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GazChap
Dec 4, 2004

I'm hungry. Feed me.

Parkingtigers posted:

In milkshake duck news, that guy is unfortunately also a massively transphobic piece of poo poo these days and also blamed all the deaths at the Hillsborough disaster on Liverpool fans... beginning to think the "old soldiers" line wasn't just youthful edgelord stuff.
Yeah, he's an absolute prick in more ways than one, for sure. His games writing is, IMO at least, on another level though and although its not enough to excuse the rest of his abhorrent views, they still make for enjoyable reads :)

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Parkingtigers
Feb 23, 2008
TARGET CONSUMER
LOVES EVERY FUCKING GAME EVER MADE. EVER.


GazChap posted:

Yeah, he's an absolute prick in more ways than one, for sure. His games writing is, IMO at least, on another level though and although its not enough to excuse the rest of his abhorrent views, they still make for enjoyable reads :)

Well the rule I've always gone by is you get to keep any creative output you fell in love with before finding out the creator was bad, that belongs to you now.

Back on topic, loved those posts about the MP hunting game, and REmake. I played REmake on the GameCube and was sad I never finished it due to *too many games*. I always wanted to love the original Resident Evil, because zombies (and before anyone sideeyes me it came out at a time where zombie media was still incredibly rare). I just couldn't though, because it was such a clunky, cheesy, baffling bit of media. Ironically, two decades later those things I found bad and cringey at the time are now an utter delight, and I can't get enough of that bad FMV work and "master of unlocking" stuff.

But REmake... it's like they took the good core game that was hiding under all that '90s clunk and made every single part of it so much better, bigger, scarier, just better in every way. It still had a bit of old school jank to it, but wandering around that redesigned mansion that was both so familiar yet also so new, was a masterclass in how a remake should be done.

GazChap
Dec 4, 2004

I'm hungry. Feed me.

Second in my list of Games That Changed My Life is a part of a game franchise that (probably) needs no introduction.

This particular game was first released in late 1993, as the sequel to a stone-cold 1984 classic.

A threequel followed for MS-DOS just under two years later, although this entry in the franchise never made it to the Amiga - in 2000 a small Amiga publishing house by the name of Alive Mediasoft claimed that they were working on a port with the permission of the original team, but it never came to fruition (and the publisher was often said to be a serial bullshitter by some of the die-hard Amiga fans that were left by this point, so I didn't have high hopes for it anyway)

Most gamers of today are probably aware of the most recent entry in the franchise though, which launched on PC in 2014 after a decently successful Kickstarter and has seen a couple of sizeable expansions released - most recently just a month or so ago in early 2021.

Some of you will have probably figured it out by now, but for those still not sure, I am - of course - talking about the Elite franchise, the brainchild of Ian Bell and David Braben (the latter of whom is the series' current custodian with his team at Frontier Developments)

To be more specific though, I'm talking about Frontier: Elite II



This game is probably the one I played the most in my time as an Amiga zealot. Somewhat ironically, its only through regular playing of Elite: Dangerous (the current entry in the series) that I've come to realise that actually, there wasn't a huge amount of game to be played - but somehow it didn't stop me from enjoying every last minute of it, and in many ways I still prefer playing Frontier (FE2) over any of the other games in the series.

If you've been living under a rock since 1984 and don't know what Elite is about, then it's simple - you are a lone spaceship pilot who has to blaze his or her own trail through the galaxy. There's no end goal to speak of, at least not as far as the game is concerned, so you're left completely to your own devices and must make of it what you wish.



What sets the series apart from pretty much every other space sim is the sheer size of the playing area. Every game in the series, right back to the 1984 original, has used procgen (procedural generation) heavily, meaning that computer algorithms dictate where planets and star systems are.

In the original Elite, the universe was entirely procgen with eight galaxies, each with 256 planets. For Frontier, Braben wanted to go one better and create as near-as-damnit accurate (for the time) model of our actual galaxy, so almost every known star is included in FE2, with procgen being used to populate the remainder of the galaxy and to add planets and space stations outside of the known ones.

That he managed to do all of this and still pack the Amiga version down onto a single 880 KB floppy disk is nothing short of incredible.



Starting a new game in Frontier, if you choose the recommended of the three start positions, puts you in the cockpit of an Eagle Long Range Fighter, sitting on a landing pad at Sirocco Station on the planet of Merlin in the Ross 154 system. You have a measly 100 credits to your name, and nothing else.

(the fact that I can still remember all that detail is testament to the effect it had on me as a kid)

Your first few hours of play would typically involve trading commodities between stations for a profit - Animal Meat sold from Sirocco Station can be sold for a tidy profit at Birminghamworld in the nearby Barnard's Star system, and Farm Machinery is a good commodity to trade on the reverse journey.

Sometimes, if you're lucky, the bulletin board at each station will have someone looking for these items urgently and they're willing to pay significantly over the odds for them - a good way to make a quick buck.

Before too long though, endlessly shuffling stuff back and forth starts to grow old and you start to wonder about becoming a Mighty Space Pirate or an assassin for the Federal Military or the Imperial Navy. Missions for these factions are available at station bulletin boards, as well as missions for independent contractors, including passenger missions that turn your simple ship into a glorified space taxi (provided you have enough passenger cabins)



A lot of the missions that you do can be dangerous, with rival factions or even just mercenaries and pirates coming after you (and the same can be said for just general travel too - some systems are not as law-abiding as others and straying into an anarchy system can cause no end of pain - I vividly remember accidentally jumping into an anarchy system near to Sol (our own system) called Lalande 21185, only to swiftly regret it!

Combat in the game is... well, to be charitable, not great. On paper, you'd think it would be fantastic - essentially a space dogfight, like it was in the original Elite (and also how it is in Elite: Dangerous)

However, FE2 (and the sequel, Frontier: First Encounters) placed emphasis on realistic physics above all else, and consequently flight in the game is based on Newton's laws - you don't (and can't!) stop and turn suddenly when you're travelling at hundreds of thousands of metres per second, and neither can your opponents - so combat largely ends up with you and your attacker endlessly slingshotting against each other, trying to line up a decent laser shot as you do. It's passable, but exciting it is not:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCmNHMZzE90

You can also mine materials from asteroids if you find some, especially if you have a mining laser fitted to your ship. It's quite time consuming and the rewards aren't great, but it makes for a nice change of pace if you need to take a break from combat or from being a slave for the Empire.

There's a decent assortment of ships available in the game, ranging in size from small to "Christ, how am I supposed to fly that thing":



Upgrading your ship usually gives you enhanced cargo space, more hardpoints for more weaponry and other tools, and in some cases an enhanced "jump range" (the maximum distance you can travel in a single hyperspace jump)

I used to make it a priority to upgrade ASAP, with my ship of choice being the gorgeously sleek Imperial Courier, the ship that features in the game's expertly crafted intro sequence (including some excellent music from Dave Lowe)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbegNmKRZUM

I played this game so much that I could basically "touch type" my way around the user interface, streamlining my trading efforts and reserving my mouse movements for combat only and the odd bit of mining.

But how did it affect my life?

Well, two ways really; the first is that it really kickstarted in me a deep fascination with space and the science of it. Being set in a model of our own galaxy really helped here, of course, and I always remember my teachers at secondary school being surprised at my knowledge of the stars that were near to us.

It's a fascination that's stuck with me, especially with the release of Elite: Dangerous.

The second way is a bit more subtle. It still boggles my mind that Braben managed to do all of this within what was essentially 420 kilobytes of code, and the depths that game developers of the era went to to optimise their products (out of necessity if nothing else) has always inspired me to try and do the same with the products that I develop. Obviously it's less important these days because memory is so prevalent that just me writing this post is probably using more than I'd ever need otherwise, but I still get a kind of perverse pleasure out of writing optimal code.

So, would I recommend Frontier: Elite II to modern gamers?

To be honest, probably not. It's really not that different to Elite: Dangerous all things considered, which is hardly surprising. And, just like E:D, FE2 suffers from being a mile wide but an inch deep in terms of content and gameplay - one of the downsides to being mostly procedurally generated I expect, is that once you've done a few missions you've really done them all.

Frontier: First Encounters tried to avoid this problem with the introduction of story missions to add an overarching plot to the game - and, by most accounts, it did a pretty good job. I never really got into it though, and I think it was even bugged to such a degree that some missions weren't finishable when it was first released.

Nevertheless, despite all this, Frontier: Elite II holds a special place (spatial?) in my heart. I still go back and play it every so often just for that sweet, sweet hit of nostalgia and it's incredible to me how I don't even have to try and remember what I used to do, it just all comes flooding back as if it were only yesterday I was booting it up from my Amiga's floppy drive.

And finally, to round this off, I want to make you guys aware of a review of the game, from issue 32 of Amiga Power (which, by an odd coincidence that I've only just realised, was the same issue that generated controversy over the poppy cover mentioned in my earlier Cannon Fodder post!)

Their review for the game was headed up by "FRONTIER: ELITE 2", followed by what I can only describe as the greatest subheading I've ever read in a gaming magazine...

"You know, they said that Elite was pretty fronty. But Elite 2 is Frontier!"

Parkingtigers
Feb 23, 2008
TARGET CONSUMER
LOVES EVERY FUCKING GAME EVER MADE. EVER.


GazChap posted:

Combat in the game is... well, to be charitable, not great. On paper, you'd think it would be fantastic - essentially a space dogfight, like it was in the original Elite (and also how it is in Elite: Dangerous)

However, FE2 (and the sequel, Frontier: First Encounters) placed emphasis on realistic physics above all else, and consequently flight in the game is based on Newton's laws - you don't (and can't!) stop and turn suddenly when you're travelling at hundreds of thousands of metres per second, and neither can your opponents - so combat largely ends up with you and your attacker endlessly slingshotting against each other, trying to line up a decent laser shot as you do. It's passable, but exciting it is not:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCmNHMZzE90


I may be about to blow early Ď90s GazChapís mind here, but I think you, along with me and so many other Elite 2 players, were playing it wrong.

That slingshotting past each other thing? The constant high speed jousting? Yeah, that goes away if you turn your engines off. At that point you get a regular and familiar space combat dogfight like the one shown in that video. This was how the game was designed and intended to be played. With the engines left on, larger ships were totally unviable as youíd slam into enemies as you did those warp speed passes of each other.

But who, in a pre-internet ďyouíre playing it wrongĒ age to correct us, would think to turn off engines for combat? Itís so counter intuitive. I *adored* Frontier 2 in spite of the space jousting, but spent 25 years of my life sighing about the combat. Then 5 years back an Elite Dangerous YouTuber did a video on Frontier and when they turned the engines off to dogfight you probably heard my ďÖmotHERFUCKERĒ around the world.

E: and I know how we all got bamboozled by it. Usually we'd be flying around on autopilot, and we'd toggle into manual control for combat. That was already the "prepare for battle" setting in our heads. I just clicked into a 9 year old longplay video from LemonAmiga, the emulation site, and they weren't turning the engines off, and I can see 7 year old comments from me there about the jousting. Of course it was Isinona, the legendary Elite Dangerous pilot, who solved it. Well worth watching this 5 min video for direct comparisons of engines on and engines off mode.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UMIbdN0UFE

Parkingtigers fucked around with this message at 06:40 on Jul 5, 2021

Shine
Feb 26, 2007

No Muscles For The Majority


Parkingtigers posted:

But who [...] would think to turn off engines for combat? It’s so counter intuitive.

Glad to see Elite has always been Elite.

Parkingtigers
Feb 23, 2008
TARGET CONSUMER
LOVES EVERY FUCKING GAME EVER MADE. EVER.


Shine posted:

Glad to see Elite has always been Elite.

A comment on the old LemonAmiga video summed it up well, that "engines off" should have been labelled "manual control", and the existing constant thrust manual control labelled "set speed". It's LA Noire's misleading "Truth/Doubt/Lie" options all over again. In development it was "Coax/Force/Lie" which explains why Phelps was yelling all the time in the middle choice, and in the remaster they changed it to "Good Cop/Bad Cop/Accuse". How you label things really does change a player's perception of what a thing does.

GazChap
Dec 4, 2004

I'm hungry. Feed me.

Parkingtigers posted:

I may be about to blow early Ď90s GazChapís mind here, but I think you, along with me and so many other Elite 2 players, were playing it wrong.
Ö
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UMIbdN0UFE
motHERFUCKER!

Parkingtigers
Feb 23, 2008
TARGET CONSUMER
LOVES EVERY FUCKING GAME EVER MADE. EVER.


GazChap posted:

motHERFUCKER!

lol, I'm so sorry for having done that to you, but you had to know.

It says a lot for how good Frontier was that we adored it in spite of... well, utterly misunderstanding one of the core fundamentals of the game. You're right in that it's not a game modern players should go back to, there's Elite Dangerous for that. It really was one of those "you had to be there" games. But for those of us who were there, who got to experience it properly (well, er... most of it), it formed memories and experiences that we're still talking about almost 30 years later.

GazChap
Dec 4, 2004

I'm hungry. Feed me.

Parkingtigers posted:

It says a lot for how good Frontier was that we adored it in spite of... well, utterly misunderstanding one of the core fundamentals of the game. You're right in that it's not a game modern players should go back to, there's Elite Dangerous for that. It really was one of those "you had to be there" games. But for those of us who were there, who got to experience it properly (well, er... most of it), it formed memories and experiences that we're still talking about almost 30 years later.
Yeah, very much so.

That's one of the things that I find to be the most interesting about it - I can't work out whether it is just a case of rose-tinted spectacles or not, but when I look back on it and remember how it was played, if you were to write out the basic game loop on paper then it would just sound as boring as all hell.

It was basically just "launch, jump, accelerate time, dock" over and over again, like a weird sort of Skinner box but without the obvious reward ;)

But I still enjoyed every second of it back in the 90s.

Perhaps it's simply that it was so ahead of its time.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Harrow, do you think you could add Jerusalem's index from page 11 to the OP? Wouldn't want that effort to get lost in the shuffle!

victrix
Oct 30, 2007




GazChap posted:

motHERFUCKER!

motHERFUCKER!

dead gay comedy forums
Oct 21, 2011




imho the latest elite should never added online metagame stuff, it should have focused on providing a great single-player experience first and foremost then add some interesting multiplayer

the EVE-like mmo features held it back from becoming a contemporary classic imho

GazChap
Dec 4, 2004

I'm hungry. Feed me.

dead gay comedy forums posted:

imho the latest elite should never added online metagame stuff, it should have focused on providing a great single-player experience first and foremost then add some interesting multiplayer

I'd agree with this.

As I mentioned, I never really got into it, but I did a few of the early story missions in Frontier: First Encounters and they were pretty good, acting as a decent intro to the game mechanics while also getting you started.

If they'd concentrated on single-player experiences with E:D, they could have dialled this concept up to 11 and had regular hand-authored story missions that have an impact on your own personal instance of the universe, and I think in general it would have made the story they're trying to tell at the moment a hell of a lot more engaging for most players.

As it stands, because it's all tied to this weird online MMO-but-not-MMO concept, if you take a break from the game for a few months then by the time you come back you've missed all sorts of poo poo that you can't go back and do over, so it's back to the same old grind.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



dead gay comedy forums posted:

imho the latest elite should never added online metagame stuff, it should have focused on providing a great single-player experience first and foremost then add some interesting multiplayer

This ainít even an opinion, it would have resulted in a better design. I played ED a bit past boredom and firmly into feeling like a mark for being on a treadmill.

Shine
Feb 26, 2007

No Muscles For The Majority


ED has benefited greatly from having basically no competition. There are other spaceship games, but none of them really capture the sense of galactic scale like ED. The game in a lot of ways loving sucks and has design decisions straight out of the "gently caress the player" arcade era, but it's also the best "I'm just some person with a spaceship in the bigness of space" feeling out there. I remember making my first trip to Betelgeuse, and holy poo poo that star was loving huge. I was in awe, watching this video game representation of some star a shitzillion miles away, and it just blew away every star I'd ever seen in the game. I felt so tiny. Like, holy poo poo, what the hell is space? How is it real? How is there so much of it? God drat, Elite Dangerous is incredible. Truly one of a kind. That said, don't play it.

victrix
Oct 30, 2007




I can still hear the 'chill exploring space' music from Privateer

The high from games in that era (Elite, Wing Command, Privateer, Freelancer, XWing, others) kept me chasing that dragon long past the point where I should have realized I don't actually like 99% of space games because space is Actually Quite Big And Empty And Boring unless its filled with interesting things (Outer Wilds, Everspace, et al)

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


On a slightly related note I want to talk about Freespace and Freespace 2.

Calling them space sim/dogfighting games really just doesn't do them justice. The two games were addictive as hell, with a variety of different missions and objectives that kept things constantly changing and challenging. Missions went from flying intercept as an escort for a battleship to doing bombing runs on enemy juggernauts to exploring vast, sensor-killing nebulae. Quick thinking and reflexes were essential, especially if you played the games on higher difficulties. But it also had a powerful storytelling voice, spinning a tale that was about fighting with everything you had against impossible odds, and dealing with the fact that a lot of the time, you simply couldn't win. Your enemies are mysterious, implacable, with motives utterly alien and with forces, technology, and armaments that vastly outstrip your own. You don't even have shield systems until a good third or so of the way through the first game, as humanity desperately reverse-engineers the alien tech in a desperate bid to survive. The score and voicework work together incredibly well to present a pressing, brutal conflict that continually ups the stakes over the course of the games.

The ships feel distinct, each one having different loadout capabilities, durability, and maneuverability that make them suited to different situations. Interceptors are fast, maneuverable, and more lightly armed, good for flying escort and for hunting down and exterminating bombers. Bombers are clunky, slow behemoths that can deliver massive payloads to even more massive targets. Heavier fighters trade some of their handling for deeper missile banks and more guns, when you need to delete tougher foes. The different weapons and missiles are suited to a variety of situations, with nearly all of them having some good use (we don't talk about the kinetic Flail). Heatseeking, dumbfire, and aspect lock missiles all provide you with a powerful edge, and you had better get used to deploying countermeasures when enemies lock missiles onto you.

The scale of the battles could be pretty impressive in FS1, but is absolutely incredible in FS2, when it overhauled capital ships. Instead of being big bulky targets with a bunch of mounted cannons in various directions, capital ships in FS2 also wield absolutely terrifying beam weaponry that can blast fighters to shreds in seconds, and some carry heavy ordinance that can cut through cruisers in a flash. The first mission of FS2 is a great demonstration of the changes, with your allied capital ship utterly melting some poor fools. Bombing runs became hair-raising affairs, trying to keep out of beam fire while avoiding enemy fighters and getting an actual lock for your bombs. One of the most infamous missions in the games has you tasked with taking down the forward beam cannons on a dreadnought, and it's a fast and brutal mission that's adrenaline-packed and hard as hell.

The story is told incredibly well, and is full of mysteries that the games don't hand you explanations to. Possibly more things would have been revealed in a Freespace 3, but that sadly never came about. There's basically no actual characters in the games (with one notable exception, tied in with a couple sets of optional missions that include some of the most memorable moments in the series), but that doesn't stop them from getting you invested in the galaxy and the struggle of its inhabitants. At the end of the day you're left with more questions than you started with, and yet I only respect the games more for it. The voicework really carries the feelings of desperation and pride and stubborn grit that is your testament to the universe in the face of impossible odds.

And then there's the mod scene, with graphical overhauls to a 2000 game that leave it looking stunning, full custom campaigns, and more. The games still get a ton of love from die hard fans, and they honestly deserve it.

If I had to describe the games in one phrase, I'd probably say "Beautifully bleak", while acknowledging that it doesn't cover even a fraction of what made them fantastic, then and now.

Item Getter
Dec 14, 2015


You guys should consider looking into the Escape Velocity games, they are simplified top-down 2D clones of Elite but there is a much bigger emphasis on having a bunch of factions with chains of hand-crafted story missions that get you access to faction-exclusive ships and technology.

Sardonik
Jul 1, 2005

if you like my dumb posts, you'll love my dumb youtube channel

theshim posted:

beam cannons

Adding to this, the beam weaponry is iconic, like, one of the greatest sound effects in gaming, and especially great with the graphics mods.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMa3LXe6oVc#t=53s

The mod community even has a very impressive launcher that makes wrangling everything together insanely easy.

Definitely worth the money on GOG. Pity the rights to a sequel must be tied up somewhere.

dead gay comedy forums
Oct 21, 2011




Shine posted:

Like, holy poo poo, what the hell is space? How is it real? How is there so much of it? God drat, Elite Dangerous is incredible. Truly one of a kind. That said, don't play it.

An incredible summary that I am totes in agreement with, because

doctorfrog posted:

I played ED a bit past boredom and firmly into feeling like a mark for being on a treadmill.

:same:

Fly Ricky
May 7, 2009

The Wine Taster

Shout out to the goon Sardonik who recommended DEFCON, picked that up in the Steam sale for a buck. That was a helluva write-up.

vvv: thanks!

Fly Ricky fucked around with this message at 07:24 on Jul 6, 2021

VideoGames
Aug 18, 2003



I added the list to the op :)

Runa
Feb 13, 2011






Freespace 2 is incredible because of the slow dawning realization that you're not playing a space opera war story, you're experiencing two civilizations realizing that their efforts are futile against a threat so vastly overwhelming with motives so inscrutable that they may as well be facing a hostile act of God.

Every grand triumph is fleeting, every crowning achievement dwarfed, and--









DIVE DIVE DIVE HIT YOUR BURNERS PILOT

Groovelord Neato
Dec 6, 2014




FreeSpace 2 was actually the game I was going to do a write-up about. Before it was available to purchase on GOG or Steam I even paid 200 bucks for a boxed copy as I'd lost mine over the years.

Aken Bosch is one of the best video game villains of all time and it's a shame such an amazing game never got its due.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8sy1BPErro

"On this day...for the first time in my life...I am filled...with joy."

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Sardonik posted:

Adding to this, the beam weaponry is iconic, like, one of the greatest sound effects in gaming, and especially great with the graphics mods.

That sound is drilled deep into my brain, I remember zipping around capital ships engaged in dog-fights and then hearing that noise and panicking oh God oh God is it firing at me? Or even worse, it is firing at something else and I'm in the way and I'm so insignificant and small I'm just going to be unnoticed collateral damage!?! :gonk:

NumptyScrub
Aug 22, 2004

damn it I think the mirrors broken >˙.(

Shine posted:

God drat, Elite Dangerous is incredible. Truly one of a kind. That said, don't play it.

Lol that is a great way of putting it. As a veteran of 3 previous Elites (Imperial Courier, best courier) I bought in to the beta and played the poo poo out of E:D in VR, and it's a truly amazing game that will bore you to tears in fairly short order, and VR only delays the inevitable. I can only really recommend it if you see it for like $5 and can spare the cash, and even then... :v:

Clockwerk
Apr 6, 2005




I got it for free off epic and was still disappointed

Oldstench
Jun 29, 2007

Let's talk about where you're going.


Clockwerk posted:

I got it for free off epic and was still disappointed

:same:

Zenithe
Feb 25, 2013

Ask not to whom the Anidavatar belongs; it belongs to thee.

I don't like shooters really. I finished Bioshock 1 and 3, Far Cry 3 I liked but that's kind of it. I can't remember the last shooter I played through except for this one.



Gunslinger was released in 2013 and developed by Techland, a Polish developer known for not much other than Call of Juarez games, of which I haven't played but I've heard that the previous game in the series (the cartel) is absolute dogshit. Gunslinger is a western themed FPS, pretty short at around 5 hours, linear, and is usually on sale on steam or GOG for peanuts.

The game is a cartoon, plain and simple. The premise of the game is that you are actually an old bounty hunter by the name of Silas Greaves recounting your exploits to a table of randos in a bar. So yes, you can dodge bullets, slow down time by squinting your eyes, and reload your revolver by inserting bullets into the chamber while it is spinning and shoot dynamite mid air. In short, it's fun. As you gain levels you can put points into either revolvers (the correct option), rifles (easymode), or shotguns/close quarter combat (fun especially dual wielding but mostly impractical). You get bonuses for stringing together kills, and it runs on a points system which isn't that relevant except for experience which doesn't really matter that much, or the separate arcade mode. I cannot really compare it to other shooters because I don't like them, but the weapons all have a very heavy quality to them, partially emphasised by the semi accurate reloading requirements which mean if you miss all your shots you've got a long wait until you can try again. Feels good. A lot of this is the sound design, even your starting revolver sounds like firing a cannon, and they only get bigger from there.

Many of the bosses are duels, which was an acquired taste but functional mostly and require multitasking. Here's a fun duel where I manage to take down a bird and dodge two bullets:



This game does not apologise for being fun, which comes into the art style. A lot is in a comic book style, and you get a short strip introducing most of the bosses in the game, but also in one memorable time your shotgun. Take a look at the way this boss is introduced for a good example, in a way that is completely awesome and uneccesary:




Most cowboy stories are complete bullshit.

You are recounting stories that are mostly elaborations or fabrications, of which your character is inserting themselves into whether they were there or not. Some key things are explicitly true in story, but really not many at all. You never actually find out, but regardless you play through the story as Silas tells it. About the only thing which feels 100% genuine is the inciting incident when Silas along with his two brothers are attacked by three men, decades before the story. Only Silas survives, which kicks off his revenge for the men who killed his family.

At certain points the gameplay shifts as the story is told, like when your main character decides you are almost out of ammo to raise the tension regardless of what you picked up, or the story stopping abruptly because you need to go and take a piss, or three characters recount a story separately in different ways which you play through. This creates a really neat framing mechanism for the overall arch, which is that your character has been on a revenge mission for basically his whole life, tearing through basically every character in the wild west to get to those who wronged him. Despite this, in a slightly surprising move it is scattered with historical truths at times, like this absurd boss that just keeps eating bullets like they are nothing. If you google him you will find that he was an actual historical person who survived 23 bullet wounds. Most pleasing to me is the fact that everyone in the story who knows anything about anything shits all over Wyatt Earp and the Pinkertons.


ENDING SPOILERS HERE, PLEASE PLAY THE GAME FIRST
The story takes place in 1910 in Kansas, far from the wild west at this point. It's not revealed until the end that one of the people you are talking to in the bar is the man who killed your family, and you are given a choice: to forgive him and leave, or get your revenge after all these years. Spread throughout the story are small hints toward this, Ben the bartender knows more than he should, and replaying it makes it clear that Silas is confirming his lead, and sussing out what he wants to do about it after all these years.
There probably are examples, but I can't think of any revenge fantasies in media where the proagonist recognises they need to change their ways and enact forgiveness. You leave the bar into the sunset as the torch gets passed from the wild west into whatever comes next.

Alternatively, you can murder the old man, making everyone sick and terrified. It's still a choice, but if you have seen both it is unambiguous as to what the correct choice here was.
Also one of the people at the table is a young Dwight Eisenhower lol.

Play
Apr 25, 2006

So I roll with a rolling thunder
And I howl with the howling wind
And I drift downstream for as long as it takes
To get up and around the bend

Zenithe posted:

The story takes place in 1910 in Kansas, far from the wild west at this point. It's not revealed until the end that one of the people you are talking to in the bar is the man who killed your family, and you are given a choice: to forgive him and leave, or get your revenge after all these years. Spread throughout the story are small hints toward this, Ben the bartender knows more than he should, and replaying it makes it clear that Silas is confirming his lead, and sussing out what he wants to do about it after all these years.
There probably are examples, but I can't think of any revenge fantasies in media where the proagonist recognises they need to change their ways and enact forgiveness. You leave the bar into the sunset as the torch gets passed from the wild west into whatever comes next.

Alternatively, you can murder the old man, making everyone sick and terrified. It's still a choice, but if you have seen both it is unambiguous as to what the correct choice here was.
Also one of the people at the table is a young Dwight Eisenhower lol.


I killed his rear end. Revenge only gets sweeter with time.

Great game though, I should do another playthrough. Legitimately great set pieces and levels too. Just a nice kind of combination of a standard FPS and an on-rails shooter

Mizuti
Jan 28, 2007

What a singularly inappropriate moment you've chosen to assert your pedantry.



LISA the Painful RPG: A life-ruining experience

"If Earthbound is a playful but surreal adventure that takes an occasional glimpse into the darkness of the human heart, then LISA is setting up a lawn chair in front of that darkness and staring into it until you canít tell where it ends and you begin." (Source)

LISA is a lot of things in one compact RPG Maker package. It's brutal, it's absurd, it's obscene, it's heartfelt, and it's the single funniest video game I've ever experienced. It's a game that knows exactly what it is and is unapologetic about it, and I think it sticks the landing on almost everything it strives for.

The premise

LISA takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where women are extinct. The survivors are left in a barren wasteland with little purpose and no future. They resort to bizarre coping strategies to stay alive and keep some semblance of sanity. Our protagonist is a traumatized drug addict and he's in the unenviable position of being the adoptive father of the last girl in the world. This situation can't be contained forever, and when it leaks, chaos ensues.

The tone

LISA is masterful at the art of tonal whiplash. Black comedy, insanity, and tragedy blend into a unique mixture. You quickly learn just how unfair and untrustworthy the world is. You can and will get several game overs by accidentally leaping into bottomless pits. Paranoia creeps in as you anticipate the next ambush or shakedown. And when bad things inevitably happen, it's not a cheap scare or flimsy attempt to tug on your heartstrings. LISA earns these moments.

The pacing

The JRPG genre is famously filled with great big meandering affairs with tons of of exposition. LISA throws all that out the window: the story is razor-focused on a handful of characters and sets up only minimal worldbuilding. It's about 10 hours to 100% the whole thing. There is always something horrifying, hilarious, and/or strange happening at any given time.

The sacrifices

There's no way around it. This game is unfair. You will lose things that are precious to you, often completely out of the blue. Your money. Your supplies that you need to stay alive. Your favorite party members. Your body. Your dignity. And it all builds to something incredible.

The combat

I'll be frank, this is not its strength, though I think it's adequate. Mostly standard turn-based RPG fare, though it's very satisfying to find team compositions with good synergy. Items are extremely useful and you will actually use them... and when these party members and items are taken from you, you'll feel it. Also of note is the game's extremely unusual roster of enemies. Almost every single thing you fight in this game is a unique named character placed in the world: there's almost no random encounters or generic enemies.

The soundtrack

This game's soundtrack is utterly bizarre and unpredictable. It freely bounces between genres, and it's fond of using sudden cuts that will surprise you. Some of its OST is pure shitposts that are delightful in context. Its DLC campaign kicks the music up several notches with ...inspired sample choices (airhorn warning).

The DLC campaign

I have to mention this part of LISA: it's got a DLC that serves as a 3 hour continuation of where its story leaves off. Not as good as the main game, IMO, for a variety of gameplay and tone reasons I can't get into without major spoilers. Its unique soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission, though.

Conclusion

LISA is a crude experience. I can see a dozen ways its game systems could be tightened up. Its many near-identical cave entrances are easy to get lost in, some characters are far better than others, and I'm still not entirely sure what half of the status effects and buffs actually do. And yet I don't think it matters that much. It accomplishes everything important that it set out to do. The nature of its content means it's absolutely not a game for everyone. But if you can withstand the intense content and rough edges you'll find in LISA, you are in for a game like no other. It's pain that has a point.

Mizuti fucked around with this message at 15:28 on Aug 7, 2021

victrix
Oct 30, 2007




Jerusalem posted:

That sound is drilled deep into my brain, I remember zipping around capital ships engaged in dog-fights and then hearing that noise and panicking oh God oh God is it firing at me? Or even worse, it is firing at something else and I'm in the way and I'm so insignificant and small I'm just going to be unnoticed collateral damage!?! :gonk:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQpvJl0wPMc

Unrelated, but looking forward to Everspace 2 :unsmith:

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Are those just cutscene remakes or somebody doing a full remake of Freespace 2? :stare:

Groovelord Neato
Dec 6, 2014




Jerusalem posted:

Are those just cutscene remakes or somebody doing a full remake of Freespace 2? :stare:

They've redone all the models and effects. I think for the most part they look worse but it's an impressive job either way.

Ms Adequate
Oct 29, 2011

Baby even when I'm dead and gone
You will always be my only one, my only one
When the night is calling
No matter who I become
You will always be my only one, my only one, my only one
When the night is calling





Gunslinger is fun as gently caress and just a great FPS.

VideoGames
Aug 18, 2003



Thanks to that Gunslinger post, I started it Tuesday night and played it on Tue evening and Wed evening. It was a lovely, fun and quick game that I have been meaning to try for ages. Thank you so much for the rec! :)

Sab Sabbington
Sep 18, 2016

In my restless dreams I see that town...

Flagstaff, Arizona


I'll keep this mostly spoiler free, I'm not about to risk ruining one of the best games of all time for people.



quote:

I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

- Albert Camus, French Philosopher who liked to drive fast cars, gently caress, and play soccer

Iíve known a lot of people over the years who really do not gently caress with roguelikes--and for totally justifiable reasons. Not everyone gets the same sweet, sweet dopamine hit that I do when I manage to go just a little bit farther in an endlessly resetting series of attempts than I did the last time. Rolling a boulder up a hill, only for it to fall back down just before the top, just doesnít do it. I get it, and I donít blame them. But I have an itch that can only be scratched by a date with a boulder, a hill, a bone hydra, and a cast of really, really hot gods--

Might have lost the thread a little bit there, itís about 3AM, bear with me.

Greg Kasavin is the head writer at Supergiant Games motherfucker who made me cry over wizard basketball. He's responsible for a lot of the writing--if not all of it--for games like Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, and their most recent release Hades. Even though he hadn't read Camus before starting Hades it's clear that he, like Camus suggests, imagined Sisyphus happy. It's why when you encounter the ex-King in the game he's a cheerful, relaxed, charming guy who likes spending his time exercising with his Best Friend Bouldy. Whenever you meet him he offers words of encouragement and tangible resources that will help you make your way up your own hill, even if he knows he'll never see the top of his own. At this point, though, he doesn't want to--he's perfectly happy spending time with his best bud as is.



In Hades you play as Zagreus, son of the Lord of the Underworld, and an impossibly kind and generous young god with an ongoing gently caress You, Dad streak. He's recently learned that, despite being told differently his whole life, his father has held back some pretty important poo poo that he'd like some answers about, please and thank you. And since Hades isn't really the explaining type, he's resolved to leave the Underworld to get those answers for himself. Unfortunately for him, you don't just get to leave the Underworld, even if you are the son of its God, and the ascent to the surface will require battling your way through hordes of the local inhabitants in order to see the top. It doesn't help that Dad does everything he can to keep you there himself. Luckily for Zagreus, though, death just means an abrupt bath back home in the House of Hades' welcome area. It feels a lot more home-y once you unlock a towel rack next to it, I promise.

You probably see the roguelike structure already, it's pretty cut-and-dry. You lead Zagreus over and over towards the surface, fighting enemies and bosses along the way, until you succeed. Or, much more commonly, you die. Over, and over, and over. No matter how far the boulder gets, it rolls back down. Luckily for you, however, each attempt makes you a little stronger, allowing you to unlock persistent buffs and weapon upgrades that can make the next attempt a little smoother. If that was it, Hades would still be an incredible game. It is not. The House of Hades is filled with people Zagreus knows--people he considers family, people he grew up with, people he loves and who love him and who are hurt that he's willing to leave them all behind just so he can get his answers. Each death gives you the opportunity to talk to them more, to learn about their history, and to slowly try and reach a place where you understand each other. It's very common for people to look forward to your next death so you get to spend some more time with the people that you love. Like Sisyphus and his best bud Bouldy.

It helps that every other aspect of the game is refined and polished and shining to an extent that I literally did not consider possible. I earnestly feel bad for people who didn't get to play the game throughout Early Access like I did, seeing Supergiant work their magic--and at this point I genuinely do think it's magic--creating an action gameplay experience that is as close to perfect as I've ever seen. I will happily die on this hill--excuse the situational pun, please. Zagreus has a selection of different weapons to choose from, all of which play differently, and all of which have various forms that drastically change the way in which you play them. One aspect of the Spear is built around yeeting it at max velocity, chunking every motherfucker it goes through, then chunking them again when you call it back to you. Another does a little less damage, but allows you to yeet yourself to wherever it landed instead. One of the later weapons starts off as a fast-attacking ranged weapon, but can later be turned into a screen-covering explosion machine that obliterates everything in the room. All throughout you'll be dashing through enemy attacks, throwing whirling blade cyclones, and calling down the power of Zeus himself to piss Dad off a little more.



At its core Hades is an abnormally optimistic story about family--found, blood, and everything in between. Your aunts, uncles, and cousins have heard that Dad isn't letting you go to Prom because you failed your math final, and that will not stand, dammit. Throughout each escape attempt you'll come across the various gods of the greek pantheon who will offer you different Boons to help in your ascent. Hermes gives boons that increase your mobility, while Athena is queen of defense and battlefield control. Poseidon will see you ping-ponging motherfuckers around each room with blasts of water, while Zeus will--uh, mostly let you poo poo out absurd amounts of lightning. You'll quickly find you have a few favorites (mine is Aphrodite, her Cast chunks), and the builds start coming naturally. Each run is an excellent opportunity to try out new things, and after a certain point of comfort no combination of offerings really feels bad. Didn't get Athena's boon that makes your dash deflect attacks back on enemies? I'll just take Poseidon's knockback machine dash for a bit instead. After all, you'll probably have the opportunity to replace it later, and when you do it'll be at a higher rarity too.

After a certain point, once you've figured out your groove and know how to enjoy the process, things might start getting a little easy. That's when you crank up the Heat--modifiers that allow you to increase the difficulty in various ways while resetting the rewards you get for killing bosses. Sure, Meg might be more difficult when you see her next time, but you'll also get materials that let you make your weapons stronger too. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to talk with your friend--death is just part of the Underworld Experience(TM), and whether or not it's you or her that gets sent back to the House of Hades for a quick bath in the welcome area, you'll have made progress either way. Turns out that story progression is an excellent motivator to keep trying, and when the characters are as well written and voice acted as the ones in Zagreus' life, death is as much a treat as it is a restart. The boulder is back at the bottom of the hill, hell yeah, time to get back to pushing. I'm starting to love that poo poo.

Spoilering here so I can briefly talk about themes, though I'll leave out specifics:


I said Hades is a game about family, and I really mean it. Dysfunctional in a lot of ways, sure, but the kind of dysfunctional that comes from people who deeply, deeply love each other and have absolutely no idea how to actually say it. Zagreus' ascent to the surface is just as much about learning to understand and communicate with his loved ones as it is get the answers he's looking for, and it probably won't be much of a surprise to hear that those two things are the same. gently caress You, Dad feels different when you realize that Dad is really just trying to keep you safe, even if he is about as bad at it as is possible. Every character and every interaction in the game serves to bring this hosed up Greek family together, to learn to communicate and celebrate each others strengths and flaws and truly enjoy the time you get to spend with them. It can take hundreds of deaths to work things out, but many of us know that communication is neither easy or offers many shortcuts along the way. But it's still worth it.


Albert Camus' existential philosophy Absurdism did more to help me contextualize how I want to spend my time in the world than functionally anything else that I experienced before it. Meaning--that is, capital M Meaning--probably doesn't exist, and certainly isn't prescriptive, but the answer to that isn't to write it off completely. Meaning might not be real, but the journey you take trying to find it absolutely is, and learning to find happiness and comfort in that journey is infinitely more valuable than whatever Meaning might have been anyway. Zagreus wants to reach the surface to get answers to his questions. Sisyphus's prescribed goal is to get Bouldy to the top of that hill. The only guarantee in both of those situations is that they'll fail, over and over, in their attempt to accomplish it. What's the point of getting to the top if you can't love the process of trying in the first place? When you know the boulder is going to roll back down, or that death is going to send you right back to the beginning, how much more valuable are the attempts themselves than the actual destination? Hades, like Camus', has its own answer for this, and it's a really loving compelling one. Hopefully you'll get to find it for yourself, though right now I think I'm going to go enjoy getting absolutely loving murdered by a minotaur and his twink so I can spend some time with my friends back at the House before I try again.

After all, if Sisyphus actually did manage to get Bouldy to the top of that hill and stay there forever, what the gently caress is he gonna do now? Personally, I'd take my best bud back down to the bottom for a breather, have a nice chat with our other bud Zagreus, and get ready for another climb.

Jossar
Apr 2, 2018

Current status: Angry about subs :argh:


That was a way better review than mine and I heartily endorse it. Hades is so, so good and I lament that for all intents and purposes I have rolled the boulder over the top of the hill relative to my skill level and am now in the position to ask "well now what?"

How!
Oct 29, 2009



Erwin the German posted:

It's a really hot day and it turns out I effort post best when it's disgusting out.

Hunt: Showdown (2018)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_jKlnqoQ90

My team of three, myself included, enter Stillwater Bayou from the west. Weíre armed with an eclectic bunch of guns, but Iím actually hobbling myself a little this time by taking along the basic Springfield 1886, a one shot rifle that Iím not all that comfortable with. A hand crossbow as well, which Iím only marginally at home with - itís a great tool for killing all sorts of monsters in these Louisiana swamps, and crucially it is very quiet while doing so. Normally Iíd take a silenced Nagant revolver, far more my comfort zone, but I was simply too enchanted by my current hunter to alter his load-out, a tier one character by the name of Victor ĎHeadshotí Preston. With a name that try hard, I couldnít bring myself to give up anything he decided to join my roster with, even if it was arguably the worst single-shot rifle in the game.

My two friends have a stock Winfield repeater, a spiffy gun thatís much more capable than its Ďdefault weaponí status would imply, and something called the bomb lance. Itís a lance that shoots harpoon-like bombs, which makes it both fearsome and potentially debilitating depending on the fight youíre in. Not to mention obscenely loud, as all explosives are, a noise that can be heard from across the map. Gunshots are little different in this regard, but an explosion is unmistakable in its report, direction and relative proximity.

Deciding what to take with you on the hunt is half of the game itself. With the right tools, you can turn a desperate fight around. With the right gun, you can end one before itís had a chance to really begin. All rely on knowledge of their capabilities and a healthy dose of player skill.



The other half is a combination of things, but I can more or less sum it up as Ďluck, skill, and knowing where the gently caress youíre walking.í

We head to Blanchett Graves first, as it has two clues and is the closest to our starting location. Hunt is a game where the feeling of tension is there from start to finish, but thereís always that deceptive calm in the beginning where teams begin to orient themselves. The clues will let us track down the monster our hunters have taken it upon themselves to kill, banish, and claim their lucrative tokens for a fat stack of money. We head into Blanchett without much incident, killing a few grunts (your normal zombies) along the way. The bayou is alive with the sound of birds and swamp wildlife, wind rushing through the trees, groans of the undead and distant gunfire.

Frankly Iím usually relieved when someone is loudly shooting their gun almost immediately - it can be a sign of a team thatís not concerned with letting others know where they are, and confidence is a very useful thing to have in this game. More usually itís a mark of a bad team, though, one that doesnít realize that more canny hunters might decide to track them down first and eliminate the competition. Thereís a third, more uncommon option - sometimes a team will very promptly discover their target. Every round has either one or two, but the cursed abominations can spawn anywhere, even at the border areas, or the corners.

So in other words, we had no real idea what to make of it, and rarely do. Only a direction, which was southeast, in the half of the map containing the other bounty. We kept going, grabbing the clues and avoiding the more dangerous monsters, such as hives, immolaters, and hell hounds. We keep moving out of Blanchett and move further east, since that part of the map is still white (and places grayed out are where the monster isnít). More gunfire - about five minutes have passed, give or take, and this one keeps going for a while. As we continue, moving through the swamp water that slows us down and leaves us as easy targets to anyone with a sniperís scope, weíre careful to avoid environmental hazards thatíll betray our position. Crows, dry branches, cages with undead dogs or chickens within them. A dying horse that, when approached, will neigh incessantly until you put it down.

The lesser monsters, of course, but most of those can be handled quietly. A flock of crows disturbed by a cracked branch or noisy walk through water cannot be made quieter, but thereís ways around that too. Hunt has a lot of choices, depending on what you bring to the table.

The gunfire just keeps going, and we have a working theory - itís probably a fight. And they probably found their bounty. Like I said, noisy teams will attract attention from others. Thereís almost no way to conceal two teams meeting, inevitably devolving into an ultra violent confrontation of gun fire and explosions. Some get lucky with silenced weapons and melee tools, but thatís a rarity in my experience.

We find our target, blessedly quick - itís in Lockbay Docks, overlooking a wide stretch of open water. Still no sign of anyone else on our side of the map, and we get to killing it - the spider. The spider is quick and aggressive, pouncing on hunters and skittering across the ceiling and walls, making it a proper pain in the rear end to get a bead on. Itís also a spider, and even an over-sized one doesnít take kindly to being smashed with a giant hammer, or lit aflame. We employ as many of these tactics as we can to kill it as quickly and quietly as possible. As weíre doing this, the gunfire dies down, and weíre informed that one of the bounty monsters is being banished.



A banishing is a slow process, taking about five minutes or less - Iíve never timed it. Might not sound long, but in Hunt it might as well be an eternity. When you banish, every hunter on the map with you learns where thatís taking place. If itís the only bounty, youíre guaranteed to have hostile company soon. On a two-monster bounty, thereís a bit more wiggle room - maybe youíll get lucky, but never count on it. A banishment is a giant neon sign that says Ďcome get me.í When you use your dark sight (usually used to find clues and identify if anyone hostile is close to a bounty or clue), youíll see the banishment from across the map in the form of constant lightning strikes.

This is, needless to say, a harrowing process. Some banish and then flee, if theyíre not confident in fending off enemy hunters. Youíll make less money and experience for your hunter, but your odds of living to hunt again are better. If your hunter dies past a certain tutorial period, theyíre gone. All their upgrades, gear, and any cool look or dumb name you had for them, such as Headshot Preston. Knowing when to fold is useful.

Not that we ran, once the spider was dead. By the time we commenced our banishing, the other team had collected their bounty tokens, and my team watched the map carefully. Once a bounty token is down, itís visible on the map, and youíll see it move with the hunter who has it. Thereís no more being stealthy once youíve grabbed these tokens. Not all bad, though - your dark sight gives you five seconds of seeing close-by enemy hunters, a shock of orange, incredibly useful for fending off besieging hunters and not falling into ambushes as you flee with your prize.

We were watching to see where theyíd go - would they leave with their tokens, or try to come take ours as well? Turns out this team was feeling bloodthirsty, and we watched as their token markers started to approach us on the map, our position given away with the banishing of the spider. We immediately set to work, laying traps and setting up firing positions, identifying likely places of approach. Being under siege is never fun, and itís a trial of patience, resources and sheer gumption - if youíre assaulting, itís often better to mount a quick attack in force rather than let the defenders upgrade their dark sight and know exactly where you are. Thereís a lot that goes into the psychology of this game. Sweat the defenders long enough and they might get sloppy, skittish. The same applies to the attackers, too, and thereís a big difference between an impatient attack and a confident one.

But usually it just comes down to sheer luck and how smart your enemies are.

It took them two or three minutes to reach us, and the banishment was still ongoing - no sight for us, and plenty for them. Iím down in the bottom floor of Lockbay, a room with multiple entrances and a mesh wire view facing the water. I trap what I can and set up shop while my two buddies protect the floor above me, where the spider died. Sometimes a team will keep quiet on the attack, especially if the banishment hasnít concluded - more opportunity for stealth and advantageous positioning. These guys were not quiet, since they proceeded to lob just about every stick of dynamite, molotov cocktail and flash bomb in our direction. We pulled through, waiting for them to show themselves.

Where Iím sitting in the basement, itís just a lot of noise. Pounding footsteps above my head - I could shoot through if I wanted to, maybe even hit someone, but thatís a risky proposition with a one-shot weapon. I keep quiet and keep moving, waiting to see if anyone will come down or move through the water for a flank. Gunshots above me, plenty of them, explosions from the bomb lance. More gunfire to the west as a third team arrives on the scene, which our initial attackers clean up without much effort. Usually thatís a great opportunity for exploiting the chaos of up to nine hunters stomping around shooting each other, but we stay put, still needing to grab our tokens.

My friend with the Winfield goes down, shot in the head through a window. He can still get revived, if we live through this, but our odds just got worse. The tables turn when we hear another groan of death, killed by my remaining friendís sidearm. Two on two.



I hear a splash outside, past the mesh. Someone is crouching and moving slowly through the water, armed with a rifle. I aim and, true to my hunterís stupid loving name, hit them in the head. One left. I keep my position, because Iím pretty sure the last guy has a shotgun, and Iím not armed for that. More running around, my friend yelling at me to come up and support him, which is a classic conversation in any Hunt game, but I donít get the time to answer. My friend gets shot and goes down.

But heís not mad, far from it - I can hear glee in his voice, in fact. ďI traded,Ē he says, and a moment later I hear an explosion as the last enemy dies, shot in the last moment by my friendís bomb lance. He had enough time to run around and contemplate his impending demise, at least.

I go up and get them both back up. All is quiet. Traps are spent, all the monsters are dead, and thereís human bodies lying around now. We grab every bounty token and count ourselves lucky - itís great when the bounties come delivery. We do a quick scan through dark sight and confirm weíre alone. I grab a high tier rifle off the woman in the water I killed, leaving the Springfield behind.

And then we leave, all four tokens in hand - only two drop per boss. No one stops us - weíve cleared the map of enemy hunters, which is always a fantastic feeling. At least, weíre 90% sure itís clear. No oneís contesting, anyway, so we fire off to our heartís content, no longer worried about noise or stealth. We make a lazy line towards an extraction point, wait the thirty seconds (during which pursuing hunters can and will try to murder you), and then extract. We get a fat payday of hunter experience used to give characters new traits and abilities, and a whole lot of money. Headshot Preston gets a whole bunch of upgrades, and I spec him out for rifle shooting.

The very next hunt, we all die, our characters flushed down the drain like tissue paper, leaving us only with halved money and bloodline experience (the measure of your overall progression, which affects unlockable weapons, traits and items). Rest in loving peace, Victor ĎHeadshotí Preston. So it goes in the bayou. The hunt after that, we kill three more hunters in under ten seconds, and then cleanly extract with no contest in about ten minutes. The one after thatÖ

And so on, and so forth. Play Hunt: Showdown if you want to feel stressed out almost constantly, twitch at every errant sound, kill your way tactically through repulsive monsters as quietly as you can, and have high stakes shootouts with other, equally greedy players. No round will be the same. The story above is just one example - there's so many things to consider. Thereís no other game quite like it on the market.

Is there a discord or thread for this game? I just got it because of your post!

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Vandar
Sep 13, 2007

Isn't That Right, Chairman?





Sab Sabbington posted:



It helps that every other aspect of the game is refined and polished and shining to an extent that I literally did not consider possible. I earnestly feel bad for people who didn't get to play the game throughout Early Access like I did, seeing Supergiant work their magic--and at this point I genuinely do think it's magic--creating an action gameplay experience that is as close to perfect as I've ever seen.

I have been a fan of Supergiant since day one, and I can't imagine a more fitting word than 'magic' to describe what they do. Every game they've made has been gold and has been better than the last, and every title they've released has just been...utterly charming and wonderful and emotional and perfect.

I think they, more than anyone else in the industry, are the developer I've come to look forward to new releases from the most.

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