Author Topic: Unified Vidya Games thread  (Read 49011 times)

Cainad (dec.)

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #645 on: May 22, 2017, 07:58:13 pm »
From the vidya gaems podcasts I listen to, it sounds like the Mass Effect IP has been "indefinitely shelved" after ME:A. Andromeda will continue to be supported but, unsurprisingly, we probably won't see a direct sequel.

In my vague attempts to have some financial discipline, I made myself "finish" NeiR: Automata before picking up Prey. By "finish" I mean I got endings A through E of the 26 endings (the vast majority of which are joke endings, of course). There's still one or two interesting ones out there for me, but now I can move on before taking the final plunge and accepting the ending that sacrifices all of your save data (yes, really). If you're the kind of weird asshole who wants to sink 60 hrs into a shiny game with good dynamic music, a BIZARRE story with multiple endings, and sexy robot asses, then this is the bullshit for you.

In regards to Prey: I'm glad I waited, because I've since received info that the PC version is quite good and in certain respects more fun to play. After trying the demo on my PS4, I can believe it. The way enemies can flit around means that mouse aiming is even more better than normal, because the tiny enemies are little fucks who can skitter out of your field of view very fast. Also, it has a futuristic space version of an Art Deco aesthetic (lots of cherrywood, brass/gold detailing, and combinations of sharp angles and geometric curves), and that shit is basically scenery porn for me.

Cain

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #646 on: May 22, 2017, 08:04:39 pm »
Yeah, though there's been some confused reporting on that.  Most of the team that made the game were due to be shunted off to Battlefield 2 anyway, and it's not clear whether there is DLC in the pipeline or not.  I think it would be safe to say that, no matter what, Bioware Montreal wont be trusted with another big name IP for a long time (Edmonton are still working on their new IP, and presumably once that is done, Dragon Age 4, so maybe after that?  Still looking at least 7 years though).

Casey Hudson needs to be thrown in an airlock though.  Like, for real.  He's now fucked up 2 games in a row, even when given extra time and budget.

I was semi-tempted by Prey, but a lot of the Dishonored people were saying it was like Dishonored, only not quite as fun.  Maybe once it's on special.  I'd rather save my money for Dishonored DLC and Middle Earth: Shadows of War, though.

Cainad (dec.)

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #647 on: May 22, 2017, 08:42:57 pm »
A sensible choice. Prey has enough going for it stylistically that I'm totally willing to dive right into it, even though upon playing the demo I can confirm that it is very much "Dishonored 2 in space", but with less stealth.

The way the story integrates the overplayed Video Game Amnesia trope into both the narrative and mechanics is also really well done.

Faust

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #648 on: May 22, 2017, 10:55:06 pm »
Finally made my way through Andromeda.

Meh.

7 patches later, and the game is mostly as it should have been when it was shipped, though the multiplayer is still an unholy mess of bad netcode and grind designed to lure you into microtransactions. 

With the exception of maybe Drack, who is basically Wrex 2.0, and Reyes Vidal (voiced by the always excellent Nicholas Boulton), none of the characters stand out, except perhaps to piss you off.  It's not clear that any of your actions have any impact, at least in this game.  The "story-rich" side quests seem designed to actively piss you off...I actually took a break from the game after doing the now infamous "Contagion" questline (which makes you backtrack over what feels like the entire cluster for very little payoff in terms of story or anything else).

Ironically, some of the best content may be the stuff we never see, or is only alluded to.  The "Ryder family secrets" and fate of the Quarian Ark, while obvious sequel bait, have a lot more potential than anything else we see in the entire game.

The combat is also pretty fun.  I've been doing a Insanity difficulty vanguard run, mostly to show up the whiners who are all "you have to sniper on the higher difficulties" weenies.  You can effectively chain invincibility frames from biotic charge, nova and the (asari sword) melee which, along with the saving barrier upgrade and vanguard profile siphoning strikes makes you unkillable. 

But yeah, if you're going to play it, just do the main quest, which is mostly OK, though nothing amazing, and the companion quests.  Everything else just isn't worth it.

The four lads I lived with who started playing Andromeda, all independently stopped and went back to play ME1, not because Andromeda was bad, just that it couldn't compare and made them nostalgic for the original.

Cain

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #649 on: May 23, 2017, 07:37:40 am »
Yeah, objectively it's not a terrible game...it's just not on a par with any of the other games from the trilogy. 

It feels like they were trying to make ME1 again, only not as good.  Exploration is, ironically, a complete waste of time, since you can only land on the designated habitat worlds.  I was expecting at least side quests on the other system planets, much like ME1...land, ride in the Nomad, secure the base/artifact/pyjack, maybe have a chain of side quests like ME1's Cerberus.  Maybe even expanded to asteroids and space stations, or large enemy/derelict ships.

But nope.  You get your 270 XP, your minerals and a description of a planet and that's all chump. 

Crafting also completely negates the need to explore to upgrade gear or acquire credits to upgrade gear too...since found or pre-bought weapons and armour don't have attachable augments, a crafted weapon would always be superior.  And some of the augment bonuses are no joke - restore shields 25% on kill (put that on my vanguard's N7 armour, to make her even more unkillable), 25% more damage for 5 seconds after reloading, convert weapons to grenade launchers/no thermal clips etc.  You do need tech scans to upgrade material, but you can get those via bonuses for awakening colonists from cryo pods, as well as from the APEX strike team mini-game.  And for raw materials for crafting, you can also get those via in game bonuses/strike teams, as well as by breaking down the shittier weapons you do come across.

This could all be solved by doubling the research and material costs for crafting, and allowing pre-made weapons to be augmented, which is probably the worst part.  Prices seem about right, the actual in-game economy is fairly decent, but crafting allows you to ignore it entirely.  Crafting also gives you access to certain armours and weapons that are either so rare I haven't seen them drop across 100+ hours of gameplay, or actually cannot drop (I suspect the N7 armour is in this category).

Cramulus

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #650 on: May 23, 2017, 03:29:30 pm »
Yeah it just seems like a bad photocopy of previous mass effect titles. It's still a good game. I got like 50% of the way through it, then had a momentary impulse to play some Bloodborne, and, whelp... Now I'm re-beating Bloodborne. It's not that I wasn't enjoying myself. But it also wasn't really hooking me in. And blooborne fucking rules.

ME: Andromeda seemed like... you can really tell the original team isn't there and the new team didn't bring anything fresh to the table. All they can really do is repackage the original cool ideas.

My top criticism is that it feels very unimaginative, which sucks for a series that I felt was very creative and unique. It also feels like one of these "big studio" games, where every part of the game was designed by a different sub-team, but they aren't coordinated real well.

Like, the whole premise is that you're exploring another galaxy. So this should be cool! Mass effect always has these really interesting aliens, and these ones are from so far away from us that we're gonna be in fresh territory. But, it doesn't FEEL like a new galaxy, it feels like another milky way, if that makes sense? But with less politics, less stuff going on in general.

And oh yeah, what's the deal with how they set up this whole Neil Armstrong moment of being the first explorers of a new galaxy.. and then you find out that milky-way people have actually already been here for over a year. They already littered the whole galaxy with ammo dumps and half-built structures and documented everything. Not only are you not the first ones here, but people have had time to build bases and rebel against each other and split into subfactions...

Regarding the aliens... I can accept the Mass Effect premise that evolution has these "convergence points", some traits are just the "best way of evolving", so we get a galaxy full of bipedals with faces, hands, etc... Sure, that makes sense because you want the aliens to be relate-able.

But somehow.. I was hoping for more stuff like the Elcorr or the Hanharr. Instead, the new galaxy just has different flavors of angarans, which feel basically like space humans? It kinda bothered me that they don't really seem alien at all. Sure there are a few unique features to them, and they look cool, but do they seem "alien"? Nahhh

Also, the Remnants... it just feels kinda like the Protheans.. cruising around the galaxy looking for the super-race that existed here long ago. It's almost like I already did this for three games.

Also, the Kett... so they (((((((SPOILER WARNING))))))) basically do the exact same thing as the Collectors? Capture people and convert them? Seems like something I already dealt with for two games.

Also, as soon as they revealed the kett general, I was struck how this seems like the exact same structure as Dragon Age Inquisition. First you deal with mysterious butthole-faced creatures that want to kill you, you fortify your base(s), then they reveal the big bad, then he taunts you for two or three acts, then you confront him... it just feels like a copy and paste. I mean I get that a lot of RPGs use that structure, but it just feels SO SIMILAR to the plot beats of DA:I...


and the party members are pretty mediocre

and the dialog is far less branched... if you replay the same scene and select different dialog options, the NPCs usually say the exact same things.

and there is no alignment axis like paragon/renegade... but I guess that's okay since it's not like you really make any significant choices, at least in the half of the game I've played.


and oh yeah - and this criticism might not be so much targeted at ME:A but a statement about a lot of games coming out in the last few years... But the 'sandbox' fad is also getting a bit threadbare. Don't get me wrong, I like sandboxes, I like freedom. Games like skyrim have so much replayability because there is so much jammed into that sandbox just waiting for you to discover.

But the way most developers approach the "sandbox" is to create these wide open maps and then dump like 100 little quest icons into it. All of them are light little encounters, a single bite of gameplay.

The consequence of this design is that most of the gameplay gets sucked into this discovery loop. You're tediously clearing every icon from a region, one by one. When set up this way, it *doesn't* feel like exploration. It feels like just going through a check list in a nonlinear order.


I will come back and finish it, but it felt really meh to me. Meh Effect: Andromehda.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 04:14:47 pm by Cramulus »

Cain

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #651 on: May 23, 2017, 06:48:29 pm »
My recommendation?  Do the vaults, put down a colony on each planet, do companion loyalty quests, find all the arks, do the "Movie night" sidequest and do the main quest.

And nothing else.

You can actually do all of that in under 20 hours, so I'm told, and it's like 90% of the game content that actually matters.  You can also skip the loyalty quests if you want, with absolutely zero consequence, but they are pretty fun for the most part.

And whatever you do, don't do "Contagion", or "The Little Things That Matter".

Faust

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #652 on: June 07, 2017, 12:02:45 am »
Finished ME2 for the first time, not sure how I feel about the ending. Do spoiler still apply for games that old? I lost three characters in the final mission (Thane, Legion and Kasumi), Thane was dying so I'm not too sad, legion I had only just got and I am afraid I have made the geth extinct, kasumi I couldn't give a shit about.

Cain

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #653 on: June 07, 2017, 02:30:15 am »
TBH, Thane dying in the suicide mission is way better than what happens to him if he lives. 

Cain

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #654 on: July 11, 2017, 08:05:59 am »
Beyond Skyrim: Bruma confirmed to be lore-friendly


Cain

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #655 on: August 05, 2017, 07:59:12 pm »
Speaking of Bruma, I finally got around to levelling a couple of characters and I'm planning on recording me playing it blind once I've advanced them a little further.  Well, like 90% blind.  I know that there is no main quest (that will come with the full Cyrodiil: Seat of Sundered Kings release) and I do know that there are some pretty steep speech checks (and lets be fair, it is Cyrodiil.  Until Skyrim fucked up the schema, Imperials always had the highest starting Personality/Speech skills, and it is the centre of a decaying empire filled with intrigue and plots).

I was originally going to take my weird battlemage, but I'm thinking if speech scores are that important my thief/bard would be better.  Not sure though. Either way I'm using Ordinator so it automatically should be more fun and interesting than normal Skyrim, whichever I choose.

Cain

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #656 on: October 25, 2017, 11:33:43 am »
I've decided Middle Earth: Shadow of War is the best game ever, after seeing a stream where one of the orcs is called "Dush", prounounced, well, "douche".

Celebrimbor is all "I'm coming for you, douche."  When you attack his followers to draw him out, they're all there chanting "douche, douche, douche".  And then you can shame him by going "you are unworthy, douche".

10/10.

(but seriously, if you liked the previous game, this looks pretty good.  Whining about lootboxes seems completely unjustified thus far).

Cain

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #657 on: November 18, 2017, 05:43:27 pm »
So...some thoughts on the EA/lootbox debacle.

1. It's bullshit.  2. It's bullshit.  3. It's bullshit.  4. Thank god its not easy to somehow derive weird fascist politics from lootboxes or else we'd be looking at Gamergate 2.0 right about now.

It's bullshit because the premise on which the entire complaint is made is false.  The complaint is that it takes an incredibly unfair and long period of time to unlock certain powerful characters and weapons in Star Wars: Battlefront 2, unless you are willing to pay for lootboxes which give you a chance to bypass this.

This is wrong for a number of reasons.  Firstly, all the characters and weapons can be unlocked via in-game credits and by doing challenges.  I wouldn't blame anyone for not knowing about the latter challenges, because the UI for Battlefront is atrocious and navigating it is a real challenge - if anything, that and the decision to lock off credit earnings from the arcade mode are far more serious and legitimate complaints.

Secondly, the grind is quite reasonable.  I've seen figures of 50-80 hours to unlock Darth Vader, the capstone character for the Empire.  However, I've seen someone get enough in-game credit to unlock his character in less than 8 hours.  They chose not to, because they wanted to unlock other characters first, but it's entirely doable.  No doubt if you want to unlock special costumes and victory dances and whatnot for everything, yes, that would probably take a few hundred hours at least to achieve.  But does anyone really care about those things?  Apart from some hardcore completionists, no.

To put this into perspective, the average amount of time it took a player to max their manifest in ME3MP was 800 hours, for all characters and all weapons at max level, with no way to complete challenges to unlock weapons, and with only a chance (via lootboxes) at getting character or weapon unlocks. 

Thirdly, the game is not only pretty fun, it is supremely well optimised for PC players, a goddamn miracle in 2017.  It looks good and it runs well, and even on a mid-range rig you can run high-end graphics settings and lock the framerate at 60 FPS with no problems.  EA intends to continue support for the game through free DLC and additional maps.

Other games have had far more egregious lootbox systems.  Black Ops 3, for example, had certain weapons that could only be unlocked via lootboxes...these happened to be some of the best weapons in the game, what a surprise.  League of Legends is another serious offender.  I'd even say Zenimax certainly have some...questionable decisions when it comes to monetising content and being evasive around what consumers are getting.  Unless I am really missing something big, I can see nothing EA has done that a thousand other companies have also done, with much less or no backlash whatsoever.

I have no real sympathy for EA, and I haven't since I read about how they rushed Dragon Age 2 (which had so much potential to be a great game) into a suicidally short production cycle (though reflecting on that I think some conceptual issues with Bioware and the larger series direction certainly didnt help there).  But this hate is so ridiculous I'm actually starting to wonder if this isn't some weird corporate vendetta.  EA hate has always been ridiculous, like how it keeps on being voted "Worst Company in America" for the crimes of...admittedly shitty treatment of their employees and not making games to the precise specifications of whining man-children?

Reddit has been flooded for the past week with complaints about EA...it's even infecting non-EA related specific gaming subs, like Dishonored.  Admittedly, Reddit tends towards circlejerking and hivemind behaviour at the best of times, but it's also uniquely situated for astro-turfing campaigns.  If this is entirely grassroots, however, then that's even worse...it suggests these people are completely out of touch and more than just a little unstable.

Hence why I'm glad you can't easily derive fascism from lootboxes.  Because this right here would be a marvellous recruiting opportunity.

Faust

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #658 on: November 19, 2017, 01:19:58 am »
Its reddits pet cause, the faux outrage circle jerk.

There is one point I'd agree on and that is that games with paid loot boxes with random drops should be classified as gambling by the ESRB and other ratings agencies.

Cain

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Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« Reply #659 on: November 19, 2017, 02:54:35 am »
Yeah, I would agree too.  Most games which have that functionality should be 18+ anyway...though I could definitely see EA/Disney pitching a fit, since they want to get a younger demographic with Battlefront.  So there's no actual downside, per se.