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Which Games Are You Currently Playing?

  1. #1145162018-08-25 07:05:50Kirn said:

    So, this game caught my eye, for one simple fact - it's the same idea as iconic Papers, Please! game. Your job is to stand somewhere and check people's documents and let or not let them in. Now, the twist here is that you are not an official at a single post - you are a bouncer working many different jobs and venues. Plus, this game is much longer and has other elements to it.

    So, we gotta start with a story, which is heavily inspired by Brexit. It's UK, and as Britain Alone movement gains power, people of European descent are losing rights and being relocated and deported. Your character is one of those people - he is born in UK, but has some distant Euro relatives, so he is now treated like trash, having to live in horrible apartment and do jobs for the regime. The game lasts through the ear, and along with some clubbing jobs, you get work from Albion First political party, to guard border, London Wall, election venue and seasonal balls. That, and you will be contacted by local resistance (as cartoonishly inept as the government cartoonishly evil) to try and change the situation. By being a bouncer, yes.

    Now, this is a pretty controversial story idea. Having completed the game, I can tell you, that it's no different from other media where Britain is presented as totalitarian and evil. V for Vendetta is a prime example of that, and let's face it, every country is one wrong election away from shit like that, like Germany back in the last century and like my country right now. And in the game they even throw around words like 'false flag operation', which is extremely heavy topic for my country, again.
    I feel, these days it takes balls to parody stuff like that, and I do hope that the game didn't suffer from people who might have refused it just because of Brexit allusions. I mean, in its core it's the same dystopian story as Papers, Please!, only now we have the actual country names.

    Okay, let's talk gameplay. And there is gameplay! You start off easy. Check Ids, see that no underage people get it. But boy, that escalates quickly. On Id you will eventually need to check age, expiration date, photo, nationality and holographic stamp. In addition to that, some events will have tickets required, so you need to check day and stamp on those. There can be guest list, opening up second line, or VIPs, who need to tell password to enter. When you work government jobs on the border, you will need to check visas and xray them for stamp, and check photos and jobs. You also need to xray people when you think they got concealed item on them. And later in the game you will need to check new social card for their photo, social rating and income. And, motherfucker, it just piles up! Any and all combinations are possible. Oh, and did I mention some places restrict certain clothing? Because they do.

    And also you live the life outside of that main gameplay too. First of all, after doing 3 jobs for the place, you get head bouncer status and, when you next visit, you can get a price. Which you can later give to some of the recurring characters for immediate of future bonus. Also, you get paid for jobs, depending on how well you did, and you need money to pay your bills, and later buy stuff for comfort in your apartment, cause half-way through the game your health will become an issue. You will need to interact with you inspector, neighbor and resistance members. You can buy drugs, identify addicts in the crowd and sell them this stuff, to get some money on the side. And you will need to maintain your own social rating. There really is a lot of elements, and while the game is long, it's exactly long enough to show you all the combinations, but not tire you out completely. And you also gain experience to get a few bouncer tools to speed up the process for you.

    All in all? Worthy successor of Papers, Please! with more to gameplay and expanded story. I will say that there are some bugs, and sometimes your game interface is so cluttered, it gets really inconvenient. Combined with the gameplay requiring you to point out a lot of details in just a few seconds, the game can be frustrating when it goes wrong. However, it mostly goes right if you like that kind of challenge.

    If you ever wanted to NOT let people in somewhere - this is the game for you.

  2. #1149492018-10-20 18:27:15 *Kirn said:

    So, I picked up this game, and realized, that I have already played it!

    Alright. A bit of history here. Few years ago I saw this, as a small beta at the time, on one of them flash games site. Kongregate, possibly. Not sure now. It pretty much consisted of the tutorial level, with a small boss fight at the end. Nothing special, but thing is, it felt pretty nice. So I definitely wouldn't have minded playing more. But as I said, it was just a beta. But since then they went through few years of development and early access of sorts, and now the game is properly released.

    The game opens up with us controlling a girl who combats several weird looking enemies to reach and, supposedly, save someone. However, after she reaches that person, scene ends, and we start the game properly, as a different girl, blue-haired and with a scar on her face. Her name is Lea, she has complete amnesia, and she is mute. Not heroic mute, she literally cannot speak. Due to some bug.
    More explanations are needed. As the people who help you explain (I still have no idea why they help and who they are really), you are a character in a MMO game. This is a sci-fi level of virtual reality, where the whole game is happening on a continent of a moon of some gas giant planet, and people control their avatars made, like other game-related things, from some specific material. Now, all other players can log in and out as they please, of course, but Lea is special for some reason, as she can only play, and for her logging out means a sort of a sleep. Oh, yeah, and due to some weird problem, she can't speak, other than few pre-coded words (list expands eventually), so most of the time she communicates with gestures and elaborate combinations of 'Hi', 'Lea' and 'Bye'.

    All that may seem like a lot of stuff, but it's just exposition you get during the first game stage. After that you are entering the MMO for real, and start doing quests and communicating with other players. Or, rather, they communicate with you, and you nod, wave and smile. Or not.
    The technical part of this is... well, it's basically a single-player game about MMO, if that makes any sense. You are on the way to perform a global story-line quest, while constantly being side-tracked by side-quests and exploration. Exploration is actually pretty big in this game - areas may look as jumbled mass of rocks and layers at first, but everything is elaborately crafted, making every area in the game into a jump puzzle. Sure, you can run through and kill a few monsters, but if you want to get that chest or those collectables, you better start thinking how to get to the high ground. It is challenging and at times frustrating, but is not tedious. Movement is very fluid, so you never feel controls problems when jumping around.

    Other aspect is of course combat. You have melee attacks, you can throw spheres, either at machine-gun rate or overcharging them, which is slower, but breaks enemy concentration on hit, and your defensive options are dash to avoid damage or putting a stationary shield, protecting you from one side. As you level up, you gain skill points, eventually unlocking special moves for each 4 options - strong mass melee attack, more rapid firing, sphere, protecting you from all sides, pushing enemies away while you dodge... there are several variations for those, and as game progresses, you also unlock more skill trees, so to say, opening up more options. Naturally, as this is RPG, you gain experience and level up, raising your stats, and also get better and better gear. Gear is pretty bland - meaning, there are no icons or visuals for it, but it provides bonuses, and that's what counts.
    Combat is hectic, often with many small enemies attacking you at once, or with huge boss attacking half the screen to get you. With just 4 basic actions to chose from you actually got a lot of variations of how you prefer to play, and you can spend your skill-points into preferred direction. And in addition to that, as part of the game story, you actually party up with people you met and befriended in game, and they provide combat support.
    Except in dungeons. By the game rules, dungeons are instanced, meaning there's one for each player, and only one player can be in one instance. meaning, they have to solve puzzles and fight alone. That's where you also meet the biggest bosses, and while if sucks to not have your party with you, it's understandable - proper boss battle should be the test of your own skill without any outside help.

    All this is good enough, but what I absolutely love about the game is that it is a story about MMO, that does MMO right. It may be hard to explain for non-MMO players, but... Low-level locations are overrun by newbies running around, there are people who are good at jump-puzzling who AFK at high places, there are AI-driven NPCs with scripted responses, there is dueling PvP mode, there are player guilds, contacts, parties, guild bases, loot grinding, raiding till morning... and you DIE AND RESPAWN IF YOU FALL IN WATER! This is as endearing MMO representation as single-player game can get.
    And with all that, dialogues are great too. Mostly it's other characters doing the job, but in addition to words, characters got a decent amount of images during dialogues, making it easy to judge their emotions. And Lea, not able to speak, got the most of them all, of course. There are even images made for her showing 1, 2, 3 or 4 fingers, for answering multiple-choice questions, which is pretty nice attention to details.

    I am still playing this game, and actually, I haven't gotten far, but I am already damn impressed with how much soul this game has. Good characters, easy controls, fast-paced combat and the small details that make an old MMO player smile.

  3. #1150742018-10-28 21:52:12--Jack-- said:

    Spiderman PS4

    The mechanics from the older spiderman games are much different to this one, in comparison, but overall Spiderman ps4 gives you more mobility and a smoother way to move through the city. I was hoping it would be good, and luckily I was more than impressed with the graphics quality.

    There's also a totally different "timeline" (because marvel), where a lot of the "typical" things you see in spiderman have a fresh twist. MJ works for the paper, not Parker. J.J Jameson is an online ranting persona not unlike Alex Jones. You tune into his podcast occasionally while swinging around the city to hear his crazy take on the situation, typically trying his hardes to badmouth spiderman, often with things blowing up in his face. Also theres twenty some costumes to unlock, and powers to mix and match with them as you go. One of the first few suits available ends up being the Noir suit, which I like the most, seen below:

    Also this takes place several years after Peter Parker has left school, and is basically out doing his own thing, working in a lab part time, and helping his aunt may with the F.E.A.S.T project that assists the homeless of newyork, based near chinatown, where Peter's apartment is at the beginning of the game. No origin story. No spider bite. No dead uncle Ben to sit through again. Thank god. That was getting boring to relive in each iteration of spiderman.

    Some things are more restricted compared to past spiderman titles, however. For one, you can't leave manhattan. No statue of liberty for you. No Roosevelt island like in Spiderman 2. Just manhattan. Also the time is not constantly changing from day to night over a half an hour or so. The time of day advances with story missions, and sidequests that mandate a time of day when they take place. There are three periods of the day you end up swinging around in: Noon with clear blue skies, the evening with a bright semi-sunset (seen below), and around 11pm to midnight, where the sky is dark and the city is basically lit up. Important note: when you do complete the story missions, you can go to various locations around the city and change between the time of day at your leisure.

    Overall, I have to say this has been the best open world spiderman game made to date, and I'm happy with what it's been, albeit a bit short for my tastes, but the story has its moments and comes to a close in a satisfying way, despite the 3 or 4 stealth sections where you play as someone that isn't spiderman, but they're really scripted and easy to get through.