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Darkly Dreaming Demographic.

Where weird shit hits bizarre fans.

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It’s the rain

It’s that haunting sound

I hear your voice in the rain

Your face still hurts me.

A sweet pain savoured

I stare too long at the rain

Hard to pull away

Lying to myself

Maybe you’re thinking of me

Somehow I doubt it.

With or without you

I’m waiting for you

A sleight of hand, twist of fate

I wait, without you.

 

With or without you

Through the storm we reach the shore

You give it your all

 

I want so much more

Can’t live with or without you

With or without you.

The Outer Worlds Review – Astronomically average

Ok so I held out until I finished the game and I can safely say I don’t hate Outer Worlds.

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Coming to me through the wonders of gamepass ultimate for the whopping price of two whole English pounds comes probably the most overrated game of the current decade. Is it really surprising I don’t love this game? I’m starting to wonder if I even like videogames anymore. I’m honestly questioning whether I should get a new hobby, maybe take up knitting. But it’s interesting because people are raving about this game and for the life of me I can’t fathom why but I guess I can sorta. So this is kinda gonna be part review, part thought experiment to try and reason out what people see in this game that I don’t.

First of all gotta get this out of the way, I have no dog in this fight whatsoever, I’m not a bethesda fanboy who thinks the fallout games are perfect. I don’t worship Pete Hines and I’m not secretly Todd Howard under a pseudonym with a fake moustache. On the flip side I’m also not an obsidian or new vegas cultist, I’ve never played Kotor and I thought new vegas was ok but really nothing special, pretty much the same with their south park games. I’m kinda neutral on obsisdian. I enjoyed new vegas but I didn’t think it was the second coming of videogame jesus like their cultists do. I mean it’s a pretty decent game considering it was made in a year but it never really blew my sock off.
I also had zero expectations for this game, it was sort of just a blip on my radar, I didn’t get super hyped and raise my expectations in the slightest like I did for almost every fallout game haha. So this isn’t an angry reactionary flame out because my expectations were too high, I had literally zero expectations of this game other than it being a fun rpg. I went into this game totally free of bias or hype to colour my verdict. I’m also not being paid by anyone to talk about retractable horse balls haha.

Ok so now that’s out of the way you know that I’m coming at this from the most objective position you can get and all this hate is coming purely from a person that has never known true love and does not have a life.

Jesus where to start, ok so Outer Worlds starts where not Rick Sanchez/Doc Brown basically kidnaps your character from a giant colony spaceship that was ‘lost’ seventy or so years ago. Which is a pretty cool way to pick your character because you’re basically not Rick Sanchez choosing from a list of colonists and once you’ve created your character and their stats and stuff you’re ejected from his ship in an escape pod onto this alien world, where you first get to experience the shitty combat and stealth, yeah.

First thing you’ll notice apart from the interesting colour palette is that the weapons and combat are kinda bleh. All the guns look, sound and feel like they had a little orange cap on the end of the barrel before they were modelled haha. They look like toys and there isn’t a lot of feedback. I tend to measure a game by the standard of it’s shotgun and the first shotgun you get looks and sounds like you’re firing squeaky potatoes at people. It’s one of those rpgs where you can shoot someone five times in their bare face at point blank range and they just give you a stern look of disapproval and maybe say ‘ow’. But it’s pretty forgiving in the other direction, you can stand on a landmine and be mildly annoyed for about a minute. You don’t really need to use cover, the combat is quite forgiving in general, I played it on normal and I breezed through most encounters I couldn’t talk my way out of. It’s casual af haha.
Funny thing is you can’t lay those mines though, I of course thinking of Fallout and having high engineering skill because I was role playing as Amos from the Expanse I expected to be able to disarm them and pocket them, I expected wrong. It just blew up in my face, you can’t pick up or deploy mines in Outer worlds, there are also no grenades, there are grenade launchers but no grenades, not that I’m complaining, I don’t usually use grenades in most games but it’s weird them not being there, did they just forget?
Come to think of it there were no grenades in bioshock either, just a grenade launcher, funny since I was just reviewing Prey 2017, a game that literally has more grenades than guns… and is shit.

So the first part of the game I found really tedious because you ‘inherit’ lets say, a nice nearly new ship called ‘The Unreliable’ but to get it off the ground you need a maguffin to make the engine work. So the first part of the game you’re making a choice to help either of these two factions to get the maguffin so you can make the ship work. So you’re dropped onto this first planet but it’s not a free roam game, it’s like a hub game, so there are multiple planets and each planet has a tight little map to explore and exploit which is good and bad honestly.
The two standards for rpg worlds spectrum for me are Fallout and Deus Ex, in Fallout you have a vast open world that’s a mile wide and an inch deep. So big open space but it’s not amazingly detailed and there’s lots of reused assets and maps, so you trade quality for quantity and it kind of makes it so when you find somewhere someone has put some effort into like the towns, it surprises you.
In Deus ex it’s the opposite, it’s an inch wide and mile deep, so you don’t get these big roving open worlds you get a tightly packed hub world that’s densely detailed with secrets and you can enter almost every buildings, go into the sewers even go on the rooftops and as you unlock new abilities you can unlock new places to explore. I can’t really say which I prefer because although the Deus Ex style is cool it doesn’t leave it open to a lot of replay, in Fallout the sheer amount of content means you can’t see it all on one playthrough.

Now what does Outer worlds do… err well it kinda tries to do both, ‘tries’ being the operative word. It’s sort of in the middle. Basically the worst of both worlds, small maps with very little explorations ‘and’ most of the buildings are sealed or behind loading screens haha.

And I first got a hair up my ass or whatever that expression is when I was on my way to the first town in the game. I noticed there was a sunken ship on the shore so obviously with fallout as my reference I wanted to swim and go see if there was anything cool inside it. It looked obviously placed to be explored. It wasn’t. Instant cock block invisible wall, it was just set dressing, immersion ceased. There isn’t even a swimming mechanic.

So that was the first inkling where I was like ‘there’s something wrong in denmark’ or whatever that expression is. Then I head to the town and start on my way to get the maguffin for my ship and I engage in a sort of bog standard Fallout style fetch quest where then I arbitrarily decide which town gets power. Which I dunno, I guess it has an effect on something, not really, well kind of. It’s kinda hard to think there are consequences considering this is one settlement in an entire solar system. I got a cool hat though. And the decision is literally like a button press.
It’s also where you get your first two companions and dude they are thirsty af haha. I’ve never met companions that are more fucking desperate to enter life and death situations with a complete stranger before. They’re shameless, they barely hide their desire to colonize the shit out of your ship, it’s like “Is that an enormous desire to join my crew despite the fact we just met or are you just happy to see me?” They do not play hard to get in this game and the second companions I was like ‘really, this guy?’ because this dude was like mega npc, didn’t strike me as interesting enough to be a companion and I felt vindicated in that assumption, his quest line was pretty mehtier honestly.

I mean the first companion is just a brown knock of the girl mechanic from Firefly, oh also she’s a lesbian. She pretty much told me without even asking. There’s like a quest where you have to introduce her to this other ethnically indistinguishable engineer lady and I figure it was just professional admiration but no they’re quickly exchanging texts and poetry, like why? It’s not even something you have to dig for, the game just throws it in your face like “You are never gonna get this!” I get it, there’s no romancing the companions but you didn’t have to shove it in my face ok. They knew she was basically the Tali of this game and everyone would be into her and they had to just cock block us in advance, fucking obsidian man.

The first part of the game has to be the worst imo which as first impressions go, it’s pretty tedious but I just gritted my teeth through it because I was hoping it would get better when I get the ship and it does. The ship is the singular coolest part of the game but it also makes me sad haha. For reasons that are pathetic. I happen to have a fucking huge obsessions with space sims ever since I played Elite Dangerous, and everyone wanted to compare this game to Fallout and Mass Effect which is apt but the game I wanted to compare it to was Rebel Galaxy (and maybe Alpha Genesis One a bit). It’s this awesome indie space sim that’s basically firefly but it’s a space sim, all ship combat, you only get out of your ship at ports.
And I’m looking at this game and I’m thinking why are you trying to compete with fallout and not aiming higher and trying to compete with Star Citizen? Competing with fallout right now is like a two legged man entering a one legged man ass kicking contest, they are already dead at this point, or if you prefer a biological man entering a woman’s sport eve- stop right there thought criminal scum!
Tell me why you can’t pilot the ship in this game? Why is there a snarky little AI that does it? It turns your ship basically into a loading screen hub, that’s all it is. It’s a really cool loading screen hub but that’s all it is.
Now I’m not saying I want to be able to buy more ships because the Unreliable is as much a character as anyone on board but I want to have space travel and space combat, because right now it’s just a fast travel you click on planets on the map and whoosh. I want the ship to be pilotable and I want to buy upgrades for it like the Jackdaw in AC Blackflag. Maybe this will be a dlc (probably not, most likely it’ll just be a new planet like in Warframe, you know that game that’s free), who knows but that would elevate this from generic fallout clone to epic space rpg/sim beating out even mass effect. That’s literally the only thing holding this game back, it doesn’t have it’s own identity, it brings nothing new to the table, fitting neatly in a niche between Mass Effect and Fallout 4 without trying to elevate either. There’s really not a single mechanic that sets it apart from fallout, I mean yeah the conversation system is better but who plays videogames for interesting conversations? In Fallout 4 you get fucking power armor with jetpacks in Outer Worlds you can’t even fly the ship.
Why is it so hard to make a space game where you pilot a ship and then get out and shoot stuff? You can sail the ship in AC blackflag then get out and fight to board other ships, you can drive a car in gta then get out and shoot people or shoot people from the car, why does it become infinitely harder when it comes to space. Fuck it, make space 2d like Rebel galaxy if you have to, that game basically plays like Blackflag except in space with awesome dark country music playing on the radio like you’re a space hillybilly trucker.
They could’ve beaten Star Citizen to the punch and cock blocked Bethesda with Starfield but all they’ve done is make a game that takes a handful of the mechanics from fallout and puts them in space. It brings nothing new to the table and it kind of ruins mechanics those games perfected.
How awesome would it be to have a space game where you can have a dogfight with a ship and disable it’s engine then board it to ransack it like AC Blackflag? That would be totally groundbreaking.

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1 Guns guns guns;
The guns in Fallout 4 specifically are pretty punchy, they have nice feedback, it’s not as good as a shooter but it’s pretty close, it’s not bad for an rpg, there’s also lots of gore and the enemies are really responsive to damage, their heads explode, limbs fly off, blood splatters etc. You can also dismember their corpses if you’re a total psycho (like me).

None of this happens in Outer Worlds, the guns are basically toys, there’s almost no gore I noticed, at least not at the level of fallout. I think I did shoot someone’s head off once but it came off cleanly like a dolls head with no blood. The only blood in the game is in the form of flat textures put to emphasise a scene in game. You can turn people to dust like fallout but instead of blood it’s like sparks shoot out of people, really lame haha.

The gun upgrade system is also not nearly as extensive as Fallout, you can change out almost every part of the guns in Fallout, in Outerworlds you can put on a silencer and change the damage type and change the scope and that’s pretty much the extent and it’s only on certain guns and not on named special guns.
Also the guns have this really lame rpg leveling style where you’re always just recycling guns for higher level ones which caused me to just stick with the named guns and not bother with the others. Just levelling it with money. So it basically means guns are just loot because they’ll always be pretty under levelled when you pick them up. It’s same with armor, the armor is one piece like in Fallout with a helmet. This for me breaks my immersion, I liked how in Fallout 4 you’d stick to the guns you like, I was still using pipe guns til late in the game because my silenced pipe rifle was perfect for stealth kills.
I kinda like the atom punk buck rogers style but there isn’t a lot of variation in armor, you can pick up the next level armor from a different company and all that changes is the paint job. Also no power armor, no vehicles, no jetpacks, jetboots, nothing really interesting like that.
The number one thing that pisses me off about the guns is the ammo, in Fallout you get standard real life ammo and you can change the receivers for different ammo types. In Outerworlds there are only three ammo types Light, heavy and energy. People calling this game hardcore and Bethesda games casual really need to look at that and slap themselves in the fucking face haha. I mean yeah Fallout is casual now but that’s causal on a new level.
You might be like ‘why is that bad, it’s streamlined?’. Well the reason it’s bad is because almost any gun can have one of these three ammo types so there’s no real reason to use any particular type of gun in certain situations, you only need to have a gun that uses each type to maximise ammo usage. So you can specialise in large guns and just have three large guns one that uses heavy, light and energy and that might sound great but I dunno why it’s not, it’s just not haha. It’s not immersive.
In fallout the reason you keep the pistol is because 10mm and 38 ammo is really common. Which is why I kept my pipe rifle because it used the most common ammo type. Even if you find a rocket launcher or a 50 cal sniper rifle, you’re not gonna be swimming in ammo at the start of the game, so you need weapons that are more versatile, that’s immerive as hell.
This is just bog standard rpg fare where it’s like ‘hurr durr, I wanna be a gunslinger I put all my skill points into pistols and be done with it’. Just something about that annoys the hell out of me. There’s almost no benefit from using big guns, long guns or pistols.

Also the science weapons suck, I mean come on, they’re cool gimmicks but they suck, they’re a gag, they’re about as useful as an asshole on your elbow. Like the shrink ray, that sounds cool and useful you instantly think of Duke nukem shrinking enemies and stamping on them. Except that it doesn’t shrink them small enough and you don’t have a stamp function, you just have a generic gun butt hit so all it does is turn them into midgets that take more damage, how fucking underwhelming is that? So you have to change to another weapon after you’ve shrunk them and then shoot them.

The mind control ray just makes someone fight for you for a bit until they die, the gloop gun is kind of useful, although I don’t think it works when you give it to a companion. They’re fun, but they’re not really viable imo. And why aren’t there like science armors, give me a jetpack goddamit, I don’t want this lame dodge skill, I want jet boots haha.

2 Companions:

This is the big one imo because this is the one people are harping on about being better because in Outerworlds you can have two companions like Mass effect and they sometimes chip in in conversation and have special moves.

So in Fallout 3 you get one companion (without mods) and in Fallout 4 they got rid of the karma system and implemented a much more nuanced friendship/affinity system. So now instead of getting karma from actions you gain affinity from companions. Basically if you like a companion you’ll conform to them, and do things they like to gain their affection unlock more dialogue/quests/romance/skills. Also some companions can lock pick or hack and you can just ask them to hack or pick a lock as long as you give them picks. Also in previous fallout games there was no limit to the amount of companions you could have at one time.

In the Outer worlds there’s no karma system or affinity system, they just get xp and you level them with perks like you do yourself. You can’t romance them, they have their own quests and abilities like special moves in combat which are kinda cheesey and immersion breaking imo. Like yeah ok go drop kick that dude in the middle of combat that’s cool, or pull out a random gun you don’t have and do a trick shot, it’s silly. And in real tough fights their ai is totally useless and they’ll get themselves killed in five minutes because they’ll be trying to melee a huge robot sentry or something.

Also instead of telling people to hack something or pick a lock their skill is just added to yours so having them in your party boosts some attributes like speech/engineering/lock picking etc, which isn’t as immersive as just asking them to do it imo.

Also I don’t know if this is a glitch but you can’t undress them which sounds really wrong and pervy haha. But hear me out haha. Like in fallout in Outer Worlds you can give them armor and weapons but you can’t take it off them so if you put a helmet on them that mother fucker is staying there, you can only swap it like a game of fucking musical chairs so now Parvati permanently has a set of additional goggles under her actual goggles because I didn’t want her to have a power armor helmet on walking around the ship. I almost wish you couldn’t give the companions armor in Outerworlds because their outfits kinda fit their character (apart from Nyoka who literally dresses like a fucking clown haha) and giving them armor makes them almost indistinguishable from enemies. Also there’s a mode where they can die permanently, yeah don’t think I’ll be trying that haha.

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Honk honk!

Also honestly the companions are sort of flat, just your generic stronk wamans and sort of conflicted pussy men and a cleaning robot who shoots acid. Points for guessing who my favourite companion is haha.

 

3. Combat;

This probably should’ve come after guns but… oh well haha.

Combat in Fallout 4 is pretty decent, a lot of it tense and fun and hard and you sort of have to use a bit of stealth and surprise and the enemies aren’t geniuses but they’re not dumb either. The enemies are pretty reactive and vocal.

In Outer worlds the combat is basically just chipping away at a health bar until the enemy ragdolls and glows indicating loot. Certain enemies are weak to certain types of damage but it doesn’t really matter all that much and the enemy i.a is pretty fucking dumb. I don’t think I’ve ever been ambushed or surprised. Marauders just sort of hang around an area or are waiting on the main path. You can be like a foot away from them dressed like a tank with a giant robot behind you and they wont notice you until you’ve unloaded on them. The combat is just serviceable. It also has like a bullet time mechanic which totally isn’t vats and totally isn’t there to cover up how clunky the shooting is.

Melee combat is pretty much the same, but it’s split into one handed and two handed, nothing that special.

4. Perks/leveling

The perk system in Fallout 4 is pretty good, in fact its pretty damn good, a lot of the time when you’ve played the game over and over you’re playing just for the perks to try out new end game builds so the skills and perks add a nice level of replayability and a good level of customisation.

The perks in Outer Worlds, gonna be blunt, suck ass. They’re really bad. Like they have this cool system where you can accept a flaw, a negative perk so you can unlock a new perk and I thought that was cool because there are three perk tiers so I though this would allow me to unlock the perk tiers faster. I did this before reading the perks. The perks are pathetic and all the best ones are on the first perk tier, it’s a total waste of time. Like ‘wow I can walk 25% faster, epic.’
Extra carry weight, faster cooldown for your bullet time and companion abilities, did obsidian make this? How is this perk system worse than new vegas?

I do like the leveling system though because you have to level a whole skill tree before specializing at level fifty, actually I dunno if I like it but it kinda makes you op. I can feel my character becoming a jack of all trades. I’ve already customized my squad so I can do basically everything, there’s pretty much no encounter I can’t get out of with a speech check. Again this hurts replayability. my character has negative in speech but because of companion system I can breeze through every speech check and I just ended up putting perks into it because it’s easy and the combat is kind of boring filler.

Why do you play games like this if it isn’t for interesting builds and perks? The guns and loot maybe, well the guns and armor are kind of bleh too.

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5. The story/quests

The story in every fallout is serviceable, it gives you a reason to progress. Fallout 4 and 3 in particular go for familial connection to stoke a sense of emotional drive which on the tenth play through is totally moot but it tries.

The story in Outer Worlds is totally placeholder “err save the other frozen colonists to err save the colony I guess”. And it’s also the story for Rage which is another besthesda game, but that game had awesome vehicle combat and pretty decent shooter mechanics as far as I can remember, still didn’t ask for a sequel though haha. Why do I care about the colony? Why do I care about the other frozen colonists? I’m pretty much a space pirate with a cool ship, I can do whatever I want, sod the colonies I’m going to space vegas! I mean going for the ‘baddies stole my baby’ in fallout is cheap emotional manipulation but it’s effective. It’s more effective than save these faceless frozen dinners in space to save all the people of halcyon for reasons. I mean the world doesn’t even seem that fucked honestly.

There’s this weird mission on Monarch the second planet you explore where you go looking for this guy and boom cannibals and I was like ‘y tho?’. I mean I get cannibals in a post apocalyptic world, all the greenery is dead, the soil is irradiated the animals are mutated but this is a functional colony on a lush planet. There are creatures you can eat all over the place, I mean sure they can eat you too, but surely people are harder to kill and eat. Also they were like right outside the first fucking colony. Like mate, hold on, maybe just nip into town to get some fucking chips before you start snacking on the postman. It just felt like it was there because it was in fallout and ‘cannibals so spoopy yo’.

Except the mission was shitty, you just go there looking for this dude and he’s locked in a room upstairs of this creepy obvious cannibal family’s house who want you to ‘stay for dinner’. It was so unsubtle and I thought there must be tonnes of ways to do this but there wasn’t. I couldn’t pick the lock on their kill room so I just had to kill them to get out. That was the mission.

The cannibals in Fallout 3 weren’t even a mission, they were just there. It’s just something you can find, it’s not even related to the story, you could completely miss it. In fact I’m pretty sure I did on my first few playthroughs. And when you kill them you can get a ripper, and that’s the sort of stuff that encourages you to explore.

Because of the nature of the level design you can’t really go off on the beaten path in Outer worlds, because there isn’t one. Even if you did do that and accept no quests at all and just go exploring what’s going to happen is through exploration alone you’ll just inadvertently complete all the quests in the region before accepting them.

6. Loot

The loot game of Fallout 4 is probably some of the best in any game, I get some people hate it as grindy but it’s immersive and fun imo to have to find certain materials for certain things, whether it’s to upgrade your guns or build your settlement. Like by the end of Fallout 4 with all the dlc you’re sending fully armed robots you made to deliver concrete to certain settlements so you can build structures there. It’s pretty in depth and interesting.

In Outer worlds it’s super casualized, the loot is just guns and armor and junk and you can break down guns and armor to make armor parts used to repair armor or weapon parts to repair weapons. You can also tinker with weapons to level them up or add mods, same goes with armor. Cool thing about this is if you have high engineering skill you don’t need a work bench to fix your stuff, you can break down and fix stuff on the fly which is really useful.

So in a game like Fallout you want to explore not only for story and cool weapons but also to scavenge materials. Like you end up starting to build something and it’s half done because you need more of something so out you go again on another adventure to who knows where. There are even factories that are teeming with rare materials. It’s interesting and it just works haha. In Outer Worlds there’s just advancing the plot, the loot is secondary.

7. SBQ (Steve Blum question) I’m pretty sure Steve Blum isn’t in Outer Worlds but there’s still gonna be dlc to come. He might have just put himself on the credits preemptively.

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8. Bugs

Yeah a whole section for bugs in a game that ‘supposedly’ has no bugs on launch hmm hmmmm????? Yeah it’s pretty fucking buggy tbf, disgruntled bethesda haters are basically trying to push this narrative that the reason fallout games are so buggy is their ancient engine they’ve been using since the dawn of time. Yeah bet you didn’t know Oblivion and Fallout 4 use the same fucking engine, well now you do. Bethesda have been using that engine for years just putting tape on the leaks, buffing out the rough edges, basically putting lipstick on a pig for years now with that ‘aint broke don’t fix it’ mentality. And Obsidian cultists tried to blame bethesda for how notoriously buggy New vegas was, that and how little time they had to work on it.

But how long have they been working on Outer Worlds? Who knows but surely longer than on NV.

Now I’m not the kind of guy that harps on about bugs unless they actively harm my enjoyment of the game, I don’t care if some guy clips through something or the physics break or whatever, just visual bugs don’t bother me, it’s par for the course. But Outer Worlds has bugged quests that really hurt the game as well as the immersion. As well as sound drops.

When you come on the ship the ships computer will tell you that your crew are interacting in some way and it’s basically an in game cutcene meant to add immersion but they hardly ever work, most of the time nothings happening or it’s the same scene you’ve already seen repeated again which just defeats the point and completely takes you out of the game. Tack onto that people climbing invisible stairs and invisible ladders and there’s some stuff to be ironed out.

But there are quest bugs, one I know is a bug and one I’m not sure is a bug or just bad design.

All the companions have companion quests which unlock an ending for them and I finished most of them but two I couldn’t complete. Parvati’s quest line didn’t even appear and Felix’s was already failed without me even doing anything. I just got the quest and it failed, I have no idea why there was no reason in game that it would’ve failed. I could even do the quest without the quest markers just following a guide but when you find the final guy to talk to he wont engage you and I just had to kill him, that was the only way to complete the quest but it didn’t count as finished and I got no xp from it.

And normally I’d be like ‘well that’s just one quest who cares’ yeah but it’s one quest that literally effects the ending, now when I completed the game Felix and Parvati just died for no reason and there was no resolution for their stories.

The second quest bug was I accepted a mission from this random chick and I love how this game makes you feel like quests are hidden all over the world. This quest wouldn’t have even been a thing if I hadn’t kept talking to this person and it was a pretty decent quest. It was this little cool quest where you investigate this retirement village and it turns into a trap and you have to escape but the thing is trying to escape the hard way means destroying board robots and I didn’t notice that it was lowering my standard with this faction who ran this part of the world. So when I came out of the dungeon every npc had turned hostile for no reason and I had to liquidate them all which completely fucked up any other way of completing the main quest I was doing in the same place. I had no other option but to go in guns blazing, which was really easy because this game is casual af but it was just annoying and immersion breaking and even the quest giver had turned hostile to me so I failed the quest. It was just so dumb.

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9. Summary/niggles/world.

Ask yourself why are you playing Outer Worlds, it’s not the loot, it’s not the gameplay loop, maybe for the characters or the story, not really. Endless boring conversations that go on forever with npcs. I mean the dialogue is pretty good for an rpg like this, I didn’t find myself skipping through a lot of it like I do in badly written rpgs but you can’t base a game around a good conversation system and not have an actual decent game attached to it. I ended up just investing in speech because it was just quicker and easier than combat. Maybe reading endless emails that just amount to rick and morty gags.

I remember being so immersed in the fallout and deus ex that on my first play throughs I read every newspaper, every email, because the world was interesting and real I wanted to know everything. Like if you read all the terminals in the institute it literally tells you all the secret synth spies in the common wealth, just amazing immersive lore. In Outer worlds the terminals are just excuses to display their ‘hilarious comedy’. I’ve got nothing against humour in games in fact I love it when it’s used properly and sparingly and not like borderlands where’s there’s some stupid invader zim gag every two minutes. Games like that, the joke is basically on the person who played full price for this garbage. So when I read a terminal I expect it to be super interesting and relevant not some stupid time waster gag. But for me to want to read the email in the first place the world has to feel real and immersive and compelling and Outer Worlds just isn’t there for me. It definitely has a better and more immersive world than any Arkane game though.

Why are the quests so cookie cutter? Why are all the male characters completely incompetent morons and all the female characters are smart and tough and basically perfect? (Actually there’s this one girl that locked herself in a closet and you get her out by telling her to unlock it from her side, that was pretty funny haha).Why do I feel like I’m losing years of life in every loading screen. This is like a game you should bring a book to read in loading screens. It must take forever to load up all those buildings you can’t go into. Why do all the enemies mill around the roads with their backs turned waiting to be ambushed? Aren’t they there to ambush me? Why is there no day night cycle? No one goes to sleep. This is important immersion, if you want me to believe that this a real living world, humans need to sleep.
Why do the enemies looks like lilo and stitch plushies? I don’t know whether to shoot them or win them at a fair. Also why is the bringing your weapon up and the action button the same fucking button??? About to engage in combat, better pull my gun out and it’s so immersive that no one reacts to your weapon being drawn at all. Why is there no flash light? Why no romance options? Why no radio?
The music and flash light is all about atmosphere, no darkness or shadow, no possibility for scares or tension. The music is also relegated to jingles, why is there no radio stations, they had the balls to copy the vats system but they held off on radios why? Was that just a step too far or is that too much effort?

Some of the music is great though, like in Fallbrook the atmosphere there is totally space western firefly tier, it’s great, then why is it generic mass effect tones for most of the game? It’s like they copied fallout but left out most of the best bits, if you didn’t want to be compared to Fallout why mention fallout in the marketing and release it in direct competition with Fallout 76 (as if that’s competition haha).

Now I’ve written all this and you’re thinking I hate this game, this is a Prey 2017 situation but I actually really like this game but I’m looking at this generic fallout clone in space and thinking; this could’ve been so much more.
And what’s more I applaud this game, I know it’s going to do well because it’s marketing department are either geniuses or the luckiest fuckers on the planet. Because not only did they announce this game mid Bethesda belly flop falling flat on their faces with 76, but they launched it just when Bethesda announced that god awful subscription service. They literally couldn’t have asked for better PR and they’re releasing at a time with almost no competition with a fresh IP. This is going to make money and I’m really happy for them because I want that DLC and I want a sequel where you can fly that damn ship, this has the potential to be no mans sky meets fallout, it has the potential to be the best rpg series ever. It’s just not there yet.

The thing about this game and why people are so adamant in defending it is because it makes for a good narrative. Because there’s a lot of history between bethesda and obsidian. Bethesda is a pretty shitty company and they’re well known for treating studios like obsidian like shit. So people see this as like the triumphant return. Like Bethesda is this evil dragon swallowing and destroying all these little publishers and enslaving arkane, forcing them to make shitty looking glass game clones for eternity.
And obsidian is this underdog who was defeated, who goes off into the forest to train only to return and slay the evil dragon. But it’s just not true, Outer Worlds is not a fallout slayer, it’s a fallout 76 slayer but that’s not a fair contest.
Say what you want about Fallout 4 all the memes ‘another settlement needs your help’ the dialogue system sucks but the game is just bigger and better in almost every way and isn’t nearly as streamlined and casualised as Outer worlds is. The real Bethesda slayer is probably Cyberpunk 2077, if any one can topple bethesda it’s Cd projekt red.

And although I would love to see Bethesda crash and burn I also want to see if Starfield is any good because that could actually be fallout in space and that sounds epic, if it involves actual space combat, if not it’ll get trashed for being an outer worlds clone haha.

So in conclusion, I don’t hate Outer Worlds, I like it a lot although the looting system drives me fucking nuts having to tap X over and over, gotta be pixel perfect to pick up some bullshit. And I almost quit when I saw how crappy the perks were but I gave it another chance and I really enjoyed. Except for the last boss which is ass cancer, it’s just a bullet sponge version of a robot you literally have in your party haha. Also the main villain just sort of pops up at the end to be evil and die. You only see videos of him until he’s trying to kill you right at the end and when you meet him he doesn’t even say anything he just starts shooting haha.

Finally, I know this game is going to do well and I’m really glad because we need more space games, even though this isn’t really one haha. Like come on, not even a jet pack or a low gravity level in space? You don’t even get space suits. I just think it sort of lacks any real identity of it’s own and copies other games and adds nothing new, it doesn’t even have as much stuff in it as Fallout new vegas, you know the fallout they made haha.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to people who like mass effect and fallout. I’d definitely recommend people stop playing Fallout 76 and play this instead haha. It’s going for a song on gamepass but for buying options in all honesty I’d wait for a sale or until we get significant dlc releases.

This is a good 7 or maybe a really good 6.5 for me, it’s not amazing but it’s on the cusp of being amazing, one little push and it could get there. One mechanic that could’ve made it stand out, if there was space combat or more varied level design this would’ve been a 10. But in it’s current incarnation it’s very safe and by the book. Maybe it’s taking a risk even existing but the game itself is not taking any risks in terms of it’s actual content and gameplay and story. I try to ask myself why I don’t hate this game when I loath games like Prey 2017 that just cynically copy another game and add nothing new. It’s because this game doesn’t have an ounce of cynicism in it’s whole body, you can tell they really tried with this game. It’s made with love and passion it just needed something extra to make it stand out from the crowd. Without a doubt this is a title I will be keeping an eye on.

So yeah pick this up on gamepass or don’t I don’t give a fuck haha.

This took way too long to write and almost no one will read it or they’ve moved on to hating on Death Stranding haha.

See you…

download (7)

Prey 2006 retrospective

See I called it a ‘retrospective because it’s fucking old, that’s what you do with old stuff, you don’t ‘review’ it, you retospectivise it (that’s not a word.
Yeah well I was gonna do the Outer Worlds review I hinted at, well I call it a review, it’s like five thousand words already, so it’s more like another shitty essay. But I decided to give it more time and finish it and I think I’ve almost completed it. The reason being it has gotten better as I played it. Like the first part was kinda eh then I got the ship and it started to be more interesting and now going to different worlds is giving it a little more mileage and it helps that it kinda reminds me of Genesis Alpha One which is an indie game I fucking love for some reason. It’s like Alien Isolation if it was a ship builder and the aliens were more annoying than terrifying… terrifyingly annoying. I mean it gets scary when an alien is fucking up your shit and you’re running around trying to stop your ship falling apart and getting sucked into the vacuum of space.

So anyway Prey 2006 what’s that about? It’s a human head studios game, what did they make, not a lot of stuff because after this game they got the beady eye of Bethesda on them and had to choose between cake or death and they chose death which is why they’ve pretty much never been heard from again except some really bad games (like bioshock infinite fuck you). Essentially Bethesda is a little bitch and they like money but they don’t like developers under them showing them up so when a studio comes along that seems to have fresh ideas and talent they have to either buy them out or destroy them. Human head and Obsidian are two such companies that Bethesda tried to bash on the bonce, human head is pretty much dead at this point, Bethesda cancelled the original Prey 2 sequel and then used their buttmonkey studio Arkane who basically just churn out mid-level filler for Bethesda to fashion a nice suit from it’s skin that they could wrap a generic system shock clone in it and sell it for full price. Which goes without saying is pretty shit as a business practice and just on a basic level.

This giant corporate entity basically just crushed them because they made the mistake of sticking out and then not falling in line.
I’m not trying to say this game is amazing, it’s basically just a decent Turok clone using the doom 3 engine. The only reason I played it was because I wanted to see if it was any good and it was dirt cheap on amazon and it was reverse compatible on my xbox one.
I remember at the time when it came out my friends raving about because of the insane level design and innovative physics but it never interested me because I was more into realistic shooters. I preferred shooting zombies and human like npcs, I thought killing aliens wasn’t very immersive or interesting. It just didn’t do anything for me at the time and honestly I probably would’ve been too scared to play it as a kid because this game is pretty dark both tonally and just literally haha. You get like a lighter that runs out and that’s your only light source on this ship that looks like the inside of H.R Geiger’s shitter. Kinda makes me think of that new game Scorn that’s trapped in development hell and probably wont ever come out haha. It looks good but I doubt it could top how ahead of it’s time this game was. The only way I can see it being impressive is just the art style and atmosphere.

So Prey 2006 is about a cherokee called Tommy who lives on a reservation with his girlfriend and grandfather, but then they get abducted by aliens and he has to save them and destroy the alien ship that’s abducting people for nefarious mysterious purposes.

The game’s story is pretty simple but it has this really nice half life feel where you’re not constantly bombarded with narrative or shitty audio notes and there aren’t a million emails to read. You’re just dumped into this completely ‘alien’ environment and expected to adapt and survive and get back the people you love. It’s sort of simple but really good.

Recently I watched a video comparing the weapons and enemies of Prey 2006 to Prey 2017 and the comment section was amazing, I could’ve read it for hours. It was just full of people amazed at how much better and more varied the weapons and enemies were in the original. Just the art style is ten times more imaginative than the remake. Sure you don’t get lame alien powers in the original but you get more than two guns that don’t need to be upgraded at all, you just pick up a gun and it’s just good, it does what a gun should, it kills enemies. You don’t need to rub it and make wishes so that it kills things, it just does. You can’t aim down the sights (except with the first gun because it has a scope and turns into a sniper rifle) but that means that button is for the secondary fire so technically every gun is two guns because it has two modes of fire. One of the guns even has two ammo meters one for general machine gun ammo and the other for explosive rounds. One of the guns is technically  four guns in one because it absorbs various forms of energy to fire different projectiles. It can freeze enemies, shoot out fire balls like an imp, fire lightning bolts (my personal favourite) or like a sun doom beam.

But more than that it’s the little things, every gun has it’s own idle animation. I don’t mean Tommy like moves his hands or tinkers with the guns I mean the guns move, some of them are literally alive. The designs on the weapons evoke this really strange alien lifeform that has been turned into a weapon somehow, it’s really weird and cool. And you compare it to Prey 2017, it’s almost shocking how much effort went into just one weapon you might not even use.

And although there isn’t a shotgun in Prey 2006 there is a gun that shoots out a shotgun blast of projectile acid haha. Or you can fire the whole vile of acid like a grenade.

There’s only one grenade in the game which is the weirdest weapon in the game because it’s these little creatures you think are enemies but then you pick them up and they have two functions one is a standard grenade and the other turns it into a proximity mine.

There’s also one gun you get in a boss battle (yeah this game has bosses because it’s a classic shooter modern gamefags btfo) that’s literally the bosses arm you cut off by closing a door on it. And I didn’t even know you could do that I just did it by accident, I ducked into a little alcove to get some cover and he couldn’t follow because he was too big but he sticks his arm in and starts to fire and I noticed a switch for the door and I was like ‘hmm’ and I cut his fucking arm off and then picked it up and killed him with it haha.

The enemies are also very varied, there’s lots of different enemies and they’re very imaginative, I mean more imaginative than black goo marmite monsters. Also they’re a lot more reactive, like there’s an enemy that like has weird robot legs and you can blow its legs off an it will try to crawl away to heal, it’s weird ok. The enemies and environments are strange, the ship is pretty much this horrifying mix of metal and flesh and so are the enemies, the enemies almost feel like the white blood cells fighting you off as this foreign body. The tone as I mentioned before is also pretty dark as in kids dying and you having to dispatch their bodies being inhabited by the fallen spirits of the dead. One thing I forgot to mention that on top of the aliens there’s a weird supernatural element that comes entirely from you because you have weird native american spirit powers. So it’s like the world of magic and technology colliding in a cool way that works and also it comes together narratively at the end in a really nice way. It also reasons why you come back to life, because when you die you enter the spirit realm and have like a mini game where you have to fight the spirits of the dead for your soul so you can come back. Kinda makes the game a little too easy but it’s enjoyable.

The most fascinating and groundbreaking part of the game by far is the physics, it was really ahead of it’s time in a lot of ways, there are things in this game Portal most likely ripped off. This I think is the first game that has functioning portal mechanics. You can’t lay the portals down but you used them in puzzles and traversal to new parts of the ships and they’re how enemies spawn in. But there’s also these cool areas where the gravity is inverted so you can walk on walls and it creates these really interesting fights where you’re fighting enemies on the floor while you’re on the ceiling or the wall and it adds this insane level of verticality to the level design. But sadly you can’t turn into a mug, we’re all aware that’s all that matters to the soyboys who love Prey 2017, they just love wowjustwowing over the ability to turn into a drinking implement. Never mind having fun gameplay or interesting environments/guns/enemies, all that matters is the muggening.

It’s not the most amazing game ever, if I’m honest I prefer Doom 3 but I’m a crazy person. I just really like that game for some reason. But I finished this, I’ve never finished Prey 2017, not because it’s hard but because it’s not fun. Prey 2006 is fun and the ending is actually pretty satisfying because it sort of lowers your expectations with this generic ‘save your girlfriend’ plot and this awesome opening abduction scene. But then the story throws you a fucking curveball and a half and *spoilers* if you care about spoilers on a game that’s over ten years old. Your girlfriend has been turned into a weird genetic abomination and you have to kill her while she screams for help, it’s pretty fucked up. And then it’s revealed that not only do the aliens just see humans as a source of food they harvest every now and then but it was the harvesters who seeded humans on earth in the first place as a source of food and to use as biological material for experiments. So basically earth is a truck stop for these guys and humans are essentially cows and how the spirit magic and the aliens collide is that the aliens are the ancient evil gods of the cherokee people and they invade the spirit worlds because it’s actually just another dimension through which they can access with portals. So basically you’ve been traversing portals astrally and physically this whole time.

*Spoilers end*

It’s pretty surprising because it comes off as just generic shoot mans but then it blind sides you with a pretty cool concept and really innovative mechanics and level design but you can’t turn into a mug though. You can fly around in zero g in a little space buggy and it’s so much better than in Prey 2017 haha.
I just like it more overall, Tommy isn’t a boring generic science guy Gordon Freeman knock off, he’s his own character and he’s constantly commenting on stuff and he really adds life to the game. He isn’t just this generic silent protagonist guy who’s silent for reasons. Like why is Morgan silent when you hear him talk in audio logs all the time? I mean I get why but its a dumb reason, the twist and story of that game is dumb.

‘But Prey 2017 has multiple endings though!!!!11111’ Yeah but they’re all dumb, Prey 2006 has one ending and it’s good and it should’ve had a sequel but it didn’t meet bethesda “quality standards”. Needless to say Outer Worlds was not a good replacement for Prey 2 as I fantasised briefly. It’s basically Fallout 4 in space but even more casualized as if that’s possible. Like there a multiple endings when going to a party at Michael Barrymore’s house but that doesn’t mean I want to go (too soon?).

There’s not much more I can say about it really, it’s not Half life 2 tier but it’s pretty good, if you don’t believe me get it yourself it’s like under a fiver. All I can is I enjoyed it a lot more than the remake and it had a lot of potential for a sequel in a universe where humans are basically a snack for intergalactic cenobytes. But sadly no one can be the cool kid in the games industry, that’s only for bethesda and they had to can a game that according to the developers was like 90% done. I seriously don’t why there isn’t crowdfunding out there or a some kind of build of this game floating around. I mean we live in the age where crowd funded games can not only exist but be better than triple A titles… I can only think of Kingdom Come Deliverance off the top of my head but the Witcher was funded by a Polish government grant so that’s like ancient crowdfunding.

I probably wont replay this game, which is why I say I prefer Doom 3 because I have and definitely will play that game over and over. Why? I don’t know why I just think it’s cool and it takes the demons seriously, unlike Doom 2016 where it’s borderline stabbing it’s tongue through it’s cheek which I hated. It’s like a Doom game that was embarrassed or too cool to be a Doom game with it’s shitty dubstep soundtrack, good gameplay but the world and story are shitty and the game is kind of overhyped imo. It’s a pretty good classic shooter, it’s better than Halo or whatever but *man hates thing that popular grr*.

Yeah so go play Prey 2006 or just watch youtubers play it and then compare to the shitty remake and cry about never getting a sequel. Then think about entering a portal in the original to a dimension where we got Prey 2 instead of Prey 2017 and Fallout 76.

See you…

 

 

3 ring samurai part 3 chapter 7 ‘They’re all the same’

Wtf is this content???? Original content holy lord jesus gtfo with this nonsense!!

Took a while and its probably gonna be the last for a long eternity because I’m kinda spent creatively right now, but I have time considering that new job is yet to start and it could be fucking months until it does. Still pissed about that, who the fuck offers someone a job when they aren’t sure it even exists??? I did two interviews for this job and filled in a shit tonn of paper work only for them to come back and be like “Well we had some internal hires so we don’t need that position filled right now”. Well it would’ve been good to know that before applying for the job, or can I even get a different job, no I have to wait for this one to be vacant which could be months.

But I don’t know what I should do, should I wait or just apply somewhere else. It probably would be in my best interest to wait because I have a foothold already in this company because I knew someone that worked there and I’ve already put in so much time and effort trying to get it. And not to mention my old job is about to hit the christmas shitstorm which is really profitable (but miserable) for me.

So I was thinking I might start doing Diana part 2 just because I’ve run out of fucks and I think it might be more fun and grounded to write and it gives me an excuse to get back into rereading Dexter instead of these mediocre shadow pulps. It depends on how I’m feeling next week but I have time, so I might as well. Just can’t take this infernal fucking waiting. It’s like the next stage of my life, the best chapter is right over the hill but I have to wait, but it feels like I’ve been waiting my whole life already. And on the otherside my little girl might be waiting further off in the distance, way off somewhere, but I’ll be with her eventually I know it.

I was actually about to write a review for Outer Worlds and shit all over it just because it’s so hot right now haha. I got gamepass so I could play it cheap and I’m quite far into it and not really feeling it honestly, it’s more borderlands than fallout imo. Not to say it’s bad, it’s ok, it just could’ve been so much better and it feels a little safe or just meh. Don’t wanna spoil my review but I was playing it last night and decided to drop it and play red dead redemption instead haha. That’s the first one not the shitty prequel, the one that’s actually fun and interesting and not a boring 30hr horse simulator. I forgot how good it was, classic rockstar at its best is a force to be reckoned with honestly which is why rdr2 hurt so much. Basically I want to give my Outer Worlds review a little more time, just to give a fair shake, I was gonna write it before I completed it but I might do a Prey 2006 review instead and give Outer Worlds a chance to redeem itself.

Anyway short and sweet, this is the end of the Swammy Karl/Riki kung fu tranny arc but it might not be the end of this part because originally this was supposed to be about the gunsmith character but I sort of got carried away with the mimes and stuff and he got squeezed out haha. This segment was supposed to be an interesting seque into that story but it just took over the whole part with the power of self indulgence haha. So it’s not finished, I’ll come back to it at some point – Ryk 2019

Right now, gonna start something else haha.

See you…
 
“What are you doing?”
 
Pookie looked up as he lay prone covered in mud and probably chicken shit and feathers.
 
“Trying to catch, that beast, I guess” Pookie sputtered.
 
Jersey was perched high on the rafters of the barn out of sight talking up as if to herself. Her slight but confident voice echoing through the large richety structure. “What for?”
 
“Training?”
 
“Training? Training for what?”
 
“…”
 
She sighed and said “I see” She said nothing for a moment as Pookie looked up at her leg dangling from the rafters. “What do you want? An apology.”
 
Pookie snorted “What for?”
 
“For trying to kill you”
 
“You were trying to protect him right?”
 
“Yeah.”
 
“Do you love him?”
 
She said nothing for a moment, seeming to freeze, as if the words sent electricity through her whole body. She sighed, releasing the tension in a long breath and spoke softly as if to no one in particular. “Have you ever met someone that didn’t want anything from?”
 
“Can’t say I have, but I don’t get out much.”
 
“A person that would do anything for anyone and not ask for anything in return?”
 
“No” Pookie said thoughtfully.
 
“He’s an idiot, people like him don’t last long in this world.”
 
“He seems like he can take care of himself.”
 
“You think so?” She laughed. “He’s not like us, not like you” She looked straight ahead as if trying to see a face in the wood grain. “He can’t kill, it’s not in his nature, he’ll always be the frog and we’ll always be scorpions.”
 
“I’m not sure I get that reference.” Pookie snorted.
 
“I’d die to protect him, I’d kill, because there needs to be more people like him in this world, or it won’t survive, can’t survive. It wouldn’t be worth surviving in at all without people like him!”
 
“Trannies?”
 
“No not, what!? Forget it, you wouldn’t understand, you’ll just keep chasing chickens until someone faster than you ends up killing you. There are a million guys like you in this world, you really think you’re that special?”
 
Pookie didn’t say anything, but for a moment his face gave Jersey a window, a glimpse of that lonely orphan boy and she knew she’d said too much, been too flippant.
 
She sighed “Sorry, I can be a real bitch sometimes” Her voice softened. “The trick to catching chickens is… you have to predict their movements, you can’t just reach out and grab them or they’ll flutter away. You have to move with them and follow their path or they’ll just get away from you.”
 
“Thanks”.
 
 
“Here’s your… thing!” Pookie said as he dropped the chicken on the crude wooden kitchen table in front of Riki and Brandon.
 
“What?” Riki asked quizzically.
 
“You told me to chase chickens… as part of my training.”
 
“I don’t remember telling you to do that.”
 
“Huh?”
 
“I asked you to get eggs for breakfast and then you disappeared for an hour.”
 
 
As the sun was setting the fires had died. The gnoxious billowing smoke from the tents had turned into a light aery mist that hung over their crumpled deformed shape.
 
“What happened here?”
 
“You don’t know?” Pookie asked the strangely dressed man.
 
“Not a clue” the swammy said incredulous as he looked over the mounds of smoldering plastic and fabric.
 
“Ha, I guess it was just a coincidence” Pookie chuckled to himself.
 
The swammy turned to face the clown samurai. “How did you know I’d come here?”
 
“You said so.”
 
“I don’t think I did” The swammy said.
 
“Oh, you sure about that?”
 
“Quite sure.”
 
“Well for the sake of plot convenience lets pretend you did.”
 
The swammy gave an odd sidewards glance at the clown and said. “You’re not the one I expected to meet.”
 
“Yeah well, can’t always get what you want.”
 
“Well, I can’t disagree with you there.” The swammy laughed a little sadly. “I wanted to be known for my skill, I travelled all over this godforsaken land to learn and bring them something they’d never seen before. But no one understands, I wanted respect, wonder, not fear. I thought joining the circus would change that but it’s the same, no it’s worse. The circus is run on fear and misery, I wont go back, you wont make me and neither will those damn mimes.”
 
“I’m not here for that” Pookie said as he readjusted his sword.
 
“I see, so you’ve come here to die.”
 
 
“For the boy that can’t smile, for the clown that cannot laugh.” The old man said as he stretched out his open hands, resting in them a strange and colourful sword.
 
The boy took it in both hands without a word. His face rich in the colours of their order, bright and shining. The smile painted over the stolid face of despair.
 
The boy opened it with a stiff jerk, as if breaking a seal, it pulled away like it was stuck. A horrible canned mocking laughter was released like a poisonous gas that sent chills up the boys spine.
 
The old man smiled and said “Cool huh?”
 
The kid studied the sword sceptically looking at the gawdy leds that made up the eyes of the devil face on the pommel but still he said nothing. The look on his face a mix of wonder and complete whatthefuckism.
 
“This sword will smile for you, it’s blade will laugh for you and if you point the devil at your enemy and pull this it might just save you from the brink of death.” The old man said as he flicked the mystery draw string tucked into the handle.
 
The boy instantly reached for the pully. The old man smacked his hand away.
 
“Not now, and not ever” He said sternly. “The other will make the sword laugh, that one you must master, it’s sound will bring joy and strike fear in the hearts of many.”
 
If you like this sort of total nonsense head on over to inkitt.

El Camino: Breaking Bad Movie review

Big fan of Breaking Bad like pretty much every sentient being on the planet, the popularity of this show for once didn’t put me off it like how I avoid Game of thrones like the plague and I stopped watching walking dead. Breaking Bad is a good show but I sort of groaned when I heard it had a movie coming out because I was like “Why tho?”. I thought it wrapped up nicely, why would I want to see it continue considering how it ended.

*spoilers* The main character dies.

But surprisingly enough I found it really entertaining, it was a fun movie, you got to see fan favourite characters return and it was a nice little romp with really cool sections. There was this really cool action scene which I didn’t expect, it was almost like a modern day western. Also it was shot really nice, it was just really enjoyable, and thankfully it wasn’t three hours long.

Now here’s where I get to my gripes about this movie, as I said I really liked it but it had so much potential I think it kind of wasted. It didn’t really feel like a movie honestly, it felt more like dlc for a videogame, or cut content from the show, like an epilogue. There’s no way it could stand on it’s own as a movie. If you haven’t seen Breaking Bad you can’t enjoy it even a little bit. Also the timing is just weird, unless this is a preamble to a new show, making a movie this late after the show is confusing because I couldn’t really remember what happened in the show and I couldn’t be bothered to watch it again to know what was happening. I didn’t think this movie needed to exist because at the end it wraps up fairly ok.

I enjoyed the movie but it wasn’t ambitious enough, I really thought you would get to see Jessie making a new life for himself instead it’s just a movie about him escaping. So there really isn’t a lot to it, there aren’t a lot of plot points and the writing is kind of cliche’ like the cops showing up just when he finds the money despite the fact he was looking for it for hours. It’s a little sloppy.

But not much really happens in the movie and there’s a lot of flashbacks that mostly serve as filler, some service the plot but a lot are just there.
If I made this movie I would have cut the whole movie down to an hour by removing a lot of those flashbacks and trimming some of the flabbier scenes and then make the second part of the movie about him starting his new life in Alaska.

I was thinking how much more fun this movie would’ve been if it had just started with him in Alaska already with a new name and new life and then the rest of the movie is cutting back to how he got there all the while establishing a new threat. Because the main antagonist in this movie is well acted but he’s just the guy who built Jessie’s cage where he was locked up for a year. Which is really cool symbolism but the dude is just a welder. Your main villain is a guy that welds stuff but he also has a gun and is a criminal I guess building cages for biker gangs. I dunno, but it kinda worked, I just felt like there needed to be more.

My dream scenario would be for this to be a launching point for a spin off show with Jessie in Alaska, I think that might be pretty interesting. He’s an interesting character and Aaron Paul is an interesting actor.

My gripe with this movie is boiled down to the fact I felt unsatisfied, I wanted more, I mean it’s a compliment wrapped in an insult. The plot just wasn’t ambitious enough, it was very safe,Jessie escapes the end, but what then? I want to know what happens after that and that’s what I thought I would get.

The movie fucking blue balled me. I think it would’ve taken a lot of talent and daring to tack on more storyline and more characters in Alaska but I think it would’ve made it seem bigger and help the structure feel more like a film instead of a two hour episode of Breaking Bad.

But if it turns out to be a pilot for a new show then that’ll shut me right up haha.
Definitely watch it if you’re a fan of the show, there’s no reason not to, very enjoyable film, just kinda makes me wish there was more Breaking Bad even though I know it ended at the right time.

 

Prey 2017 re-review/shitty essay

I’m so sorry to do this, I didn’t want to, believe me. But I’m driving my brother mad because I keep going on about Prey so I just need an outlet to get it all out of my brain so I never have to bother anyone else with this itinerant madness.

Ok so I was in a gaming forum on facebook and I dunno people still rave about Prey it has this cult following who really love and defend it to the death. So when I encountered this I had this niggling feeling like I was missing something and that I didn’t give Prey a fair shake. I feel like I judged it too hastily and maybe the price of the game was clouding my judgement. Maybe it wasn’t so bad but I was pissed because I paid full price and didn’t love it. So I decided to give it another shot since I got two months of gamepass for two quid (I returned my copy and got the surge which was half the price and much much better). I figured at that price point I could just enjoy it without feeling ripped off.

*Plot twist*

I still hated it, in fact I hate it even more than I did before and I’m going to go into painstaking detail to explain why haha.

The first time I played it I got the sense the game didn’t want me to use the alien mods and I liked using the turrets, I wish you could’ve put them in your inventory, that would’ve been awesome and made a lot of sense. I don’t actually see why you couldn’t since they fold up into a size that isn’t much bigger than the medkit and they stack. This game might have actually been super fun if you could’ve been a turret engineer build. Or even if you could mod your turrets for like fire damage or something.

So the first time I played it, I didn’t get any of the cool gimmicks like turning into a mug and shooting lasers from your face and by the end of the game I just got bored and stopped playing. At the time I rationalised that the game allowed me to play it in the most boring way possible and that was the games fault for allowing me to do that. I mean it’s shit game design if it lets you or encourages you to not use all it’s mechanics. It sort of shames you for using the alien mods and there’s an incentive to stay human. Despite the fact all the neuromods are made of alien dna so even if you use just the human skills you still have alien dna inside you. I don’t know how that works since the turrets scan you for alien dna and unless you use the powers they wont attack you. Also considering the ending of the game it makes no sense.

Basically I wanted to use all the cool powers to see if my opinion of the game would change, maybe I just didn’t do all the fun stuff the game had planned for me. So I started a new game with the intent to make the most of the alien powers. Starting off with the scientist skills that allows you to extract alien organs so you can make more mods and stuff and of course since I played it before I remembered you can literally get the blueprint to print neuromods basically at the start of the game.

Like in the area you get the glue gun for the first time if you use it to get the second floor you can enter a room that will take you to this neuromod manufacturing place where if you have the toy gun you can use it to open the door of the directors office and boom; infinite neuromods. Basically it breaks the game but you still need to fight aliens to extract their organs to make the mods but essentially you’ve unlocked the key to godlike power and the game was a cake walk from that point on.

I thought this would be pretty fun, spoilers, it wasn’t. The game let me unlock infinite neuromods before you even have the research scanner to unlock the alien neuromods. So I started to play through like that telling myself I was having fun with all the alien powers, researching and unlocking more as I went along but as soon as I got to the boring life support powerplant missions later in game and I had researched the last alien I needed to unlock all the powers the idea of continuing to play just became so tedious I stopped playing even earlier than I did last time. I didn’t even get to the annoying bit with the infinite spawning robots which wasn’t that hard but would’ve been a joke with the current god build I had.

See the game starts off hard like Bioshock and by the end of it you’re basically a greek titan haha. So it should be as satisfying in that regard but it’s just not, it comes close to being like Bioshock and it’s been called Bioshock in space and I know that’s system shock but I haven’t played any of the system shock games yet. But it’s true in my limited scope only having Bioshock as a reference, there is nothing shy a few gimmicks like turning into a mug or shooting a toy gun that wowjustwows the soyboys that isn’t stolen from Bioshock and maybe Alien Isolation. I don’t mind if a game borrows from other games as long as it gives it it’s own spin, adds something to the formula, but Prey just steals everything to make it’s own shoddy bootleg versions. It copies shamelessly and lazily. In other words; copy and add and improve don’t copy and make worse.

And now I’m going to anally list all the features Prey 2017 takes from Bioshock and somehow miraculously ruins.

  1. Guns
    Bioshock has 6 guns that have three different ammo types each for a different enemy type some even make it almost a different weapon all together. The guns feel pretty nice, they look nice being period style 1940’s guns (no colt 1911 sadly) the upgrade system is these stations that will add a visual change to your gun that will do something like increase the fire rate or mag size. You don’t really need them, it’s just a cool addition. The guns are spread out through the game and awarded to the player at certain points throughout the campaign, you can find or purchase ammo from vending machines. But a lot of the time you’re scrounging for it or money to buy it. You get the first 3 guns a little too early imo but the other guns are better spread out, almost 1 gun per new area.
    Prey has 2 guns, count them a whopping 2 whole guns!!!!111!!! Yeah I said ‘guns’ a glue gun and a stun gun, despite have ‘gun’ in their name are not in fact guns. Neither is whatever a ‘Q-beam’ is. The game even acknowledges this as there is an entirely different skill tree for them. That’s right there’s a skill tree for guns and these miscellaneous weapons. But I’ll get into why that’s a terrible idea in a second once I talk about how shitty and lazy the weapon upgrade system is in general. In Bioshock you might not even find the upgrade stations, I’ve played it a hundred times and I don’t really care if I miss one or I get all the upgrades for all the guns and the game doesn’t care either, a shotgun is still a shotgun even if you don’t find the upgrade for it, it will still blow a splicers face off. So just take that into account, they go through the trouble of putting upgrades into the game that are even visual, someone had to design these visual upgrades, probably a team of people only for you to totally miss or ignore them, that’s passion, that’s attention to detail.
    What’s the gun upgrade system in Prey? Oh you just have arbitrary bars you fill with gun upgrades that take up space in your inventory and you can craft them. So they’re not visual and you might say ‘well who cares?’ and I would agree if one of the bars wasn’t for firepower, that’s right, the damage the guns output are affected by the upgrades. But that’s not all, remember I mentioned skill trees? There’s a skill tree for how much damage you do with guns.
    Now try to swizz that around in your brain, injecting alien jizz in your eye somehow makes guns hurt more. Ok take that in and then also try and wrap your head around the fact there’s a separate skill tree for the other weapons, the glue gun, q-beam and stun gun. They have their own skill tree on top of their upgrades. So there’s literally a skill tree for 2 weapons, count them 2. What does this mean? Well it means the moment you pick up that shotgun it not only sounds like shit but it also does as much damage as a silenced mouse fart through a pillow. Oh there’s also a skill tree just for the wrench too.
    This really isn’t the worst part for me because all this you can overlook but what you can’t overlook is how Prey’s game design is set up to break itself. Because you can get pretty much every gun within the first hour of the game. The shotgun you can get in the lobby just using the glue gun to get into the security room, it’s stupidly easy. I got the shotgun before I got the pistol. Which also is terrible, like it’s silenced for reasons, guess in the future they don’t like guns to make noises despite the fact the shotgun isn’t. It might be just because they couldn’t be bothered to have a mod system to add a silencer or they wanted to dodge people accusing them of having weak sound effects. I mean the least they could’ve done is add a magnum or something, or just made the turrets fit into your inventory like I said before.
    What I’m trying to say is games are a delicate balance of risk and reward. A game functions on almost pavlovian response mechanisms, so when you progress or unlock a secret or beat a boss you’re rewarded by the game which then encourages you to keep going for more rewards. Prey completely ditches those ideas and just tosses the whopping 2 guns whilly nilly throughout the world and it’s pretty much the same with the powers (if you find a gun lying on the ground somehow in bioshock it’s usually a trap haha). But this is one of the reasons I didn’t see a reason to finish the game, on top of the story/characters/motivations not being terribly engaging and the world not being very immersive.
    Also side note, they also look like crap, the pistol is basically a generic 1911 knock off with an added bit to make it look sort of sci fi ish and your character holds it like a granny afraid it might bite. The shotgun is a bog standard pump action which looks almost exactly like the one from Bioshock but with some tacked on sci-fi touch screen shit. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a straight up asset flip, just take a generic shotgun and add sci-fi shit to it. In summary not enough guns but also they’re garbage. I mean compare the look of the weapons from this game to Doom not even modern Doom I mean Doom 3 or even to Prey 2006 and tell me which guns are more interesting.
    What there are no rifles in space, just weird beam lasers that suck?
    Oh also there are shitty grenades that are pretty much useless except the recycling grenade which if you think about it is just a regular grenade that recylces enemies. I had so many emp grenades in my inventory, I never used them, it’s just quicker to shoot them. Also the nullwave grenades are useless because they stop enemy powers from working but they also stop yours. You can get a chipset to block it but why bother, they’re not that useful or fun to use, I wasn’t even sure they worked half the time. There’s also a typhon lure which I also never used, the is just not good enough for it to be effective, or they’re too spread out maybe, it never worked or I never found an opportunity where there were enough enemies to make me think of using it. And yeah there are literally more useless grenades than guns in this game haha.
  2. Powers
    Bioshock’s powers derive from weird sea slugs that were discovered on the sea floor and I love that idea, it’s sort of vaguely Lovecraftian because we actually know more about space than we do about the sea. So it doesn’t surprise me that there’s a substance that’s like super stem cells that allow scientists to mangle dna. The themes of the game that Prey rips off is science unrestrained by government and morality.
    The powers in bioshock are fairly simple, fire, electricity, ice, telekinesis, bees… that’s right fucking bees! You can shoot fucking bees from your hands! And if that doesn’t make you want to go out and get a copy or download a copy I don’t know what will.
    But more than them just being cool, the plasmids are key to the plot in terms of building a world where people tinker with their own dna so they can light cigarettes with their fingers or work in a bee sanctuary without a suit, a world where you get a free telekinesis plasmid with a root canal (that’s actually an advert in bioshock). Each plasmid power has it’s own lore and place in the world, each power has it’s own background story. And one of the main reasons you explore the world of bioshock is to find more powers and gene tonic passives. This is one of the main reasons I hated Bioshock infinite because the reason there were powers in that game was just because they were in the previous games. The game wasn’t centred on them, they were just there because Bioshock in the title. The game was just about Elizabeth and it sucked.
    Not only do the powers have their own reason for being in the game unlike Prey and Infinite they also have contextual uses. You need the electobolt power at the beginning of the game to get through an electronic door that’s short circuited. You need the fire power because Rapture is leaking and there are parts that are frozen over either by the extreme cold of the ocean floor or splicers with ice powers blocking your path.
    You need the telekinesis power to move objects blocking your path and to get keys out of your reach. And you need to shoot bees out of your hands because it’s really fucking cool. Also I think there are parts of the game where you use the ice powers to make bridges out of water. I can’t remember if that’s in Bioshock or Bioshock 2.
    The powers are also nicely level gated so you can’t just unlock like level three bees and just rape every enemy at the start of the game. In fact you can’t even buy the next level of it until you find it in the bee sanctuary where the beekeepers of Rapture use it.
    Also every power is visual and has it’s own bespoke animations. Bioshock is really big on immersion so when you inject yourself with eve you actually see yourself injecting it into your arm and this also happens with your first plasmid which is the electobolt. You jab it into your arm and electricity shoots through your veins as your genetic code is being rewritten then you have an electrified hand which spasms out in this cool way to deliver a fistfull of lighting at your attackers. When you get fire you click your fingers to light people up, the bee power has bees living inside your arms like a beehive and you unleash them by spreading your arms and just swarming them at people and they fly around on their own. One of the reasons they’re the most OP power is because the bees have their own ai and they can find enemies even when they’re invisible or playing dead. Which sounds buggy but it kinda makes sense because bees have super heightened senses of smell.
    Prey, you have powers because they’re in Bioshock and system shock and the people who made Prey have seen in charts and graphs that people like games with cool powers. Ok no you get powers by splicing your dna with alien dna and for some reason I’m sure it’s buried in some long winded boring email I didn’t read the aliens have all sorts of wacky powers (probably because the genius scientists gave it to them and didn’t see that horribly backfiring).
    Powers like electricity and fire and ‘ether’ and psychic and technopath powers, don’t really see how you get these powers in space or find them useful when you’re a sentient blob monster. But I guess you could rationalise that they have adaptive powers and maybe some of the blob monsters became firey because fire is cool.
    The gimmicky power that sold the game to people was the ability to copy the mimic power, so you can turn into any object. Which don’t get me wrong it’s cool and you can basically cheese the game and get into any area by either using that to slip through cracks, or the remote manipulation power that’s basically telekinesis to open doors (but not pick up stuff or catch grenades or do anything cool with it) or the toy gun to shoot door releases.
    Some doors are blocked by heavy objects and you need to upgrade your strength like Deus ex and you can throw them at enemies. Which isn’t that useful, it’s useful in deus ex because you can use them as moving cover but most of the enemy projectiles are aoe so it makes almost no difference.
    But I just want to point out that the remote manipulation, the strength and the mimic powers are all separate skill trees but each aspect of them is basically encompassed in one power in Bioshock which is telekinesis. You can open doors with that you can pick up objects you can’t reach and lift heavy objects, you can’t turn into a mug but you can throw gas canister at someone haha.
    The mimic power is pretty overrated honestly, it’s useless in combat and stealth because you can’t really attack and it eats up energy staying in another form which is really dumb. Later tiers in the skill tree let you mimic a turret and a robot but I don’t see how that’s useful since to copy them you need to be looking at them. I mean like tell me how this makes sense; you see a turret but want to also be a turret so now you have two turrets because you are one, but the turrets shoot at you so you have to break them or deactivate them to get close. I just don’t see how that’s useful when you can just use the shotgun or another power. Sure it maybe saves ammo in which case what is the ammo if it’s coming out of your body? But you can make more ammo so… see what I mean? It’s kinda useless, and why would you want to turn into a robot, the enemies attack the robots and they aren’t really good in combat and you don’t take less damage as them? Maybe it’s something to do with the shitty stealth mechanics this game thinks it has. I dunno.
    The powers are mostly useless honestly, the fire/electric/psychic attacks aren’t used to open doors or access other areas they’re just attacks. And moreover there are no animations for them. You just activate the power and decide where this aoe blast is going to, in this like time slow/stop mode and then a beam/ball of shit just comes out of your body and does a splody that usually in the heat of battle gets you too. I don’t think even the enemies have an animation for their beam powers it just like comes out of their chests and fucks up your day.
    So there’s no real visceral raw feel of launching a lightning bolt at your enemy or snapping them on fire or launching a swarm of mother fucking bees at them! The game just feels restrained and sort of bland and passionless.
    But now my two biggest gripes with the powers and this goes back to dishonored too but doesn’t seem to bother me as much in Bioshock even though Bioshock is probably the source of this bullshit mechanics. What I’m talking about is the non-regenerating mana/magic/energy bar. Which is especially annoying in Deus ex where you need to eat energy bars before you can do a fucking double take down, total bullshit. I hate games that give you awesome power but feed it to you through like a drip. It works in games like Vampyr because your power meter is blood and you can just take it from your enemies, so your enemies are just walking mana tanks. Can you imagine if the Darkness you had to like drink darkness juice to recharge your god like powers haha?
    It wrecks the power fantasy completely. Although in Bioshock it doesn’t really feel as bad as it does in dishonored or Prey. Prey takes the fucking cake though because not only do your attacks consume energy (which isn’t a huge deal because you get a million psi hypos and you can make them too) but all the nuke powers are on a fucking cooldown. Like wtf? Who came up with that? Energy consumption and a cool down, one or the other surely? Like imagine you’re Adam Jensen and you do a takedown and then you have to eat a candy bar and wait like 30 seconds before you can do it again, what kind of bullshit is that?
    I get it’s to stop you spamming it but that’s what the finite energy is for. I guess they do it so you have to get more powers and instead spamming one you use one then the other and cycle through them. But what if I just want to use the best one over and over haha?
    The best one is also what this game should’ve been called (probably what it was called before bethesda meddled with it) if this game had any balls and had the confidence to be compared to Bioshock, which is “Psychoshock” it’s the best power in the game because it does loads of direct damage, never misses and it stops them from using their powers.
    But no they pulled this weird shell game where they wanted you to compare it to Prey that obscure early 2000’s shooter that is nothing like this game at all and is in fact way better haha. And don’t look up the trailer for it’s intended sequel it’ll just make you mad that you live in the dimension where corporate politics gave you Prey 2017 instead.
    My 2nd gripe was going to be the research component but I think I’ll give that it’s own category… like now.
  3. Research
    Bioshock, probably ripping off system shock, I don’t know, still haven’t played them since writing this weird and long rant/essay. Basically you get this camera and you can research enemies by taking their picture and it varies depending on whether they’re using their powers or not. And this is how you unlock certain gene tonics, some of the best in fact, unless I dunno, you don’t like being able to turn invisible, well I mean it’s not turning into a mug but hey can’t impress them all haha.
    So this game you’re exploring, finding new gene tonics and weapons and plasmids and you can get them through researching new enemies, of which there are many. But the enemies are a whole other topic entirely.
    Prey you get like a headscanner thing (that you designed btw whoopdeefuckingdoo go you) and that’s how you unlock all your powers. So you’re not gonna find new powers exploring, only researching the enemies can unlock them. You find new chipsets which is this games version of gene tonics, but is there one that turns you invisible? No… no there isn’t. There’s one that makes your energy regenerate but it’s like at a rate of 0.02 per second so its basically useless. Which encompasses most of the chipsets, they’re unnoticeable, you forget about them most of the time. Whereas in Bioshock as soon as you pick up a new one it’s really exciting and you want to use it immediately. In prey you get one and you forget you even picked it up.
    It’s another factor in regards to the structure of the game because you can get all the powers around the second third of the game. So at that point why are you still playing the game? You have all the weapons by then, you’ve unlocked and been disappointed by all the powers by then, the story? The characters? Maybe you just love Morgan’s fat brother who sounds half asleep all the time and you really want to meet/kill him for being so boring.
    This is what I mean by what’s wrong with this game, it has no idea why people play videogames, the developers had no idea how to structure a fun videogame so it totally falls apart in the third act.
  4. Hacking
    I almost forgot to mention hacking, the hacking minigame is something bioshock gets shit for but at least there wasn’t a fucking hacking skill tree. Imagine having a shitty hacking mechanic and then expecting people to invest their skill points in unlocking it. What level of fuckery are you on?
    Bioshock you can hack everything and bend it to your will, using the security system and turrets to your advantage is really fun, sometimes I just turn invisible and let it do it’s thing for hilarious results haha. The only thing stopping you from hacking is the difficulty level but you get gene tonics that can help you, remove tiles, slow the timer etc and you can craft (I forgot to mention the crafting system, it’s so unobtrusive in this game I love it) a hacktool that instantly hacks anything. So it’s not a big deal.
    Prey not of course this game has it’s hand out, nah you can’t hack unless you have the magic hack power unlocked by alien magic, and you need to keep feeding it skill points to hack higher grade stuff, which is mostly pointless since you can always just find the code or get in some other way, so hacking is a useless skill, unless you like reading a million boring emails about lesbian romances.
  5. Steve Blum phoned in voice acting. I don’t hate Steve Blum I love Cowboy Bebop to this day but that show is not representative of his shitty voices in almost every videogame on earth now. Every time I hear his voice I just groan and it completely destroys my immersion.
    Bioshock is not graced with the voice talents of Steve Blum doing a shitty accent.
    Prey is graced with the shitty voice acting of Steve Blum trying to do some kind of shitty accent, is it russian? Is it Swedish? Who can say but he comes in at the end to sort of be a villain in the third act and it’s as phoned in as it sounds (I think he’s also in the trailer, big yikes). It’s like they realised no one saw Morgan’s brother as a good or imposing villain and they just threw Steve Blum in there as some generic ethnic army dude who comes to kill you for really justified reasons, you could actually just let him kill you and that’s your ending right there. I remember me deciding to do that to end my first playthrough because it was just unbearable. (He’s also in Bioshock infinite, shock horror)
  6. Enemies
    Bioshock this is the big one, this is the one that separates the men from the boys, the enemies in Bioshock are amazing. They’re not ok or alright they’re amazing, from their design to their characters and powers.
    I didn’t know this until yesterday but the enemies are actually straight ripped from those really creepy pictures of ww1/2 era war casualties who had plastic surgery. Everyone must have seen those pictures of early skin grafts from third degree burns. Those faces are used to make the splicers in Bioshock and it looks amazing.
    The enemies in Bioshock perfectly reflect the world, a decayed fallen kingdom that God has abandoned long ago. Where no boundaries exist for beauty or power and humanity/morality is a blurred line.
    Their dialogue and voice acting is creepy and sort of goofy and funny sometimes. Which kinda makes it scarier because you can feel some humanity coming through, you almost feel sorry for them while they’re trying to suck the adam from your skull.
    And there’s new enemies in each area, they’re each tailor made for their environment. There’s almost too many to list really in terms of their costumes and dialogue and powers and weapons. Their Ai is also great, they’ll ambush you and flank you and sneak up on you climbing on the ceiling.
    They’ll play dead or pretend to be a statue and follow you and just when you turn around pretend to be a statue again.
    And that’s not even mentioned the melancholy lumbering big daddies and the chipper little sisters that don’t even attack you but will totally fuck you up if you do haha. But that’s how you get adam to get new powers. They’re sub-bosses and they’re how you get your powers.
    Then there are the “Bosses” I use that loosely because they might not even fight you, but there are head lunatics that run each area that have gone mad in their own unique way and they are their own personalities pushing you forward. They’re just so well written and embrace the goofiness and theatrical nature of the rapture. So much time and effort went into the characters and enemies in this game it’s remarkable.
    Prey’s enemies are basically just semi-sentient marmite. One of the things that really put me off about this game and a lot of other people is how placeholder the enemies look. Almost no thought went into the design of these enemies above the mimics powers, but other than that they’re just little blobs of marmite that can turn into mugs. It makes you jump maybe once at the start of the game. But after that it’s just annoying like swatting a fly.
    I say ‘enemies’ loosely because really there are only 3. The mimic (and then a bigger one) the phantom which comes in flaming hot cheetos, electric blue and ethereal flavours (it’s literally just the same model with like an electric/fire/ether filter) then there are the big blobs that have mind powers or technopath powers so they can control people and make you scared or control turrets and robots. The fear mechanic is weird because there are chipsets and skill trees to defend against something I didn’t even notice, like what does it even do? I mean that’s the mark of a great game mechanic when you don’t even know if it does anything haha.
    Then there’s the ‘nightmare’ I think we’ve established Arkane aren’t good at names, Prey 2006 being nothing at all like this game (and ironically having lots of very interesting enemies and guns). The nightmare is basically just a resized phantom, he’s a big phantom which makes weird screamy noises and he’s scary until you eat like a million mars bars and just keep psychoshocking and shooting him then he like popes into a little turd you can loot.
    In fact all the enemies seem to just sort of disintegrate into little blobs, almost like they didn’t want you taking a closer look at their models hmm…. hmmmmmmm.
    And yeah I didn’t mention those weird cyst enemies that explode into little stingy heat seeking hemroids because the game doesn’t even classify them as enemies because they don’t drop anything, they’re just irritating globs of shit. Most of the time I didn’t even fight them I just tanked them or build a little lip of glue they couldn’t roll over haha. “Oh no our arch nemesis a one foot lip!”
    Oh yeah I almost forgot those weaver enemies that spawn those little fucks but they’re just like a marmite pancake that make weird shit in the air. You get my point all the enemies look the same.
    But really that’s not what bothers me and it kind of make me uncomfortable getting to the root of why the enemies aren’t satisfying to fight and why even if the powers were fun to use the enemies and the environments aren’t created to make the most of them. They’re more about opening different ways of traversal. I actually think this game would’ve been more fun as a portal style puzzle game without enemies. If it had any atmosphere it could’ve been like portal meets Observer.
    Like you get mind control powers which sound fun but you enter most rooms and there’s just one phantom or two phantoms really spread out so you mind control one and then you’re like ‘Now what?’ as they just stand there and do nothing.
    Like in Bioshock you can enrage people and just watch the shit fly as you melt into a corner turning invisible occasionally releasing a swarm of bees to make things interesting. In Bioshock the enemies and the environments are set up to be this big play ground for you to test all these weird powers.
    And all the enemies in Bioshock are reactive to you, you shock them they shudder and stammer and stop, you set them on fire they’ll scream and run to find water (at which point you shock them again haha), you cover them in bees they’ll run around and scream (and say “I hate bees” haha), you freeze them they’ll chatter their teeth. Everything about them is giving you feedback that they’re real and alive and your actions are relevant.
    What happens when you set the marmite on fire? It loses health. It doesn’t scream or react in any way it just is on fire now and it’s coming to attack you. Same thing when you electrocute it, it has no reaction other than losing it’s health and then coming to kill you.
    This is why they feel so placeholder and I honestly think the game would’ve been better just as a puzzler. Because the combat and the enemies are terrible. The enemies aren’t fun to fight, they’re not satisfying to kill. I might as well just go into my kitchen and punch marmite, it’s cheaper and less time consuming than playing Prey and it might be more fun.
    Bosses? What bosses? The main characters are really just generic and the tone is like going for realism but the art style is kind of goofy and bad looking and the aliens aren’t scary. So tonally it’s like halfway between Bioshock and Alien isolation in this limbo of being too goofy to be taken seriously while also being too serious to be fun.
    Bioshock is just balls out goofy and it’s awesome, Alien Isolation is serious and tense and gripping and it’s amazing. Prey tries to copy them but just has no idea what made those games good. They just wanted to make the worlds safest game, borrowing elements from previous popular games and the name of a decent shooter to make this frankenstein reimagining of system shock to net easy cash. But it didn’t really do that, sales of this game were pretty middling (even though it didn’t come out at a time with very much competition) amidst lots of returns mine being one of them.
    All the characters in Bioshock are memorable and sort of horrifying each in their own aspect but Prey characters are totally forgettable.
    Recently I got the collectors edition of Bioshock and there’s a museum that’s this little section of the game that is an exhibit showcasing all the early builds of characters and enemies and believe me Bioshock literally has thrown away more enemy concept than Prey 2017 (I stipulate 2017 because Prey 2006 has a ton of awesome enemies) actually has.
    It goes into detail why these designs weren’t used and the reason is because they were too silly or monstrous and you couldn’t see the humanity of the enemies, you couldn’t empathise with them, they were just faceless monsters you didn’t feel anything about killing. So they went back to human enemies who were disfigured and talked and emoted so that it would be more engaging to fight them. And they nailed it, the enemies are scary and also pathetic, they’re horrifying but also you feel sorry for them too.
  7. Tone
    Bioshock has this wacky 1940’s tone almost like fallout but a lot darker, the villains look and sound and move in cartoony exaggerated ways but it really only serves to make it creepier really. The silliness and chaotic aspects create a world where anything can happen and it lowers your guard for the darker moments. And Bioshock is pretty dark. It’s about a whole town losing it’s fucking mind from the top down. Losing their very humanity, but tinged with this whimsical dark ironic humour that pastiches the real world while perfectly satirising it.
    Prey like all Arkane games has no sense of humour, the tone is played completely straight aside from some lame audiologs that aren’t funny. It’s basically set in the real world alternate timeline where the funniest thing that happens is a game of D&D and getting a toy crossbow. But Arkane also has a weird visual style which they toned down for this game but it still doesn’t look like the characters are meant to look realistic. In Dishonored their eyes are sort of too far apart and they look butt fucking ugly, every character looks like a failed experiment, I really don’t know what was going on with that artstyle, everyone looks like a deformed cabbage doll and their body proportions are wrong and it doesn’t really fit into the world, why are they like that? But again just like Prey it’s played totally straight, there’s no humour or satire which is in stark contrast to Thief the game it’s mimicking. That game was full of humour and satire. Arkane just takes itself too seriously, I think they forget they’re making videogames and videogames are supposed to be fun. It’s ok to laugh at yourself in a game, it’s ok to have fun and have silly gags. Games that Deus ex play it straighter than Bioshock or Thief but they have a clean crisp art style where the people and the world looks real. But even Deus ex has some humour, Jensen is this gruff block carbon alloy but he cracks a joke now and then.
    So the result with Arkane is you get these static, stiff boring worlds that lack any sort of personality and aren’t fun to explore. It’s like their games are afraid of having personality or they might overshadow big daddy bethesda. Which is supposedly what happened to Humanhead after they made the original Prey which was a pretty groundbreaking in 2006, it did stuff Valve stole for Portal. So when they wanted to do Prey 2 and wouldn’t let Besthesda buy them out, they were cut off at the knees because Prey 2 didn’t meet their “Quality standards” *cough*Fallout76*cough*.
  8. The world/summary
    Bioshock is a world gone without limits driven insane by it’s own hubris, it’s a whole city of icaruses (icarusi?) that got too close to the sun and got horribly burned but somehow limped on in the dark, driven mad by their failure. The sea itself becomes this oppressive and claustrophobic character of it’s own as you look out the window that could be leaking or freezing over or running out of air. The sea itself is scary, which is why I hated Biohock 2 because it removed the sea as an antagonist by giving you a diving suit. The world is so intriguing and weird and charming you’re literally clambering for the audio logs that litter the game and flesh out the world and give you hints as to how Rapture fell.
    Prey makes the same huge mistake by giving you a space suit right off the bat. Yeah for some reason the uniform for all employees of this shady corporation are half life 2 inspired environment space suits. So why be afraid of space when you can just float around in it. I even played it on survival mode where you can get leaks in your suit but I always had a bunch of suit repair kits and for some reason all the suits have infinite oxygen if they’re not damaged.
    That could’ve been a tense game mechanic like in Deadspace 2 but nope. Shit just thinking about the alien/weapon/environment/suit designs in Deadspace, that is another game ten times better than this haha. But imagine if the same people that worked on Deadspace made Prey, think of that level of attention to detail and passion.
    I mean look at those games and tell me what Prey is, it’s not a shooter, the shooting sucks. It’s not a stealth game, the stealth is a joke, it’s not a puzzler, the puzzles suck. It’s not an rpg (whatever that means these days), it’s not a survival horror because it’s not scary, it’s not a visual novel waifu simulator because you can’t romance anyone and all the characters are either gay or not hot and their models look like ass. Oh no it’s an ‘immersive sim’ whatever that means. It looks like it means its shit at everything. I mean say what you want about dishonored but at least the combat is kinda fun and the level design is pretty good.
    How hilarious would it be if there were romance options though. “Hey babe, yeah I’m gonna blow up the space station, so why don’t I blow up your space station, if you know what I mean?”
    One thing they didn’t think to rip of though which would’ve been good is the thing. Like why can’t the mimics copy people? Maybe they do I dunno, I didn’t finish this game because I’m not a youtuber getting paid to do so haha. But that could’ve been a cool element, not knowing who was a mimic and who wasn’t.
    Moreover the world isn’t interesting because in all honesty it’s basically just the regular world in space, it’s not this weird city underwater, frozen in the 1940’s slowly decaying from addiction to mind and gene altering substances. It’s also not a cyberpunk dystopia like Deus ex where people hack off bits of their body to replace with robot parts. So I have about as much desire to read the people of Prey’s emails as I do the regular world, which is not a lot. I mean why bother? There isn’t this great conspiracy I’m trying to uncover like in Deus ex or a world gone mad I’m trying to make sense of. It’s basically just a space station that was ordinaryish until it suddenly wasn’t. So listening to their audio logs is just a chore unless they’re giving you a code to something.
    The audio logs thing, the earliest I saw it used was Doom 3 and in that game it was there to build the story and tension and creep the player out and it worked, the story basically being event horizon on mars, where hell is slowly creeping into this base driving people mad until they flip the switch and throw open the gates of hell.
    But there’s this part of the game where you have to collect audio logs in Prey to open this voice lock and all the audio logs are basically detailing this lesbian romance that adds nothing to the plot or the horror, I mean maybe it’s trying to add a level of human horror because one of the lesbians dies obviously and the other is hiding in space, but I really didn’t give a shit. Maybe I’d have cared if these characters weren’t introduced to me in audiologs.
    That’s another thing Bioshock does well in terms of the audiologs, there are only a handful of people that make them, so the voice acting is tight and it’s relevent to the plot and each person is defined as a character and has a role. In Prey everyone in this hyper futuristic space station is recording little audiologs and dropping them like breadcrumbs all over the place, why you ask? Because it’s in Bioshock that’s why.
    Bioshock knew to keep the audio log character pool small so the characters would be more defined in their personalities. When you have everyone making audio logs it just becomes white noise, too many names, no faces to the names, spotty voice acting. There are too many characters that are ill defined and you never meet. It tales the concept and just drowns it in mediocrity.
    So yeah in six thousand words or less ‘shit sucks, don’t buy it, and if you like it you’re basically dumb or something’. I mean no but… kinda yeah. If you like it, all power to you but have you heard of Bioshock or system shock or Alien Isolation or Dead Space, you know the games this game is ripping off really badly? I can only assume the people who like this game have never even heard of Bioshock, or they only played Infinite.
    If any one who likes Bioshock and just wants to play this game to get more Bioshock, my advice to you is just play Bioshock again (that’s what I’m doing right now). Seriously, and that goes for the sequels too because I’d rather just play Bioshock again than play 2 or infinite, they’re not great but they’re better than Prey. So yeah if you want more Bioshock and don’t want to play the first game again just play the sequels or system shock. They’re coming out with reboots of that soon and a sequel which may or may not be terrible because I’m pretty sure it’s written by the same guy that wrote Prey so…. yeah.
    But honestly, writing in videogames for me is hit or miss. Look at this huge essay and tell me how much I talked about the writing. A game can get by with shitty writing as long as it has a fun game loop and well designed world. Some of favourite games have little to no story and sometimes a game having a story sort of ruins it if it gets in the way.
    Story is always a touchy subjects in games. I can’t remember who said but someone likened story in videogames to story in pornos like ‘it’s nice if they’re there but it’s not that important’. And honestly a story can be bad if it gets in the way of the game or it isn’t paired with a fun game. It has to learn to get out of the way of the game. It can’t be the main focus.
    So the failing of Prey 2017 in my opinion is a team effort, it’s not down to one person, it’s the fault of the entire team just making a lackluster photocopy of a photocopy. They couldn’t grasp what made Bio/systemshock iconic or didn’t have the talent/passion to pull it off like the guys that made those games. Just like they couldn’t copy Thief with Dishonored.
    So yeah if you’re still reading this you must be insane, it’s like over 7k words, I didn’t intend anyone to get this far, I just wrote this so I didn’t have to think about it anymore, so to the fictional person reading this now, please get help, there are people that love (probably not).

    Ok gotta stop typing now, but I fear I may have to come back to this because I recently did a playthrough of Prey 2006 and although I wasn’t blown away I still finished it, so there’s that. It’s a fun, interesting little game that deserved a better legacy than this phoned in garbage.

    END

Rain drops

Melancholia

When listening to the rain

My thoughts are empty.

 

Resoundingly so,

Thinking only of what was

But is no longer

 

A certain aching

Fills my heart like the rain drops.

When I think of you.

Loner

I don’t wanna be

wanna be your cigarette

or be your ash tray

 

You never asked me

I don’t put myself out there

I stay tucked away

 

I was a loner

I let you in after all..

Until I met you

 

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