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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


#2774

Finished Fallout 4: Far Harbour.

In terns of DLC it’s way ahead of Automaton, as it’s far larger and intricate, but also, unlike Nuka-World, it’s also fun for the most part. (Ahem, save for that notorious section that has been already covered at length.)

As is usual for Bethesada, the main story quest is the weakest part, the far better elements are the new location and creatures, new weapons and armour.

The DLC does allow you to do something the main game didn’t - you don’t have to wipe out a side completely, you can choose to do that but you’re not railroaded into it like in the main game. The game does engage in some dubious antics on how you get the ‘good’ ending but it could be said to be reflective of a trend towards more mature writing in games. (The only problem is it misses that people do tend to play games for escapism and so would like to go for the perfect solution they can’t get to in real life, instead of a morally compromised one.)

I did enjoy the bulk of the quests - screwing over Richter and Tektus was very satisfying, while winning over Far Harbour was good too.

Turns out you can, this is wholly separate to the DLC, seriously armour some clothing - you want to go around the Commonwealth doing unto Raiders your best impression of John Wick in a sharp suit? You can do that - in a seriously armoured suit! It sounds nuts, but you can mod them to that extent.

Next stuff to do is finish off upgrading Ada (who somehow vanished mid-way through my first end-run, so had to re-do it to restore her) and then it’ll probably be time for some serious building.


#2775

Did anybody here play Mad Max? I’m tempted to get it, but I don’t know if it’s a world I’d really want to spend 30+ hours in, y’know?

As if I don’t have enough games already. :sweat:


#2776

I did and I enjoyed it for the most part. It’s not something I would keep playing after beating the main story though.


#2777

Grainger Games are selling second-hand copies of Uncharted 4 for £14.99, which is a pretty good deal for any UK gamers who haven’t tried it yet.

http://www.graingergames.co.uk/games/ps4/pf123-uncharted-4-a-thiefs-end


#2778

Okay so - I have finished Resident Evil 7: biohazard I am informed, in a brief round-up of stats after the closing credits, that my total play-time was 10:47 minutes, restarted 18 times, and finished the game on “normal” difficulty.

I’ll briefly talk about how I feel about VR and then give a non-spoilery review of the game. I thought about adding some spoilers-text at the end, but it’s ultimately unnecessary. The game isn’t particularly twisty or turny, but it’s a much better experience played blind, so to speak.


##VR

The most salient question is whether VR is worth the investment for a ten hour game. That can be answered fairly simply - no. VR, at this point in time, is extremely expensive for what it is and cane be uncomfortable at times. If there was a decent library of VR dedicated games out I would have a different answer, but, as of now, the only “killer app” for PSVR is Resident Evil 7. That’s a very expensive investment for an experience which is relatively short and offers only a little replayability.

The experience itself is quite amazing - as I noted up thread the initial immersion you feel is astounding and everything that has been designed to scare you does. Sound is unnerving and there are probably 10 or 15 really good jump-scares scattered through-out the game that, no matter how resolute a person you think you are, will catch you and send your heart-racing. It’s quite a thrill, and the initial hour or two of the game can be really unnerving and anxiety inducing.

With that said, there is a natural period of climatization. The game does a very good job of keeping the experience fresh (more on that latter) but after you’ve been scared a couple of times, you grow more-or-less expectant of what the game can do - you’ll probably swear loudly and maybe even move back in fright a couple of times in the first two or three hours, but after that you’ll have grown a thicker skin. This doesn’t really lessen the VR experience at all (and I maintain that VR can really ONLY be the way to play this game) because the game is largely excellent at delivering an anxious atmosphere through it’s music and direction which lasts the whole experience, but you are swearing much less by the games end.

This is the type of elicitation of emotion that you will ONLY get in virtual reality - while all of the same points as above should ostensibly apply to just playing it on the telly, they don’t really, looking around a room for possible creepies or crawlers is just a different experience if you do it on your television as opposed to actually doing it yourself. While the PSVR has a small opening at the bottom of the visor to show you your lower body (this is done to prevent motion sickness) the experience is still very immersive. That said the immersion does lessen over time as your brain slowly starts to grow accustom to the concept that this is a video-game like hundreds you’ve played before.

One of the most important things I realised was how important sound was to the experience - there is absolutely no point playing VR without good headphones that can provide a surround experience. I say this because so much promotional material you’ll see people just wearing the goggles but it is truly only half the experience - when the game-developers want you to think that something might be behind you, they do it through sound - so when you hear something that comes from behind you, you WILL turn around to see what it is, and that sort of sensory-locational stuff is absolutely essential to the experience.

THE GAME

I will avoid spoilers here for obvious reasons - I will say something very briefly about the plot though. The Resident Evil franchise is one of the most beloved horror games on the medium but they are hokey as fuck - the more recent iterations of the franchise paint a picture of a world where warring pharmaceutical companies compete in a sort of arms-race to develop horrible mutated monster bio-weapons, which inevitably go haywire and one of any number of dedicated military-style special ops forces have to go in and clear it out. It’s the sort of shlocky bad sci-fi that could only be the story of a video-game and it comes packed with weird conspiracies and clones and a rotating list of fairly two-dimension heroes and villains. And yet all these huge global outbreaks and massive government-made monsters have become par for the course in this reality, and life for some inexplicable reason, mostly proceeds as normal.

I write this preface because it’s important to realise how personal and intimate Resident Evil 7 is in comparison. The basic story is about a man who’s wife has been missing for three years; his last contact with her was hastily recorded footage of her warning him not to come looking for her. Nevertheless, three years passes, and he inexplicably stumbles across a lead drawing him to a large plantation somewhere in southern rural America . The plantation is home to the Baker family, who seem to be quite private folk, but nothing particularly odd about them other than they live on a large plantation.

As Ethan (the main protagonist) searches for his wife it becomes clear that Baker family are not at all normal. The game is roughly themed around different areas of the Baker Family estate and, as you progress from one area to the next, you eventually encounter all the members of the Baker family. The Bakers, are, at all times the villains of the game and yet in the same breath they are not. They are not hillbillies or cannibals or any other trope you’re thinking of and the game manages to successfully make each member scary or threatening in their own way - although, it must be said, the earlier encounters with the Bakers are a little more inspired then the later ones, as the game segues into more contemporary horror tropes.

There are, of course, weapons and enemies, it’s not just a game where you run around anxious about what’s going on. Each encounter is life-threatening, which is particularly important in VR, but once you learn how best to prepare yourself for these encounters and how the enemies behave, they’re more or less manageable - particularly by the end. With that said, the game only offers a handful of different types of baddies and they don’t grow or gain more health in any significant fashion - so that you’re ostensibly facing the same foes throughout the whole game and yet they’re still threatening and compelling is a testament to the developers direction and planning.

There are also a handful of Boss fights - Boss fights are common tropes for Resident Evil games and here they are both similar and different - there is one or two inspired encounters that feel drawn straight from horror films and then a handful of others that don’t seem very well thought out or interesting. It’s sort of a double-edged coin - and the game’s biggest disappointment, really.

The real achievement here, though, is how exceptional the mood and tone of the game is. Each area of the plantation,and each major encounter, kind of has it’s own theme that harkens back to familiar horror movie tropes, be it a Slasher movie or what not, without feeling too contrived. It’s quite clever as you segue from section to section, task to task, plot to plot and every time there’s subtle (or overt) variations so the atmosphere never grows too stale or oppressive.

There story is at all times personal and intimate and yet touches on some of the bigger goings-on in the world of the games, the final quarter is ostensibly different then the first bit as pieces of the mystery start to come together. There’s also lots of clever little mechanics and plot-changes to keep the mystery afoot for the most part, and one of the cool additions is that you can come across video-tapes of past events and play them on a VCR - which means the game then plays as the events of the video tape.

In the end I have to say I was quite impressed. It’s definitely a shot in the arm for a franchise that had grown a bit convoluted and derivative. There’s quite a lot borrowed concepts in this, too, and although everything is, for the most part, played straight, the developers don’t seem to be trying to hide their inspirations.

There are a handful of DLC add-ons out and coming out over the next couple of months which I plan to get - if only because spending time in this world is actually such a novel experience.


#2779

As a big fan of Resident Evil 4-6 (4 is clearly the best game, but the co-op probably makes 5 my favourite) I’m still not sure whether this is for me. I generally don’t like horror or first-person. I guess a deal-breaker would be if it’s too difficult for me to get through even after steeling myself for the experience.
Maybe I’m overthinking it and it will be as tense and as thrilling as the first time I played Resident Evil 4? Does Ethan ever wisecrack to alleviate the tension? Because I feel that’s the sort of release valve I need. Leon S Kennedy is cheesy, but it’s who I want to face down the horrors of rural, threatening areas with.


#2780

It’s not a difficult game at all.

I played it through on normal, and although I replayed a few sections a couple of times it was mostly, in all honesty, because I didn’t have a weapon with enough ammo set to quick-select so I got killed when going into the menu to change.

It’s not like Dark Souls where “every encounter is threatening” because every enemy is a bastard expert at acrobatics and sword fighting. Every encounter is threatening because you move like a normal person would, so if you don’t shoot something dead before it gets up into your face it’s going to start fucking you up, and if you get caught having to reload while it’s in your face you’re basically screwed.

It is the anti-RE6 - although there are the occasional character swaps throughout the game, the game stays exclusively on the Dulvey Plantation and isn’t flitting about the world exploring all these different bioterrorism attacks or anything. It’s slow paced - It’s slower paced than RE 5 and 6 (I don’t really remember the pace of RE4 to be honest),

If you don’t like horror or first-person this definitely isn’t the game for you because that’s what this is a big-serving of. The game does lighten the tension at times, but it’s not really through wise-cracks or anything, it’s more that you get these little absurd moments at times. This is played straight as fuck and it all takes place in the space of one night, tension is always high and Ethan is always freaking out about shit. He does make a few cracks after boss fights but that’s it.

I felt the first half of the game was way more intense than the second half, there’s a couple of bits that throw a spanner in the works about where you think you’re going or what you’re supposed to be doing which change the stakes a bit, so that’s sort of how the tension gets diffused at times - and there are safe houses and safe zones where enemies will never enter so you can more or less relax then.

This is definitely a resident evil game, every trope is maintained, but it’s MUCH slower and in first person. It’s not hard, and I imagine easy mode would be a breeze, but it’s basically like being inside five different horror movies as they unroll back to back, so if you’re not keen on that experience then it’s not for you.

I should add @KandorLives that I’m sure playing it without the VR wouldn’t even be half as scary, if that’s a concern


#2781

Thanks for unpacking it to the degree that you have. It sure doesn’t sound like it’s for me, yet it’s a game that I’ll still have to play. I might wait for a price drop, or I might buy it a lot sooner, on impulse.
Having been plenty scared of non-VR games, I don’t think a VR experience even bears thinking about. Alien Isolation wasn’t for me, but what little of it I played did seem massively unfair. Meanwhile The Evil Within gave me pause, and those early sections are no fun at all.

Note to self: do not buy dlc for games that you haven’t even started.


#2782

Did my first “dungeon” in Breath of the Wild. Marvellous stuff. More complex than the shrines, yet more like those than a traditional Zelda dungeon. Great reward for completing it as well. Getting lots of cool items now too.


#2783

In setting up for an all-nighter on my own, I just downloaded this gem. I played some of it with a friend the other day, and it was really a challenge as well as a fun romp.

Get it for free here: http://petersjostrand.com/


#2784

Walked into a store today - said I was thinking about buying a Switch and Zelda. Girl at the counter said they only had one Switch left. Said I felt it was tough to pay so much money for one game. She told me to go have a coffee and think about it, but she thought the switch would be gone by the end of the day.

I went to the bank.

I went back to the store.

I bought Horizon: Zero Dawn instead (I got my TV for 4K gaming after all).

I’ve played it very briefly - my initial comments are that it looks and plays like an open world version of the latest Tomb Raider games. It’s probably the best looking game on the console, but it’s sort of hard to tell because there’s a slightly cartoonish art-style to the characters that is a little off-putting. Also spashing around in water doesnt seem to cause any ripples and you don’t seem to leave footprints in the snow or anything - and I love little details like that.

Anyway, I played probably for 30 minutes or so, did the tutorial and wandered around the open world for a bit after that. I’ll dig in my teeth more tomorrow I suppose (pending some work).

EDIT: My choice to buy this and not play Fallout 4 (the last game in my backlog) was motivated solely by an upcoming system patch, which adds PS4 Pro support to older games. I figure by the time i’ve finished HZD, the 4.5 patch should have been released.


#2785

I think you made the right choice. The Switch looks awesome, but I don’t think there’s any reason to rush into getting it right now if you’re not already desperate to play it.

It does have a strong launch line-up than people think though. About five physical releases about over a dozen download titles available from launch day.


#2786

Be very interested in how you get on with this.


#2787

I had a brief look at the release titles and upcoming titles and there really wasn’t anything there that drew my attention other than Zelda.

To be honest, I haven’t played a Zelda game since Ocarina of Time, but I loved that game so much and this seems to be set to re-open that feeling.

But I also probably had 20 or so N64 games I owned before I stopped playing the system including Starfox, Goldeneye and so forth.

As I said, it’s so hard to justify purchasing Zelda when there’s nothing else getting me excited. With that said, I’d be curious to hear about what other games on the system people are interested in.


#2788

I’ll make sure to let you know - I suppose you’re interested in whether I think you’ll enjoy it given your general proclivities for games?

It’s impossible to tell at this point because my combat experience is really limited, but the autosave function seems to be extremely generous - so that might be something to think about.


#2789

Snipperclips is awesome, but best with local co-op, so if you’re not likely to get much chance of that, less appealing.

I Am Setsuna sounds good, but that’s already on the PS4, as if Disgaea 5. Fast RMX is a decent F-Zero clone.


#2790

Yeah, it’s fair to say our gaming abilities differ quite a bit! :wink:

But at the same time, these are the guys who did Killzone.

Good to know about the autosave too.

Also, the idea of a huge, whacking robo-dino causing you serious damage is pretty logical, it’s not just the game design going for the ‘brutal combat’ option, you shouldn’t really be able to shrug off being hit by robo-T-Rex. At the same time, few respond well to ‘one hit KO’ moves. They did tend to be good at balancing out this stuff on Killzone so I’m optimistic, just wary of shelling out £40+ on it right now.

Also do need to start on FF15 in earnest.


#2791

As I said it’s hard to tell - there’s some mechanics I think you might find favourable.

How did you go with aiming in tomb raider?


#2792

I think I did more headshots with arrows in TR than I ever expected to. OK, yeah, there’s aim assist, but it’s rarely been as good as it was there.


#2793

The game seems to be built around hitting weak spots on the creatures with your arrows.

You can still take health off them in closer combat with a spear or if you miss the weak points and hit their armour, but having a good eye seems to be helpful.