What are you playing?

Dave

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The number of games I've gotten on Game Pass means that to lose money on the deal I'd have to keep GP now for years. And that means getting no more games. Frankly it's been a great deal for me.
 
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The number of games I've gotten on Game Pass means that to lose money on the deal I'd have to keep GP now for years. And that means getting no more games. Frankly it's been a great deal for me.
This is sort of how I feel about PlaystationPlus? I'm getting at least two games a month, they are generally good, and I keep them as long as I have the service (a service I already needed to play multiplayer games). If I could this same deal on Playstation (just a nice library of games for a fee) then I'd probably drop PS+ in a heartbeat.
 
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The number of games I've gotten on Game Pass means that to lose money on the deal I'd have to keep GP now for years. And that means getting no more games. Frankly it's been a great deal for me.
Do you keep the games if you quit the service, or do they go away?
 
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I thought PS+ games were just flat out free from the store, so you owned it, and PlayStation Now is the one you need a sub for.
 
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Things I've said out loud while playing Half-Life 2:

"Oh that's what that meant." (Repeat)
"Gordon Freeman looks like me if I was younger and had a meth habit."
"I'm not sure what to do here. It's just a big hole and a bunch of crabs. Like Nick's prom night." (No, I didn't explain what I was talking about to my son.)
 

fade

Staff member
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The Outer Worlds was okay. Pretty short for a game like this, but not bad. I canceled Game Pass immediately after, because there weren't too many good games on there. It was worth it to play a new release for $1 without it falling off the back of a truck. You know what I really liked about it? You could end most of the quests (except maybe Edgewater) with a "good" outcome. Not every game needs to have shades of grey outcomes for every single quest. Sometimes a definitively good outcome is nice, especially if you have to work for it (e.g. with MSI/Iconoclasts).
 
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I'm going to be so bummed when I run out of things to do in Spider-Man. I can't immediately go back to some ground-hugging weighty doofus running on flat terrain. I'll either have to take another gaming break or play something entirely different.

I wish Hulk: Ultimate Destruction HD was a thing.

Or @ThatNickGuy 's ideas for an open world Superman game would manifest into a real game.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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I'm going to be so bummed when I run out of things to do in Spider-Man. I can't immediately go back to some ground-hugging weighty doofus running on flat terrain. I'll either have to take another gaming break or play something entirely different.

I wish Hulk: Ultimate Destruction HD was a thing.

Or @ThatNickGuy 's ideas for an open world Superman game would manifest into a real game.
This is why I always tell people who are new to the Saint's Row series that they HAVE to play SR3 *before* SR4 (and preferably SR2 first, now that the port is going to be fixed), because one you get superpowers in SR4... you just can't go back to the way things were when you had to walk/drive like a sucker.
 
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I'm trying to get into Phoenix Point and woof, this game is rough. Half of the information you need is buried somewhere in the UI (assuming it's even present at all), the other half is obfuscated I guess to try to prevent "my 99% shot missed!?" bad feels, and the whole thing just looks, feels, and sounds like an indie low-budget XCOM clone.

I'm going to give it a bit more to see if things start to click, but they really should've done more with their Epic money.
 

GasBandit

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Started playing The Outer Worlds last night... liking it so far, except I don't like how little control they give you over your video settings. And there doesn't seem to be a way to completely nullify their "hide jaggies by blurring the shit out of everything" setting. Sometimes it hurts my eyes because no matter what I do I can't bring things into focus. That's a real pet peeve of mine.
 
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there doesn't seem to be a way to completely nullify their "hide jaggies by blurring the shit out of everything" setting.
Diablo used give me that problem. I solved it by creating a custom profile for it in the driver settings and telling it to flat out ignore some of the game settings.

--Patrick
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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Diablo used give me that problem. I solved it by creating a custom profile for it in the driver settings and telling it to flat out ignore some of the game settings.

--Patrick
I found some instructions for manually turning off such annoyances as TAA and Depth of Field in the ini file, I'll give that a try next time.
 
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Rescued from the latest forum hiccup:
Frank said:
Why do games have that sharpening option? It makes the God damn things look worse. I also hate when they bundle all the post-processing effects into one option. That sucks. Quit doing it. I like some effects and loathe others.

Anyways, Mech 5 Mercenaries is good so far. Here's how I paint all my mechs for some reason. A very distinct colour scheme taken from some kid's cartoon series from the 1980's.

32527
Frank said:
This game is what I wanted. Eees good.
Frank said:
Here's some complaints from me.

I hate how uncustomizable the mechs are. Like, the hardpoints are even coded for the type of laser that goes there and you can't add jump jets to mechs that don't already have jump jets. This feels wrong compared to literally every Mechwarrior game I've ever played.

Gonna need to wait for some modders to fix this apparently. How the fuck do you make a Mechwarrior game without customization? Seriously.

Oh and having enemies spawn directly behind your lance and fucking shred your back armor is bullshit.

Mechwarrior 3 is still the king of the Mech SIMULATION, while Mechwarrior 2 Mercenaries and Mechwarrior 4 Mercenaries are the best games overall of the series.
 
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Demon's Tilt got added to Xbox Game Pass on PC. It's a pretty awesome homage to the God King of 90's video game pinball Devil's Crush. It's pretty good.


The only thing it lacks is a table theme that slaps as hard as Devil's Crush's theme did on the Turbo-Grafx 16. The PC-Engine sound chip was fucking awesome. Really the one thing it did better than both the Genesis and SNES.


PS: Thanks @PatrThom for posting the lost posts.
 
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figmentPez

Staff member
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Frank said:
Why do games have that sharpening option?
I think this is like lens flare, bloom, crazy HDR, motion blur, etc. It's something new and shiny and developers are going nuts. (Both AMD and nVidia have sharpening options in their graphics settings now, which may get turned on during driver installation if you tick the right/wrong box. It's nice that AMD finally allows you to adjust the level of sharpening, and not just turn it on or off.) Also, 4K is a big thing in gaming, and both consoles and PC want that crisp 4K look, even if they can't render in 4K. The last trends I recall in graphics were all the various temporal anti-aliasing methods, and dynamic resolution scaling, both of which tend to make things blurrier. So the pendulum swing is probably overcompensating by using too much of the sharpening filters. Hopefully things will chill in time, as I think the sharpening thing can look good when done right.

You're right, though, that no game should ever lump all their post-processing effects into one category.
 
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Are there enough people playing Sword and Shield for a new thread? I will be playing after Christmas. I must really love my kids for waiting. It came out the week of my birthday and I STILL waited.
 
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Based on my friends list, at least 4 of us are or have played it, but I don't think we've been discussing it here.
 
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Guys, play Hades. If you don't like roguelikes (like me) it's enjoyable because of the great polish on the game dialogue/music/artwise, thanks to being a Supergiant Games product. If you like roguelikes, the gameplay is pretty intuitive and you can mix and match stuff so you basically don't run out of options to play runs with.

Yes, it's in Early Access, but there are no significantly gamebreaking bugs or unfinished parts that I've seen. As far as I know the complete "run" is in the game, i.e. you can reach the story's intended conclusion, and everything else they're gonna add on is extra content afaik. And you can pet the dog (Cerberus!)

 
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I refuse! When it isn't Early Access I will play.

So, long and short, Mechwarrior 5 is an overwhelmingly disappointing game. It's an unpolished, ugly mess with 5 total missions that they expect you to replay over and over again on 4 barebones biomes (forest, desert, winter mountains and acid planet). The planets barely make any difference on how hot your mech runs (I barely noticed a difference anyway). There feels like there are 5 mechs total that have jumpjets (there's more but the vast majority aren't jump capable) and for some Godforsaken reason you can't add them to mechs that don't already have jumpjet slots. The lack of mech customization is a total buzzkill. They claim stuff becomes more available as time goes on (the game takes place over 20 years, but the way the story unfolds, those 20 years are treated like 2 weeks and there's a complete lack of any kind of feeling of the passage of time).

Here's one example of the rushed barebones feel of the campaign. In an early mission you must do before your free to roam the stars and do the same 5 mission types over and over and over again, you have access to a mech repair bay. It makes it seem like these might play a part in the game to come. They never do until literally the final mission of the campaign.

The game NEEDS some QOL upgrades too. You can have 3 lances of mechs ready to go and an unlimited amount of mechs stripped in cold storage. However, you cannot sell a mech in cold storage so if you salvage some busted piece of shit Locust, you literally have to mothball one of your prepped mechs to make room for the garbo mech in order to sell it off, then unmothball your mech and reequip it manually. It's fucking stupid. It's actually amazing how the mechlab is less functional than literally every other Mechwarrior game. How they managed this when they have another Mechwarrior title with a much more functional mechlab they actively run is beyond me.

The gameplay is MOSTLY solid, with some unbelievably annoying bugs and quirks. First quirk is your lancemates flip flop from crackshots that can no scope helicopters from beyond sensor range (which is laughably close, making playing an LRM boat the fucking worst, since LRMs cannot be fired at closer than 150 meters) to being unable to help themselves but run through buildings you are supposed to be protecting. Second is the ridiculous range enemies will spawn at, always at your back. Literal dozens of meters behind you they can appear out of nothingness already spamming SRMs directly into your back armor. Most of my deaths have come from this unbelievable bullshit. Also, machines guns are broken, they out dps every weapon in the game by an insane margin, doing upwards of 10 times the damage of other weapons.

Anyways, I'm through with the game. It's not good and I'm glad I pirated it. They should honestly be ashamed they released it like this.
 
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I refuse! When it isn't Early Access I will play.

So, long and short, Mechwarrior 5 is an overwhelmingly disappointing game. It's an unpolished, ugly mess with 5 total missions that they expect you to replay over and over again on 4 barebones biomes (forest, desert, winter mountains and acid planet). The planets barely make any difference on how hot your mech runs (I barely noticed a difference anyway). There feels like there are 5 mechs total that have jumpjets (there's more but the vast majority aren't jump capable) and for some Godforsaken reason you can't add them to mechs that don't already have jumpjet slots. The lack of mech customization is a total buzzkill. They claim stuff becomes more available as time goes on (the game takes place over 20 years, but the way the story unfolds, those 20 years are treated like 2 weeks and there's a complete lack of any kind of feeling of the passage of time).
This has always been a "balancing factor" for Piranha in MWO, as they felt making jump jets ubiquitous would basically make some mechs just fundamentally better than others... forgetting that the heaviest mechs in a class are always the best because they can use bigger engines. Mechwarrior's been shifting away from real customization for years; what makes the best build is always essentially "How many LLAS/UAC/RAC/MRM can I stick in this thing without going XL?"

Also, machines guns are broken, they out dps every weapon in the game by an insane margin, doing upwards of 10 times the damage of other weapons.
This is an on-going "thing" in MWO as well; anything with more than 3-4 Ballastic slots is probably going to field MGs/LMGs alongside MRMS or PLLas because the SECOND the armor's off, those MGs WILL kill it. God save you if the enemy has Piranhas; their 15 MGs WILL kill someone.

They should honestly be ashamed they released it like this.
The worst part of this? I feel like Piranha went with EPIC entirely because they knew the game would bomb and they wanted the guaranteed cash NOW.
 
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Christ I forgot to mention that. You can't mess with the mech's engine in MW5 either. All mechs have one stock speed.
 
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This has always been a "balancing factor" for Piranha in MWO, as they felt making jump jets ubiquitous would basically make some mechs just fundamentally better than others... forgetting that the heaviest mechs in a class are always the best because they can use bigger engines. Mechwarrior's been shifting away from real customization for years; what makes the best build is always essentially "How many LLAS/UAC/RAC/MRM can I stick in this thing without going XL?"
I get it when dealing with a multiplayer game but the balance of the lostech weapons shouldn't fucking matter in a single player game. It should be the cool stuff you're striving to find. Fucking sucks that in MW5 a machine gun is more useful than a guass rifle.
 

GasBandit

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Yeah, I pirated the game, and am really glad I didn't pay for it.

I wish they'd used the HUD from MWO instead of what they did.

And yeah, my lancemates stomping through buildings we're supposed to protect drives me nuts.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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Black Mesa

Overall I'm really impressed with this fan remake of Half-Life 1. I think it's faithful to the original when it really counts, and deviates to make things better.

Specifically about the recently released Xen chapters, which are still in beta: They get off to a good start, but falter at several points.

The Pros:
- Some of the visuals are freaking gorgeous.
- The new enemy types are well done and fit well with the existing roster.
- Much of the gameplay feels like Half Life
- The introduction to the Gonarch is awesome! It starts a, mostly, great sequence that feels like it's inspired both by the original Gonarch's lair, but also by the antlion queen sequence in HL2.
- There are habitats, and other structures built by the scientists working in Xen, which not only provides gameplay, but makes a whole lot more sense than just having a few crates and tables with surveying equipment.
- The long jump module allows you to strafe dodge and also back pedal, which makes the fight with the Gonarch a lot more dynamic, and just is a fun movement mechanic in general.
- They give you freaking "landing jets" which, like Chell's long-fall boots, mean you don't have to worry about fall damage in Xen, which makes jump pads another exploration a lot less annoying. (Oh, hey HL1, I've found one of those alien bouncing boils, guess I'd better quicksave before I hop on and roll the dice on the game physics.)
- They made crystal clusters that recharge your HEV suit, in addition to the pools that recharge your health, which means they don't have to have you "conveniently" find a dead scientist with a pile of batteries every time they want to give you a recharge. The environmental storytelling actually does a good job of showing that the tech of Black Mesa is fueled by discoveries on Xen. It's not "hey, how convenient that this natural feature on Xen recharges my suit", but rather "OH! My suit, and a lot of the tech, is powered by materials from Xen." It also blends in a lot of echoes of Combine tech from HL2, making the connection between the two games, and the Combine's presence in Xen, more cohesive.

The Cons:
- I had huge performance issues. My system struggled to stay above 40fps for most of Xen, and adjusting graphics settings, even lowering the resolution, didn't help. During one sequence, near the end of the game, I couldn't get over 20fps, no matter what I did, and resorted to using godmode to get through.
- Some areas overstay their welcome. Like, holy crap, I got so sick of fighting those floating giant head aliens. Even the joys of <SPOILER> didn't make it fun to fight them.
- The visuals are inconsistent. There are clashes in both style and quality. Overall it's great, but some parts are just too much of a callback to the original muddy yuck that was the original Xen. Also, some of the objects and textures just look wrong; they don't fit with the rest of the visual style. I don't know how to describe it, but I"ll try: Some don't have the same detail to the textures, and some look like they're solely built out of post-processing effects, and others look like they've been procedurally generated out of fractals.

The performance issues mean I have no idea how the balance is for the final boss. I was getting slightly better fps by that point, so I could see what was going on, but I stuck with being invincible because I just don't need any more stress in my life right now. I will say that the final fight is a an amazing spectacle, and the mechanics seem solid; if they got the difficulty right, it's a pretty damn awesome finish. Especially compared to how awkward, frustrating, and visually bland fighting the Nihilanth was in the original game.

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
I just couldn't get into this. The starting plot is paper thin and poorly told, maybe it gets better, but at this point I'd rather replay Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Hey, THQ Nordic, can you hurry up and announce the remastered version?).

Short list of why I'm frustrated with DD: DA
- Bland characters
- Really brown and grey art style. This is not realism. The real world has bright colors! Even in a medieval time period. You let me give my character bright red hair and purple eyes. Why is everything else so desaturated?!
- Fiddly inventory system that's really focused on minutiae. Like, I get that some people will really dig how many different armor slots there are, and the crafting system that both invites you to gather tons of stuff, but also punishes you with a very restrictive weight system, and makes it tedious to transfer things to your party members, and... UGH! I just don't want to have to deal with food constantly going bad in my inventory. (I am glad it keeps track of crafting for you, and doesn't force you to combine things at random getting lots of completely useless results, but it's still more convoluted that I'm willing to put up with. If I'm tempted to pop out of the game, look at a wiki, and make notes, that means you've made bad UI choices.) Crafting feels more essential than it did in Fallout: New Vegas, too.
- Annoying menu system.
- Combat feels disconnected. Sometimes it takes two arrow shots and a goblin goes down. Other times it takes a half-dozen or more. I have no idea why. Boss battles drag on and how much the health goes down seems unrelated to my actions. My character can get stun locked and taken down to zero health in a matter of seconds, or get knocked over and pop back up with like a tenth of my health knocked off. I have no idea if this is dice rolls or what. It's not clear.
- Interacting with your "pawn" is fucking creepy! The whole concept is really disturbing, and makes it feel more like I'm traveling with a group of some sort of magical combat ready sex dolls than I am with any sort of actual characters.
 
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Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
I just couldn't get into this. The starting plot is paper thin and poorly told, maybe it gets better, but at this point I'd rather replay Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Hey, THQ Nordic, can you hurry up and announce the remastered version?).

Short list of why I'm frustrated with DD: DA
- Bland characters
- Really brown and grey art style. This is not realism. The real world has bright colors! Even in a medieval time period. You let me give my character bright red hair and purple eyes. Why is everything else so desaturated?!
- Fiddly inventory system that's really focused on minutiae. Like, I get that some people will really dig how many different armor slots there are, and the crafting system that both invites you to gather tons of stuff, but also punishes you with a very restrictive weight system, and makes it tedious to transfer things to your party members, and... UGH! I just don't want to have to deal with food constantly going bad in my inventory. (I am glad it keeps track of crafting for you, and doesn't force you to combine things at random getting lots of completely useless results, but it's still more convoluted that I'm willing to put up with. If I'm tempted to pop out of the game, look at a wiki, and make notes, that means you've made bad UI choices.) Crafting feels more essential than it did in Fallout: New Vegas, too.
- Annoying menu system.
- Combat feels disconnected. Sometimes it takes two arrow shots and a goblin goes down. Other times it takes a half-dozen or more. I have no idea why. Boss battles drag on and how much the health goes down seems unrelated to my actions. My character can get stun locked and taken down to zero health in a matter of seconds, or get knocked over and pop back up with like a tenth of my health knocked off. I have no idea if this is dice rolls or what. It's not clear.
- Interacting with your "pawn" is fucking creepy! The whole concept is really disturbing, and makes it feel more like I'm traveling with a group of some sort of magical combat ready sex dolls than I am with any sort of actual characters.
- Yeah, the characters are kinda bland.
- I agree with the art style. If they been consistent with it, it would have worked, but they weren't so it doesn't.
- The inventory system mostly works, but you kinda have to know what is worth carrying around and what isn't... and unfortunately, that's done ether through trial and error or looking at a guide.
- There are A LOT of systems interacting in this game and it's not always apparent what is going on with enemy difficulty. I will say this: elemental weaknesses are super important, always have a way to make fire and/or holy alignment. It's also worth noticing that enemies at night are MUCH stronger and enemies get stronger after some events. That said... yeah, you have to carry around a shitton of healing because of a lot of bullshit involving knockdown. This game wanted to be Dark Souls + Monster Hunter, but it mostly took the parts of Monster Hunter everyone hated.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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Even on sale $32 is too rich for my blood. I'll stick to tackling my list of shame. Or possibly pick up Donut County with my Steam Wallet funds.
 
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