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  1. #22781
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    If it's part of what made Baldur's Gate 2 an unimpeachable classic beloved by all true members of the PC Master Race, then clearly the problem lies with you. /s

    (It's one reason I haven't got round to actually playing the damn game - beyond being dragged through a little of the prologue in co-op - because yeah, turning down the hand-holding is great, in theory. It is not without its downsides, despite what some people seem to think. It might not be poor design per se, but it's not automatically great design either.)
    It's extremely bizarre. The game has a multitude of great hooks, and every damn time I get interested I run into something that can kill me in two rounds and/or a swarm of 8 enemies I can't possibly handle. I'm running out of things to do and I'm beginning to struggle to see this game as non-linear. Frankly, if I'm going to be unable to complete the game except in a particular manner, I'd sooner have the game not let me develop a delusion to the contrary as let me throw myself against brick walls.
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  2. #22782
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    I do occasionally like trying to push my way into parts of a game where I'm not supposed to be (as in I'm under-levelled for) - I quite liked trying to 'sploit my way past enemies in Dragon's Dogma, for example. But mostly, yes, it just feels like I'm flailing around in front of me trying to work out if that's a door or a plain old brick wall blocking my path. I still haven't been back to BG2 because by the time I quit I didn't care if it was glorious, glorious non-linear freedom, I could hardly have cared any less about the overall plot and I was sick and tired of basically tentatively feeling my way down some subterranean tunnel - okay, I can kill that, I can kill that, I can kill that and ah crap that thing just killed me before I even realised I was dead, so am I supposed to be down here or am I just wasting my time I don't knooooow!

    I don't find that fun, and I don't think it's beyond stern criticism (and yes, I seriously think some people seem to think it's the absolute pinnacle of good game design). I can see why people enjoy it, and I do still want to play Original Sin, but it really, really killed my enjoyment of BG2 and I'm half-convinced it's just going to be the same thing all over again.

  3. #22783
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    So I've beaten Divinity: Original Sin, what a wonderful three weeks of gaming it has been. I had such a great time with this game. I don't know I think I liked it more then any other cRPG I've played since Fallout2, it has the same refreshing "just play" attitude. Sure it has some downsides, story is filler but it turned out I prefer cool mechanic over epic story. So finishing such great game usually leaves me anxious, staring at my game directory wondering what to play next, to keep my gaming high up I started replaying Fallout1 and fresh game in Fall From Heaven Mod for Civ4.

  4. #22784
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Perimeter was an odd game full of weird mechanics and a mind rending plot, the expandalone Emperors Testament was good at what perimeter did, it's probably too hard but it was more of the same, but Perimeter 2? Perimeter 2 is a wart, it's uglier than the first game, it's water mechanics are recycled from Maelstrom but without the conventional military to keep you entertained while things play out.
    Last edited by Heliocentric; 03-08-2014 at 03:56 PM.
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  5. #22785
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Shadowrun Returns (7/10)

    Just played through the main campaign (Dead man's Switch). Never got into the whole P&P shadowrun thing before, but snapped this and the DLC up during the Steam summer sale, and have to say overall I'm rather impressed, albeit I wasn't expecting much.

    Although it heavily treads the usual Cyberpunk tropes, the mix of races adds something to matters and although I generally relied on hacking and hardware to push through the storyline the magical aspects enhanced the experience to some degree.
    Play wise it's not long. I took a fancy to playing it yesterday early afternoon and wrapped it up earlier this morning, with a good nights sleep in between (10 hours tops by my reckoning). My main criticism of the principal campaign would really be the near linearity of it. You're basically pushed from pillar to post with very little in the way of deviation or side quests and that pacing felt off given in large part that the beginning of the campaign is an investigation. I wanted to be able to explore Seattle, but the opportunity never really arises versus being pulled by the main narrative.

    The game also suffers a bit when it comes to equipment. The upgrade path essentially consists of buying a better X versus any degree of customization and although there are various chem tonics you can take to temporarily boost a characters abilities I never felt the need to sacrifice an equipment slot for one, versus using it to carry a med pack instead.

    The combat is very much in the mould of X-Com, but for reasons unexplained even when all the enemies in a level have been defeated you're often seemingly forced to continue to use the point system to get around, which can get rather tedious at times, though thankfully the levels aren't generally too sprawling. In large part I didn't find the combat too troubling on normal, though towards the end the enemy difficulty does ramp up (a resultant of the narrative) and a bit more thought is required in order to effectively combat some of the threats.

    Where the game shines most is in the writing, which manages to give you some flexibility in terms of how you 'play' your character tonally. Although I suspect your choices likely don't have any impact in terms of options, it's nice to have that flexibility.

    Heard good things about the DLC, so moving onto that next.
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  6. #22786
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    Okay, I finished Sniper Elite 2 earlier. I don't have much to add since my first post on the game. Maybe my experience was different because I played on Sniper Elite (highest) difficulty? I'm mostly dissatisfied with it being a worse version of the first Sniper Elite which wasn't a particularly great game either.
    Although towards the end I found some new things to complain about: the enemy AI is ridiculous. So on some maps you have Russians and Germans fight each other but if you make any noise - even if you are behind thick walls and they have have never seen you - they will conclude that yes, only that particular American sniper makes these particular foot step noises and they will hunt you down until the stars grow cold. Makes you wonder. Is there some Nazi shadow following you around with a primitive recording apparatus and then later at the Nazi headquarters they make every last henchman listen to it? Especially in the later levels with lots of enemies the AI shenanigans get pretty absurd. Surely they must have some sort of hivemind going on.
    On top of that, the defining feature of Sniper Elite 2 - the kill cam - actually does get old after a while. Making Nazi heads shatter is cathartic but there isn't much in the way of variety. On the other hand, there is a certain beauty in shooting an enemy sniper in the eye from 300m away or killing five Nazis with a single bullet. That at least the game does well.
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  7. #22787
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthile View Post
    Okay, I finished Sniper Elite 2 earlier. I don't have much to add since my first post on the game. Maybe my experience was different because I played on Sniper Elite (highest) difficulty?
    Nope, I did the same.

    Although towards the end I found some new things to complain about: the enemy AI is ridiculous. So on some maps you have Russians and Germans fight each other but if you make any noise - even if you are behind thick walls and they have have never seen you - they will conclude that yes, only that particular American sniper makes these particular foot step noises and they will hunt you down until the stars grow cold.
    And again, it's like you're playing some completely different game. I could observe and even participate in those firefights without it ever becoming entirely about me.

  8. #22788
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    It's extremely bizarre. The game has a multitude of great hooks, and every damn time I get interested I run into something that can kill me in two rounds and/or a swarm of 8 enemies I can't possibly handle. I'm running out of things to do and I'm beginning to struggle to see this game as non-linear. Frankly, if I'm going to be unable to complete the game except in a particular manner, I'd sooner have the game not let me develop a delusion to the contrary as let me throw myself against brick walls.
    Agreed.

    After numerous reviews and recommendations I grabbed Divinity: Operating System as well. A non linear RPG focused on the R part of acronym. And its all round pretty good.

    But wow does it railroad the player. I completely agree about the early game. None of the really interesting stuff is available early on. The game basically forces you to traipse round the town talking to people about inconsequential problems for literally hours before you can go anywhere. And when you can finally leave the city, its basically only in one direction unless you just want to die constantly. I know some people like this design philosophy but frankly I dont.

    Whatever else arises from my time with Divinity, I know two things: Its a good game with some borderline great moments so far. And I will almost certainly never do a second play through. Which is a shame, given the number of possible classes and party combinations. The problem with a second go arises from two major problems. First, the companions you get early will always be the same class, so you know to make your beginning characters something else, narrowing early game options. And second, the "quests" (more like errands, and really trifling ones at that) that you are foisted upon you early are so uninteresting I dont care if I ever see them again. In fact I would prefer not to, for the most part.

    That said, I love the back and forth between the two main characters and the entire conversation system is really excellent. The game has a lot going for it, however, the unfortunate fact remains that the weakest part of the design will be the one players see early on.

  9. #22789
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    Divinity is currently a love/hate relationship with me. I love everything about the concept, all the little things you can do and how the game interacts with you. Case in point, playing with a friend that tends to be a bit... gotta do it all can be really eye opening as to just how stable the system behind Divinity actually is. Like, out of accident he has nuked several Quest NPCs, destroyed evidence, made other NPCs irrevocably mad with us. And the game always has a way to recover from that. There's always just one more option that you can do.

    So that's the love. The hate lies in the Co-Op part of the game. And is almost entirely the fault of the broken as all hell dialogue system. Let me rephrase that, it works perfectly for singleplayer, it just won't do for co-op. We tried to push on, using the journal workaround but we really shouldn't have. Even with that workaround it's simply broken and we've frustrated ourselves in the process of somehow trying to make it work, because we did enjoy the game, just not how dialogue was handle in multiplayer. But golly gosh did we burn ourselves out while doing so.
    We're now 9 hours in and spent most of that re-telling dialogue to each other as a two player choice forcefully closes the journal and thus cuts off the other player from knowing what the hell is going on, or going through dialogues uber slow so the other person can keep up with having two entries in the journal to flip back and forth. It's so damn annoying to have to signal each end of the conversation over steam, just in case the NPC is going to do something after the talk and everytime we think there might be a co-op dialogue waiting, we do more signaling. Usually it's a false alarm. All around it's far too much busy work to be enjoyable. I've played it alone to the same area and followed each dialogue and I have taken about 2 hours. So the massive increase in time it took to get there is wholy owed to the broken dialogue system. From 2 hours to 9 hours. Fuck that. I hate this game (I love it still but... please fix it Larian, please, please).

  10. #22790
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Where (Shadowrun Returns) shines most is in the writing, which manages to give you some flexibility in terms of how you 'play' your character tonally. Although I suspect your choices likely don't have any impact in terms of options, it's nice to have that flexibility.

    Heard good things about the DLC, so moving onto that next.
    You liked the godawful writing in the original campaign? And I do not mean that as hyperbole: I think it's mediocre technically at best, with a couple of objectively dreadful moments - and largely dire as far as characterisation, subtext, plotting etc. go. I'm curious what on earth you'll make of the DLC. Either you have regrettable taste in cyberpunk or Dragonfall's going to blow your mind.

  11. #22791
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    For all the failings of the original Shadowrun Campaign, and I have poured fire over it on several occasions, I think it did do reasonably well in offering you dialogue options to click that weren't completely bioware daft but instead something actual humans might say. It's just everything else about the story and characters was... mediocre (I'm feeling diplomatic).

  12. #22792
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    Quote Originally Posted by theForged View Post
    For all the failings of the original Shadowrun Campaign, and I have poured fire over it on several occasions, I think it did do reasonably well in offering you dialogue options to click that weren't completely bioware daft but instead something actual humans might say. It's just everything else about the story and characters was... mediocre (I'm feeling diplomatic).
    The framework was certainly there, I'll give it that, and yes, I'll admit there was something about the writing that made me feel the developers' hearts were clearly in the right place. But that just made it all the more frustrating it was so bad at times. :(

    Seriously, I wish I could quote it somehow. The whole section after you meet a certain deus ex machina and have to infiltrate the corp offices (hopefully that's vague enough?) - almost all of that was just... appalling. Again, I do not mean that as hyperbole: I was sitting there with my mouth open, blinking in shock. I honestly thought they'd forgotten to proofread it, or they hadn't given GoG the right version or something. (If I'd had it on Steam I would have taken screenshots.) Pretty much objectively terrible.

  13. #22793
    Lesser Hivemind Node TheDreamlord's Avatar
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    I am close to the end of the expansion (Shadownrun Dragonfall) and tbh it suffers from most of the problems of the original campaign (though the plot is much better). I hate the inventory system, I hate the luckluster rpg-liteness of the whole way it plays and most of all I absolutely detest the difficulty spike at the end (just like its predecessor).
    How the holy cow am I supposed to go through a dozen fights with only the few med kits I have in my inventory, since there is no "rest" mechanic? I really don't get it. It's pissing me off so much that I am tempted to simply not finish it, and I am very near the end.

  14. #22794
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Also enemy archers having specialty arrows is really, really, really annoying. Not becasue I don't like how powerful it makes them. But because it means I have absolutely no idea how to approach any given archer. Will they set me on fire next to the barrel? Freeze me next round? Who knows! This is more realistic in a very uninteresting way.
    A small tip: Enemy archers will only have a few special arrows and almost always use them within the first few rounds (similar holds true for all skills, but they will of course come off cooldown eventually). If you can survive the initial barrages their threat lessens and if you have any summons to call upon they're great for soaking up damage at the start of a fight.

    The game gets easier and you get more freedom of where you go later on, at least if you do most of the side quests. I'm playing through a second time on hard and I'm getting close to the end; all my characters are almost completely impervious to magic and the star of the show is my 2-handed-axe-wielding warrior lady who charges into groups of enemies, intentionally sets herself on fire, explodes, then calls down meteor showers on everything still standing. It's glorious, but the game gets pretty easy simply due to all the immunities and the sheer amount of damage I can dish out in just a turn or two.

  15. #22795
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    You liked the godawful writing in the original campaign? And I do not mean that as hyperbole: I think it's mediocre technically at best, with a couple of objectively dreadful moments - and largely dire as far as characterisation, subtext, plotting etc. go. I'm curious what on earth you'll make of the DLC. Either you have regrettable taste in cyberpunk or Dragonfall's going to blow your mind.
    For what it is (a game that came out of kickstarter funding) I think it's acceptable enough. Albeit it's uneven in places in terms of the storyline I like that they spent time adding a bit of character to peripheral NPCs in order to give you the opportunity to define yourself via interaction. With a $20 million budget it would be a different game and expectations on delivery would invariably be much higher.

    Still the developers provided you with the tools to make your own scenarios so perhaps you can treat us to some legendary Cyberpunk.
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  16. #22796
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Still the developers provided you with the tools to make your own scenarios so perhaps you can treat us to some legendary Cyberpunk.
    Oh nice, the ancient if you disagree - do better "argument". Did you know it was first found in Sun Tzu's Art of War? Why yes, really! As a footnote with the annotation: If your enemy does this, do him one better: Laugh in their face til they succumb to their inexcusable shame for having used it.

  17. #22797
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    Remind me never to go drinking with Sun Tzu, he sounds like a real dick.

  18. #22798
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theForged View Post
    Oh nice, the ancient if you disagree - do better "argument". Did you know it was first found in Sun Tzu's Art of War? Why yes, really! As a footnote with the annotation: If your enemy does this, do him one better: Laugh in their face til they succumb to their inexcusable shame for having used it.
    What can I say? I found the 'you must have terrible taste...' line somewhat irksome and rather unnecessary. Still Eight Rooks, hardly a poster of note, so whatever.

    Been delving into the Dragonfall campaign a bit and have to say so far I'm enjoying it. Definitely an improvement upon Dead man's switch, and that you have in large part a dedicated crew helps. Curious to see what the upcoming directors version brings in September in terms of improvements and enhancements.

    Would like to see what the developers could do with a bit more funding behind them in terms of evolving the model. I suspect voice work is beyond their means in terms of overhead, but better artwork and character customisation wouldn't go amiss. Also some revision of the medical system is required for sure.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 03-08-2014 at 11:52 PM.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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  19. #22799
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    In console land:

    Fuck Devil's Beak (Trials Fusion). Just... no. Although, in all fairness, I think that if I just put 20 more minutes in I could probably complete it (period and) in under 40 faults. But right now it involves learning how to climb an S ramp so no.

    And The Last of Us: Yeah... it is a LOT more brutal in the Feels Box when you know what is coming.

    So I shifted to PC land and am playing Diablo 2. As I expected, it actually runs a LOT better in Wine than it does in native Windows 7/8/8.1, which is sad but to be expected. Shame Blizzard couldn't have been arsed to just release a simple patch to add windowed mode with mouse capture, since they always brag about how they are still patching their old games. My Sorceress just completed Act I and is well on her way to being a ridiculously stupid, but fun, build: A glass cannon that hugs things to death. No way that can POSSIBLY go wrong.
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  20. #22800
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Would like to see what the developers could do with a bit more funding behind them in terms of evolving the model. I suspect voice work is beyond their means in terms of overhead, but better artwork and character customisation wouldn't go amiss. Also some revision of the medical system is required for sure.
    Oh definitely. Besides me being dissatisfied with the original campaign, I was won over with Dragonfall and if that is any indication of what they can do, I'd like to see more of that. And if I were to have one wish, I'd wish for either a reworked rulesystem or one with stronger adherence to the P&P System. It works reasonably well in some parts but falls flat in others and usually when that happened I thought that P&P had a more elegant solution for that.
    But then again, the P&P system is really weird in some aspects. Maybe the one from the Genesis Version might be a good compromise. I thought it was a well realized adaptation of the rules (and the world) while ignoring some of the more silly symptoms of Shadowrun P&P. Like how you could usually tell what weapon someone's character was using by the amount of dice they brought.

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