What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them?
What have you been playing lately? Discussion about video games and board games are both welcome. Please don't just make a list of titles, give some thoughts about the game(s) as well.
I've been playing The Outer Worlds recently, put around 15 hours into it now. And while I'm still playing it and going to finish it, I am immensely disappointed really in the game. My issues stretch across pretty much the entire game, from the combat to the dialogue to the leveling systems. I'll probably have more thoughts after I finish, but here where I am now.
Combat is overly simple and easy, even on Hard mode. The only times I die is from environmental damage, or when I do something silly like using an under-leveled gun. When I just use an Assault Rifle I can mow down 10 enemies in less than a min, and harder mini boss enemies can take maybe a minute or two of strafing and dodging to beat.
The stealth mechanics I've found to be pointless. NPC's don't care if your stealth, or notice when your doing something illegal next to them. But in combat I can't use it at all, because after a single shot every enemy knows exactly where I am.
Tying into the combat and stealth, the enemy AI is incredible simplistic. Basically just run in a straight line at you or stand behind a box and shoot. They don't try to flank you or move around to dodge your attacks. Friendly AI in towns feels lifeless, with them mostly just standing in one placing or walking a predetermined route. Or having scripted conversations about something in the world, after which they just walk away or stand in one place. They don't have schedules and lives, they don't feel like real people in this world. Meanwhile your companion's are being controlled by blind chimps, they will run into combat and die in 5 shots. Not even being able to kill low level enemies even when you give them the best gear possible. The only way to keep them alive is to make them not join into combat at all.
The leveling and skills system just feels broken. You gain xp and levels from pretty much anything you do, and can easily gain 2 or 3 levels back to back from just doing skill checks in dialogue and turning in a couple quests. And the skills system of putting a point in an entire group till that group is majority lvl 50 makes the early section of the skill tree pointless. You are getting all 3 skills regardless, so your always going to be a master in those 3.
Carrying on with the skills comes the skill checks in lockpicking, and dialogue, and hacking, and such. I feel like a random jump occurs once you hit the 3rd main quest planet. Up to this point most of the dialogue checks where under 50, but suddenly you land and super high level dialogue checks start appearing. Needing 70+ points at times, or even 100. And minor things like small skill checks that don't do anything will even need 50+ even though it doesn't seem to actually matter. It feels random how quickly it jumps from skill level not mattering to being super important.
The world is very disappointing and doesn't seem interesting or organic, and overall feels fake. Towns don't feel like places people live, and instead just a corridor with 3 open doors to buildings that have a single named npc each, who normally just sells you stuff. It seems like you may have a 12 important named npcs total per planet, which makes it seem like nobody lives on these planets. And the un-named npcs only add maybe 24 people total on the planet. And while exploring outside of the towns it feels empty, a boring road to the next group of buildings or landmark for your quest. Along the way you kill a couple groups of enemies, which look and act exactly like the previous group you killed 2 minutes ago. Going off the path doesn't reward you with anything, maybe an extra chest or a random group of enemies to also kill.
The loot you grab while exploring stuff and killing stuff ends up being the most boring routine loot possible. And they give you an insane amount of the stuff. Every chest and building is overflowing with ammo and health. To the point that after a couple hours you have 50+ medkits and 1000's of bullets. And 90% of the stuff you pick up you will mark as junk and just sell to make more money. Armor and weapons you find is limited to a small selection of stuff you have already found before. And being limited to 2 armor slots means you don't have a large selection of armor to find and use, just more of the same.
The story I guess is fine, I just don't feel much interest in it. The main story doesn't mean anything to me, the people I'm supposed to be rescuing don't hold any meaning to me at all, just faceless nameless npcs I've never meet. The side stories are better but most of the time I still don't care all that much about their stories and problems. Part of the issue with them is after I solve the issue, they don't have any other effects really. The world doesn't seem to change much alongside my choices, sure somebody might die but what effect does that really have? It isn't like I'm coming back to do the same dialogue choices with this npc later, and I'm done with all the quests on this planet. Much of the dialogue and stories feels a bit simplistic really, stuff that I feel like I've seen done before in the past much better.
Also going to mention performance and the PC Port stuff. Man this is a shit port that feels rushed out, sure the performance isn't terrible. But nothing about it says they cared at all for their PC crowd. The options menu is limited to a couple sliders with no advanced options, and many of the options to turn off extra effects that many people don't like are missing. Key rebinding is limited for some keys for some reason, and mouse smoothing in on by default with no option to turn it off. Performance feels odd to me, sure the fps seems to be uncapped with an option to limit the fps. But the options don't seem to change the fps very much or the visuals. I don't see a massive difference between Low and Ultra, probably due to all the effects they cover the screen with.
So lets condense this a bit, my overall issue in the end is this game feels real forgettable and out of date. The various systems are simplified and easy. Feeling like the RPG you would recommend somebody try if they have never played one before, than a good solid game you replay dozens of times. Everything has been simplified so that everyone can play it, but doing so they didn't make all that amazing of a game. Cause to somebody who has played decent number of RPGs, it hasn't brought anything new to the table. Just the same stuff I've done dozens of times in dozens of games and done better in even their past RPGs. This is one of those games that seriously makes me wonder if I grabbed the wrong game, and I'm playing something completely different from every youtuber and reviewer. They all keep praising the game and giving it 8's, but I just see a disappointing experience. If I had bought this game for the asked $60 (US) and not gotten it for $1 through GamePass I would be even more disappointed.
I somewhat agree, the game feels a little bit shallow on every front.
Story and dialogue are well-written, but don't exactly pull you in to see what's going to happen next. For now (i've played around 10 hours or so) it's been a series of glorified fetch quests.
Combat is face-rolly, dialogue checks feel like they lag behind your skill levels, I have yet to find one that I couldn't pass, especially if you min-max the gear and know which companions to bring.
The worlds are gorgeous, but feel like corridors.
Dunno, I'm still enjoying it, but the reviews are definitely over-hyping it. My guess is that people are really starved for some good-old-classic-RPG, since Bethesda is doing god knows what with their franchises and TOW scratches the itch.
Said it last week, I'll say it this week. If you haven't played Hell Let Loose and you're itching for a tactical shooter on PC, this game will absolutely deliver. It's all the communication and teamwork from Squad/Post Scriptum/Project Reality combined with the quicker, slightly more arcade-y pace of Red Orchestra 1.
If you're looking for the military simulator atmosphere with a significantly lower barrier to entry, look no further. This game is just that good.
Ooh, you might make me buy it. I'm a Red Orchestra fan, my friend plays squad. We just switch back and forth, neither completely satisfied with each others game of choice.
Started playing The Outer Worlds over the weekend and enjoying it quite a bit. Now that I'm completely fed up with Fallout 76, it's really scratching that exploration/shooter/rpg itch.
On a more casual note, I've been playing Microsoft's Solitaire app a lot lately. The only game types I'd ever played were Spider and Klondike, so it's fun exploring different types. Played TriPeaks for the first time lastnight and I think it's my go-to quick/casual game now. Deceptively simple, but actually quite challenging at times. Wish they'd get rid of the "undo" option though, because I lack self-control and it makes things a little too easy sometimes.
I am enjoying Outer Worlds a lot too... my only complaints with it are due to the distinct lack of meaningful loot to find, and the lack of armor/weapon variety. There are only about 8 different types of armor with countless minor texture variations to them, and maybe 12 different weapon types. I am 20 hours in, and at this point there is basically no point in looting anything anymore (except to sell it all to make money or scrap), since I have seen every item there is to see already, and nothing I find is a noticeable improvement on what I already have equipped.
It's also super annoying having to manage 60 different food items, most of which are just 5 different types renamed and with a different icon, which prevents you from stacking them effectively, which forces you to constantly rummage through them all to find the kind you're actually looking for.
And it also sucks that the armor skill stats don't effect your companions' stats, so the only thing that matters is the armor value. This results in all my companions looking like shit, since all the heavy armor is really ugly, for some reason. :(
Yes. It's a great narrative, good shooting, and a great RPG from a "roleplaying" standpoint, but the actual RPG mechanics are very weak. Still, it doesn't bother me much. I just ignore the bad loot aspects, and almost never upgrade my guns. I generally don't care much about armor either.
Still love the game. But it's a solid 8.5 for me. Satisfying RPG mechanics, like Fallout, would probably make it a 10.
Hmm... see, I can't do that since am playing on Hard difficulty. If I don't have heavy armor on my companions they get downed 2 seconds after the fights start, I have to constantly upgrade (via "tinkering") all the armor+weapons we have equipped or we get wrecked in combat, and I usually have to spam the healing constantly during fights too (which is why I need to carry around so much food). So perhaps I should just crank the difficulty down so, like you, I can just ignore all that stuff I am complaining about, and just focus on plowing through the story (which I fully agree is excellent, BTW).
Are you sure you're actually playing on Hard? I have corrosive mods on Parvati's mark 2 Impact Hammer (which is upgraded to lvl 18 and now does 500 dps), and on most of my weapons (which are also mark 2 upgraded to lvl 18 as well). My hunting rifle has corrosive and does 270 dmg/shot, and my LMG is plasma and does 1200 dps... but even with that setup, every enemy takes 3-5 headshot/weakspot hits with the rifle, or about 5-10 seconds of LMG spraying at close range, to take down. All the enemies also hit back like a freight train too, so if I am not careful I can be killed in just a few seconds of being hit.
LOL, I guess I just suck then. :(
Yeah I have 20 in leadership skills so they get partial heals from the inhaler, but the vast majority of my skill points have been spent on dialogue, tech and stealth skills, so that I don't miss a single thing (story wise) in the game. ;)
In truth, where I suspect I might have gone wrong is with mine and my companion perks. I went with the "buff my skills" ones instead of any combat stuff like extra health, threat or faster ability cooldowns. So I will try respeccing myself and my companions a bit and seeing if that helps.
I play on standard, and combat isn't trivial, but not super challenging. TBH hard would be a better "game experience" in that I'd actually strategically think about combat, but I'm not feeling that right now haha.
Yeah, I tried playing it on the "Survival" difficulty, and I think the game is very poorly balanced for that. Because I can be killed in a couple seconds I've found myself sniping things from as far away as possible and abusing the NPC leashing to kill exactly one enemy and then exit their engagement range so that they all go stand back where they started and wait for me to snipe the next one. Combined with the food and water micromanagement, and the limited saves it just means there's a lot more tedium to it as you very carefully pick away at enemies. I uninstalled it in a huff after a death that lost a particularly large chunk of gameplay, but I think I'm going to just drop the difficulty all the way down and enjoy the story.
Yes, I'd agree with you. I was talking with a friend and he said "The narrative is mediocre. The dialogue is great". And I think that's a better way of putting it.
On the solitaire front, I would recommend Shenzhen Solitaire. It was initially a part of SHENZHEN I/O, a Zachtronics game about electronics design. I got so hooked up on it that, once the design part started to be too challenging, I started playing the Solitaire part alone. It has different rules from the MS version, but it's still a fun little game.
By popular demand, Zach's released a standalone version of it. It's ~$1 on Steam.
I just played Untitled Goose Game and it was as good as I hoped, definitely lived up to the hype. Funny, charming and had just the right difficulty.
I'm between games at the moment, as I'm taking a break from Crash and Spyro right now so I don't burn out on Playstation platformer remasters. Furthermore, I won't be playing as much as I usually do in the coming month on account of Timasomo.
With that said, I still want to have something to dive into and am looking for a new game to play from my (too large) backlog. I'm saving my idea of doing a full month of pure random selection for later, and I instead have a new gimmick to cut through the analysis paralysis brought on by too many choices.
Select My Next Game for Me Gimmick:
Choose a non-genre Steam tag for me.
(e.g. "atmospheric" or "replay value" but not "racing" or "turn-based strategy")
Based on what people post, I'll try to find a specific game from my backlog that has most, if not all, of the posted tags and play that. If for whatever reason I can't find a game that fits the tags -- either because I don't own one or because the chosen tags narrow the scope too much when used in conjunction (e.g. "relaxing" and "gore") -- then I'll simply pick games for each of the tags individually and then choose randomly from those.
Pick a game that is "Cute."
I was surprised to see that I had several games that fit the bill of both
Great Soundtrackin my library. I ended up selecting Figment, which seems to fit the spirit of both tags quite well. It looks like a musical, playable children's book.
I'll post a more detailed writeup of the game next week. Thanks for doing my decision-making for me!
Finished Yoku's Island Express, not really in the mood to 100% it, maybe going to mess around with Head Lander. It's Metroid, except the morphball is your head!
EDIT: To elaborate, you are (probably) the last human alive, and you have to navigate space stations by bodyjacking robots and puppeting them around, with the option to detach and explore as a flying head, but that draws attention.
Tried my hand at Disco Elysium for the last couple of weeks. It's even more fun than I anticipated. Love the RPG system. Also love the fact that skills are representative of the parts of the player character's psyche, and conversing with them (which starts with them telling you the relevant information) is a fun experience in itself.
It's a long-haul kinda RPG, and the length of the journey starts to weigh on my Internet-attention-span mind. Looking forward to the time where the weight shifts off and I can enjoy the game again.
I had a code for a free month of Xbox Game Pass for PC that was going to expire on November 1, so I got that set up. It's pretty impressive that Microsoft managed to create a game-store app that required patching my OS for over an hour and restarting my PC 3 or 4 times to be able to install. It also gave me another month free for entering recurring billing info, so now I have a couple of months to try some games out on it before it'll start charging me.
On there, I installed Lonely Mountains: Downhill and tried it out for about an hour. It's really good so far, and I definitely want to play it more. I think it's closer to the game that I wanted Descenders to be—the levels are more open and interesting, and there are shortcuts all over the place to figure out to improve your times.
I also installed about 10 other games available on there that I'd like to play, but I'm trying to resist them for now and finish off Spyro Reignited Trilogy so that I don't leave yet another game unfinished forever. I fully completed both Spyro 1 and 2 now, and am about 50% through Spyro 3. I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to go for 100% in this one though, I'm already feeling annoyed at some of the levels and challenges and don't think I'll want to invest the time to finish them all. I think this is the weakest of the three games, some aspects of it just don't feel quite right.
I'm also still playing a fair amount of Final Fantasy XIV. Like I said last week, I had caught up to my wife, so we're playing through the new Shadowbringers expansion story quests together now. We're level 73 now, so we're probably about 1/3 of the way through it, but there's still a lot to go. The story's been pretty good (as always) so far, and the new areas are beautiful. Looking forward to seeing the rest of it.
GRIS was 50% off on steam a little while ago, and it's been on my list for a long time and is billed as a "frustration free" game I thought I would give it a shot since I finished all of hexcells and am actually a little tired of stardew valley at the moment!
It's very beautiful, the art is super well done and the animation is smooth and pretty. I like that it's practically language-free, and the soundtrack is really really nice. Overall I would say I feel pretty positive about it! The actual gameplay is very simple, but the visuals & sound are stunning enough that it's not boring.
I'm still playing WoW Classic. It's every bit as fun as my wildest nostalgic dreams. It's incredible. Like, we've all had that experience of booting up and old game you used to love and instantly feeling "Wait, I used to love this? It's unplayable". When was the last time you played Goldeneye 64?
But WoW holds up. Everything we had feared all these years about all of the QoL changes taking the "soul" out of the game were true. WoW Classic is just as addictive as it used to be. There's an actual community. You have to actually read the quests to figure out wtf you're doing. You have to be careful in the open world, or you can very easily die. You have to actually talk to people.
15 years later and I'm hooked on the same game. And I love it.
I've finished leveling recently, geared out my shadow priest, the guild has cleared MC and Ony...And there's barely anything left to do until they release BGs. I have to farm some gold for regs to prepare for the raid (shadow priest is hard on manapots), but that's it. I'm somewhat disappointed to be honest.
Classic raids were hyped up as this thing that needed a lot of preparation, but we're oneshotting everything. There's now an idea to split up our 40m into 2 20m groups to reintroduce some challenge and have more loot, but we'll see how it goes, because our roster is already losing people.
Will login on mondays only for now, i think, until BWL releases.
I've been playing a few actually. I went back and finished the last few levels for A Hat in Time. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's basically a Mario game except it's way more adorable. It's very satisfying to play, from a mechanical perspective, but it's also very uplifting; it's hard not to smile most of the time.
I got QUBE 2 for free on EGS so I played it for a short while. I really liked the aesthetics and atmosphere. And then I came across a puzzle I couldn't figure out and I turned it off forever. Coincidentally I realized I had the original QUBE in my steam account which I had never played because I got it confused with another game with cubes in it. spent a few minutes with it and cannot recommend over the vast improvements to the sequel. All in all, it reminded me too much of Portal, which is bad because it is not Portal in any way whatsoever. I don't recommend either game unless you get it for free.
I got Call Of Duty WWII for "free" as an unwanted game that came alongside the Spyro and Crash Bandicoot remakes. On a whim I decided to install the single player campaign. I'm surprised how much I have been enjoying it since I don't typically like FPS games in general. There are two things in particular that I like about it; the first is that it is rather freeform in how you approach each sortie. Performing well in the game involves coming up with the right tactics for the moment, and the situation is constantly evolving. The second thing I like about it is how much time and effort they spend building up the characters you are fighting with; it really makes the narrative worth following.
On a side note, this is the only modern AAA studio game that I own, and it's kind of amazing to see how photorealistic modern games are.
The last one is another freebie from EGS, and that is Batman Arkham Asylum. The visuals for this game have me dumbfounded. I have never seen a game with graphics that seem both extremely expensive and cheap at the same time. The prerendered videos are far too low quality, so things can look very bad when you are not in control. Environments are meticulously crafted, but characters all look like puppets of monsters. The character animation in actual gameplay is perfect, but in cutscenes it is perhaps the worst I have ever seen.
The gameplay is also a bit of a mixed bag. Combat seems very haphazard; I can't tell why sometimes countering doesn't work, and there is no way to block. Stealth is enjoyable and very empowering. But at the same time, you have so many grates to remove and each time you have to mash the button continuously, and that is seriously not fun. Neither is the Riddler constantly calling you an idiot whenever you find any of his "hidden" trophies.
If you want to know what makes this game worth playing, it is because of the writing (thanks to Paul Dini) and Mark Hamel's voice acting as the Joker.
A few months ago I moved to a different hemisphere, and after playing mmos with the same group of people for 17 years (first EQ then WoW) I'm now confined to only being on at the same time as them on weekend mornings. I thought I'd fill my gaming gap with single player games but I had a few in a row I didn't like (Uncharted 4, Octopath, RDR2) and I missed MMOing. I decided to resub to FFXIV, a game I tried shortly after the ARR relaunch but quit due to lack of friends playing. I forgot how much love the game systematically; one character being able to be all classes and all tradeskills is so appealing. I'm really loving it and hope to find a guild on my timezone soon.