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Old 10-08-2012, 01:39 PM   #331
Li-Ion
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Re: What are you playing right now?

Oh yes, one of the worst escort missions in recent memory. And considering how tedious escort missions usually are, that says a lot.

@Spec Ops: I would recommend to play it, but for the experience, rather than for "fun". The gameplay is integral part of the experience, unlike Deadly Premonition, where the shooty-bits are just tacked on. I wouldn't dismiss it as being lacking (even though the cover mechanics doesn't always work as intended). The first hour I almost quit because it looked like a me-too-CoD-clone, with a sprinkle of Uncharted. Nolan North even voices the main character (and he does an excellent job). And the soundtrack is pretty cool.

But then I started to notice a couple of things and after about 2 or 3 hours I was engaged, by the end I was glued to the screen. I don't want to spoil anything, but: things are not as they seem in this game. It starts already with the player being directly acknowledged in the opening credits. Now I read some reviews about the game and a lot of people just seem to miss the point. Including the second opinion review on GC (still have to read the main review).

It's not much "fun" the same way Amnesia, Dark Souls or Silent Hill was not "fun" while playing. It has more in common with a horror game, but with a neat little distinction. It's a rather grim exploration of the relationship between player and avatar. About how far detached the modern military shooter is from reality. About how a hero of such a modern military shooter would be a mental trainwreck, ridden with guilt no matter how much he tries to convince himself he's just following orders and blames everyone else.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:21 PM   #332
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Re: What are you playing right now?

Re: Spec Ops - I agree about the gameplay, it is just extremely generic.

Quote:
It's a rather grim exploration of the relationship between player and avatar. About how far detached the modern military shooter is from reality. About how a hero of such a modern military shooter would be a mental trainwreck, ridden with guilt no matter how much he tries to convince himself he's just following orders and blames everyone else.
That is interesting what you say about the theme of the game; I chose to just interpret it as a badly told story with a fairly preposterous plot point. I guess if you just look at it from a gaming perspective - ie, the relationship between gamer and avatar etc as you say - it makes a lot more sense.

I too would recommend it; not that you will necessarily enjoy it, but it's an interesting game, no doubt.

I have uninstalled Tokyo Jungle. Absolutely could not get past the first level as either Pomeranian or Sitka (mostly as Sitka), but unlocked the third Pomeranian story chapter somehow. Then got mauled by some cats. I was going back to it each day and just thought, I am wasting my life playing this. A strong reaction.


Oh! Also Borderlands 2 in co-op. It is actually very good (and I wasn't sold on the first one, or even this one). Rob was asking about the writing before - it is very good indeed. There is a fair bit of reliance on internet-meme type humour, but there is a lot of good stuff in there too. Very funny at times.

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:00 PM   #333
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Re: What are you playing right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
I chose to just interpret it as a badly told story with a fairly preposterous plot point.
Actually...

SPOILER WARNING

Do not read until you played (and finished) the game

I mean it, don't read!

I have an interpretation of the story, and that is that Captain Walker dies in the opening scene. In the opening scene he's having this run-off-the-mill turret section with the chopper crashing - because it's a vehicle in a video game - and then the story starts. But the game could be just part of the "life flashing before his eyes" and we see the story how he remembers it. It's getting apparent quite quickly that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and his mind is playing tricks on him. Did you notice how sometimes after you die and restart at a checkpoint he shakes his head as if he's having some kind of bad dream? And that you're always going down, even though you pretty much start at ground level, but still end up on top of skyscrapers all the time?

It reminds me on Sartre's No Exit, where - book spoiler - 3 people wait for going to hell just to realize that they're already there. book spoiler end

Walker 'tells' the story, but due to his PTSD he's not a trustworthy source for the narrative. One ending of the game pretty much confirms it, when a soldier asks him how he survived all of this. His answer: "Who said I did?"


SPOILER WARNING END
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:36 PM   #334
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Smile Re: What are you playing right now?

Hmmm,

I'd never thought any more about that opening sequence; I just watched it on YouTube and your theory makes sense. I was reading it as a common-and-garden shooter where obviously things were falling apart, but your support squad was real...and for that then to veer into the whole imaginary thing later on made no sense at all.

Very good, worth thinking about.

If you ever see the book, The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien, pick it up too. It's a comedy with similar themes, and may be totally alien to you as it's set in Ireland in the 50's but it's a very influential book in this vein. Got namechecked in Lost and everything


Now how do I change the text colour here...
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:03 AM   #335
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Re: What are you playing right now?

SPOILER WARNING

Don't read on if you didn't play/finish Spec Ops: the Line!

Last warning, trespassers will be spoiled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
Now how do I change the text colour here...
Don't forget: even if you change the color, in e-mail notifications the entire posting is visible.

@Opening scene:
It really occurred to me when playing through the section later in the game and Walker calls it out "wait, this is all wrong!", also stating that it has already happened. I think this is Walkers realization that he's reliving memories, or rather PTSD induced hallucinations.
Quote:
I was reading it as a common-and-garden shooter where obviously things were falling apart, [...]
Was having the same feeling at the beginning. That was until the first scratchings on the fourth wall and odd things happened. I felt that by the end a lot of dialogue is directed towards the player, not Walker. Especially with Konrad, he pretty much calls the player out for wanting to be a hero in this fantasy world and just causing havoc, pain and suffering.

I also love how his demeanor and appearance changes, by the end Walker even looks a bit like Harvey Dent aka Two-face and the professional "sniper at 5" is replaced with "KILL 'EM ALL!". At the same time when as a player I was feeling numb regarding the violence on display and didn't register the exploding heads anymore, in contrast to the beginning of the game. The game shows the transformation from Delta-operative to manic killer and for me that illustrated the odd disconnect between what you usually do in a modern military shooter and how it would be perceived in the real world. Not to forget the loadings screen messages, like "How many Americans did you kill today?" or "It's all your fault". Or the odd loading screens that only occur once, like the weird one with the outline of a girl and a creepy lullaby.

But what I find is the best bit are the couple of "moral choices" in the game. What did you do when "Konrad" asks you to choose between killing the man who stole water or the soldier who killed his family trying to apprehend him? I did neither and shot the snipers instead (the two culprits were still dead, it is apparent why by the end of the game ). I was surprised that the game didn't just let me do what was not "intended", but rewarded me with an achievement for it (not that I care much about achievements, but that I found cool), while I assume the average modern military shooter player would just do what is told and fire at A or B.

The other choice that stood out for me was after the lynching, where you're asked to give the command to open fire, resulting in a massacre. What is not said is that you can either shoot in the air, making them run away, or punch one of the civilians, not killing them, but also dispersing the crowd.

Even full fledged RPG seem to struggle with this kind of game mechanics. I can't think of many situations where you can influence the outcome other than by a menu choice in Dragon Age or Mass Effect.


SPOILERS END

Quote:
If you ever see the book, The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien, pick it up too.
When it's on Lost it must be important will be looking out for it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:27 PM   #336
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Re: What are you playing right now?

I'm about five hours into the new XCom game, and I'm debating whether to stick with my "classic ironman" game or start a new "impossible ironman" run. Classic mode just doesn't feel unfair enough yet. I blame the tutorial.

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Old 10-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #337
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Re: What are you playing right now?

Oh, you guys, communicating in secret code. Managed to resist reading it :-P

Started playing Resi 5 with my woman. It's brilliant. The best co-op game I've played since Toejam and Earl on the Mega Drive. Tackling the first boss together was truly exciting (although it was as much of a battle convincing her to lure the monster to the blast furnace and staying in there until I was ready to lock it in, as it was fighting the monster itself, lol), it's just a great game. We make a great team, too- she likes being trigger-happy with an SMG, and I'm an short range with a shotgun kinda guy, so arguing over ammunition is never a problem. If Resi 6 is like this, then I'll be investing in that soon.

Also, Just Cause 2. Not even an hour in, and I've already hijacked a helicopter in mid-flight. The vehicle controls are heavier and more responsive than I thought (more Red Faction:Guerrilla than Saints Row), which is what I value most from games like this. Loving it thus far.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:19 PM   #338
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Re: What are you playing right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanbatou View Post
I'm about five hours into the new XCom game, and I'm debating whether to stick with my "classic ironman" game or start a new "impossible ironman" run. Classic mode just doesn't feel unfair enough yet. I blame the tutorial.
You happy with it so far? Classic Ironman has one save, right? Not hard enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLB1987 View Post
Oh, you guys, communicating in secret code. Managed to resist reading it :-P

Started playing Resi 5 with my woman. It's brilliant. The best co-op game I've played since Toejam and Earl on the Mega Drive. Tackling the first boss together was truly exciting (although it was as much of a battle convincing her to lure the monster to the blast furnace and staying in there until I was ready to lock it in, as it was fighting the monster itself, lol), it's just a great game. We make a great team, too- she likes being trigger-happy with an SMG, and I'm an short range with a shotgun kinda guy, so arguing over ammunition is never a problem. If Resi 6 is like this, then I'll be investing in that soon.

Also, Just Cause 2. Not even an hour in, and I've already hijacked a helicopter in mid-flight. The vehicle controls are heavier and more responsive than I thought (more Red Faction:Guerrilla than Saints Row), which is what I value most from games like this. Loving it thus far.
Hmm, Resi 5 is free on PS+ this month (along with Bulletstorm, but that game was marketed so badly that not even a free copy tempts me even though I hear it is actually a good game). However I have Borderlands 2 as the co-op game de jour right now.

I enjoyed what little of Just Cause 2 I played (I accidentally overwrote my save after a particularly tedious story mission so no going back). I mostly fooled about in helicopters and planes; I could see it get boring after a while but it was surprisingly good.

Li-Ion

SPOILERS BELOW FOR SPEC OPS THE LINE - DO NOT READ

Very interesting - I shot the soldier, of the two guys hanging up, as I doubted I could kill the snipers in time (plus I was conditioned to do what I was told by the game, no doubt about that). I shot into the air more out of clumsiness in the crowd scene, and was delighted I could do that, I was panicking a bit at the prospect of shotgunning the civilians en masse at that point!

It did quite a few things well, actually!

I reacted badly to the 'It's all your fault' stuff though - I was thinking, no it's fucking not! I guess I am the typical shooter player that the game is making fun of

I think you may have it right on these points, though if they intended the 'you're already dead' bit they should have made it a little less subtle maybe.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:05 PM   #339
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Re: What are you playing right now?

I'm about three hours in now (JC2), and I have plenty of bad stuff to say now. The missions are all pretty boring and samey, the voice acting/ script is ATROCIOUS, no yaw control on the aircraft (is that the term? I vaguely remember it being a term from my MS Flight Simulator 98 days)... Luckily, the island is gorgeous and the true star of the game, so I'm giving it a little more time. Also, flying in a plane, clipping the wing, and having it explode into a ball of flaming death... Dying has never been so much fun.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:24 PM   #340
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Re: What are you playing right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
You happy with it so far? Classic Ironman has one save, right? Not hard enough?
I am very happy with XCom so far, especially after last night's loss of three key squad members knocked me right out of my comfort zone. I don't want my XCom games to be comfortable at all, is the thing. I might be just the sort of masochist who would enjoy the game on the impossible setting.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:58 AM   #341
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Re: What are you playing right now?

Aaand.. now I'm pretty sure I've lost that game of XCom. It was hubris that did me in, no doubt. Well done Firaxis, well done.

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Old 10-13-2012, 05:08 PM   #342
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Re: What are you playing right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLB1987 View Post
I'm about three hours in now (JC2), and I have plenty of bad stuff to say now. The missions are all pretty boring and samey, the voice acting/ script is ATROCIOUS, no yaw control on the aircraft (is that the term? I vaguely remember it being a term from my MS Flight Simulator 98 days)... Luckily, the island is gorgeous and the true star of the game, so I'm giving it a little more time. Also, flying in a plane, clipping the wing, and having it explode into a ball of flaming death... Dying has never been so much fun.
this game was never about being brainy or realistic. I think the real fun comes from finding unique ways to cause mayhem by hooking things together
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:37 PM   #343
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Re: What are you playing right now?

That's the impression I got from people before I played the game... Still, I hope the missions allow more freedom soon. The different ways you can take on enemy bases (and the tactics you have to use- death comes way too easy) are many, so I'm surprised this hasn't been implemented into the actual missions. So far, fun gimmicks aside, it's reminding me of a third person Far Cry 2. Another game I really wanted to like, but in the end just let me down on almost every level :-/
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:07 AM   #344
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Re: What are you playing right now?

I think Far Cry 2 is a perfect FPS. I always felt lost and underpowered playing it, but in a good way. The most basic attack plans in that game could always end in unpredictable disaster. lol. I never felt any need to finish it, though.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:49 PM   #345
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Re: What are you playing right now?

It was the relentless respawning of enemies that got me. I'd actually have preferred little to no action whilst travelling inbetween missions (or, ideally, just enemies that stayed dead, and for the occasional outpost to be kept). Unfortunately, that was a big enough problem for me to not enjoy the game as a whole. Really liked the buddy system. I'm still sort of looking forward to Far Cry 3, really hope the issues I mention are sorted.
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