What are you playing this weekend/these days?


ElPoco

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Finished Satellite Reign this week-end. It's a spiritual successor to Syndicate. I have really fond memories of both Syndicate (especially for its big maps full of people (for the time)) and Syndicate Wars (especially its approach to the arms race, that forces you to update your tactics) so I was curious to test this one.

It's a more complex games than its predecessors. It's not just about shooting, you've got hacking (to open doors, take control of turrets or disable cameras), stealth, different approaches (bribing, vents, etc.). Even combat is a bit complex with lots of options. Each agent has its own role (soldier, support, hacker, infiltrator) and skills. This makes the real-time approach and tad more complicated to deal with than in the other games. There is an option for "pausable real-time" but it has to be enabled before starting your game. I didn't and wished I did later on.

Missions don't each have their own map. The whole game takes place in the same single city (though it's divided into sectors) and there are secure compounds that you have to infiltrate in each sector. So most of the game is spent planning and executing heists in these compounds. These are fun, with lots of tension (especially due to patrolling guards not having clearly predictable patterns), different possible approaches, plans that come together just fine and other times where everything goes wrong and you have to improvise. Thanks to respawning agents, I never had to reload an old save and just accepted defeat or less than ideal infiltrations and that made the game much more fun than having to reload after every mistake.

However, even if each compound has its own design, forcing you to adapt, the game loop soon becomes a bit repetitive. And since you spend most of the game doing things there, the rest of the city is mostly ignored. And it's a shame because it's gorgeous. The art direction is wonderful, it's full of atmosphere, teeming with diverse looking NPCs that you just don't pay any attention to. I wished it had more "city" sections. There are a few cases where you have to assassinate someone or talk to someone or retrieve something but the game mechanics aren't really used here. I would have loved to have ambushes leading to chases or intense fights in the city, but it never truly happens.

This left me at the end paradoxically both a bit bored with the game and wanting more. It's still an impressive achievement for a small team, but I can't help but feel that it could have been much more.
 

matzesu

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Im Currently on the Switch Port of Spintires Snowrunner, played a lot the last few days and discovered all of the watchtowers in the first map
but ditnt made that much transport jobs, ..
I also made a short Video in German on the Game ^^ just to show how well it runs..

 

matzesu

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Cool, i wonder how well Snowrunner runs on this thing ^^ ,

Meanwhile i played a lot more Snowrunner yesterday on Switch, i opened every road on the first map, and drove the Transport Order to the Farm on the second map, at least a part of it as i got stuck whit my Highway Tires i still have on my Truck because im still Level 5 so the Trailer whit the Rest of the Order have to sitt in the Water on the Road to the Farm .. ^^
At least i opened the Garrage in the Second Map of Michigan, so i dont need to drive that long way back when i get stuck..

My Plan is now to take some other Quests to gain enough XP so i can buy the Offroad or Mud Tires for my DLC Truck..
 

ElPoco

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Finished Harmony of Dissonance, in my castlevania retrospective.
It started pretty well. I had complained about Circle of the Moon having uninteresting rooms and no dodge button, HoD starts with two dodge buttons (left and right) and more interesting room layouts. It also gives the impression of giving more freedom, though I'm not sure that it's actually the case.
There's some challenge as well, which was quite missing from CotM (outside of bosses).
The biggest problem is that it's too long. There's a lot of backtracking and the whole map is duplicated so you have to go through each area at least twice. Quickly, as you level up and find some good spells, the challenge start to disappear and you just end up walking back and forth to collect everything you need. Even bosses end up being laughably easy with the right spells and secondary weapon.
The music isn't bad, but it's far from what you'd expect in a Castlevania. At least they went for new songs instead of just remixing old ones.

So all in all, it's better than Circle of the Moon and the beginning is even a pretty good game, but it outstays its welcome and can't help but feel like it could have been better.
 

kuru

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Have you played Order of Ecclesia? For some reason that one was too much of a challenge for me. I think I never made it past the fourth boss. Damn bouncing bones. Watching a no damage boss rush now I feel stupid.

Finished Journey. Definitely an experience. And going back to feeling stupid: I bought Death Stranding.
 

ElPoco

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I have, there's probably my opinion on it in this thread ;)

I remember finding the first levels a bit boring but the game really shining once in Dracula's castle.
After replaying the others, I now realise that the "level" approach of the first part of the game was a way to return to the action & skill-based approach of the first games, which is quite clever since it's lacking in the later games.
 

kuru

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Yeah that's probably why I had a hard time with it. I only played SotN and Portrait of Ruin before that and those seemed more forgiving.

Just finished Youropa. Gravity-defying 3D puzzle platformer with a hint of Metroidvania. Learn new skills as you progress. Find hidden collectibles. Enjoyed this a lot. Bonus points for being just the right length.
 

kuru

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Finished Grim Dawn. The ending is anticlimactic. I had to read up whether it was the final boss or not. There's no cut scene. You just return to the quest giver. And he's like "okay now rest you've earned it". You can play on and finish side quests, but that's it. Weird. I guess you unlock a higher difficulty, but I'm not tempted to play this again. TBF I would've loved to play this on a high difficulty from the get-go, and in co-op. Oh well.
 

netcat

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I'm playing Prince of Persia on GC. Pretty sweet game.

Edit: which I just realised was the precursor to Assassins Creed..... I don't know much about AC, but the name I hear quite a lot. Maybe this is the game I have been looking for?
 
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levi

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I loved those PoP games (well at least the 1st one, not sure I bothered to pick up the rest), but I've never got along with any Assassins Creed type of game. The mechanics feel even more dumbed down, so the whole puzzle about climbing things is gone, and I wasn't too keen on the Sci-Fi plot.
 

ElPoco

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I quite enjoyed PoP: The Sands of Time. I tried the next one but found it quite boring.
AC II has some climbing puzzles (in churches and maybe a few other places) but they were few and far between.
 

kuru

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I remember playing Sands of Time. Was quite challenging in places, good thing it had the rollback.

You might like Darksiders (2) if you enjoy that kind of thing.
 

ElPoco

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Yes I enjoyed Darksiders 1 as well. It felt like one of the 3D Zelda (at least the early ones, I didn't play any past Windwaker) but with an emphasis on fights and dungeons. The 2nd is in my backlog.
 

kuru

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Combat in the second feels more like a Devil May Cry, but quite a bit less polished, less meaningful and a bit too hectic. Has its epic moments and set pieces though. And diablo like loot. I wonder why I never finished it.

I went back to Path of Exile and started a witch skilling in minions. She's made from paper, but it's quite fun running around with up to something like 25 temporary friendly pet skeletons, zombies and spectres. No need to lift a finger, just casually walk everyhwere. Maybe put up a lightning totem. Until you meet a boss, then it's blink for your life witch!
 

netcat

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Agree PoP is hard. I'm stuck jumping up that damn statue before the sword of time. Maybe I need a rumble pack??

Just downloaded Mark of the Ninja. Another perfect game. Yay / yawn.
 

MTPDA

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I remember liking sands of time too. I quite like Dying Light's mechanics too, it's kind of messed me up for a lot of other first person shooters though because I keep thinking "Yeah, I can jump that!"
 
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