I just finished playing...

Firecat

Politically Charged
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Not sure what to do. I took my PS4 back from my brother. I haven't used it since like 2013 (when it was launched). I picked up Uncharted 4 and finished it. Now I want to play a good FPS. So I haven't played one of those since 2013 too. I used to play the CoD ones.

A few days ago I picked up R6: Siege. I really like it (and I used to love the older R6 games on PC). But I feel like such a noob, running around and not really getting any kills. Not sure if i'm better of switching it for Black Ops 3 or Infinite Warfare.

I solely want the game to be for multiplayer. Thoughts?

*Edit

I should mention I wouldn't want to go into another series other than CoD, was accustomed to it. Also not sure if better of waiting until November for the latest one to come out.
 
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Jupix

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Destiny 2 is coming out in about a week, interested in that?

There's a lot of hubbub around it at least.
 

MacDubois

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Just get PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds. I've been hooked on that since May and it just keeps getting better. Although it probably won't be coming to PS4 until spring. COD: WW2 looks like the first promising COD since BO2, so wait for that if you really want that fast paced FPS.
 

Jupix

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Finally finished the main story of AC Syndicate today. Really wasn't expecting to spend 40h on the game, next to the other AC games which were more like 20h. But the sidequesting in Syndicate was just that good. I even have some left...

Don't really have much else to say about it besides what I already posted a month ago. Maybe I'll say that its plot and characters are just overall screaming to be put in a game with more RPG-like mechanics like branching dialogue and relationship building (or not-building as was the case here). The choices they made with the narrative really made me shake my head sometimes. I couldn't influence it one way or the other and that's sad.

The final mission was absolutely amazing. Going all out on the dual protagonist system. I could actually see the other protagonist doing stuff while playing the other protagonist, and vice versa. It wasn't too arbitrarily hard either and didn't spend too much time on any one gimmick like some of the other endgame missions in the series. Easily the best mission overall of the whole series.

Great game.
 

Jupix

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They Are Billions

Base-building RTS where the objective is to survive against "billions" of zombies (really about 20k max, enough to bog down my R3-1200 @ 3.9GHz). Procedurally generated map, randomly based zombie populations, scripted timing for extraordinarily big hordes crashing into your defenses, a bit more than a dozen attacks per game, and finally a super-attack ("They Are Billions") that tests your base defenses from every direction. You play in Ironman mode and win when you've survived X days, amount of which comes from the difficulty setting. All of this is the survival mode, which is the only mode in Early Access, with a campaign mode coming for the full release.

Positives:
- Incredibly polished for Early Access, not a single tech problem in the 21h I've played it
- Great value! Only 23€ and it's in fact for sale atm for 19€ over at Humble
- Nice art style and detailed graphics
- Great characterization and voice acting for the (few) units
- Good controls
- Game flow and logic is easy to understand
- The maps feel just about the right size
- The hard difficulty settings in this game are HARD. The easy ones are already challenging and incredibly punishing. It really matters if you can say you've beaten They Are Billions in survival mode
- The timed zombie hordes and the cutthroat way infection works are especially punishing, and generally speaking causes greedy plays to lose the game, which is very good
- There are no "tank" units at all and the buildings can't take much punishment at all. The units are somewhat based on counters. Even the most expensive mech unit in the game dies to a single high level zombie of the right type. The game rewards good management, microing units etc., and you can't win just by snowballing your economy and filling the map with some specific unit that allows you to be lazy. You aren't allowed to be lazy in this game.
- It has some surprising mechanics behind it like noise. If you build too close or use noisy weapons against the zombies (especially zombie bases) you attract attention and can get easily punished and steamrolled.
- Unbelievably addicting, because if you failed, it's easy to identify what caused it and restarting on a new map is fast & painless (and feels new because the maps are procedurally generated)
- The resource system is fleshed out enough that you can't just go all-in on one gimmick, or you're throttled on everything else you need to do and lose

Negatives:
- Although the maps are procedurally generated every time, there's only a few procedures, so they have similar rulesets/restrictions and play out relatively similarly
- There are only 6 different units (ranger, soldier, sniper, rocket launcher guy, flamethrower guy, mech) and the building/tech tree isn't too extensive either
- On at least the first 2 maps the basic strategy always seems to be the same: get population, start defending base, get basic resources and tech tree open, defend better and better, snowball your economy, clear out the map, prepare for final assault, win the game. But it's challenging to execute so it's fine at least for the first few games.
- It's missing some pretty obvious essentials, like map scroll speed setting, LMB/RMB map panning, tooltips for resources and many other things, etc... and occasionally there's a little control glitch but those tend to be rare. Game's still in EA.
- The difficulty settings could use some balancing. The difficulty comes from 2 settings, zombie population and game length (in days before you win). The latter seems to have a far more significant effect on the difficulty. The zombie population feels relatively similar to beat across the second-easiest and second-hardest settings that I've finished, either you lose or you win convincingly regardless of the setting. But the game length feels absolutely brutal when it's on a short setting.
- The game could be a little bit clearer about where the hordes are coming from. It's already trying by giving a cardinal direction and an icon on the minimap even over fog of war, but if it goes that far already, I'd like to see an even better way of being able to optimize your defences and prepare, instead of having to guess (remember, it's always in ironman mode!)

Anyway, fantastic game, it's hard to even stop playing. Really surprising (in a the most positive way possible) for an indie Early Access game. Highly recommended.



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Jupix

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Crysis 2 (~12 hours)

Positives:
- Nice graphics
- No tech issues

Negatives:
- Insanely linear and scripted to the point of being annoying.
- Terrible checkpoint saving system. There aren't enough checkpoints and there are too many unskippable scenes right after checkpoints (not before as it should be).
- The AI is not particularly dumb, but everything is still insanely bullet spongy. (I completed the game on Veteran difficulty)
- The "difficulty" comes from having to grind the same fights over and over until you know where all the ammo boxes / heavy weapons are located. Your standard loadout is WAY not enough to beat anything except a random regular enemy encounter. For a while, my primary weapon was a heavy machine gun, but shooting minibosses with it felt like shooting them with a Super Soaker.
- It's always night/dark/pitch black so it's difficult to see what I'm supposed to be doing, let alone appreciate the environments.
- There's a constant chatter overload. Soldiers shouting, military radio in your ear, suit/whatever user interface in your ear, text on the screen, all at the same time. There's so much chatter and information that there ends up being none at all. You just shoot and run through corridors.
- There's far too little variance in the level design. It's always small or large arenas or a glorified corridor. None of the wide open infiltration/sniping maps of the old FarCry/Crysis games.
- There's always a huge sense of urgency in the narrative but the game works completely differently; offering multiple approaches in the maps with some goodies to find, loot, adjusting your mods, collecting nano goo, etc. The game mechanics want you to take your time but the narrative is like "DO IT IN 10 SECONDS OR WE'LL ALL DIE". And nothing ever happens if you take your time. In fact the game is much easier when you approach the fights slowly and methodically.

All in all, pretty trash.
 

Matt2000

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Just Cause 3

Picked it up cheap in the Humble Bundle sale a couple of weeks ago for around £7 and have put 37 explosion-filled hours into it since then. Unbeknown to me at the time it included the three DLC packs that gave me missions for the airship, the electrified island and Lacrima with the mechs. Without these I reckon it would've been quite a short game, even with the time spent blowing up and taking over regions. The DLCs also add new weapons, which are well worth having. They do make the game a little too easy in some places though, especially the eDen Spark. Talking of overpowered, I wonder how much testing went in to the helicopters. With one particular helicopter you can park yourself in neutral airspace just outside of an enemy base and completely obliterate it, and they are none the wiser. This was great fun for me but I can't imagine that they intended it to be this easy.

The explosions are all I really bought it for, but it's nice to know that they're continuing the tradition of making these games nice and buggy. It was running fine at 4k but would randomly just crash, and the game seems to have some kind of effect on my Xbox One wireless receiver which would disconnect and reconnect (or sometimes not) whenever I loaded the game. Sometimes it would just drop out in the middle of the game and the controller would sit there blinking its light looking for the receiver. I've never seen this in any game before. The aforementioned blowing up of bases from a nearby heli also encountered a regular bug with the LOD changing like the wind, initially loading detailed objects as you approached then switching to low detail for no reason. This forces you to get a bit closer, where it does the same thing. Very strange, very random and another reason I'm not convinced that attacking bases with a helicopter was tested properly.

I also came across this fantastic glitch after completing one of the last missions (not a spoiler though).



Yep the building is gone but the lights are still there!

I added a couple of mods to the game to enhance my enjoyment, the unlimited grapple mod makes getting around a bit more exciting and interesting but can create situations where you accidentally hookshot the sky and that's it. If you get knocked over by an explosion sometimes it'll reset but otherwise you're shit out of luck and have to reload the last checkpoint. I also added unlimited boost for the wingsuit jetpack, again to make getting around more interesting. Otherwise it's a bit pointless, the boost runs out fast as standard and the aiming for the weapons on the suit is infuriating.

Oh, it has voice acting from David Tennant. Now that I was not expecting. A very welcome addition

I came for the explosions, stayed for the promise of more explosions.
 

Jupix

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Far Cry 3

I know most people and journalists review it highly but I pretty much hated it.

Positives:
- It's not too long to finish.
- The shooting feels pretty good.
- The soundtrack is pretty good.

Negatives:
- It looks like ass. It's like 1.5 years newer than Crysis 2 and it's a night and day difference in Crysis' favor.
- Terrible LOD pop-in.
- Runs like crap. (I'm currently playing Far Cry 5 and it runs MUCH better than FC3, which is ridiculous)
- It has a persisting intermittent "can't connect to Far Cry 3 service" problem in the menus.
- The menus are annoying to navigate because they have so many layers and so little information per layer/viewport.
- The user interface is clunky and awkward all around. Even during gameplay it's a mess of conflicting buttons and too narrow activation zones (for looting, "use", etc).
- The writing is pretty trashy all the way through. The plot isn't particularly realistic, interesting or engaging. Nor the dialogue.
- The protagonist is a white trash whiny stupid asshole kiddo who I don't identify with at all. And the plot is about saving your friends who are also all clueless annoying white trash.
- The actual good characters are pretty cool, but they are all either bad guys or they end up not doing much of anything. They're also very samey "action men" so they're just boring.
- Can't properly save the game. The "save game" button doesn't do what it's supposed to do. The checkpoint system has too few checkpoints and it also doesn't save the game. (While in a mission, there's no save game option, it says "your progress is automatically checkpointed", but if you quit the game after a checkpoint and come back later, you have to replay the whole mission from the start.)
- The AI cheats. I played through it on Hard but still, there's no reason the AI should cheat. Everything is super tanky for no reason, especially wildlife. Also if you miss a headshot on an NPC or kill one within the vision cone of another, the whole base instantly knows your position exactly and makes a run at you. It doesn't feel like a good fair challenge and isn't fun gameplay.
- Speaking of wildlife, having to collect 10 bear arses to craft a better backpack to increase your inventory size, wallet size, more holsters etc isn't particularly fun or engaging gameplay. (which is why Far Cry 5 replaced it with perks)
- There's far too little variation in the viable gameplay strategies, weapons and skills.
- The map is pretty big for the era but all of it is either green jungle or green grassland no matter where you are.
- For an open world game it has way too many "you can't do that" mechanics and invisible walls, way too much fall damage and other annoyances getting in my way.
 
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Jupix

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Far Cry 5

Positives:
- In general, almost everything is improved.
- It runs like a dream. It's actually amazing how well it runs. 2560x1600 max settings, with antialiasing, 60fps on my Ryzen 1200@3.9 and Vega 64, with plenty of headroom on the GPU - it runs very cool & quiet
- It's very snappy and accurate, the controls flow well and it's overall a pleasure to play, except for some button conflicts (e.g. use/loot/loot weapon)
- The user interface is reasonably well designed for PC.
- The options menu is absolutely amazing.
- The graphics are nice looking and realistic, although it's not quite as beautiful as some other 2017-2018 games.
- Autosaving works pretty well. It never let me down. I'd still prefer a real saving system and especially a possibility to save properly during missions (....although in its defence, the missions are overall really short).
- The soundtrack is fucking awesome, there's no other way to say it. Especially the religious choir songs of the antagonists are really catchy and likable
- The characters are pretty charismatic, but also extremely one-dimensional... except for Faith whose personality and backstory was actually interesting, motivations were quite belieavable and I really liked the character overall.
- The companion/specialist system is a really neat new feature and fits an openworlder like this.
- The ease of spawning new planes/helicopters/boats and getting more ammo/items from any shop might not be realistic but it definitely makes the game more fun to play.
- The open world is "big enough". It's not big by any means and definitely doesn't feel vast in the way slower-burning open world RPGs feel but it's correctly sized and laid out for the narrative.
- The way you find missions and progress the regions feels pretty good and natural.
- The perks system is way better than anything they had before for progression.
- The improvements they've made to stealth gameplay, melee, and bow gameplay feel great. Taking an outpost stealthily with bow / melee feels really satisfying.

Negatives:
- The narrative is still somewhere between "meh" and "wtf". The plot doesn't make any sense, the characters (you, the allies, and the enemies) all behave irrationally, stuff that happens to you and others quite often doesn't make sense in a continuity sense, the (bad) narrative is completely on rails, and the ending ranks highly among the worst ever in gaming history.
- The hidden narrative elements which lead to the ending are really a case example of how grand ideas and pseudo-symbolic mumbo jumbo don't make for a good plot. It's like they accidentally forgot everything the games industry has learned about narrative for open world games over the last 20 years. It's on par with Mass Effect 3's ending in how terrible it is.
- The protagonist really needs lines and voice acting.
- In the game world things spawn and respawn way too often. Like planes, enemy road vehicles, etc. You can't get a moment's peace (not even 10 seconds).
- There's not enough weapon selection. Not enough variety within weapon types and outside of that, blatant omissions like you can't equip a knife.
- The weapon customization is full of brainfarts like you can put suppressors on M249's or pump-action shotguns and a suppressor is always objectively better in stats than not having it. Same goes for scopes and weapon variety itself, in stats there's way less difference than you'd expect. So basically all the systems are there but what you can do with them is boring.
- The perks system doesn't have particularly interesting perks. It just unlocks stuff that would otherwise be unlocked by default. Additionally it has permanents that might as well be weapon mods or wearable items. Having specialists locked behind story progression is already progression itself, what's the point of locking specialist slots behind the perks system?
- Some things are still way too tanky. Like wildlife for example, which can easily take multiple headshots with the biggest guns in the game. And this time I played on Normal.
- Some tech issues. For example, companion banter (otherwise a really good feature) is broken and glitches out almost 100% of the time. Some glitched missions. Difficulty sometimes reset from Normal to Easy by itself. Also, gametime counter seems to be half-working.

Overall... I'd recommend it as a brainless shooter game, it's better than earlier FC games, and the soundtrack is amazing, but it's not a must-have masterpiece.
 
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bonoel

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Just finished playing the State of Decay 2. I enjoyed it but the first one is a lot better.
 

Jupix

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Assassin's Creed: Origins (+ DLCs) - 78 hours

As said in all the reviews out there, they really overhauled AC in a big way for Origins. It's no longer as much Assassin's Creed as it is a grown up pseudo-RPG in the style of The Witcher 3. Some features aren't there yet and will be in Odyssey in the autumn (branching dialogue and romances etc). However, in general the game plays very differently than previous AC games.

Positives:
- The open world is enormous and filled with detail.
- There's surprising attention to detail everywhere. For example, while looking at the map, when you zoom in on a place, you can hear the ambient sound of that place (farm; desert; cityscape etc).
- The theme is really interesting. (Egypt around 40BC; conflicts between Egypt, the Romans and the Greeks)
- The protagonist Bayek is well voice acted and likable. Aya is even better (she's voice acted by the Trevelyan Inquisitor from Dragon Age)
- The graphics are quite nice.
- The revised combat system feels much better than the old one and is relatively similar to e.g. Witcher 3 combat
- Loot-based equipment/inventory system works quite well and makes the game more interesting.
- Senu, your pet eagle is basically the intelligence drone from Ghost Recon, but it does make the game more enjoyable in my opinion. Allows to do recon, tag objectives & enemies etc.
- Horse autoriding works really well here and you can do it while using Senu, which is even better.
- Naval combat with mechanics from Black Flag & Rogue makes an appearance but it's only for a few missions which is good.
- There's way less of the modern day stuff which is good.
- Progression feels steady and the correct speed all the way to the end.
- "Animus Control Panel" is probably the most innovative postrelease patch feature of the 2010s. If you don't know what it is, google it, but it basically allows slider-style customization to almost ANY difficulty-related gameplay attribute. Among other things.
- On single GPU it runs pretty well, it's fully 4K-playable (45-60fps) on my 5930k + Strix 1080ti. But half a year from release it still doesn't support SLI.
- The two DLCs (Hidden Ones & Curse of the Pharaohs) are very substantial and high quality.

Negatives:
- There's so much content based on the same formulas that a completionist will probably get burned out by the game. Most of the stuff is skippable. Basically my argument is that Far Cry 5 has a pretty correctly sized gameworld for its available game mechanics, while this game's is probably too large considering its mechanics variety. So it should either have more mechanics or fewer regions.
- While the graphics and look of the game is nice, after you stare at desert and the lush Nile shoreline for 70+ hours, it does get boring. This is why popular large open world games have many biomes (Skyrim, Dragon Age Inquisition, Witcher 3...)
- Much of the difficulty in the game still comes from making guys arbitrarily tanky, bursty and/or stunlocking. In other words it's not "fair difficulty" but just difficulty. Even on normal difficulty there are instances where the correct play was to cheese the game with ranged and/or lifelink weapons, which doesn't feel particularly enjoyable or rewarding.
- Has some unnecessary online features that stick out like a sore thumb and can't be disabled. Such as other players corpses and screenshots. (Yes, this probably means my/your deaths also appear to other some other players without permission)
- While Cleopatra is quite a cool character, most of the other side characters are pretty shallow in terms of backstory & personality.
- A lot of the stats-progression in the game is about upgrading your gear and it's probably a bit too expensive in terms of gold and crafting materials.
- Weapon balance feels off. For example, while dual daggers are really cool and I'd like to use them, they just feel underpowered compared to swords or axes, with severe weaknesses for no benefit.

In summary, it's a great game and I feel like it's totally worth the full AAA price. So whenever it's on sale, it's a no-brainer.
 
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Jupix

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The Last Of Us Remastered (PS4)

Playstation-exclusive corridor shooter with zombies. What sets it apart from other corridor shooters is that it's very narratively focused and artsy, and for some reason it's very very highly regarded.

Positives:
- Excellent animation quality
- Great voice acting
- Cinema quality soundtrack (Literally. The composer's songs are in Collateral, The Insider, Babel, and tv series such as 24 and The Sopranos)
- Very immersive soundscape and atmosphere
- Good dialogue writing
- Relatable characters
- Good technical polish. I played it in 60fps on PS4 Pro and it was flawless.
- Okay plot

Negatives:
- Constant overall feeling that the gameplay experience is being eclipsed by the "artistic direction". Movement speed is all over the place. Camera is all over the place. Gameplay is constantly interrupted by cutscenes. List goes on.
- Very constrained map design. It's a corridor shooter. Except sometimes you don't shoot.
- Clunky controls. Everything feels slow and clumsy.
- Inconsistent mechanics. Mostly in melee combat.
- Repetitive puzzles. In terms of available game mechanics, the game had blown its load at the halfway point already.
- QTEs. Lots of them. All of no value to the gameplay experience.

I feel like the popular high regard for this game comes from three main factors.
1) Nostalgia.
2) It's very artsy, which is rare even for narratively driven games, so it blinds some home critics from the gameplay weaknesses.
3) It very blatantly uses shock imagery to set itself apart from other violent video games and there's no doubt that appeals to some people.

Personally, I'd say it's a pretty mediocre game, with some extraordinary attributes to it, like the soundtrack and voice acting. Thing is, those strengths can be found in tons of other games. And looking at it objectively, TLOU can be directly compared to Bioshock Infinite, and IMHO it's not even a close comparison - Infinite plays far better, while having a similar production quality.
 
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