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  1. Nag

    Forza Horizon 5

    Spent a few hours with the game during this afternoon, suffice to say it's bloody amazing to look at... The whole driving to the festival segment right at the start of the game just put a massive smile on my face, it's so stupidly over the top that you can't help but grin. So far there's not been anything massively different from the 4th game but to be honest that was already the best open world racer by a huge margin so this just has to build on that. So far I've I think the game has been hand holding me through the early parts but not enough that I can't decide to put whatever the game is suggesting on hold and do something else, which is nice. I also think that the map is definitely going to encourage going off road far more than Britain did in the previous game. Anyway, so far so gorgeous!
  2. Yessir! I like what I've played alot, probably done the first hour. Its extremely similar to the first one but that's no bad thing. Poor fucking bitch, she's already taken a hell of a beating. Agree with Nag on the looks, its stunning. That snow... Controls are lovely: fluid and intuitive. Lots of stuff to do and already had tons of action. Looking forward to spending all Saturday with it.
  3. I played through the opening of this, so far better than Avengers I think. The tutorial, which is extremely pink and blue, is a fairly lengthy thing which introduces you to characters which of course you already know about because of all the movies and stuff init. It's mostly a slightly adjusted take on those movie characters, I say that as if I know what the other versions of the characters from the comic are like. Anyway it reminds me of the movie is what I mean, except the guy who plays Mario isn't in it which is a bummer. But I think it's good, not incredible cause it's hard to get a read of whether the fighting turns into something more than what you see at first. I'll say being able to run a game that looks good at 4k dlss and runs at 60 presents a much better impression than watching a stream that runs at 640p and runs at 15fps. I dunno about the console experience, but I do know my experience right here is pretty good *discreetly flexes* As filler tutorials go I thought it was pretty well paced and I was pretty engaged by it, which is saying something cause it really does feel like a 360 game. But it gets away with feeling like a 360 games cause they don't make 360 games anymore, and 360 games didn't run at 4k with ray tracing *dabs*. One screenshot I wanted to get is the little bear guy standing on tree man's back cause I thought damn I like that, but it was in a really dark room and I didn't get the chance. Anyway the rabbit stands on the tree man's back, that is good. I tried to take screenshots but unfortunately they are all super dark cause of weird HDR nonsense. So imagine these screenshots not looking shit, this is what the game looks like (good, not shit) I can't say that this is like game X with a bit of game Y or anything like that cause it's too early to say. One thing I'll say is that it has a stagger meter for certain boss type enemies. Drax (who destroys) has an ability that induces heavy stagger damage. Gamora (the deadliest) has an ability which deals heavy raw damage. Groot (therefore he is) does stuff with branches, uh traps enemies I think, I dunno. Racoon (not a racoon) does ranged attacks. But to translate it in terms I do understand, Drax is Focus Strike from FFVII Remake, Gamora and Racoon are the big attacks that you do when stagger is put on them. Peter Quill (middle name Joseph), he flies around and shoots stuff. The melee part of his combat feels like shit, but this is the level 1 experience. Very early on he unlocks an ability to do a timed powerful charge shot while his guns recover from their Mass Effect cooldown. Kind of a reload that's active, or something like that. I think another game did a thing like this before, I forget. I can't easily follow the flow of fights but I would say having this run at a high framerate is a must for that reason. It's so messy, the way you queue up the skills is a bit clunky. But that's the level 1 experience. It's a very air dashy type game, like a B tier Platinum games joint or something like that maybe. Anyway I'm engaged by the sum of the parts rather than the constituent ones so I will stick with it. Better than Avengers anyway, well the opening is. Also trust me the game looks a lot better than these screenshots, thank Windows HDR for fucking these captures up. Or maybe the brightness adjustment in the game itself, I might try and look into seeing if I can fix that.
  4. Hendo

    Dead Cells

    Only played a few minutes before I go to sleep, but yep, pretty sweet so far. One thing I thought was really cool is that one of the menu options is you can change the appearance of the food in game. Could be as simple as you’re veggie or vegan and you would rather not everything be meat, but there’s also some silly options like “Castlevaniaesque” and “monster”. In related and weird news, IGN (or their freelancer) appear to have stolen an indie guy’s video review script. Apparently IGN hav taken down their review while they investigate.
  5. Noticed this on the recent PSN digital discount sale. I do quite enjoy a rogue like, so thought I’d give it a go. Hades is definitely going to be one of my favourite games of the year. Is this as good as that? Well, it’s enjoyable enough. But I’d say no. The combat is simple enough, with a melee weapon and ranged weapon. You find various different ones during your run, with different buffs. As with any rogue like, death means you lose all your load out. But as you play, you can collect various currencies that can be used to permanently improve your character. There’s also a light/ dark mechanic. You carry a torch, which can be used to light braziers in each area. If you don’t, you take increased damage if you’re hit while in a dark area. As for the Curse in the title, you have a curse bar, that increases with each door of the arena you open. There are healing areas, but cause significant curse if you use them. You can buy new gear during your run with gold, or get cursed instead. Fill your curse bar up to the max, and you get inflicted with a nasty permanent affliction, I’ve had ones that either increase damage taken, or make it so I can’t see what any curses actually do. You can have a maximum of 5 curses, with the game warning that if you hit curse 5, your run is going to be extremely fucked over. There’s a dodge mechanic, which takes up stamina to use. You have 5 stamina, each dodge drains 1 point. If you’re empty, you can’t dodge, and have to wait for it to replenish, Dark Souls style. You can also parry attacks, but I’ve never been any good at that kind of thing. Story wise, there’s pretty much fuck all. In comparison to the cast of Hades, here there’s literally nothing. Unlike Hades, you don’t go through the entire dungeon at once. You start with 3 to choose from, with a boss at the end. I’ve reached boss 1 three times, killed him on my 3rd attempt, and that was the end of my run. It looks like you have to gradually unlock the option to run through to the final boss. It’s decent enough, and I’ll certainly play a fair bit of it. But it’s definitely not in the same league as Hades.
  6. I guess I'll try and kick off a thread for this. I got this yesterday and played through most of the Berlin mission. I'm basically at the end of it but trying to hold off on progressing too fast and want to savour things a bit. These games are so good at designing levels which are rewarding to explore, I always enjoy the feeling of taking a really long time to work my way to a specific area and then finding a really inconspiocus short cut I could have taken, the multibranched progression through each stage and the way it twists and winds into itself makes it fun to literally just walk around looking at shit. Even while not necessarily making much progress on your targets. I play with almost all the HUD elements turn off except the one which lets me see targets are red guys. Not to make the game obtuse or difficult but to get more of the pleasure of just wandering around looking for ways in, or eavesdropping convos. You do sort of need the instinct vision tho as some targets are not very obvious to look at, especially in Berlin I'm not playing Hitman for the story so I was happy to jump right into the first mission that interested me, I tried a bit of Dubai but it looks more like an introductory mission with some story handholding. Not that that's bad, they do it in the other games too. Berlin is very classic Hitman tho. It even has a flavour of Hitman Absolution to it with the way it sets things up, but I think it's better than Absolution The premise of it is Older Hitman games have played with this concept a bit (Silent Assassin, Blood Money) but it takes center stage here It's quite a pretty game, it doesn't look hugely different to the last two but they made some lighting adjustments like screen space reflections. Not ray tracing, but I don't think it really needs it. The older levels get updated with it as well. I posted some screens in the screenshot thread but they came out a little too dark and don't get the visuals across very well. I imagine it looks great on Series X/PS5. There's also some great line reads in this. I'll probably just dip into levels from all three games now that they're all on the one package and 60GB. I still have to do Japan in 1 and every mission in 2. For now I'll stick with the new stuff.
  7. It's broken. Haha. Well, the matchmaking is. Only played a wee bit of Halo 2A (I'm gonna wait to play it with you guys) but it looks good especially the redone cutscenes. New Warthog/gungoose sounds sound strange though. Not sure what else I can say till matchmaking is fixed. Um...The new Halo channel is slick. Just away to watch the first ep of Nightfall now. Out of interest is anyone getting this that hasn't played them before?
  8. Started this over the weekend with the fiancée. I think we're about 4 hours in and just hit Chapter 3. It's a colourful co-op platformer, you play as either Cody or May, a divorcing couple who aren't happy with their lot in life. They have a kid called Rose, who is unsurprisingly sad about their nuptial break, from her sadness her parents' personas get morphed into tiny clay and wooden mini-caricatures (which you play as). You then meet a strange love book called Dr. Hakim who throughout the course of the game tries to mend your broken relationship. All the environments are very homey, you start off in a shed, then explore the exterior and interior of a tree before making it into the house and experiencing some kind of strange pillow fort (which is where we are at the moment). These environments are punctuated by strange and eccentric characters like the aforementioned Dr. Hakim along with militarised Squirrels, Wasps, Beetles and Bumblebees which aren't too dissimilar to Conker's Bad Fur Day. The homey environments are reminiscent to Toy Story too (there's even a reference at one point). I like it so far but it hasn't blown my socks off it's fair to say, I wouldn't say it has started off as strongly as A Way Out did either. It is good though, and can be a lot of fun, I was just expecting to be more impressed at this point than I am. During the first chapter, it was a fairly rudimentary platformer with some cliched co-op elements (pull a level to open a door then your partner crawls through etc.), after that things have gotten a little better luckily with different weapons and tools introduced. Each chapter seems to give you some kind of unique tools or weapons which work in combination with your partners, during the first chapter I (Cody) was given a Nail Gun and the missus (May) was given a Hammer. You use the nail gun to shoot into yellow coloured bits of board so May can then swing off them to get to otherwise unreachable areas. The second chapter gave me a nectar gun, you shoot the nectar onto surfaces and your partner can then shoot it with her rifle to make it explode, reaching previously unreachable areas. These mechanics are all used in puzzles and during the second chapter there is quite a lot of combat as well, with me shooting the enemy Wasps with nectar and Char then exploding them into little Wasp pieces with her rifle. The second chapter is far better than the first and features quite a few set pieces, one where I had to control a plane and Char was in charge of the gun, having to shoot approaching enemies from the front and rear, along with clearing obstacles in our path. There was another set piece where I had to control a rudimentary boat and Char had to clear the way again with her rifle as I navigated down the river. The coolest one by far though is when I was flying the plane and Char had to fight an enemy on the top of it fighting game style, replete with fighting game style health bars and attacks, a really great moment. I wasn't too hot on it in the beginning and a little bored but the second chapter has turned me around on the game already and if it keeps on going like this it will only get better, can't wait to see what's in store for us next time. Pics:
  9. I managed to play a couple of cracking little games on GamePass over the weekend. First up is Superliminal - a cracking little puzzler that I managed to play through in a couple of hours and what a treat this was. It borrows heavily from games such as Portal but by the time you see the achievement for beating the game, it's earned it's place up there with the best of them. The concept is you're someone that's involved in a lucid dreaming experiment and you have 'wake up' in a location that presents you with a series of puzzles based on perspective and your surroundings. It twists these challenges in a way that each never out stays its welcome and the final two levels were sublime. I can't say much more than that to avoid spoiling it (i'd even suggest not watching the trailer) but if you liked Portal/The Witness - that kind of thing, i'd strongly suggest giving it a go. One of the best endings to a game i've seen in a while as well!
  10. I started playing some of this. I'm definitely going to need digital foundry to hold my hand on what settings I should be turning on, the auto detect option on the game itself recommended I max the game out but that isn't happening. I figured I would settle for 30fps but the camera motion in this is really bad, it doesn't feel good. So I'll have to tweak that. Anyway it's very janky and hard to play so far. Everyone makes a big song and dance about DLSS but it dont play well with camera movement. I guess there is a hell of a lot of detail to be reconstructing all the time. Sometimes the game looks spectacular but sometimes I'm sort of finding it to look kind of terrible. Part of it is the game feels sort of weird. People phase into existence in front of you, cars render in front of you. Obviously there's weird shit with people t-posing but that's minor. At one time in a cutscene V was completely naked for no reason, that made me lol and makes me wonder if your model is always like that cause it's a FPS game and you can't see your tits or dick or whatever. Gameplay wise I find it hard to play and the HUD and text is such a bad clash of colours and design that I can't tell what's going on half the time or what the things I'm picking up are. This could just be the awkward teething phase but it feels kind of gross. The driving is also really swimmy. I mean I'm sure it gets good as you go in but yeah it's like kind of clunky in a really strange way. These guys did make The Witcher III I suppose. It feels like someone took Euro jank and gave it all the money but kept the jank. The game throws a million things at you at once and displays a bunch of info on your HUD that's hard to keep track of. It's not a very gentle easing into the world, it sort of just throws you in and you're constantly bewildered, well I am anyway. I'm confused. There's a lot going on here but it's not so much that it's deep just that there's a fucking lot of it and I can't be arsed to read it all. I played 3 hours of it, one of which was a big shootout. The shooting doesn't feel good, but it sounds good. Aiming is bad, there's a lot of control options to figure out so I will definitely be following whatever guide somebody puts up to fix the issues with it. Anyway it's cyberpunk, it does the Bladerunner thing. Pris is in it, sort of. That's what people wanted, a very Bladerunner-ey game. Except this is less chin stroking and more aggressive 90s Rob Zombie in your face all the time. Feels of an era This game is very hard to run, pretty much never see 60fps at the settings the game recommends for me. It's exactly the kind of game people were expecting, an absolute monster for both GPU and CPU. A new Crysis.
  11. Played 2 hours of it earlier, after it finished unpacking on Steam just after 11. Initial impressions are very positive I have to say, despite my protestations earlier in the year about this coming only a year after Bloodborne and 2 years after DS2 - and thinking I was a little tired of the format and style - it turns out that I was wrong, and I'm definitely not tired of the format or style of these games and had an absolute whale of a time with it I have to say. Surprisingly I actually felt happy to be back in this world, it felt like returning home after a brief sojourn out the Country to find somebodies slightly moved all your furniture around and re-decorated the house. The introduction to the game is definitely the easiest and most genteel of all the SoulsBorne games, there is an actual dedicated Tutorial area right at the beginning, with enemies set up in exact positions for you to practice your moves on (just don't ignore the 'turn back' note on the floor ) with no real danger of being obliterated from behind by some ridiculously overpowered enemy. This carries on into the next area and the first boss, which feels like a 'Souls tutorial boss' rather than something daunting or difficult, it teaches you how to defeat a boss, how to block/roll out the way of a bosses moves, strategise Estus Flasks, when to use an opening etc. It's a far cry from the soul-crushing first-boss in the original Dark Souls that's for sure, and easier than the Cleric Beast in BB, it's by far and away the easiest Souls game to get into. The hardest thing for me to get used to though, was the XB1 controller, I'm just so used to playing the SoulsBorne series with a DS3/DS4 Controller that I was completely bewildered by the stick placements, button placements and how annoying the Bumpers are considering you use them A LOT, I may have to switch over to my DS4 tomorrow, but I'm not sure if the game will have the correct PS buttons on display or not. I was also incredibly rusty as well, having not played Bloodborne since this time last year which didn't help, I must've died about 5 times on the first boss by doing incredible stupid shit like parrying my shield instead of blocking, using an Estus Flask instead of rolling, shit like that slightly embarassing really, but as time goes on I'll eventually re-learn everything and it'll be second nature like it was on BB and DS2 before. It really is fantastic to play it at 60FPS as well, I know people don't like talking frame-rates etc. but it makes such a huge difference, if I went back to play BB on PS4 right now it would feel like walking through sludge, it's crazy how much snappier it makes everything, and the combat is just incredible in 60 frames. The game looks pretty good, it hasn't floored me as such, but it has its moments (God Rays, Dragons etc.) where it's a pretty amazing sight to behold, that melancholy and haunting beauty the SoulsBorne series is known for really comes through in the art design, bits of scenery don't look as polished as perhaps they should be however. The enemy designs are all pretty familiar though really, I've just been facing the usual Zombie-like creatures you face at the start of most SoulsBorne games really, but the 'Venom' transforming creatures definitely give you something to think about and keep you on your toes. A mention must go to the music as well, even when I just turned the game on and heard it bellowing out through my headphones I got slightly overcome by it, it is just an absolutely fantastic orchestral choir score that really helps the games ambience and made the one Boss Fight I've had so far feel incredible unique and powerful. So yeah, it's a SoulsBorne game pretty much, but it's more accessible than ever, the combat feels great and the Boss Fights get your blood-pumping like only a SoulsBorne boss-fight can. And a few pics:
  12. So the full game is out, I've spent the morning playing it... bear in mind I didn't play any of the demo's so the opening is all new to me. I think everyone by now everyone should be able to gather what happens in the beginning, Chris being all dark and barrel chested, anyhow you soon wake up at night, in the snow... looking for Ethans baby. To me the game looks really pretty, the lighting is really good and so far (using RT) the performance seems to be holding up nicely. I never overly liked the shooting in 7 and this seems very close, I've recently picked up an add on to my pistol and that's definitely helped... I feel much happier in these third person Resi games with a shotgun in my hands though. The start of the game is almost a bit too much, there were times I wasn't sure if I should be trying to kill all these things or running away... that's also happened a couple of times in the castle where I'm up to now. Things have calmed a bit since getting in there though and it's a gorgeous place to explore. I do wish the movement speed was a bit quicker though. So far so good then, looking forward to finding out a bit more on these freaks who are making life a tad rough for old Ethan.
  13. Ok, so it’s pretty clear this is by the team that brought us Until Dawn. As it’s pretty much more of the same. From the stereotypical characters (Jock, nerd, wanker), to the narrator between scenes who questions your story choices. It’s certainly shorter than Until Dawn was. And I didn’t find it particularly difficult to make it to the end with nobody getting killed. Still, it was an enjoyable experience. Graphically it looks great, though at times some of the characters had a bit of a fit when walking for some reason. And the story ended with several parts not really making any sense. Apparently if you play it in multiplayer you get some more explanation. But I haven’t, and won’t be doing. So there we go. It still has the “taking ages to look at an item” mechanic that UD did. Which can be annoying when you take ages to pick something up, only for it to serve no purpose whatsoever. Walking around takes ages unless you constantly hold down the run button. And there were quite a few instances where I wasn’t really sure where I was meant to be going. That being said, it was alright. Worth a rental at least.
  14. Well, this is officially out now, I got my code from CD Keys around 7:30pm yesterday. Pre-loaded straight away after that on GOG Galaxy (28gb install), and after I'd watched this week's Game of Thrones I fired her up, played the first hour or so (headphones ran out of juice otherwise I would've played more) can't really give any thorough impressions just yet but the combat still seems a bit shithouse to me (never liked it in The Witcher 2) and the graphics look pretty incredible (despite the downgrade) in almost fully-Ultra settings on PC. Just within that opening hour I've found myself wandering away from the main quest, exploring little villages and cubby holes so it bodes well for the rest of the game, shall give it a proper run-through later today.
  15. About time for some impressions, I think. So its a 2D fighting game made by ArcSystem Works, a studio famous for its 'Anime' fighting games. They usually have a lot of systems and movement options as well as combo systems that can be extended to let players do some crazy stuff as long as they have the execution to do them, which is usually quite hard to do. They have made it simpler here. The first thing is its very easy to 'get in' in DBF since you have a button that activates the 'Dragon Dash' which has you fly across the screen and home into your opponent, and it also goes through most projectiles so for beginners fighting each other having that is useful for swiftly getting in. But it is very punishable, so learning when to use it properly is an early lesson. It has a few mechanics to aid beginners because I'm sure they recognise that this is a Dragon Ball game and a number of people playing it won't necessarily be into fighting games, they'll just be fans of the show so letting them have a good time is a priority here. One of the other ways they do this is by having auto-combos (performed by repeatedly pressing the light attack (LA) or medium attack (MA) for a more powerful variant that ends in a metre costing super). They're not a thing I'm fond of as they won't teach you the game that well but they do make for some cool looking action. The auto-combos, in fact, are totally unique combos. In a lot of other games, they are the same visually as manual combos but do less damage. And since they are unique here its a shame to see them locked into the auto-combos and not be able to do them manually. For example, Frieza, a character I use has a really cool looking move in the first part of his auto-combo which launched them into the air. So what I sometimes do to mix things up is perform the first half of the A-C then go into a manual one when in the air. But I wish I had the option to do this move anytime. But while there is a very flashy and basic fighter there is a high skill ceiling here as well, which you will discover at the time of writing when you go online. It isn't as high as ArcSystem's other games but there is still quirky stuff. Since this is a 3v3 fighter you can call in a member of your team to do a one-off move and jump out again. Using these can give you the ability to get hits in and continue combos where you couldn't without. Or they can be used to cover approaches, help defend etc. There is also the little mechanic also found in ArcSytem's other games; the jump cancel. Its something I've always known about but I've not really put serious time into learning but if you want to get beyond hammering out basic stuff you gotta get used to it. Essentially any medium attack can be jump cancelled. A common thing to do would be crouching MA (which puts them in the air a little), standing MA (pops them up a little more) then hit up while the animation is still happening to quickly meet them in the air. Since you can only use your proper launchers and Dragon Dash once per combo link it frees you up to use them later in the combo and its the mastery of this that really frees up the fighting system as a whole. It's here where it really gets fun. I've not really played the story yet but I hope to get round to it soon (it's kinda bonkers it's about the Dragon Ball gang being controlled by an entity and they turn to the camera when referencing this entity) and it also has this weird turn-based map system between fights. There's other stuff. Sparking Blast and how the online seems to be kinda borked at the moment in that the games run fine until it kicks you out of the lobby for no reason, but this will do for now.
  16. Maryokutai

    Chorus

    I thought this was intriguing since its initial reveal (back when we all thought it was called Chorvs) so I picked it up recently and played through most of it during my holiday break. I'm one and a half steps away from finishing it, so this might be as good a time as any to make a topic about it. Haven't seen anyone mention it here so it'll probably be a dead topic, but I absolutely love the game and feel like I own it to the developers to at least put something about it on the web. I'm not too experienced with this whole space opera genre and I think the last somewhat comparable game I played was Strike Suit Zero. But this genuinely feels like a bold new step for these kind of games. It's not a linear, mission-driven game, which is what I expected, but it's designed like an RPG almost. You visit a certain amount of areas that function as hubs for main and sidequests, three of them medium-sized, the rest a bit smaller. Because space is large and dark exploration is very streamlined: a button press reveals items and money pickups scattered across the world and holding the button unlocks points of interests on your map, i.e. the aforementioned sidequests, for example. Completing those usually rewards you with new weapons and equipment, hence why I say this very much feels like an RPG. But just like the size of its world, the stuff you find doesn't overwhelm you. I completed every sidequests I came across and still only have six different laser weapons, for example. Rather, everything you have fulfills a certain function, so mix-and matching for the best combination is key here. While it does seem like putting on extra hull energy is a good thing, getting hit in Chorus usually means you already made a mistake. So I went to max out my energy meter and recovery instead, to be able to use more special moves. And it's here where you can see just how forward-thinking this game is designed. Usually dogfighting games are 50% shooting at enemies and 50% turning your ship/plane around to find an enemy to shoot. Chorus just gives you all the power you need to reduce that downtime to almost zero and it's just wonderfully executed. Those special moves I mentioned (called Rites in the game) are the key here, particularly the first two: one allows you to instantly teleport behind and enemy in your line of sight to flank them but the most important tool is the so-called Drift. By holding a button, you can freely turn around your ship in any direction while maintaining your current trajectory. So instead of flying straight at a stationary target to destroy a turret and then rinse and repeat until all of them are gone, you can just plot a course alongside them, drift at 90° and shoot them all in one fell swoop. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'll put a poorly played little clip at the end of this post just to show it off, but the feature is so flexible it's really the one thing that turned this game from a very good game into an excellent one. Story-wise it's a modern take on the Dancing with the Wolves formula, but the lore is rather interesting and the two main characters - the pilot, who has a special gift (lore explanation for the usage of her "Rites") and her sentient ship. The ship in particular is really well realised, floating somewhat between the robotic AI of something like HAL and the basically human-like portrayal of the concept in Cortana. It's a very unorthodox pairing but really well realised. I particularly enjoyed how both characters responded to stuff happening during the action scenes, with the ship being surprisingly blood-thirsty or how both of them finish each other sentences the stronger their bond grows. Definitely low-key blown away by this. The excellent gameplay, interesting lore and overall tone and atmosphere (somewhat channeling Remedy at times) just make for a superb combination. I'd probably have to nitpick to find stuff I didn't like, like dialogue being cut off way too often when random encounters spawn (should have looked into that Uncharted 4 tech) or how there can be a tad too much flying around in the beginning and towards the end (think Wind Waker, but at lightspeed) but other than that this is just great. Anyway, here's the simple drift clip to conclude: And for the record, and despite being the only one here still playing on last-gen, this runs absolutely fine on Xbox One and probably on PS4 as well. But I'll definitely go back to it when I have a new system to see just how much it improves by running at 60fps.
  17. Played 2 hours of this so far and have got through the Prologue/tutorial section pretty much - the section which Journo's played through during the tutorial. So far I'm incredibly impressed with it I have to say, way more than I was with RotTR and probably around the same as TR 2013 - although admittedly my memory of that is a little hazy by now. The first thing I noticed was how goddamn gorgeous this game looks, this is the first game in the series that I've not played in 720p/900p at 30 on consoles and goddamn what a different experience playing on PC - granted it will still look pretty great in almost 4K 30 on Xbox X but at 1440p/60 with everything set to Ultra boy does it shine ?. I thought RotTR had a distinctly last-gen look to it and here whilst there's still a few rough looking textures here and there the whole engine and graphics as a whole looks much improved. I think the lighting is the most impressive though, going through caves, water and a small Mexican town, the way everything was lit was just astonishingly beautiful. It's a shame that so much of the early story has already been revealed by previews and trailers, but the beginning is pretty spectacular. You start out after the shit has hit the fan then go back before it hit the fan to find out what the hell went on (although I knew this already thanks to previews). And it's pretty damn fantastic, lots of slow exposition through a beautiful Mexican town where you can just take in the scenery, music and vibe of the place as you slowly make your way through and investigate followed by some light tutorial stuff and a tomb (yes an actual tomb this early!) which was great fun followed by a nice light puzzle room. After this things go bananas in a typically TR kind of way and lots of mad shit happens which involves you gunning down lots of dudes and running away from collapsing buildings/mountains. I just like the somewhat slow build up this time around, it feels a bit more organic in some ways than having you thrown in at the deep end for the 3rd time in 3 games and let's you appreciate the bombast when it does come all the more. The things they do with the characters already has me way more intrigued than I was for the entirety of RotTR which helps an awful lot too I just hope it continues to bring home the drama. I guess in terms of mechanics, controls and gunplay you know what to expect if you played the previous two games, although I will say I think the new rappel manoeuvre and the way you can now stalk enemies from shrubbery-covered walls is really cool and feels such a good fit for the Jungle environs. I have had some technical issues though. The photo mode is borked for me, everytime I access it the camera does a weird juddery motion and then as soon as I quit the mode everything is ok again, I have also had some huge framerate dips when hanging from ledges which is odd as its been a solid 60 everywhere else so I've had to turn off a few of the superfluous graphical effects and that seems to of remedied it. But yeah, so far I'm way more impressed than I expected to be with it and I can't wait to dig into it again tomorrow night. Some pics:
  18. Put 16 hours into this over the weekend. I will preface these impressions with the fact that I'm nowhere near a Battlefield expert and won't be able to go into the nitty gritty detail about what has been improved, balanced, implemented differently etc. over BF1 and other past titles (I've only properly played a tiny bit of BF3, BF4 and quite a decent amount of time into BF1). So let's dive in shall we? To play, it very much feels like a sequel to BF1 rather than anything else, with some Battlefront 2 elements sprinkled in there. The maps are all pretty good but personally I haven't been as impressed with them as the BF1 launch maps, I guess part of it is when you get a WWII game you expect to have all the infamous locales like Berlin under siege from the Red Army, the D-Day landings and so on but none of that is in here. They've focused on the 'untold' battlefields of WWII like Norway, Northern Africa along with including some Western European locales like Rotterdam, Appas and Twisted Steel in France but everything just kind of feels incredibly familiar if you've played BF1, I actually think the variety isn't as good too, there's one that I jokingly refer to as 'Hoth' as it feels so much like a Battlefront map as well. The only real things I've noticed that's different from BF1 is the customisation options and the ability to repair fortifications at command points around the map and build/destroy bridges. The customisation is roughly what you'd expect of most multiplayer shooters nowadays really but there seems to be less variety of weaponry (for the Medic class anyway - the only one I've played as) than BF1. In the previous game I had the choice of rifles or SMGs etc. but here if you're a Medic you've only got one choice which is the SMG, if you want other weapons you need to be another one of the classes, so as you progress with your particular class you unlock more weapons, outfits for your character and skins for your guns. There are also specialisations (which work a bit like perks) for your gun but I haven't really figured out how to get this to work without resetting the points already assigned to it so I've left it for now. Being able to repair fortifications at the command posts is a bit more of a bigger deal though. As the scenery gets more and more deformed as a match goes on having a decent set of sand bags and other fortifications around a command post when you're defending it can be make or break for some matches, you seem to be able to peform these repairs as any class as well which is cool. Similarly with the destruction of bridges or building makeshift bridges, they can make a huge difference in not allowing vehicles to easily access a certain area of a map and be a huge help to a defence or thorn in your side to an attack of a certain area or command point. I've only played the Grand Operations and Conquest game modes, both are fun enough but incredibly familiar to BF1 players. Not got round to any of the single player 'War Stories' aside from the astoundingly good - but brief - introduction. I want to briefly touch on the technical side of things. I believe this is a pre-launch build of the game that doesn't have the Day 1 patch but I have had a number of bugs, all of them are of the silly variety that break the immersion a little at times but nothing else. There's currently a bug when you're reviving someone that you lean through scenery when reviving them, I've had a few issues where a hand is seen at all times when operating a turret of an APV/Tank, I also struggle on occasion to activate the supply/vehicle drops using LB + RB and the left analog stick and also once it wouldn't let me deploy into the game from the map screen and I had to quit the match. Networking issues and graphical/framerate issues seem to be nonexistant as far as I can tell, I've had a very solid 60fps at all times and the networking has been fast and smooth, there's no micro-transactions in here at all either as far as I can tell. So yeah I quite like it, it is addicting and compelling as ever and I've not really been able to stop playing it all weekend. It does feel like a direct sequel to BF1 with more of that games personality than any from WWII or the previous BF games but yeah it does everything it sets out to do really and at this point if you're a BF fan you know what to expect and this will deliver in spades. Some pics:
  19. Hendo

    Outer Wilds

    So this is an odd one. Because the game tells you nothing at all going in, I think it's important to know what the set-up is, but some people might feel it's a spoiler, so I'll hide the conceit behind a spoiler tag. I'm enjoying what I've played so far although the controls are a bit fiddly. It's a fantastic idea that you rarely see in games (and the medium is well suited to it) so I hope it does well for them. Epic Store exclusive for now, I believe. Also on Game Pass on Xbox.
  20. mmmark

    F1 2021

    I’ve managed to pick this up for £25 (£30 minus £5 slave discount) which is good timing now that the season is over and the better man won. I’ve only played very little so far of the story mode and when you’re racing it’s as good as ever but I’m not convinced by the story yet or your influence over it. In the second race my team mate forced me off the track in a pre recorded story scene. I then made it back past them and everyone in the top ten to win my first race. The win wasn’t referenced tho and all the focus was on that one moment of been pushed off. It’s a small complaint really. The game itself is likely to be better than ever. It certainly looks and handles better than 2019 (I skipped 2020).
  21. DisturbedSwan

    Cuphead

    My stream from earlier: Started this earlier, put in 2.5ish hours or so and reached World 2. Wow. This has really surprised me, I mean I expected it to be good don't get wrong but it genuinely fucking brilliant. The 30s animation and the music are just absolutely spectacular, this'll sound like a cliche but it really is a feast for the eyes and ears. It feels like you're playing through a slightly more sinister Tom and Jerry cartoon or something, nothing feels out of place at all and everything fits with the animation and music. The way the enemies move and the boss fights flow in time with the music, every boss fight almost feels like a story really that you gradually get further and further into before reaching the end. The run-n-gun levels feel surprisingly good too, seeing them before launch I thought they looked a bit simplistic and thrown in there just to pad out the length of the game and give players a break from all the bosses. The latter is true but they feel so different to the boss fights and provide just as much fun and attention to detail, they're a little easier and a little more fun and relaxing but still provide a decent challenge I'd say and give a welcome break to the more intense boss fights. I guess it plays quite similarly to a lot of run-n-gun side-scrollers really. There's no double jump but a dash, you can fire a variety of projectiles (providing you purchase them at the shop) in 8 different directions at all times using either the left or right analog stick whilst pressing X, you can parry pink enemies/enemy projectiles by tapping the jump button (A) again whilst in the air, there's also a crouched shot to avoid enemy/boss punches too, you put all these together to defeat bosses. Some require more dashing (blue blob for example) whereas others require more precise jumping and crouching to defeat. The boss fights are the star of the show though really, they're just absolutely spectacular. Each one is pretty challenging in their own right with a variety of different phases to learn if you want to defeat it, the way the phases play out feels so organic as well, as mentioned previously it almost feels like a story at times. You fight a blue blob and it'll start out as this relatively innocent annoying-but-not-threatening cheerful creature and then morph into this bigger angrier looking blob and once you've defeated that phase he turns into a tombstone and attempts to flatten you. They're just a joy to fight, you just have to make sure you stay patient as some of them are quite a challenge. I didn't expect the level of depth on offer in terms of weapons, load-out and skills. I thought you'd just have your bog-standard Cuphead with the clicky finger projectiles and away you go but there's a TON of upgrades you can buy at the shop, supers you can get from completing ghost parrying mini-games dotted around the world. I imagine the further you get into the game the more strategy will come into play, I've done well so far with my standard super, +1HP and greater spread projectiles but I know there'll be some bosses later on which'll almost require you to have a certain load-out in order to finish. I guess I'm a little surprised with myself I haven't had a harder time of things though. I wouldn't say I'm good at platformers, I certainly like them on the verge of frustration (DKCR3D is one of my favourites for example) but this hasn't caused me to tear my hair out at all. Every boss seems very fair and easy to learn as long as you're patient and I really like that about it, I'm just a little surprised how quickly I managed to adapt and defeat some of them, the dual frog bosses for example I managed to defeat on what felt like only my 2nd or 3rd attempt whereas others like the Sunflower and Blue Blob gave me more problems. But still, I managed to put them down relatively quickly and before frustration set in, which I think is a good thing, I was worried before I played this that I'd get fucked off with it like Sonic Mania and not go back to it, but it seems much better than that so far, much fairer and less cheap so I reckon I should be able to finish it as long as the difficulty curve doesn't go vertical in this next World.
  22. radiofloyd

    Sable

    This game reminds me of Outer Wilds (which is also what I plan to play next, the expansion). It’s been compared to Breath of the Wild, and I guess there are some similarities, but it feels more like Outer Wilds to me. You start off in a relatively small area, preparing for a kind of coming of age ceremony which will allow you to leave your tribe and explore the world. Instead of Epona, your companion is a kind of hover bike. You start off driving a banger but then you build your own one which leaves a snazzy tail of red smoke as you drive around. One of the reasons I bought the game at launch was because I love Japanese Breakfast, the band who did the soundtrack for the game. There’s a great moment when you leave the opening area and enter the great wide open for the first time, and a song plays. Brings back memories of that Jose Gonzales song playing during Red Dead Redemption. There’s no combat in the game, that I’m aware of. The gameplay is all exploration and (so far, light) puzzle solving. I’m enjoying it. It looks lovely. There are some minor visual glitches (wall-clipping mostly), but nothing major so far.
  23. DANGERMAN

    Scarlet Nexus

    First things first, I'm really enjoying this. It's very Japanese, the story has just gone full anime, and it reminds me a lot of Astral Chain, only more engaging. The combat is probably the star of the show without it being as complicated as it appears. You have some very basic attacks with your weapon, this will charge a meter that lets you use your psychokinetic abilities, so you can fling items at enemies. Do that too often and the meter drains so you can't any more, but get in close to an enemy and land some weapon attacks and you'll be fine. Once enemies have taken enough damage, assuming you haven't already killed them, you'll be able to perform a kind of finisher/super move, against weaker enemies this is a one hit kill, against bosses it can be a difference maker. Both while you're exploring the world (although this hasn't been an option yet in the way it was in the demo), and in combat, if you have teammates you can borrow their powers, ranging from your attacks doing fire damage, you becoming invulnerable, or even invisible for stealth attacks, amongst others. These work on a cool down, and are more or less required at points, but they aren't unavailable for long. There's also a meter that fills where you'll become super powered for a bit, I get the feeling once you've levelled up a bit this will be a huge deal, at the minute it's more annoying that you can't trigger it yourself and save it for when you need it There's an rpg element. You level up, although it's not presented what that really means (presumably stats and HP), you can equip items, buy better weapons, healing is done on a slight cooldown which can be a bit of a pain. There's also a skill tree, it takes BP points to buy new perks, but these come pretty quickly, to the point that I feel like I might well max it out before the end of the game unless there's hidden branches to it. You can also increase your bonds with your teammates, this is done in your down time with gifts and bonding missions, and it gets you new layers to their abilities. It seems to be pretty similar to how Persona handles it tbh The only real criticism I have is that it's all presented in a bit of a confusing way. Lots of different, but pretty similar people bouncing around, odd terms, lots of menus. It can feel like it's slow doling things out too, not that it's paced badly or feels like a slog, and maybe this is a consequence of having played the demo, but knowing that at some point I'll have 4 teammates at once, be able to explore certain areas, the way it gates this feels like it's holding you back, even 10+ hours in to the game
  24. mmmark

    Battlefield 2042

    I’m very bad at it but 2042 seems alright. There was a 10gb update so I missed out on all the bugs I think. The only jank I’ve noticed is slow texture loading at the beginning of a match (ps4 pro) and sometimes your body might go a bit mad when you die. The levels I’ve played on have been ok but I’ve not played enough to have memorised any of them. The one with the skyscrapers and has a huge tornado rip through the middle of the map was a stand out moment. I got killed because I was stood staring at it. It looked awesome was giving me anxiety. They seem to have stopped giving you anything if you have played any previous BF games which I don’t mind I guess but some recognition would have been nice. Just some gamer card art. I don’t understand the load outs just yet. You seem to be able to give anyone anything? Like give an assault guy a medic pack instead of ammo? I didn’t play around with it much so idk. It all sounds very nice and the pro version looks a lot better than the base ps4. God knows what the og xb1 version must look like. The menu and UI and a lot cleaner and user friendly than what I remember of 1 and 5. It’s Battlefield.
  25. 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.
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