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marelooke

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Everything posted by marelooke

  1. Finished Horizon: Zero Dawn Great game overall, would highly recommend. So most criticism I have should be considered of the more nitpicky sort. If you haven't played this I'd recommend picking it up (unless this genre is just not up your alley, of course) The lore is pretty great and hits close enough to home to be a tad disconcerting. Can't go into any more detail without at least minor spoilers, but the settings is right up my alley for sure! The environmental storytelling is rather on point. There's quite a few collectibles and a few of them are actually really worth collecting for the lore bits, especially the "Vistas" are top-notch (the Banuk statues are OK, the rest is..."ehh"). I appreciate how they made it fairly hard to miss any of the major lore collectibles (journals etc) unless you really don't pay attention, and as far as I can tell you could go back to most places should you miss anything anyway. My initial impression was a bit unfavourable due to how mine and Aloy's early goals didn't appear to quite align. The game solved that issue beautifully though. There were, unfortunately, a few places with "forced dumb" where you're forced to just stand around and watch things happen "because story", or where your character makes certain decisions you almost know will backfire. Most of these instances I feel could have been handled a lot more elegantly than they were. A few main quests are (or contain) large exposition dumps which I feel could have been handled a bit more peace-meal. Gameplay-wise the game works rather well on mouse+keyboard. Combat works fine, with a few minor niggles, like animation locks sometimes meaning you get hit because it potentially locks you into a long animation which enemies then "cancel" with a faster attack while you can't do anything about it even when you see it coming. There's also at least one enemy type in the Frozen Wilds DLC that's horrendously obnoxious to fight except with one very specific weapon whose ammo eats resources like there's no tomorrow. Your growth in power is rather well done and closer to how S.T.A.L.K.E.R. works than most other MMOs, level ups mean relatively little, with skills mostly opening up additional options (except for melee attacks) and the power increases mostly come from a combination of better gear and a better understanding of your environment. One minor niggle is that whoever gets the killing blow, gets the XP, meaning friendly NPCs often steal your XP. Can be a tad frustrating when you're fighting something very tough and some guards pass by and manage to get the killing blow. The one thing I absolutely hope they'll fix in the next instalment though is the inventory. There's so many machine and upgrade parts and you really don't know what's useful and what's not that inventory management is just an utter nightmare where you'll keep stuff you end up never needing, while tossing things that you then later (quite literally) have to go hunt for. The same goes for some resources that I didn't use until I needed boatloads of them (see "specific weapon" from before) As mentioned earlier I didn't like the Hunting Grounds. After the disappointment that was the "stealth" one I mostly ignored them. The DLC had a quest that was hunting ground related where you were set up with a limited arsenal (only specific weapon and limited amount of ammunition) to accomplish a task, but without a timer which I felt would have worked a lot better for most of the Hunting Ground trials. So I really hope they go that route if they want to retain the concept for the next game. From a technical POV...well, my Gog copy CTD'd twice on its own, and screenshots are very liable to crash the game as well (seen that on Gog with other games, so not sure if Gog issue or game issue, regardless, my usual screenshot-happiness suffered greatly). I had one instance of textures simply not loading, forcing a reload, and a few cases of them loading slowly. There's also the "optimizing textures" bit that's bugged, it's supposed to help the game load faster but it ran on every game launch for me. I tried some of the troubleshooting tips but none seemed to work, so game loading times were agonizingly slow. The UI is acceptable. It's a fairly direct console port and the most annoying part of it is the inability to "slot" more than four weapons at once, which is purely a controller-imposed limitation as you can swap out weapons in combat without drawbacks, so would be nice to see that resolved in the future. Overall would rate it an 8/10 "Very good".
  2. As far as I remember about how the "alignment" system worked this wasn't as much of a problem in ME1, but the way it was designed in ME2/3 meant you basically had to pick a "side" and stick with it. Even a single deviation could throw things off massively. It was a horribly broken mechanic. Still playing HZD myself, must be getting close to the end of the main quest. I'd rate it a solid 7 or 8/10 so far. But I'll try and just do a more detailed write-up once I complete it. I'll say I absolutely loathe the Hunting Grounds side content though. The fact that you basically have to do all of them to get anything out of it made me just not bother once I came across the timed stealth section one. I noped the hell out right there and then. Despite GW2 being one of my favourite MMOs of the past decade I'm fairly confident I'm done with it, or, more accurately, I'm done supporting ArenaNet in any way, shape, or form. The last expansion (and the next one) are just fan service, pulling on hyped up content from the previous game to try and lure people in (isn't it just weird how you can hype up people with stuff they never experienced themselves? See also Baldur's Gate 3). Besides I thought Path of Fire was pretty terrible, and I'm rather unimpressed they absolutely 100% dropped some major unfinished business from HoT (the whole Pale Tree debacle...) But much more importantly than whatever passes for a story is that ArenaNet has proven to have a broken moral compass, especially when it comes to lootboxes (aka gambling) in their game, for which they promised a solution years ago and they have done exactly squat past making the content inaccessible in a few countries (a list that hasn't been updated since to boot, meaning they're actively violating gambling laws in multiple countries at the moment), which was supposed to be a temporary measure pending a more structural solution. There's a few more egregious problems, like everything "desirable" basically boiling down to a massive gold grind, which can be conveniently shortened by just buying said gold with real world money. It's a bummer, because aside from FF XIV I can't think of any other actually good MMO out there right now but each time I've tried to get into it and catch up with the Living World stuff I just meh'd out.
  3. Picked up Horizon Zero Dawn on Gog. Enjoying it so far, though the transition from the "tutorial" part of the game to the "main" game was slightly jarring. Hope we get to do some archaeology at least, figuring out what happened to "those that came before" is usually high on my list of things I try to dig into.
  4. Hmm, the combat section early on looks very action-y. In the previous games playing like that would likely have gotten you killed in very short order. I do hope that was just for the trailer and the actual game preserves the deadliness of the earlier games' combat.
  5. Hasn't really been anything that caught my eye lately so I've mostly been building in Conan Exiles (still gotta get back to Siptah) and playing Final Fantasy XIV. Outriders was a bust and appears to be getting the Anthem treatment, which is a tad disappointing as there was some potential there.
  6. We know it's Divinity: Original Sin 3 in all but name and setting. That's enough for many people to be disappointed. Many of the friends and acquaintances I have that enjoyed the Baldur's Gate series did not enjoy the D:OS-games all that much. Regardless of whether the game is any good as it is, anyone expecting something even remotely resembling the Baldur's Gate series is going to majorly disappointed, because this ain't it. I'm still baffled by the need to abuse the name of a long completed series and then make a game nothing like it. A game that, from the looks of it, could very well have stood on its own based on Larian's merit, the pedigree of the setting, and the quality of the product that's out there (so far). I really can't help but see this as an ego-trip in that they were allowed to make Baldur's Gate 3. That or a severe case of company-level imposter syndrome, I suppose. To people not having played BG1&2 it doesn't matter. And those that did either don't care, or are mightily annoyed. The entire thing reminds me of Prey, that drama was completely unnecessary and marred the reputation of what was otherwise a great game in the eyes of many and it still gets brought almost every single time Prey is mentioned.
  7. Don't. Really. As someone who is terrible with controllers, and really only uses them for race games (and one, failed, attempt at "Remember Me", which I quit because the controls actually started to hurt my hands) my enjoyment of the game went up immensely when using a controller (from negative to somewhere positive, at least). Now I still wouldn't play on some high difficulty, but it certainly was bearable and with some practice I got somewhat decent at it. They really should advertise this game as controller only. Imho the game is simply unplayable with M+KB. I'm not convinced any mods will be able to fix keyboard controls as you need to be able control both your character as well as the Pod at the same time, and I just really don't see that working out with m+kb. (but that's just like, my opinion, of course...) Also do get the unofficial patch, if you haven't already, regardless of your choice of input method, it fixes quite a few issues that the porters never bothered with.
  8. Should give it another go now that they've added NPC camps, because boy, was getting thralls tedious in the original beta release. Ironically though, I feel the game has mostly been regressing, rather than advancing when it comes to the base systems. All the additional crafting stations are just a nuisance (gotta fit them all *somewhere*, feels like just lazy workaround instead of properly dealing with atrocious crafting station UX, I guess), combat is as broken, if not more so, as it's ever been. But they removed much of the cheese tactics, so now you're more at the mercy of the game's shoddy hit detection and teleporting enemies. But I still play the game, though I rarely venture into combat heavy areas, or dungeons, anymore as that experience, solo anyway, is just...not good. Building stuff is where it's at
  9. New Cyberpunk update (Patch 1.21). Was 588MB for me on Gog, mostly minor bugfixes and deals with some quest progression issues (like Cyberpsycho quests not counting towards the "meta" quest). The two things I'd like fixed aren't, those being: Ping quickhack alerts enemies Can't craft multiples of crafting materials Kinda prefer having these smaller patches, but more often, rather than wait months for a large one, but given the inefficiency of these updates on consoles I can see why that doesn't happen (this patch requires like a >20GB download on some consoles, ouch). Here's to hoping that now that the worst issues are tackled they'll start adding in some additional content as well.
  10. For some reason the next games in the series didn't really scare me. The one part where I went "oh dear, oh dear, oh fscking dear!" was in Dead Space 2 when People keep saying the "slow" aimining in the PC port of Dead Space was a bug, but imho it worked well given the heavy suit, and it really made you feel a lot more vulnerable, so I didn't even question whether that was intended until I read about it later... Anyway, have mostly been hopping between my go-to "I dunno what I wanna play" games, Conan Exiles, Warframe, and FF XIV. I did give Outriders a go as the demo was promising. Unfortunately the final game, well, far less so. Balance, for single players, appears to go entirely out of the window the further in the campaign you get. Enemies with assault rifles have sniper accuracy from across the map, and many "elite", or "boss" enemies will basically one, or two-shot you when you go near them (great when running a melee build...) As such it often feels more like a case of luck (or not having "bad luck") when I get through an encounter alive, even on what is supposed to be "normal" difficulty. Not really the feeling I'm looking for, tbh. This game, while mostly single-player, is always online. If the connection goes out during a mission you just get kicked out and get can start over. This especially matters because there's an inventory wipe bug that happens on disconnects, and crashes, where you can irrevocably lose everything on your current character. Saves are local (and they rely on some sort of anti-cheat to keep people from tinkering with them) so the devs have no backup of your stuff. At best you get some random-rolls of items you may, or may not, have had back (imagine losing some tweaked out Diablo 3 character and getting some random rolled legendaries back. Yeah...) So yeah, stopped playing until they can sort that stuff out, bit of a deal breaker right there...
  11. If only that option also worked for workshop content Nothing quite as annoying as having mods auto-update, breaking your game until the mod authors manage to update their stuff... Been a major pain point for Conan Exiles, each update just breaks servers for sometimes days, until the modders manage to catch up. On the subject of Conan Exiles, on top of the forced connection to Funcom's "live service" BS (note, game supposedly still works if you're offline now, but you can't force it into offline mode without disconnecting your network) they now added a dumb launcher too. You can, at least for the time being, skip this abomination by just launching the exe directly from the game folder. <rant> What's wrong with devs nowadays? Do they not want you to, you know, play the game? Why make it as slow as humanly possible to get into the game? Just get rid of all the stupid unskippable intros, launchers, splash screens (that includes you "press <key> to continue" abomination of a UX failure), health and safety warnings, and get me to the main menu on startup, for Pete's sake, it's not exactly rocket surgery... If you really must show the damn things (eg. for legal reasons) at least make them skippable, or even better, only show them the first time. No need to remind me of the epilepsy warning every. single. launch. Ugh </rant>
  12. They make me fee like I definitely wouldn't be able to make it as a game developer... The way games are just cobbled together in general without anything resembling a development process, the total lack of any competent UX design in most games,... I swear I'd go postal within a year.
  13. Didn't notice it being any worse so far, but well, it was already noticeable before...so take that for what you will. Game did seem to look better after the patch though, initially I chalked that up to coming back after not playing for a while, but apparently they did improve lighting on lower end hardware, so I might not be imagining it. As for a comprehensive list of changes, this Youtuber did some good coverage, covering probably all the important stuff: Things that stood out to me (not all of them were in the patch notes): resistances now work most (all?) perks and items/mods now work driving is slightly better (but traffic is still broken) almost all exploits (xp and money) are fixed Ping and Breach Protocol now alert enemies (not a fan of this one, tbqh) FPS is more stable in general crafting got a bunch of fixes (lowered crafting requirements, buying crafting components got cheaper) shops now actually sells legendaries. Not sure if the rotation of blueprints is fixed, will have to test that one.
  14. Put some more time into Warframe now that you can hire crew for your Railjack. It's better now, at least as you don't have to babysit the bloody thing quite as much anymore. While doing that I made it to Mastery Rank 29. Go me!
  15. Noticed you appear to no longer get xp for killing an enemy that was knocked out. Shame Driving is still "meh", mostly because traffic doesn't appear to have gotten any fixes, so they still swerve randomly, or just stop in the middle of intersections for no reason at all. Supposedly you can now craft multiples of items, but couldn't for the life of me figure out how...
  16. Blaming bugs on the user, glad to see nothing is changing in the next 56 years But yes, glad that one got addressed, somewhat, at least. Having a separate, dedicated, button would be better, of course...
  17. I'm kinda curious what level you are, and what exactly your build is that you have no combat perks. Also I assume you were referring to the fight with
  18. Took me 150hours to "complete" the game. That is: one playthrough, all the (marked) side quests (minus the boxing ones, those can go diaf. Not counting the cars either) and went through all 4 main endings (Sun, Star, Devil, and Temperance). It's definitely short-ish if one ignores all the side content (some of which could borderline be considered main quest, though), but I don't think I'd necessarily want it to be longer just for the sake of it, if that would result in something like Witcher 3, which I thought felt seriously dragged out at points to the point that I ended up forgetting what my actual goal was. I'd prefer more substantial side quest chains instead then, giving us the chance to become more familiar with certain NPCs without forcing it through the main quest, for example (like doing more substantial jobs with Rogue, or some deeper involvement with some of the fixers than merely doing their gigs). Maybe once/if we get to continue past the ending...
  19. That's for quests, where they want to force you to walk up to the quest area. I have noticed those barriers tend to not always go away once you finish the quest, even though in some instances they are not there before the quest (eg. the Pyramid Song location) Stealth didn't bother me too much, aside from Cool feeling a bit useless. Hacking seems a lot more useful to get around without being seen than most Cool perks and I've gone through the game with only 3 points in Cool (think I only grabbed the skill that makes you go faster in stealth) As for the controller, I just use m+kb and grab a controller for driving. Also, as mentioned prior, the traffic AI is garbage (they like to swerve for no reason at all, for example) and car handling is "meh" with a controller (and outright bad with m+kb). Simplest "solution" is to just use a motorcycle, you should be getting one of the best ones in the game for free right about where you are in the game now. I feel the problem there is how people define "meaningful choice". I think most people want "big impact" choices, not necessarily meaningful ones (maybe just arguing semantics, but still) Because while you end up in the same place (and I've complained about that place before, so I'll spare everyone a re-run ) and walk more or less the same road there's still significant differences. If you miss certain quests for example, or if let certain characters die, or how your relationship is which certain characters. It all impacts the flow and feel of the quests and how the endings "feel" (or which ones you have access to at all). For example, But yes, you do end up in the exact same place in the end, but that is by design, the endings (there's only three outcomes, really, despite there being at least 5 endings with a lot of variations on each) are a very obvious setup for future content so I do hope they "fix" themselves once that content gets released. So I would argue that the choices are meaningful, just that they don't have a big impact on the gameplay and replayability, as the road you walk is still mostly the same. And that's a very valid complaint indeed, multiple playthroughs are basically the same unless you take conscious effort to make them different (purposefully make different decisions to see what happens, purposefully use a different build). That said, my first character was a Corpo and, after the initial disappointment about the extremely short "origin story", I was pleasantly surprised about how much it actually affects the game. I did try going melee on my second playthrough, didn't work too well for me (also tried NG+ style, by "cheating" my way to 50 on Very Hard, with appropriate attribute points, game put out the hurts, at least initially) And another complaint I can get behind is that there's very little to do once you're "done", there's the police star things, but those are so easy by the time you complete the game it's like swatting flies, they're also not marked on the map, so finding them requires just randomly driving around and getting lucky... Exploration is still enjoyable, there's quite a bit of environmental storytelling going on and I even found an unmarked quest that gave me a nice edgy motorcycle. But yeah, collecting more stuff...why exactly? Guess this is where the "not a living city" complaints come from, in which case I can kinda see where they're coming from.
  20. There was also the DLC for the second one where you start with basically nothing and have to go out on expeditions to make progress. That one was pretty neat.
  21. Wish they'd just push more regular, smaller patches. There's enough little frustrations that would be nice to get fixed rather than having to wait for a big-bang "big patch" that likely will not live up to (inflated) expectations and/or break other stuff. In good news, maybe graphics card prices will go down to something reasonable by then. Heh, who am I kidding...
  22. Well, story is a big case of "your mileage may vary". I thought the main story was pretty darn good, just frayed a bit at the endings (imho) because they really wanted to set it up for continuation in a certain way instead of taking it to its logical conclusion. Most of the characters are also very well done, and believable, with motivations that make sense based on what you know about them. An example is the way Jackie, which presents like a typical "mr cool", handles the stress when you're on The Heist. Annoyed the hell out of me, but it was very ... human in a way I feel most characters in The Witcher lack. I'm not generally a fan of having a voiced character, but I have to admit that in this case the voiced main character really helps to put some emotion in some moments that would likely lack such otherwise (at least with the female voice). Will be interesting to see how the male voice does (wasn't too fond of it at first, hence why I started with the female one) The way the game handles choice & consequence is also very well executed, in the sense that it is, in the majority of circumstances, unnoticeable. Many quests have consequences based on how, or even if you do them, but in many cases you'll never notice unless you happen to do something differently (or in a different order) on another playthrough (or because you redo things differently because...bugs ) as many of these consequences can be subtle, and only visible a long way down the road. Many of the side jobs, for example, lead to different results in other side jobs based simply on whether you go non-lethal or lethal (eg. murder everyone, and their friends in a future job won't be amenable to talking, while otherwise you wouldn't have had to fight in said future job, for example. Of course, you could be doing them in a different order, and not even notice the possible interaction at all) There are of course choices that have obvious repercussions, but then again, some things that would seem like they'd obviously have repercussions, don't. Like ... The majority of quests also don't have an obvious good/best outcome. There's quite a few (most?) where you get to pick between bad, and worse. But which is which is then often debatable. Hell, in some of them arguably not getting involved is the better outcome. The main story is fairly linear, but in a way that didn't feel forced. The circumstances are just created in such a way that you don't really have a choice (which I prefer over artificially taking choice away). Though depending on your actions you will only have access to a subset of endings and there will be variations in how you actually get there (and how they play out). It's also well shorter, but a lot more focused than Witcher 3's story. If you really rush it you can probably be done with CP2077 in a very short amount of time. I wouldn't have minded the main quest chain being longer, as long as it didn't meander like Witcher 3's. Think I'd honestly have preferred more substantial (optional) side content (and more interaction between blocks, see later) over a longer main questline for CP2077. And yeah, they didn't want to lock people out of any endings, so you can basically pick whichever one you want as long as you meet the conditions (I think there's only 2 endings, out of five, that are not missable though). I didn't particularly mind this approach (but, as mentioned, I do have reservations about how some of them play out) Where I do take some issue with the game is how there's basically three "content blocks": there's the main story (intertwined with Johnny's), there's the love interests, and there's "the city" (side quests, NCPD call signs, etc). A fourth is, imho, missing for "V's friends", most of which have really nothing to say, or do, after their "part" is played (since there's only really 2 people, outside of the ones already mentioned, that know "what's up", that's a bit of a shame, but I digress). And fwiw I'm referring to: The problem I have with these "blocks" is that they don't really interact , they feel like entirely separate entities, that are very well done in their own right, but only overlap at very well defined points (if at all). The further into the game I got the more noticeable this became. There's not really any points where helping someone in a side quest ("city"-block) impacts how the main quest goes (not even in minor ways), and vice-versa: for the main quest "the city" feels like just a backdrop. Moreover none of the (possible) LIs ever comment on any of the (major) side quests either (for some of them, like Johnny's, that's a serious bummer), or hell most barely even comment on your "situation". As for gameplay, there's still ways to get around, I got double jump rather late and am seriously regretting that choice. Managed to get into some interesting places with it. But yes, combat is extremely unbalanced, especially hacking ends up being killer since there's not really any level scaling, so if you are level capped before starting the final quests there's not really any challenge to be found (the only reason I didn't one shot the "big bad" was because he has an invulnerability phase). Only way you can die is if some enemy sniper gets lucky with a critical head shot, and that probably wouldn't even happen if some of the attributes actually worked (some of the defensive attributes apparently just don't work). Crafting is also broken as hell in a few ways, on one end you can create stupendously overpowered gear (especially weapons), on the other hand it's ridiculously expensive to upgrade early game gear to keep it relevant in the endgame. So you're sometimes better of trying to do certain things as late as possible, just to avoid the upgrade costs. Not exactly desirable imho (not that you need any of that gear to get by, at least on normal) Another thing that's brought up constantly is the "police system". I played as a mercenary, not a petty thief or a lunatic, and I triggered it not even 5 times in 130hours. There honestly is no reason to ever steal vehicles from innocents at all, aside from "because I can", since you can summon yours whenever, and wherever, and if you can't, there's gangs all over with vehicles that you can grab without repercussions. The focus on this system by gamers, and reviewers alike is a bit baffling (well, CDPR promised, but still), game's not GTA and at this point I feel they would have been better off not adding a police system at all just to get rid of all the GTA comparisons. Now, granted, if actually using cars you'll probably end up killing innocents all over since driving (which is only sort of tolerable with a controller), and traffic AI, suck. The simplest workaround I found is to just use a motorcycle. You get one of the best ones in the game for free early on anyway and it bypasses the majority of the issues with traffic. Stealth, well, I put 3 points in "Cool" (aka Stealth) and managed to sneak my way through pretty much everything with that and a high hacking skill. Can't say I minded, but wouldn't call it balanced Still, the technical, and gameplay, issues are likely to get worked out, the story related stuff, much less likely. Welp, that became a tad longer than I intended (and there's a load more I could cover, but, err, let's not ). Imho the game's nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be, and in a lot better shape (at least on PC) than many prior games games that didn't receive this level of flak (looking at you, Fallout: New Vegas), if nothing else I do hope CDPR continues down this road, fixing up the obvious issues (bugs, broken mechanics, balacing) but leaving the things that do work alone (c&c, storytelling,...)
  23. If you go into the game with no expectations it's a pretty good game with a lot of technical issues. Won't argue with anyone who wants to wait things out because of the technical issues/bugs though. As for "deeper running problems" without specifics that's not saying much. I do take issues with some of the stuff in the game, but it's generally not what most people/media keep hammering on.
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