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  1. FromSoft isn't messing around! Giant Mech✔️ Missile launcher✔️ Big gun✔️ Laser sword✔️ Jet propelled agility✔️ ..And go! This isn't Metroid however, this is your standard tool kit. Master it quickly. You get about the first couple minutes to introduce you to the controls. Then, you're on your own. Free to roam and battle as you wish. Your first objective has four markers, to be approached in any order. Naturally there is a lot of distance between each and From is quick to demonstrate that the enemies have the advantage. This is their base, you are the intruder. Be prepared to fight waves around any given corner. Some nice little Codec-like voices are your only warning the enemy has spotted you. The controls have come a long way since early AC's. After only an hour or so, I get what they were saying about taking what they've learned from Souls (more from Sekiro, really) and applying it to AC. Combat is fluid, reactionary and fast-paced. It all feels really intuitive, however. I imagine the first boss will be a rude awakening to any new to AC. I died a handful of times. But, this isn't Souls. This ain't no Vanguard either. I didn't defeat the boss by learning it's patterns, tells and counteracting them. No, I beat the boss by making the most of my own abilities. Your handler gives you one hint to dodge a specific attack. But it's more important than it seems. I mentioned Sekiro before, because you have the same meter system to the boss fights. Get the bar into the red with sustained damage and not only does this put the boss in a stunned state. But they take more damage too. Be careful that it does work both ways. Not to mention the cooldown to all your weapons and dodge/agility capabilities. This is all demonstrated in the first boss fight. When I "got it", I smashed the boss quite easily. I didn't get long to play today and likely even less time tomorrow. But just from the opening mission, I'm very impressed.
  2. spatular

    Fortnite

    I don't know anything about the main game mode, only played the free battle royale rip off mode. Played that mode loads. It's a rip off of that playerunknown battlegrounds (pubg) game, I'm not too up on that game but the main differences I think are that there are no vehicles in this and you can build stuff in this. There's some controversy about ripping off the idea, and maybe some other stuff, I'm not sure really. I guess the first copies of something popular always get more stick. On the plus side this game has sold me pubg and I'll be getting it on Xbox. Anyway back to fortnite, I think it's great, especially in a team, you start in the party bus with about 100 people with only a pick axe, look at the map, pick a spot to drop in, if there's people going to the same place do you try to get there first and get a gun and fight straight away, or divert to somewhere else. the map constantly shrinks in size as the storm covers the island, loot is random. I prefer to start near the outside in usually less populated areas, running in with the storm there's less likely to be people behind you, but you probably won't get as good loot as if you'd gone to a town. When you see someone do you fight or hide, there's constant decisions like this going on, it's always different and often cool stuff happens. when you get to the end do you build a fort or try and hide. I'm not sure I'm really explaining it very well but then apparently loads of people watch pubg on the internet so everyone probably already knows. I think my friend said this, it sums it up well saying it's a bit like playing a zombie/apocalypse survival film. The building works well too, you can get some really impressive structures people have built at the end. Anyway yeah it's really good, especially for free. Anyone else playing it? Oh yeah I think I should give them some money, but currently I don't like any of the outfits and they're about a tenner each or something, which puts me off, if it was maybe a pack of 5 for £15 or something, and I liked a few of them, I think something like that I'd be much more likely to spend.
  3. So this has a demo out, presumably on every system, and it's relatively chunky at around 90 minutes to two hours. Turns out it's pretty neat and I actually bought it on a whim after the demo ended. One thing I noticed right away is that despite there being lots of discourse about it, most of it was so focused on its technical side that I never really knew what kind of game it actually is. So I was a bit surprised to find out that it's not a linear run & gun shooter, but more of a story-driven adventure with (very) slight Metroid elements, platforming sections, a couple of (easy) puzzles, a skill tree and some downtime sections where you talk to NPC. Not saying a straight up shooter would have been worse than this cocktail but the fact that there's more to do than just click on heads was a welcome surprise. I also really enjoyed its opening act – the story is a relatively trope-heavy YA mix of different things, but it's surprisingly engaging IMO. On the gameplay side, while it's not all shooting, the shooting part is still the meat of it, with every aspect of the skill tree boosting your combat prowess. As the Avatar Unforeseen, you can wield all four elements three magic types, which means you have the funky equivalents of a rifle, a shotgun and an SMG build into the gauntlet on your hand. Per magic type are three subtypes and there's a bunch of other stuff like Overdrive and more powerful spells filled by a mana gauge. It can feel a tad overwhelming at first but you'll soon learn to wield them properly, pick out snipers with blue magic (rifle), pull in supports to finish them off with the red magic (shotgun) and slow down brutes while pumping them full with green magic (SMG). I do want to point out though that it's a very static game in the sense that all the horsepower of the console is being used to make it look as pretty as possible. There are zero physic toys available here, the world is purely decorative. I'm not too bothered by this but it does feed into the discussion that hardware resources are being used for ultimately irrelevant things today. Speaking of, visually it's really stunning, as expected. I think there have been a few patches since release that increase the native resolution and make the upsampling a tad less aggressive. It does look sharp, but I'm only on 1080p, so hardly a high-end benchmark situation. But it also runs a but sluggishly at times and can only really hold the 60fps target in closed-off spaces. Which I think is the exact opposite at what it was at launch, when it was locked to 60 no matter the cost. Probably would have preferred that to be honest, but at the end of the day it's not a dealbreaker for me. But so far, so good. I wish the demo had come out a bit sooner, because I think it might have helped selling a few more copies and avoiding the unfortunate downsizing of the developer. Getting greeted by this when booting it up feels really bittersweet now:
  4. I'm a few hours in, steam says 6 hours but it's closer to 4 with AFK. I'll say so far it's not what I was really expecting, which I mean in both good and bad ways I guess. Firstly it's not really a BGS take on No Man's Sky, or Elite or any of those games. It's not really like Skyrim either though, so far. What it feels more like is a Bethesda take on Mass Effect 1, in that it's an open 'universe' game that's very fragmented. You have central hubs which contain lots of quest givers, then menus which connect you to the rest of the universe. You have bespoke planets like Mars which contain a small open world and settlements. You go in your shuttle and take your pick from a map, and you end up in front of a skybox which represents the nearby planet you're orbiting, and there's some random encounters that can happen out there So that's the way the space travel works in this. You can also immediately just travel somewhere by opening the map whenever you want. That seems kind of spoiling the fun to me though, like a way of making things feel small. In a sense, this is pretty disappointing. Not because it isn't a massive seamless space sim, but moreso the way all the transitions are handled. It seems kind of dated and disconnected. Taken in context it might not turn into such a big deal when the rest of the parts come together and questlines progress. But it does feel a little bit of a misdirect by Bethesda, intentional or not, as to the true character of this game. But in any event Mass Effect 1 is an extremely good game that holds up, so its take on space exploration isn't a bad one to ape. Question is does it work well within the framework of a Bethesda game The setup is pretty dry. It also kind of feels like Mass Effect a bit. You get your macguffin and a companion goes with you. Reviews have said it's a good idea to prioritise the main quest, for gameplay and progression purposes. I don't really know why, but I did plan to mostly stick to it with the odd sidequest rather than drag the pacing out so that's fine. But the universe is not level scaled like Oblivion and Skyrim so at some point you will presumably be forced to do optional stuff to account for that. Also just in general, mainlining a main quest in these games seems like shit advice, you want to weave those sidequests in as well One thing I like: your companion can input on dialogue interactions. Went to a sort of Mos Eisley place on Mars where my companion butted it and haggled with another NPC. This was a sort of tutorial for this mechanic, but it would be an interesting example of the game's flexibility if these quest interactions also extend to the other optional companions you can find. I don't know that they do that for a fact, but you would reckon that they do. Another thing I like is this one quest early on where a guy asks you to find some patient data he misled, and just tells you the general area he lost it in. No waypoint for this quest, you just sort of wander around and it forces the player to take in the environment and incidental dialogue, as well as read signs and develop a mental map of the area layout. Not that the dialogue is riveting or anything, but it's a minor pivot back towards the design of stuff like Morrowind where the world was the point. In terms of reactivity, I picked a trait called 'Serpents Embrace' that made my character addicted to grav jumping or they take a debuff (and a buff if they do grav jump). I completely misunderstood this when I picked it, I thought it meant I had to literally jump all the time, but it means warpspeed jumps with your space ship. Doh. Turns out this also means they are a follow of a thing called the faith of the serpent, which is a pretty edgy backstory for an introverted chef. I got unique dialogue options during one quest because of this, so maybe there's more things like that which branch out and lead to different options. I also like how gravity effects the combat. You can cyberpunk style spring jump over buildings and lightly glide an explosive down a hallway, gently carried by the low gravity of Mars, like a spicey present for the space raiders. It seems like temperature might also play a part in outworld exploration, but I'm not sure in what way really. In terms of hubs, the first hub is a bit boring. Too green. But the 2nd one I went to on Mars was pretty cool and reminded me of Omega in Mass Effect 2. Also seems to be the place where you can take jobs from bounty hunters, if that's the way you want to point your character. Things I don't like, exploring the surfaces of planets seems mad boring. It's just a bunch of fucking rocks, the lack of a Mako is keenly felt. At the very least tho they have different environments. I took a radiation debuff on the surface of the moon which apparently fucked my suit up. Another thing I dislike though it's subjective, they put a weird filter on the game in certain worlds. The starter hub area has The Matrix filter on it. Shit's green all the time. The Mars area has a red filter. You can walk in a room and see the filter fade in and out, it's very weird and overdone and leads to a blown out look. It doesn't look good on OLED, looks fine on LCD though No HDR btw, at least not on PC. You can get auto hdr working using a weird work around, but it looks bad and make things more blown out so IMO stick with SDR. Apparently it's a similar situation on Xbox
  5. Craymen Edge

    Inscryption

    The new game from the developer of Pony Island and The Hex. It's hard to say much about it without spoiling things, so if you know those other games you know everything won't be as it seems. It has a great lo fi look and spooky atmosphere. The game starts with you trapped in a cabin being made to play a card game against a mysterious, spooky opponent. It incorporates deck building and rogue like game elements and more. There are also some escape room type puzzle elements away from the game table. I liked the card game mechanics quite a lot, it it's fun to play. In fact I started a new game to have a go at the first act again. There's a free demo on Steam.
  6. I'm sure this will come to everything at some point, but at the minute I think it's PC only. A couple of months back it seemed to be being played round the clock by various streamers, there was a lot of hype for a simple, cheap (currently less than £2) rogue-like, but it's actually worth all the talk (and definitely worth that price) It's a very simple concept, you control the movement of your character, more or less top down, you're either avoiding swarms of enemies or hunting them down, looking for breakables for money, health, or a couple of the special items. You do not control your attacks Instead your attacks just trigger on a cool down. You start with 1 attack, for the first character this is a whip, others might have fireballs or lightning that strikes in random locations. As you kill enemies they drop experience orbs, pick that up to level up, when you to you then pick a new perk, which can mean new weapons (it can also mean movement speed, cool down on your attack (this is hugely important later in I find), increasing your base attack power or luck), so you could add lightning to your skill set too, or you could increase the level of the whip, so rather than just hitting in front of you, it now whips behind you too, then it does more damage, then it has more range etc As you kill things there's a chance for extra rewards and gold, the gold leaves the level stage with you, so then you can increase your base stats by buying things like improved gold or experience gain, lower cool down, some health recovery, better base damage, and so on; which ultimately means you'll last longer, which means you'll earn more money There's extra weapons to unlock by completing various missions (things like surviving 10 minutes with one of the extra characters), new characters, weapons can be evolved. Basically, there's always something to be working towards which keeps you playing, although of the new characters I've unlocked, I still prefer the 1st character and do tend to just aim for the same build, and on that note, you can only have so many weapons and so many attribute improvements per run, which is a bit of a shame later on, but it means you could have all the random attack spells and leave yourself without anything for if enemies get in close if that's the choices you make It's such a compulsive little game. I bought it at about midday yesterday, and didn't stop playing it until I ordered some food at about 7, then I went back to it. I've got to the "end" of a couple of stages, where I can no longer improve my character and am instead getting money or health recovery as I level up, where I can just stand still and enemies die before they reach me because I'm throwing out so much damage. Eventually though something happens that means you're not going to survive for much longer. That's kind of a shame, but I suppose it's to stop you from completely breaking the game's economy
  7. A Space for the Unbound is an adventure game set in Indonesia in the 1980s. It’s about a couple of high school students but there are magical elements to it too, which gives it the atmosphere of something like a Studio Ghibli or Makoto Shinkai film. I’m impressed with it so far. If nothing else, l would love to see a Final Fantasy game made in this style.
  8. mfnick

    Forza Motorsport

    Made a quick start and done the first set of races/championship & part way through another. Initial impressions, the handling instantly feels great. Just opening up the next set of tours the progression system seems promising with a variety of disciplines to get stuck into. Graphically it’s impressive but I can’t help but be disappointed. It’s a noticeable step down from the initial trailers. & while they do look great the cars have a weird uncanny valley (but in car form) look to them. This is an area GT7 excels, in particular the paintwork and light clusters where I was hoping FM might catch up. So GT7 is still the car porn game of choice. However the tracks themselves along with scenery and weather effects look better here to me & the cars get wear on them throughout the race which gives this a much better visual look & realism overall IMO. Plus when using the chase cam the cars look like they’re actually turning not just pivoting from the center. Huge shout out once again to the audio. They’ve excelled themselves once again. It’s a significant step up even from FH 5 which was no slouch in this department. Only used 3 cars so far but they’re ones I’ve had real life experience with and they sound near perfect. The environmental effects such as heavy rain hitting the roof just fits perfectly too. Top marks. A couple of early concerns though. So far it’s making me do a 3 lap practice sessions before each race. This just feels like a huge waste of time for the most part and should absolutely be optional. Why it’s forced I’ve no idea, I really hope this goes after playing for a bit. Another is the car upgrade path. You essentially level up a car by using it by getting XP for overtakes and nailing sections of the track. What this means is unless you’ve actually used a car for a few races you won’t be able to buy upgrades for it. This seems absolutely ridiculous to me and actively discourages you from using different cars. It’s insane. I’m just hoping it’s not as bad as it initially seems. Apart from those niggles early impressions are still strong though. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my short time with it so far & looking forward to getting stuck in more. It just feels great. It lets you set your grid position too and the satisfaction & fun of starting towards the back & fighting though the crowded pack is pretty much unmatched already.
  9. Played for a couple of hours and I'm happy to say that, so far, I've loved every minute... everyone already knew it was going to be a spiritual successor to Dead Space and apart from the inclusion of melee combat that's just how it feels. You play as Josh.... sorry Jacob.... who for reasons finds himself locked up and awakens in his cell with things very much already fallen to shit... not long after you receive your first melee weapon and after a quick tutorial you're left to it... I was worried by the dodge mechanic in this for a while but it's actually not too bad... there's no timing window, something I'm immensely grateful for as I have none, instead as long as you're holding left or right when the enemy swings you'll dodge... just don't dodge in the same direction twice. As for the hitting things, it feels meaty as in The Last of Us 2 meaty... and messy which I suppose trying to batter a monster to death would. I've picked up a pistol but so far I've not had much cause to use it... ammo seems sparse. As expected it looks really nice, they nailed lighting and sound... something that would've been criminal coming from the guy who gave us Dead Space... he sure knows his outer space. I've already died a number of times on the middle difficulty with some pretty disturbing death scenes... I think I'll be seeing lots more of these during my run time.😂
  10. Nag

    Lies of P

    Started this earlier (didn't try the demo earlier in the year) played for around 2.5/3 hours. Not sure what to think of it yet, it OK to play I guess... definitely not as tight as Elden Ring, there's been a few times where it's seemed like the buttons were a tad unresponsive... and I've also been stun locked which is very annoying. Looks wise it could quite easily be a sequel to Bloodborne... it's very similar. Looks pretty decent though, nice and sharp... I'm playing in quality mode but I have no idea what that does to resolution and framerate in this though. Like most Soulsborne games I'm feeling a little lost at the moment tbh... what with the amount of random items I'm picking up and the amount combat notes being thrown my way... we'll see how far I make it in this as I've read it's fairly difficult and unlike Elden Ring I can't ride on the coat tails of better players so don't be too surprised if my next post on the game is in the "Sacked that off mate" thread.😂
  11. spatular

    Neon White

    This is like a fps parkour shooter type thing, like super meat boy in 3d, like cloudbuilt, or ghostrunner with more shooting. Also its like a timetrial thing where you have to beat levels asap to get gold/silver/etc medals, which you actually need to progress. You need gold or above on a certain number of levels to progress to the next set, so far anyway this hasnt been too tricky. The levels are between 10 seconds and about a minute long so far, ive done the first 20. theres a jump button, a fire button, a switch card button, and an alternate fire/ability button, all on bumpers/triggers which is good. You pick up card and that decides what fire/alternate do, it sort of works like a context sensitive button, so youll pick up a pistol just before you need to do a double jump (pistol alternate fire is a second jump). Alternate fire also throws the card away. Other cards have alternates like a boost, or a grenade launcher you can use to blast yourself up high. Its a good system as it keeps the button count low so they can all be on the triggers. I found it can confuse me at times though because the same button does loads of different things which sort of fries my brain a bit. Theres some talking/story stuff but it seems unnecessary and can be fast forwarded. its not surprising i like this as i like stuff like ghostrunner and cloudbuilt, and so far its been really good. Unclear if the confusing multi use button stuff will halt my progress later on. anyone giving it a go?
  12. radiofloyd

    Moonring

    I’m having a blast with this. It’s a completely free rpg in the style of Ultima, but modernised. Developed by one person, Dene Carter, who apparently was the co-creater of the original Fable. I’m about two hours in. It has an overworld map, with lots of dungeons and towns, as you would expect in an rpg. Dialogue is prompt/topic based, which if memory serves was a feature of the old Ultima games. But it’s all done in a snappy, modern way. I feel like I’ve gotten good bang for my (zero) bucks so far. I loaded it up thinking I would play it for 10 minutes today and an hour disappeared.
  13. I want my mummy... Spent a few hours with this through Game Pass (Xbox obviously)... think I played Innocence toward the tale end of last year and so far this feels nicely familiar. I'm up to Act 3, the first act being more or less a tutorial and the second playing pretty much how you'd expect. Things start harmlessly enough but it doesn't take long for things to fall to shit and the whole world wants Amicia dead for reasons... this time she can fight back a little more, she has a stealth attack and can knife enemies, I haven't got her Crossbow yet but like I say I'm only up to Act 3. You can also break line of sight and hide again if discovered, I can't remember if this was a thing in the first, if it was it was bloody difficult. Some of the views look stunning and so far it's played nicely... there's no performance or graphics mode so I'm not sure if it's locked to 30fps or not... think I saw somewhere that it's 40fps if your display supports 120hz (mine does so who knows) I ended up really liking the first so I'm looking forward to playing more of this.
  14. I bought this off the Epic store (hiss, booo) while I should have been working. Put about 20 minutes into the demo and got a 300000 high score but the Nvidia capture failed to record (honestly no really). Anyway it seems pretty great but I can't put my finger on it but the physics are weightier than I remember. But this is 15 years ago so it's possible I just forget how it feels and have gotten bad from being older all the time. Or more likely this is base stats Tony Hawk I'm playing Anyway I'm excite. I actually never played THPS2 beyond just renting it once so that will be fun. edit forget it, 300000 points isn't even that good apparently. This guy did 100 million in a single combo
  15. Mixed emotions! I play for hours having relaxing fallout adventure fun and then it'll freeze, I'll get stuck behind something or worst of all its bugged and I can't get a character to do something they're supposed to. So I'm stuck.
  16. Kinda surprised there's no thread on this yet, it seem like something a few people here would enjoy. Anyway, this is an awesome little title based on Scandi fairytales. It starts as a delightful, personality-filled romp where you, as young boy Olle, climb out of your log cabin window and follow your sister through a forest. Along the way you skip through peaceful, flower-filled meadows, play hide and seek with gnomes, and even shepherd some cherub-like flower pixies into a paddock. You then explore with your sister, climb a mini-mountain and all is right with the world. Obviously this would make for an extremely short experience, so let me be clear. This is the last good thing that happens to you in this title's brief runtime. Amongst other things, your sister is kidnapped, you're hunted by a character called The Butcher, you wade through a lake of lost/sacrificed souls, and you battle against some naked forest lady whose heart is visible through the open cavity of her back. This is truly one of the darkest, most horrifying games I've ever played, and the huge contrast between the gorgeous visuals and the awful undertones means every aspect has a real impact. Gameplay-wise, it's not going to win any awards. A couple of bits are really awkward to control, and at times Olle doesn't quite do what you want him to. Everything else is so, so good, though, especially considering this is the studio's second ever title. The graphics, at times are stunningly beautiful, with this unique saturation that makes the grass and flowers look almost real. The character models swing from charmingly stylised to incredibly creepy. Sound is great, except for one section set in a village about two-thirds of the way through. I love the fact it's based on Scandi folklore, too. Essentially, imagine Little Nightmares if it was cranked up to 11 and you'll be running along the right lines. It only has a 4-6 hour runtime, so if you've got an afternoon or evening spare, it's definitely worth downloading (especially if you have Game Pass, as it dropped there last week). It's one of the more unique titles I've played in a while. And the music for the final boss is In the Hall of the Mountain King. AKA the Alton Towers advert theme.
  17. Maryokutai

    Atlas Fallen

    I'd like to preemptively say that I'm enjoying this very much, but I want to start off by mentioning two major flaws because the game can potentially put you off initially before it sarts to come into its own. First of all, do not play it unpatched. Because I have a very slow internet connection but wanted to give it a shot right away the day I got it, I installed it offline and dear god. Whatever "gold" version they pressed on the disc here is basically an alpha version. It looks and runs significantly worse than the finished release, it lacks fundamental gameplay elements (no lock-on for example) and even the settings menu barely has half the amount of options you eventually have at your disposal after it's been patched. Deep down I think it should be unacceptable to release a game in this state but we're so far down that path already that I feel like wasting my energy to point it out. So, tl;dr: don't play this without the Day One patch. Secondly, the game itself has an incredibly weak opening. Think back to how masterfully The Last of Us introduced us to its world, its protagonist and his motivations in a very effective 15-minute rollercoaster. Now imagine the complete opposite if that and you have a good idea of what Atlas Fallen's prologue is like. It's magic mumbo-jumbo mixed with a visually very unappealing tutorial area and leaves a very unappealing first taste. That said, now to the good stuff, because at around two and a half hours of playtime the game does its own 180 and turns into what I'd summarise as a surprisingly enjoyable mix of open world action game and light RPG. After the tutorial it throws you into an open world hub that's big enough to be believable as a place but small enough to not feel overwhelming in a way few modern games are. And while the game's structure with quests and areas being gatekept by enemies above your level is very RPG-esque, the actual progression system does kind of its own thing. Instead of collecting XP and levelling up, your character becomes stronger by upgrading their armour and unlocking Perks associated with that progress. In parallel to this you find, in a very motivating pace I might add, a lot of active and passive "Essence Stones", which are basically skills and buffs that enhance your options during combat. Combat itself is a mixed bag and also a clear indication that this doesn't go all the way as an RPG because there's only one way to approach it and just a couple of variables through the aforementioned stones. The game is build around the so-called momentum gage, which fills up as you attack and do other violent gamey stuff. Said gauge is split into three segments and every segment is linked to one skill you previously equipped, with the third one obviously being stronger than the first. The higher the gauge, the higher your damage and the lower your defense, which is described as a risk-reward mechanic but doesn't really feel that way because you have no control over it. Generally speaking, this all works rather well and is good fun, but I have two problems with it: firstly it's very, very easy to miss the indicator for off-screen attack prompts, so I'm getting hit quite often. Might be a me-thing though. The other one is not though and that's the very wonky lock-on. Bigger enemies have multiple body parts you can destroy for better loot but the lock-on is so finicky against those enemies that you sometimes can't get the right part locked or the game refuses to let go when you'd rather want to focus on the small mob running around etc. There's ways to work around this – my solution is not using lock-on at all until there's only the big one left – but it's still something to point out as a flaw. Outside of combat the game basically just consists of exploration, which is fun both thanks to the world's verticality and the protagonist's mobility, who can double jump and air dash. Moving around feels very good and it's here the game feels most polished. In other areas, like dialogue sequences, you can tell this is at max a double-A, sort of euro-jank title marketed as a big-hitter. Visually it's very pleasing, but with noticeable pop-in and very outdated character models that wouldn't look out of place in a PS360 game. I do want to point out though that Deck13 is using its propriety tech and hasn't jumped on the Unreal-bandwagon so huge respect for that, because all things considered this is a technically very impressive game for such a small studio. Six hours in the story hasn't really evolved much beyond the initial mumbo-jumbo and still resolves around the protagonist's gauntlet and the spirit of a Navii trapped within, but when the actual moment-to-moment gameplay is this rewarding it's not a big deal for me yet. How on earth this is sitting below a 70 on metacritic I have no idea, but then again the same thing happened with Venetica back in the day. I think US outlets in particular have a really hard time accepting the space in-between triple-A and indie, you rarely see them really value the effort put into these games and maybe looking past a flaw or two. Or maybe I'm just too partial because it's a German game, I don't know. Anyway, I think a few people here might end up enjoying this, you just have to be prepared for a sub-standard opening and be ready to play around some QOL flaws during combat encounters. I've also heard it only takes about twenty hours to complete, which I think is a good sign in this day and age of bloated open world releases.
  18. DisturbedSwan

    Vampyr

    Played my first 70 minutes of this earlier. I'm incredibly impressed to say the least, I tend to say that a lot nowadays but first impressions are excellent. It looks phenomenal, the lighting effects are spot on and the texture quality has got an slight stylised look to it that makes everywhere feel rich and vivid, if you've ever had a dream to go through a Jack The Ripper era London with all the typical accompaniments of the period then you're well catered for, it definitely looks the part and recreates an incredibly moody, rich, dingy and dank 19th century London. There are compromises though as it is a AA-Indie title like the facial animations and obviously the overall texture quality, lighting and things like that can't match a AAA title, but you know what it is still so damn good and the atmosphere they create with it is better than a host of AAA titles out there. Part of what makes it feel so special is the music as well, it is just sensational. I don't know how they've done it but it feels so in tune with the aesthetics, like they playtested for hours on end to get the right atmosphere at the right times when you're exploring the streets or speaking to someone, it has this eery, mysterious, noir-esque feel to it that just makes you want to explore every nook and cranny of the environment and pulls you deeper and deeper into this world. Combat is better than I expected in all honesty, I seem to unlock more stuff via an upgrade tree as I go along but at the moment it's simplistic but fun with a stun, bite, knife slash and ranged move in my arsenal. When you've got more than one enemy on you it feels satisfying going from one to another and slicing them about, but it doesn't look that fantastic on screen if that makes sense, it feels a bit rudimentary and the animations are lacking but it works well, feels great and I'm sure it'll only get better and more complex over the course of the game. I won't say anything about the story so far - I'm so early on there's not all that much to say in all honesty - but it starts incredibly well and has only built up more and more intruige and mystery as its gone on, I just cannot wait to see what happens next and nothing much is even happening, the early signs of an excellent story to me. Lots of photos:
  19. HandsomeDead

    Exoprimal

    I've played a few hours of this and I think I get it enough for some early impressions. It looks kinda out there but it also sticks to a lineage of Hero Shooters for the most part. There are 10 classes to choose from: 4 damage dealers, 3 tanks and 3 support. But one of each are unlocked as you rank up (or available from the start if you pay more (yes, there's a bunch of this malarkey, battle pass etc. 😐 )). So how a general game plays out is you pick a class, anyone can be any, it doesn't force anyone into a certain one but I can't see a lot of success in not having someone be one of each. There's 5 people on a team but you are also pitted against another team who is racing you to different parts of the map to dispose of these dinosaurs that are falling out of portals (I'll get to that). You don't interact with the other team, they're ghosts you're competing with in the first round. The second round it changes to something a little different. There's different modes it might change to but most of my games it became a payload pushing mode. Standing next to it will move it and you have to protect it from the dinos. But your opponents are on the map with you, pushing their own payload and it's here there is some decision making. You can go and attack them but your payload is less protected. Though they do meet in the middle so conflict will happen. Another little trick you have is once a match you'll have the ability to summon and control a dinosaur used to go and make the opposing teams life a problem. It's very clunky to use and quite easy to waste if you're not careful but it can be a tide turner. I'm not gonna say too much about the classes because it's one of those cases where if you've played Overwatch you know the deal. They're mixed up a bit but it's generally a familiar feeling game in this regard. What's interesting, in a way, is despite this ridiculous premise of fighting hoards of dinosaurs in a futuristic city is it does try and contextualise all this with an ongoing plot. You and your team crash land on an island where a chaotic AI is sending people back in time at the point when dinos appeared out of portals and destroyed the city (though at first they think it's a simulation). The AI is then analysing combat data and for what reason? I dunno yet. It trickles this out as you play since your team are analysing as well, to figure out what the hell is going on. I appreciate the commitment to the bit but it does lead to a problem of the game feeling too same-y since you're always in a similar urban area and there isn't much using the environment since it's a very grounded game and pretty close quarters. Add some spongy dinos to that and you end up in situations that feel really limiting. I guess it does feel like a game from a few generations ago. Its been making me think of Monday Night Combat, which is a game I've not thought about since then. That time early in the 360 gen where you had all these shooters with hoard modes. So I've been getting a nostalgic feeling I didn't expect but I don't think it's the kinda game I want to play to the extent it clearly wants me to. It's charming, and I generally enjoy it but... some multiplayer games don't get a playerbase when I can't help but think they should have. I don't think this is that. But this is just after a few hours. Maybe something will click and I'll see something special but it's not obvious from the jump, which you really need in a multiplayer game.
  20. Played the first 90 minutes last night. I'll get the boring part out the way first, played in 1440p on mostly Ultra settings, with some high settings (auto detect) too and it runs superbly, not sure of the frame rate as Origin doesn't have an FPS counter but I'm pretty confident it was a constant 60 throughout with no drops at all, impressive throughout performance wise. First thing I did in the game itself was create a character, straight away you can't help but notice how awful the character models are, they look distinctly last-gen to me, the eyes are incredibly weird too. Spent a whole lot of time configuring my Female Ryder in this (Red head with green eyes as always), designed her twin with ginger hair too and a bit of a beard going on. Combat next up, pleased to report its pretty good. Definitely not as tight as ME2, it feels looser and more akin to ME1's gunplay that any of the other games in the original trilogy, I didn't like the decision to change the cover from pressing a button to stick to auto stick, doesn't feel as good and I got killed a few times when I thought I was in cover but wasn't. Overall though I'm happy with it, its satisfying enough getting headshots and popping out from cover but definitely doesn't feel as refined as ME2. Even though this was a story mission you could still wander off the beaten track, found some caves with loot, alien structures and new bits and pieces to scan, my favourite part though was finding an abandoned alien ship all in darkness which I found very Nostromo from Alien and mysterious, didn't go on long enough but it was a memorable moment. The game also employs Skyrim/Fallout's top compass to alert you to nearby points of interest which I find a definite improvement on Dragon Age 3's mini map. So yeah, so far so good really, it hasn't blown me away and is a little more rough around the edges than I expected, it's also a little more Dragon Age 3 in some of the exploration aspects than I wanted but I'm happy with it so far. Will post further thoughts once I've played more tonight.
  21. So, this is the new game from the Civ and XCOM developers, Firaxis. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, it is a turn-based game. It's safe to say it's more closely aligned to XCOM than Civ though, but this has an ace (or many aces to be exact) up its sleeve that differentiates it from just being a Marvel XCOM game, and that's the largely divisive (from Previews) inclusion of Cards into the combat. As a result of the cards coming into play, the game isn't as rigid or locked into a grid like it is in XCOM, you're free to move somewhere within the little combat arena you're placed in once per turn, with certain placements being preferable, scoring knockbacks or environmental attacks. You can draw three cards per turn, but certain cards do get refunded as they're used up, giving you an additional card or two per turn, you can also redraw any card you're not happy with twice per turn. A lot of the cards so far are quite basic, in that they are 'standard' kind of slash/punch kind of moves, but they do come with additional benefits like knockbacks, chain attacks, inflicting bleed damage and the ilk, on top of these you've got ability cards which gives you and your team buffs as you fight and hero cards which are much more powerful and usually allow you to take out multiple enemies at a time, the kicker being that you need 'heroism' to use them, which is gained by taking out enemies. The enemies themselves have been fairly standard grunts for the most part, if you imagine the basic super soldiers from XCOM, then it's pretty much the same here, just they're now Hydra Soldiers. The bosses have been more interesting as they're now various Marvel villains instead of snake-creatures or something like they were in the XCOM titles. As established in the paragraphs above, the game shares a lot of DNA with XCOM, and that's no bad thing, the animations, certain effects you can pull of like the knockbacks mentioned earlier and the environmental attacks all look and feel very similar to XCOM but they've now got a more grandiose superhero sheen on them. You'll head out on missions from the 'war room' with yourself ('The Hunter') and two other heroes chosen at random to assist you. You'll about your task, fight a boss or retrieve an item at the end of it and then return back to your base. It's in this base segment of the game where you can see where Firaxis has been far more ambitious than their previous title. In XCOM, the base was an important part of the game where you'd build new sections, invest research points into them to help bolster certain specialisations, new weapons and all that good stuff. All of this DNA is contained within the 'Abbey' in this game, which is a huge Cathedral with sprawling grounds for you to explore to your hearts content, you explore this in 3D in your role as the Hunter, gone are the days of a 2D plain, seeing all your little soldiers move into their newly built wing. It's super impressive and such a great feeling 'base' right away that really makes you feel at home, all the segments you'd expect to be there are in their place but there's also tons of secrets to explore and a sprawling grounds containing blocked passageways which will likely reveal themselves to me later on. The Abbey has the feel of the School in Fire Emblem Three Houses or the Normandy in Mass Effect to it. This also takes inspiration from those titles in the new social links system, where you can sit down and hang out around the Abbey with your new team mates as you assimilate and get used to your new surroundings, doing so gets you friendship points which levels up your bond with your squad mates as the game goes on. I'm not too far into the game but I assume the more it goes on the more activities around the Abbey get unlocked and some of the more mysterious bits and pieces I've seen so far unveil themselves. The Abbey is the most ambitious element of the game and is almost a game unto itself, it makes me realise why it got delayed a few times. So yeah, I've loved my time with it so far (probably about 4-5 hours) and can't wait to play more, it's a real breath of fresh air compared to some of the other stuff I've played lately. To be continued and pics added.
  22. Ok, so I was burned out on the Assassins Creed series. The yearly sequels got me feeling pretty tired of the series. By the time 3 came out, I was pretty much done. I tried a few other games in the series after that point, but never really committed to them. Odyssey got me back into it, and what an outstanding game that was. So I was naturally excited for this. I’m playing this on my day one PS4. Naturally it will perform better on next gen. But having said that, I’m not disappointed with the way this looks at all. The game is absolutely stunning, and apart from the initial long load time, it runs pretty smoothly. I’ve seen video reviews of some hilarious bugs/glitches, but haven’t encountered any myself yet. The combat is a bit basic at the moment. Reviews have pointed out that it takes a few hours to unlock different moves and abilities. So I’m looking forward to that. It’s nice that you can respec your character at any time, so if you fancy a different approach that’s always an option. Wandering around the main settlement, I’ve found three mini games. One which involves out-drinking your opponent, one where you use poetry in a battle of wits, and a dice game which I lost horribly on my first attempt. There’s a micro transaction store (because of course there is), but thankfully it’s totally ignorable. You have to search for it yourself (no obnoxious daily deal prompts bombard you). And the vast majority of the items are cosmetic only. There’s no “pay to unlock XP faster” as there was in Odyssey. So although it’s there, it isn’t an issue. Usually in Ubisoft games, I like going to the Ubistore to unlock various exclusive bits. There’s very little to unlock in Valhalla’s Ubistore page. But again, not much of a complaint really. Definitely looking forward to sinking many hours into this.
  23. Just aged through the first 45 mins with headphones. I..think I need a cuddle. It's one of the most disconcerting experiences of recent memory. Maybe not the best choice for late night gaming. Looks spectacular though!
  24. I’ve played this for 4 hours now. And the harsh reviews can honestly fuck right off. They’re way off the mark, in my opinion. Usually, Skill Up does decent reviews, but I don’t agree with his video review of this. He moans that unlocking “Knigthood” for all 4 characters is a massive grind. Is it bollocks. There are two ways to level up. All characters share regular XP, so you can freely switch between them. But each character has a 4th skill tree, Knighthood. This needs to be unlocked for each character, and you do so by killing 3 mini bosses, and solving 10 crimes. In my 4 hours, I’ve got Knighthood unlocked for 2 characters, and almost done it for a 3rd. The way he moans, it’s like it’s a huge chore. He also creams his jeans over Arkham Knight. Personally, I thought that game was boring as fuck. I’ve had more fun with this, than I ever did with that. I’ve also seen some people complain that one fight sequence has the rock remix of Livin’ La Vida Loca. To those people I say “Have you even played Saints Fucking God-awful Row?”. What a stupid complaint. Anyways. Combat-wise, this ain’t Arkham. There’s stealth takedowns, but I’ve not had opportunity to use them much. So far, there’s not the vast array of gadgets that Batman had in Arkham. But, each character has their own play style, and abilities. Robin has been quite fun so far. A lot of people got pissed off when it was revealed this is 30fps on consoles. I’m no graphics expert, and to be quite honest, I’m happy with how this looks on PS5. It looks pretty damn good to me. The story has been interesting so far, and it’s worth swapping characters, as they periodically have their own side missions, which further develop how they’re coping with the loss of Batman. So yeah. I’m having a great time with this so far.
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