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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


Been flitting back to Diablo 3 inbetween bouts of Yakuza 0.

Having duffed up Diablo in Act 4, I’m now dealing with Malthael in Act 5 and it’s still all the little things that stand out on the PS4 version - fire effects are that much better, death animations more detailed - you can end up having a massive fight and when it’s over the screen is littered with demonic corpses, blood, bones, body parts, weaponry and maybe other stuff. Took out Urzael, who’s pretty much the boss of part one and pyromaniac angel psychopath - so of course, the PS4 got to really show off in that punch-up!


Being someone who was a huge fan of the first Diablo and the second, Diablo 3s initial release was one of the biggest disappointments I’ve ever experienced. I eventually got it for the PS4 on sale as I heard they made major improvements and it was clear that that game is definitely a console game. I put a lot of time in it and it felt like a modern Diablo game finally.


They also keep issuing new content for it for free e.g. we’ll be getting the new Necromancer class in the next couple of months or so.


I’m currently playing Shardlight, another WadjetEye adventure game. It’s set in the near future, after society has been devastated by the dropping of bombs (possibly nuclear, but I think plague bombs). The survivors have set up a class system, with the Aristocracy (who all dress like they’re in the revolutionary war) running things in relative comfort, while the rest are left to scavenge and make do in typical post-apocalyptic wear.

The game follows Amy Wellard, a mechanic in her 20s who has just noticed the first symptoms of the terminal Green Lung disease. The only medicine for Green Lung is controlled by the Aristocracy and given out freely to the rich, but to the poor only through a lottery, the tickets for which are obtained by doing dangerous public service jobs. You join Amy as she does her first lottery job and gets tangled up in a web of intrigue.

The game feels a lot like Fallout, but with more emotional maturity. Amy is a lovely character to spend time with. Quiet, thoughtful and kind, a victim of circumstance that only wants to the best for people. There’s a nice supporting cast of characters sketched around her, although the repetition of distinctive WadjetEye voice actors is a little distracting (the lead VA from TechnoBabylon pops up a few times for instance and is hard to take in different roles - it’d be like a random guy in Full Throttle sounding exactly like Guybrush Threepwood).

The puzzles are solid, with some nice ideas. Nothing overly taxing. The graphics are the typical lo-fi pixel art, with really nice talking head portraits, but it’s the music that really stands out for me.

I think what works best with Shardlight though is that it feels really relevant to today, moreso right now than perhaps when it was released last year (and made in 2015). I’m rarely unsettled by post-apocalyptic scenarios but there’s a constant twinge brought on by the world of Shardlight and its plausibility.


I feel like I reached a real milestone with my daughter over the weekend. I let her play Street Fighter II for the first time.

I may be a bad parent because of this.


Oh, you can’t leave it there - who did she beat up? Who did she play as? What moves did she pull off?


Only a quick go, but she (predictably) chose Chun-Li. I was Ryu, obviously. We only covered the basics, no special moves yet. She won the first round though. :slight_smile:

When I told her there was a game where you each controlled a character and the aim was to kick and punch the other, she looked at me with scepticism. She genuinely didn’t believe it.

I think it may be something we only play sparingly though as it might be difficult at a young age to reconcile that kind of game with the rules we have on real-world violence (a problem that we have quite a lot with superhero comics and movies that we show to the kids these days as well).

Mortal Kombat can probably wait a few years…


Finished Hearts of Stone and well immersed in Blood and Wine at this time.


  • HoS is quite a dark story - although the central conceit is well-trodden, it’s delivered here, with great style and complexity. Olgeird becomes a very complex character and Gaunter O’Dimm is a fairly novel styling of … of a certain trope.
  • Blood and Wine dwarfs it by comparison, but it’s a little hard, at first, to adjust to the new colour palette of Toussaint after the existential darkness of Hearts of Stone. Nevertheless, once you’re immersed, you’re immersed.
  • It’s been said before by a handful of posters but this is an incredibly impressive piece of DLC. Toussaint is almost as large and detailed as Velen/Novigrad, which makes it easily the second largest area of the game. There is a totally different - far more pastoral - colour pallette, which makes it feel like a new game, and there’s a great sense of humour which makes Toussaint unique to the dreariness of Velen and the naturalism of Skellige.
  • The main questline promises the same complexity of character and narrative that was found in Hearts of Stone, with the added benefit that there’s a whole new land to explore and a whole bevy of new sidequests and contracts to become side-tracked with, which means the main quest lacks the impetus to complete. This is by far and away a good thing, because, while Hearts of Stone was enjoyable mainly because of the new story; Blood and Wine is enjoyable, because, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a totally new land, anew.


They could have easily sold W3: B&W as a new game on its own, there’s enough in it…

There’s a quest in B&W that has the best graphics I’ve ever seen, you’ll know it when you get there.

And yeah, the change in style after the perpetual shithole that is Velen / Novigrad is really pronounced. I take it you’ve been to the wonder that is Beauclair?

You really do want to take with this as it more than merits it.

On Hearts of Stone - what did you decide in the end?

EDIT: Also, you’ve noticed the new soundtrack in B&W?


If you’re not familiar with the names for the Witcher 3 add-ons, this post reads very differently.


Oh yeah - new soundtrack, new enemies. I’ve done a quite a bit in Beauclair at this point, but as you said I’m trying not to rush it.

At this point we’ve just recovered Detlaffs memories.

In the end of HoS I took Gaunter up on his riddle and solved it with seconds to spare.

I’m a very noble protector. They even just gave me a special sword because of it!


This is purely coincidental, I assure you.


Did you enjoy the Arachnomorphs that HoS unveiled?

The other thing I noticed in HoS is the enemy attacks were far more coordinated.


Which one, Ben?

Agreed B&W could be a standalone game. I spent about 70 hours on the main game, and 30 on B&W, which is more than most games.


Do not click on this Tim!

The fairy world of Beyond Hill & Dale

That took the already impressive new graphics of B&W and took it up a notch or two further.


Sounds like they fixed the game clock then, I stopped paying much attention to it as it was glitched then.


The enemies in both require a bit more thought.

The caretaker in HoS was pretty challenging.

The centipedes and arche-planty-things in BaW mix things up too.


I cheated to the max on the Caretaker, went in with full armour and weapons up from the Runesmith and auto-Quen shield. On a higher difficulty I’m certain he’d be a bastard to duff up.


Ah, I thought so. Yes, wholeheartedly agree.


Let’s be honest here, Witcher 3 has gone and kicked the crap out of at least 90% of other RPGs now.

I’ll go up to someone in another game and it’ll go:

Can you deliver this?
Options are: Yes / No

No cunning scheme being ran that I can talk myself into? No indications of nefarious goings-on? When it gets delivered, that’s the end, no surprise twist on the cards and so on.

I’m wondering how long it’s going to take everyone else to catch up?