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Everything posted by Calvarok

  1. Assassin's Creed Origins

    started playing this the other day and was surprised to find a lot of the qualities Thumbs folk usually bring up when talking about a Far Cry 2-like. Yes, it has hunting and crafting, but it's fairly simple and mostly just encouragement to stalk new kinds of prey through the dunes/savannas . It's heavily inspired by The Witcher 3, though its rpg elements fall more on the action/stealth side, (numbers shoot out of people when you hit them) though there are also similarities to what MGSV was doing. --- Here's a story about the attached image. I was hunting some lions and hyenas for their pelts to craft better armor. near one of the lions i killed i found a cave, in this cave was some money and a shrine, alone with a note about how some dude wanted to start a new life living with lions on the hill west of there. ( i should point out a previous quest established that this region worships a lion-god) I made my way up the hill, found and fought the pride of lions, and found the poor dude and this note. on my way back to the city I was scanning the area with my pet eagle, Senu (she's basically a drone and can mark targets) and noticed an armed convoy of gold heading into town. I decided to attack it. just as i started shooting arrows and swinging my sword on horseback, a lion also attacked the convoy and split their attention. I hacked up two guys, and the final one had gotten knocked off his horse somehow and was cornered by the lion. He was the one carrying the gold. The lion finally noticed me, and turned on me instead as the soldier watched on, occasionally firing an arrow at me. I'd already built up my adrenaline gauge from fighting the other two guys, and while slicing at the lion it finally got high enough for me to trigger it. for the weapon i was using, that basically meant i started flailing wildly and hacked the lion to death in seconds, then as my character literally roared, i rushed at the final man. he was a level below me (the lion was my level) and didn't stand a chance. --- the game controls a lot better than some previous ones, and stealth is pretty fun too. you can light things on fire (if you want to light your arrow on fire you literally stand in front of fire and nock an arrow, it's great) which works as a great distraction, and do typical stealth stuff like whistle or hide in tall grass and bushes. But I personally think the types of readers on this forum will be most interested in the kinds of things that can happen when stuff doesnt go according to plan or weird systems collide, like a rival group of bandits raiding the bandit camp you're trying to sneakily steal something from, or a sandstorm rolls in when you're in an isolated area. (you can't use your scouting eagle in a sandstorm) Uh, also, if you play this game at all, play it on the hardest difficulty. anything below that really won't challenge you to use everything you have access to.
  2. Skyrim has never felt like a living world to me in comparison to something like assassins creed origins. you have lots of options for how to play, but they all feel very similar and kinda clunky. completing a quest almost always looks exactly the same no matter who's doing it or how they approach it, and when there is a difference it's usually because you chose a fork in the road that sends you to Dungeon A instead of Dungeon B. I feel far more situated in a world as a defined character with several fleshed out and well-crafted playstyles, and several varieties of potential things to do. It makes the hidden or unusual things off the beaten track feel more like discoveries and novelties, rather than just more content to consume. When you're infiltrating yet another fortress, but something goes wrong or right in an unexpected way you've never seen before, that feels genuinely exciting. It's the calculated use of mundanity and routine that gives the feeling of living another life, at least to me. And I love the chaos that can be laid overtop of such a comparatively structured base. It creates moments that are far more memorable to me precisely because they have something to contrast against. If a game that has microtransactions allows me to play it and have fun without ever investing in them, I don't really care about them. I recognize that's probably more a factor of me not really playing games until that type of thing became widespread, of course.
  3. Assassin's Creed Origins

    Well to be fair i mentioned my complaints about brotherhood's gameplay as well as its narrative. (and I don't agree that it's mostly gameplay-focused considering how many heavily scripted events it has.) I've found that lists, popular opinion, and the majority of reviews are a very bad way of determining whether i'll like a video game, but that's just me of course.
  4. Assassin's Creed Origins

    I mean, it's a perfectly playable game, I understand that. It definitely condensed and simplified and sanded down rough edges. And like, that's the problem. It's just a watered down version of something more interesting and ambitious, which makes far less use of the idea of an "open world". It's fine to kind of absently make your way through it, but if you ever try to return to it there's really nothing for you any more. The best AC games in my opinion are those where you can come back to them and learn and discover new things about them, and where you can attempt to solve problems differently than you did before. (or maybe some historical analogue for a grenade rolls down a hill) Even if you never return to a game, there's a sense of satisfaction that comes with executing a plan and knowing you could have done something completely different; that what happened is something that you have personal ownership over.
  5. Assassin's Creed Origins

    wow, just saw this now. Brotherhood is actually my number 1 least favorite assassins creed ever. Ezio loses pretty much anything resembling a personality during that installment and just becomes The Guy Who Shows Up And Is Right About Everything, the plot is a messy generic open world bread-crumb trail (think GTA) the combat is extremely easy and stealth/any type of creative approach to missions is less often an option than in pretty much any other game in the series. There is not a single aspect of that game where a direct comparison with any other entry would hold up except perhaps the modern/sci fi intrigue, which introduces some new ideas and has some good writing (and also is not what most of the game is about)
  6. Assassin's Creed Origins

    I assumed it was DLC and was surprised that i even got to play it on a timed schedule. I was like level 38 and I turned the difficulty down to normal and got through it. (did it again on hard when i hit 40, for fun) It's a pretty fun fight, it introduces mechanics that seem simple at first but get harrowing as they are combined and intensified. speaking of levels, i've spotted at least one level 41 enemy. (higher than the player's level cap) anyone else seen this? it might have been because it was a generic grunt class
  7. Assassin's Creed Origins

    there is a loading screen tip that advocates lighting forts on fire to distract enemies. this game rules
  8. Assassin's Creed Origins

    I have definitely accidentally lit an encampment on fire while trying to sneak through it
  9. it was also very similar to a recurring dream of mine
  10. When the bomb zoom came up on the screen I thought for a second that they were going to play that whole sequence again, which would have been amazing. the black and white fortress in the purple ocean appears to be where cooper talked to the giant in the opening scene of this season. the walls and general uncomfortable decaying yet preserved atmosphere. and like i guess the explosion created bob or released him or released all of the inhabitants of the black lodge with him? (there were other bubbles in the grey person's vomit that could have had their own faces) and laura was/is meant to combat him in some way, and is something like a good version of bob or a different but still supernatural being? Who knows if the bug frog was laura or bob or something entirely different related to the tar-feedback people? (have they always been on bob's side or are they just now working with him to thwart the lodge?) speaking of the tar people, they are insanely terrifying. in an episode designed to be constantly unnerving and uncomfortable, they still managed to make me feel genuinely afraid. and honestly I feel like this episode was meant to convey feelings more than lore. The actual facts of what is being conveyed are important, but it wouldn't matter at all if they hadn't been conveyed in a way that genuinely feels like something great and terrible and bigger and smaller than we could possibly imagine. I don't at all feel like the cooper and band sections of this were unrelated to the rest. The figures that rebirth him and the NiN song are our gateway into the rest of the episode, both tonally and metaphysically. Just because the roadhouse has been used as a neat and clean book-end a few times doesn't mean it's a mistake when it's used differently.
  11. Maybe im weird but i think the Colorado level is visually striking and real atmospheric. Desolate farmland always fascinates me. And i like that there's a single mission thatsa more traditional infiltration thing. And 47's tactical leather jacket rules
  12. It should be made clear that when chris talked about deus ex mankind divided ending with a "ten minute video", he wasn't talking about a ten minute cutscene. It was literally a slow zoom on a talking head news broadcast that lists all the results of your choices over the game with really really bad news broadcaster dialogue, for ten marfing minutes
  13. Yeah. It's been long enough since I played one of those games that I feel like this one could be good for me, if it's aiming for anything along those lines. I also like the idea of a more multinational cast, since this is Earth versus a space colony. (Which someone pointed out is basically the plot of Gundam)
  14. I forget if this is the episode where they talked about the call of duty space oddity cover, but I just watched that trailer again and I've decided I really like it. Like, it's just the same song but simpler and harder and kind of more mournful? It's more of a blunt instrument, but I feel like that's what that trailer needed. it seems like a very simple and maybe well-realized premise for some intense and emotional space-fighting, and when done well I'm totally into that. watching that new battlefield trailer and this infinite warfare one reminded me that sometimes call of duty is far less embarrassing in its tone and treating of its subject matter than most action video games are. Who would have thought that the crazy future war game trailer would have a lingering shot of a soldier walking past a memorial of fallen comrades, while the World War 1 game trailer would just be nonstop 'badass' action.
  15. Hitman: Steve Gaynor Edition

    Personally, if you're trying to do everything perfectly sneaky, I think you should use everything you have at your disposal. Absolution had no mid-section save function, and that led to me spending upwards of 2 hours on gameplay segments that lasted about 3-5 minutes when finally completed correctly. It's hard enough puzzling things out and executing them, I don't think anyone would think less of you. I'm sure a lot of people like to play things out, but I always play these games on the highest difficulty so I can basically guarantee that I couldn't get out of a fight alive if I wanted to. But that's just the way I personally want to feel in most stealth games.
  16. Hitman: Steve Gaynor Edition

    the details in this game that seem most impressive to me are the ones that feel intended to drive home how ordinary and mundane aspects of these locations are. Despite all their extravagance, both locations contain things that feel real, and are based around a convincing infrastructure. I read something about how the developers created the fashion show, and their knowledge about how these shows are themed and planned and put together, and it's really cool. Like, I feel like in some games it would feel like you were in a "fashion show building", but the Showstopper level has all this care put into the backstory of what this place is when it isn't a fashion show, and making you think about what these rooms were initially used for and why that led for them to be chosen for whatever specific function they serve at the moment.
  17. I learned babygating from Jane's twitter and was very pleased with that knowledge
  18. I can't play hitman right now since I don't have my xbox at the moment and my pc is a baby, so I'm enjoying living vicariously thru the cast's description of it. I always thought there were 6 levels planned, not 4 or 7, but I might be wrong. The progression of these levels is very interesting to me, because it feels like not only does the release schedule mean the players naturally assess each level in more detail and learn from it, but the developers do too. Going from the wonderful weird training missions that approximate the scale of scenarios from old hitman games, to a much larger scale version of that single-location idea, and then to a large but complex fragmented environment that interacts and flows in more sweeping ways. Marrakesh is the next location, and from what I've heard about it adds to the sense of progression, set in a more openly hostile and harrowing urban environment. interested to see what the back half of this "season" is like. Oh, and as far as I've seen, each episode actually has a name for its main mission. Paris was titled "Showstopper", and Sapienza was "The World of Tomorrow". I actually like learning about the goofy targets and whatever story connects them, and this mini-series like presentation and structure seems like it'll add something to that aspect for me when I finally end up playing it.

    Titanfall 1 felt to me like a purer evolution of call of duty: instead of getting so insanely complicated in terms of gun and perks customization, there was a reasonable amount of customization spread out across your human and titan loadouts, and the combinations of the two. It was really easy to play a lot of it and the movement was fun, and made the modes about capturing multiple spaces most interesting because of the motivation to move around. I dislike this type of shooter on principle, as I prefer a slower, more strategic pace. But it was cool for what it was. And the smart pistol was a satisfying gun to use. probably won't play this one, but looking forward to seeing it anyways. EDIT: oh, by the way it was announced and leaked a while ago, it's supposed to have space magic in it, whatever that means.
  20. I believe the paris level is called "Showstopper". I think maybe the reason I liked Absolution was that for me, the fact that hitman games have big non-linear environments isn't really what attracts me to them. I just enjoy the act of solving stealth puzzles, and it's fine to me if that's done along a choice of three basic paths in a more linear level as long as the solving part is still interesting. In fact, I think the more focused approach allowed them to make more intricate and interesting patterns than the kind of stuff I saw in blood money, though I enjoy that game just fine. But I really liked being asked to do an insanely specific and precise thing in order to clear a level perfectly in absolution, and blood money felt a bit mushier.
  21. It still takes place in the same weird circular structure, but the fact that it's set at night with stark lighting helps hide a lot of the obvious artifice.
  22. I believe you still hear the npc chatter with opportunities turned off. A Hitman player who's done a lot of cool vids for the series just released a run done "Silent Assassin, Suit Only, No Knockouts, All Help Disabled". There's a lot of subtle AI manipulation in that video to make the kill possible, it makes the game look super easy, at first glance. Despite how things might appear, no-one actually sees either of the targets as they die. Can't wait for more vids of this type, as well as the speedrun community once the game (or season, I guess) is fully released.
  23. I wish Dan and Vinny were on a cast together, because I feel like that would not work so profoundly that it would actually swing around to working. I think they've had a few really good interactions on some of the megacasts. Dan is less of an actual asshole than folks give him credit for. I refuse to follow him on twitter because his twitter is often infuriating, but I feel like twitter tends to magnify everyone's most infuriating aspects, and I enjoy him in all GB content i've seen him in. I also really hope he continues to coach brad through each new Hitman 2016 quick look, because that's a really fun way to record a stealth game: with a devil on your shoulder who has bizarrely specific desires
  24. What happened to Sean on Idle Thumbs?

    Honestly I hadn't really noticed, but I guess it's true that in recent times the cast has been pretty consistent in terms of who's on it. Perhaps going back to listen to old episodes recently has skewed my perception a bit. Anyways, I'm sure it won't be that hard to get used to more infrequent vanaman appearances, just like it feels like Steve is a regular part of the cast even though he's not been on more often than not. Hopefully Thumbs will be going for many more years, and if this decision is part of what prolongs it, i think that's cool.
  25. Haven't played hitman due to not having my console with me at the moment, but I've enjoyed watching a bunch of stuff from the tutorial levels that were in the beta. Interesting but small thing: though the second tutorial level looks a bit more convincingly real, it actually still takes place in the big circular pit (is it a hydroelectric dam or something? I always forget what those things are called) that the first mission took place in, and still has an air of simulacrum to it. I kind of enjoy it, because for the first one it's ostensibly the basic challenge course that applying assassination agents get put through, wheras the next one is a more advanced test meant for clearing agents for field duty. So there's a sense of progression in how seriously the Agency is taking 47 during these tests. Another thing I really liked was how even though the yacht and dock is the only usable area on the training course, they bothered to cover a huge amount of unused floorspace with a tarp to imply water, and draped the entire side of the big structure with a huge fake curtain emblazoned with the colors of a sunset. It may be ramshackle, but there's a sense of pride taken in the theming of this set, and it reinforces the Agency's resources and extravagant self-image. It's like they're trying to intimidate prospective agents with the implication of how they put all this together, how they managed to hire so many ordinary and extraordinary looking people to participate in a clearly sinister excercise, even if it is with "simulated weapons". I've heard but haven't seen that there is some NPC dialogue that is meant to give the impression of an actor breaking character as they see the player doing something odd or as they react to something in the environment. I really like the throwaway line from Diana when the player first uses a disguise: "You've put on his clothes? I can't say I've seen anyone try that before.", briefly acknowledging the ridiculousness of such a specific action being one of the central conceits of gameplay in the series. Of course it's immediately followed up with the justification "Well, people do tend to see uniforms, not faces", which does make a certain amount of sense. Still, I doubt that on-site procurement of disguises is actually a common technique in the real-life world of assassination. Regarding opportunities to kill targets being explicitly listed, I don't really have a huge problem with that, but I'd definitely turn all the in-game tracker UI off (which I've heard you can do) and only look at the list of possibilities once my own deductive skills began to exhaust themselves. That was my approach in Absolution, which I rather liked despite the few unambiguously gross segments (all three of which involved gory NPC on NPC murder of innocents as you sneak around a level, oddly enough) EDIT: Oh, also I like that they made 47 look kind of like an actual normal secret agent movie man who happens to be bald and tattooed instead of a vampire with mr potato head angry eyebrows