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Thread: What are you playing? (2022 Edition)

  1. #476
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Good write-ups Sulph. Think I'll be skipping Sommerville then. As for Plague Tale 2, I've made it to the island, but kinda stopped there. I need to get back to it.
    Thanks! I loved the island, because it's very reminiscent of actual islands I've been to in the past (minus the, uh, stuff). Also, it's a well-earned change of pace that I enjoyed, given what came before it.

  2. #477
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    I'm so pleased to hear that Plague Tale 2 lives up to the expectations. Really looking forward to playing it in the near future (which in my case means anything between 0-5 years).

  3. #478
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I'm currently dipping in and out of Obsidian's latest, Pentiment (while also playing Deadfire on the side).
    Pentiment is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but man, is it taking a while to get going.
    Effectively, it's an Obsidian game, but with the action stripped out, so that you're just playing one of their conversation trees. It's basically a visual novel, but without the anime stylings and deeper conversations.
    It's very charming, and there's lots of "This will be remembered" stuff going on, but it hasn't really grabbed me yet (although to be fair, I am going through an extended gaming funk at the moment).
    There's also a lot religious and social concepts to get your head around, although these are explained very well in the margins (despite clicking on some underlined words occasionally not triggering said description). In that respect, I'm finding it to be very much akin to when I read Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, where I had to first get my head around several complex social aspects of 19th century Russian society before I could really enjoy the story. Indeed, as Pentiment focuses on a murder too (although I haven't got that far yet), and there's a heavy religious aspect to it, I wouldn't be surprised if The Brothers Karamazov directly influenced it.

    But apart from that and another playthrough of Deadfire, Guild Wars 2 still gets played on a daily basis, and is still very fun (currently enjoying playing a Norn core Thief with Celestial gear).
    GW2 does a lot of stuff that many open world games do, but across a MUCH larger area while other people are running around too, and it means it's got one of the best open worlds in gaming. You're rarely at a loss for things to do.
    If you like your Assassin's Creed or Horizon Games, I'd recommend giving GW2 a go, especially as it's now free to play on Steam.

    And Streets of Rogue is my current Steam Deck game of choice, where I'm currently trying to complete a basic (no mutators) gang member run. I finally completed a basic Gorilla run recently, and had a funny ending where no-one came to dance because there weren't enough people left alive, which the game acknowledged.
    I seriously cannot wait for the second game. If it's even half as good as the first, it'll be my game of the year.
    Last edited by Malf; 21st Nov 2022 at 06:52.

  4. #479
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Dakar Desert Rally, babyyyyyyy!

    So this game had a rocky launch a month ago, has since been patched up a bit, is now on a -30% sale on PS5.

    Picked it up yesterday and have been playing it a bunch since. The vehicle handling is good, a definite step up from Dakar 18, and it also looks great. It has 3 separate game modes which drastically change how the game plays. The "Sport" mode is the most accessible and straightforward one. Its got big glowing checkpoints and arrows pointing you in the right direction, and lots of other racers on the track at once. It is purely a test of how well you handle your vehicle, and it's fun! The "Professional" mode however, is the real reason to play this game. It's the classic Dakar 18 rally raid gameplay, which is as much about orienteering as it is about driving. It's a checkpoint race, but all the checkpoints are invisible, and often the only clue you have where you're supposed to go is a compass heading. Frequently you'll mess up and have to do a u-turn, head back to the last known checkpoint and try again. You also have to be listening to your co-driver's instructions. You know how you often do best in racing games when you zone out and just go with the flow? Not possible here, you have to be at full alert and using both your eyes AND ears if you're gonna be successful. There's also a 3rd game mode called "Simulation" which is even more hardcore, but this one unlocks later in the game so I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

    Here's a bit of Professional truck gameplay, on one of the shorter and easier stages. This one mostly has you following traces, but you still have to pay attention to the co-driver to pick the right paths. Only towards the end does it go off-road.



    What I don't like? No free roam mode yet, tho it's supposed to come as a free DLC before the end of the year. The game takes a cue from the Forza Horizons by letting you spin a wheel at the end of successful events, which can earn you a new vehicle, but these are just standard rally vehicles, which are a bit boring. The more fun vehicles are the unlockable classics. But the game is TOO stingy in doling these out. You need podium-finishes on an event using all 5 vehicle categories to unlock a classic, which can easily mean 5+ hours of gameplay, doing the same races over and over again just for ONE lousy CitroŽn 2CV! Ngl tho, I want that 2CV.

    Anyway, overall first impressions, it's good!
    Last edited by henke; 22nd Nov 2022 at 08:38.

  5. #480
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    Henke I sent you a friend request ages ago but you never answered it! Don't you want to enter into a Strand Contract with me?? (one of the NPCs told me that's what I should do)

    (username is dimedancing in case you didn't know who it was)
    Ah sorry. Totally forgot about this till just now. Yeah I think I rejected your first friend request because I didnt recognize the name. Sent a new request.

  6. #481
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Thanksgiving break is a good time to catch up with family and... catch up with gaming.

    FixFox is a fix-em-up (this should be a genre) with an emphasis on physicality. You scrounge for low-tier equipment and materials to fix basic items, which reward you with mid-tier stuff to fix more complex items. Not a complex game loop, but a satisfying one. The commitment to making everything tactile and kinaesthetic reminds me strongly of Ultima VI and VII. You rummage through your backpack Ultima VII-style for what you need, you apply items directly on components, you save by dragging cassettes around, and your cursor on informational screens is a big ol' hand. It's fun, though I have some quibbles I may articulate more later.

    Creeper World 4 is an RTS where your enemy is fluid physics. Each map will have sources of viscous, corrosive group that slowly oozes across the terrain destroying whatever it engulfs. Thankfully bombs and bullets seem to be effective against it. All resources must flow from destination to destination across the map, via solar towers and energy relays. Resources have no hard caps, and efficiency is all about spotting bottlenecks before they become disastrous, so you can play quite slow and methodically if you like. Further missions (I'm about a third of the way through) have introduced complications like enemy organisms that can launch the goo behind your front lines. It's fun, but fatiguing.

    Finally, I've played a bit of Avernum: Escape from the Pit, which is a remake of a remake of Jeff Vogel's first game. Solid world design, but rather unsatisfying leveling.

  7. #482
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Finished A Plague Tale: Requiem. Gameplaywise it's more polished and better than its predecessor. I like how Amicia gets built up to be a badass action hero over the course of TWO entire games! What if the Tomb Raiders had shown that kinda restraint. Storywise tho, I don't think it was as good or focused as part 1. Kinda feels like the plot doesn't really get focused more than halfway through, and then it reaches the end too quickly. Not sure how to feel about the ending. In a way, learning that there is no cure and there only was one inevitable end kinda undoes everything that came before it. Like, the happiest possible ending would've been if Hugo died at the start of the first game! As for the post-credits tease... eh, ok. Still, I liked it. Not as much as Sulph did, but still. A good bad time through a beautiful apocalypse.

  8. #483
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I think less focused is a fair piece of critique. It's definitely a bit rambling in terms of what happens, and the motivations for a bunch of its characters are a bit... askew, but I appreciate that it's trying something more character-driven than Innocence's apparent interest in interrogating religion and The Inquisition and then having nothing to say or do with it except as a horror movie threat before it becomes full on fantastical (I'll never forget chuckling at the rat tornadoes while fighting the pope Grand Inquisitor. It was so OTT ludicrous you could have used it in a Bayonetta game). Less good is more subjective, and that's fine, it was better at being more human compared to the roughness of Innocence, IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    In a way, learning that there is no cure and there only was one inevitable end kinda undoes everything that came before it. Like, the happiest possible ending would've been if Hugo died at the start of the first game! As for the post-credits tease... eh, ok. Still, I liked it. Not as much as Sulph did, but still. A good bad time through a beautiful apocalypse.
    I don't think that's what it was trying to say. It's not that there's no cure, it's that things would have been all right if the world had just left them alone. It's a direct follow-through on Innocence's theme where the world's full of people who wouldn't think twice about using a child as a tool, and while they all ultimately pay a price, the one for whom the cost is too high in the end is Hugo. Amicia does her best to protect him, but you can't keep someone innocent forever, and his breaking point is losing both his mother and, in his head, Amicia, because they were his only (tenuous) tether to the world as a place with good in it. Fairly depressing, yes, but I think there's enough emotional truth to the way it wraps up that Hugo needing to die doesn't necessarily cheapen everything that came before it. It does stumble a bit by trying to contrast Amicia's values with everyone else's, and then dangles her into the abyss of bloodlust for a bit before pulling her back, but she's always at the uneasy boundary between 'not a killer' and 'they deserve it... a little'.

    The dream does seem to be a huge bit of misdirection, but you can read it as an analogy for just finding a place to be at peace.


    Also I may be a bit biased because as the youngest kid in my family, my sister did do a fair bit of bringing me up, so YMMV on how much you can relate to that. But even that aside, I think it's a much better game than the first one overall.

  9. #484
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    But apart from that and another playthrough of Deadfire, Guild Wars 2 still gets played on a daily basis, and is still very fun (currently enjoying playing a Norn core Thief with Celestial gear).
    GW2 does a lot of stuff that many open world games do, but across a MUCH larger area while other people are running around too, and it means it's got one of the best open worlds in gaming. You're rarely at a loss for things to do.
    If you like your Assassin's Creed or Horizon Games, I'd recommend giving GW2 a go, especially as it's now free to play on Steam.
    I spent a lot of time (too much time) on Guild Wars, so I remember being very excited for GW2. Pre-ordered it and everything. Played it on day one. I don't know why, but I just never got into it. It was a disappointment. I guess I just didn't really like to play with other random people all the time. There was this one boss fight that I remember, some underwater monster. There were dozens of other players swarming in a ball formation around the monster, and I couldn't even see the bloody thing that I was supposed to be fighting.

    I gave up pretty soon, I don't think I ever even got to the maximum level with my character(s). I thought about giving it another chance some time, but I would imagine that you need to invest a lot of time in the game to get any good, and that's something that I can't afford right now. Do a lot of people still play GW2? Is GW1 still running? I'd like to see that again after all these years.

  10. #485
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    GW2 is very active, even more so since it came to Steam earlier this year along with a new expansion.

    But the beauty of it is that because they never increase the level cap, you can pretty much jump back in whenever you want once you've hit the level cap.
    It does have what they call "horizontal progression", in that there are a bunch of abilities, skills and elite professions you can pursue once you're 80, but the "power level" never increases.
    It does still have visibility issues in big fights, made a bit worse by the fact that a lot of veteran players look like violent Christmas trees at a disco, but the later developed events suffer from this less thanks to more refined encounter design.

    However, they do seem to have improved ground attack indicators, meaning that if you're on the ball, it's quite easy to stay alive.
    Most "PvE" content, especially in "Core" Tyria (the first area that was available on release), is quite easy to play through as long as you pay even a little attention to your build, although Heart of Thorns (the first expansion) is a massive step up in solo difficulty, being designed to make you cooperate with other players roaming the world. The second expansion, Path of Fire, steps down the solo difficulty somewhat, and introduces the best mounts in video games.
    Overall, I still recommend it if you like open world type games, as there's just a HUGE amount of stuff to explore, with a lot of variety.

    Guild Wars 1 is also still running, and ArenaNet have promised to keep it going in perpetuity. I even reinstalled it recently, thanks to a YouTube streamer I follow playing it live on Sunday night.
    But they really are completely different games, and pretty much all they share is the setting.
    GW1 plays more like some weird hybrid of party-based RPG, RTS and card-based game, whereas Guild Wars 2 is slightly more traditional (if not still breaking the MMO mould in numerous ways).

    I think GW1 was definitely the more revolutionary design, and I sometimes wish they'd hued closer to it when making the sequel (seriously, I rank the first game's AI alongside FEAR and Black & White, while GW2's AI is thick as a brick, in a "Standard" AI kinda way), but GW2's active and mobile combat is incredibly moreish.

    GW2 does however suffer from a stupidly bloated number of "currencies", that take a long time to get your head around. And a lot of the end-game content almost requires having the wiki page open in order to understand exactly WTF you're meant to do.

  11. #486
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Just finished Halo 5. It was meh. Level design was mostly super linear, very bad for a Halo game. You get little to no sandbox sections to levels which is a staple of Halo. Story was nonsense, I totally see why Halo Infinite has a time skip in order to more or less ignore it. The copypasta Warden Eternal boss fights got boring after probably the 3rd time.

    A gameplay aspect I liked was the rudimentary squad AI and didn't mind the jet boosting manoeuvrability options. The grapple hook which replaced the jet boosting in Halo Infinite was far more fun, IMO. The Promethean weapons as they were in Halo 4 - reskins of human ones + visually very cool, IMO.

    Overall I feel that $1 I paid to play it wasn't a waste of money (for a Game Pass sub). Paying $15-30 NZD to outright buy a copy would've been a waste however.

  12. #487
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I can't remember quite when I started playing Sekiro, but it was this summer. Well, yesterday I finally beat the game... admittedly with a somewhat cheesy strategy for the final boss fight, but even this took practice and coordination, so I'm fine with it. I greatly enjoyed this for how it varied the From Software formula, and the Japanese setting made for a great change from the world of Dark Souls, but I'm also glad to be done with it. I greatly enjoy From Software games - every couple of years. I'm certainly going to play Elden Ring at some point, but not yet, not yet.

    I'm also close to the endgame of The Excavation of Hob's Barrow. It's a lovely game, but the horror doesn't entirely land for me; there's something too cosy and leisurely for point and click adventures to feel consistently unsettling or scary, at least to me. It's difficult to be frightened if you're trying to get an egg so you can exchange it for a peach, which you'll use to distract the boy who's watching the local shop, where you need to steal a map of the area - no, that's not an actual puzzle from Hob's Barrow, but you know how P&C games work. Still, it's a definite recommendation if you like the genre and if you're okay with relatively easy puzzles as long as there's good characters and an interesting story.

  13. #488
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Yup, finished Hob's Barrow. I like the endgame and its puzzles, even if there is still a bit of a disconnect between the plot and the puzzles. It's by no means egregious, but as in most P&C games there is an extent to which you have to suspend your disbelief and accept that this door would've been locked by a relatively straightforward puzzle, even though the purpose was to keep something locked in forever. Hey, at least they didn't try to banish a Great Evil by creating a lock that could only be broken by solving a Towers of Hanoi puzzle or a simple Sudoku!

  14. #489
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Since I've got an active Game Pass sub I'm playing through CrossfireX: Operation Catalyst ATM. It looks like fuzzy poo and runs like a dog, probably 25fps - on a Xbox 1 S. It's a generic CoD clone that feels like it fell out of 2009. Even by CoD standards the enemy AI is utterly brain dead.


    The Remedy signatures are few but there. There's a dream-like delusion every other level, where live action footage of the protagonist's wife is projected - akin to Alan Wake. The mo-capped acting in the cutscenes does look very good.


    Only half of the story is on Game Pass. If you want the concluding campaign, Operation Spectre, you have to buy it. It's $10 USD, but the campaign is only ~3 hours long.


    If you must play it, avoid on Xb 1. Only play on Xb Series.
    Last edited by EvaUnit02; 2nd Dec 2022 at 19:37.

  15. #490
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Gungrave GORE feels like a PS2 era AA game, made using modern tech. It's a pretty brainless game where you'll be encouraged to keep spamming attacks to increase the hit count. A turbo controller or mouse macro program is recommended to spam the fire button, until you encounter shield dudes. You have to do charged shots to break shields. You can purchase moves between levels, but the trouble is most of them are for melee attacks where you're swinging around your coffin. Keeping mobile and shooting is for the best, IMO. You're better off sinking points into upgrading your stats, like shield recharge rate and more HP.

    This launched directly into Game Pass, which is fitting because it's very much a Game Pass fodder calibre game. When I saw that they're charging $90 NZD for this on Steam I LOL'ed, they're definitely taking the mickey here.

    Aside from the occasional UE4 shader caching stutter, it runs really well on my PC (i5 12600, RTX 3080, 32GB DRR5). I'm getting 120+ fps at 4k, max settings inc ray tracing w/ DLSS 2.3 Balanced enabled.

    The story is seems to be on the barebones side. So if you're a fan of this old IP from the Trigun creator (Yasuhiro Nightow), you're probably going to be disappointed.

    EDIT:
    They added a full auto mode in a patch, so scratch that thought about turbo controllers.
    NEW ADDED SYSTEM

    FULL AUTO:

    PS4, PS5: Pressing [Down Button on D-Pad] while playing the game will toggle Normal/FULL AUTO mode. When using FULL AUTO mode, you cannot use Death Spear, but if you toggle back to Normal mode, you can use Death Spear again. Use whatever mode when the situation requires you to use it.

    Xbox One, Xbox Series X: [Down Button on D-Pad] while playing the game will toggle Normal/FULL AUTO mode. When using FULL AUTO mode, you cannot use Death Spear, but if you toggle back to Normal mode, you can use Death Spear again. Use whatever mode when the situation requires you to use it.

    PC: Pressing [CapsLock] while playing the game will toggle Normal/FULL AUTO mode. When using FULL AUTO mode, you cannot use Death Spear, But if you toggle back to Normal mode, you can use Death Spear again. Use whatever mode when the situation requires you to use it.

    Activates Burst mode when using FULL AUTO while standing still
    Added parrying and missile reflection in Funeral Strike
    Added shield-breaking function in Executionerís Blood
    When Grave/Bunji/Quartz knocks down, they'll stay invulnerable for a while.
    Last edited by EvaUnit02; 4th Dec 2022 at 04:17.

  16. #491
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I'm playing Stray these days. It more or less deserves the hype. The vibes I'm getting are close to the ones I was getting when I played Mirror's Edge, I mean in feeling it's a special game right off, and it holding that feeling as it went on. The visuals, story, flow, and cat stuff are all great.

    There's some wonk, and I wish they would have had more parkour kind of gameplay in it, or made it a little more open in which ways you can go for the running parts like ME. But what it does makes sense for what the game is, so I can understand it. And I like the open storytelling and puzzle parts.

  17. #492
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    FixFox ended up disappointing. While the story and presentation remained charming throughout, the gameplay developed no complexity or difficulty over the course of its ~10-hour span. A distressingly large chunk of my enjoyment came from organizing my inventory.

    I'm also about two-thirds through Super Panda Adventure, a dollar-cheap metroidvania with RPG elements. The art is a tad weak, and the gameplay is mostly conventional, but everything is solidly designed. Some interesting things about it are its blocking mechanic (with an entire resource dedicated to blocking), its lack of convenient healing, and its bonus-XP mechanic based on dealing continuous damage. It's worth a look if, like me, you're running dry on metroidvanias.

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