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Thread: The Immersive Sim thread

  1. #176
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Fallen Aces is OUT NOW, BABY!

    10 bux with the launch discount. Early Access. This contains Ep 1 of 3. Price will go up with each new chapter.

    Someone play it and let me know if it's good plz and thx.

  2. #177
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Fallen Aces is OUT NOW, BABY!

    10 bux with the launch discount. Early Access. This contains Ep 1 of 3. Price will go up with each new chapter.

    Someone play it and let me know if it's good plz and thx.

    Got it. And they're kinda "underselling" it in a sense. Not merely in a literal sense (they must be communists to charge 10 bucks for this ). But with their "Noir FPS" tagline. Coupled with this being published by New Blood (of DUSK fame), everybody surely thinks "Boomer Shooter" first.

    But this has oft more stuff going on than Bioshock ever did. In particular as to the non-linear level-design with multiple routes. Optional stealth. And AI that doesn't aggro the moment it sniffs you anywhere near. All that stuff makes Bioware play much more like a straightforward FPS than this. You can even pickpocket goons/NPCs. Doors can be locked... Just seen that PC Gamer have picked up on the great level design already also. It kinda feels like Goodfellas Shock or Dishonored: The Knife Of Mob City at times, even. But then they've always been pretty open about their inspirations at least in the Twittersphere.


    As for a couple of personal CONS, there's a bug that's gonna be hotfixed with the cool in-universe maps (Thief-style). Currently, if you load a save, that map isn't displayed in the menu anymore. As a workaround, I make a screenshot of the map upon starting a chapter, keep that open and alt+tab out of the game if I want to re-check the maps (minor annoyance). And some of the lighting system / stealth seems at times a bit random to me -- e.g. in some sections, despite moving in a dark container, you're not flagged "hidden", that kind of stuff. That doesn't mean it's inherently broken, stealth works (people have been all-out stealthing the demo from 2-3 years ago already). Just in some places, the lighting system doesn't seem 100% consistent. But then it's Early Access. And I'd never thought that small indies could ever pull this off.

    I'm having fun for sure! At 9.99$ it should be a no-brainer on these boards anyway.
    Last edited by samIamsad; 15th Jun 2024 at 07:09.

  3. #178
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Sold! I mean, kinda. The demo didn't really do much for me, it seemed a bit spare in terms of visuals, what with the flat lighting not doing the blocky early Build-era level design any favours. While the art style is nice, I was never particularly charmed by depression-era gangster mafioso stylings, which I guess is a me problem. I'm willing to see if the game grows on me though, and the gameplay does seem more interesting than anything else.

  4. #179
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Sold! I mean, kinda. The demo didn't really do much for me
    Can't do much about the visuals and theme then... Some of the level geometry seems a bit blocky to me in spots as well, but else I think this thing oozes style. Also in the animated comic-style cutscenes (fully VO'd as well). And that SOUNDTRACK. I tried the demo back then when I was finished with Weird West upon launch (early-mid 2022) and looked what was going on in the (smaller) indie space.

    The demo level (reportedly much reworked and improved for the EA release, not there yet) ticked a couple of boxes for me already. In particular as soon as you reached the Night Club to infiltrate, there were quite a few options. But so far, the levels of this don't hold back on that much any... Even in the very first scene, there's choices already to make. Not HUGE of a story PLOT spoiler per se. Just the opening situation you're thrown in.

    spoiler:
    You wake up into your appartment after a night of booze. Suddenly there's goons knocking at your door trying to hunt you down. Eventually, they manage to break in through the door. You could for instance flick the lights off, hide, sneak past them when they go inside. You could also surprise them by openening the door yourself and smash them to the ground (the character you play was quite the thing in boxing in an early life, which seems to help. ). You could also open the window and try to make it down to the streets that'a ways... possibly skipping a multi-level apartment building altoegether, if you wanted. It's a way down there from the 3rd floor tho and you're being observed.


    And yeah, the comparison to Thief2's Shipping... and receiving level PC Gamer made with another map isn't completely unwarranted (though LGS at their most complex were still something else, naturally). Lots of vertical exploration too. Plus secrets. I'm really taking my time with this one... If you do, a level can easily take an hour or more. Depends on your playing style too, naturally. Hacking your way through Dishonored, levels were far shorter as well.

    Speaking about Bioshock, there's a direct nod of kinds. Thief probably as well. But I'm sure you're gonna pick that stuff up as well. These guys have played the same games you did. https://x.com/TreyPowell1964/status/1801173362288324664 I highly recommend playing on the highest difficulty level, and not quicksave at every turn. Game isn't particularly hard so far (they'll apparently add more options later).

    edit: Just a minute after typing this I was sniped from the sniper, game over.
    Last edited by samIamsad; 15th Jun 2024 at 12:59.

  5. #180
    Brethren
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: Cathedral Row
    I played the first 3 chapters of Fallen Aces, it's good. Love the art style, and the gameplay is fun, some decent humor too. But....is it really an immersive sim? I really shouldn't go there, but it feels like more like just a shooter to me. I know it has some stealth opportunities and some open level design, but I don't think it's enough to put it up there with some of the other immsims available and depth of gameplay they provide to the player. Yeah, I know, someone had to say it.

  6. #181
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    Well, that's always the question isn't it? Even Raf Colantonio faced it with Weird West. And that was only in parts because of the top down perspective. There's a lot of influences here, from Condemned, even bits of the Duke and Action Doom. Same as Weird West had influences from all over the place too, with the twin-stick shooter gameplay at its very core -- and the (oldschool!) Fallout-like exploration moving that from one location to the next.

    The way I'm personally playing this, it ticks most of the boxes for me that made me enjoy the likes of Dishonored as well. It's basically Dishonored: The Knife Of Mobster City when I'm playing. Yeah, the tools you have aren't as varied. Mostly it comes down to distracting goons, finding ways past them undetected or killing them (for which there is a range of choice). But no super creative stuff that is part and parcel with Arkane games. Like, turning into a cup of coffee and stuff. Still, that's all I need to feel some agency. As said, Bioshock is MUCH more of a straight shooter experience. In big parts due to the corridor-like level design. In big parts due to enemies respawning endlessly and them going immediately aggro. So that constant conflict is inevitable, and you have no much to ponder how to approach any situation.

    Chapter 4 is pretty much taken straight outta Thief, btw. The game isn't even subtle about that, it hits you like a blackjack.

    I think on YouTube GManLives describes the game quite well currently here, including the flaws still there (combat difficulty, lighting sometimes inconsistent, e.g. sometimes you're standing in visually dark areas, but aren't considered as "hidden" in the HUD display and gameplay). Then again, just killing everybody was extremely easy in Dishonored already (particularly the first game). He still very much recommends it.

    So do I! Hopefully guys like these make a ton of dough and commit to this fo' life. Personally I wouldn't be one complaining. AFAIK, it's still two guys plus (art) externals? It's great to see what tiny teams are able to pull off either way, and makes me hopeful for the future. Whether this game IS an Immersive Sim or not, there's quite a few stuff more going on than in a typical (Boomer) Shooter. The Subreddit has spoken tho. They rest their case.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ImmersiveSi...l_of_approval/
    Last edited by samIamsad; 16th Jun 2024 at 22:56.

  7. #182
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Fallen Aces is open sim lite, more of a brawler & shooter with a story. The reason it's getting props here is because it's an indie title made by two folks like us that are basically in the family. That & its sensibility thumbs the scale for being "one of our kind of games".

    As I get older, and having worked on a few games, I've grown to appreciate that the task of a good dev is to make a game what it's telling them it wants to be, even if it doesn't fall into a textbook category, and they made this game the way it should be made.

  8. #183
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post

    As I get older, and having worked on a few games, I've grown to appreciate that the task of a good dev is to make a game what it's telling them it wants to be, even if it doesn't fall into a textbook category, and they made this game the way it should be made.
    Lesson well learnt, I'd say.

    The point of all this talk about computer role-playing games is not to claim that this project of ours is or isn't an RPG. The point is that great games don't happen by shoe-horning your design into a rigid category made up by some magazine.
    https://web.archive.org/web/19980224...manifesto.html

  9. #184
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I've just played the first 2 levels, but I've stealth knocked out most of the baddies I've met. The lighting/visibility system is indeed underbaked, but I appreciate that you often need to listen for footsteps to judge the position of enemies, in true Thief fashion. Oh and lean controls would be appreciated at times.

    Anyway I think the game does a decent job at letting you "play it your way", tho I don't think you have any agency when it comes to the story, do you?

  10. #185
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    Finished the first Episode of Fallen Aces. The last level was pretty cool also, a large multi-store building with multiple possible entry points and a big roof too. Just perfect for playing the stealthily way. It's basically the level seen in the demo, but vastly expanded and overhauled and with no loading screens (the demo had several). No wonder they took the demo down. Very much looking forward to the second episode. Difficulty needs a few more tweaks and options though. -10 HP from a straight pistol hit even is too tame. Plus brawling goonies seem rather strangely passive and defensive. Gives you too much of an edge in pumping fists, imo. The one enemy type I had respect for were the snipers. Those hit hard.

    I've beeen recently been recommended Sonar Shock. Looks like to System Shock what Atom RPG was to Fallout: Your favourite game -- but this time from Russia with Vodka.


    As to the Arkane discussion going on: I personally wish Bethesda had aquired the rights to do an Indiana Jones game earlier. Firstly: Still decent commercial appeal. Secondly: Unlike Redfall leading to the reported staff turnover and turmoil, perfect fit for Arkane. The starting templates were all being there, 25 years ago. They are called Down In The Bonehoard, The Lost City and several more. Including vague/cryptic in-universe maps with notes that could have been taken straight outta the Grail Diary in The Last Crusade.

    Alas, too late.


    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Anyway I think the game does a decent job at letting you "play it your way", tho I don't think you have any agency when it comes to the story, do you?
    Nah, it's basically the Thief formula. Open-ish levels plus cutscenes / static narrative in between. They've already said that a few of the optional mission objectives will lead to consequences if failed / not taken. There is one mission for instance where you're heavily encouraged to not kill anyone (mission is taken straight outta Thief either way with several direct nods to it). However, so far the only consequence for killing is you getting a stern telling on your radio. Don't think that this will lead to branching narrative.

    Likely something connected to the hub/hide-out they are cooking (talking to guys in between missions, buying stuff). Plus the radio programme updating to current events with each mission. But we shall see. Hopefully they're not going too broad - a map editor is also cooking. The formula works as is. I'd rather see them finishing the levels and campaign first. And me seeing the end to this.
    Last edited by samIamsad; 18th Jun 2024 at 15:05.

  11. #186
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Finished Fallen Aces. Levels 1 and 2 were good. 3 was a bit boring (also the only mission during daytime) and caused me to drop the game for a week. Level 4 was great, stealthy mansion break-in. That's also where the story starts coming into focus. Level 5 also really good, open level with a lot of routes and things to see. Gianni Matragrano should win the Oscar for his performance as "goon taking a massive shit".

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