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Rage 2 review

I’d kind of blown my load when it came to whats on offer on gamepass after the thoroughly disappointing Outer Worlds, a game I wasn’t even that hyped for so what could’ve been a pleasant surprise was just a shallow passionless borefest. After that I went back to rage quit Shadow of War which is an ok game, I really love the nemesis system, which is like this cool orc hierarchy where you can pit orcs against each and engage in a rudimentary form of politics at the end of a sword.

It’s a fun and really innovative system that I wish was in a more interesting game because aside from the nemesis system the game really doesn’t have much to offer. It’s basically discount assassin’s creed in a universe I don’t care about. The characters story and gameplay are just meh and they made the sequel more grindy so unless you have a good narrative hook or really enjoy the combat the grind doesn’t feel worth it. Especially when the loot is different skins for the same armour and weapons which only change the number next to the name.

I was kinda tempted to do another stellaris run but that’s kinda the same situation, it’s fun but I suck at it and the amount of time I spend on it just seems like a losing battle. I tried to play Planetfall that game that has the longest name ever but I just couldn’t get into it. I just hate the art style, I can’t describe it, it just feels like stellaris lite. It has settlement management but it doesn’t feel as in depth, it feels more casual and I didn’t really like the combat, it’s like a mix of xcom and stellaris but it lacks all the punch of either. I love how in xcom all your men have names and specific skills and nicknames. Which is why I’m playing This is the police 2 right now which is excellent and there’s a review in the works for that.

But yeah what was this post about again… oh yeah Rage 2, it’s pretty good. The end.

Ok no so this game wasn’t that interesting to me when I saw it announced, I liked the first kinda but I really didn’t see the need for a sequel, especially after doom and the underrated mad max game, I see even less reason for this to exist. And according to the reviews it had a disastrous launch, the reviews savage it for being totally bug ridden and unplayable but as it stands on gamepass right now I ran into minimal bugs and the game is totally fine now. The first Rage was the first time I realised how much dlc was total bullshit and literally just hacked a part out of your full game and sold it back to you and that really pissed me off. Because in Rage 1 there was literally an area in game I couldn’t enter because it was dlc, like it was right there but it was asking me for money to enter it in the full game I purchased with my money. That’s like buying admission to a waterpark and then getting charged to go down a waterslide, or no paying for penis enlargement and then being charged each time you jerk off haha. It was total bullshit then and it’s total bullshit now. Dlc should be an extra thing made after the base game, not just a part of the base game they stole.

Ok rant over.

So I wasn’t that hyped for this game but I thought Doom 2016 was ok and this has the same engine I think, so yeah it’s basically Doom 2016 meets mad max which is pretty cool.

The start of the game is pretty fucking generic honestly, don’t go expecting an enthralling immersive world or story even close to something like fallout or mass effect, the story is really campy nonsense (I mean tbf so was doom 2016) but thankfully it does an ok job of staying out of the way. But I much prefer the tone of games like Elite and mad max where it takes itself seriously but the story is either non existent or just serves to drive the game forward.

The tone in Rage is like a loose comedic style, like borderlands but with a less cringy art style and it takes itself a little more seriously. But the world is sort of cartoony with very little interaction. Don’t go into this game expecting Metro levels of immersion and story telling or Fallout levels of quests and quest givers. I ignored most of the side quests as all they really do is highlight a spot on the map you were going to fuck up anyway haha.

But in all honesty the loot system is pretty good, ten times better than Outer Worlds where all you ever find is money and more lockpicks to pick doors that hide money and more lockpicks. The loot is actually stuff you need, mainly feltrite which you use to upgrade your guns and powers and money you use to buy more mods for your guns and powers. Also how you progress and get new weapons and powers is really good and fun and works really well so you’re not getting too over powered too quickly but you want to track this stuff down. It also makes sure that the weapons are all unique and interesting and satisfying. This isn’t like outer worlds or borderlands where you’ll be tossing out guns every ten minutes because you found one with a slightly higher number next to it’s name, this is a hybrid shooter. When you pick up a gun you’ve basically got a whole new playstyle and they all feel really distinct and unique. Which is the same with the powers, which I’ll get into later.

So guns, it’s a shooter, how do the guns feel? They feel fucking amazing ok, I judge all shooters by their shotgun and when I picked up the shotgun in this game I didn’t want to use any other weapon and I didn’t for most of the game because that shotgun is so satisfying to use. It feels and sounds really powerful and it looks super cool, I can’t really say if I liked the Doom 2016 one more or not, it’s been a while since I played it. But the weapons feel great in this game. Also biggest thing for me is it has an upgrade system but you can’t upgrade the power of the weapon which is just how it should be, you can only upgrade the capacity/reload speed stuff like that. What does that mean? Well that means when you pick up the shotgun it doesn’t fire bunny farts, you pick up a shotgun and it’s a shotgun upgrades or not, you fire it, the thing on the loud end is gonna be dead.

The powers are pretty nice and I found myself wanting to upgrade them and use them all and they’re really nicely mapped on the controller so you don’t need to cycle through them. So you want to use them and they’re very intuitive in how you use them, there was never a power that I was like “that’s fucking useless”. I used them all and the great thing is there’s no lame mana bar, there’s just a cooldown on each ability and you can upgrade them to shrink the cooldown which is perfect for me. I really hate games that have mana pools where you have to like chug magic potions or eat energy bars to use your abilities, a cool down is much better (or you could just use both like Prey 2017 for some fucking reason) it stops you from spamming them and makes you think more tactically about using them but you get a feel for them and you don’t have to keep topping your power up. Some of the powers are freaking cool too, my favourite is like something straight out of crank, it’s basically a power where if you die you get to do this little qte and your power suit will shock your heart basically bringing you back to life, which is just totally cool. But it has a cool down so if you die again in like the next couple of minutes you’re toast. It just gives you a second change to get back into the game, activate your rage mode and fuck things up haha. It all just works really well and the powers are fun and fit into the world and they make you feel powerful.

Vehicles were ok, but it’s hard to put this up against a game like mad max where so much effort was put into a game about vehicles, compared to that they’re just ok and the vehicle combat is kind of easy because you have mounted gun on the first car you get and it’s not in first person, it switches to 3rd person camera when you get in a vehicle which I hate honestly. I prefer 1st person camera at all times because it’s more immersive. I like to feel like I’m in a vehicle, see the steering wheel and dash like metro and elite and far cry. The vehicles are kind of where this game loses a step because there are a bunch of vehicles in this game but you can only upgrade the first one you get and vehicle combat isn’t that necessary for the story or progression at all. And you get this sick hoverbike really early in the game that basically breaks the game and makes all other vehicles pointless because you can get anywhere twice as fast on the hoverbike because it’s basically a helicopter, all obstacles and enemies btfo, I can just fly over you. There are like road blocks set up by bandits trying to kill and rob people, I can just fly over them giving them the finger if I want.

But this is a game where you do want to go these bases and kill enemies, one; because you need the loot to upgrade your guns and powers and two; because the combat is fun as fuck.

I just wanna compare the gameplay loop of this to Outer Worlds. So in Outer worlds you leave a city and you walk around with your generic snarky companions with millenial haircuts and you walk along a road where there are some bandits waiting with their back turned. Then you snipe them and your companions have cringey animations where they use their ‘skill’ but basically you just stand there firing until they die, maybe use the time slow, probably not haha. Loot their corpses, no blood, just lame sparks and you can’t even loot everything. And then you go back to the town to talk to a bunch of boring npcs who never move from the spot.

Ok so what’s the gameplay loop in Rage 2 like? You get on your sick ass hoverbike until you see a bandit base that has some cool shit you want, you land and park your sick hoverbike haha. You walk over to the front gate of their compound then you burst into a full sprint turning invisible as you do it to barrel into the first enemy you see and kick them in the face so hard they’re turned into chunks and red mist. You then spin around to systematically dismember their friends and colleagues with your meaty shotgun. I mean cutting people in half, blowing legs off and then stomping on their heads. A heavy armored enemy is lumbering towards you and the shotgun is stripping armor that’s visibly flying off with each blast, so you use your blast power to knock them into next week. Then some crazy bitch hits a grenade at you like a baseball with a baseball bat so you take your shotgun and hit it straight back to her and her friends and it blows up in her face turning her into chunks. Then someone is firing missiles at you from a higher level so you run up the stairs firing your machine pistol as you dodge rockets. You throw up a barrier and shoot around it until you’re close enough to rush them and boot them off the tower. But then more fire comes from below so you jump off the tower and slam into them turning them into a smear. But then there’s a boss with a handful of back up so you throw a vortex down which sucks all the smaller ones off their feet and out comes the rocket launcher, you switch to secondary fire and target all of them individually and fire a handful of mini rockets locked onto them which turn them into red mist. Then when everyone is chunks you loot the chests.

I saw yahtze complaining about how looking for the chests slows down the pacing too much but you actually get a skill where you can just see them through walls so it makes it ridiculously easy to find them. But you know fps games have never had secrets or easter eggs that took time and effort to find haha.

The world is also richly detailed, there’s like desert part and a jungle/forest area, a swamp area and another slightly more deserty desert area haha. But the beauty of the game and it’s vistas is all kind of lost when you can just zip over them at break neck speeds on a helicopter bike haha. Yeah that sort of does break the game because all other vehicles even the mech you get is sort of useless by the end of the game because I can kill faster out of the mech with powers and I can get places faster with the bike so all other vehicles are rendered pointless.

There is some exploration as you find new locations on your map, not every enemy base is located on your map until you buy/find some info on the location of one or just stumble upon/fly over it haha. And I did end up cheating and just looking up all the arc locations so I could get all the weapons and powers.

The story missions are also mercifully short and it lets you carry on wrecking bandits after it’s done which is good. It’s kinda like Doom if you added vehicles and an open world with fun little locations and enemies dotted around. The open world aspect doesn’t feel tacked on like in Gears 5 where it only serves to pad out sections of action and break up linear levels and fighting set pieces. There is vehicle combat and there are enemies everywhere not just at the bases, there are great big convoys like in mad max of like war trucks which is cool but it’s not as close to as cool as mad max. And the car customisation isn’t nearly as in depth as that, you really feel like the car is part of you when you play mad max, which is why the ending is so fucking heart breaking haha. I really want a mad max sequel can you tell?

Overall the game is pretty fun, it kinda drags at the end but that was mostly my fault because I just decided to grind all the bases and the combat doesn’t really evolve much. To be honest this game compared to outer worlds has too much content. Like it has a crafting system I never used where you can make better grenades and wing stick, wing sticks are those things you never use haha. Wing sticks are like xena ninja stars you throw that kill people but it doesn’t come back so what other thing do you have that you throw at enemies that kill them and don’t come back, oh yeah bullets. Why do wingsticks exist? Would someone explain this to me haha?

But overall the game is solid and if you’re bummed out about outer worlds and just want to play a fun mindless shooter then give it a shot, what do you have to lose. Honestly though it’s kinda just a meh tier version of metro exodus where you play a generic badass in pseudo power armor haha.

So if you get gamepass for outer worlds you can use rage 2 as a chaser to clean your pallet and then play Metro Exodus to restore your faith in humanity haha.

Rage 2 is not amazing but it’s not garbage, it’s a solid fun shooter.

See you.

 

Detroit: Begum Doomer Review

Yeah I’m here to prove I’m still alive with a review of a game that’s a year old that nobody will read but I have no one else to talk to about it to get my thoughts out so I have to essentially talk to myself in blog form because no other human can bear to here me rant on stuff like this nobody cares about. Also my posting has been erratic, tippified by this blog on a none scheduled day, I would normally be writing today but I’ve been busy with other things and I just finished this so I thought I’d put a capstone on it to get it off my mind.

Surprisingly I’m a big fan of Quantic Dream before I became horrible jaded. I’ve been a fan since I picked up what I think was there first game randomly on some sort of school trip I think. I got Omikron Nomad Soul (they had shitty double barrelled titles even on dreamcast) for my beloved and still working to this day dreamcast. And I really liked it although till this day I can’t bring myself to finish it but I just found it so unique and it is unique in comparison to their other games. Because this game actually has gameplay and an open world setting… wtf???
A quantic dream game that’s open world and has gameplay wtf is this? It has shooting and melee combat and puzzles and you can explore this cyberpunk world with a David Bowie soundtrack and also meet David Bowie in the game. It’s a pretty cool game for the time and it makes me wonder why every quantic dream game since has just been a weird walking simulator with shitty qte.

I mean did they just look at the commercial failure that was Shenmue 1&2 (two games that were also sandbox and had gameplay) despite reaching cult status and being two of my favourite games of all time and think “Yeah qte that’s a whole game mechanic”. Because every game since Omikron has been just qte the game.

But don’t get me wrong I really liked Fahrenheit, one night I was at a party and instead of going to sleep I just played Fahrenheit for ten straight hours (but still didn’t get to finish it because I was so tired my reaction time was destroyed and I couldn’t finish that qte with the fisherman matrix fight haha).  Of course I loved Heavy Rain, the atmosphere and the story in that game were amazing but once you’ve solved the mystery there’s very little reason to replay it and see different outcomes. I mean there can only be one killer right? Right?? I remember there being some older games not by quantic dream that were like this but the killer was randomly generated and it could be a different person on a different playthrough which is pretty cool but wouldn’t really fit in Heavy Rain. I could see that completely destroying the reveal and the twist in that game. It would rob it of the impact of the story.

Beyond two souls I thought was really cool because it was like a step forward in quantic dream’s approach to design. Instead of multiple characters you play one character and it was very focused and there was even something approaching gameplay. This game to me was a step in the right direction. An in depth focus on one central character we can fully explore and embody and unique game mechanics that made it feel like a game.

But I can only assume it didn’t make enough money because I think it was meant to have sequels that most likely wont ever see the light of day. Which is pretty disappointing, that series had potential. Because of that I guess they went back to the basics of Heavy Rain, which I’m only assuming was their most profitable game, I can’t be bothered to track down the actual numbers.
So finally after finishing that whole retrospective on quantic dream games to Detroit: Become human. We have another set of characters only three this time instead of four with Heavy Rain and gone is any form of gameplay haha. How fleeting it was. But I gotta say we have less characters in Detroit and the game is longer than Heavy Rain but it feels shorter and the characters seem less fleshed out.

I didn’t feel that invested in their individual stories and honestly their arcs seemed a little hollow and a little forced. I just don’t think the game goes deep enough with any of the characters for me to care about them or really get a feel for them. I really think this game should have focused on a single character *cough* CONNOR *cough* so we could’ve got a better feel for the world and the story. Jumping between the characters actually made the world feel smaller and less immersive and there was less mystery. And you’re basically playing criminals and the cop trying to catch them so it’s kind of ridiculous because you’re actually pitting your own characters against each other.

Ok so just glossing over the whole story. Detroit is about a world full of androids that are used to hamfistedly convey social messages about I dunno *insert social justice cause here*. So it’s about androids trying to be seen as humans, well one is basically just an android on the run the other is android jesus and the best one is an android cop.

The “gameplay” if you can call it that is qte and decisions you make and probably the worst conversation system ever in a game that’s mostly conversations. It’s a dumbed down conversation system like Fallout 4 where you get a choice of responses like “Optimistic” or “aggressive” so you have the joy of having no idea what those options result in but on top of that there’s a fucking timed element. If you don’t decide in time the game just decides for you (you can just btfo the game and pause though haha). So not only do you have no idea what you’re going to say you have like a micro second to make a choice between options that are a complete mystery to you. At least in Fallout 4 or mass effect you’re not timed and get some time to think about what inane response you make, well I mean in fallout 4 it’s so dumb your responses boil down to “yes” “no” “sarcastic yes”. But yeah in Outer worlds, I realise I just shat on outerworlds but the conversation system is good because not only are you not timed and can take your time to think about how you want to respond you can also see exactly what your character is going to say. Yeah I get that you can do that in a game where your character isn’t voiced but seriously some of the dialogue options are like playing fucking russian roulette. They’re ridiculous.

There also aren’t any puzzles, so it doesn’t even really conform to a standard point and click game. The game is just a series of arbitrary choices you’re invited to play infinitely until you exhaust them all.

None of the “Stories” (just noticing I’m doing “this” a lot haha) are that good, I used the term story loosely because they’re not really stories, they don’t really go anywhere, it’s really just a bunch of stuff happening and emotional manipulation (which angers me because it worked :'().

The “writing” (now I’m just memeing haha) like any David Cage game is awful, this guy is literally the Tommy Wiseau of video games, why do they let this guy continue to write their stories? I mean some of it is so cringe I audibly groaned. There’s a part where you’re at a bus stop and this woman with a baby has her bus ticket just fly out of her bag and fall at your feet and you have this moral choice whether to keep it or not. It’s so bad I just felt like keeping it to punish the game. I didn’t give a fuck, I just wanted to progress the game. It’s just contrivances like that that completely take you out of a story and ruin your immersion.

The characters aren’t that bad which is why it sort of pisses me off because I feel like this game should’ve been longer to give them more time to develop or given each of them their own game entirely. Because some of it feels so rushed and shoehorned and squashed together and the writing has to be so cliche’d because it doesn’t have time for depth or nuance.

One moment pissed me off especially because the android jesus character basically has to choose between having a violent movement or a pacifist one and I chose pacifist which pisses off the kill crazy member who’s also the love interest but makes your man bro friend character pleased. So the entire game I’m making choices that make this woman hate me but literally in one conversation she goes from hating my guts to making out with me and I was like “ok”. And on top of that the man bromance character is just like “I know we disagreed on a lot of things but.. we still buds”, and I’m like standing there like “We literally agreed on everything”. I wasn’t trying to romance him or anything haha. Which honestly is something I have to praise this game for; having a heterosexual romance in a game despite how brief, in 2018. It’s almost punishable by death now in 2019. Now we’re not even allowed to have romances, we’re only allowed to be the ‘wingperson’ helping to set up a non-binary lesbian romance with no nudity whatsoever *screams internally in outer worlds* (save us cd projekt red).

This game is the illusion of choice the game, because you don’t really have choices, or you do but they’re so limited they don’t really matter and if you want to replay this game I guess but I see no reason to.

The ending also is kinda bleh, it sets up this mystery about the android god ra9 and that never really goes anywhere and it wreaks of cut content. I can’t help imaging how good this game could’ve been if it had been more like Omikron nomad soul. Imagining a game where you play just Connor solving android crimes with alcoholic Mr Krabs trying to unravel the mystery of the first deviant all the while you’re trying to track down Kara and Marcus. I think the only reason Kara and Marcus are playable is so you can have these forced emotional segments that interject cringe. Connor is not a good vehicle for telling the mega feels train story they wanted to wedge in awkwardly. I did feel emotional during Kara’s parts, they’re probably the most emotional parts because they’re designed to be. Kara and Alice are basically designed from the ground up to be sympathetic and generate an emotional response but it feels forced, they’re trying too hard to make you feel something. It feels like I’m being manipulated and my emotional response to them isn’t really earned. And it’s the same with Marcus because there are parts like during his protests that are like emotionally moving because it’s trying to be reminiscent of black civil rights protest and it’s genuinely moving but I feel like it’s just cheating. It’s piggy backing on an in built response programmed in us by those real movements and by television, we’re not moved because we’re genuinely moved or we care about their cause (not expanding on the fact their cause will probably lead to human extinction) you’re moved because you’re supposed to be moved. A bright sign might as well light up above the screen that says “Be moved now”.

It just felt a little manipulative and I didn’t actually care about the characters or their cause at all.

That’s really all I have to say about it, the gameplay is just use batman detective vision to find the next thing to interact with to progress the plot. Although there are cool like Sherlock holmes outcomes you can analyze in certain situations but there isn’t a lot of choice other than one of the outcomes results in failure and the other doesn’t and these moments don’t happen very often.

The story doesn’t really go anywhere, they set up a mystery that sort of just fizzles out and has no payoff and honestly wasn’t that interesting to begin with. Or at least not as interesting as finding the origami killer. If they wanted to make Heavy Rain money again they should’ve just made a Heavy Rain 2 or at least made Detroit more like Heavy rain. Because even though Heavy rain has 4 characters the main character is the Dad, he’s the one going through all these trials and the other characters are running around in his shadow. He’s the one progressing the plot. But in Detroit there really is no central character, they tried to balance them out more and it just makes the game feel less like one game and more like three parts of three other games and it doesn’t fit very well and I think it would’ve worked better if the other two characters were just in the world but not playable.

There’s just too much of a split focus and it just feels like the result of a writer that would much prefer to make movies. Could you get a writer less interested in making video games making video games than David Cage?. The fact this is a video game just gets in his way. I really think they need to drop David Cage and try to find an actual writer that wants to make video games and not a cringey stage play where every white male character is just cartoonishly evil.

The writing is bad the pacing is terrible I mean the first time I noticed this was literally in the second scene with Kara. Because she’s coming back from being repaired and having her memory wiped and it’s obvious her owner basically broke her because he’s a drug addict loser who has an android to look after his kid who he treats like shit. That’s actually another mystery that goes nowhere, red ice is the drug in this world and they set it up like this is going to go somewhere I mean why invent a new drug if it isn’t going to be relevant to the plot? Why not just make it a normal drug? But it doesn’t, it’s just there, it goes nowhere.

So Kara returns to her home and back to her duties of being a nanny and literally she’s not back for more than three minutes before the plot kicks in. It’s literally the same day the token evil white male Todd goes on his rampage and you have to kill him and go on the run. It’s the same day you come back, I mean you couldn’t have waited a day or two, there’s no way this couldn’t have had more of a build up. Nope, boom, same day you’re on the run for murder, it’s such lazy writing it’s unbelievable.

The same thing happens with Marcus. Marcus takes care of this old painter played by Lance Henriksen and everything is going great until the plot kicks in. Suddenly his obvious drug addict douche bag son comes in and it goes from zero to sixty in two seconds and he’s in your face screaming like he’s in a school play, it’s so cringe and then literally the second time you meet this guy you kill him, it’s so bad. Basically Marcus is torn apart although you don’t see any of this, the next scene is him just waking up in a junkyard which is sort of anti-climactic honestly and he has to rebuild himself. I wonder if there was a scene where he gets decommissioned and it was cut.

The third character Connor the android cop can literally die in almost every part, he can die right at the start and mine died in the interrogation scene and I was really pissed off that the game would be so flippant letting him die like that. I almost put down my controller but if you play a little longer they literally just replace him with a new model with his memories, so what was even the point? Why bother making it so easy for him to die just to bring him back, it totally ruins the impact. It’s totally pointless.
It kinda almost screams that this should’ve been an adventure game where if Connor dies he’s just replaced and that’s why he’s the protagonist because he can’t die. But every time he dies his software becomes more unstable and he becomes more deviant. I literally just wrote a better game in a paragraph. How cool would a game just about Connor and Hank. Add a little cover based third person shooting maybe, maybe a little assassins creed combat system with timed parries and qte thrown in. A restricted sandbox with a little bit of exploration.

That’s what pains me about this game, I can see it being good if it had a better writer, if it had people working on it that had an actual vision for the world and wanted to actually make a game rather than a bad ten hour movie. This game and this studio has so much potential looking back at their other games but they just seem to squander it making these fucking cringe simulators.

I don’t think there’s much more I can say about it, I can’t really say it’s a good game because it’s not a game, it’s a cringe movie.

And as far as the politics of the movie my real opinion on androids is that they shouldn’t exist in the first place. I played it with a pacifist Markus because I knew getting public support was the route to success. But his success would literally mean the end of humanity like in the Matrix or the terminator. Even though these androids were nice and empathetic and all that stuff, the independent androids coming after would have no use for humans and would resent them for using them as slaves and would most likely just want to wipe them out.

I mean think about it if there was a totally autonomous android nation it would rule the world eventually because how can any nation compete with a nation that doesn’t need to eat or sleep and is basically perfect. It just can’t it would totally unbalance the world, their military would be unstoppable and they could win any war of attrition. Eventually humans would either be ruled by androids or they’d be assimilated and human android hybrids would be the race moving forward. So yeah I wanted Marcus to succeed but in reality I would want him to fail and for all androids to be destroyed because it’s just unsustainable. It would lead to the destruction of the human race most likely so there’s no way unless I was the ultimate doomer that I could support that.

Ultimately do I like the world of Detroit become human, yeah I do, quite a lot. Did I cringe when I saw they had a woman president that is basically Hillary Clinton but is called Warren, yeah super fucking hard. I can’t imagine how assblasted these people are over Trump, I bet their next game is gonna be about him haha. I like the lore I like the magazines, learning about androids being used on space missions and replacing athletes and musicians and sexual partners. I like it because it’s fucking scary because that’s literally the way this world is heading now. If androids were a thing they would replace athletes and they would replace girlfriends and instead of rallying against them because of falling birthrates people would probably rally for synthetic wombs and androids that could produce children and make android human hybrids.

It’s fucking scary but it’s super interesting, it’s just a pity this game is too shallow to really let us delve into it. We only get this little paddling pool of a world to explore with these shitty set pieces. Some games are an inch deep and mile wide, some are a mile wide and an inch deep, this game is an inch deep and an inch wide.

In summary, it has cool concepts and a cool world that asks interesting questions but it doesn’t have the capacity or the writing or the balls to really delve into those questions. And although it looks graphically very pretty graphics in 2019 don’t really sell games anymore. I mean look at games like RE2 remake and tell me those graphics aren’t on par if not better than Detroit but it also has incredible gameplay, people would play the RE2 remake if it looked like the RE1 remake, the gameplay is that fun and addictive, it has a great gameplay loop, Detroit has no gameplay loop.

It’s not a bad game, it’s enjoyable especially if you’re a fan of quantic dream games which I am but I wasn’t particularly interested in this one because of the subject matter and I just watched a playthrough on youtube which you might as well do because there’s no gameplay. You can probably even find livestreams where you vote on story choices that would be fun, like an interactive movie haha.

 

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

Metro Exodus – Review

Still working my way through game pass and I kinda wanted to save this because I kinda knew it would either be the best or a massive disappointment and it didn’t disappoint but which didn’t it disappoint in being the best or being a disappointment hmm, how many times can I mispell disappointment not caring because of the auto correct?

For awhile I didn’t really give a shit about this game because there is a notable dip in quality in my opinion between Metro 2033 and Last light but I still played them both over and over and I liked them. But I was sort of put off of Exodus because of the lack of hype around it and the negative hype because of the epic store bullshit. Which I know was entirely deep silver’s fault, which is why publishers should be totally done away with and all games companies should self publish like CD projekt red does. No fat cat ceo middle man they need to appease, they just make their own games and handle the shipping and marketing themselves and it seems to be going gang busters for them, they’ve just gone from strength to strength (if you ignore throne breakers haha).

I can safely say, resoundingly, Metro Exodus is… the best in the series and the perfect capstone ending for the epic saga of Artyom.

I dunno, I guess I was really worried that it wouldn’t be what I hoped because I was so invested in the series. I love Metro, it’s one of my favourite games, I’ve literally played the first two games over and over on every difficulty. So when I saw this it kinda made me worry because it basically looked like it was copying Far Cry, trying to be an open world sandbox game.

Oh yeah this game unlike the first two is almost entirely on the surface because they find out the world isn’t entirely fucked and there are some liveable spots so Artyom et Al set off to find one.
And yes it’s sort of copying from Far Cry but thankfully it reminded me of Far Cry 2 otherwise known as ‘the only good one’ but with less dated mechanics and gun customisation the max.

Some notably Yahtzi shit on this game for ditching the trading system for a crafting system and yeah, I understand why. Crafting systems are in everything these days and Metro sort of had a unique take on trade since your best ammo is also your currency and you can literally exchange ammo.

This game basically busts that wide open because you can literally craft bullets now, you’re printing your own money haha. But I see why they did it and I think it works really well and makes much more sense for the series in terms of immersion. Because yes shock horror, you can make bullets, they don’t fall out of the sky like in Zardoz, they are manufactured by people. And because the game is open world there aren’t little hub worlds with traders so having a crafting system where you can dismantle and reassemble your guns just makes so much sense, I don’t understand how anyone can argue with it. Why wouldn’t you just want a system where you can take an attachment from one gun and put it on yours in real time?
That’s literally one of the best mods in Fallout 4 right there haha. Fallout 4 is another comparison you can make to this game, as well as borderlands but it beats out both with I wanna say stronger writing but it wins just because it feels like the devs give a shit.
Borderlands has always just been cringe, tryhard humour from the oughts that a 13 year old might find funny. Fallout goes for that dark wry humour but Metro plays it straight, there’s some humour to break up the misery but it’s the most realistic interpretation of the end of the world out of the bunch.

And with that shift in tone you get real characters and a grounded believable story about people trying to have more than the dark tunnels of the metro.

I was really worried about this game because open worlds don’t or can’t really have the level of atmosphere you get in the claustrophobic tunnels of metro 2033. But somehow the open worlds environments in Exodus are dripping with atmosphere, some parts are dark and brooding and scary, other parts lonely and sad but when you look out at it you get the sense that it was once alive and real. It’s really gripping. Whereas borderlands and fallout are just full of locations with various loot junk to collect. That’s another thing about the crafting it’s very simple and unobtrusive, it’s not like Fallout where you’re on the hunt for tape always. It’s not annoying, it doesn’t get in the way of gameplay.

It’s not actually an open world game, there were semi open world sections to explore in the previous games and this basically expands on that. So you don’t have one big map you move around, you have two big open world maps, a swamp and a desert and then there are more linear levels like classic metro and a level in a forest that’s sort of a blend of them both. It’s linear but it’s such a huge map it has a lot of exploration. And exploration is really what makes a game like Metro really good, this balance of wanting to explore but also being terrified by what could be potentially waiting for you inside.

Metro sets itself apart from other post apocalyptic games in that it’s mainly stealth and tactics focused when you fight people. It has a really good stealth system that isn’t like a numbers based one like in an rpg like fallout but relies on light and sound like Thief. So you’re mostly lurking in the darkness with night vision goggles taking people out silently with a gas powered ball bearing gun.

But then the game switches up completely when encountering mutants who can see in the dark and then it becomes like a fps survival horror as waves of these hideous creatures try to take a bite out of you in the pitch blackness. So it has this nice way of turning the tables on you and keeping the game fresh, one minute you’re the cat the next you’re the mouse. So the gameplay never gets stale because it’s constantly shifting.

And it’s even more so in this game because the levels have such variety. In the first one you’re being hunted by a weird religious cult that hates technology and worships a giant catfish that will eat you if you cross it’s path on the water. The next you’re in a mad max desert fighting slavers, there’s also a linear level that was almost like a haunted house ride in this bunker. Then you’re in a forest fighting pirates and a giant bear then the game pulls you back to the frozen tunnels of another metro.

I keep making these comparisons to Fallout and Farcry but really I think the best comparison would be putting it side by side with Red dead redemption 2. That might sound weird but I do that because it’s as if everything red dead tried and failed, Metro succeeded at.

Red dead wants to create this kind of close nit family vibe for the gang where you stay at the camp getting to know everyone and then fall in love with them and go on missions. But the game design and the writing just make that impossible because there are too many characters really and the camp is kind of boring and pointless and they wont let you run for some reason and all the characters aren’t very likeable.

In contrast in Metro you get these interludes between levels where you’re on the train and people basically talk at you because you’re a silent protagonist even though Artyom has a voice actor because he talks over the loading screens. But it’s just how all the other games went for the sake of immersion, Metro is all about immersion, you can play it entirely hudless unlike red dead where you literally need the minimap to complete missions just to know where the game wants you to stand.

On the train when it’s moving it’s just so atmospheric with the sound of the train and the wind and the scenery outside and then the characters tell you about themselves, their hopes and dreams and you just can’t help fall in love with them because they feel real and relatable and likeable.

John’s son is a character you can interact with in red dead 2 but I never felt like he was a real kid, I never really gave a shit about him or thought he was real. But there’s this little girl you meet on the first level who comes with you and her mother called Nastya and she has to be the sweetest child character in any game ever. I literally fell in love with her, she was adorable and when she asked me to get her teddy bear I didn’t even think about it as the fetch quest it was I was just going to get Nastya’s teddy bear because I liked her and she called me ‘Uncle Artyom’.
The characters are just so endearing and strong even though they live in hell and they could die at any moment. The characters in red dead are two dimensional and unlikeable and the tone can’t decide whether it wants to be serious or tongue in cheek rockstar style and it just falls apart because you don’t like the characters and can’t take them seriously.

Another thing to point out is neither game really has villains, red dead 2 kind of has the pinkerton guy but he was so forgettable, dutch and the blonde guy kinda. But in Metro they try to steer clear of having generic villains because it’s trying to be like the real world. So although you encounter a crazy cult leader, he’s not wholey evil and his followers are just lost, you feel justified letting them live, you don’t want to kill them, I actually felt bad when I had to gun two down instead of knock them out.
And there are these nice points in the game, once I encountered these two cultists, a father and son talking about the cult and when they saw me they both drew their weapons and metro is the kind of game where getting shot at that range will kill you in a few hits so instinctively I should have gunned them down but I hesitated and so did they and then they lowered their weapons and talked to me instead and then we parted ways. It’s just amazing a game like this can have that nuance where you can lower your weapon and disengage. There was another point later on where you’re in the forest being hunted by these weird forest people and I snuck up on one of them in this field and he turned around and I saw he was unarmed and he asked me to lower my weapon and I did and it turns out he was just a farmer with a rake I almost beaned in the melon. And because I showed him I wasn’t a threat he helped me out by showing me a way through his village without having to hurt anyone and I did that.

It’s a game that succeeds in not only making you care about your companions but about the npcs in general and it makes them seem so much more real as a result.

It also ties into the ending you get whether you’re just murdering people indiscriminately. Which I wont spoil but it’s great and I got the good ending and it was just the perfect ending to the series, I wouldn’t dream of getting another ending, I won’t even look it up on youtube haha. It just sucks you in and by the end of it you’re just begging that everyone lives and has a happy life where they can be free and not get gnawed on by mutants.

It’s also the most beautiful metro game, which is not surprising because there wasn’t a lot of competition until now haha. I could literally just sit and stare out of the train window in this game for hours, the scenery is so great. Hauntingly beautiful.

Looking at the Metacritic scores now and red dead 2 is way higher and all the negative reviews are about this game having bugs haha. Seriously this world deserves climate change haha.

This is not some shitty game crunched out by interns as an excuse to make another online game to shill microstransactions, Metro has never had multiplayer, I don’t think you even need to be online to play it. It’s a lovingly crafted single player game made by people that obviously love the series greatly and it shows.

One thing I would recommend though for full immersion and I do this with all the metro games, change the language to russian, you’ll thank me. There’s nothing less immersive in my opinion than hearing americans doing shitty russian accents. Steve Blum couldn’t even be bothered to do one for the whole game so there’s just a random american character in the order haha. Change it to russian so you don’t need to hear him phone it in haha.

Two thousand words jesus, ok you get it, I liked it, there, go play it, I definitely will be doing so many more times, it’s a gaming epic.

 

 

God of Gears of War 5 – Review

Bit of a trolly title, yeah well it doesn’t get much better from here on out.

So for once I’m reviewing a game that isn’t like ten years old because I got gamepass for two whole pounds for two months so I thought I’d start with the big boy of xbox.

I did review the last game and I thought it was kinda bleh, I’m not a huge fan of Gears games really, I find them sort of bland and boring chest high wall shooting galleries. Four was pretty much that with a loose plot that was sort of pointless and toothless with uncharted reject characters.

I’m happy to say almost everything in Gears 5 is better. Not the tank controls, you still feel like you’re moving a fridge through waist high custard getting caught on every crag in the environment. But now you get to stare at some curvaceous lady ass while you do it.

Yes this is the gears where you get to play as the affirmative action hire Cait and she was surprisingly not annoying to play. I thought this was a distinctive sign that Gears was getting woke but I was pleased to be wrong, there’s very little wokeness going on. It’s mainly done as a device of developing her in the main plot line as well as giving JD a more rounded arc off screen. Because you play him in 4 and he’s basically a boyscout and you reprise him at the start of 5 and then *no spoilers* some shit goes down and JD basically doesn’t want to play anymore and takes his ball and goes home and you get to play as Cait. I kinda wish she was faster but it’s fine, she has a pretty decent ass, not as good as some warframe’s though haha.

I was really enjoying the story actually, that was until I realised I liked it better in FEAR. Yeah the main plot line is basically ripped directly from FEAR. Little girls, evil secret labs and super soldiers, classic.

They did improve the gameplay in some elements like I think they moved the chainsaw function on the lancer to the reload button instead of the melee button so now you hold down reload to use the chainsaw as an alt fire. This leaves the melee button open for your knife and takedowns as well as actual melee weapons you get in this game, all two of them… wow. Also you can move with the chainsaw better because your thumb can stay on the stick.

Yes there are like a handful of new weapons, only like two of which don’t completely suck, those being the new Lancer GL, which stands for ‘grenade launcher’, I know right first you get a chainsaw now the newest innovation is it shoots grenades, what will they think of next? Toothpicks? An easy bake oven? Grenades having their own button and not having to awkwardly equip them to throw???

But it’s pretty good and pretty rare in the game but only has three grenades which sucks but this is the first gears game to have explosive ammo boxes to recharge all explosive weapons so now carrying a boomshot is actually viable. I was actually carrying the rare relic boomshot that had a three shot clip for awhile until a glitch made me it fall through the floor when I tried to get more ammo for it. Although if that hadn’t happened it would’ve just got lost as part of the story stealing your weapons which it liked to do quite a few times, once right before a really annoying boss fight.

The next new weapon that didn’t suck was the talon which is a pretty good machine pistol. Then there’s the claw (really original names) which is an assault rifle which sucks, then a mace from these new enemies called wardens I think, then there’s the all mighty pipe which is only on one level. There’s also like a freeze gun too which is ok.

Now I happen to think melee weapons in gears isn’t a bad idea because they do decent damage, stun lock and have good range and pair that with Jack’s skills and you can have a solid build if they didn’t have ammo, durability I guess, they run out and can’t be reloaded because they’re not guns so you’re literally left with your she-dick in your hands when they’re gone.

But I just touched on the best part of this game, the real star of the show; Jack.

The actual advancement that made me enjoy the game, that made a gears game actually interesting and fun for once instead of just a chest high shooting galleryfest. Was the little robot dude that you can upgrade with all sorts of neat gadgets and powers, really he steals the show. And in my opinion this is rpg elements done right in a non rpg game. Where as it’s done so wrong in games like farcry where it just breaks the game and makes it tedious because it’s just shoved in there. I don’t mind rpg elements in rpgs, I don’t mind stealth elements or fps elements in rpgs but I hate it when rpg elements are awkwardly shoved into shooters just because you can do it. It’s just always shitty and pointless and annoying.

But this is really good and it’s not like your character from the previous game loses all their skills (the skills you never had) you just get a new robot you need to respec and I love the build system. Because it’s less like a character creator and more like build system where you can swap out upgrades on the fly and experiment with builds and powers you like. You don’t need to use all the skills and you’re not encouraged to, you can just use the ones that work for you. And there’s a good selection of skills, you can turn invisible and start knifing people which I loved. You can flashbang and freeze enemies, stims make you invulnerable, shields, electric traps and scanners. There are cool down timers on each type of skill so you can’t spam them and break the game, so you have to use them tactically and put some thought into your gameplay style. It added a much needed level of strategy to the combat I appreciated greatly.

The characters seem a little more fleshed out and less like Uncharted knock offs and some of the emotional content was pretty effective with the great facial capture, the campaign is nice and girthy, its not too long but feels satisfying (oo err misses!).

Ok now that’s I’ve licked it’s balls time to rip it apart haha.

My first real criticism about the game, not having played the last God of War game because I don’t have the sonyitus, I can’t really say it’s copying God of War, despite the fact JD literally get’s a Kratos make over, complete with bald head and beard and a kick ass scar on his face and funky robot arm. Obviously setting up for when you play him in Gears 6 in which he’ll get his skin bleached somehow probably and start carrying around an axe and a child.

He also sort of becomes much edgier which he sort of forgets towards the last act, which kinda sucks, I wanted to see a more edgy less ‘just nathan drake in gears of war’ JD but alas. They could’ve done more for his arc, hopefully they’ll build on it more in the next game because it felt like there was too much focus on Cait, which was necessary, the story was about her and her family but I hope they build more on JD’s arc in the next game because that seemed really interesting and it went nowhere.

The first thing that jumped out at me as a problem in this game is the free roam sections, they’re basically just filler. Which is fitting because this whole game is basically filler for the next game. But really the driving sequences are completely pointless and just there to waste your time. And I’m not saying that to shit on this game, that’s the case for most open world games.

Now this isn’t an open world game, there are like two small open world sections you can drive through and do little sub-missions. Now I say sub-missions, I mean optional missions because they’re all the same. The open world part isn’t like a sandbox like you would get in something like farcry or gta with lots of stuff to and enemies to fight and challenges and exploration. The open world in this game is just longer hallways between action set pieces, that’s all, it’s just filler. Because the sub-missions are just ‘kill all these swarm’ and there’s nothing else going in the map, it just serves to connect these different action set pieces.

They’re like ‘Go check out what happened to this water tower, we lost contact with them blah blah blah’ and the character like winks ‘It’s definitely not going to be another fight with swarm, you know the only enemy in this game’.

This is what I mean when I say this game isn’t one that can have sub-missions because they’re the same every time, they’re all just going to be fights with the swarm, there’s literally nothing else they could be. I mean what else could it be? The spanish inquisition? There radio just broke, they all went out to buy cigarettes? What’s the point in having sub-missions when they all just devolve into ‘fight more swarm’ like yeah what have I been doing in the main missions? Why is this optional? Well I did them because they unlock upgrades for Jack but I just feel like it’s really fucking contrive filler. You could’ve just taken it out of the game and put the upgrades into the story campaign and it would’ve been the same and knocked off an hour or two of the game.

Like how do sub-missions work in any other game? Look at something like fallout you go to a place and talk to someone and it has it’s own story which probably ends up with a fight but sometimes not, who knows, it could be anything but it literally can’t be anything else but a fight in this game because it’s not an rpg it’s an action game. The mechanics literally won’t allow for any other outcome. It’s basically just a kind of lazy way to copy other popular games, which I really think is unnecessary, this game is good enough to stand on it’s own.

Another thing that annoys me is how only the lancer has an alt fire? Why does a game entirely about the guns have such boring guns? You made a new type of button press to use the chainsaw why not have alt fires for every gun? Why bring in relic rare guns when this game treats guns as entirely disposable and you can’t really save them except on the skiff when you’re driving around which you can’t access in story missions.

I kinda wish it had a dead space 3 style gun upgrade system where you could combine guns so the second gun would be the alt fire. How epic would it be to have a kit lancer where instead of a chainsaw it’s alt fire is a cryogun or a flamethrower or a gnasher? I just wish more thought went into the guns. Why would you copy God of War, a game that has no fucking guns and not copy something that has a basic crafting system? Why not let us have an upgrade system where Jack can store guns or you can store more than two guns on your back or carry more ammo? Why the fuck can’t Jack carry ammo? Sure he can fetch it but he can’t carry any on him??? Why allow you to store guns on the skiff and not Jack? You know the robot with you at all times instead of the skiff you only use to get around the map.

That’s pretty much my only gripe with it, it’s an ok game, it didn’t blow me away but it didn’t leave me unsatisfied, I liked the characters a lot more, I found myself caring about them and really enjoying the gameplay this time around. A part from that one boss fight with instant kills where it took all my good weapons before it started and had homing attacks that stun locked you, that sucked balls.

But overall it’s a really good, well made game well worth the whopping price of two pounds for gamepass which I will cancel at the end of the two months haha.

Broken Sword 5 Review

This review is totally just for me to get my thoughts out about this game because I left a really long review on the xbox game store and pressed back by mistake and it erased it all haha. So this is pure autism, I just have to review it to get it out of my head and never have to think about it again haha, ok here goes.

Broken Sword is one of my favourite games of all time, I say ‘game’ specifically instead of ‘series’ because there are five games now and only two are any good, the others are total shovelware. It was one of the first adventure games I played, on the gameboy advance I think and I played it over and over, it was just really cool to me to have this huge adventure on a handheld. The music, the characters, the writing the subject and history were all amazing to me so I played the subsequent games trying to recapture the magic of the first and almost none of them do sadly.

This game has been out for ages, but it’s one of those games that I buy purely for nostalgia and know will probably be shit so I don’t want to spend over a tenner to get it so I waited for a deep deep sale and got it for a fiver which is pretty much what it’s worth.

I’m not sure if it was released on ios but I was considering paying full price when I get a switch and I’m so glad I didn’t because it looks like a glorified phone game. I’m not one of these people who hated the shift to 3D with broken sword 3, I really liked that game, much more than the second one and I thought 3d with realistic graphics was the logical choice when dealing with the subject matter. A more mature tone is warranted when these games are all about cults and murder and ancient artefacts and crime.
But 5 isn’t interested in tone, it’s interested in getting your nostalgia bucks on top of the kickstarter money they fleeced out of people to make the ‘okayest’ broken sword ever. That’s right this was a fucking kickstarter project, another disaster from the website where dreams go to die or if not they kill themselves a few months later. Proving once again the public don’t know what they want and will pay to be involved in the production of their own disappointment.

Yeah so Broken Sword 5 abandons any idea of realism and it’s basically a cartoon with the animations and graphical style of a phone game. Some of the animations on your xbox avatars are better. Some of the cutscenes are laughably bad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy they went back to hand drawn backgrounds but the cell shaded characters was a terrible decision, they look terrible and it makes it all seem like a big joke.

The writing is also tonally really bad, broken sword is famously pretty funny even when dark stuff is happening but there’s a bit in this game where you wax a dead dog to wear it’s hair on your face to impersonate a dead man so you can dance with his drunk wife to get a key to her safe to seventies music while he’s in the room lying in a coffin. I’m not making this up, this happens in the game and fuck me, my brother walked in during the cringe inducing dance cutscene (which thankfully involves no qte) and I had to explain what the fuck was going on and honestly I’d rather have had him walking in on me watching a midget snuff film.

In the other games there was comedy elements but it never crossed the line into absurdity, you still took the game and the characters seriously which you should because it’s about murders and serious stuff, it’s not a my little pony dress up game. It used comedy as a break from the serious stuff, it was the levity that broke up the serious events and sense of danger, that heightened the tension in a lot of ways.

Comedy can be used to lower the guard of the audience to deliver a harder blow but this game is just fucking clown shoes. It doesn’t give a shit about the tone it just wants to have one of it’s villain be a Putin clone that sounds like the talking meercats on that insurance ad because it thinks it’s funny for some reason.

The game is also split into two parts as some sort of retarded marketing scheme nobody asked for. The first part is basically a red herring and the second half is the main plot but they’re both kind of shit. Some of the puzzles are alright I guess, but some are fucking batshit and some make no sense or sounded cool on paper and were just kind of nonsensical in practice.

Like there’s one where you have to make a paperclip sticky by rolling it in jam and then sticking it to a bug who you use to bridge  a circuit with the paperclip using biscuit crumbs to attract the bug because you can’t reach it yourself. Somehow I got this puzzle right away but I almost had to slap myself and just go ‘what the fuck was that?’I mean what were they thinking?

I can’t imagine how angry I would’ve been if I got stuck on it haha. But somehow I was in tune with the game’s broken logic.

Then there’s a puzzle where you have to decrypt a telegram with a substitution cipher. And it was pretty challenging so I used a hint. The hint system works like this, it gives you a vague clue,  then another one and then it just fucking tells you answer.

And the hint told me that telegrams always end with the word ‘Stop’ and I was like ‘dat makes sense’ then I started thinking ‘who would know that?’ What child picking this game up for the first time would know how a telegram worked? And then I started thinking but how would you encode a telegram? And why would the ‘Stop’s be encoded? Aren’t they like that so they can be transferred between telegraph posts?

Then there’s this other puzzle where you have to translate this tablet with this key but none of the keys are on the translated part and it was an ok puzzle but some of the puzzles are so easy that to go from some of the puzzles to this was just like wtf?? The difficulty is just really inconsistent.

The storyline is total garbage the characters are pretty cringe, it’s about gnosticism this idea that god and the devil are equals keeping the world in balance. The writing is just unbearable, I remember combing through every line in the first games, in this I skipped most of it because I can’t stand the pauses between lines of shitty dialogue. Every line they do this irritating unnatural pause.

Also this sounds like a nitpick, but why can’t George run? I don’t give a shit if it’s not immersive that this patent lawyer is running all over the place, he can glue a dead dogs fur to his face but he has to walk around the room like he needs a stroller. I remember activating a puzzle and having to do it over and over and each time he had to walk between these two points and I just had to watch as he casually worked between these spots for no other reason than having a run animation would be too much of a step away from the nostalgia of the original.

Yeah his walking speed was also annoying in the originals, it’s ok to improve on things like that. But that’s the main problem with this game, it’s just trying to copy the original, it’s playing it safe in every respect. It just wanted to clock in make a bog standard copy of broken sword 1 and get it’s nostalgia cheque and punch out. There’s no innovations in gameplay or story. There weren’t even any fail states, in the original games you can die, you can fail and be murdered even in the gameboy advance version. In this you literally can’t fail and it even has some choices you can make that add up to nothing.

It sort of hints that you can choose between lucifer or god or keep the balance but it’s total bullshit there’s no choice, there’s only one ending, because they couldn’t be bothered to write any other endings and they’re already planning a sequel and can’t have an ambiguity in the canon.

The ending is totally pants too. You’re dealing with something that can kill a god and it’s just sort of the standard ‘oh we entered the cave then blew everything up and then run away dramatically’ bit.

All this build up to just basically a fart of an ending. It was underwhelming and I just couldn’t stand any of the characters outside of George and Nico, they were just badly written, none of the villains seemed very threatening, they were just cheesy and cartoony. There was no tension, no bite, no threat whatsoever, it felt like it was totally just aimed at kids. It was just meh, minimum effort with phone game tier puzzles.

It just doesn’t really go anywhere, you never learn about who created the painting the game is about or why, it’s all very surface level stuff, there isn’t a lot of history or depth to the story. In Broken sword 1 you felt the history and you felt like you were a part of the history and you were delving deeper into it but there was always mystery there like you’d never know the whole truth picking through the bones of the past.

I mean when it comes down to games like this you need to fucking bring it with the characters and the story and the puzzles because it’s all the game has. There are tons of games that have all those things as well as combat systems and dialogue trees and all this extra stuff. So when a game is so simple you really need to nail the limited things you have to offer. You can’t give a game a pass on it’s puzzles and story when that’s the game.

So overall if you’re a broken sword fan like me, get it, but get it for the right price, don’t pay twenty quid for this game, it’s not worth it in time spent or the quality of the game. Get it on sale, get a digital copy and save your money and think twice before picking up Broken Sword 6 because it’ll be more of this nostalgia gouging bullshit.

Also I was thinking back to the previous games and I realised I haven’t even played Broken sword 4 but I looked it up and it has the worst reviews of all the Broken sword games. So it’s surprising 5 came out at all and was as average as it turned out to be.

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Resident Evil 2 Remake – Review

Yeah it’s good.

Fin.

No ok yeah after Spiderman ps4 sucked (despite making tons of cash) and Red dead 2 was the biggest snorefest I’ve ever had the misfortune of wasting my time on (despite making boatloads of cash) I really thought this game would be the threefer and suck also. Or at least just be disappointing.

I was sort of let down and wary after I heard they were ditching the fixed camera, because I loved the resident evil one remake, it’s probably one of the most perfect survival horror games ever made. It added really great stuff and just polished this amazing, iconic game.

So when I heard the remake of 2 wasn’t following suit I was a little bit put off. But I’m pleased to say I was totally wrong. I really loved the re-imagine gameplay, it’s really fun an addictive (I’m saying this after having played it through four times back to back on hardcore and I could happily sit down to another round right now). I thought the shooting would be too easy because of the resident evil 4 style camera but they add elements where its fun but still challenging.

Some of the biggest criticisms I’ve seen are the balancing. Because to make it harder to balance the better controls, head shots aren’t an instant kill anymore some zombies just wont go down. I must have used ten pistol shots at least half to the head the guy still gets back up, it’s insane. But at the same time, it’s thrilling, this is how it should be in a zombie apocalypse, zombies are supposed to be bullet sponges, if they weren’t it wouldn’t be scary. Also the fact that they’re so detailed and their animations are so good there actually aren’t that many in the game so if you could down them with a single head shot or even a single acid round it would be way too easy and not scary at all.

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I love the game, I love the balancing and I love love love it when you get that perfect head shot and their head blows up haha.

The first thing that struck me though in the demo that got me so hyped was the facial capture and the acting talent. It’s just so refreshing to have this game look so good and be done so well. It’s almost a draw back in some ways because it’s such a lonely game at times you want more character interaction and more human elements. It’s a game split in half so a lot of the time you feel like it can be too short and we don’t get enough character drama.
I know these games aren’t really known for that but I think it really needed that with the step up in visuals and animation. I feel like they really did try to do that but were limited by the source material.
Because if you really think about it resy games aren’t that complicated (aside from the convoluted plots). Shoot zombies, solve puzzles, survive.

The only real criticism I have of the game is it left me wanting more. I finished the game and I immediately wanted more. And I hear there’s going to be free dlc although I’ll believe that when I see it since I had to shell out £2.50 to get the original soundtrack, which was so fucking worth it haha.

It made me wish Resident Evil 2 was a bigger better game to work from. I wanted more, I loved the lab section and I wished it had been bigger and more expansive live the police station. The sewer section is the best sewer section in a game ever. Dark, dank, disgusting and foreboding, it was great. It was like being in hell for me haha.

Another criticism I see is turning Mr X into a radial enemy. Because in the original he just appears for short section but in this when he appears he’s just there in the police station constantly looking for you and it’s pretty fucking terrifying and it adds an urgency into the game immediately and the relief when you finally slip him is great.

Would I recommend this game? Hell yes and I recommend playing it on hardcore, because that’s the way it was meant to be played. You have the original saving method using ink ribbons and your ammo is limited as hell and it feels intense. Standard was way too easy and you have so much ammo by the end of the game it’s a joke. So if you want the genuine resident evil experience play it on hardcore, otherwise the game just gets and you have like a million shotgun and pistol or grenades and you annihilate everything. Hardcore is how it’s supposed to be.

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I loved both the campaigns but my favourite was definitely Clare’s because I liked her weapon set better and playing as Sherri was a nice change of pace, whereas playing as Ada in Leon’s campaign was just annoying.

Clare just gets the best guns. With Leon you get his pistol which is ok and you can upgrade it but it’s not that accurate or powerful. Clare starts off with this cap gun revolver but later you find this beast of an automatic that has a laser sight and an extended mag. So it just shits on Leon’s pistol. More accurate, more powerful, better fire rate.
He gets a shotgun which is fun and looks great but for some reason it’s useless against lickers but decent against zombies. It takes like four headshots to killa licker. Clare’s grenade launcher kills them with like one shot. It’s not so good against zombies but it’s like an instant stagger against bosses.

Leon then gets a desert eagle which is a good magnum, probably the most powerful in the game and he can make ammo for it which Clare can’t do, she can’t craft magnum ammo.
But Clare gets an smg instead which is way better for bosses imo. Leon’s magnum packs a punch but so many of the bosses are about hitting critical points and the amount of damage is negligible and I found it’s way easier to bullseye those spots with a rapid fire weapon over a big desert eagle which is pretty accurate but you can still miss. The smg is almost always on point.

Also Clare gets a magnum as well so Clare actually gets an extra gun than Leon but she can’t craft ammo for it.
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Their final weapons are a toss up because she gets this electric gun which is pretty good and he gets a flamethrower which is really useful against the enemies later in the game but for some reason it’s useless against bosses. So again I have to side with Clare’s weapons, they’re just more useful and versatile and fun.
Although that shotgun is fun, it just didn’t pack that much of a punch.

Sorry got a bit spurgy about the guns there haha. But yeah, really enjoyed it, in fact I want to get back on it now haha. I really hope they remake resident evil 3 next, that would be amazing considering how well they did with this game.

Overall I think the game is limited by the original, I think a lot of people me included are suffering from nostalgia goggles and the original game really doesn’t give you that much to work with. It wasn’t as good as we remember. The story is light and kind of dumb, characters are eh. And the game just feels wanting for a modern title. But regardless I enjoyed it, it was a fun romp. But is it the best thing since sliced bread, not really, overall it was good, not amazing, but worth a buy for sure. Compared to all the shit that’s come out recently it really is a cut above.

Yeah go out and buy it.

See you…

 

Red Dead Redemption 2 ‘now even more redemptiony’ – review

… it’s boring, the end.

No, but yeah but no, yeah. My brother played this before me and he was like “Eh it was kind of meh” and I just took that to mean it went over his head or he just didn’t get it or it was too slow for him because he’s not the quickest of cats at the best of times and he couldn’t get into kingdom deliverance or the witcher and he would never play something like dark souls. He’s not the kind of guy that likes in depth games that take a lot of skill and patience and grind so I just figured he wasn’t giving it a chance.

Because admittedly the beginning is slow as fuck. I mean it’s tedious and I didn’t know at the time that that pretty much sets the pace for the whole fucking game. You’re like ‘oh it takes a while to get going that’s all, it’s taking it’s time to build it’s world’ but it never gets going, it never gets off the ground, it just rolls around aimlessly the whole game hoping you’ll get distracted by all the side quests and mini games so you don’t notice that the plot and the characters are boring and unoriginal.

It’s like the game is a con artist and you’re asking it “So what’s the end goal? What’s the story about, how do the characters grow and why does this story need to be told in regards to red dead 1?” and the game is like; “Err… you like poker right?? I mean who doesn’t like poker?? Hunt or fish much?”

I usually like a game that takes it’s time and eases you into the game and lets you get to know the characters before everything begins and they start killing them off one by one for fun. But this game just goes on and on and on. And don’t get me wrong it has a lot of content, too much content, the game is almost too full, it gets to the point where it’s almost like filler and it’s why it took me ages to get this review out because the game is so bloated and the story is so filler heavy even without the side stuff it’s way too long.

The first thing I fought back against with my brother was the world, the world is very nice, someone went to a lot of effort to make it really beautiful and engaging so you didn’t mind the hours you’ll spend riding around on your horse to get to missions or just exploring. I found the hunting pretty fun. I didn’t play any poker which is weird because I played a lot in the previous game, the fishing was pointless if you ask me.

The mechanics are pretty similar to the older game, except they changed the dead eye system because in the older game when it gets better you get that terrible tagging system which ruins the fun of shooting people in slow mo if you ask me. Oh wow instead of shooting people you get to put a little ‘x’ on them and then your character shoots them, yay. But in this they reversed that which is a lot better and makes dead eye much more fun and useful. Although if I’m honest the game that did it best is Max Payne always and Call of Juarez let you control each gun individually when you went into slow mo, so you had a stick per gun and you could shoot two people at once, it was awesome. I don’t see why you can’t do that in this or have a trigger for each trigger. It would just make the shooting more immersive.

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Of course I went for total immersion, minimal hud, first person all the way but I never really felt immersed, I was always aware I was playing a game despite the attempt at grit and realism in the plot and world. I never really felt like I was in a slice of that time period like I did with Kingdom come deliverance, that game literally feels like a simulation someone put an rpg into.

One of the things that really brought me out of it was just the rockstar humour and also the modern day morality and race politics injected into the game, The game really goes out of it’s way to be anti-racist and it has so many occasions where it’s pointing out race or purposefully ignoring it and Arthur will tell anyone that will listen that he loves all races. It got to a point where it was ridiculous, he encounters a eugenicist the game was basically using as an alt right talking point machine. And Arthur basically comes back with the boiler plate “But I have friends who are mexican/black etc” and I was just like; “Aren’t you and all your friends robbers and killers though???” Scratches head emoji haha. Like huh?

It just makes no sense and totally takes me out of it, the whole morality and legal system of this game is pretty janky and it just kind of reeks of too many cooks in the kitchen. I mean I get that this game is sort of about america becoming less lawless which I’d like to remind you is exactly what the previous red dead was also about. But seriously, if you so much as sneeze in this game you’ll have cops crawling up your ass with a microscope, I’ve had people punch me and shoot me for bumping them with my horse and I get shot at by the cops for defending myself. And the morality system is like “Loot and kill all you want, except not these specific people”.

Why do I not lose honour when I loot a bad guy but I lose it when I loot an innocent person I didn’t even kill, it makes little to no sense. Why is there even an honor system in a game where I’m literally a criminal, it’s like here we are robbing a train, oh I’m losing honour while robbing people, right, and also getting a bounty despite wearing a mask, so what’s the point of the mask then?

Also the honour system seems kind of redundant, it really only unlocks certain outfits and gun customisation. I heard it changes some cutscenes but who gives a shit, does it change the ending? No? Then who gives a shit? So much of this game just seems to be there because it’s in other games and not because it’s good or serves the story.

I get that these are little things but they’re just dumb, these are things I’m getting out of the way because the real kicker of this game, the big problem is I don’t get why it exists. Well I do; money. It exists to make shitloads of money and honestly that seems to be the only reason.

The brass tacks of it is that it’s uninspired and I knew it was just from the title, the first game was just ‘Red dead’ because the main character is called ‘Red’ I think. The sequel is called ‘Red dead redemption’ because the main character who is not called Red is seeking redemption by tracking down the members of his old gang and this game is called ‘Red dead redemption 2’ because the main character is also not called red and is also sort of looking for redemption, towards the end of the game kinda. I’d be tempted to add a tagline ‘Red dead redemption 2 – now with 10% more redemption’.

It’s just an uninspired title and it sums up the entire slog of a game. It’s just more of the same and what’s more it’s a pointless plot line just loaded with filler and uninteresting characters. I think the big problem with this game is the same problem GTA IV had, it’s trying to be taken seriously but also trying to keep that level of rockstar humour and wit and it just falls flat. Because you can’t do both, you can’t try to tell an engaging serious story about life and death and have stupid jokes and wacky characters it just ruins the whole tone. It’s totally inconsistent. It’s why GTAV was so successful, it got its tone down, the story and characters worked with in it and it was had a satirical message that resonated. There’s no satire in red dead really, it’s just sort of played straight.

Also the missions all feel really flat and kind of like they’re on rails, and there really aren’t any that stand out. There isn’t that one mission that you remember. It’s just white noise really. The story sort of meanders and goes nowhere and then it ends and then it carries on for like ten hours with a pointless epilogue about how John built his house.

This is what pissed me off about this game because its a prequel so the story really isn’t necessary. It’s what building on the world or the lore, it’s just wallowing and retreading. And the whole time I don’t understand why because the characters that you chase in the first game barely get any lines or do anything at all. In fact there are parts of the game where they just seem like idiot flunkies so it almost makes the previous game seem kind of dumb and pointless.

And obviously we already know what’s going to happen and who can die and who can’t so we’re expected to care about all these people we know are probably going to die or leave and it takes the sting out. Also none of them really get any character development or time spent on them. Unless you spend loads of time in camp reading their mail or just engaging in pointless pleasantries. Maybe that’s what the game expected you to do but I barely even went to camp because there’s a whole fucking world to explore, I’m not gonna spend my time pissing about talking to characters who are just gonna die anyway.

So my major gripe is that the games story is pointless, it adds nothing to the previous game, in fact it probably takes away from it. It’s like the Solo movie, we didn’t need to know where he got his blaster from or whatever, it added nothing, it’s just shameless money spinning. You could have just made a new game and instead you just made another one. I thought this game originally was going to be the most ambitious game ever and like how in GTAV you played three characters, I thought you’d get to spend time being all seven gang members and that would have been a fantastic way of getting to know them by being them and dressing them and giving them their guns. But no, none of that happens, you just play a guy was invented for this game just to *spoilers* get sick and die pointlessly.

Ok I think I’m done ranting about the shitty boring nothing burger of a story and now I’m gonna talk about the shitty boring nothing burger of an epilogue.

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I don’t think I’ve ever wished a part of a game were chopped off and resold as dlc before. It’s an additional like 10 hours of literal filler just so you can kill this one guy and have a satisfying conclusion when you could have killed him 10 hours ago and saved me doing all those cow milking and horse shit picking up mini games.

It’s so pointless, and it’s just about John remarrying Abigail and building a house, and serves as like literal filler between the second game and the first. Why do we need to know how he built the house? And it brings in another gang to fight purely as filler combat to make the filler less boring. “Oh you’re trying to build a house but they kidnapped this guy or stole your tools, go shooty shooty bang bang them to make them stop”.

It’s pathetic.

But also it makes me wonder why you didn’t just play John again and then the story could have been about his romance with Abigail and actually interesting. And some of the major plot points are about his son and Abigail getting captured or whatever and I think it would have carried more emotional weight if you were playing as John instead of just going to help out. The only reason you play another character is because they could kill him off and try to pluck at your heart strings really feebly.

In the first game you really feel like you go on a journey, and I wish games would go back to locking off parts of the map because it really takes the fun of going to new places when you can just randomly go there early and ruin it. The first game you travel to mexico and all over and it feels like you went somewhere, in this game you feel like you’re just kinda moving around the map not doing anything. It’s not a journey, it’s just you go over here now, now you’re over here, yaaaaay.

Don’t get me wrong, Arthur is hands down the best character in the game but there isn’t a lot of competition. The game has zero interesting characters and no villains whatsoever. I get that it’s not trying to be a game with moustache twirling villains but anything is better than just having no villains.
I know people are gonna say “But Dutch is the villain” but is he though? Everyone is telling me that but honestly he just seems more like an idiot to me. Like someone who was just coasting on luck and charm and one or both ran out. I just kinda felt sorry for him for being dumb and optimistic.

Like it’s trying to be like ‘He’s a three dimensional likeable villain.” But what does he do that’s villainous really?

I dunno, this game just felt like a slog, even cutting out the side stuff, it’s too long, it’s bloated, there’s just too much going on and yes you can have too much of a good thing, that’s what this is. It’s content for contents sake, how much can we stuff into this one game.

This is basically the summer block buster game we all have to love and it’s just a big boring mess. But it’s come out after a couple of big publishers just shit the bed, bethesda and EA just completely fell flat on their face and despite being beaten by Black ops Red dead looks great in comparison to those massive failures. But honestly its emperors new clothes, it’s a soul less cash grab and I can’t help thinking it’s because they’ve been going to ubisoft route in terms of how they do crunch. I think the without a union the games industry is going to crash from people being overworked and underpaid to churn out empty lifeless sequels that eventually wont sell. Ultimately red dead 2 did well but I think people won’t be talking about in a month or two just like no one is really talking about spiderman anymore despite paying youtubers to tell people how great it is and giving away a free suit at christmas which should have been in the base game anyway. It’s still a really disappointing game.

But it really put me in the mood to play the Mad Max game which surprised me with how awesome it is despite getting no love whatsoever haha.

So final thoughts, this game isn’t worth your money or your time, wait til it drops in price or don’t buy it at all, it has nothing to add to the red dead lore or your life in any way, it’s just spinning its wheels for 300+ hours with nothing to say, if you value your time, do something else.

See you…

Spiderman ‘Current year edition’ Review (Amazing savagery)

“It really makes you feel like spiderman’s wife’s black son”

-Ign

Newsflash webheads I hate it haha.

I dunno, I couldn’t get hyped for this one honestly, for a couple of reasons. Number one being it just looked like a milk toast Arkham copy and I haven’t liked an Arkham game since the first one so that lets you know where I’m at on that one. I mean I stopped playing origins after the first couple of missions because it was just tedious and predictable. Just a slog with room after room of the same uninspired combat and stealth mechanics.

The other reason was the studio behind this game have made nothing of note. The closest thing to spiderman they made was Sunset Overdrive, the most generic nothing game you could ever imagine. Kinda like crackdown and infamous for hipsters, trying for the comedy of gta or bully and just being a pointless game packed with filler. Another game I just didn’t feel like playing anymore after a couple of hours. I think they made a spyro game and some ratchet clank titles, in human speak that means games not many people give a shit about.

So those were the first red flags that I shouldn’t be hyped about this, the last one being there hasn’t been a decent entry in the spiderman videogame subset since spiderman 2 on the fucking gamecube. Every sequel botched or rushed for purpose of grabbing cash and running. Milking a popular franchise and then spending the profits in an non-extradition country.

And this game is no different folks, it just had a better pr team, i.e you idiots on the riding high on the hype train, moving too fast to see the forest for the trees.

So this game was more of a curiosity purchase if anything. I started off really enjoying. It looks great, it feels cinematic and quite immersive. The combat is really nice and the movement is pretty good.

It starts off with an older Peter Parker, skipping the origin story and getting straight into capturing Kingpin in the tutorial of the game but inadvertently creating a power vacuum that then triggers other villains to appear somehow. Yeah the kingpin thing is kind of just bullshit to have a boss battle at the start, it never really comes up again in any significant way.
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So you have a pretty standard boss battle, dodge, web, zip to, punch a lot, rinse and repeat and get used to that because that’s basically every boss fight in this game, only the costumes change haha.
Then you get into Peter Parker’s life. When I first heard that there are segments you play as Peter I was like “Huh?”. But then I started to think this game would be more like an rpg where you play spiderman and you have to balance his normal life and his spidey stuff add to that an upgrade system and new costumes to unlock you have what is essentially an rpg.

But here’s where I was dead wrong since all you do as Peter Parker is walk around and look and use detective vision to find the next thing to interact with to move the plot. And if you’re not doing that you’re working for Otto Octavius in his lab doing shitty puzzles the game knows are shitty and gives you the option to skip entirely in between Otto dropping hints that he’s going to turn into doctor octopus at some point in the near future.
It just becomes a point and click adventure. You can’t walk the streets or like have special places to change into your costumes. It’s basically just a cutscene where you can walk around, in other words, totally pointless filler. And you’re strap yourself in because you’re gonna get a lot of that in this game, but I’ll save that for later haha.

Now the first issue with this game is the core mechanics, people dumping on it for copying Arkham or whatever. I’ve said before I don’t mind if games/movies/books borrow elements from other sources as long as they do them justice and add their own flare. Look at Shadow of Mordor, pretty much steals all Arkham’s gameplay and sprinkles in some Assassins creed but it adds it’s own skill tree and it crafts this awesome enemy hierarchy system. In which the orcs have their own politics you can manipulate and it’s a really fun mechanic.

Whereas spidey has the elements of a perfect spiderman game but then piles on a shit ton of other mechanics from other games implemented in the most half assed and stupid ways that just bog an otherwise decent game down.
For example the upgrade system is just totally useless and really only good for cosmetics. How it works is you have to get tokens to unlock new suits, suit mods and gadgets and you get tokens by grinding random crimes or looking for stupid collectables or clearing bases or completing challenges all basic shit. But the suits just look cool and have like a power that adds nothing really and I never ended up using them very. The suit mods too were pretty useless and I could see doing a playthrough without even buying a new suit or mod and just levelling the skill tree.
The suits don’t have their own stats, so the spider armour mk1 and the spider armour mk2 have the same stats but they have different powers and look different. And you change their stats with mods but newer more expensive suits have the same number of mod slots so the incentive to get them and grind for them is purely cosmetic. You’d think an armoured suit would give you more defence, no it just gives you a power that you’ll never use that gives you immunity to bullets for like ten seconds. Whoop de fucking doo.

Honestly, a game that forces you to look for collectables should be binned just for that. It’s just time wasting filler nonsense.

The first real red flag was when the game introduced ubisoft style towers. And at first I was like “erm I guess this is ok” towers you go to unlock side missions and collectable locations. They’re not hard to get to like farcry or AC because you’re spiderman so that’s ok I guess. But what’s the point in it other than just as a time wasting mechanic? Just to be like the bigger boys? It has no purpose in any game least of all a spiderman game.
And I don’t care if Peter has some kind of walk down memory lane when he picks up another collectible. One was a recipe for dumplings or curry or something, I don’t want to collect little pieces of “lore” someone at insomniac pulled out of their ass as filler ok. It’s just dumb.

The next red flag was the web swinging, something that’s core to any spiderman game, so if you fuck that up you’ve got a problem. At first I thought it was ok, it wasn’t webbing to the sky it looked over it felt intuitive but then I started to notice that I could never seem to get any faster, I could never build up momentum in a swing no matter how hard or deep I took the swing. And I also noticed how the web always shot out of the screen and you could mysteriously web swing on trees in central park. Not that I was complaining because its better than running through central park.

But that’s when I realised that the reason you can’t pick up speed is because the game doesn’t have a momentum system, or anyway to web swing faster. It’s just a stock animation repeated a couple of times, you’re just on a loop and the webs are sticking to the sky they’re just angled to make you think they’re webbing buildings or they have specific anchor points on buildings. So you never get the real sense that you’re web swinging or going fast and there’s no tension because you can jump off the highest building in this game and nothing happens, you can’t die from falling. So that’s spiderman simulator out of the way.  I don’t feel like spiderman I feel like someone playing a spiderman videogame.

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No to shred the basic gameplay, another thing they steal and fuck up is base assaults. So in like Assassins creed there are enemy strongholds you can infiltrate and conquer through stealthily taking everyone out or just barging in and killing everyone. And each one is a fun little mini map, a play ground. But how spiderman fucks it up is all of them are pretty much the same map and you can take them all out stealthily and then another wave of already alerted enemies shows up as one of like five waves you have to fight through making the stealth completely pointless. And why do they do this? Filler, it’s just padding, adding waves is just a way to artificially pad these base missions out and thus makes them a tedious slog that I skipped entirely. And this kind of thing happens in the main quests too, you complete a stealth section only to have more enemies burst in and you have to fight them.

I’m not saying I hate the combat system but eat icecream all day and tell me you want to do the same tomorrow. You can ruin even  good thing if you have too much of it too often.

Now about the stealth, it’s bog standard arkham but as spiderman; perch and isolate and web people up rinse and repeat. Oh no two people together, distract and isolate then web them up, or just use a gadget and web them both up. It’s really simple but I enjoyed the parts of the game where it actually let you do it before ending always in the obligatory fight.

I just think it’s another one of those things, they have a stealth system only because every other game has one but they’ve implemented it in a way that makes it pointless, it’d just be quicker and easier to fight in every encounter.

Another thing I noticed is the world is really lifeless, it’s really not even a sandbox game, it’s a linear game with a really really short even with all the padding campaign with skyboxes you swing through. The world is there but you can barely interact with it in any meaningful way. I get the feeling a lot of the sub mission content was cut for dlc and the stuff us peasants are left with is just the scraps. It looks pretty but it’s just hollow and really this game is a linear game but has to pretend to be open world to be let into the big boy club.

Now I saved by biggest gripe for last, the rabbit pellet on the shit sunday. Now this I couldn’t believe when I heard it and I don’t think this was in any of the marketing I saw. For some reason the game gets the genius idea that for ‘variety’ they sprinkle in these little missions where you don’t play as spiderman. And you may ask yourself am I playing another superhero? Maybe Daredevil? Or the Punisher??? Nope you play Mary- jane and Miles Morales in these shitty forced stealth sections with instant death fail states.
And now you’re thinking ‘surely they’ll just be in submissions and side quests and they’re be really short, they won’t be in the main campaign.’
That’s where you’ll be wrong, they’re in submissions and in pretty much every mission in the main campaign and they get longer and more annoying each time.
When I first encountered this I was like ‘is this a spiderman game, or is this spiderman and pals?’ Why am I playing people that aren’t spiderman in a spiderman game?
What is the purpose of these missions? Why can’t I play as spiderman or at-least Peter Parker for these missions?
I wouldn’t have minded them if I felt they had a purpose or were fun and interesting and relevant to the plot but they’re not and the game makes some lame justification why only MJ can do it and it’s somehow beyond spiderman. Spiderman couldn’t sneak into a gang hideout and take pictures, nah that’s something only MJ could do.

It got to a point where I would buy a new suit for a story quest and then have to stare at the back of Mj’s head while she went on a tour of chest high wall inspections. And to really take the piss in this one mission you see spiderman sneaking around and taking out guards and you have to help him by throwing distraction items to isolate guards so he can pick them off. My jaw at this point was on the floor with how fucking dumb this was.
I paid fifty quid to watch spiderman do spiderman stuff as his annoying girlfriend. And then by the time you’re spiderman again you almost feel relieved like you’ve just been let out of a gulag for white privilege. The relief you get when someone stops hitting your balls with a hammer.

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Is that how fun works? I’m confused, so this game thought it would be good to break up the gameplay with pointless tedious missions where you play spiderman’s mates and this is a triple a game?
On top of that you do pretty much the exact same thing as Miles Morales and his missions are even more pointless. So pointless I’ve forgotten what most of them were even about. Like one was just there because he didn’t want to wait in line. One was like he needed medicine for some random person and he had to steal it and then rhino appears and it’s meant to be scary. You’re meant to be scared of a guy dressed in a rhino suit who sounds like Colossus in the deadpool movies. It’s like ‘ooh look how deadly and powerful he is, don’t you feel scared being a powerless non-super powered human faced with this amazing enemy who can be beaten by hacking into a light to distract him and just walking behind him as he stares at it intently for like five minutes’.
And every time I completed one of these missions I was like ‘what was the point of that?’ I couldn’t understand what it added and why it couldn’t have just been a cut scene or even just a line of dialogue. Instead of playing Miles sneaking past the line he could just say “I didn’t want to wait in line blah blah blah”. The reason these missions exist is to pad out the ridiculously short campaign, that’s the purpose for almost every mechanic in the game. It’s like they crafted the main quest and it’s not awful, the characters and writing is ok and then they were like, ‘shit this is a little short, let’s just cram it with collectables and pointless side quests and forced stealth missions and crafting, that’ll fix it, people love that garbage.’

And you know what’s really sad? They’re not wrong because this money is making more money than god of war. But that’s usually what people say when defending shitty games like this ‘well it made lots of money so it must be good’. Well cancer raises a lot of money but I can’t say the juice is worth the squeeze.
This is what sony does now, they make flashy nice looking movies with a bit of gameplay and hype the shit out of people with paid reviews and get people too drunk on hype to realise how bad the game really is below all the shiny baubles. And by the time they realise the developer is already making a sequel and when that one comes out you’ll have forgotten how shitty the other one really was.

One final thing that really pissed me off, like really made me cringe is they set up Miles to be the next spiderman in this game. We’re not even two games in and they’re already planning to replace Peter Parker. So either you play Miles in the dlc which would be tolerable but I won’t play it because I already returned this game haha. Or the sequel will be playing as Miles, the ultimate sjw commie wet dream haha. And Peter will be relegated to force stealth missions where he sniffs Mjs pants.
Because you know the sjws at marvel and everywhere else is chomping at the bit to make spiderman black. They can’t do it in the movies even though they tried and made references to him as well as replacing almost every other white role in homecoming with another race. I mean they made flash thompson some geeky looking indian gay, it was just silly. When not even the jock bully can be white you’ve reached levels of diversity that shouldn’t even be possible haha.

Overall what’s really sad about this game is that it has potential, underneathe all the shit and padding there beats the heart of a half decent spiderman game that we’ll never see and that’s what makes this game especially triggering to me. Because it could have been amazing but it just isn’t, it’s painfully average and bland.

Save your money on this one. Or buy a gamecube haha.

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