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  1. Just in case somebody is interested: I posted this over on youtube before realizing that I actually had another option over here, where it won't just disappear among thousands of comments. So, repost: Nice to see somebody giving this some attention! I'm only at the end of Chapter 4 right now, so I can't comment beyond that. Just a few points. - Walking during narration: These bits are meant for narration, so it really doesn't matter if you are jogging or walking. You'll get there in the intended time, which seems like an agreeable outcome to me. Perhaps they could have integrated the narration differently, but I have seen way worse ways of doing it. Like when there is action going on and then you have voices trying to deliver narration at random moments, only adding to the mess. For some reason I have encountered that quite a few times recently. Both in Rage 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. - Gameplay seems fine so far. It's not easy, but that seems mostly down to not having a Quicksave. Instead one has to hope for Save Arches. Especially the levels in which one needs to collect enough blue orbs to activate the elevator can be frustrating because of that. The second time this kind of level came up I had to restart from the beginning a few times after carefully stealthing around for a good amount of time. I eventually stumbled on some Save Arches, but this just isn't very reliable. - Otherwise though I mostly like the gameplay. It offers a nice variety of gameplay-options and I have mostly felt so far that you just need to learn how to use the available options and how to string them together when needed. Personally stealth has mostly served me well and getting away after messing up isn't as difficult as I had assumed. Still a good bit of Trial-and-Error, but I feel like it's very much down to how the individual levels are set up. Also, doing a take-down in full view of a second clone and then just smashing a crystal ball into its face is pretty satisfying. Also not nearly as loud as the gun I think. - Number of clones: It's not as bad anymore, but getting mobbed by three or more clones is pretty annoying and then you'll probably use your gun and then they will come running. In most cases it seems to be a good decision to just run and hope that they will lose you. Sometimes you can pull them into a line for a good shot and oftentimes it's too far for the other clones to hear the shot. Just vaulting a few times also helps. I haven't tried it so far, but I have just seen the developers play one level and closing doors also seems to be helpful. - The Blackouts: I don't know, you can probably use them to your advantage, but I'm now mostly just sitting around and waiting for it to end. As Ross said it's kind of hard to see in the dark. Tagging would probably help and Area Scan could be useful, but I'm always loath to part with the energy. I found them somewhat annoying at first, but atmospherically they are quite nice and they are clearly part of the game's aesthetical and narrative identity - if there is such a thing. - The game is clearly too long. Gameplay-wise it did arrive at the standard-loop pretty early and then it stopped evolving. Now I have already done the collecting of blue orbs-thing twice and the getting of two rods-thing twice as well. Mostly stealthing around and occasionally messing up. There are some levels which mix it up a little, but it's still mostly just those two goals with the usual gameplay and the familiar AI-patterns. Pacing-wise I don't like it much. The narrative bits outside the palace help, but that's about it. In any case, Thanks for the Game Dungeon, Ross! If you like this kind of architecture, "NaissanceE" is also worth a look. It has been free over on steam for a while now. Other than that, there's also "Fibrillation HD" (cheap and short), which has the massive brutalistic architecture on some maps and "E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy", which is more cyberpunkish. Also, lots and lots of respawning ;-) Edit: I forgot to add one thing on the Blackouts: On a number of occasions they have saved me in tight spots. Surprisingly often in fact. Somebody farther up mentioned that you can influence their frequency and I think an increased frequency might be intended to punish the player for playing aggressively, but also to give them a chance to get away in tight spots. Just speculation, but it would make sense.
  2. Yes! That's the most infuriating thing about the game. At the very least the class-specific equipment helps a little to give the world character. But there is almost nothing else. The characters are all extremely bland and don't have much to say on the actual world. And the only faction we learn anything about whatsoever, are the Templars. The Hunters and Cabbalists are basically just "there" and I think the Cabbalists have one or two characters where their association is at least noticeable. Ah no, it would be fine if he made it through once. I really don't know why he had so much trouble with it. Maybe it's just tougher with a Summoner? I didn't have much trouble with my Engineer and even less with a Guardian. I will try to report back once I get to my playthrough with the Evoker. Not quite the same, but at the very least the same item selection.
  3. Soulbringer is a good suggestion. It's heavy on (non-party) combat, but it does care about its story. The latter isn't anything to write home about, but the game has a particular, unique feel to it. Not least because of the dark snowy wasteland early on and the interesting exploration around there when the story is still mostly a mystery, but also since the combat system is a bit unusual. Later on magic is added and it is another aspect of the game which is fairly interesting. Basically, your character can only be good at one element at the expense of the others. I'd recommend it just for how unique it felt to me as I was playing through it some years ago. A warning though: I had issues with the game running too slowly which only was fixed once i switched to a different Direct-X renderer (gog-version). Other than that, it also seemed like a good idea to point out Dawn of Magic, which was made by the russian company Skyfallen Entertainment. It's a Diablo-like, though one which doesn't have a class-system, but rather a spell-combo system. In some ways it's fairly similar to other ARPGs, but certain things like the character building system are handled a bit differently. Same goes for the large maps and large cities. Good music, though the story is - again - nothing to write home about. It's not available on the digital services for some reason. Dawn of Magic 2 is, but that one is just a shorter stand-alone expansion that is lacking in comparison. Simply get a used copy off of amazon if need be. And third, another Diablo-like: Restricted Area, by a german company. Another case where you would have to get a used copy from somewhere. It takes place in a postapocalyptic scenario mixed in with a dose of cyberpunk. However, the world only consists of basically one street and randomly generated maps. Some good music and overall ok atmosphere I'd say. Try it if you are interested in mixing guns, cyberware and bioware (but also swords in one case) into the usual formula. The story in this case is kind of painful at times, but it varies somewhat based on the chosen character. Edit: I just remembered that the most recent patch for Restricted Area was giving me trouble with mini freezes during inventory interaction. Once I went back one patch the problem disappeared. And another thing: Perhaps somebody has played Abomination - The Nemesis Project more extensively than me and can comment on it. I only played the demo many, many years ago, so I can't say much about it, but it always looked fairly interesting. Group-based tactics in real time or something like that.
  4. I was quite turned off by the constant shift-holding to see additional info, the tiny script in which it is depicted and the many many - mostly unexplained - numbers that the game shows for spell components. The game is very unhelpful in introducing almost anything about the system. I also feel like the way in which the information is somewhat messily portrayed as a mix of text and numbers in a way where each bit of info is not clearly delimited, is also a problem. However, not paying too much attention to all the numbers and focusing more on functionality has helped me enjoy it more. As Chris points out, some of the Sigils that get introduced after a while also make things more interesting. I have only played a few hours and I'm currently messing around with Delirium and Corruption (on top of Fire), which is quite interesting.
  5. Well, the only thing I have tried in the Hitman series was a demo for Contracts. And it honestly was a bit Trial-and-Error heavy as far as I am concerned. I haven't really run into that problem with The Slater so far. And that's even though one cannot save during a mission. The Slater is indeed pretty simple, but I am currently enjoying how aesthetically appealing it is and how it has pretty good atmosphere. Mainly one can choke out people or shoot them with the silenced pistol. To get where the player needs to go to eliminate the targets and such, one needs disguises and there is also a good bit of exploration to get access to certain areas and so forth. Some issues I have noticed are with how weak many of the animations are and how often comments from guards and such repeat. Voice-acting seems ok for the most part, but the story writing is pretty silly.
  6. I did play through much of "Boiling Point - Road to Hell" (Xenus) a while back and did rather like it. Nice quirky atmosphere, especially because of the weird people. The shooting was nicely tactical and deadly. I did also like the faction system and the way the balance shifted and how that influenced how you played the game. Unfortunately the story can only be advanced by throwing ungodly sums of money at people repeatedly. At first I liked it, but it never stops, so I stopped playing instead. But I put about 20 hours into it and I definitely enjoyed most of it. And Precursors more recently. Liked it for some of the same reasons (charming people, atmosphere), but other aspects seemed weaker. Specifically the less tactical shooting and the less complex faction system. But the atmosphere in Tamerheim and on Goldin was surprisingly strong. Obviously subjective but I really liked the mix of the music and the russian language and the charming people. Though in that regard I think it's worth pointing out that Boiling Points english voice-acting managed to retain that charm, so it's not just the language.
  7. I have it on the wishlist, but I wanted to take the opportunity to mention "Tzar - Burden of the Crown", which is also an AoE-clone, but in this case by the Bulgarians of Haemimont (Surviving Mars etc.).
  8. It's not bad (most of the time). There's a few too many levels and some of them are way too stretched out. Initially it was very difficult (on Normal) and it got easier somehow, perhaps because I adjusted or because the level design changed. Not sure. The arsenal is a bit boring, but the guns are still different enough that switching between them feels significant enough. Atmosphere is at times pretty good. Some levels are relatively expansive and the soundtrack is also often pretty good as far as I am concerned. The story goes for Hollywood and kind of succeeds during intro and outro, but otherwise it's pretty weak unfortunately. Overall good enough. Worth playing for the aspects that are done well.
  9. I certainly didn't know about it. I only recently stumbled on it and I got interested since sexbad compared it to The Swapper and Braid. He did a review:
  10. I have recently finished it and I'm not sure if I should recommend it. I played it on Normal for most of the time, but two of the last boss-fights were pretty extreme even on Normal. I found the soundtrack to be just good enough and overall the atmosphere was there, but didn't really impress me. Writing was good sometimes, but quite hit-and-miss overall. Same for the story-reactivity and it doesn't help that the story sometimes forces the main character into certain actions. The difficulty makes every little bit the player can get out of the equipment, crafting and skills feel rewarding, but the HP-sponges never go away and even the two-handed style doesn't do all that much damage. Overall I was mostly positive about it for most of the game, but the latter bits of the game have a lot of bosses everywhere and everything including the bosses respawns. The last few hours just were a bit miserable and the very scripted progression led to some problems for me in the last hours. Basically: You can't interact with something if it isn't there yet.
  11. By the way, it has now been released on gog.
  12. Yeah, I have to more or less agree unfortunately. While it's kind of explained how everybody died, the main character never really encounters anything that could logically have been responsible for everything. The few monsters I saw just didn't seem ... well they weren't exactly Necromorphs. The "everybody is dead except the hero" is bad enough, but Stasis barely tries to show how that might have happened. It's more of a stereotype than anything.
  13. @kerdios: No, it's not a horror game. It's an atmospheric walking simulator with a lot of narration. Like Machine for Pigs perhaps, but without the horror element. @StrixLiterata: *shrugs* Well, I have no clue what you consider impressive.
  14. I have just finished it and I would recommend it. I wasn't impressed by setting/story/dialogue, since it all seemed rather flimsy and superficial, but the environmens are often impressive and the relevant sounds and music - for a horror-game I mean - were well done. Gameplay is also nicely varied (there is a particular tool/weapon that gets introduced early, which mixes up things).
  15. Ah, very nice that this is getting a bit of attention. I liked it very much, though I suppose the game is telling its story in a way that will have some people start screeching "pretentious". But it's also visually impressive and the soundscape is well done as well in my opinion, so it doesn't just rely on the story.
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