Gaming

Call of Cthulu Teaser Quick Look! – E3 2016

While we don’t get much from the teaser, word is it’s adapted from the Call of Cthulu pen&paper RPG, and will feature an interesting insanity mechanism. The teaser gave me a  Dark Corners of the Earth vibe from the lead up to the mansion, and DCotE was terrifying at the beginning; with a great insanity and healing system paired with creepy fishpeople enemies you would rather avoid than attack. Despite it’s clunkyness and devolution into a generic shooter by the end, I think it’d be a great pre-game – well – game for this. I’d highly recommend giving it a go – if you can run it.

Steam Purchase Page For Dark Corners of the Earth

 

I have ALWAYS been hugely interested in Lovecraft and his Cthulu mythos, and while I was wary of the news of an At the Mountains of Madness film, the whole Cthulu thing has produced some great games.

No Steam page for the game itself, but Website (under development)

 

The Thing with Telltale And LucasArts

I know it’s been done to death, but seeing as the latest Humble Bundle is from Telltale themselves I thought it’d be the best time to give my view on it.

From playing nearly every ‘Telltale style’ game I’ve come to the conclusion that this style is the new ‘Lucasarts point-and-click’ , but not in the way that fans of old point-and-clicks want. Having recently played Grim Fandango and gone back to The Wolf Among Us, I got a similar feeling in gameplay but the atmosphere was totally different.

PSA: I LIKED THE WOLF AMONG US, BUT THIS IS THE GAME STYLE GOING AGAINST GRIM FANDANGO’S STYLE.

 

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LUCASARTS CLASSICS VS MODERN TELLTALE

 

Characters – Grim Fandango:

  • Playing through Grim Fandango I cared about Manny but more importantly I loved Glottis. Glottis for me seemed like the comic relief character in an already comedic game, but he was charming for the entire game and even though he was an idiot he wasn’t written to grate on my nerves.
  • Another big thing was Grim Fandango had memorable characters – the tattoo artist and the union head in Rubacava were hilarious and a couple of my favourites, despite being in the game for such a short time.

 

Characters – The Wolf Among Us:

  • Unfortunately I can’t extend the same care for anyone in The Wolf Among Us. I don’t know if it’s the gritty style of writing, but none of the characters actually had an appeal to me. I guess Mr. Toad was meant to be the comedic relief in this, but the game focuses on it’s dramatic dialogue style that just makes him sad and unconvincing when he’s supposed to be funny.
  • The worst part about the characters having the same down-and-out personality is that no one character is particularly memorable unless they’re in every scene like Bigby Wolf.

 

Comedy vs. Drama:

  • To be fair to Telltale in relation to characters, most of their games are dramas and not all the characters are meant to have an appeal, but that doesn’t mean it excuses the straight up boring atmosphere. While I do know Telltale does great comedy games (I’m currently playing Sam and Max: Devil’s Playhouse) they seem to be few and far in between.
  • In an aim to be gritty/dramatic, it seems that The Wolf Among Us and to a lesser extent The Walking Dead is just a bunch of people complaining, and this isn’t how you make a character memorable. Even though the tattoo artist in Grim Fandango WAS SO FRUSTRATING, he still made random humorous comments that made him likable, and offset some of the frustration. I’m not saying that characters in dramatic Telltale games should be constantly spouting one liners, but something to break the monotony of bitching and moaning every once in a while would really help.

Locations:

  • I chose Grim Fandango as my Lucasarts example because it’s not all smiley sunshiney locations – there’s entire sections of the game that take place in a night and under the dark sea; but it still had more atmosphere than nearly all locations in The Wolf Among Us.
  • When I think of the Wolf Among Us all I can remember is dark alley, dark room, dark room of magical items; while in Grim Fandango it goes from sunny alley, nighttime casino and dock, well lit ship control room.
  • Now The Wolf Among Us did have a few different locations, but there was no life in them apart from maybe the room of magical items. One of the first locations of Grim Fandango had a parade in the back, you could only really interact with one clown but there was life in the background – while even when surrounded by characters in The Wolf Among Us they were either fighting or silent.

 

At the end of the day Telltale have made fantastic games in their own right (including Wolf Among Us), but the gritty dramatic style gets tiresome after multiple iterations of similar games despite being different series. Again, the Telltale Humble Bundle has some great games even at the $1 tier including the games I talked about here, so I highly recommend giving it a look in.

 

 

 

 

FALLOUT 4: A WEEK IN THE COMMONWEALTH (NO SPOILERS!)

(I’m currently playing Fallout 4 on PC, as I did with Fallout 1, 3 and New Vegas (I also played 3 and NV on PS3) )

Nearly 6 years after the release of Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas, Bethesda finally released their next East Coast entry – Fallout 4 – set in The Commonwealth (Of Massachusetts). With around 700 hours playtime between the previous games, I find myself torn between loving the world and hating the “consolisation” (designing the game only around big selling consoles) of the series.

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THE GOOD

  • THE WORLD: I’ve never played a Bethesda game with as much depth as Fallout 4 – I’ve put (a small, but significant) 36 hours into the game in the past week and have only gotten to the second story mission. I’ve stopped by so many interesting locations while on short quests only to leave with 4 more – and I love it.
  • THE LOOT SYSTEM: One of my favourite new additions to the game is the looting system where you can just look at a body/container and get a list of the items – this saves on the dodgy freeze before the menu opens in 3 and New Vegas.
  • THE CHARACTERS: The characters are miles ahead of 3 and on par with (if not better than) New Vegas – interesting random events with NPCs, great visual design on some enemies and brilliant companion quests almost forgive the mess that was Matthew Perry’s Benny. The highlight for me is the new Mister Handy robots with personality, but they sadly made Super Mutants stupid monsters again which is definitely a low point.

 

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THE OKAY

  • THE “OPEN” WORLD: I know I mentioned the world in the good section, but it deserves a second mention here on account of the actual openness of it. Most buildings are now actually open and not gated by dodgy load screens, but this seems to have drastically lowered the amount to actually enter. Many are blocked off, but this gives me huge hopes for a DC Interiors type mod for Fallout 4.
  • THE RADIO: While most of the new songs are absolutely perfect for Fallout 4 (and in general),  there is still the fact that 12 out of 37 songs on Diamond City Radio are ripped straight from Galaxy News Radio of Fallout 3 – this feels more lazy than nostalgic to me.
  • CRAFTING/INVENTORY: Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the crafting system is bad; in fact I think it’s great mostly. BUT, the settlement building seems to be done so heavy handed – like Todd Howard and co. looked at the last 6 years in gaming and thought “Wow, this Minecraft thing is popular” and put in a half-baked build system that at times just feels like a gimmick. Also, THEY REMOVED REPAIRING, COME ON!!

 

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THE UGLY

  • THE DIALOGUE SYSTEM: Fallout has and will always be about the dialogue, but for some reason Bethesda decided to go Mass Effect on it and only give you 4 options to say – none of which you get to preview without a mod. Now Mass Effect is my joint favourite game series (with Fallout), but it’s dialogue system only lets you be good or a dick, not evil. This takes away the fun of playing Fallout as a monster because you just can’t and that hugely reduces replayability. This is probably the most obvious proof of “consolisation”.
  • THE LEVELING/PERKS SYSTEM: This has to be my biggest problem with the game bar none, it’s like they wanted to make the game a shooter not an RPG (like Bioware and Mass Effect 2). I’ve read that there’s no level cap which helps slightly, but with this change it’s no longer your character or story – your build is set in stone whether you like it or not – that’s not Fallout. Also, THEY REMOVED SKILL CHECKS FOR SOME STUPID REASON!!
  • FOLLOWER AI: PLEASE GOD BETHESDA FIX THIS! Follower AI in Beth games has always been janky at best, but I’ve never played anything this bad. Followers walk right into traps unless told to wait a good distance away, they alert EVERYTHING in a million mile radius immediately and just charge, usually resulting in your death. Dogmeat is by far the worst for this, even worse than he was in Fallout 3 and it’s caused me to dump him even though I actually like him.

 

I could talk for HOURS about the changes made in Fallout 4 and through the entire series, but those are my main impressions from a week hands on with my most anticipated game ever. Agree? Disagree? Tell me! I really do love discussing this type of thing, ESPECIALLY for Fallout.

DAY 3: THE GAME MONSTERS

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REDEADS: LEGEND OF ZELDA

The ReDeads are without a doubt the creepiest thing ever put forward by a Zelda game. Tall and skinny in most appearances, the worst is Ocarina of Time where they are made of what looks like an extremely skinny man with a clay mask with it’s mouth forced open. Their always horrible screams (again, Ocarina is worst: Link Here) stun, allowing them to jump on you and squeeze you to death – while if you kill one of them the group will all huddle around the body and cry until it despawns.

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ASH ZOMBIES: MORROWIND

Created by the Sixth House of Morrowind to do their bidding, these monsters are what appears to be dark elves with their faces and brains ripped out, leaving just a black and bloody hole. While not the most dangerous, these things are horrible for two main reasons: their moans (Link Here), and their tendency to attack you while you sleep. Get the Bloodmoon expansion and you are regularly woken up by Dark Brotherhood attacks, but when the screen fades in with these it’s even creepier.

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HEAD CREATURES: VAMPIRE:THE MASQURADE – BLOODLINES

A lot of the creatures in this brilliant RPG are weird and gruesome, but for some reason these Geodude rejects are what get to me. They crawl on two hands, they jump and they’re frustrating to get a hit on, there’s just something about them that creep me out immensely – especially in the snuff video quest.

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BANSHEES: MASS EFFECT 3

Created from Reaper tech and Ardat-Yakshi (pure-breed Asari), Banshees are late-game enemies that more than deserve the hate and fear they get. Appearing as floating dead bodies with metallic stalks coming out of them, the oddest thing about their design is they look pregnant – Ardat-Yakshi are sterile. Hearing a Banshee scream (Link: Here) is bad enough at any difficulty level, but playing on insane could mean instant death if you’re not quick and stocked up on medi-gel.

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FAST ZOMBIES: HALF-LIFE 2

I have no problem with regular head-crab zombies in HL:2, but these things freak me out so much I had to put the game down for a year. Paired down to muscle and bone, these zombies are quick and totally surround you in Ravenholm, all while sounding like a bad hybrid of a rabid gorilla and Tie-Fighter (Link: Here)