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ConstableJelly ,

Awesome. I've got a real soft spot for Greedfall, so I've had my eye on Steelrising for a while.

Heard good things about Rollerdome. It didn't really seem like my cup of tea but I'll give it a shot.

ConstableJelly ,

Ha, same. Foamstars looks like a fun idea but even the thought of playing competitively is exhausting.

ConstableJelly ,

This game is a crucial commentary on the state of gaming and its relationship with real-world conflict, especially for the point in time when it was released. As we continue to look back at the legacy of gaming as a media and art form, Spec Ops should be a critical bookmark.

The idea it would just be abandoned, and could be lost to time, due to licensing issues is...frustratingly stupid.

ConstableJelly ,

Subscribed. I check in on the community with my kbin account (can't view from Beehaw), so happy to have another community I can see from here.

ConstableJelly ,

Exact same reaction. First person feels so inappropriate for this property that I immediately assumed comparisons to Uncharted and Tomb Raider must have been a, if not the, major contributing factor to going first person.

First person perspective blurs the line between player and character for a specific type of immersion (when done well). An Indiana Jones game should be all about playing as motherfucking Indiana Jones, no blurred lines necessary. His stature and costume is integral to the formula that makes him iconic, and without them, the gameplay segments of this trailer make it look like Far Cry: The 80s Adventure Serial.

ConstableJelly ,

I changed my first name because it started with an R and I didn't want to infringe on any of Take Two's precious trademarks.

ConstableJelly OP ,

I've said before that being a PS Plus subscriber has changed the types of games I play by making indie games more accessible to try, with low stakes. Prior, I usually reserved my funds for what I assumed was the biggest bang with AAA titles.

There's value there with having a library of games to just try out. That being said, the trajectory of subscription services generally and "digital ownership" (see Playstation's recent Discovery kerfuffle) is really concerning.

I think Ubisoft's mindset here is on the wrong track (surprise...). Luckily, as others have said, there's not a lot of temptation here for Ubisoft's modern library (Prince of Persia being an admitted exception).

ConstableJelly ,

You've seen everything Hellblade has to offer in the combat department. I enjoyed it personally; it's really slick in its simplicity, but you are right that it's not the main draw. Hellblade shines in its performances, journey, and presentation, like you said. Some of the set pieces are just striking in the best (and worst) ways.

It's a really effective and unique experience overall.

ConstableJelly , (edited )

Alan Wake 2. I'll spare any commentary on all the things it does well and that make it a one of the most ambitiously distinctive (AAA) games...ever? because that's been well covered.

On the other hand, I am kinda surprised that the combat is as... deficient as it is. I never liked the combat experience in the first game. I don't like how the enemies were programmed to run off screen to the sides of view, because Alan isn't nimble enough to pivot direction sufficiently to track multiple enemies, and it just felt cheap and frustrating. Dodging is clunky too.

Control was the next Remedy game I played, and I thought the combat in that game was fantastic. The gunplay felt right, and the paranormal powers were weighty and responsive. Even the levitate power looks and feels fantastic; the animation is super cool and I love watching it.

So I had high hopes for Alan Wake 2, but the combat again feels too imprecise and unbalanced. Dodging is still clunky, projectiles clip through objects, etc.

Oh well. It's a bummer, but in a game like this it's well overshadowed by the strengths.

ConstableJelly ,

92% of all entertainment sales being digital


Admittedly, I'm guilty of this too.

ConstableJelly OP ,

I'm really interested for this game to release. I expect it to be a critical failure and a commercial break-even, mostly due to Rocksteady's (as yet untarnished) pedigree and marketing.

But I also haven't ruled out that it will be a surprise hit. I didn't even realize this wasn't being fully marketed as a live-service game, and who knows, maybe all the hogwash in this article about the "trinity" of gameplay elements and sharing experiences with friends will actually work somehow.

But if it is all the worst things about the live service trend, I do hope it fails for the greater good, all due respect to the individuals who've done their best with it.

ConstableJelly OP ,

You think it'll make money?

Mainly because of the hype/marketing, but I may be overestimating it. It's a good point that Avengers bombed, but I do think Rocksteady is a more competent developer than CD (I'm not personally a big fan of their Tomb Raider games).

I also just tend to think anything is possible until it isn't. It wouldn't be the first game to buck expectations if it somehow managed to be a hit.

Either way, the fact that this is the only game Rocksteady releases in nearly 10 years will be a deep source of bitterness.

ConstableJelly ,

Just started Alan Wake 2 myself yesterday. In the past couple months I played the original's remaster and then replayed Control (including the DLC).

This game's an absolute trip. I've said before that I wasn't terribly hooked by Alan Wake the first time I played it way back, but I fucking loved Control. The world building was fascinating, and there was some new, mind bending idea around every damn corner in the oldest house. But one of the best things it did was expand the world of Alan Wake in a way that benefited them both.

I'm only a few hours in but Remedy is so far promising to deliver on the best of both worlds with renewed vigor. I am hooked this time.

realcaseyrollins , to technology
ConstableJelly ,

"Tracking protection" sounds more like "alternative tracking."

Google's Privacy Sandbox initiative, just like its name implies, was designed to be an alternative to cookies that will allow advertisers to serve users ads while also protecting their privacy. It assigns users to groups according to their interests, based on their recent browsing activities, and advertisers can use that information to match them with relevant ads.

Lot of time, money, and effort toward a moderate improvement rather than just not perceiving users as products. But...improvement is improvement.

What's the downside?

ConstableJelly ,

No argument here. There's a global paradigm shift needed to break out of that mindset should it even be possible, but it still boggles my mind in the meantime the resources invested in sustaining this ecosystem.

ConstableJelly OP ,

This is a very good example of the skewing I imagined. If you're unable or prohibited from using Firefox on work devices (as many environments restrict), all that workday traffic will be coming from "approved" browsers.

ConstableJelly OP ,

I don't think so. The article claims Firefox lost some of its lead developers to Google when it started developing Chrome and then took a long time to regain its footing around 2017. That sounds about right to my recollection. I had admittedly switched to Chrome myself for a while (I'm not terribly tech-savvy, maybe a little more than average) but switched back to Firefox last year. I am still pretty deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem though in other ways.

ConstableJelly OP ,

Boy that paints a grim picture.

ConstableJelly OP ,

Me? Not at all. I actually posted this out of concern because, as I've said elsewhere, I'm a Firefox user, and my layman's impression was that its reputation has been improving over the past couple years. I assumed its user base was doing the same as people grew increasingly concerned with Google's intentions.

Apparently ZDnet has some reputational issues itself I was unaware of.

ConstableJelly OP ,

That came as a surprise to me too. 2.5% is just so little.

ConstableJelly ,

I prefer CHEAP, ACIDIC coffee because I did the pourover too fast on mediocre store-bought grounds that are too fine, LOL.

😄. Get yourself a decent burr grinder, a French press, and some Aldi oat milk (if you don't want black) and you can make as good a cup of coffee as you can get at the best coffee shops.

ConstableJelly ,

As a relatively elder millennial (1987), I'd concede the title of last true pre-internet generation to Gen X. My family got AOL dial-up when I was in 6th grade, which was a little behind the curve compared to my peers, but not much. So I certainly lived through a seminal transition period as the internet developed and became...what it is today.

But the hallmark experiences of the pre-internet times, payphones, paper maps, coordinating with others, I only did so in my limited capacity as a child. I had a cell phone by...10th grade, I could at least print out MapQuest directions, etc.

I remember a lot, but didn't truly interact with most of it.

ConstableJelly ,

Haha yeah, when I say I had a cell phone, I mean that I was essentially reachable at all times. I didn't start using text messaging regularly until like...2009, and didn't use it for anything else until I got my first Droid a few years later.

Fair point though, my response was very American-centric.

ConstableJelly ,

Neutral party here, I read it naturally as a supplement to your comment, not an opposition. I don't detect an argumentative tone personally.

ConstableJelly ,

it has to be Baldurs Gate 3

It does. Feels like the boring, predictable answer,'s an industry shaker. Best game of the year is among the least of its achievements.

ConstableJelly OP ,

"Entertaining" and "high quality" are meaningfully distinct characteristics. Mortal Kombat came out in the same year as Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, and Shawshank Redemption. Tomb Raider came out with Gladiator, Crouching Tiger, and Chocolat. Resident Evil was the same year as Fellowship of the Ring.

None of your examples compare, even for their time, with the higher echelons of what is considered (by general critical consensus rather than personal preference) artistic achievement in their medium. That's what "good" means in the context of the article. That being said, the article points to the Mario movie as evidence of its claim, and my personal preference would consider that movie cheaply derivative (sprinkled with passion for its source material as it may be).

ConstableJelly OP ,

I think The Last of Us is the only truly new, groundbreaking achievement the article lists. And by groundbreaking, I mean it managed to both carve out a space artistically in the "prestige TV" category, while also breaking into the pop-culture zeitgeist, as the article notes.

You're right that Arcane was amazing, but it mainly caught the attention of game and animation fans. The Last of Us may be the property that finally convinced studios to take video game adaptations seriously and stop giving them out to commercially promising but artistically bereft filmmakers like Paul Anderson.

ConstableJelly ,

Comcast said it “promptly patched and mitigated its systems,” it said it later discovered that prior to the repair operation, between Oct. 16 and Oct. 19, “there was unauthorized access to some of (its) internal systems that (it) concluded was a result of this vulnerability,”

Where "promptly" means at least 9 days later. I understand patching production systems isn't just a point and click operation, but vulnerability and patch management is a competency that Comcast is responsible for. The fact that they're not named as a defendant in the suit is really, really weird.

ConstableJelly ,

I finally picked up Subnautica Below Zero. For some reason I had it in my head that it was an expansion or 1.5 type release rather than a full sequel, so I had put it off longer than I would have otherwise.

I've played a handful of survival/crafting games since completing the first Subnautica a couple years ago, and nothing I've seen or played does what Subnautica does so well: the progression path is perfectly tuned and focused to keep you obtaining new things at just the right pace while enabling further and further exploration. There's a really addictive feeling of empowerment that comes with each accomplishment, going from bare swimming to zooming with the seaglide, to building a better tank to stay underwater longer, to eventually having massive vehicles and scanning equipment and defensive weapons. Mix it all together with the excitement from finally reaching and exploring new spaces you could only glimpse before, finding new supplies and equipment, and it's just an incredibly fun and rewarding time.

I think a common complaint with Below Zero was that it didn't do enough differently, but that doesn't bother me at all. I think the biggest problem I have with other survival/crafting games is that they all seem designed for perpetual play (e.g., No Man's Sky). Both Subnautica games are single-player at their core, with the attendant intentional elegance, and Below Zero strikes that near-perfect balance as well as its predecessor (so far).

ConstableJelly ,

I think this is my reason. I like lithe, acrobatic archetypes and will, for instance, usually prefer playing stealthy character classes when given the option. Guy bodies in games are (or at least used to be) blocky rectangles; they look like walking refrigerators. Gals usually have a more dynamic and nimble appearance.

Two more relevant reasons: (1) traditinally, non-customizable main characters are predominately male, so when given a choice I'll choose the less common option to mix it up and (2) I am a guy in real life and am bored enough of it that I feel incentivized to play the other side in game world.

ConstableJelly OP ,

I don't understand what Bloober is doing to secure these partnerships. I enjoyed Observer for the visual spectacle, and I appreciated The Medium for what it was trying to do despite it feeling mechanically and thematically incomplete.

I'm not attached to Silent Hill so I'm not terribly invested in their remake, but figured it would be a fair proving ground for them to grow up from the ambitious-but-flawed style that has marked their other games. Maybe this deal is a sign that Skybound has already seem something they like?

ConstableJelly OP ,

Ah interesting, I'm not connected to the letsplay scene, didn't know they had clout there.

ConstableJelly ,

Interesting that you call out story and visuals, I'd say those are the two elements that actually do rise above standard fare. Not necessarily the graphical fidelity (it's great, but not ground breaking), but the art and production design, use of colors, they're all magnificently cohesive and create some really stunning environments. Story's more subjective but the performances were commendable, the theme of honor and victory was consistent and tragic, pacing was nicely balanced.

It's the actual gameplay that I'd say was...fine. Combat is tight and varied, but eventually repetitive, and the open world loop is exhaustingly uninventive.

ConstableJelly ,

Finished Paradise Killer early last week. I liked it a lot, it got to be pretty addicting uncovering new pieces of the mystery. Whenever I had to put the game down, I'd come back to it thinking "Oh shit, I discovered x last time I played, can't wait to see how that pans out." The one negative thing I'll say is that there's not a lot of actual detective work on the player's part. The actual mechanics of the game are pretty much just running back and forth over the island, talking to the same characters, and chasing collectibles. But I enjoyed the loop, so it worked out.

Started up Moonlighter for a low-commitment game. I've played about 10 hours and enjoyed it so far. It's got a pretty well-balanced progression loop (explore the dungeon, sell your stuff, afford a small upgrade, get a little further in the dungeon, sell your stuff...) which is a big draw for me. Not sure it'll keep my interest to the end but I'm fond of the time I've spent.

ConstableJelly ,

Spent some time with The Ascent, wish I liked it more than I did. I was looking for a good pick-up-and-play game, but the save mechanics in The Ascent are...not clear. If it supported a save anywhere/anytime feature I probably would have gone a lot further.

But never being quite certain where I'd pick back up killed my motivation to play too many times.

ConstableJelly ,

Haha ok, just curious. You said pleasantly surprised on both counts, which I took to mean you were happy it didn't win any awards.

I'm super excited about playing Spider-Man 2 (as well as Alan Wake 2), but I'm also a patient gamer so just keeping an eye out for even a little bit of a sale.

ConstableJelly OP , (edited )

Yeah, I feel like I gave the impression this is just a full gameplay video or something. It's not, it's a critical analysis.

He does essentially review each game, but he also talks about stuff like the different paradigms of art in games: narrative, gameplay, choice, environmental design and storytelling, as well as their intersections (or their lack). For this series especially, he highlights those elements in contrast between the Interplay/Obsidian games and the Bethesda games.

I'm not actually interested in playing the games, but I love this kind of critique.

ConstableJelly OP ,

Well, there's an audience for it. I love long-form critiques, to the point where I'm generally less inclined to bother with anything less than around 45 minutes because it's just not enough time to explore anything with the kind of depth that interests me the most (that's a pretty loose rule though, some topics can be incredibly interesting but just don't need a long-form analysis).

This essay actually covers about...9 games in the series I think? (1, 2, Tactics, Brotherhood of Steel, 3, New Vegas, a mobile game, 4, and 76). That includes all DLC as well, so it averages about 1-1.5 hours per game (variably, BoS and the mobile game both get significantly less time). And it is split into chapters with the YouTube feature.

I do know that's still not appealing for everyone. I appreciate the top comment on the video: "Sweet baby Jesus."

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