November 2023 Random Game Thoughts Thread

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Itsa bit glib. In Bethesdas case, Elder Scrolls 6 will probably be fine for fans in this engine as long as they work on some of it again.
As a confirmed Starfield overhyper, the “new” engine is definitely great and is probably the best thing about the whole game. They really just updated, revamped, and chiseled away at bugs from the old engine but it very much is still Creation Engine. It has the same overall look and feel of a Bethesda game, while improving upon countless of little things. Most impressive of all is how the new version of this engine handles physics. Case in point:

View: https://youtu.be/fX6NqLWH4Ao


Although the game may not be great, that is all down to gameplay design flaws rather than anything technical. The work they did on the engine side of things is quite incredible for a Bethesda title, especially when you look at what it’s capable of doing compared to Skyrim or even Fallout 4. This all makes me excited for ES6 being a good looking and performing title, they just really need to nail the actual players gameplay experience aspect of it all.
But it's no wonder the player base has fallen off, as it's just not the cultural zeitgeist anymore. The world moves so fast these days that people are always off to the new thing and I don't necessarily think it's any one games fault for that.
I definitely overhyped it myself, but I think I had much more realistic expectations than others who were just as hyped as me, especially during that early access period where everyone with an extra $30 to spend got to play it. I couldn’t resist and watched/read up a lot before playing it myself. So even with knowing how the game actually works, I got bored of it around the 60 hour mark. I persisted and pushed through the lulls, and eventually got to a point where I was done with it. It just didn’t capture the same magic for me that led me to playing 300+ hours in New Vegas or the 200+ hours of Fallout 4. Unfortunately it does seem to be the kind of game that will get better with updates over the years, which is not in typical Bethesda fashion. Of course they patch their games and re-released Skyrim 100x, but I think Starfield needs a Cyberpunk 2.0 style overhaul.
 
Probably also a lesson to be learned from overhyping and under delivering on Bethesdas side.

I can't imagine it's easy to get the hype levels exactly right. I do remember Todd Howard trying to temper expectations in the weeks leading up to the release, but I think they should have revealed the actual gameplay loop earlier, especially how much the game relies on fast traveling. Because I think the biggest disappointment I've heard is that Starfield doesn't have that thing where you stumble upon a quest or point of interest on your way to another quest marker.

I'm hoping that a survival mode will force you to make more stops along the way, allowing you to get some of that experience back into the game. It would then also be nice if you don't run into the same generated content too often.

How much has to be replaced before it counts as a new engine?

The engine of Theseus question.
 
Hang on a tick…

If I drop a milk carton on the floor, you better believe it's gonna burst open and 'decorate'. 10,000 of these fell off a very high roof and not one burst? I was grabbing cloths and mops—so immersion-breaking :D
On a real note, I’d love to see that kind of interactivity in games, maybe not too realistic though. I remember Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2 does player interactivity really well, I didn’t play much but I remember being amazed to see blood is electrically conductive and can harm you and enemies. Or in Half Life 2, there is a specific white paint bucket prop throughout the game that will leave a white splatter anytime it hits a wall or floor hard enough. I love tiny little features like that!
 
As a confirmed Starfield overhyper, the “new” engine is definitely great and is probably the best thing about the whole game. They really just updated, revamped, and chiseled away at bugs from the old engine but it very much is still Creation Engine. It has the same overall look and feel of a Bethesda game, while improving upon countless of little things. Most impressive of all is how the new version of this engine handles physics. Case in point:

View: https://youtu.be/fX6NqLWH4Ao


Although the game may not be great, that is all down to gameplay design flaws rather than anything technical. The work they did on the engine side of things is quite incredible for a Bethesda title, especially when you look at what it’s capable of doing compared to Skyrim or even Fallout 4. This all makes me excited for ES6 being a good looking and performing title, they just really need to nail the actual players gameplay experience aspect of it all.
From what I understand its the engine that prevents planets being fully explorable, and that means the universe is gated behind loading screens rather than being seamless. Its because of the limitations of the engine you have to fast travel everywhere. Its possible that was their original vision for the game, I dont know.

I havent played it, so I dont want to go too far into bagging on it. The physics engine looks cool, also the sandwiches look delicious!

On a real note, I’d love to see that kind of interactivity in games, maybe not too realistic though. I remember Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2 does player interactivity really well, I didn’t play much but I remember being amazed to see blood is electrically conductive and can harm you and enemies. Or in Half Life 2, there is a specific white paint bucket prop throughout the game that will leave a white splatter anytime it hits a wall or floor hard enough. I love tiny little features like that!
I think it was @Zloth that made a post about physics going missing from games recently. Having played a bit of Alan Wake 2 after hearing how great it looks it was a bit disappointing that plant foliage barely reacts to the character models, and you dont make any footprints in the mud. Stood right in the middle of a dwarf mountain pine looking shrub in the forest and the PC just clipped right through it as if it wasnt there.


I can't imagine it's easy to get the hype levels exactly right. I do remember Todd Howard trying to temper expectations in the weeks leading up to the release, but I think they should have revealed the actual gameplay loop earlier, especially how much the game relies on fast traveling. Because I think the biggest disappointment I've heard is that Starfield doesn't have that thing where you stumble upon a quest or point of interest on your way to another quest marker.

I'm hoping that a survival mode will force you to make more stops along the way, allowing you to get some of that experience back into the game. It would then also be nice if you don't run into the same generated content too often.
Hype has a life of its own once you let the cat out of the bag. I guess its hard as someone the size of Bethesda GS with so many fans of their games. Perhaps thats why they might have been better off with something smaller in scope to start with as a base to build on.
 
20 hours in and i've almost completed Yakuza 3's main story line. Honestly it went at a breakneck pace compared to kiwami where i took nearly 50 hours playing that. i don't feel the need/desire to complete everything. Mini games aren't riveting and find very little reason to play it. The crafting aspect has been so far a disappointment as the stuff i can craft is mainly garbage.

I've completed all the revelations and barely half way through the coliseum tournament and honestly needing to slog through that is a real chore. Not touched the dating sim side of things as it looks like its going to be a time sink/costly endeavor that feels boring.
 

ZedClampet

Community Contributor
I almost bought Guido and me copies of Monster Hunter Rise, but I didn't love the demo. I started off with a sword, but I was too tired and kept barely missing the dodges, so I switched to a bow, and it became too easy. But that wasn't the main problem. I just didn't click with the format of the boss fights. The boss runs away several times and you have to run across the map to find him each time. Using a ranged weapon didn't help, as I barely felt I was involved in the fight. My companion engaged the enemy while I stood to the side and just fired over and over again. Every now and then the boss would do something I had to dodge, but since he was starting from a good distance away, dodging was super easy. I don't know. I'll think about it some more between now and the winter sale. I do want a new combat game to play co-op.
 
Jun 1, 2023
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I almost bought Guido and me copies of Monster Hunter Rise, but I didn't love the demo. I started off with a sword, but I was too tired and kept barely missing the dodges, so I switched to a bow, and it became too easy. But that wasn't the main problem. I just didn't click with the format of the boss fights. The boss runs away several times and you have to run across the map to find him each time. Using a ranged weapon didn't help, as I barely felt I was involved in the fight. My companion engaged the enemy while I stood to the side and just fired over and over again. Every now and then the boss would do something I had to dodge, but since he was starting from a good distance away, dodging was super easy. I don't know. I'll think about it some more between now and the winter sale. I do want a new combat game to play co-op.
Monster Hunter feels like it ought to grab me, but it never really has and I'm not sure why. I did put like 35 hours into Monster Hunter Ultimate 4 on 3DS and 15 or so into World on my Deck, but it definitely just feels like... I'm not sure.

In theory, I love the concept. Needing to go out into the wilds and prepare yourself before taking on a boss, gathering crafting ingredients, making new armor, etc and I love the goofy sense of humor, but it just never grabs me proper.

Though, I do also kind of feel like it's best played on a Portable system, but maybe that's just because my first exposure to it was on 3DS.
 
Played another chapter of Alan Wake 2 today. Its seeming like a survival horror game now, much less of an action game than the first game or Control. Its pretty creepy and weird, good stuff so far and pretty.

Also still playing Wartales, it has a fun loop. Gearing up and levelling characters is interesting. Theres several classes each with at least 3 sub classes which grant different buffs and abilities. Weapons do the same thing so theres decent build variety. Its a bit weird in the way it scales opponents, the more people in your party the more enemies in groups you encounter. Not sure if I like that, much rather there would be an upper limit on party size to aim for. Theres an achievement for having a party of 20 or more so no idea where that caps out. Fights would take a long time at that point. Worth trying if you like tactical RPG's for sure.
 
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ZedClampet

Community Contributor
Also still playing Wartales, it has a fun loop. Gearing up and levelling characters is interesting. Theres several classes each with at least 3 sub classes which grant different buffs and abilities. Weapons do the same thing so theres decent build variety. Its a bit weird in the way it scales opponents, the more people in your party the more enemies in groups you encounter. Not sure if I like that, much rather there would be an upper limit on party size to aim for. Theres an achievement for having a party of 20 or more so no idea where that caps out. Fights would take a long time at that point. Worth trying if you like tactical RPG's for sure.
Have had Wartales installed for awhile on Game Pass, so I gave it a try today and really enjoyed it. Given the enemy scaling, I declined to add anyone to my party, but I know where to go back and find them if/when I lose someone, which may be soon since I'm fresh out of "easy" missions.

Right now I need to go back and turn in some quests so I can buy some food. Don't know if they sell good equipment there too. I've been finding some good stuff just looting bodies. Battles have been pretty fun so far.

Also, I appreciate a game being simple and well-organized enough to not require a tutorial.
 
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Have had Wartales installed for awhile on Game Pass, so I gave it a try today and really enjoyed it. Given the enemy scaling, I declined to add anyone to my party, but I know where to go back and find them if/when I lose someone, which may be soon since I'm fresh out of "easy" missions.

Right now I need to go back and turn in some quests so I can buy some food. Don't know if they sell good equipment there too. I've been finding some good stuff just looting bodies. Battles have been pretty fun so far.

Also, I appreciate a game being simple and well-organized enough to not require a tutorial.
You mostly get loot from drops and from using the forge at the Blacksmith, but you'll need a companion with the smith profession to do it, and you'll also need to spend knowledge points on forging weapons to get access to all the designs.

Theres small useful things the game doesnt explain at all, like you can change a characters profession just by clicking on the little badge in their character screen. So if you find yourself in a mine and need a miner just change one to that. You'll be needing a lot of Iron ore for armor and weapons. I spent a lot of time checking possible hires for their profession when I could have just changed any of them to anything.

Also the galvanize bonus in combat is based on your parties total Willpower vs the opponents, so the more Willpower your guys have the less opponents you have to kill to get a massive damage bonus on everyone when it kicks in.
 
So Alan Wake isnt only a survival horror game, its also a surreal adventure game with a lot of meta stuff about the effects of fictions on reality and vice versa, and the influence of different forms of media on each other.

Also very Twin Peaks, which explains the FBI agents weird acceptance of the stuff thats happening in Bright Falls.

@Brian Boru would love it. My pretentiometer is booping. Not sure how much further they take this stuff, I'm still pretty early on I think.
 
From what I understand its the engine that prevents planets being fully explorable, and that means the universe is gated behind loading screens rather than being seamless. Its because of the limitations of the engine you have to fast travel everywhere. Its possible that was their original vision for the game, I dont know.
If that’s the case; then it shows that Bethesda really shines with their handcrafted open worlds, not procedurally generated planets. Surely this was just a big experiment, and that their mainline Elder Scrolls and Fallout games should always have handcrafted open worlds. Apart from that, they really have a great foundation on the technical side of things which they can really leverage to create better games than Starfield. It really does just feel like an experiment turned into a AAA major game.
 

ZedClampet

Community Contributor
@Brian Boru and other mods, I wasn't sure where to put this. If you want to move it to the beautiful game appreciation thread, that's fine.

Here's some of the forested background in Pumping Simulator 2 that I can see from the edge of my property.

full
Snapped that while waiting to clean the outhouse.

Here I am recommending modern dentistry to a young woman.
full
It was during sex. I failed because I was too busy taking pictures.

This game makes Weed Shop 3 feel like an Elden Ring or BG3 GOTY contender
 
If that’s the case; then it shows that Bethesda really shines with their handcrafted open worlds, not procedurally generated planets. Surely this was just a big experiment, and that their mainline Elder Scrolls and Fallout games should always have handcrafted open worlds. Apart from that, they really have a great foundation on the technical side of things which they can really leverage to create better games than Starfield. It really does just feel like an experiment turned into a AAA major game.
Can't fault them for taking a big swing!
 

NOT!

happening in Bright Falls

Hmm, one of Twin Peaks main filming locations was Fall City—coincidence or something more? *shiver*

I wasn't sure where to put this

Well yeah, that's why…

… duh.

move it to the beautiful game appreciation thread

Appreciate the thought, but we'll leave it here in the hopes it'll rapidly fade into obscurity—thank Baldur and his Eldens that it's the last day of this thread!
 
Well with Cult of the Lamb finished, I’ve been struggling to find a new game to play. Having slight buyers remorse for getting AoE4 and only playing it for 6 hours in the two weeks I’ve had it, but I’m not totally done with it, I just need to push myself to play more. I’ve been going through a multiplayer shooter phase, playing lots of Battlefield 2042, Insurgency Sandstorm, some Quake 2 and a little bit of Half-Life DM since the new update boosted peak players to +20k players, needless to say there is not a lack of players on Half-Life.

I’ve was sick at home for the past two days with nothing good to play, that’s the worst!
I downloaded Far Cry New Dawn after seeing a cool TikTok stealth kills compilation for that game. I accidentally pressed Continue, but decided to roam around a bit. I’ve already beaten the game back when it first came out, and I nearly 100%’d everything else. I flew around in a helicopter for a bit, shot some guys, and ultimately got bored. Wanted to start a new game but couldn’t bring myself to completing the overly dramatic intro Far Cry games always have, though this is not one of their stronger openings.

So, when all else fails, go back to the classics, and by that I mean Vampire Survivors of course. This game is so addicting, I played for 4 hours straight and during that time probably unlocked 20-30 achievements. I love how they clearly give you a list of all unlockables in the game along with a short description on how to unlock it. It’s a completionist’s dream, and makes 100%’ing VS extremely easy. I checked out the new level they added in the last October update and got all unlocks fairly easy. Got some new evolutions I never seen before which were awesome. Think I might be on a VS kick for a while now, until I find something new to play.

Really looking forward to Dragon’s Dogma 2 after that new gameplay reveal. I played the original on PS3 and thought it was great but barely touched it since, Steam says I have 4 hours on the PC release.
 
couldn’t bring myself to completing the overly dramatic intro Far Cry games always have

Me neither, that's why I use the Scavenger mod—which has maybe 100 other tweaks too in addition to skip intro. That site has a comparable mod manager for each main Far Cry since FC4, and it's all excellent work, and very easy to implement and change your choices.
 
Watching the PCG show!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHhr4ppcY9Y


Hopefully ill win the AC custom PC! lol. Not a lot that im excited about though thats being showcased. Path of Exile 2 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 are looking great but thats about it.

I also re-upped my PCG subscription by mail for the free tshirt lol, and the 30th anniversary copy. Gonna put that one up on a shelf i think.

In game terms...

Still playing Diablo 4. Have 2 characters at 100 and waiting patiently for the winter seasonal activity and new end game activity being added next week.

Was thinking about jumping in Destiny 2's new season of the witch, but after the little stunt of releasing a 15 dollar garbage starter kit has me second guessing this, even if i have the season already.
 
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