State of the Game: Projects

Over the weekend I was able to get some gaming time in, and as regular readers will note, I jump around between titles pretty regularly. Sometimes I’ll try something out and it won’t stick, but I’ll jot down my thoughts and move on. Other times I have a bunch of games I’m interested in playing at the same time, so I’ll spend a little time here and a little time there. Recently, the games I’ve been focused on are Destiny 2, Fallout 4 (DLCs), ESO, and Burnout Paradise Remastered. There are a few other games I’ve been tinkering around with, but these are the four I’m focusing on talking about today. So let’s dive in.

Destiny 2:

I realize that I started playing this game a year after everyone else, and I realize that the only reason I’m now playing it is because it was offered for free. Still, I honestly can’t figure out why it was so universally panned when it came out. I know there were plenty of people who were still playing it regardless of the negativity, but when it comes down to it, in its current state it doesn’t feel any different than the original game. Truth be told, I didn’t delve too deeply into the first game. I had one max level character and finished up the main story plus DLC stories but I didn’t do every single quest, I didn’t play crucible and I didn’t raid. So probably I don’t know what I’m talking about.

With that said, it’s still a great game. There’s something about melding first person shooter gameplay with RPG elements. I absolutely love this style of game and I should have just picked this up way back when. I’m glad I didn’t have to pay money to play it, but I am looking forward to getting through the rest of the game and picking up the DLCs as I go along. Here’s hoping that they stretch this one out for years instead of making another numbered entry. It appears their gameplan going forward is to add at least two more DLC in the next year so perhaps there will be reason to keep playing.

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In my past couple of sessions my best friend and I have leveled up to 10, and have a light rating of a little over 100. I’ve managed to grab a few blue pieces of gear along the way, and we’ve completed the main story up until rescuing Cayde and being pointed in the direction of Io. At this point there was a level gate (we were 9 at the time) so we pushed on by doing some adventures and public quests. We had been pretty much ignoring much of the side content in favor of completing the storyline, but at this point it appears that perhaps we should do a bit of everything just to make sure we’re ready for the next bit of DLC once the original main story wraps up. It’s been a blast and I find myself wanting to play more often than he is available, so I may start leveling up a Warlock on the side. We’ll see how time permits.

ESO:

Due to trying to play too many games at once, my time with ESO has been sporadic. During my last session I decided to try out some PvP battlegrounds, and like my experience with Destiny 2, it sucked. I’m not nearly a high enough level or geared well enough to hang with the groups I was being matched up against. It looked like it has the potential to be a blast but I’m not there yet. So I ended up running around doing more quests and it’s been fun.

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I honestly don’t really know what I’m doing most of the time save for running around following quest markers and killing shit. I guess that’s par for the course. This seems to be the same in most MMOs, so here we go. I’m more invested in other storylines at this point in time and my memory isn’t what it used to be so I tend to just take in the sights and mosey around at my own snail’s pace. Not having a subscription to this point has made it more appealing because I’m not wasting time and can play as I see fit. Perhaps once I get nearer to the end of the original game’s content I’ll think about subscribing to see more of what’s been added in my absence.

Far Harbor:

Fallout 76 comes out in a month and a half. My goal was to finish off the Fallout 4 DLC before that happened, because I know once there’s a new Fallout game I’m not going to bother with the predecessor any longer. The last time I had played I killed off a rather large Mirelurk queen as part of a side quest, and I went back to Far Harbor to turn in all the quests I had completed during that session.

During my session over the weekend, I ended up with a journal full of more side quests from those citizens, as one of the quests that I completed had the city’s leader backing me, something not easily done with “mainlanders” such as myself. I completed a couple more, when a robot appeared outside of town looking for a detective (me). I followed her to a hotel that contains an underground vault, where a murder was committed and hence why I was sent for. Upon entering, we find that all of the people inside are no longer people, and are actually “robo-brains.” This means their human brain has been transplanted onto a robot’s body. Immortal as they are now, they’re still very much able to be killed, as is evident from the crime scene I’m asked to investigate. This questline bugged out on me several times, but in the end I found out that the killer was actually masquerading as one of the other residents having killed her himself. Basically she found out about something he didn’t want anyone else to know about so he killed her then took on her identity. I also found a dead overseer in a vault-tec suit, who’s journal entries were quite hilarious (you can read those above). I have no idea how much more it’s going to take to complete Far Harbor, and there’s still Nuka World after that, but hopefully before Fallout 76 hits shelves.

Burnout Paradise:

I don’t have too much to say about Burnout Paradise, I’ve played a few more times since my initial post, and it’s been a blast. It’s truly a fun game and something I can do that takes very little brain power, so on nights when I don’t feel like diving into something with more depth, it’s relaxing to cruise around this beautiful little world. The trophies come in droves though, as evidenced by this round of screenshots:

If you were ever a fan of arcade style racers, definitely give this one a try. That’s all I have for this time. Happy gaming everyone!

Quick Thoughts: Games on the Cheap

Generally speaking, there are far too many games released in a given year to play them all. Sometimes you have to spend your limited expendable funds carefully, and that means skipping some titles in favor of others. What’s great about our current gaming climate, is that typically a year or so after a game releases (or stops releasing DLC) it typically has a “Game of the Year,” “Complete” or “Ulitmate” edition. This bundle will save you money, because a) you didn’t pay full price for the base game and b) you now get all DLCs included for either the same asking price or less. Give it a little more time, and you can usually catch these bundled titles on sale and save even more money. You won’t be on the cutting edge, playing the newest, hottest games on release, but in the case of most titles, you’re not missing anything by playing them late. In most cases I’d argue you’re smarter that the guy who pays $60 at launch for a title and then pays $10-20 per DLC on top of that. Nevertheless, I have found a few titles I’ve wanted to play in recent years but hadn’t gotten around to, bundled as I’ve mentioned and on sale to boot. It was very difficult to resist a copy of each of the games I’m going to discuss, and yes that means I purchased them once I saw the price was right. Let’s jump in, shall we?

I absolutely wanted to play Horizon: Zero Dawn when it released. The first time I saw it at E3 I knew it was a title that would be up my alley. I’m at a stage in my life though, that some games that I believe will be enjoyable aren’t always. I’ve also been trying to cut down on spending on games due to the fact that so many either collect dust or disappoint me. But for $10, I knew I needed to grab a copy, particularly because the Complete Edition came with bonus goodies and the game’s lone expansion The Frozen Wilds. I have not been disappointed by this title, and the inexpensive nature of the purchase doesn’t affect this — it’s a damn fine game. You play as Aloy, a young girl outcast by a tribe in a post-apocalyptic world where robot creatures roam the landscape and tribes of humans fight among themselves.

There’s a lot to digest in the early portions of the game. It’s clear that “the Old Ones” died off for some reason or another, and somehow, robots have formed into various beasts (perhaps a form of evolution or created by the dead ancients). You’ve been taken in by Rost, an outcast from the Nora tribe. He has sheltered you, but as a little girl you don’t really understand why the tribe won’t talk to you. On one fateful day, you end up falling into a cave that is a ruin from the old days, and find a “focus” which looks eerily similar to a bluetooth ear piece, but is definitely more useful. It provides information on the environment and things within it, becoming an excellent tool. Wanting to rejoin the tribe, Rost agrees to train you for “the proving” which is a ritual that allows tribesmen to become “braves,” and for outcasts to rejoin the tribe. The meat of the game is a third person shooter style, with some stealth elements, RPG progression, and a beautiful world to explore. It’s open world to a degree, though you’re held back for a time as you grow up, complete the proving, and become a “seeker.” Having that title allows you to leave the sacred lands of your people, and find answers. At certain points you are given “choices matter” styles of conversation prompts, and are allowed to choose your path. I assume these actions have consequences, but not many have shown up yet. I’m still in the early portions of the game though, so perhaps some of these will come back around. Overall the game looks great and plays great. It’s a title on the level of games like those made by Naughty Dog, where the graphics are top notch and the game play and story matches its beauty. I’m in love with it, and definitely look forward to what comes next.

I bought the original Titanfall for PC. In the past year I’ve decided to boycott Origin though, as I prefer my PC games to be linked up through Steam. As such I wasn’t going to buy the sequel on PC (and have already purchased a copy of Dragon Age: Inquisiton for PS4 so I can avoid having to use the additional platform). That might sound stupid to some, but I don’t mind playing EA games on the console, whereas I’m annoyed with the company on PC. So here we are. Titanfall 2 looked amazing when I first saw it — it’s more of the same, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. However, I just didn’t pick it up on release and hadn’t though about it for quite some time. Seeing the Ultimate Edition on sale for $8 though, and I was sold. This being a multiplayer game, there was worry about whether or not people would still be playing it, but unlike its predecessor, this one has a single player campaign, so I knew at least I’d get to experience that. So far, it’s been okay. Very similar to Call of Duty campaigns I’ve played in the past, just with the benefit of being a better game than CoD.

Being a Titanfall game, you get the requisite boots on the ground action along with the mechs that you pilot. There’s still wall running and double jumping, fast and furious gunplay and of course, MECHS! It’s a blast to run around, jumping and sliding and calling down your titan to fuck shit up. I have yet to play the multiplayer but I did check out the menus and saw a pretty healthy population despite being fairly late when I was playing. I think because it sets itself apart from other shooters on the market it has managed to keep a following. I’m glad that not everyone is off playing Battle Royale games and still appreciates a good ol’ fashioned FPS. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts about this one soon.

The last game isn’t a bundle deal, but is a remastered version of a game I first played on PS3. Burnout Paradise was a fantastic title that came out of nowhere for me. I believe it was my sister’s (now-ex) husband who showed me the game, and I only played it at his house and didn’t get too much out of it. I just remember thinking that it reminded me of Need For Speed Underground, which was one of my favorite NFS titles of all time. The remaster here takes the original game (and appears that the DLCs are present, so perhaps this is a bundle after all) and polishes it up a bit. The intro movie is still clearly PS3 graphics, but once you get into the game it looks a bit better than its OG version, and definitely runs at a higher frame rate.

You start the game with a crappy car and have a semi-open-world to explore. Like the Need For Speed games, you can roll up to points on the map that will start up a race, or can battle with random NPCs on the road. There are also stunts and collectibles along with challenges where you can pit your high scores against those on your friends list. It’s the same experience as before, but due to my limited time with the game in the past, I can now delve further into it. I managed to upgrade my license and open up a few new cars in my first session, and I look forward to getting down with more racing — it really is a blast.

As I said, I’ll likely have more thoughts on these games as I progress. At this point I would say they are all worth your time, even if you don’t get them for as cheap as I did. Each scratches a different itch, and I’m pleased with the expenditure.