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Darkly Dreaming Demographic.

Where weird shit hits bizarre fans.

Prey 2006 retrospective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Spoilers end*

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

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

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

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

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

See you…

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right now, gonna start something else haha.

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

El Camino: Breaking Bad Movie review

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

*spoilers* The main character dies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Prey 2017 re-review/shitty essay

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

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

*Plot twist*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    END

Rain drops

Melancholia

When listening to the rain

My thoughts are empty.

 

Resoundingly so,

Thinking only of what was

But is no longer

 

A certain aching

Fills my heart like the rain drops.

When I think of you.

3 ring samurai part 3 chapter 6 ‘The carnival is over’

Henlo people, long time no… not see, hear? Read?

Regardless, irregardless? Gardless?

Ok whatever, the content drought is still upon me, no movie reviews because my brother is on another of his ridiculous adventures and still have writers block so the writing is slow as fuck but huzzah there is content today, hard fought content.
That’s not to say I haven’t been busy, quite the contrary, I’m lifting ten times heavier haha. Almost finished watch all of farscape which is pretty good, finished my last shadow book and straight into the next one which seems to have a pretty interesting villain and I keep spilling promix on myself haha.
But in other news I got an interview for a new job which I think I either aced or did so badly they want another interview. The first one was just a weird live recorded one, but I have one tomorrow that’s live. But get this, I get a phone call from the person who’s meant to be interviewing me tomorrow and she says there’s no current opening in the job I applied for. 
Colour me surprised since I didn’t actually apply for a job I just sent in my cv and cover letter and they suggested a job for me to apply to which I did. Why the fuck would you offer me a job that didn’t have openings? I mean wtf is that? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I got off the phone with her and I almost broke into tears because here’s me thinking I have this perfect job lined up and this person asks me if I still want to interview for a job I can’t have. So I dunno, I’m gonna do the interview and ask them how long I might have to wait because who knows it could just be until after christmas or something. But if it’s longer than that I’m gonna tell them I’ll keep looking for jobs because that’s fucking clownworld shit.
I really wanted this job, in case I didn’t put it on here, I’m applying to work on a cruise ship because I think it’s perfect for me, travel, meet new people, live rent free, bill free, free food, no commutes. I genuinely hate driving, I can drive but I try to avoid it as much as possible because it stresses me out. It sounds silly but it’s how my father died and I don’t so much fear death as much as I fear making a mistake at all. I know some people find driving relaxing, I am not one of them. I find taking the train with a good book relaxing.
I just so upset when I got off the phone, because, I mean the whole reason I’m doing this is so I can make enough money to be with her, to be close to her, even if it’s just the two months on a six months on, two months off contract. And this is just more time I have to wait until I can hold her again.
I lie to myself, my autism flares up and tells me I can’t do it because x,y and z, I need my personal space, I hate people, I wont have time to workout, I’ll get fat etc. So I’ve bribed the autism side of my brain telling it that I’ll buy it a nintendo switch lite to play in the cabin and that seems to shut it up and make it forget about how hard it’ll undoubtedly be working six months seven days a week and sharing a room with a stranger.
But mainly it’s to anaesthetise that voice in my head that reminds me how empty I am without her, how lonely I am, how much I miss her. How nothing else matters. Because every time I think about that I can feel myself breaking down, even now as I type this I feel nails scratching away at the surface. My carefully crafted armor cracking like an eggshell.
It’s why I’ve been reluctant to write poetry recently, instead I’ve just been rehashing pop songs. Because I’m afraid if I dig too deep and use my real emotions it might just start a flood I can’t dam up. And it gets worse day by day and who knows how long I have to wait now. You’d think it’d drive me to even deeper more effective work, but it’s just too much to bare. It’s easier to just shut it off. But I don’t know how long I can do that. All I have is dreaming of a better outcome but at every turn it seems to go wrong somehow. I mean here I find a job that’s perfect for me and it looks like I’m about to get it but no, I’ve stepped on a rake and it the handle hits me in the face.
Fuck me right?
Canard felt the blood pooling in his brain and it felt like his head were an expanding balloon that was about to pop. The wire tightened around his neck, arm and leg. He was yanked in three directions, they meant to pull him apart like soft bread or a really fucked up pinate.
With his free hand and the last of his strength he pulled on the wire around his neck. Yanking the mime with the shaved head forward and off balance. The mime allowed a small smirk to creep across his face as he stumbled and leapt forward.
Canard dragged him forward with all his might and with a last desperate effort with the only blood left in his stump. He flicked his hidden blade in his peg leg open and cut the bald mime’s arm clean off. The smile didn’t move even as his own blood spattered on his still white face.
Canard had just enough time to cut the wire around his arm before he was pulled off his feet by the wire still wrapped tightly around his good leg.
He bumped his head a little and it felt like falling in a dream. He blacked out for a split second and then allowing for the rush of blood back into his brain. The oxygen back into his lungs he was awake again digging his heel in the dirt.
The fucker was dragging him, reeling him in like a fish on a hook. The one with his arm off calmly picked up his other arm up, maybe he wanted to see if he could reattach it with a little glue and tape.
Canard instinctively shot a glance up and behind the one that had hold of his weapon arm was advancing from behind now. He had to act fast or he was fucked.
He dug the pointy end of his spear in the dirt to try and slow him down. Then he got a cute idea and tossed some dry dirt up into the air that looked like an old man farting dust. Hardly the smokescreen or the mud in his eye that he wanted.
“Fuck it!” Canard spat as he angled his spear like a harpoon and lobbed it at the mime dragging him.
The mime dropped the line turning instantly to catch the spear out of the air.
Canard cursed under his breath as he quickly slipped his foot free of the wire “Shit, that worked last time” He could feel the one behind him closing.
Suddenly he felt like a crab on his back and rose up like a spider and did a fancy break dance spin. Trying to do his best impression of a blender and maybe take out the fucker behind him.
The one behind was too fast and nimble and had seen the blade coming from a mile off and summersaulted clear over the bladed spinning top.
The three were together now, the bald one with one arm on the right still smirking holding his other arm like a club. The one with his spear and the other one on the left. They paused for a moment allowing Canard to see how fucked he was.
Canard stood up and dusted himself off, he glanced over at them and sighed a little “Well, what are you waiting for?” He said as he held his arms out welcoming them to kill him. Hobbled slightly to one side as the knife on his peg leg elevated one side like a high heel shoe.
The mime with Canard’s weapon was eager, emboldened by his new toy.
Canard pointed at him and made a stupid face.
Pookie drove his blade up and under the mime’s jaw and pushed it all the way until he heard a scraping cracking sound. The mime’s spiked club fell in a stunted arc and scratched Pookie’s cheek as it fell from the mime’s limp lifeless arm.
“Over here!” He heard a familiar voice calling him.
In a cloud of brown and orange dust Riki’s little buggy skidded into view on what was left of the road. Riki leaned out and signalled Pookie. Pookie hiked Jersey up higher on his shoulder and cast a glance back at Efron and the dog and then over at Canard.
The mime with Canard’s spear lunged at him in a full speed dash with every intention of turning Canard into a one legged duck kebab.
But to Canard that was the most obvious way to attack, the acrobat pirouetted effortlessly to one side. Letting his spear to pass and grabbing it in both hands along the shaft. In one fluid motion he stepped on the mime’s chest and rolled him backwards. Making good and sure the mime’s body weight sunk his peg leg blade deep into his liver rolling back and launching the soon to be dead prick up in the air.
He landed on his back flopping like a fish out of water before some sensory mechanism kicked in. He flipped back to his feet dropping half a quart of black blood on the sand.
“Ya know it’d be really great if you guys could stay down.” Canard spat through the hard slit that had become his mouth.
The mime who had his spear moved mechanically, as if all sense had left him and only a husk bent on primal slaughter remained. He lunged towards Canards back, the acrobat leaned on his spear giving an exasperated sigh as he heard the mime’s feet scraping the sand towards him.
Canard turned his upper body in one fluid motion and drove the spear over his shoulder piercing through the mime’s skull. The shaft moving so fast it shot in and out like a piston. The mime stood swaying the last one to get the message that he was dead.
Canard drove the point home as he drew the blade up in an arching slash across his chest. The strike splitting him from gut to sternum, he fell almost in two pieces into the loose earth.
“Hey are you done fucking around over there?” Pookie shouted.
Canard turned to look over his shoulder at the two remaining mimes who stood like they were carved out of terracotta.
“Yeah I’m done” He said as he edged an imaginary line. Never taking his eyes off the two that remained as he hopped his way over to Pookie’s voice and the rest of the gang in the makeshift mystery machine.
Likewise the two mimes eyeballed him so hard his balls started to hurt a little bit like when you sit on them wrong.
He broke away from them at a loose dash and looked back and saw them standing there, not following. The night sky behind them orange and backlit by the fires and the rising smoke. Looking like some funhouse smoke machine, the lights just leds flashing. The mimes watched them go and then vanished into the smoke.
He got to the car as Pookie was loading the girl into the back. Efron and the dog were already sitting comfortably like they’d been waiting there the whole time.
“Hey get in” A familiar but odd voice said.
“What the hell’s he doing here?” Canard asked as he gawped at the weird fumer kid Brandon sitting in the drivers seat.
“We’ll talk about that later, wait is that, Jersey? What’s with that shit on her face?” Riki asked as Pookie bundled her into the back.
“We’ll talk about it later” Pookie said. “Drive.”
If you want to read the rest of this total garbage head on over to inkitt.

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.

 

 

Loner

I don’t wanna be

wanna be your cigarette

or be your ash tray

 

You never asked me

I don’t put myself out there

I stay tucked away

 

I was a loner

I let you in after all..

Until I met you

 

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.

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