see the light of day.

  8. #108
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I didn't especially like the way Wolf:TNO and its sequels handled stealth. IIRC all the guards knew exactly where you are once you've been discovered, even if you break line of sight with them? A lot of stealth-action games do that better (like the Far Crys and TLOU1/2) where guards will keep investigating your last known position, so you can sneak around them and keep playing it as a stealth game by taking them out silently while they're still in high-alert.

    I've been playing a buncha stuff:

    Golf Story (replay) - For the past week I've been wrapping up work around 3-4 in the afternoon and then sitting down with this for an hour before dinner, and I don't know what it is about it, but playing this gives me such a sense of well-being. The gameplay is chill, and the characters are funny. It is such a feelgood game, and probably my favourite Switch game.

    Ring Fit Adventure - I'm on day 25 now. It's fun, and I certainly do work up a sweat every time, tho I've yet to see any noticable changes in my physique. I am not a stunning Adonis yet.

    Fugue In Void - artsy fartsy walking sim. 45min long, has some nice visuals, but really self-indulgent. The game often locks you in place and forces you to appreciate its visuals before allowing you to move on.

    Lorn's Lure - First person platformer with some fun climbing mechanics. Seriously hardcore, feels like first person Celeste at times. The current version of the game is free on itch, so if you got a hankerin for some platforming/exploration, check it out!

    The Medium - I played a bunch of this but now I got stuck on a semi-tricky part with awful checkpointing so I think I'm done. Story ain't interesting enough for me to keep putting myself through this. Like Bloober Team's ealier games Observer and Blair Witch, the real star of this is the environment. Looks great, and exploring the spooky ol' worker's resort was pretty fun.

  9. #109
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Oh yeah, I've also been playing the latest PS+ freebie, Concrete Genie!



    At first it felt like all the painting was gonna be a bit tiresome, but I got into the rhythm of it quite fast. I think I'm getting close to the end? It is quite charming.

  10. #110
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'm probably about an hour away from finishing Fallen Order, a game I enjoyed a fair bit - though I don't think I'll go back and find all the collectibles. (It's a rare game that makes me want to do this, in particular if there are mainly aesthetic rewards only.)

    In any case, I'm looking forward to playing a few shorter games... but afterwards, I'm thinking it may finally be time to check out Tyranny, after I recently watched a video essay on the game. I don't think I'd be up for one of those endless RPGs, but a shorter, more focused, thematically more interesting RPG sounds like just the thing.

  11. #111
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    With the DLC I think it took me around 40-45 hours, which is pretty normal for that style of RPG I think. Great game in any case, probably the most interesting narrative interaction ever even by Obsidian standards.

    Attempting to play UVHM in BL2, which is kind of stupid. A game with exponential health/damage scaling probably didn't need a 4x multiplier on top of that for the enemies. Basic mooks have millions of hitpoints at level 50, it's not really massively fun trying to kill 1-3 people at a time with fully upgraded phaselock and properly levelled gear and then hiding or running away until phaselock recharges. I wish BL1/BL2 would just do normal enemy/item level scaling on the second playthrough (and let you reset missions) and not make you do this stupid shit in playthrough 3 in order to have endgame content.

    I also made the mistake of being level 55 when I started UVHM, and gear caps at level 50 in TVHM so I ended up having to go to Sanctuary in TVHM and waste like 30 shift keys on the cheater chest to gear up enough to actually do any damage to anything at all.
    Last edited by Jason Moyer; 15th Feb 2021 at 07:53.

  12. #112
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Finished AC: Syndicate (which was really great) and am now playing AC: Oranges. Possibly the most beuatiful game I have ever played. Not sold on the gameplay yet - feels a bit like TW3 set in Ancient Egypt.
    Still keeping me occupied though, so defintiely good. I think I may give the AC games a breather after this one though. I think 5 in a row may have been a bit much.

  13. #113
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Not sold on the gameplay yet - feels a bit like TW3 set in Ancient Egypt.
    I think that's exactly what they were aiming for, and for the most part it seems that their audience is happy with this. The later games, Odyssey and (from what I've heard) Valhalla, definitely go in that same direction. Me, though? I can play perhaps one of these every three to four years. These days, games that use the sheer size of their open world as the main selling point send me running in the other direction, more often than not.

  14. #114
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    I've pickup where I left off in StarCraft: Remastered. Just finished the Terran campaign. I find base building and destroying enemy bases a bit more relaxing - though it has its tense moments, especially when you get attacked while you're still building your defenses - for after a workday than the hectic gameplay of the Halo games or similar fast-paced shooters.

    It's a good remaster, but I think they could've taken it further. Like having the unit portraits and mission briefing portraits lip sync to what's being said, and they could've re-rendered the cutscenes in at least full HD quality. But those are minor complaints. So far I'm enjoying it.

  15. #115
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Speaking of old RTS games, I played a bit of Battle Zone 98 Redux. From that brief period of time when Action-RTS-games were the hot shit with titles like Ground Control and Hostile Waters also coming out. I liked, and even finished this game back then but I'm not enjoying it so much on this second go-around. It's quite difficult, but in a kinda bullshit trial-and-error way, where you gotta fail a mission a few times before you learn where the enemies are gonna come from and then set up defense turrets to counteract them. Eh, driving around and commanding units from a first person perspective is cool tho.

    Also I did end up picking up AC Unity, on your recommendation faetal. Since I don't like the new AC games I guess I gotta go back and play the old ones I missed. Speaking of which, should I bother with AC Rogue?

  16. #116
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    If you liked Assassin's Creed IV, you may well like Rogue. It is much more chilly in tone and aesthetics, but it plays like the darker twin to AC4, a bit like TIE Fighter vis--vis X-Wing. Also, if you liked the world and story (but not necessarily the main character) of AC3, Rogue does some nice things with it. If you can get it reasonably cheap and feel like an Assassin's Creed snack, you could do worse than Rogue.

  17. #117
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Spinning off the karmic wheel
    I am gonna goddamn finish Black Mesa. On Interloper chapter now, think I'm close to the end but who knows. The Xen chapters have been a mixed bag for me. I liked the design of the earlier Xen stuff, though there wasn't much actual gameplay, just moving through a psychedelic alien landscape. But Gonarch's Lair onward has been a slog. Still, gonna finish and then move it to my done pile.

  18. #118
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoshin View Post
    I am gonna goddamn finish Black Mesa. On Interloper chapter now, think I'm close to the end but who knows. The Xen chapters have been a mixed bag for me. I liked the design of the earlier Xen stuff, though there wasn't much actual gameplay, just moving through a psychedelic alien landscape. But Gonarch's Lair onward has been a slog. Still, gonna finish and then move it to my done pile.
    Interloper is long, and I agree with your assessment. The Black Mesa part of the game was great, the initial entry to Xen was great, but the Gonarch's Lair fight was about twice as long as it needed to be and then Interloper after that starts to feel less like a studio remake and more like an indie Source mod. If it weren't for the sheer spectacle of the first hour in Xen I'd be tempted to say I prefer the original HL Xen, just because it keeps you moving and gets itself over with.

    Well, I've been replaying STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl using the Autumn Aurora mod. It's a bit of a mixed bag. I like the new equipment additions and that I can actually hit what I'm aiming at, but the gunplay changes go too far in the other direction, making armor and artifacts feel nearly worthless. I'm in the Red Forest now with a suit+artifacts combo that should be giving me 75% immunity to bullet damage, but I'm still getting one-shotted by Monolith snipers. The mod adds a ton of new weapons to play around with, but I've barely run into any enemies with NATO weapons and haven't seen any 9x39, so with just 5.45 and 7.62x54R available I've ironically been using less diverse weapons than the vanilla game.

    I think if the mod had a little more diversity in NPC equipment and maybe halved damage (both for the player and NPCs), it'd be perfect. To my tastes, at least.

  19. #119
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Back Home
    Been playing GreedFall which was on PS Plus last month and surprisingly got into it. It's got a lot going for it as well as lots of drawbacks, the main being its lack of polish - lots of moments in dialogues/cutscenes aren't animated, each palace/town hall of the three major factions have exactly the same interior (there are more examples of reusing interiors in quite a lazy way). The negative aspects of colonialism, whilst being explored to a degree (you discover your lead character is actually native by heritage and has been lied to about his parentage) are rather simplistically handled and lots of the quests can be resolved in a "keeping the natives and the colonists happy as long as both sides compromise reasonably" kind of way although there is a fair amount of choice and the companions you choose to bring also have an impact on the quests (you get a companion representing each faction including the natives). But there's something weirdly charming about its jankiness that has grabbed me in a way that the Witcher never quite did.

    Got Control lined up next.

  20. #120
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Hey Fingernail, nice to see you are still kicking around.

  21. #121
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Back Home
    Quote Originally Posted by PigLick View Post
    Hey Fingernail, nice to see you are still kicking around.
    Sure am, often lurkin'! Thanks, good to be around!

    I should also mention that everybody should play Divinity: Original Sin 2, finished it co-op with my husband last year, it's well written and often hilarious (the quests are interesting, I can't say the main story was the most original or gripping), engaging, entertaining turn-based elemental combat system, amazing you can play couch co-operatively all the way through. Took about a year of playing on-and-off to finish. Wish there were more deep RPG/adventure games you could play like that, most couch co-op stuff tends to be light games like Overcooked and stuff (those are great too).

  22. #122
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    After finishing Fallen Order, I decided to play something very different: Rusty Lake Roots, the second of the surreal, eerie Rusty Lake games, a series of point-and-click puzzlers. The puzzles are pretty standard stuff, but the aesthetic and tone of these games are great, if you're into this specific unsettling, dreamlike atmosphere. The games are also short enough not to overstay their welcome, so for me at least they work tremendously well as eerie little tone poems where you solve puzzles to make strange, bad things happen.


  23. #123
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Speaking of which, should I bother with AC Rogue?
    I really liked it. It is basically just a spin on Black Flag, but with colder climate (which I think they pulled off really well) and a few new mechanics (which I rather enjoyed).
    The ending segues nicely into a key event in Unity, so maybe worth considering if you want a bit of extra continuity in the overall "plot".

  24. #124
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoshin View Post
    I am gonna goddamn finish Black Mesa. On Interloper chapter now, think I'm close to the end but who knows. The Xen chapters have been a mixed bag for me. I liked the design of the earlier Xen stuff, though there wasn't much actual gameplay, just moving through a psychedelic alien landscape. But Gonarch's Lair onward has been a slog. Still, gonna finish and then move it to my done pile.
    I bounced off it during the extended Gonarch slog. May have to jump back in and finish at some point though.

  25. #125
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Spinning off the karmic wheel
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    I bounced off it during the extended Gonarch slog. May have to jump back in and finish at some point though.
    I had the same trouble initially, then I think they patched down the difficulty level in Gonarch and I was able to get past it. But at this point it's just sheer bloodymindedness on my part to finish. I'm so close to the end I don't want to leave it unfinished. These last chapters haven't been enjoyable though. Which is a shame because the entire rest of the game was so well done.

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