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November 4th, 2019, 02:58
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November 6th, 2019, 19:24
The Outer Worlds 7/10

Very delightful surprise, this game was.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy it much - but, as it turned out, it was a very decent game.

In fact, for the first 10-15 hours, I was ready to call it GoTY.

Unfortunately, it started to lose steam a little too soon.

But, overall, it was a really good first effort in what I hope will become a franchise - or at least a few games.

To me, it's a solid foundation - that just needs to expand in a variety of ways to get above being a decent CRPG.

As for the good parts, I particularly enjoyed the approach to dialogue and C&C. It was just the kind of thing I was in the mood for, and it hit the spot in all the right ways.

I even had a few moments of attempting to handle quests in ways that I absolutely didn't believe would work - and it turned out Obsidian HAD prepared for those, which impressed me a lot. That's rare, in my experience.

I think the combat, at its core, was pleasant and functional. It flowed well - and I think the mechanics made sense for the most part.

Also, even though I don't think one should reward games for actually working as advertised, without major bugs or a lack of polish - there's no denying that's hardly the norm with complex CRPGs.

The Outer Worlds is one of the most stable and bug-free games I've played in recent years, and that was a big surprise, given the history of this developer.

I also think it looked better than most things Obsidian has done in the past, but that's probably more about the Unreal engine than any particularly strong effort on their part.

Now, unfortunately, the game starts to break down in terms of balance and variety once you've visited the first couple of major locations.

It soon becomes apparent that the game suffers from a lack of scope and visual fidelity, especially when compared to similar games.

This wouldn't be a big problem, except for how the game is clearly trying to bite over more than it can chew. It's supposed to be a game of space exploration - with all kinds of different alien worlds.

Such games really need more distinct environments and architectural styles to successfully meet expectations, in my opinion.

Most buildings start to feel very familiar - and the quest structure becomes predictable, and I felt mostly on auto-pilot for at least half of the game, because there was nothing significantly new to see or do.

As for balance, I think that's the biggest problem I had with the game.

I played on Hard - and it was painfully trivial in terms of challenge. I mean, ok, the first 5 hours or so presented the occasional encounter that might actually put me in danger - but even that was a matter of simply not being dumb about your approach to the enemies.

Certainly, I'm pretty good at optimizing my character for what I have in mind - but there should be ways for people like me to have a harder time.

Supernova didn't seem to change much in terms of combat difficulty for me - and the hassle and tedium of the survival aspects seemed more like an afterthought than a thoroughly designed set of mechanics.

Even worse was the scavenging and (lack of) scarcity of resources. I mean, I think I ended the game with 5000+ ammunition for my primary weapon! Also, I had literally hundreds of the healing injectors - and never had the slightest reason to actually use any of the other boosts during combat.

Same goes for the Modding of weapons, which is really bad joke compared to the better ones in this subgenre.

Beyond that, I found the hacking and lockpicking overly streamlined - and definitely among the weakest implementations I've seen of both.

Still, the game - overall - is well above average - and while I didn't really care much for the tone and the overdone "satire", the actual interactions with NPCs were fantastic - and a ways beyond the obvious competitors here.

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November 8th, 2019, 14:17
Originally Posted by BriefDArt View Post
for the first 10-15 hours, I was ready to call it GoTY.

Unfortunately, it started to lose steam a little too soon.
I wonder that title will be your goty this year.
Assuming Anthem is 2018 game. Or 2017.
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November 8th, 2019, 14:21
I'm leaning towards Control for my GotY - though it's not THAT good. Maybe Phoenix Point can change my mind? Here's hoping.

Anthem would definitely have been a primary contender, except it doesn't have anywhere near enough content for such a title. The way Bioware has handled that game is a disaster, when you consider its potential.

Still, if they don't give up on it - it will probably become my favorite looter.

Division 2 is another strong contender - but it's essentially more of the same, and I tend to save my GotY pick for more original takes.

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November 8th, 2019, 16:09
Finally fired up and finished Dishonored 2, had been sitting in my library from day of release.
It's fun for what it is, enjoyed using most of the perks, especially far reach and shadow walk.
It's not as stealthy or as hard as Dishonored 1, I did find it quite easy even though
I was playing it on hard mode.
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November 8th, 2019, 16:26
But you didn't say - is it a musthave/mustplay or is yet another mediocrity it might be better to never touch?

Have to be somewhat evil…
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November 8th, 2019, 17:56
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
But you didn't say - is it a musthave/mustplay or is yet another mediocrity it might be better to never touch?

Have to be somewhat evil…
Definitely a mustplay, even if you only ever do the once.

You have a choice whether to play as Emily or Corvo, I choose Emily as I had already played as Corvo in the original.

I may go back and play as Corvo, I understand they are completely different play through's with different perks, but probably will wait a bit and pick up the DLC.

I definitely recommend starting on Hard setting.
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November 8th, 2019, 19:49
Originally Posted by skally_wag View Post
Finally fired up and finished Dishonored 2, had been sitting in my library from day of release.
It's fun for what it is, enjoyed using most of the perks, especially far reach and shadow walk.
It's not as stealthy or as hard as Dishonored 1, I did find it quite easy even though
I was playing it on hard mode.
I strongly recommend the standalone expansion "death of the outsider" which in my view is miles ahead of Dishonored 2 in terms of narrative, game mechanics, level design, freedom, interesting main character and captivating main story and side quests (despite being smaller than Dishonored 2).
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November 22nd, 2019, 22:38
Pyre - finally finished playing it on and off the past year. It has been fairly underwhelming. I bought it because I like bastion and transistor, in spite of it being some kind of Oregon trail gameplay (which is not my cup of tea).

It's not bad, but the gameplay gets very repetitive. The art style and sound design is great just like other supergiant games. Play it for the characters and choices (losing is an option).

Hollow knight - good old platforming. Much harder than the cute art might indicate. Also very long for a metroidvania.

Ori - less metroidvania, more of a platformer. I played it before hollow knight and liked it more at the beginning, but the boss fights in hollow knight grew on me (and there are many).
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November 23rd, 2019, 06:35
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
I strongly recommend the standalone expansion "death of the outsider" which in my view is miles ahead of Dishonored 2 in terms of narrative, game mechanics, level design, freedom, interesting main character and captivating main story and side quests (despite being smaller than Dishonored 2).
Call me surprised since it was a failure due to low sales. Anyway thanks for sharing.
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November 23rd, 2019, 13:34
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Call me surprised since it was a failure due to low sales. Anyway thanks for sharing.
I don't think that low sales is indication of quality, and sales is usually a dynamic figure. Probably the reason is that people were already finished with the main version and thought that the standalone expansion was more of the same.

Either way, I think that the expansion was way more interesting and fun to play compared to the dishonored 2.
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November 23rd, 2019, 14:36
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
I don't think that low sales is indication of quality, and sales is usually a dynamic figure. Probably the reason is that people were already finished with the main version and thought that the standalone expansion was more of the same.

Either way, I think that the expansion was way more interesting and fun to play compared to the dishonored 2.
Maybe but the low sales of Dishonored 2 & it's expansion put the series on ice. Its the same thing that happened with Deus Ex. So hopefully in another seven years we see a sequel.
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November 23rd, 2019, 14:41
Anyway back on topic I finished Vogels' latest game Queen's Wish.

My verdict is Vogel should upgrade his graphics & engine, but he delivered another decent story based RPG on a small budget. So I will still support any future games of his.
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November 24th, 2019, 11:18
Ok, I've reached the next-to-final level of Temple of Ianna in Severance: Blade of Darkness, and am getting constant crash to desktop during the intro cinematic to the level. I've tried it three times now, and it always crashes. It's the GOG version. And weirdly enough, upon doing some light googling, I've not been to find similar experience from other people.

So, I decided to watch some playthrough of the final stages of the game, and just call it quits. I was also getting a bit tired of the combat, and upon seeing what the final stages would bring, I'm kind of happy I did that. The final fights seem really annoying and difficult. So maybe it's for the best. But maybe I'll attempt to actually finish it on a future replay, because I did really like the experience overall.

I loved the exploring, the level design, the combat (when I managed to master it), the music, the atmosphere. Too bad the storytelling was kind of generic and forgettable. But I loved the "conan" look and feel of the world. It kind of worked, even though it was a bit shallow when you think about it. I guess, sort of, how Dark Souls also managed to get away with a really obtuse narrative.

Anyways, highly recommended.
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November 24th, 2019, 15:46
Fyi: another game removed from gog.

Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus View Post
Ok, I've reached the next-to-final level of Temple of Ianna in Severance: Blade of Darkness, and am getting constant crash to desktop during the intro cinematic to the level. I've tried it three times now, and it always crashes. It's the GOG version. And weirdly enough, upon doing some light googling, I've not been to find similar experience from other people.

So, I decided to watch some playthrough of the final stages of the game, and just call it quits. I was also getting a bit tired of the combat, and upon seeing what the final stages would bring, I'm kind of happy I did that. The final fights seem really annoying and difficult. So maybe it's for the best. But maybe I'll attempt to actually finish it on a future replay, because I did really like the experience overall.

I loved the exploring, the level design, the combat (when I managed to master it), the music, the atmosphere. Too bad the storytelling was kind of generic and forgettable. But I loved the "conan" look and feel of the world. It kind of worked, even though it was a bit shallow when you think about it. I guess, sort of, how Dark Souls also managed to get away with a really obtuse narrative.

Anyways, highly recommended.
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November 25th, 2019, 08:15
Originally Posted by you View Post
Fyi: another game removed from gog.
Yeah, I noticed that a couple of days ago. Sad. And it seems to be pretty much lost, as there's no other real way to get it.

On a "happier" note, I managed to get over the crash to desktop I was experiencing upon the intro to The Temple of Ianna level. I temporarily switched to one of the Voodoo graphics drivers, and it no longer crashed on loading. I then saved my game, and reloaded it back with OpenGL and it seems t work fine. I hope I don't stumble on other issues.

But now, having seen the difficulty spike I will be encountering in the final two levels, I kind of lost the enthusiasm to push through it all. It will most definitely be a difficult run. I'll see if I can motive myself to do it.
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November 25th, 2019, 21:30
Ok, this is insane.

I’ve advanced in the Temple of Ianna level, in Blade of Darkness, and have reached a puzzle that I cannot get over without a bow&arrows. Which I don’t have. As I never used a bow so far in the gate. And the game gave absolutely no hint that I’ll need one in the next-to-final level of the game. Just insane.

After googling for a bit it seems there is indeed no way to progress. So I’m absolutely blocked and can only restart the whole game.

I did look into some cheats, but none for spawning a bow. Only to skip the current level and then go hunting in the rune levels for a possible bow.

How in the hell did this get through QA? Seriouly? Or was it part of the old-school game design mentality where screwing with the player is to be encouraged?

Not sure what to do. But I think I’m either done with the game for now, or I’m restarting. Fuck!
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November 25th, 2019, 21:54
Don’t you have to commit to one weapon at a time? And you lose your weapon if you change attack styles, not to mention skill levels? If so, that is terrible.
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November 25th, 2019, 21:57
Yeah, I played a knight and used only swords and shields. Absolutely no use for a bow until this one puzzle.
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December 1st, 2019, 21:22
Manhunt. Haven't finished it due to technical issues with the steam version. But I'm done with it.

This has been a train-wreck of an experience for me. The steam version is just plain and simply broken, on win10. And steam does warn about this, although not about 10 in particular. The community did do a lot of work to make it barely playable, but it's still not there. Even with all the fixes, and there are a lot, you still get constant crash to desktop on main story points, thus rendering your advancement in the story impossible.

But even if you disregard all of that, I've managed to play around 4 levels of it (from what I hear there are about 20 in total) and I am not impressed. Gameplay-wise it obviously uses the GTA3 game engine, and thus it suffers from similar clunky mechanics. But at least in GTA3 you had the full diversity of all the activities you could engage in a wide sprawling city. In this one, they basically bolted on some basic stealth mechanics to what GTA3 already offered. Very basic in terms of what it offers.

In terms of story and narrative context, the game might have had more of a gutpunch back in the 2000s, with all the "games cause violence" media narrative, but now it just seems very juvenile and tries very hard to be edgy. You're basically taking part in acting for a snuff film, by killing various gang members, lowlives and all sorts of bad men. While the "director" takes pleasure in seeing you do all of that.

There might have been an idea there, and the graphics and art style do support the grimy snuff-film theme, so I can at least appreciate that, but in terms of seeing all the violence in-game, it's just cartoon violence. It does not provoke any of the nasty and slimy emotions that it so hard tries to bring in you. It's just laughable that this cartoon violence is expected to do that. There may be later content that taps into more disturbing situations (I've read various references to scenes where it is insinuated that the "director" masturbates to you killing gang members) but I'd be surprised if it's anything significant. And it's partly because of the tech they were using, but partly also because of the developers. I honestly wouldn't expect anything more than the usual edgy try-hard content that we usually expect from Rockstar.

I'm trying hard to separate the bad experience I've had due to the technical issues, from the actual content, and it's obvious my experience with the game was affected by that, so maybe mine is not the most reliable review. But it is what it is.

I'm sure the PS2 version of the game might offer a better experience, but alas that's beyond people's access.
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