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Rage 2 review

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

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

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

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

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

Ok rant over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you.

 

The Outer Worlds Review – Astronomically average

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Companions:

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

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

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

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

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

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Honk honk!

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

 

3. Combat;

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

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

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

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

4. Perks/leveling

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

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

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

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

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5. The story/quests

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Loot

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

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

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

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

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8. Bugs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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9. Summary/niggles/world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you…

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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…

 

 

Prey… they don’t make a sequel

Yup, I went there, shitty kind of pun where I mix up ‘prey’ and ‘pray’, that’s how much this game disappointed me.

Honestly, I really, really wanted to like this, I looked at it and I liked what I saw, I heard a lot of hate for it but blew it off because I mean people love shitty games and decent games sometimes come out at the wrong time and I thought a lot of the hate was coming from people who liked the original Prey game and those just sick of games like this after we reached peak space survival horror of alien isolation. Although admittedly I have a love hate relationship with arcane studios, I love the gameplay of Dishonored but it’s everything else that’s the problem and those problems as you will see are ten times that in this game.

So I really went into this expecting to be surprised and at the start I really was, the intro is great, I love a good intro to a game, if a game can blow you away within the first ten minute you know you’re onto a winner. Without spoilers the intro is this really nice mind fuck and I was really feeling this game after that, a great set up and then you get into the game and there isn’t a lot of hand holding you’re just expected to go out and explore which is awesome, it’s laden with atmosphere and you’re jumping at every sound and then coffee cups start attacking you.

Yeah, the best part of this game is probably the mimics, they’re these little aliens that can transform into anything so when you encounter one you end up hitting everything that has a double next to it with a wrench just to make sure.

I hear a lot of people whining about the difficulty curve of this game and to those people I say ‘git gud’. The game is quite punishing at the start because it’s trying to herd you in a certain direction so you can measure your strength from the start to later on in the game which is how games should work, that’s whats satisfying about a game like this, you start off shit but by the end you can deal with almost any problem you face. And I really liked that and I found myself really dreading he next enemy encounter merely because every fight felt like this intense ordeal… which is how a survival horror game should feel, that’s where the intensity comes from.

Another thing I saw people hating on was the gluegun, which is exactly what it sounds like it’s this projectile glue gun which acts as like a freezeray and covers enemies in glue so you can better shoot them or in my case hit them with a wrench and even better you can create vertical paths to get to objectives by climbing the glue when it drys. Which being a big portal fan I loved because you have a weapon that not only incapacitates enemies but also allows you to better traverse the 3d world.

2976125-paragon.0

Now onto the bad stuff, why I didn’t ultimately finish this game, I literally put my controller down and uninstalled it and sent it back to amazon. It’s not because of the difficulty believe me, it’s the overall design flaws inherent in the game and the glaring fact that this game has no character.

What do I mean by ‘character’?

Ok so this game is basically bioshock in space, the game plays pretty much exactly the same, you have guns and collect implants to get crazy powers and fight freak but is that all bioshock is? On the surface yes. But beneath the surface you have this very atmospheric game where every room, every section is a character in itself, rapture is a character but then on top of that you have this massively imposing figure like Andrew Ryan and Steinman and Sander Cohen and Atlas. And even in the audiologs you have these interesting characters that you want to know more about, you want to learn more about rapture and what happened to the people there and because of that you want to progress.

Moreover at every twist and turn you’re discovering new powers and new weapons so you have this tailored experience of risk and reward leading you through the game and that’s how a game sucks you in with this delicate balance of risk and challenge with rewards put at intervals that keep you going to find more.

Prey on the other hand is nothing like that, it’s a lot more like deus ex, a lot more free form, less linear and as you unlock more abilities more paths become available to you but Deus has characters that are interesting and a story that is engaging and a living breathing world that is immersive Prey has none of that.

Talos is just this dead piece of junk floating in the sky and you could say rapture is this dead city at the bottom of the sea but it just isn’t, every room is alive with its history, every piece of the game tells a story. Every enemy is unique and weird and surprising.

Now for the many technical gripes I have and why I ultimately stopped playing the game. Weapons, there aren’t enough of them, the only weapons in the game are a shotgun and a pistol and the upgrade system is just a numbers cranking mechanic, you just fill boxes to make the gun not shit. Yeah you get a lazer and a tazer and a gluegun but there still isn’t enough weapons for this game to call itself a shooter. The grenades are cool but it just seems lazy to have so few weapons in a game like this. None of the weapons are particularly impressive honestly, even the lazer gun is just ‘hold down to mulch target’.

Another problem I have with it is the enemies are boring, there isn’t really any variety to them, it’s just the mimics which are little blobs of tentacally black goo and then the phantoms which are human size blobs of black goo and then there are big floating blobs of black goo and then an even bigger glob of black goo. Seeing a pattern here? Sure some of them shoot electricity for some reason and some shoot fire for some reason and some control technology for some reason but they’re boring enemies, to look at and to fight. They’re not scary at all so this game can’t be classed as a survival horror, not enough guns so it can’t be classed as a shooter and there isn’t enough customization to be called an rpg so what is it?

This game has an identity crisis but worst of all it’s boring.

I don’t know how else to say it, there isn’t one interesting character in the bunch. I get that it’s going for the realism vibe like dead space or alien isolation so you can’t have wacky bioshock characters but Dead space has this terrifying oppressive atmosphere and scary grotesque monsters and alien isolation has tension in spades. This game has none of that. So its like in this horrible sweet spot where it can’t be a serious horror game but it also can’t laugh at itself.

There are no villains in the game, I know this might seem realistic because no one is truly evil but you need a villain, you need some kind of interesting antagonist and the closest you get is the main characters brother who is basically a fat filthy frank lookalike with the most boring voice I have ever heard. I seriously want to fall asleep whenever I hear him talk and every other character is either a robot or acts just like them.

So I found myself sort of rushing through the game when I realised how empty it was and how little I cared about any of the characters and that everything was explored already. Who can be bothered to read all these emails when you don’t care about the characters or what happened to the ship? It’s tedious and pointless, Whereas in bioshock I read every scrap and listened to every audiolog trying to find out any titbit of what befell rapture. In Prey I found myself skipping over lots of audiologs and even when I listened to them I soon forgot what they said and couldn’t even see how it related to any of the side quests which are all just boring fetch quests really.

There basically is no story, admittedly the gameplay is fun but repetitive and I realise I’m waffling now. The reason I stopped playing is because all the enemies respawn, which is fine for a game like Dark Souls where you have an unlimited amount of sword swings but the supplies you find in drawers or wherever don’t respawn so you have limited resources but your enemy does not. And then by the end of the game these robots are constantly respawned as they’re created in a 3d printer so you kill one and another is instantly created to replace it and they kill you really quickly and are really annoying to kill.

So yeah, ‘git gud’ right, I could have just run past them and the newly spawned aliens and let them fight it out to accomplish the mission and finish the game but thinking about it I was just thought to myself, ‘why?’

Why do I even want to complete this game? It just seemed like more hassle than it was worth, it’s risk and reward scale was tossed out the window. I’d already just discarded all the submissions left undone as pointless busy work at this point. Because oh I’m so fucking sorry, the ship is filling with aliens that I don’t have enough ammo to kill and now killer robots that constantly respawn and you want me to find a recording of some dead pianists brain for whatever fucking reason, piss off.

Because at this point I realise I’m doing these submissions just to do them, they’re utterly pointless and then I realised that this game stopped being fun like an hour ago when I thought it was ending and I lost track of even what the objective was and I was just following a way point. I just want it to end and then it ratcheted up a level of difficulty that made the game just too tedious to bother with. I mean yeah I could have completed this game but for what point? I don’t care about his brother or any of the characters or even the ending.

So I just stopped playing. I don’t know how to describe it but arcane studios are just bad, and they should feel bad. They can make games that are technically good, good looking and well made but they entirely miss out the human element. And it’s the exact problem I have with dishonored. It’s a fun game but the characters and story and world building has the depth of a puddle. They try to copy games like thief and deadspace and bioshock but its like they don’t understand what made those games good wasn’t just the technical aspects. Deadspace isnt just good ‘cos aliens in space rarrr’, bioshock isn’t just ‘cos spoopy powers pew pew’. It’s like trying to explain the feeling of looking at a picasso to a robot, it can see all the lines and shapes but it can’t process them in a way that gives it a raw feel for what it is. Arcane is literally a design team of blind men all trying to describe an elephant and failing miserably.

Prey ultimately is a soul less tedious bioshock clone which deserves to sink to the bottom of a bargain bin and stay there and arcane needs to hire better writers or just stop making games all together because they just don’t get them.

Long story short, don’t waste your time or your money on this game, you’ll just feel empty and dirty at the end of it. Just play bioshock or deadspace again, you’ll feel infinitely better.

Needlessly overlong rant over haha.

See you…

A poetic lamenation of the fps genre.

Ok so that was just a title that popped into my head, nothing about this ramble is going to be remotely poetic. Or even a limerick, maybe I’ll do haiku at the end.

I thought I should just do a ramble to break up all the literary shade I’ve been throwing you folks over the past however long and I really can’t be bothered to do another knife review or even buy another knife. Shit I just spent like a hundred quid on a new blender, what the fuck am I doing with my life?

Right so topic, topic. Ok I recently bought the game Doom, and I thought I could complain/praise that and maybe spin it into a blog here and abouts a ponies worth of words (500, at least I think, need to take another course on cockney rhyming slang).

Ok (gotta stop starting new paragraphs with ok, I was talking to someone on xbox live ((i.e. the only human contact I get)) and I kept starting every sentence with ‘basically’ or ‘essentially’ which are basically essentially the same word and I wanted to strangle myself with a kitty print draft excluder). I really actually enjoyed this game, I haven’t completed it yet but I had some minor gripes about this game and shooters today in general.
Because to be perfectly honest with you I preferred Doom 3 to this and let me tell you why before you rectally examine me with a verbal steel toe cap. It had atmosphere, yeah the game is dated now and it was pretty shitty even then, like lame haunted house half-life knock off. But I really enjoyed it, it rang so hard of event horizon I couldn’t help but love it. And if Doom 3 had the awesome gameplay of the new Doom it would win hands down.

Opening a dimensional portal on mars to hell is super cool so how did Bethesda make it shit and boring?
Well in Doom 3 the hell research was sort of hush-hush, it built up gradually and you didn’t really know what was going on and you read audio logs that documented the slow descent into hell and madness. It was a mining operation that was experimenting with teleportation and accidentally opened a gateway to hell in an ancient Martian ruin.
In Doom they’re actually purposefully trying to get to hell to frack some demon gas, I’m not even kidding. There are like holograms saying how it’s all super cool and safe and awesome to open a portal to hell to nick their idemon chargers.

I mean seriously is this game for real? How would that ever make sense? It’s just ridiculous, no janitor working for no three-fiddy an hour would mop the floors of a mars base where they’re openly telling everyone they’re opening a gateway into hell to steal their unobtainium. I mean how could it go wrong?

So the first strike for me is Doom 3 took it in stride and played it closer to the chest and had better atmosphere and actually tried to be scary. The new Doom doesn’t give a shit, it’s just a balls out shooter. Which I like, but it really missed an opportunity to be more than a shooter and surpass Doom 3.
I feel a twinge of disappointment whenever I start a new shooter and literally two seconds in you’re mashing a zombie or I’m sorry a ‘Possessed”s head into mushy peas. Whatever happened to the half life style of games where there’s actual build up and the action seems to flow organically? You’re not just given a gun and a slap on the bum. It’s insulting. I want set up, I want atmosphere and I want tension.

I think the day I noticed the real immersive shooter experience was dead was Farcry 3. The trailers were this intense looking fps that looked like a game of the movie The Beach. A group of holiday goers having fun get snatched by guerillas and have to fight and adapt to survive. But as soon as you start the game you’ve already been captured, no build up, no character development, you’re just kicked onto an open stage with your pants down. And then the cheek of the game reaches peak when you’re told to save your friends in the game that hasn’t introduced you to them yet. How can you want to save someone if you don’t even get to know them at all? You’re actually in the cage with your brother and he dies right in front of you and the game expects you to care, I like met him two minutes ago and he was only really there as a tutorial.
Then I started to realise they don’t really care, and ubisoft in general is pretty lazy, willing to literally copy and paste their games into shiny new sky boxes selling them at full price with a hackneyed plot ripped right out of Michael Moore’s asshole. Yeah when we say ‘Sequel’ we mean an actual sequel not the same game where everyone is wearing different hats.

I’m really enjoying the game, it just makes me sad to think shooters used to be so much more than this and they’ll never be like that again. It’s fun, the guns are great, the monsters are great, the action is heart pounding. But I used to play games I felt that people really cared about when they made them. Now I’m not so sure.

Doom is a fun game
Lots of mindless gore and shit
Seven out of ten.

Peace!

 

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