What have we all been playing recently?

Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by ironicBonds, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. aetherGeologist

    aetherGeologist Well-Known Member

    Playing throught three houses again - Blue Lions this time
     
    • Like x 2
  2. Verily

    Verily a very ineffective hitman

    Outer Wilds! Fucking fantastic game. Just finished it. I’ve been posting about this on my blog thread, but why not mention it in the actual game thread? It’s a good player move, if possible, to bring some friends. But friends you won’t get tired of seeing for several full days of gaming. Like, full days. This game is much bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside.

    I think it might be one of the best games I’ve ever played. Which, again, I would like to make a distinction between any remotely objective idea of best, and very subjective things like most fun and favorite. As objectively as I can get, this game is the best. It’s good like a world class ballet is good, as in you might need a game developer to appreciate just how fucking deft it is, because it looks effortless. I still feel stunned, like I didn’t believe in the existence of a game virtuoso until I smacked face first into an entire team at terminal velocity and we all died on impact. People in our little play group kept asking who the creative director was, and if this Andrew Beachum fellow really hadn’t worked on anything like this before. The game’s writer is his sister, and it looks like she has exactly one other project on her resume, as a contractor for Insomniac, which is also extremely shocking. This is a magnum opus of a game. A rustic magnum opus with campfires and a fucking banjo.

    But it started out as a school project for a masters program. It won an award and caught the attention of actor Masi Oka, who was working on the TV show Heroes at the time. He was apparently using earnings from the show to fund the game’s continuing development. It later got crowd funding as well I think, then eventually got picked up by Annapurna, a production company, which is probably why it’s as polished as it is. This game has been through a whole process. It’s unfortunately locked in a distribution agreement with Epic Games of Fortnite infamy, but that’s a time limited deal. The fact that they have a Steam page completely ready to go except for the release date being listed as TBA seems like they are Prepared for that fucking contract to expire. Currently I think it’s available for some version of Xbox, as well as Windows PCs for about 25 bucks I believe, so it’s not like it’s priced unreasonably at all. Afaik there’s no DLC or add-ons, nor can I imagine it needs any because it’s a complete whole of a story. The sales page will spoil a very early game discovery, but the game doesn’t really treat it like much of a secret. It’s kinda the premise, so people usually wanna know a little bit about that before they invest in a story. Even if you don’t pick up on what’s happening as a player right away, the player character obviously has. I started playing with absolutely no information whatsoever and I found out from them.

    So, the game. You are a blue four eyed alien from a wonderfully rustic planet, like I said. Banjos. Your species appears to have something resembling sexual dimorphism but all use “they” pronouns, which I appreciate. You’re an astronaut camping under the stars by your spaceship on the night before your first launch. You can roast a marshmallow before you go if you like. Your ship is made of scavenged and cleverly rejiggered technology and partially constructed of wood, which is a little unnerving, but no worries, these things don’t explode nearly as often as they used to. Safety first, right? Have a great trip!

    The game has some rather difficult platforming as you navigate space as a fully 360 degree environment, but you’re not actually expected to be super good at the beginning. In fact, being kinda bad at it will aid you in your explorations more than you might think. There’s so much to see, and sometimes the coolest or most useful things aren’t exactly where you thought you wanted to go. Which is good because otherwise this would be beyond frustrating. But fear not, you’ll have plenty of time to get the hang of it. This game is expansive. You can get days into it and realize with consternation that you’re somehow still adding more questions than you’re answering.

    You seem to be a linguist, or a technolinguist, as well as an astronaut. You and a friend have developed a handheld device that can automatically translate this cool alien writing from an ancient civilization. You’re about to be the first member of your species to be able to read while you explore.

    So you can get the hell into your ship and you can just go fly to all the planets in your solar system. (Watch out for the sun, it’s very hot and has a lot a gravity, the fucker. This game was made in Unity, and if you’re familiar with Unity, please take a moment to chew on that. If you’re not familiar, someone probably had to program the equations of an entire solar system and an unpredictable moving spaceship and figure out how to math between that. You can’t necessarily just take the equations straight out of a physics book either, because overly realistic physics may not be a very fun game. No one wants to spend eight years in a game traveling to a gas giant or lose control of their character’s jump trajectory the second they leave the ground. So someone probably spent a lot of time fine tuning everything about this so it would feel realistic but not too realistic. With math.) Every single planet is fucking weird and super interesting in a completely unique way. And there’s ruins of this civilization to explore. They’re all over the place. What were they up to? What happened to them?

    And then things get really weird. You’re now somehow tangled in this mystery. If you loved Myst and Riven but wanted more from the alien culture and technology, here’s your more. If you love exploration mystery games where something bad seems to have happened and you need to find and examine all the evidence to figure out what and why, this game has got something to show you and it’s a doozy. If you like games where you can have or research outside knowledge from disparate fields to enhance your understanding, oh boy are you in for a treat, though if you’d rather not you’ll be perfectly fine because the internal logic is solid and careful enough that you don’t actually need to correlate it to any outer structure. If you love environmental storytelling, please please please consider Outer Wilds, because I’ve never seen any game so thoroughly deliberate. Everything is there for a reason. It all has something to tell you or show you or teach you. There is only one thing I can think of in the entire game where a notable object may not have served any real function or had anything to offer you as a player besides just looking beautiful, and that’s still arguable.

    And the story. I don’t wanna say too much, but getting players to want to read things in games is a known issue. It’s challenging. Look, so I’m the type of player who collects books in Elder Scrolls games because I genuinely enjoy reading them, but I’m also the player who can’t ask more than one question of an NPC at a time if the game isn’t recording the information because I will immediately forget all the details of everything the instant I exit the dialogue menu. I don’t think I’ve ever, ever wanted to read anything in a video game as desperately as I wanted to read literally everything in Outer Wilds, and the extremely high level of recall I have speaks to how well the information was presented. When I found new information I could recontextualize what I already knew, so I was definitely retaining it. The writing didn’t ever waste your time. Much like the rest of the game design, everything served a story purpose. I can’t imagine it’s easy to craft the written elements of a story that must be highly resilient to nonlinear presentation because it’s an open world game, and have it mesh seamlessly with the environmental storytelling, and make it compelling enough that players will not only want to read it but will actually remember the most important information. It was done exceedingly well. The game never tells you how you ought to feel about anything. It shows you stuff but then backs off enough to let you work that out on your own, while still managing to create drive and intensity in the narrative arc. If you could write an entire game in the spirit of I-statements and somehow make it really good, maybe it would look something like this. Hats off to Kelsey Beachum, writer and narrative designer. Fucking hell. I need more hats.

    So if you’re looking for a rustic open world space adventure platformer exploration mystery game with understated yet emotionally devastating story beats, I’d highly recommend Outer Wilds.
     
    • Informative x 4
  3. Erica

    Erica occasionally vaguely like a person

    a friend gifted me pathologic 2 and i am OBSESSED
    it's very good
    infodumping to arrive at a later date
     
    • Like x 3
    • Winner x 1
  4. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    graveyard keeper! I’m not very good at it so far (been trying not to look things up too much) but it’s a lot of fun!!
     
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  5. Aondeug

    Aondeug Oya Manda

    Edelgard killed a fearsome were...something. That turned out to just be a grizzly bear. Not even a magical one.

    her days in daggerfall begin
     
    • Winner x 3
  6. Helen of Boy

    Helen of Boy Hugcrafter Pursuivant

    Was bouncing between Three Houses, Yakuza 0, and Octopath Traveller... but now Hades has risen up and claimed me.
     
  7. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    question - does anyone have tips on how not to lose track of tasks and info in Stardew-like games? I forget literally half the things NPCs say immediately after I get out of the dialogue, and GK’s days of the week thing causes me much pain. I wish you could set yourself in-game reminders and take notes.
     
    • Agree x 1
  8. Bunny

    Bunny aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    I have sections in just about every notebook I have actually used in recent times dedicated to various games.

    Graveyard keeper ended up needing a bunch of pages. No way I could have remembered all the things I needed to mix up and do without.

    Also like notebooks because then I don't have to go digging through in game menus or tab out to check my info.

    I imagine a phone note app or Google docs or suchlike would be similarly useful and possibly easier to organise
     
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  9. Anomal(eee)

    Anomal(eee) Grumblepunk Gremlin

    I've mostly been having my life eaten by work, but I've been playing Secret World: Legends on weekends and I really like it! With the whole cinematic feel and the fact that the investigation quests are even a thing (an MMO with actual puzzles and riddles and shit hell yes) and the character and monster designs are really cool, it's apparently just hitting the sweet spot of "I like this! ANOTHER!"

    ...Sooo I accidentally all the way to level 19 and don't know how any of the in game social stuff works OTL

    If anybody here plays & wants a buddy I'm Anomaleee there too :)
     
  10. bornofthesea670

    bornofthesea670 Well-Known Member

    I've been on the fence about graveyard keeper for ages, but I finally watched a let's play for it (mostly listened to one while playing gleaner heights) and I had no idea i'd like it this much. I have most of the map opened up except for the town (digging up random rockslides, yus) and I like the characters a lot. tho since I've been playing gleaner heights lately...any amount of character is nice XD (I feel like gleaner heights is trying real hard, and I appreciate a lot of the game mechanics, but I cannot give a single shit about these folks. im not far in the storyline yet tho, putting that on hold while I grind, so maybe that's part of it)

    but my brain is just really jiving with this weird medieval world where I casually slipped into cannibalism. look it's fine. I cooked it all the way through, and im definitely not lighting my little church up with corpse wax candles. that would be silly. not looking forward to the dungeon grindy stuff later, but as long as I can take breaks and go back to my little blasphemous homestead to take care of my business I think i'll manage. Im getting the dlc after I finish most of the main game though, I don't want to put too much on my plate.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Agree x 1
  11. Aondeug

    Aondeug Oya Manda

    Octopath is fucking rad. Just grinding up all my people to at least level 20. Then I'm gonna go and get to doing Prim's chapter 2. Real fun combat.
     
    • Like x 1
  12. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    Spyro Reignited trilogy! It's wild playing it as a competent adult now.
     
    • Agree x 2
  13. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    i play too much dead cells BUT I finally beat the game on very hard difficulty a few weeks ago and now am bashing my head against Expert to get that sweet 4th boss stem cell
     
    • Winner x 3
  14. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    I'm enjoying the addition of volcanoes to Civ IV, and the overall addition of environmental effects and diplomacy stuff, though the clear and predictable limit of flooding is silly
     
    • Like x 4
    • Winner x 1
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