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Planet Zoo beta impressions

Posted by warreni, in game musings 08 October 2019 - - - - - - · 295 views
beta, kinda-sorta-review, sim
I've pretty much finished my time (about 2.5 hours) with the Planet Zoo beta. This seemed like an opportune moment to share my thoughts on what seems to work and what doesn't. Frontier has a long history with this sort of thing, which may surprise you if you only know them as the folks who made Elite: Dangerous and Planet Coaster . Frontier didn't reall...


Moral ambiguity in a world of assassins

Posted by warreni, in game musings 10 August 2019 - * * * * - · 1469 views
assassinscreed, bayek, hyena and 1 more...
I've been playing a lot of Assassins Creed: Origins lately, and I've run across something interesting. I haven't played an Assassins Creed game since ACII (and I only got about 75% of the way through that one). My recollection is that these are not games with lots of grey areas. The protagonist is the player-identification figure and it's largely assume...


Tyranny is good but it could be better

Posted by warreni, in game review 13 July 2019 - - - - - - · 2134 views
Obsidian, RPG, isometric
I finished my first and probably only playthrough of Tyranny today. It's a different kind of Obsidian RPG, and not just because of its premise that you're playing an enforcer for the bad guy who's enslaved most of a civilized world. It's different because it's oddly linear. The game starts with an opening sequence where you make decisions about how recen...


With Pillars II, Obsidian knocked another one out of the park

Posted by warreni, in game review 23 March 2019 - - - - - - · 5945 views
RPG, isometric, pirates, gods and 2 more...
Yes, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire IS trying to kill you. Scratch that. It already did. Hm. . . spoiler alert? In the first few seconds of PoE II , you die. But. . . you get better (that was a fairly unsubtle Princess Bride reference, for anyone who's counting). This is Obsidian's novel way of allowing you to rejigger your character while still havi...


More random, not-at-all-deep thoughts

Posted by warreni, in game musings, general musings 04 December 2018 - - - - - - · 3641 views
Xbone, PC, games, thoughts
I got tired of futzing around with other things so I jumped back into Pillars of Eternity II this week. I continue to be impressed with it--the game has improved on the systems from the original, including multiclassing and character advancement as well as the characters themselves. Even the crew members of your ship are distinct personalities.  
Al...


The Mirror Lied, well, it's a headscratcher

Posted by warreni, in game review 12 November 2018 - - - - - - · 3519 views
adventure, bizarre
Back in 2008, Kan Gao made a short prototype game called The Mirror Lied . You may have run across some of the music before. It's in the same visual style as his later and more well-known adventure, To The Moon . On its 10th anniversary, he released it on Steam, probably mostly just to screw with people.  
This is a very short (I finished in in 28 mi...


Jurassic Park game tells an interesting story in an annoying way

Posted by warreni, in game review 10 November 2018 - - - - - - · 4540 views
Telltale, adventure
Telltale Games's solitary venture into Jurassic Park territory in 2011 is a bit of a departure from its older and newer games. It is a mixture of QTEs and mostly-trivial puzzle elements laden over a skeletal structure of an action narrative. The distinctions between this other Telltale games are twofold: the prevalence of QTEs in general as well as QTEs t...


Doctor Who game turns out to be rather crappy

Posted by warreni, in game review 04 November 2018 - - - - - - · 2959 views
match-3, puzzle, Doctor Who
I wanted to like this game, and I tried to like it. I wasted a lot of time and enjoyed playing Tiny Rebel's previous Doctor Who -themed game, Legacy , which is a fairly-conventional match-3 puzzle game with simple stories, a wide array of characters from the show, and a variety of mechanics that keep the boards interesting. This was the company's first ef...


Bad week to be an arachnophobe

Posted by warreni, in general musings 28 October 2018 - - - - - - · 2761 views
games, TV
I've gotten back into tinkering with characters in Injustice 2 again. I had more-or-less abandoned it after the Legendary update, mostly because I was annoyed that my efforts to boost characters up to level 20 weren't terribly meaningful in the face of the new mechanics and increased level cap. I noticed today that, if you play the Halloween-themed multi...


Pillars of Eternity provides a real old-school isometric RPG experience

Posted by warreni, in game review 15 October 2018 - - - - - - · 2522 views
Baldurs Gate, RPG, isometric and 1 more...
I will provide this caveat up-front: Pillars of Eternity is not a game that welcomes you in with open arms. What I mean by that is, it's actually a fairly easy game to stop playing. It doesn't suck you in right away, and this is in part to things seeming vaguely familiar and simultaneously wholly unfamiliar. Who is Eothas? What is Waidwen's Legacy? Who...


First impressions: The Desolation of Mordor

Posted by warreni, in game musings 11 May 2018 - - - - - - · 6201 views
Shadow of War, LOTR and 6 more...
The last story DLC for Shadow of War , The Desolation of Mordor, was just released, and I spent a little time with it last night. In it, you play as Baranor the Gondorian captain, last seen near the end of the main game's campaign as he is rescued by brooding ranger Talion and love interest Idril. For some inexplicable reason, Baranor is now on his own, s...


Franchise-killer Andromeda suffers from being a merely-okay Mass Effect game

Posted by warreni, in game review 07 May 2018 - * - - - - · 5966 views
action RPG, Mass Effect, BioWare and 3 more...
Mass Effect: Andromeda had a very challenging remit from its inception: wipe away the lingering bad taste left in the mouths of many gamers after the disappointing (to many) ending of Shepard's saga and ignite gamers' passions for a new series of adventures with a new protagonist and a new crew in a new part of the universe. It was a Herculean task, and...


Batman: The Enemy Within is a fascinating Joker origin story

Posted by warreni, in game review 23 April 2018 - - - - - - · 4360 views
adventure, Telltale, Batman and 2 more...
I recently finished Telltale's second take on the Batman mythos on the Xbox One because a) I got it cheap, and b) there's no practical difference between playing a Telltale game on a PC or a console--they're both a string of QTEs and dialog-choices, so button-presses of variable complexity and celerity, at the end of the day. I haven't played one of Tellt...


Shadow of War is 3/4 of a good game, but it may be getting better?

Posted by warreni, in game review 03 April 2018 - - - - - - · 6607 views
Shadow of War, Tolkien and 5 more...
I've played 83% of Talion's story in Shadow of War , and it's better than you've read and also pretty much exactly the same. The first 3/4 of the game resembles Shadow of Mordor , and that's largely a good thing. The last Act is called the Shadow Wars; I won't get too spoiler-y here, other than to say it involves a series of twenty fortress defenses of in...


Those pesky orcs

Posted by warreni, in game musings 03 April 2018 - - - - - - · 4055 views
Shadow of War, orc stories
So I've been playing the Blade of Galadriel DLC for Shadow of War recently, and I re-discovered one of those really annoying things that can pop up in these games from time to time: an orc who's immune to just about every kind of attack available to you. One of the gear missions in Seregost requires you (Eltariel) to track down and kill an orc who has a b...


Battlefront II buyer's remorse

Posted by warreni, in game musings 28 March 2018 - - - - - - · 4835 views

I fakey'd Battlefront II while it was on sale for $24. After spending a while downloading it, I fooled around with it a bit last night. The campaign seems okay, one mission in, but the multiplayer doesn't seem very good, with the caveat that I'm not much of a MMOFPS guy. I played a few multiplayer challenges and the "hero" characters seem, paradoxically,...


Windows Store Woes, or how Microsoft forced me to reconsider one of the reasons I purchased an XBone

Posted by warreni, in game musings, general musings 08 March 2018 - * * * * * · 3509 views
XBOX, console gaming, PC gaming and 3 more...
When I went to fire up Shadow of War last night, I discovered something unpleasant about the Play Anywhere Windows store version of the game that I had installed at the end of January--I couldn't find it. I was looking for it because the game suddenly quit loading for some mysterious reason. I thought that there was some possibility I could delete some ca...


The Witcher

Posted by warreni, in game musings 21 February 2018 - - - - - - · 2103 views

I've been playing The Witcher 1 again for no apparent reason. Well, the reason is that I've downloaded a number of GOG titles from the Galaxy client onto the 1 Tb drive I just installed in my laptop and I tested several of them to see whether they run in Windows 10 (spoiler alert--it's still a terrible idea to try to run Atari's Act of War series on a mod...


So why is Bayonetta supposed to be so great?

Posted by warreni, in game musings 16 January 2018 - * * - - - · 3638 views

I spent some time toying with Bayonetta this past weekend and I can't wrap my head around the hype surrounding this game's recent port to PC. Granted, I was playing a BC version originally released for the XBOX 360 on my XBOX One S, but I can't believe that it's fundamentally different. The opening cutscenes told a confusing story about a witch who is the...


Injustice 2 is both the sequel we need and the sequel we deserve

Posted by warreni, in game review 07 December 2017 - - - - - - · 7633 views
DC Comics, multiverses, fighting and 2 more...
I won't bury the lead here: Injustice 2 is a lot of fun and it's the game you were expecting NetherRealm to make after the success of Injustice: Gods Among Us . At least, mostly it is. The game probably looks good (I wouldn't know because my rig won't run it at anywhere near its full potential, so my resolution is gimped at around 1280x720 and character...






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