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  1. mmmark

    Far Cry 6

    Full disclosure I’ve only played 30 minutes of actual gameplay as my eyelids weighed about 500lb. I really like the style of it and opening. Once you’re set free to play you’re pleasantly set up for revenge. The next gen (playing on XSX) has proper elevated this game from past entries. It looks gorgeous but most impressive of all is the draw distance, amount of vegetation and that it is all crisp and clear to boot. Gameplay is how you’d expect from a far cry, or any half decent fps really. The machete is nice and lethal for stealth plays. I’ll be making good use of that. It was real fun to have my own personal alligator run alongside me. I look forward to diving back in.
  2. Nag

    Evil West

    Booted this up for the first time today just for a look see... played for a couple of hours and completed four levels. For those not in the know it's a Steam punk (I guess) take on Westerns mixed with Vampires which I thought was going to be much more shooter orientated than it is... it's actually much closer to the newer God of War games than Gears of War, shit, you even open and smash chests the same way as Kratos does. So there's a definite leaning towards melee combat over ranged but there's Guns involved obviously being a Western. These work on a cool down rather than relying on ammo drops and are mainly used for hitting exposed weak points with the rifle or chip damage for the pistol then there's the sawn off which is great for obliterating shields... all standard stuff for anyone who's played a third person adventure game anytime recently. So far in terms of levels it feels very old school with very linear levels designed to funnel you from one encounter to the next. As for looks it's been a very mixed bag so far, actual game play looks ok, I'm not sure if it's a design choice or what but there's a really weird glow with everything... fire sources are ridiculously bright and this isn't even an hdr enabled game and then you have the cutscenes which everything just looks muddy and crushed to fuck... I'm not sure whats going on there. Funnily though the pictures I'll post look a damn sight better then they do on a tv.🤷‍♂️ So a bit of a mixed bag... plays fine, looks a little ropey.
  3. 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.
  4. DisturbedSwan

    Signalis

    Started this on GP over the weekend after hearing a few good things about it but not really knowing what it is. Turns out it's a survival horror game with a PS1 graphical style heavily inspired by Resident Evil. The setting is a bit Dead Space though, in that it's set on an otherworldly space mining facility. All the typical RE accoutrements are present here, you'll be combining objects to fashion a key, using the sparse save rooms as the only way of saving your progress and managing your 6 inventory slots with the help of storage boxes. You'll also be shooting, dodging, whacking and running away from Zombie-esque enemies dotted around the mining facility that creepily glitch out as they approach you with your Pistol and Shotgun (complete with laser pointer) and Stun Rods. You will of course also be solving a few puzzles (none of which have vexed me as much as previous RE series puzzles though) and gradually making your way through the mining facility, trying every door to try to find a path forward, going back to previously discovered wall safes and the ilk, finding keycards and all that good stuff. Unlike RE (I think) you are equipped with a Radio and can tune in to different frequencies which then help with puzzles and other mysteries around the facility. I think I'm only about 2.5 hours in so far, it's not meant to be overly long (HLTB says 8-10 hours) but I'm very much enjoying it. The atmosphere is spot on and the PS-era visuals somewhat unique in a day and age where 8/16 bit visuals still seem to be so popular. I struggled to put it down last night, highly recommend it so far. Pics:
  5. So, the first game was a very enjoyable car-crash. They’ve skipped straight to 3, because why not. And this is legitimately one of the funniest games I’ve played this year. It starts by ripping off the intro to Skyrim (and openly admits as such). Then you’re set loose into the world, to cause total carnage. If you played the original, you’ll know what you’re in for. If not….Jesus, where do I start? You’re a goat. You can lick things and drag them around. You can headbutt stuff. That’s pretty much it. The rag doll physics are proper funny. Head butting an explosive barrel, causing people to go flying is a riot. You can catch on fire/electricity, and spread that through a crowd. There’s various tasks to do, which gift you in game currency. Which you then use to unlock add-ons to customise your goat. Currently I’m rocking a molten lava skin, with 4 paint cans stuck on my feet, and tennis balls on my horns. Most of the add-ons are cosmetic only , but some have powers you can trigger at will. My personal favourite is a firework launcher. Which when fired at cars/ people, causes them to go rocketing into the air at 90mph, ragdolling furiously. That’s had me cry-laughing repeatedly. As you run around the open world, you’ll encounter random missions you can do. Which reward you with more cash, and usually a cosmetic. There’s already been several Easter eggs relating to other games/franchises. So again, many laughs to be had. Oh, and it’s 4 player online co-op as well. Not tried that yet, but I imagine it’ll be utter carnage. So, yeah. This has been bloody hilarious thus far.
  6. 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.
  7. It still feels like early days but I'm enjoying this so far. I tried streaming some but my setup seemed to add a few issues to control and framerate, I did a lot better when I wasn't having to play through my capture screen. That said, it's still a Sonic game so I have been launched to my death rather than whatever the next part of the rollercoaster was supposed to be. For all the Breath of the Wild talk it actually reminds me of Mario Odyssey more than anything else. I've no idea if the area I'm in just expands or if eventually it moves you to a new world, but you're on a land mass that's gated, you're essentially playing until you unlock the next bit. There are traditional levels, they're really short, and they're accessed via totems in the main world. You need gears to open these, you get gears from defeating meaningful enemies, I feel like I've got quite a lot now so other than really early on when the game is teaching you, they aren't hard to find. Beating the levels gets you keys, keys unlock the chaos emeralds, doing that seems to progress the story and open more map. The reason it reminds me of Mario are all the little challenges in the game world. Work out the route to a floating platform, beat a horde of enemies, solve a minor puzzle, these all get you things, usually it's the items you need to level up attributes, sometimes it's experience to unlock more skills. There's probably a few too many currencies really, but it does mean that a trip across the map means a hundred diversions because it's very densely packed
  8. 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!
  9. DisturbedSwan

    Scorn

    Started this last weekend and have got about 90 minutes in, in Act 3. Hasn't made much of an impression on me either way at this stage. I really like the atmosphere and unique HR Giger-Alien-esque inspired visuals, it looks and feels really unique and the only similar title I can come up with is something like SOMA. The way it plays is a little less original, it feels much like an old school PS2-style puzzle game really, there isn't a lot of direction and you're completely left to your own devices to figure out what's going on and what you need to do at any given time. So far I've been put in a level that you're free to wander about and in that level are various weird contraptions you'll have to suss out what they do and what goes into them etc. and once figured out this'll eventually open a door to a new area. The beginning of Act 2 was a bit of an anomaly though as you're just put in this linear desert-like environment and left to figure out where to go, luckily it's pretty easy to discern the path but yeah, no puzzles during this bit. I have been using a guide throughout as I'm so bad at puzzle games and got stuck for awhile at the beginning just in the prologue area lol. So yeah, it's alright, I wouldn't pay anywhere near the £33 they're asking for it on Steam but as a short GP title it's a nice palette cleanser of a game as long as you don't expect to much from it. Pics:
  10. I’ve played about 3 hours or more of the campaign which I believe is about half way. It’s alright but it’s like a ‘best of’ of the series. Think of it as a Now That’s What I Call CoD! Track listing includes: A swimming bit. A sniper bit. A gunner in the skies bit. All the hits dating back many years. The story and overall attitude of the game is awful I’ll say that. Dude bros with guns. No one is likeable or too much different for anyone else. The game is very linear as to how you can tackle each short segment. Be a few metres away from where it wants to be and you’re killed. I look forward to multi once the campaign is done with.
  11. Well this pretty much came out of nowhere. Like, I didn’t even realise it was out. I remember it being announced, but not much after that. The original Tales game was one of the best things Telltale came out with (Walking Dead peaked after their first season, and by the end was crap). I’m not an expert of the franchise, I’ve only finished 1 and 2, and some of the DLC. But that didn’t stop me from having a great time with Tales. So, now we have the sequel. Though it’s “episodic”, it plays out as one big game, giving you a break between episodes. I’ve just finished Episode 1. And so far, it’s off to a good start. The dialogue has been amusing enough. The story, which switches between 3 playable characters, seems solid enough. There’s zero puzzles, so you’re mostly down to making dialogue choices, and occasionally wandering around the area to trigger the next set piece. There’s a fair few Quick Time Events, but they’re easy enough. One review said that the hacking mini game is laughably easy. It is indeed, and makes you wonder what the point of them even is. It warns you “failure has repercussions”. But honestly, you’d have to put your controller on the floor, to fail them. The IGN review said the final episode is a train wreck, and almost ruins the game completely. We will see how that plays out. But so far, yeah, this seems decent enough.
  12. 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.
  13. DANGERMAN

    Prodeus

    I originally played this through Game Pass when it was in early access (on PC, I think it's on console too), and enjoyed it so much I stopped so I didn't ruin it. It got its full release last week and Prodeus is still really good It plays like a mix between the original Doom and Quake 2, fast like the former with those level layouts, but with the tone and look of the latter. Only with Quake 1's soundtrack. It's kind of my ideal fps I guess. It's made with voxels I think, so even though it looks modern and sharp(ish), it had a muddy, grungy look to it. The levels are a decent length, but there's orbs hidden in there that are used to buy new weapons and upgrades, like the double jump, and so hunting these down adds a lot of length to the levels. Which leads me to a bit of an issue, it's annoying when you can see but can't work out how to get 😅 but also, I've basically been playing through the game twice. It's a good Steam Deck game, but I'd rather play with a mouse and keyboard, to use a cloud save you have to log in to their servers, which I didn't really want to do, so I've got 2 separate saves on the go, which means doing every level at least twice, some times more as I hunt orbs. It's also a bit too easy, I've had one level so far that's felt like a challenge, and even then I suspect I'll tear through it when I next do that level. At some point I think I need to at the least bump the desktop version up to hard I did a video on it, I'm never sure about posting these as it feels like self-promotion, but it's a gameplay video
  14. spatular

    Tunic

    This is a bit like old 2d zelda games, but at the same time not that much like old 2d zelda games, there aren't really specific dungeon areas, or there are but they aren't like zelda dungeons, the world is maybe a bit like something like fez or the witness as it's a bit puzzley, but also not quite like them. the game world is full of hidden paths and secrets, anywhere there's possibly a hidden path or chest, there probably is one, you spend a lot of time walking into walls and into areas you can't see properly to find this stuff but i like the exploring. the combat is supposed to be pretty hard and i nearly got killed by one of the first bad guys so turned the accessibility options on pretty quick - infinite health and stamina - this sort of negates some of the items/pickups which are for combat/health but you don't really need them any more, for me it's definitely the right choice as i'm rubbish at the combat and would probably die a lot and give up, and the puzzling/exploring is still good fun and the main draw of the game for me. there is a problem with infinite health though, it's a very open world and you can pretty much go anywhere from the start - especially if the harder enemies can't stop you. so from the start i probably followed the proper path for the first hour, got the sword etc. then the next 2 to 3 hours were spent doing the wrong things in the wrong places, but you can still get powerups/collectables in these areas so it's not a complete waste of time, but i'll probably need to go back to these places later. but i still enjoyed this exploration. i think i had most of the other weapons in the game before i got the shield which i think youre supposed to get early on. but after this i looked up some stuff so i could make some progress, as i wasn't sure what i was looking for i thought these doors were blocking me but turns out they were for later on but finding out how to open some of them as i go along will save having to find them again later. anyway then made pretty quick progress through the first main section of the game but then i didn't know what to do after that so looked up some more stuff just to point me in the right direction, turns out you need to collect things, i already had one of them. the game barely explains anything to you, well it does but in a round about way - you get manual pickups - like pages of the in game manual, but they are only partially in english. the manual does explain a lot but you can miss the pages or get them out of order so it can be pretty confusing. some things i wish i'd known earlier than the manual tells you - i found these by looking up stuff on the internet but think the manual tells you at some point: so yeah overall i'm enjoying it, the exploration and puzzles are fun. i think i'd prefer more hand holding personally as while i have worked a lot of stuff out on my own i've also looked up quite a lot too. edit - it's on gamepass
  15. Have spent around 7 hours with it or so, just mashing around in neutral. The game looks beautiful. I prefer its look to strive, even tho I like the 2d look of that I much prefer the clean look of this, where everything is more readable. Right now you're thrown into a very mixed pool of skill levels, tho there is a generally high enough level of cluelessness and the new mechanics are so powerful that you can sort of get by. I don't know what cancels into anything so I'm just really mashing out opportunities to knock somedown and hit them with fake-ass meaties. Did a 5 match set with some random luke and it was 3-2 to him. had a one and done with a juri just now, she won, but I'm happy I converted drive impact into super at around 15:00. That's my gamer goal achieved for now, who cares that I got bodied :x Then I played Mr Hadouken, the reason I got so bothered by the fireballs is i forgot which of Kimberly's kicks low profiles the fireballs, it's forward down medium kick I think. Also I kept trying to do it on frame disadvantage, anyway put a stop to that shit Drive impact seems.. well impactful. It's a very high committal move with lots of startup and recovery which armours through your opponent's offense (you take some damage but it takes multihits to knock you out of it, or a grab). I imagine at mid to higher levels it introduces a more dangerous kind of RPS into pressure and neutral interactions. It's one of those things where it's hard to know how people will feel about it until the meta settles after the game's release. Right now it's one of those mechanics which I'm just giving the benefit of the doubt to, that when the full game is understood it won't feel so caveman-like. Your ex gauge or whatever it is called is used to control your access to your ex moves (think they have a different name in this, it's when you press two buttons at once for more powerful attacks and conversions). But it also gets drained on block, so if you're very passive you get 'burnt out' or something which means other than you get dizzy and stuff and they can just wail on you. But there are also mechanics in the game to gain that meter back, only one I know of is the parry mechanic which is when you see someone sort of go all blue and smokey, don't really know how to leverage that yet though. I guess there's other things which return meter but I need to learn about it more There's also a mechanic called drive rush, it uses 3 out of your 6 bars to extend pressure and combos, similar to GG roman cancel. You can see the Juri use it, it's when she goes all green and shit (and you can see me labbing it in the training before the match). Seems like a hell of a high cost to do that though. Training mode has cool utilities to display when something is special cancellable and also where the 'links' are in move properties to link into the next normal, which is very useful as the concept and timings of links is something I'm not used to. They seem to have really good teaching tools for that kinda stuff. I'll probably spend a few more hours with it but I largely don't go too crazy with fg betas cause it's just not enough time for me to comfortably spend figuring stuff out. But getting a general sense of the system mechanics is all I really want atm anyway. I don't think I'll main Kimberly in the main game but mostly cause I want to try a more of a zoner character, and everyone in the beta is a rushdown from what I see. I think her gameplan is a combination of controlling neutral space with the canister bombs, and using same bombs to setup pressure concepts in the corner. She has a sprint move which can be cancelled to throw people off, haven't figured out how to really use it tho. She has command grab finishers to some of her stuff. Some of her stuff seems mad fake to me though, like the cross up heavy kick forward thing she has. I don't know how you make that ambiguous, tho ultimately again this is not the character I'm interested in playing just the one that appealed most in the beta. I'll probably stick with her going forward into additional betas tho, to keep up some learning momentum with how short these things are. Diaphone has some cool stuff with the character https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1614357197 Netcode is fine, rollback like Strive. Get basically the same number of frames in this as I do that. Anyone else get in?
  16. Looked for a “played” page for this, but didn’t see one. So here goes. I just completed the main story for this, and really enjoyed it. The Yakuza series has always been my favourite, with its excellent combat, and tone that goes all over the place (serious one minute, utterly insane the next). Judgment was pretty good for the most part, only really spoiled by the clunky stealth sections, and exceptionally tedious “tailing” missions, where you have to follow a person round for ages without being spotted. I’ll always remember one part of that game, where you have to tail someone for what feels like 5 minutes at least. Only for it to then immediately follow that up with another, equally long one. Fucking tedious pretty much summed that part up. Thankfully, that’s been stripped back quite a bit for Lost Judgment. There’s not much tailing, and even less stealth, which remains awful. Though they’ve put in a few platforming/climbing sections, which are a bit shite. In as much if you fall, you have to repeat an entire section. Combat wise, I much prefer it to the RPG style of Like A Dragon. I am going to give that another shot on PS5 at some point, but the unfair difficulty spikes really ruined that game for me. It’s more of a serious game than Yakuza, by that I mean there’s not really any zany side missions. Yakuza chucks things from adult baby clubs, to god knows what else. In comparison, things are a bit more serious in LJ. Though with a story involving bullying, suicide and murder, it’s probably to be expected. There’s an entirely seperate section where Yagumi investigates various different clubs in the local school. I’ve done some of them, but a lot are locked out to me, and I’m not entirely sure why. It says i need to raise my Appeal. How do I do that? Not a bloody clue. Google to the rescue, then. I’ve got the “Kaito Files” DLC to play next, then I’ll have a crack at some of the other side missions. I’ve already sank 20+ hours into it, and though it’s not on the same level as Yakuza, it’s still a lot of fun. I gather that because of some issue with the Japanese voice actor for Yagumi, there won’t be any more Judgement games. Which is a shame if so, as it’s always a joy to piss about in Kamurocho.
  17. I played this on game pass, having tried the demo during one of those Steam events and liking it. Beacon Pines is a cutesy storybook adventure with darker undertones. The big conceit is you find "charms" through talking to characters, looking at things in the environment or overhearing other characters etc. At certain points in the story you're presented with the option of choosing from 2-3 of these charms to decide what action take in that situation. The story branches off according to the choice you make, you might die a grizzly death or head off on a completely different version of the story. You can go back to any of these branches and try the other options, sometimes you'll find another charm down one branch that lets you make a different choice in an earlier decision. The branching thing is more superficial in the end than how the game initially presents it to you, you end up exploring most of the decisions on the way to getting the ending anyway, but it's fun and engaging. It's about 5 hours or so in length, which is just right. It doesn't overstay it's welcome. The presentation and art style are top notch.
  18. 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.
  19. Fired this up last night to give it a spin before the demo times out. Safe to say I'm really impressed with it so far, didn't really want to put it down when I came to the end of my session but got dragged off the TV as the Wife said Dinner was ready. It's very much a Souls-like and there's Nioh's DNA running through it, even things like the menus, inventory, sounds when you pick things up and all that jazz are ripped straight from Nioh. It also takes a lot of inspiration from Sekiro, if you time a parry just at the right time it does a Mikhiri Counter type thing where you stab the enemy for massive damage, movement also feels similar to Sekiro in that you can jump about and dodge like a manman without really running out of stamina. There's a much faster more actiony Bloodborney type pace to the combat then the likes of Nioh and Dark Souls. It says it's a work in progress but on PS5 it looks and runs like an absolute dream already, didn't encounter any bugs or performance issues, runs absolutely buttery smooth and looks magnificent. If you've got both consoles the XBX version seems borked so download it on PSN and you'll be away. I don't really think it's doing too much to innovate but the combat feels great, the environments are typically Nioh/Souls along with the Ninja/Samurai-esque looking enemies. One area where they're trying something different is the levelling, every enemy has a level above their heads, killing a lot of enemies levels you up which you then need to lock in at a bonfire (flag) or you can lose all those levels if you're defeated. Throughout the entire demo I got up to Level 10 then got my arse handed to me by some Tiger-thing and went down to Level 6 which I then need to build up again to face it again whenever I get round to it. Very impressive though technically, and a whole ton of fun, doesn't do too much to innovate in the already crowded Souls-like genre but this is one of the best I've played (as was Nioh).
  20. Maryokutai

    Steelrising

    I don’t really contribute much these days but I’d like to make an exception for this for one reason or another. Steelrising was developed by French studio Spiders, which you may or may not have heard of before. They’ve done a lot of B-Tier RPGs that showed some promise but it was always blatantly obvious that they were hamstrung by budgetary limitations and on tight schedules. Greedfall was their first foray into the big league. It wasn’t perfect, but in the void that appeared in a post BioWare era it was the next best thing. Steelrising, despite the quick turnaround (IIRC announced in 2020) seems to continue with the upwards trend and is a game that IMO can very comfortably sit next to the games that inspired it. Namely Souls. Personally, I can’t draw a lot of comparisons between the pioneer and the copycat as I only ever played Demon’s Souls (the original) so I’ll have to judge Steelrising as a game and not a Soulslike. The setup is that you’re playing as an automaton during the height of the French revolution in a “slightly” altered setting that sees Louis XVI use mechanical soldiers to suppress the revolutionaries. In good old Assassin’s Creed fashion, you, of course, come across every important player from that era and unlike Souls the story isn’t told cryptically throughout the environment but actively via dialogue and cutscenes. It does take some liberties though – Vaucanson for example, who in reality didn’t live to see the Revolution, is an important part of the backstory as engineer/inventor. While you’re guided through the rampaged city of Paris by these French noblemen you’re facing off against automatons that are left patrolling the areas. With high damage output on their side (not so much on yours), and an endurance meter (cleverly described as an overheating-limiter so that it makes sense) combat rewards patience above all, but how you approach it varies greatly depending on the weapon equipped. Because actions such as blocks or parries aren’t tied to your basic moveset but linked to your weapon. You can only block and not parry with a halberd and while the chainball doesn’t give you any defensive maneouvers at all, it makes up for it with its range and the ability to channel elemental energy through it and inflict debuffs (frost, fire or electric effects that are extremely powerful but are tied to a limited resource, think ammunition). There’s also a levelling system with different attributes and you can equip mods and strengthen weapons, the whole deal. Leveldesign is relatively classic by which I mean that you fight forwards and forwards and will occasional come across a door you can unlock for a shortcut. Checkpoints work like they do in Souls, as in they refill your health potions but also respawn defeated enemies. I don’t want to spoil anything but in a sort-of Metroid kind of way certain bosses unlock movement upgrades for Aegis (your character), which give her access to previously unreachable areas. It has a really good flow and even if you only get the chance to play for 40 minutes you can usually make solid progress. The reason for that it is that yes, it’s not that difficult. I’ve died here and there (one boss really kicked my ass) but if you find a weapon with good range and make clever use of the elemental attacks, this isn’t nowhere as punishing as I remember DS being. It’s no walk in the parc, but it’s balanced in a way that forces you to pay attention but also leaves frustration out of the equation, which for me is the best balance for this kind of game. It also introduces an alternate difficulty (those French heretics) that allows you to configure certain numbers, like damage dealt and received. Haven’t tried that because I think standard is fine for everyone with a bit of controller experience. In what is an increasingly rare scenario, it also runs on Spiders proprietary engine. Greedfall already demonstrated its versatility by looking excellent on last-gen while also allowing the developers to quickly put out a quality/performance mode patch for current-gen and even though Steelrising might not look mind-blowing in any way, it features some decent art-direction (I really liked the rolling priest automaton that attacks you with a holy bible attached to a grappling hook) and runs at an almost perfect 60fps in performance mode, which I think is the way to play. I’m roughly 10 hours into the game so far and my next stop is the Palais du Luxembourg (maybe I’ll feel at home) and I think it’s excellent. Again, I can’t put it next to fan-favourites like DS2 or Bloodborne because I haven’t played those, but as a standalone experience, I really enjoy the combat, the flow of the gameplay, the setting. Oddly, despite being developed in France and being set in the same country, there’s no French audio. I actually wanted to play it like that for authenticity reasons, but the short exclamations (Mon Dieu!) are usually pronounced correctly, so they at least picked some fitting voice talent. So, yeah, I’d recommend it. It’s flying under the radar quite a bit which is a shame, because like I said this is the game that should, and maybe still manages to, put Spiders on the map as one to watch.
  21. Been playing a lot of this the past week, the openmw version (which is an open source re-implementation of the game engine to run better on modern systems, with more modern visual tweaks while still being the same old ass game). It's a game I've a ton of half hearted attempts at getting into but this is more of a proper attempt, primarily cause I figured out how to install openmw on steam deck and get save syncing working between it and pc using something called syncthing. If people are interested there's guides out there to get openmw working on deck, you want that, you don't want vanilla cause it won't run as good or play as well. I did try to see if there was a thread to bump but seems there isn't, so I mean the effort was made there. Maybe it exists but I can't find it 🤷‍♂️ Anyway, it's cool. It's very interactive in the way Bethesda games usually are but moreso in some ways and less so in others if you compare it to their modern output. Everything is dice-rolley as fuck. Even casting a spell can fail if you aren't properly learned in its school of thought, even if you have the spell 'learned'. Getting around doing quests means following actual directions relative to specific cities and locations on the map, one quest in particular is given to you as a series of sermons from a church which follows the teachings of 'Vivec', who is like Morrowind's JC figure, telling you to go to specific locations like caves beneath vivec city or a big wall made out of the remains of deceased dark elves and give offerings. You have to figure that shit out yourself, it's up to you, and it's a cool approach which demands you actually spend time reading books of lore and listening to what people say to even know what the hell a 'ghostgate' even is or why you probably shouldn't press beyond it cause it's a bit shit on the other side. Anyway, this will be the time I beat Morrowind. The really wordy bits where you spend ages reading actual novella length backstories of a Dark Elf queen and demigods tearing things apart and putting them back together are pretty well suited to deck gaming, tho in general the whole game is tbh. It's got an immersive sim quality to the way you can figure out some stuff, like it doesn't have a fast travel system, not really, so getting from Pelegiad to Balmora is a bit of a pain but there are some workarounds like this involving alteration and special potions There's others which require you to invest a bit of time into the game's systems, like being able to use telekinesis to open booby-trapped doors from across the room, or use the same skill to pickpocket someone really far away without having to take risks out in the open. Right now my khajit is a neophyte in a lot of this stuff and all his potions have the fun secondary effect of causing temporary status decreases, so a little bit of poison to go along with the buff, but my more recent potions have less of that in it. It's clunky and difficult but a lot of the quests and skills force you to invest the time to interrogate the RPG clockwork which allows you to do lots of interesting stuff, while at the same time improving your understanding of the world itself and its history. It's not quite botw cause you don't have a physics engine but finding different interactions is still a lot more interesting here than in Oblivion imo which while it had tons of physics interactions they did not improve the gameplay which was mostly just action based. I never played enough Skyrim to really have an informed take on it but I didn't get into it in any of my attempts (X360, PC and PCVR). Besides Morrowind it is probably my biggest gaming blindspot, but unlike Morrowind I'm not as likely to address it I think cause I kinda know what it is but MW still has lots of fun unknown stuff for me cause even now it feels pretty unique and worth playing, even 20 years on Quest wise it's being mostly ascending to apprentice-hood in the thieves guild and mages guild, at the same time as trying to decide which of the three houses suits me best (decided Hlallu cause they about money) and deciding if I want to do a fighter's guild quest where someone is asking me to kill fellow guild mates, if there's any consequences to it or whatever. All my stats are heavily speech and money focused, which is a probably weird way to play the game. But the way you are supposed to do things anyway is cram points in your misc skills to get the most level ups rather than just focus on your base 10 stats. So figuring out the mysteries of conjuration, illusion, alteration and mysticism is what I'm into, too magicka starved to go into the deep end of some higher level magicks or destruction tho
  22. Sam Barlow's latest game, who did Her Story (which I've not played and know nothing about) and Telling Lies (same) I spent about 5 hours last night and saw credits, however I don't think I'm close to complete I just happened to trigger the scenes which lead into credits. I'm sort of frustrated by it and not sure where it lands with me. It's very hard to talk about without spoiling stuff but at the very least the premise can be explained (it's in the trailer), it's about an actress who starred in three films which never released. One made in the 60s, the other 70s and then 90s. You're reviewing footage of the films and behind the scenes stuff, and some other stuff that's a spoiler. You're supposed to look at the videos and click through different points of interest to unlock other footage, which could be directly connected (same people, same movie) or decades apart. The reason I find it frustrating is there's some stuff it does really well and other stuff I'm not convinced about. The stuff it does really well is it's absolutely an impressive production that's all about fetishising the movie-making form and how it changes over time and between genres. You've got your sexy Chinatown style neo-noir, some weird Lynchian style thriller, some really schlocky yet to fun to watch erotica. It's very self-reflexive, looking through the films at itself sort of thing. That stuff is either going to hit with your or it won't and it will depend on your own movie interests and history with some of the stuff it seems to evoke, I think. It's just the interaction with it all leaves me feeling a bit weird. The three movies basically are a series of linear narratives broken up into a bunch of hyperlinks to each other. There's an obvious thematic link with some of the stuff they're going for and as you slowly thread all the fragments together some of the stuff will lock into your brain as being significant. It's a game about the act of viewing stuff obsessively over and over and unlocking these links. You don't just watch something once and leave it alone, you rewind that shit back and check again to notice stuff that maybe escaped your attention earlier. But the gameplay mechanics for establishing said links seem completely random to me. I ran into one which seemed very deliberate and hinted at a big secret behind one of the BTS events for one of the films, but I went back later and found out that the way the two scenes were laid out was completely coincidental. The thing I deduced was accurate but the act of the game showing it to me seemed like pure RNG. But I guess that could also be the point? I don't know. It's sort of challenging stuff, I think it getting a 10 from Edge and being on Gamepass means it will get put in the crosshairs of lots of 'games should only be fun' type of folk, but I do think the interactive part of the narrative struggles a bit to relay the clear ambition of this piece. I think my opinion on it will change a lot though when I find the rest of the clips and have actually 'beaten' it and can go back and study the footage more freely, rather than doing this weird whack-a-mole type thing unlocking it all
  23. Well, the reviews have not been kind to this. I’ve certainly played far worse. But in attempting to reboot the franchise, it might end up killing it stone dead. I’ve always enjoyed the Saints series. It found its footing with SR2, then went completely mental in tone, for 3 and 4. Personally, I loved it. It was over the top, ridiculous, and just a sheer joy. When the trailers for this first hit, with a new cast, concerns were raised. The devs tried to pass those off, that we needed to “wait to the final product” before judging it. Part of the hate being thrown it’s way comes down to the story being crap, and the characters being total wankers. Unfortunately, that’s a claim that’s bang on the money. I hate these fuckers already, and I’m only a few hours in. You get zero introduction in to who they are, or how you came to friends with them. It’s just “here’s this dickhead, here’s this arsehole”. Everything that comes out of their mouths is pure cringe. Johnny Gat might have been a bit much, but at least he was a laugh. At one point, Kevin whinges about never having a Happy Meal toy, so off you go on a killing spree to get some. Finishing with him saying “I only want one, let’s drop the rest off at the orphanage some day”. Sure, we can do that, while passing the funerals of the multiple people we killed along the way. Bababababa, they’re lovin’ it. Then later he even talks in hashtags. Prick. It also feels dated already. Nerdy bow tie wearing black guy, enemies wearing neon masks. Watch Dogs was doing that ages ago. Combat wise, it’s fine. Though having your melee attack be on frequent cool-down gets a bit annoying, especially when things get busy. I’ve not had the glitch that stops you from firing your guns. But I have had a couple of hard crashes while customising my character. So that was fun. The driving feels off, in as much as everything you hit just seems to fly off into the air at top speed. I drift around the streets, sideswiping everyone in my path, and nobody seems to give a shit. I’ve not had the police be even remotely bothered about me yet, other than in missions. The reviews claim it’s an open world that feels totally lifeless. They’d be right. There’s no character in the city, nothing worth parking up to take notice of. It doesn’t feel “next gen” at all, and makes you wonder what they’ve been doing since Agents Of Mayhem wrapped up. I’m glad games like Gotham Knights are sacking the PS4 off, because it’s time to properly use the PS5 hardware. Nothing has really stood out in the soundtrack thus far. Maybe it will later. I’ve had the bank holiday weekend off, and I’ve barely bothered to play this. When I do, It’s for an hour or so at best. I’ve been playing the vastly superior Cult Of The Lamb instead. Something different needed to be done by the end of SR4, it’s hard to really top going into outer space. But this doesn’t really feel like a story worth carrying on to a sequel. Fans of the series aren’t too impressed. Newcomers are left thinking “Is this it?”. Its not terrible, but it’s not great either. Just feels like a real missed opportunity. The character creator is brilliant. Just a shame you can’t use it to make a crew of Saints that aren’t colossal wankers.
  24. radiofloyd

    Elden Ring

    Played an hour, on PC. The game defaulted to High graphical settings, so I left it at that. I chose the Vagabond class. So far, so Dark Souls. Looking forward to losing my life to this game. The opening cinematic is very cool. One of my Steam friends has already played this for 8 hours.:.
  25. Craymen Edge

    Tinykin

    Tinykin is a 3D platformer collect-em-up, reminiscent of something from the N64/PS1 era (but a smoother, more modern experience, naturally). You travel around the levels amassing a bunch of different coloured pikmin-like critters which have different abilities, solve some very light puzzles to complete a bunch of tasks to earn an object and open the way to the next level. It's cute and plays well, it just keeps you going without putting obstacles in the way of your enjoyment. It's nothing earth-shattering, just a simple fun game. I played it on game pass, starting on Thursday night, and completing it the next evening. It felt like time well spent.
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