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Thread: What are you playing in 2021?

  1. #126
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Yeah, it's like they knew they had to make Xen better than the original, but somehow also decided that that meant it had to be longer too.

    By the end, it felt like a whole other game tacked onto the end, and stuffed up some of the pacing.

  2. #127
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: melon labneh
    I must be the only one who ever liked Xen :/ It gets a super bad rep because of the platforming but I thought it had a lot of cool abstract geometry and interesting texture choices. Some tight combat challenges too.

    In any way I appreciate a lot of what they did in Black Mesa, I loved the human settlements and loved the idea of interpreting some of the abstraction into Vortigaunt architecture. Less convinced about the wilder, jungle-like parts, and about the slog of the factory. Overall I prefer the original but kudos to the team.

  3. #128
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I played Stowaway, which is a game Piglick recomended a while back. Short first person sci-fi horror game. Very cool minimalist aesthetic, tho the character animations are a bit wonky. The story isn't especially original, but I like the way it's told. This game is free on itch, and I'd recommend it to anyone who liked Alien Isolation and is in the mood for a short story you can play through in one sitting: https://dirigogames.itch.io/stowaway

  4. #129
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    haha yeh forgot about Stowaway, I really loved the vibe of it. So, is anyone playing Vallheim? I plunged in and its actually very good if you enjoy survival games with rpg elements and pvp.

  5. #130
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Briareos H View Post
    I must be the only one who ever liked Xen :/ It gets a super bad rep because of the platforming but I thought it had a lot of cool abstract geometry and interesting texture choices. Some tight combat challenges too.

    In any way I appreciate a lot of what they did in Black Mesa, I loved the human settlements and loved the idea of interpreting some of the abstraction into Vortigaunt architecture. Less convinced about the wilder, jungle-like parts, and about the slog of the factory. Overall I prefer the original but kudos to the team.
    Yeah I never hated Xen - the way some people talk you'd think it ruined the whole game. Aesthetically, original Xen was always great - it's so uniquely weird in a way that the Black Mesa remake didn't really capture - the new Xen feels more like a bizarre but believable ecosystem, whereas the original feels like a dying and shattered reality. But with the exception of a setpiece or two, Xen gameplay was a big step down from the rest of Half-Life, cranking up the annoyance factor with a lot of tiresome trial-and-error stuff.

    It's much easier to know where to go and what to do in Black Mesa's Xen, and if you mess up, it rarely feels unfair. But by that point in the game, the difficulty has already ramped up to peak levels, and Black Mesa just sustains that level for way too long. Playing it felt like listening to a good piece of music that gradually ramps up in intensity, but then inexplicably holds a single note for a whole minute. If there had been one somewhat-obtuse plug puzzle in that Interloper factory, it would have been a fine challenge. But the game throws like ten of them at you.

    However, I will say that it redeemed itself after the slog with a much improved final boss fight.

  6. #131
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I've been playing a bunch of (arcade) racers lately.

    Zeepkist - downhill soapbox racing game. Quite unique in that there's no acceleration, so it's all about managing the momentum you have and deciding when to hit the brakes and sacrifice speed for control. It's in EA and quite rough around the edges. The gameplay is great but it's lacking in a lot of other areas, eg. there's barely any sound, so I can't wholeheartedly recommend it yet, but this is definitely one to put on your wishlist keep an eye on.

    Tricky Machines - I got really into the level editing side of this and made a bunch of drift-focused levels in the editor.

    Jet Car Stunts - this is kinda a deep cut. The mobile versions of this game were a moderate hit but I don't think a lot of people know about the PC version. It's fun. Got a heavy focus on aerial-control.

    Distance - playing JCS made me wonder why I wasn't playing this instead, which has quite similar gameplay but oodles more visual oomph. Played a bunch of usermade levels. Some of them are pretty good.

    The Crew 2 - picked this up on PS4. I dunno, the first game didn't do much for me and this one doesn't either.

    Wreckfest - picked up the campaign again this weekend, kinda close to the end. I don't need to tell you about this, it's great!

  7. #132
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Here's a custom Zeepkist track I made, the scenery was added by another player, Urumi7849.



    There's no proper Workshop support yet so tracks are only shared on the game's discord server, which is kinda clunky. Workshop support is on the way tho, hopefully soon.

  8. #133
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Louisville, KY area
    Quote Originally Posted by PigLick View Post
    haha yeh forgot about Stowaway, I really loved the vibe of it. So, is anyone playing Vallheim? I plunged in and its actually very good if you enjoy survival games with rpg elements and pvp.
    Valheim is amazing. Just learning the game so far. Figuring out resources and level ups, but its absolutely fantastic. I've bought a copy for both my Steam accts and will more than likely gift a copy to my daughter.

  9. #134
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomi View Post
    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.
    I think a good, simple solution would be to design two sets of patrol routes and guard patterns, one non-alerted and one alerted, each with their own challenges. In the non-alerted one, guards are easily isolated, but they're widespread and harder to predict. In the alerted one, guards consolidate into fewer areas to support each other, making those areas harder but giving the player freedom to explore the rest of the level unhindered. (This would also give area-of-effect abilities more impact.)

    Lessee, games... a depressive spike hit at the same time as the big winter storm, so I defaulted to two comfort games. Tametsi, which is like Hexcells but with tiling patterns other than squares or hexagons, and Serious Sam HD, since the fourth game lacks Linux support. This time I made the wise decision to play on Hard difficulty, instead of Serious. I can beat Serious, but only with copious quickloads, whereas on Hard I go from checkpoint to checkpoint weathering the occasional death. Now, I'm getting back into Spiritfarer. I'm a bit surprised I'm willing to do so, since the game's premise is "Form strong emotional bonds with people, then lose them forever." It's Stardew Valley, except your goal is to help everyone die.

    Quote Originally Posted by Henke
    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.
    ...I'm playing that too. Embarrassing, but the pandemic plus winter cold rendered gyms and parks inaccessible. It's a competent little RPG. At first I was frustrated by only being able to select six battle exercises out of your inventory of dozens, but I was delighted when a skill tree unlocked at level 40, with options to expand the roster. After that, I became frustrated by how a favorite exercise would gradually become underpowered, or how a powerful battle move might have little value as an exercise. (Seriously, hip shaking? Stepping side to side?) For another person, it would be a good thing that the exercises vary so widely, since then you could choose a selection at the right difficulty, but I seem to be toward the upper end of the level of fitness this game supports.

    The yoga roster is bullshit, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith
    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.
    Oh, that entire series is fantastic! It's amazing to think that the first Rusty Lake game was also the very first Flash-based room escape game. The developers invented a genre, then mastered it, then moved on.

  10. #135
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Finished Assassin's Creed: Origins, did as much DLC as I could stomach and despite my brain telling me to take a break, have moved straight on to Odyssey.
    It's a damned impressive game - really great production values, very thoughtful gameplay mechanics.
    One good example is that if you carry on running while you whistle for your horse, you automatically mount when it's alongside you, which saves the whole awkward whistling, then doing a 360 to see where it is coming from and trying to guess the distance at which you can hit the mount button thing.

    As with all Ubisoft games, it suffers from the map icons featuring more or less the same set of things to do over and over again, but keeps it spicy by running the gamut of EVERY GAME MECHANIC EVER.
    I kid you not:

    • Standard AC stuff
    • The boaty stuff from AC3 / Black Flag / Origins
    • Reducing antagonist strength in a region via general fucking up of their shit a la Red Faction Geurilla: That Building Insulted My Mother
    • Character badasses who are hunting for you based on how much of other people's shit you get up in, with cool names, strength and weaknesses, like Shadow of Mordor (but just different enough to not fall foul of Warner Brothers' annoying patenting of the nemesis system)
    • Recruitment system whereby you can knock out and employ members of antagonist factions to boost your boat stats, just like in Metal Gear Solid 5: We Wrote the Plot and Dialogue While High
    • Romance sub plots, like in all those BioWare games
    • M1 Garand Pinging sound after you fire your last arrow (ok that one is a lie)
    • Probably others I can't immediately think of


    It's really good though and while it is so big that I'll surely burn out on this one, the important thing is that I hope I don't.

    [EDIT] Had quite a cool emergent gameplay moment yesterday. Was stealthing through a fort, picking people off one by one as you do, then a mercenary shows up and starts skulking around the fort, as if he knew I was there (probably followed the bodies and animal carcasses to be fair), which meant I had to be super ultra careful not to get into a fight as you generally want to fight those guys one on one.

    HOWEVER, one of the people in the fort was a sponsor of the bounty on my head, so I decided to prioritise him. I managed to sneak up and kill him, which knocked my bounty down one level, at which point, the merc just flipped his over-the-head icon from red to white, and fucked entirely off, leaving me to continue murdering the nice folks in the fort.
    Last edited by faetal; 4th Mar 2021 at 12:00.

  11. #136
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I did the same as you faetal, albeit at the start of the pandemic, and played Origins and Odyssey back-to-back, including ALL DLC, and can quite safely say that I don't need to play another Assassin's Creed / Ubisoft game for the foreseeable future.

    Personally, I enjoyed Odyssey more than Origins, mostly because Kassandra is awesome, while I found Bayek a bit wooden by comparison.

    Also, I grew up with Greek mythology (and visited Greece and Crete in my youth and went to a lot of the ruins), and have lots of love for it. It helps that Kassandra's adventures take place actually in the time period a lot of those myths and legends come from, or just after.

    I think I would have been more excited about Origins if they'd set it in an earlier, more pharaonic time period. Sure, it was still great getting to parkour around ancient Egyptian architecture (and places I've been IRL), but it felt like an Egypt in decline rather than exploring the cradle of civilisation at its peak.

    Crete felt weirdly compressed in Odyssey mind you. A necessity of game design sure, but they could have scaled it up a little bit more to help convey how independent it feels compared to the rest of Greece.
    And they could have also added a bit of Egyptian coastline to the south to call back to Origins and help people who don't live there understand just how close these Mediterannean nations were/are to eachother.

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