Ben X

The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

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I might be mistaken, but I think simply changing the difficulty changes the damage for both the player and enemies, no mod needed.

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Btw, have you thought about adding E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy to the list?

 

It has some RPG elements but I'd say that it's primarily a shooter.

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This is a backlog-busting playthrough, so I'll only add a game if someone buys it for me or it becomes free!

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I love reading this thread and selfishly want to extend it for as long as possible, so I checked my list of spare keys for FPS games that fit in chronologically. I don't have E.Y.E., but I do have a bunch from 2007-2010: TimeShift, Call of Juarez, Legendary, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, Section 8, Sniper: Ghost Warrior. Check your DMs!

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After some discussion with Laco in PMs, taking into account their recommendations, critical reception and my previous experiences, I'm going to accept their generous offer of:

 

Call of Juarez (15/09/06)

TimeShift (30/10/07)

Section 8 (01/09/09)

Sniper: Ghost Warrior (29/06/10)

Superhot (25/02/15)

 

I'll have to jump back in time a few months for Juarez, but that's okay. (I'll also have to remove the 66% complete from the title! [EDIT: actually, I forgot to count the ones I'd already played, so I'm still pretty much at that %])

 

Thanks Laco, it's nice to know people are enjoying the thread!

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Man, Stalker seems like a game series that's really in my wheelhouse, but I've tried to start it three times and bounced off it each time. Maybe I'll take a shot at CoP and see if I can stay immersed.

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You should try this thing called the Complete Mod!

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15 hours ago, Ben X said:

This is a backlog-busting playthrough, so I'll only add a game if someone buys it for me or it becomes free!

I'll grab it for you but I'll wait to see if there's a sale, it was a mid 2011 game so you've got about a dozen games to go before anyway. There's both a lot of good and bad things about it, but it'd be one of the most unique game on the list and I think it's at least worth giving a try even though there's a good chance you might bounce off it. It has a bit of a learning curve, which isn't helped by the way it tutorialises or the poor (but charming) translation.

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On 7/8/2017 at 0:54 AM, eot said:

I'll grab it for you but I'll wait to see if there's a sale, it was a mid 2011 game so you've got about a dozen games to go before anyway. There's both a lot of good and bad things about it, but it'd be one of the most unique game on the list and I think it's at least worth giving a try even though there's a good chance you might bounce off it. It has a bit of a learning curve, which isn't helped by the way it tutorialises or the poor (but charming) translation.

at the risk of forking discussion, you reminded me that I bought E.Y.E. years ago and never got around to playing it... so I just did.
Even on Easy, it seems... rather hard (although that's partly due to what seems to be horribly janky collision detection - I think I wasted a bunch of shots in firing into geometry which was no-where near my actual line of sight), and I agree that the tutorials could be considerably better. It's a pity, as what little worldbuilding and design I saw before I died on the first set of actual opponents seems interesting.

to elucidate in an edit: the game throws you immediately into a character generation screen, where you mix up to three options (each named after, I think, a station on the Sephirot, so there's immediately a Kabbalistic thing going on) to make a bunch of stats change - with no indication as to which stats are useful or not. Once you've guessed randomly as to what seems useful, you're thrown into an ominous "pre game" area which seems to exist purely to be ominous, and from there into the tutorial area which eot mentions... which is really terrible. (I also couldn't seem to get the spoken dialogue to go English, so I had subtitles on too to see what people were saying). I admit that getting stuck on the "using augmentations to jump higher than normal" bit probably didn't help my mood... but it's followed by being thrown into, what I guess is supposed to be, the combat tutorial... which gets you to pick a bunch of weapons (and play inventory tetris to work out which combinations you can carry), again with no particular indication as to what's a good idea [there's a bunch of stats, but that's not helpful without more context]. And then you go into the combat section which I died in, partly because (like a lot of FPSes) you end up shooting geometry a lot that's nowhere near your aiming reticule if you're using it as cover, partly because there's a bunch of stuff which isn't explained about the importance of cover etc, and partly because it has my most hated feature from RPG-FPS hybrids, the "aiming reticule which slowly contracts over time because your aiming is a skill".
For all I know it's a great game once you internalise all its its rules... but it sure doesn't want to tell you them in advance.

(In looking at reviews, I think the IGN guy sums up my experience, and doesn't bode well for future play:  http://uk.ign.com/articles/2011/08/05/eye-divine-cybermancy-review )

Edited by aoanla
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Thanks for the offer, eot, and the (anachronistic) review, aoania! I'll link back to it when I hit 2011/play EYE myself.

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4 hours ago, aoanla said:

at the risk of forking discussion, you reminded me that I bought E.Y.E. years ago and never got around to playing it... so I just did.
Even on Easy, it seems... rather hard (although that's partly due to what seems to be horribly janky collision detection - I think I wasted a bunch of shots in firing into geometry which was no-where near my actual line of sight), and I agree that the tutorials could be considerably better. It's a pity, as what little worldbuilding and design I saw before I died on the first set of actual opponents seems interesting.

to elucidate in an edit: the game throws you immediately into a character generation screen, where you mix up to three options (each named after, I think, a station on the Sephirot, so there's immediately a Kabbalistic thing going on) to make a bunch of stats change - with no indication as to which stats are useful or not. Once you've guessed randomly as to what seems useful, you're thrown into an ominous "pre game" area which seems to exist purely to be ominous, and from there into the tutorial area which eot mentions... which is really terrible. (I also couldn't seem to get the spoken dialogue to go English, so I had subtitles on too to see what people were saying). I admit that getting stuck on the "using augmentations to jump higher than normal" bit probably didn't help my mood... but it's followed by being thrown into, what I guess is supposed to be, the combat tutorial... which gets you to pick a bunch of weapons (and play inventory tetris to work out which combinations you can carry), again with no particular indication as to what's a good idea [there's a bunch of stats, but that's not helpful without more context]. And then you go into the combat section which I died in, partly because (like a lot of FPSes) you end up shooting geometry a lot that's nowhere near your aiming reticule if you're using it as cover, partly because there's a bunch of stuff which isn't explained about the importance of cover etc, and partly because it has my most hated feature from RPG-FPS hybrids, the "aiming reticule which slowly contracts over time because your aiming is a skill".
For all I know it's a great game once you internalise all its its rules... but it sure doesn't want to tell you them in advance.

(In looking at reviews, I think the IGN guy sums up my experience, and doesn't bode well for future play:  http://uk.ign.com/articles/2011/08/05/eye-divine-cybermancy-review )

Cool that you tried it. I don't think your experience is atypical, which is why it didn't review super well especially with sites like IGN, but there is a lot of good stuff about the game as well. Regarding the hit detection issues, I didn't experience any of that myself so I'm not sure what's going on there. The weapon selection is like that for the entire game, it's not something where you find weapons in the environment or loot them off enemies, although they are gated in different ways. The combat, if you get into it, is actually one of the strongest parts of the game. If you find it difficult on easy I think you can tweak a lot of the difficulty options manually, like detection range and reaction time of enemies and so on. Also, I will say that the "pre-game" area as you call it does have a purpose, but actually unravelling the full story is a bit of a Dark Souls like endeavour.

 

I'll counter your old review with one from this year :)

 

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I mean, to be clear: from what I saw of the setting and design, it looked pretty interesting. It's just frustrating that it's so obtuse about its mechanics - and I suspect that since 2011 games have gotten a lot better at explaining themselves, so its age doesn't help it. (I mean, look at 2016 Doom - it's nowhere near as complex as E.Y.E. probably is, but it has a bunch of systems in it which it introduces to you one by one, it makes things flash colours when you can do a special thing to them, colours areas you can jump and can't jump green and red respectively, and generally spends a surprising amount of effort trying to help you understand how it works. I'm still terrible at Doom too, but I at least feel like I understand what I'm being bad at. I basically died in E.Y.E.s combat without really understanding what I was doing wrong, or even if I was using the right weapons. )

And to be fair to E.Y.E. the geometry thing is a personal bug-bear of mine - it happens in a lot of FPS which don't have "explicit cover" if you're trying to hide close to some geometry and shoot around it, because the line between your reticule and your gun is different to the line between the camera and the reticule, so bullets will clip geometry.
In any case, I'll probably give it another go, in a bit, because bits of the setting (and probably bits of the mechanics, if they're this complicated) seem worth putting effort into... but I suspect I'm going to have to go read a bunch of third-party guides first just to understand how and what to do about anything.

[Lack of weapon drops is awesome, by the way: the reason I've never made it through a Diablo-like (in which I include Borderlands) is frustration with the "vendor-trash" drop problem.]

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Aha I see what you're saying about the clipping. I had forgotten it was that way in E.YE. but for me it's not something bad, I kinda like games where the guns have a more physical presence and you don't shoot straight out of your camera. Depends on the game though of course, it'd be terrible in Quake.

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It was particularly egregious in the bit I was in, because I was hiding by a set of pipes, and shooting through a (admittedly quite large) gap between them. It just feels so unnatural to me - because in real life, you'd move your bloody arms to a different position so you could shoot through the gap, not hold them in the same place all the time.

 

 

[Also, so as not to make yet another post on E.Y.E., I'm editing in this comment: I watched your review of E.Y.E., and I note that it specifically mentions that the death system results in bad players potentially finding things even harder (because you can get permanent stat debuffs from death). This is... not an incentive for a poor player to play your game, to put it mildly. In fact, many things in that review just make me much less interested in playing E.Y.E. and much more interested in just watching someone else play it. And, as someone who doesn't understand how to use the radial menus in the game, and finds the entire menu control interface horribly unpleasant, I think the "positive" review actually put me off E.Y.E. more than the IGN one did!]

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I wanted to like EYE so badly, but it is not a good game. Right off the bat its systems are completely unwieldy and opaque. Instead of a brief in-game sequence or in-menu tooltips, the tutorial is a big menu of pre-recorded videos. Videos that were made with a not-final version of the game, so some of the UI doesn't match, making it that much harder to figure out what the fuck you're trying to do. After a few hours, I got into some mission where I was just running down a long canyon for half an hour or more, trying to not die from giant enemies that took 5-10 minutes to kill. Even after popping on god mode, it was a boring slog, so I just stopped playing.

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On ‎7‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 3:50 PM, Ben X said:

You should try this thing called the Complete Mod!

 

I've tried a couple different full mod packs I don't actually remember the name of right now. I think that was one? I dunno, it's been a year or so at this point so I don't even remember clearly what my issues were.

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Okay, big decision time. I'm classifying the STALKER games as RPGs and taking them off the menu. Not just because of this classification, but also because I'm finding it all too confusing and messy for me to want to push through endless tough encounters with large groups of enemies. I was getting better at them, working out tactics like using the crosshair/zoom function on the weapons, constantly hiding, using bandages if I get anywhere near 50% health, and trying to search each body as I come to it if safe. But I'd get through one of these fights, then get to the next story point which is just "help us kill all these people!" or "I don't have the information either, but this person just the other side of a bunch of enemies does!" again. Meanwhile, I'm getting told that I failed some mission I wasn't even aware of, or I'm wandering into a radiation zone and dying before I can even read the hint that tells me what's going on. Then the game crashed.

 

I can see a lot of interesting stuff going here, but it is all hugely obfuscated. I think what I'll do is come back to them at some point, on Easy difficulty setting with the Complete mod installed.

 

So, onto (or back in time to, in fact) Call Of Juarez!

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First episode (basically the tutorial) completed, and so far seems pretty cool. Looks nice enough (I'm playing the DX10 version!), there's some fun cheesy Western storytelling (though the start-to-blowjob-from-whore time was about 3 minutes) and the idea of playing a different character from the town in each episode is cool. Seems to be setting up some nice mechanics, too, with the double-handed set-up and the mantling and whipping handy for chases or finding good rooftop positions.

Unfortunately, not everything seems to work too smoothly - whipping and even walking down cliffsides is far too tricky (I've already learnt to quicksave before every one of these), the run button doesn't seem to work, and there's platforming and fucking stealth mechanics (which also don't seem to work). If the player has died or hit a failstate twenty times in the tutorial, you're not teaching them properly or your game is janky. Hopefully it'll not insist on these being used too much...

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Looks like this game's modus operandi is 'introduce a cool mechanic, make sure it doesn't work very well'. Lots of nice ideas here, like the showdown mechanic where you have to draw your gun, lean and fire, the bullet-time move and even some of the stealth stuff like lightning revealing you but thunder covering the sound of your whip. Unfortunately, they're all either a bit fiddly or just plain don't seem to work - that whip one especially.  So far the atmosphere and general Western fun of kicking through a door then taking down two bandits at the same time with your dual pistols is just about making up for the sloppy execution though.

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Oh god, Call of Juarez... We did a marathon session of this game by playing through it and two of its sequels. That game is a goddamn mess, Bound in Blood and Gunslinger are both tighter, more interesting games.

 

I will say there is a brilliant bit in Call of Juarez where you have to climb up a cliff, it is broken and awkward but has a brilliant sense of scale.

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Sure is! I've got all the games on the list in the OP, spoiler tagged and in date order.

 

I'm out of the mines (ugh, mine levels) and onto the train bit now, which is quite cool. I've just got to a bit where I'm supposed to shoot some lock off the train, but despite the objective marker I can't figure out where this bloody lock is.

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Turns out the lock was on the other side of the train! I probably could have figured that out myself if I'd realised the logs also record what NPCs say to you - the cavalry dude did say it was on the right side. It might have been a previously closed-off path that confused me.

 

Anyway, this game is really starting to take the piss. After another extended stealth sequence and another shitty melee sequence, I've now met up with an old Indian who has so far tasked me with killing three rabbits (which required a good five minutes of horse-riding over open terrain), putting out a fire (which required walking back and forth about five times to the river with a bucket, all to a thrilling countdown timer!) and now I've got to go climb a mountain to get an eagle feather. Tommy Tawodi never had to do this shit.

 

The cut corners are starting to show as well, with re-used character models and, most cheekily of all, re-used levels as you take both characters through the same exact route, one after the other. Also there's far too much glitching and jagging for a game this recent, especially as I'm playing on Windows 7 and a PC that I bought in 2012.

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So that eagle feather deal was the cliff-climbing bit twmac was referring to. The scale is effective, but the fact that it's about ten minutes of mantling (which is very slow and involves a constipated-sounding voice clip) and swinging on your whip (which is, surprise, fiddly).

 

I then went through a load of boulder-pushing puzzles and a fucking temple filled with fucking booby-traps that require precision platforming (guess how easy that is in this game) and fucking swarms of poisonous fucking spiders that you have to whip to death. After that, the game started to show its potential - a pretty fun shootout in the treasure room, then an amazing section at the villain's villa where you're running around slow-mo killing bandits as you dive in and out of room, swap weapons and use a cannon to blast the door down. If the game had been more like this I would have loved it.

 

Unfortunately, I'm now stuck in a boss fight where you have to chase this guy in between three little rooms filled with fiddly boxes, and try to get shots off at him while he chucks dynamite at you and seemingly uses teleport technology. Then it crashed. I'm very close to the end now, so I'm going to try and push through it tomorrow, but this boss may just induce a rage-quit.

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