Ben X

The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

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Oh man I really liked Receiver, never beat it tho. Never have I played an FPS where I felt less like an actionhero and more like just a normal, scared motherfucker with a gun. The realistic reloading mechanic drives home the point that your pistol is a cumbersome, imprecise piece of machinery, and yet it's the only thing protecting you from a swift death.

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Serious Sam 3 only has half the max coop player count as E.Y.E.:Divine Cybermancy, SS3 is 16, E.Y.E. is 32.

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I think E.Y.E. has 32 because it's a bit like a broken out Half-Life 2 mod, and the player count was already there in the tech. It's not really built for 32 players.

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The only time I played SS3 was split screen, on a PC with dual monitors, two keyboards and two mice. It worked fine.

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I gave both EYE and SS3 a bit of a try.

 

EYE is indeed very complicated, and the best attempt at tutorials is a long list of badly-labeled, short silent videos you can watch. I have some stuff half-figured out, but I suspect I will indeed keep this to co-op only. Jut and I tried today already but it was rather difficult (of course) to get a co-op game going without looking into port forwarding and stuff, so we had to put it off for at least a few hours.

 

Serious Sam 3 starts off rather slowly, feeling more like a sci-fi CoD game at first as you get a cutscene involving your helicopter full of dickhead marines (thankfully Sam has not gone full Nukem, although he quips more regularly and sounds more like a Muppet than I remember) getting shot down, then you make your way through the alleyways of war-torn Egypt as alien spaceships fly overhead and zap high-rise buildings to rubble in the distance. I guess this is designed to slowly acclimatise modern gamers to the Serious Sam style of FPS, slowly drawing them out of the corridors into bigger arenas and waves of enemies. It was great to turn a corner and see three dozen purple-topped dudes running at me. The graphics are nice enough, all of the enemies have been updated very faithfully. Now I'm into full-on SS gameplay, it feels pretty faithful too, although there seem to be a couple of new irritating enemy types, either acid-spitting ceiling bugs or long-range sniper type guys who are super-hard to hit. I think I'm finding it a bit harder too, though I may just be rusty. I've just hit a really tough part with a huge wave of bombheads, and after a fair few tries I decided I might put this on the co-op pile too, if anyone else has it!

 

So, this means I'm going to move onto Receiver as my current single-player game.

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Okay, I got to the point in Receiver where I'd managed to absorb a couple of tapes and shoot a couple of robots, but it's just a few too many challenging/irritating mechanics piled on top of each other. I was hoping for a Surgeon Simulator 2013 feel, this is more like Operation Flashpoint Extreme. I liked the idea more than the execution.

 

Forum thread here: https://www.idlethumbs.net/forums/topic/7869-receiver

 

 

Meanwhile, Jut and I had to give up on EYE for now. I don't know if anyone else has it and would like to set up a co-op server?

 

Single-player-wise, it's onto Dishonored. I'm hoping that I enjoy this more than Thief et al - this is another of those games where I want to like it but I may not be able to get past some stuff. Looking Glass games, basically. I also feel like I might be a little RPG/immersive simmed out after DXHR - if I get the impression that taking a break for a bit in order to enjoy the game is required, I'll have to switch to Arkham City or Max Payne or something as a palate-cleanser.

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In Dishonored you an totally go guns blazing/ swords swinging and enjoy it if you're not in the mood for lots of sneaking about the place.

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2 minutes ago, thepaulhoey said:

In Dishonored you an totally go guns blazing/ swords swinging and enjoy it if you're not in the mood for lots of sneaking about the place.

 

Yeah, it's really fun like that. The only downside is that there's a lot of finger-shaking from the devs if you go for a high-violence, high-chaos route, but it doesn't impact your game mechanically.

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Oh yeah, swords. Another damn melee system with a timed-block mechanic. I only got the chance to try it once and I kind of managed it, so hopefully it won't be another irritating one.

 

I played up to the point where I got DISHONORED and also imprisoned. The art design is great - painterly lighting, slightly caricatured character design, and an industrial England/mediterranean/Discworld-y feel to the setting. And by far the best video game rats I've ever seen - great models full of character that scamper about, sit up and look around, wash themselves, and when they run into a dark corner all you can see is their little white eyes glowing out at you. It's good at teaching you about the mechanics and setting in an integrated narrative way, too.

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Dishonoured has a way different feel than any Thief game. You're not a flimsy thief trying to steal, you're some kind of magical assassin that can kill anything that moves or just teleport around no problem.

 

I don't think the game points this enough: YOU CAN SLIDE, out of sprinting I think. I don't remember the parrying being that precise, it's not needed much anyway, there's no boss fights or anything like that.

 

Probably save watching this 360_no_scope_montage until you finish the game or are done with it, it does have some spoilers.

 

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It's way more action-focussed than Thief. You have superpowers! I really loved how the weapons and abilities meshed together, it gives you a lot of options (some of which you'll see in the video above). Getting caught usually just means that it's time to break out the good stuff. Or of course you could teleport across the rooftops and make your getaway.

 

Really mean to get round to playing it again sometime, my last playthrough was too cautious and stealthy...

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Dishonored is tremendous, its DLC is even better, Dishonored 2 is stupendous, and its DLC is super great too! Arkane knocks so many balls out of the park that you'd think they'd be banned from the park or something.

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This is all reassuring, thanks everyone! I'm sure I'll find something to grumble about though.

 

Speaking of which, that guy Mandalore who did the EYE video review that eot linked to a while back (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AScCVzENcjs) has done a fair few reviews of games I've played for this thread, and he's the opposite of me in that he puts a huge amount of effort into wrestling the best out of even the most obtuse or flawed games. Fun watches.

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I was a bit underwhelmed by Dishonored, for some reason. I finished it, but it never really clicked with me. But I'm enjoying Prey so much right now it's convinced me I gotta give Dishonored 2 a chance. Arkane really knows their stuff.

 

12 hours ago, Jutranjo said:

Probably save watching this 360_no_scope_montage until you finish the game or are done with it

 

StealthGamerBR is a goddamn artiste. Love that guy's videos!

 

Also

 

Serious Sam 3 - it's alright! Played a bit of it in co-op. Hectic and fun, but I dunno if it's a particularly great co-op game. Doesn't really require a lot of teamwork so everyone just runs around doing their own thing.

EYE - I didn't wanna rain on anyone's parade earlier but since it seems to have ended it tears anyway, I thought this game was terrible. Yeah, it starts off kinda interesting with some freaky level design, but then the NPCs open their mouths and nothing could redeem it. I think the dialogue is someone's attempt at humor, but it's just so cringeworthy I couldn't stand it.

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6 hours ago, Henke said:

I was a bit underwhelmed by Dishonored, for some reason. I finished it, but it never really clicked with me. But I'm enjoying Prey so much right now it's convinced me I gotta give Dishonored 2 a chance. Arkane really knows their stuff.

 

I played Dishonored and Deus Ex: HR at almost the same time, and DX: HR clicked much more for me than the former did, even though I was going mostly-nonlethal/terrible at stealth with both of them. (I think part of the problem is actually that it's pretty hard to non-lethally deal with people who've seen you in Dishonored, whilst DX:HR has a lot more tools for that. Much is made of how "powerful" you can be in both - but Dishonored has a heck of a lot more killing-or-otherwise-doing-bad-things-to-people skills, none of which were really useful to me. (Even possession kills your host if it's a small animal). And I was terrible at the swordfighting, if I ever tried it...)

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Just playing through Dishonored now, really wasn't expecting the environmental story telling to go as far as it does, it's proper tear jerky in places. Fits in perfectly with the theme of the world and pretty well with the actions of the player/plot. Regarding the combat, although I didn't initially I tend to reload if I get into a proper scrap as I now have the level 1 stealth kill perk which encourages me to sneak up on people before killing them which is in itself a pretty satisfying reward along with clearing out the guards. Unfortunately, I have had some super bad run ins with hitting triggers in weird places, like I'll complete an objective, turn around and there'll now be 3 guards there trying to kill me for murdering their lord. But otherwise it's been a great experience so far, may well play the second one or even possible Prey next.

 

 

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Goddammit, editor, stop restoring my previous content!

 

Ok, so EYE and SS3 are on the bench, waiting for any co-op-portunities. Here's the thread for the latter. I'm not sure if I'd realised there was a SS2 and that it was so different aesthetically , but frankly I could have done with a bit of that in either of the Sam games I played. The thing everyone remembers about Serious Sam is the bomb-head guys. Why not have some other silly enemies, and a setting other than 'yellow' while they're at it?

 

Anyway, I'm progressing slowly through Dishonored. I'm going to go FULL SPOILERS so anyone playing along for the first time please be careful when reading (but also please tag spoilers for me if you're going to post about your experience!).

 

So I've now realised why the rats look so good in this game - they're plot-relevant and also have some mechanics revolving around them. They swarm around the place, reducing bodies, living or dead, to a bloodstain in seconds (an amusing puzzle was having to distract them by flinging some corpses their way). Also, apparently I'll be able to possess them at some point.

 

The design is all still very nice, lovely character design with the big Olly Moss hands, and a pub setting with a rebel drinking a pint of ale while he spoke to me that almost made me exit the game and head down to my local. I also noticed a food item labeled "Pratchett Jellied Eels", which was a nice nod.

 

I've been through the standard 'mystical zone with floating bits of walkway and what have you' section and have started picking up some cool powers like dash and 'heart which guides you to pick-ups and also tells you secrets about whichever character or place you point it at'. It's all fairly linear so far, but I assume it'll open up a bit. Dark Messiah wasn't that open, but I get the impression this leans closer to immersive sim territory. I found the very first stealth-or-fight option they presented me with to be impossible to stealth through, but apart from that everything has felt pretty sturdy - even rope-climbing! Also the block mechanic seems pretty forgiving. I think maybe it will always block but you have to time it correctly to daze the opponent, which feels like a good way to do it.

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I'm kind of not enjoying Dishonored so far. I'm getting annoyed by stuff on both the RPG side (e.g. confusing objectives) and the combat side (e.g. long reload times), plus the two aspects are constantly at odds with each other. I'm very much getting a Dark Messiah vibe where they want me to do lots of cool and clever stuff but then make it really fiddly to pull it off.

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Okay, I'm enjoying this again now. I've levelled up a fair bit, and quite early, so stuff is feeling a bit more satisfying now. My general strategy is to sneak around as much as I can, collecting runes and what have you, but as soon as anyone spots me, kill 'em all. Stealth is far too difficult and unrewarding to be worth the effort; for example, you're normally fine to loudly and leisurely empty an area of enemies without worry of reinforcements. The other thing to get used to is that basic combat is no use if you have more than one opponent on you, so at that point it's best to either bullet-time your way through the fight, or get to high ground then summon a gang of rats to eat them.

 

I'm still doing a lot of standard RPG scavenging, which isn't always the best, but the setting is great and they pack a fair amount of interesting content in there to find. The wolf-hounds are as wonderfully designed as the rats, too. I just wish there were a way to knock them unconscious without sleep darts. I've had to kill far too many of them.

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I'm around 75% through this, I think. I just did the bit at the masquerade ball where you and your mask fit in so you can chat to guests, pick pockets and sneak around for clues. That was fun (although once you're spotted doing something naughty before you work out your target's identity, you're basically screwed).

 

I'm enjoying this, but not as much as I feel like I should be. I'm having a tough time figuring out why, though. I think it's the weird balance where it acts like it wants to be an RPG, but then you pretty much get forced into combat. And that would probably be fine - it's how I'm playing now - but the combat is let down by the AI, I think. Basically, you trip an alarm, you get a line of four guys running straight at you and then they just crowd in front of you and wale on you. So you either just shoot them one by one, or bullet-time stab them one by one. I really have to force myself to use the more outre powers like death-by-rat. (I've also never had a need to possess a rat or dog.)  It's basically a less successful version of the Bioshock or Jedi Knight combat. The blocking mechanic is great, though; I wonder if the combat would have worked better with sword and magic only, no other weapons. Perhaps fewer but tougher enemies who will chase you over rooftops and such, and maybe actual ammo for each power so you can't just spam one over and over.

 

And the RPG stuff is generally pretty dull, too. It's a cool setting, but the meat and bones of it is the usual trinket-hunting, diary-reading and politics-discussing. The only interesting character I've met is the 6 year old girl.

 

There is an impressive amount of detail and the design is generally great. It's nice to have new stuff show up in the hub if you bother to keep an eye out - one time I discovered the tech nerd spying on a maid having a bath - and little things like chucking a body in the water and watching the fish rush to their dinner are fun to notice.  You also do often feel cool, when you pull off a mid-air kill or successfully repel a couple of swords and deal out finishing moves while they're stunned. It's not a bad game, it's just a mix of two genres and is merely satisfactory at both.

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I think the sequel improves the AI so that they're not so easily manipulated. They'll take their time coming at you, they won't mindlessly follow one after another into traps etc. I think it's similar in BioShock in that regard, they give you so much freedom that it's easy to find an exploit that works well and you have to actively choose not to do it to maintain some level of fun in the game.

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