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Thread: What are you playing? (2022 Edition)

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen

    What are you playing? (2022 Edition)

    Hello 2022! New year (I hope it'll be a good one for you all) - new megathread! Oh yes!

    Links for the older threads: 2020 & 2021

    2021 wasn't as busy as 2020 in here, but that's hardly a surprise I guess. Let's keep this thing going though! So far I haven't played anything in 2022 - I've been addicted to my little gamedev hobby instead, but this obviously isn't the right thread for that. Since I have nothing more to offer here for now, perhaps henke can kick this off and tell us more about his G String experiences that he mentioned in the other thread?

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I played Timelie yesterday. It's a puzzle game that looks like it's meant for a smartphone... The controls are in line with Tomb Raider Go & it's in the style of Monument, both of which I'm into, so it works for me. Otherwise it's basically a stealth game, which of course I'm also into. You have to sneak through rooms & you can move time forwards and backwards to time your movements precisely, or move a 2nd character at the same time. It's cute. It's not mindbending like Baba Is You, but it's better than the typical puzzle game & speaks to me anyway, like e.g. The Witness doesn't, even if it's greatly more polished.

    I've been following the dev for G String, Eya, for a while. She's an interesting case. She's logged in something like literally 40,000+ hours making that game over the last ~15 years, I think she reported recently, and she has a kind of edge about how much time and energy it takes an individual to make a decent game. But for all that, to this day she's still showing off weekly updates like it's something she just can't leave alone. Or she couldn't just leave it as a mod when people were calling for her to make a proper game out of it 10 years ago, and she can't just leave it as mod-looking game now. But she also has a wicked sense of humor about the whole thing, and life in general, so it's fun to watch anyway.

    As for the game, it's also an interesting case. It's inspired and has a definite aesthetic. It's also fragmented & disjointed, and for stretches you can lose the thread of what's actually happening; but you're usually in interesting environments and reacting to what's happening around you scene to scene anyway, so you catch on to what's important about it. I just find it interesting that a person has devoted so much of her life to that world. It feels lived in or has a spirit in it, like a auteur film, that you don't see with blockbuster made-by-committee games that are play & forget. And you can pick up on her obsessions, with cyberpunk & Star Wars & kink (each update is A-cup, B-cup, etc.) Putting aside whether it's a great game or not, it definitely makes a lasting impression.

  3. #3
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Yeah G String is interesting. Plays like Half Life 2, but the aesthetic reminds me of Cruelty Squad or Observer. Just absolutely disgusting future-capitalist-hell. I can't hang on to the thread of the story. Hell I had such a hard time just understanding what anyone was saying I had to turn on subtitles. It sure looks wild tho, and at times vaporwave music kicks in while you're blasting dudes away in desolate slums and it feels like Hotline Miami. I like it.

  4. #4
    I'm mostly playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider atm (thanks for the freebie EGS) and it's very much like the previous two games in the trilogy, with much less clown car shooting galery than the first so far (a good thing IMO). The game is worth a try if you enjoyed the moment to moment gameplay of the first two.

    I initially went in using DX11 and the game struggled to hit 60 FPS in 1080p with low-ish settings on my RTX 3060 (no shadows or AA and so on), then I enabled DX12 and found that I could crank up things quite a lot (like Raytraced Shadows on highest setting) while still maintaining stable 60 FPS in 1080p. At first I just turned on a few things, but when that was super smooth I just said f- it and tried maxing out settings I would never have thought to mess around with previously. The game looked good even on the low settings I tried with DX11, but it's easy to tell that the devs put in time to make sure the visuals were impressive at high/max settings.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Louisville, KY area
    My granddaughter loves playing Fortnite, so I started up an acct for her dad to link to their playstation acct. They had daily gift giveaways for a few costumes and in game decorations for the holidays.

    I bought Dishonored 2 last night off CDKeys. it was 4 bucks. Connection was a bit goofy after so I didn't download it yet.

    I got Red Dead Redemption 2 when Epic sale started . Its only 20 bucks with sale and 10$ coupon. Its fantastic. Very slow going in the beginning, Lots of cinematics and loads until you get thru the first few stages. Really amazing graphics. Even more so on new monitor.

    Halo Infinite mp and campaign. I got a new monitor on Friday, we waited a week to do our Christmas. Ive had Halo for a minute Campaign is amazing. I'd never played halo before, and not much multiplayer since RTCW and SOF2. Looks and plays really great, I'm really horrible.
    Last edited by glslvrfan; 3rd Jan 2022 at 05:24.

  6. #6
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I've yet to get started on Tenderfoot Tactics, Battle Brothers or The Master Chief Collection (Thanks Thirith, henke & Jesh respectively!)

    I got a little hooked on Ultimate ADOM over Christmas while with family, and then got absorbed by Greedfall.

    What starts out as a rather humdrum, Eurojank budget-Bioware title gradually blossoms into a genuinely thought-provoking tale about colonialism and the White Saviour complex.
    It plays a bit like a Piranha Bytes game with some Bioware companion stuff thrown in, while also not really being open world.
    Instead, it's a series of large, semi-open maps with restricted exploration corridors, which can be a little irritating at first if you've been playing more open games.

    Combat is passable, but nothing to write home about, and enemy variety is fairly limited.

    But it's the setting and story where it really shines. It has a very Regency era feel to things (tricorns, rapiers and muskets), with some magic thrown in for spice.
    There's several main factions, with varying tensions between all.

    You represent the Congregation of Merchants, who are seemingly the relatively neutral glue that acts as an arbitrator between all the other factions. To that end, your character is very much a diplomat, which is surprisingly fun to play. Political intrigues and machinations are the name of the game here, and escalate pleasingly, giving you time to understand the story and appreciate the repercussions.

    The natives of the island have a lot in common with Native American people, and have been/are being taken advantage of in many of the same ways, not having any understanding of the legal systems or concepts foisted upon them by the various colonialist factions. They have a mystical connection to the spirits of the island, and are very much in tune with nature. Yes, sure, it's a bit of a stereotype. But it works.

    The Bridge Alliance are a secular nation with a focus on science. They want to exploit the island for its rich natural resources, and due to their secular nature, are at loggerheads with the next faction...

    Thélème are a full-on religious nation, looking to convert everyone and expand their nation this way. They run an Inquisition, who think nothing of punishing non-believing members of the other factions.

    Then there are the Nauts, seafarers who jealously guard the secrets of maritime navigation, and are the only people able to transport members of the other nations (and goods) to the island. Due to the power of the position they hold, they control commerce and movement, but take a relatively light-handed approach to politics.

    And finally, there's the Coin Guard, a large mercenary company who provide security and military services to the three main continental factions (the Congregation, Alliance and Thélème).

    Add in to this mix a deadly plague that is killing people on the continent, and the perception that the island potentially holds the secret of a cure, and you get a satisfying powder keg ready to blow at any moment.

    Now the quests themselves can feel very low-effort, and require a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. But they do all have solid connections to the main theme, meaning your role as diplomat is always at the fore, and the themes are given plenty of room to breath and implant themselves in your conscious mind.
    I've just hit what I am assuming is the first escalation point, and it's getting positively gripping. Despite the gameplay being relatively mediocre, the story is playing out very nicely, and I can't wait to see where it goes next.

    I'm not sure that my actions have a massive impact on the story yet, but it doesn't really take away from an interesting story that examines colonialism and its consequences.
    It's also not let down by the voice acting, which is always a worry with B-list RPGs. Instead, you get solid performances from all (even if none really stick out). Sure, there's a limited number of voice actors, so you end up noticing the same actors doing multiple voices, but I can accept that.

    Overall, I'd recommend it if you're looking for a long RPG with an interesting setting, albeit with combat that won't set your world on fire.
    Last edited by Malf; 4th Jan 2022 at 11:48.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I got myself a Logitech steering wheel, mainly to play Dirt Rally 2.0 in VR. I absolutely suck at it, never having driven a car, but with each race I suck a tiny bit less. Much more than that, though, it makes a world of a difference: even in VR, playing with a game pad meant there was a constant disconnect. I might look around and see the I side of a car, but the pad in my hand is a constant reminder that I’m not. With the wheel, though? That disconnect is 99% gone. In addition, the force feedback effects give me a better feel for the surface I’m on. I may not play with the wheel for hundreds of hours, but right now this feels like exactly the right purchase.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Ooh. I love Dirt Rally 2 and I almost bought a steering wheel just because of it, but then decided against it when I realised that I don't really play other racing games and I'd have to buy a new desk as well. Perhaps one day... I wish I could test the game with a steering wheel somewhere and see how much fun it really is.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I've been playing lots of Orcs Must Die 2 and 3 with my GF and it's basically video game crack. It's just stupid fun, and watching orcs get flipped back and forth never gets old. Tho I am a bit disappointed by 3. It looks way nicer and plays way slicker, but the balance has definitely shifted from traps to shooting stuff, which is pretty disappointing. I re-played the first level a whole ton trying different strategies, and the cheesiest strat (i.e. a single beeline of spike traps) was disproportionately most effective. There's a lot of interesting synergies between traps, but it doesn't really feel worth exploring them since the cost is often too high for a marginal benefit. (I'll also never forgive them for making my tar traps almost 2x as expensive as previous game )

    On single player front, I played Slime Rancher and it's quite delightful and addictive. Such a simple idea but works so beautifully. My only surprise is that it feels a lot... shorter/simpler than I expected given the wild hype it's gotten. The different slime types are fairly insignificant (and don't matter once you put them in a pen), and combining them doesn't really yield any particularly interesting results. After 10hrs I already reached the end of the world and found all the slime types so there isn't much incentive to keep grinding all those extra lab unlocks. The game isn't bad for being short in the least, I guess I just imagined there being more to it based on the hype and occasional 150hr reviews.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    My gaming PC decided to stop POST-ing a few weeks ago, so I used that to justify buying a dedicated DAW PC and a new gaming rig. Which means I could theoretically be playing Deathloop finally, but instead I'm letting backloggery pick my next game and ended up with Doom 2016. I just finished the tower level, and it's really really good so far, but for some reason I find myself finishing a level a day and not wanting to play anymore.

  11. #11
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    As cool as DOOM 2016 is, it does go on for too long, and it's not really worth sticking with it till the end just for the story.

  12. #12
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Yeah, it's a bit too intense to be digested in long chunks. A level a day strikes me as a good way to play the game, and also lessens the risk of you growing bored with the formulaic gameplay loop.

    I still enjoy it more than Doom Eternal though. That game just won't click with me, and I suspect it's the slavish devotion to and doubling down on the formula, while the narrative also takes itself too seriously when compared to 2016.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I just finished Death's Door, getting the 'true ending' (though I didn't 100% it - there would've been another couple of achievements, but 100%ing doesn't really do much for me). It's a lovely Zelda-like with a great aesthetic, and while it probably remains simpler in terms of its combat and puzzles than the Legend of Zelda games, that's exactly what I was looking for after Christmas. Nonetheless, it does a good job of adding new gameplay mechanics over time and changing things up. Again, thanks a lot to henke for this great Christmas gift.

    I also just played Midnight Scenes: The Nanny, the latest horror short by Octavi Navarro, who issues one of these point-and-click quickies every couple of years. The plot is rather random in this one (I seem to remember that the others also had that problem), but hey, this is a half-hour game, so it can get by on style and atmosphere, and those are always there in spades with Navarro. The previous games in the series used a black-and-white '50s aesthetic, while this one goes for an '80s VHS video look, and it works well. The dialogues are also well written, even if the story as a whole feels a bit "And then *this* happened, and then *that* happened, and then they all died!!! The end." (Not literally that, mind you, just that kind of thing.)

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    On single player front, I played Slime Rancher and it's quite delightful and addictive.
    I played Slime Rancher quite a lot last year, but never got to the end... I think. It was fun to explore the world at first and build your ranch, but it got so damn grindy after a while. I gave up at the point where I was supposed to build and use some mining equipment that would dig up some crafting materials for me. I did that for a while but apart from endless grinding the game didn't seem to offer anything more. I must have missed something though, because I couldn't find any other way to proceed with the story. Maybe I'll have another look later.

  15. #15
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    So G String was a xmas gift from Jesh, I've also been playing some of my other gifts, Exo One from Thirith and Jupiter Hell from Malf. Thanks again, guys!

    Exo One - Looks amazing and plays smoothly, but it's not really pulling me in. All the people gushing about this seem to be comparing it to Journey and I guess that makes sense since I didn't really like Journey either. The movement-system is very reminiscent of Zineth, which also was a big inspiration on my game A Good One.

    Jupiter Hell - A spiritual successor to the Doom RPG, which I never played. I was kinda expecting a Teleglitch crossed with Hoplite kinda thing, but it's not living up to either. Not as engrossing as Teleglitch, and tactically too easy compared to Hoplite. I've made it through the first set of levels. It's ok, but I maybe need to crank up the difficulty to make it more fun.

    Also been playing:

    Wilmot's Warehouse - played this arcade-warehouse-management-game on PC back on release but just picked it up on PS5. It's all about organizing your warehouse, building a mental map of where everything is, then rushing to deliver things when orders come in. The gameloop cycles between high-intensity offloading new products into shelves, turning in deliveries, and the low-intensity "stock take" where you can arrange things at your leisure. It's unlike anything else I've played, but if you enjoy inventory-tetris in RPGs I'd recommend it.

    Wordle - The hot new webgame sensation that has all of twitter abuzz. I'm bad at it, best I've managed is 4 lines. Also if you wanna talk about Wordle please just create a new thread or this one will get flooded.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I just played thru Firewatch all in one evening, and it surprised me with attention to detail and responsiveness to my action (like accidentally dropping a beer can I was trying to pick and the guy going "fuck it, I'm not a cleaning maid lol). Great mood as well and interesting exploration. Probably one of the better "walking sims" I played.

    BUT... it's also one of the few games that made me go from 100 to 0 in a span of a few minutes. It has a nice slow build up for 3hrs, but the final reveal broke my suspension of disbelief so hard, it completely sucked out my interested in the story and characters. Aside from the eye-rolling, it was also weird how the two main characters spent 2 months being mentally fucked with and growing slowly paranoid, only to shrug ALL OF IT it off in 5 minutes because "oh well, just crazy dude in a cave, phew!"

    Ultimately, as great as the first 90% of the game was, the ending left me feeling entirely empty and dissatisfied. A huge copout that undermined all of the mystery and character relationship building I put my time in :|

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I recently started playing Tyranny, and while I'm liking the whole premise and perspective, I realise I'm no longer particularly interested in these big fantasy RPGs (though Tyranny isn't quite as long as many of them). I don't think it's the genre as such, because I'd consider Disco Elysium one of my favourite games in recent years and I played through that one twice. What I no longer enjoy is all the lore and exposition that are front and centre. Tyranny isn't as bad as other games in that respect, and it has a handy glossary feature that allows you to quickly refresh your memory on what a certain person, place or concept is within the world of the game, but my tolerance for generic fantasy writing has worn thin. And it doesn't help that I've never been a big fan of combat in RPGs, which is something there's a lot of in Tyranny.

  18. #18
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    Ultimately, as great as the first 90% of the game was, the ending left me feeling entirely empty and dissatisfied. A huge copout that undermined all of the mystery and character relationship building I put my time in :|
    I liked it, or I came to like it as I thought about it more, because in the real world things that have developed over years, things we think are critically important to us while we're in them with some deep meaning we feel we can tap into if we just grind it long enough -- jobs, relationships, local mysteries -- very often just disintegrate in painfully awkward endings and realizing there never really was much to it just below the surface.

    I think it was more true to the final punchline it was setting up from the start, and I kind of like that it stuck to its guns instead of giving cheap fan service at the end with some "real" mystery and other fodder you wouldn't ever really, or rarely, expect in the real world if you were being honest.

    It was a disappointment for sure, but an enlightening, maybe even a necessary one.

  19. #19
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    Ultimately, as great as the first 90% of the game was, the ending left me feeling entirely empty and dissatisfied. A huge copout that undermined all of the mystery and character relationship building I put my time in :|
    I really love it. The ending was great because it made the game about the stories we concoct in our heads when we don't have all the facts. The story was about paranoia, exaggeration, assumption, etc.
    I gave a good "well played" chuckle when it pulled that rug out from under me.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    I didn’t mind there not being a real mystery in Firewatch. I remember with Gone Home, where two girls dabbled with a ouija board, some people were let down that there weren’t “real” supernatural events going on in the game. I always felt those people were missing the point of that game.

  21. #21
    A game is still responsible for setting player expectations with its presentation of the world.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    I kind of like that it stuck to its guns instead of giving cheap fan service at the end with some "real" mystery and other fodder you wouldn't ever really, or rarely, expect in the real world if you were being honest.
    I would have to politely disagree I found the real explanation so far-fetched and impractical, and so disconnected from the ongoing narrative, that it struck me as less believable than the whole thing being a secret government psychological experiment (similar things did actually happen during WW2 / cold war IIRC)

    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    I really love it. The ending was great because it made the game about the stories we concoct in our heads when we don't have all the facts. The story was about paranoia, exaggeration, assumption, etc.
    I gave a good "well played" chuckle when it pulled that rug out from under me.
    I kind of like this explanation, I didn't think of that. I wouldn't be upset at this being the message... if it was done better. As it stands, it was less unraveling our inner conspiracies, and more completely shrugging them off in a span of minutes. See my above comment about it just being to unbelievable, and the character responses at the end did not really fit with the realization you're describing IMHO (i.e. there was never a oh wow I cant believe we let ourselves get caught up in this moment, just oh it was just a dude in a cave. ANYWAY...)

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    I got a little hooked on Ultimate ADOM over Christmas while with family, and then got absorbed by Greedfall.
    What did you think of ADoM? It was my favorite roguelike back in the nineties but I feel it has been overshadowed nowadays, both by the expanded meaning of "roguelike" and by some newer purist ones like Sil and Brogue.

    As for me, it's been weeks of Deadly Rooms of Death. I've played the first three games and a few of the "Smitemaster's Selections." For some reason I love it when the RPG formula of killing monsters is turned into a puzzle, whether in this series' localized puzzles or Tactical Nexus' global optimization problems.

    Oh yeah, I played Solas 128 somewhere in there, which is a laser-routing and -combining puzzle game set to a beat. I was sold on it being like Talos Principle in having subtle metapuzzles branching across multiple regular levels, but this phenomenon didn't emerge; instead there were simply multiple-room puzzles. Does anyone know of good examples of games with such metapuzzles? I tried Inscryption too, but the experience was hurt by the fact that I'm utterly terrible at its card game.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 13th Jan 2022 at 05:17.

  24. #24
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Ultimate ADOM is my first experience of ADOM, although I have since tried the original to see how they compare.
    Ultimate is a lot more accessible and looks better, but is in effect an early access title, so is missing a huge amount of content and interactivity options.
    However, I would still rather play it than the original, as that's quite opaque by comparison and has quite a steep learning curve.

    But Ultimate is only one dungeon crawl, and has no overworld.

    If you can accept that and the fact it's still in development, pick it up for sure. But otherwise, I'd recommend waiting a year or two.

  25. #25
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Try as I might to play current games, or even older games I haven't got around to yet, I am still spending most of my gaming time (which isn't a lot since child number 2 arrived) on XCOM2 (Long War of the Chosen mod released recently) and Dark Souls 3 (which I still haven't completed, despite being on my millionth build). Like some kind of asshole.

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