What Looter Shooter Would You Play?

It’s payday. I’m just about done with Resident Evil 2, and that means I’m itching to get into something new.

I considered jumping into something in the backlog, but nothing is jumping out at me. So, for your consideration, a poll:

I already have Destiny 2 along with the first two DLC packs, but I haven’t picked up Forsaken yet. I could grab that and blow through everything.

Or there’s Anthem. I still think it looks great but all of the reviews tell me I should wait for a while and see how it is down the road.

On the flip side, there’s The Division 2. I only played the first briefly, but this one is getting stellar reviews. I think I might enjoy it.

The last pick is Borderlands 3, only because there’s supposed to be information coming out on it this year. However, it’s not out so it was kind of a sarcastic option.

I guess I could have thrown Devil May Cry 5 in there as well, but I was sticking to a theme. I just thought I’d see where people were at and what they’d recommend.

Thanks for the help.

Blizzcon 2018 Snark

Admittedly, I have a strange relationship with Blizzard. On the one hand, they make amazingly polished and fun experiences. On the other hand, they have dumbed down some of my favorite genres or made entries into said genres that were forgettable. In the 1990’s, Blizzard could do no wrong. From Diablo I-II to Warcraft I-III to Starcraft, I loved their games and thought I would always be a fan of the studio. Years can change perspectives, and people. I am no longer much of a fan. There are games that they make that I still enjoy but I’m not currently playing any of their titles.

Blizzcon is happening, and I don’t normally pay much attention, but as Diablo III is aging quite rapidly, I was thinking there might be some news about the next installment, or perhaps some talk about Warcraft IV. Spoiler alert, neither of those things have happened. An article on Polygon breaks down the “5 Biggest Announcements from Blizzcon 2018” and I have some feedback for each.

Destiny 2 free for PC until November 18th.

Though not actually a Blizzard product, Destiny is a franchise with quite a following. I played the original on PS4, and received the sequel for free via Playstation Plus a couple of months ago. I’m still playing it here and there. I’m tempted by the PC version though, mainly because I play on the PS4 with my friend so progress has been slow going. Perhaps playing on the PC solo will be the way to progress at a faster clip. There was also mention that the latest DLC will actually include the prior DLCs so you won’t have the issue I was having where I had to buy DLC 1+2 to even be able to purchase Forsaken. A dumb business model for sure, but not really Blizzard’s doing.

Warcraft III Remaster

So this is not Warcraft IV. This is however still a great game. What I’m wondering here is if it’s going to be like the Starcraft remaster which was basically just changing the resolution of the old game, or if they are going to do something more. I would love to play Warcraft III again if it has updated graphics. I mean I’d probably play it again anyway, but that thought is less appealing. I suppose we shall see. Edit @8:47pm: Apparently this is a remake, not just an up-res remaster. I am more interested now.

A new Overwatch Character

This game was called Overhype by myself for a reason. It’s not doing anything we have seen done elsewhere. It’s not interesting or unique. I’m surprised we aren’t seeing a Blizzard developed Battle Royale game yet, it’s the new hip thing. No one cares about this.

Diablo Immortal

This is not Diablo IV. Who asked for this? I assume when Activision Blizzard acquired King, they were bound to make some new mobile versions of existing IPs but this isn’t something I imagined. I love Diablo, but playing it on my phone seems unintuitive. I’m betting it isn’t free either, and I’m hesitant to spend money on mobile titles. If it’s free I’ll still probably try it, but I’m not really impressed.

Hearthstone Troll Expansion

I loved Hearthstone when I played it back in Beta. I played through the first couple of expansions too, and was following the meta and enjoying myself. Another expansion came out and the game became too reliant on RNG, I became disillusioned and haven’t played since. Having returned to paper MTG, I don’t see myself ever playing again.

WoW Classic out Summer ’19

Another progression server with a different name. Everquest has done this for years, Everquest 2 got on board, and more recently Rift and Lord of the Rings Online have too. I’m surprised it took this long for Blizzard to do it. Whatever the case I don’t really care. I haven’t played much WoW and I have no real desire to do so now. I’m sure the blogosphere will be alive with posts about it when the time comes but I don’t see myself buying into this unless it’s free with an active sub, and even then I probably won’t bother. I don’t see it living up to people’s expectations.

So another year passes without much to be excited for coming out of Blizzard. That’s my two cents, at least.

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!

Getting Started in Destiny 2

I was late to the party with the original Destiny, and I guess you can say the same is true with its sequel. When the first one released I was slightly interested but didn’t get around to purchasing it until after The Taken King came out. I didn’t play much then either, only checked it out for a little while but had a sour experience with a so-called friend and that turned me off from the game for a while. I ended up going back to it and running through all of the main story and side quests through The Taken King, and even purchased the next expansion but didn’t put much time into it after that. I had the intentions of picking up Destiny 2 at release just so I could hit the ground running and play the game while it was still the new hotness. But then when Destiny 2 released, it was pretty universally panned by critics and people whose opinions I trust, so I didn’t bother. Well, at this point the game has just released it’s first major expansion, Forsaken, and Sony decided to give it out for free as part of the Playstation Plus program.

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I downloaded the game right when I found out it was available early. I convinced my best friend that he should download it as well, and we have been able to get in a couple of sessions together.

Session 1:

I’m not really remembering all of the issues people had with the game upon its release, as that was a year ago and my memory isn’t what it used to be. Still, having played it myself now I don’t really see much of a difference between this game and the first. There was a little snippet at the beginning when I logged in where my Destiny save game was imported into this game and I got to see the things I accomplished in the first iteration. The two characters that I had played were still there too, one being the Warlock I started with and the Hunter I ended up running through the game to max level. The storyline is a little convoluted but essentially a big alien threat has attacked The Traveler and essentially robs all guardians of their light.

Despite the fact that my friend and I were in voice chat together, we had to play through these first bits of the story alone. We have the big attack and you’re pretty fucked up, you come too and wander about for a bit, then we’re treated to some cut scenes of the storyline and then eventually you wind up in a place called “The Farm” which is shown on the map as a separate place from Earth, but still looks very much like Earth when you are there. Whatever the case, it’s the new Tower, and you get your social interaction here along with some vendors, your bank, mailboxes and the Crucible guy.

The main story pushed us to head to where a bit of The Traveler had broken off and landed near by. We’re warned that it’s a place of death, but after killing off some bad guys, we get our light back and can move on to bigger and better things.

Graphically it’s still a beautiful title. I really thought Destiny was up there with games like Uncharted that can really push this system to its limits. It’s surprising that a game can look this good on a stock PS4, considering most games are a bit more washed out. I assume on a PS4 Pro or on PC it looks even better, but it was free here, so this is where I’m going to play it.

By the end of our first session I was level 3, as we took a couple hours to get to the point where we could even play together, and by that time it was getting late so we called it a day. We got together to play again last night, and ended up pushing further into the story.

Session 2:

More fighting on Earth as my Hunter and my friend’s Titan leveled up and went on Adventures, participated in public quests and followed the story to it’s end here. Clearly there will be more to do on Earth at a later time, but for now they’ve sent us to Titan to help out with some network building.

We also see Cayde being held captive by our antagonist, and because I’m not blind or deaf I have already heard the spoilers about his demise and the plot of Forsaken having to do with getting revenge for him. But since I don’t know the particulars, I’ll play my way through and see for myself. If this ends up sticking like I think it will (we’ve been having a blast so far) I will likely pick up Forsaken once we’ve completed the main story.

When I was playing the original Destiny, I never did end up playing any of the game’s PvP mode, Crucible. I decided that I wanted to try it out. That was probably a bad idea. I assumed that as you entered into matchmaking, you would be paired up with and against other players of similar level/power. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as one guy was level 20 and the other 50 (?) I think. Either way they were much better equipped and felt way to hard to kill. We did get kills nonetheless, but lost the match and decided that we should level up a bit before bothering with that again. It does feel pretty good as shooters go but I didn’t like the level disparity.

By the end of our second session I was level 7 and had looted my first exotic from a quest. Nothing too special but I’ve found my groove. I don’t really like the new subclass that you’re stuck with at the beginning, and look forward to opening up others. I’ve found that while playing in a duo, I can experiment with my weapon loadout more though, and have settled on a Scout Rifle as my primary and a pistol for the side arm. I do like me some auto/pulse rifles and sub machine guns too, but for now these have worked as my friend’s titan is typically using a shotgun so he heads in first and I take out the long range targets. Overall it’s been a blast and I look forward to progressing through it!