Reviews Rate the game you finished/retired

OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Finished El Shaddai


First of all: El Shaddai is an incredible visual masterpiece! Every level has a unique, artful style with lots of moving elements, bright colors and excellent lightning. Don't judge the visuals while looking at the screenshot, you really need to see the game in action. On PC, it looks even better than on consoles, especially when using DSR.

The combat is rather basic, focusing on timing instead of using dozens of different buttons and attacks. You are able to steal 3 types of weapons from enemies, each with it's own unique play style. While the standard battles are just "okay", the boss battles are where the combat really shines.

There's also plenty of variation in the gameplay; there are several 2D platforming style sequences, you can race on a bike through a futuristic city, there are hidden levels where you have to escape the darkness rising and there's a level where you play as another character, focusing on weaponless combat.

Conclusion: El Shaddai is very recommended to anyone looking for a unique experience and exciting boss battles. I really hope the Steam version does well, so that we get an even better sequel someday.

Score: 9.0/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog / Sony, 2009) in the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (Bluepoint Games / Sony, 2015) remastered version for PS4.

Nathan Drake returns in an action adventure with cover-based third-person shooting and a plethora of impressive "set pieces", i.e. especially scripted action and climbing / platforming sequences.

Pro:
  • This is the game that established Uncharted as short-hand for "near perfect action adventure" and it's easy to see why. Every weakness of the first game is eliminated and the good bits are improved upon. The Bluepoint PS4 remaster also bumps up the resolution from 720p to 1080p and doubles the frame-rate from 30 to 60 FPS compared to the original PS3 version and once again contains lots of detail improvements to geometry and textures. The remastering job is so good, it made me completely forget that I was playing a polished PS3 game except for a very few, short and far-between moments.
  • The levels, set pieces and character animations are incredibly well made. I would estimate that the game contains about three to four times as many motion captured animations than Drake's Fortune. The presentation and fidelity handily beats every competing game from the same time period - Assassin's Creed, Halo, Call of Duty, you name it, this beats it.
  • 4 Hours worth of additional content compared to Drake's Fortune and zero of it is filler. In fact, the 8 hours before are also much more tightly packed than the previous game.
Con:
  • The characterization of the cast remains the weakest point, once again motivations and backgrounds are unclear at best, for heroes and baddies alike. The adventure plot drives along swiftly enough however, leaving not much time to reflect on the characters while you're playing.
  • The amazing shell-shock tinnitus noise is gone.

What a game. What a game! Played it 11 years late and yet it never felt dated for even a moment, incredible. Nobody who likes action adventure games should miss out on this - although perhaps waiting for another release (PC?) that supports 4K natively might be a good idea for those who already upgraded all their equipment.



5/5
 
Last edited:

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Finished Life is Strange: True Colors (PC)

I'm sure some of you here know my opinion on Life is Strange 2. Let's just say it's not charitable. While Beyond the Storm lacked powers, I felt Deck Nine understood most of what people liked about Life is Strange more than Dontnod did.

True Colors shows them up further. I've not played a game that has captured the magic of the original until I played this game. And it takes it so much further in so many ways.

For a game about feelings, I'm so glad they invested in the acting and the animation of people's faces. It is so expressive in a charming, game-ish, animation-ish way. Little glances, body language, a wry smile betrays so much from the characters in this game, and it's specacular. After this, I will be holding other story games to a very, very high standard.

The writing is excellent, from moment-to-moment dialogue to the bigger overarching plot, everything is well paced, considered and written.

Gameplay is, well, Life is Strange. Deck Nine nailed that. I love Alex's power and my only disappointment is that it wasn't used so much for puzzles, but then I struggle to feel how it would be used for puzzles in the same way that Max's or Daniel's was.

About my only major criticism is the performance. The game runs pretty badly, to put it bluntly. I had to disable VRR and enable Vsync because the framerate was so buck wild I was getting pretty unpleasant freesync flicker as the game wildly jumped from 30-odd fps to 90 fps or more in a matter of seconds.

But I'm willing to forgive technical issues that will hopefully iron themselves out as patches are released and PCs get faster in the future because what Deck Nine have done here is take what was looking increasingly like lightning in a bottle in Life is Strange, and reproduce it in a faithful and wholly original way.

Step aside Dontnod, this is Deck Nine's series now.

10/10
 

Phoenix RISING

A phoenix always RISES!
Apr 23, 2019
1,295
1,692
113
37
Ann Arbor, MI
www.geeksundergrace.com
I liked God of War. Just not as much as most seem to. I guess I just naturally gravitate toward writing about what can be improved in a game so maybe I seem more negative than I intend.

TLOU2 got a 9 from me earlier in this thread.
Okay if you like TLOU2 then I can leave you alone.
I agree with most of that actually 😂
GoW 2018 was solid but rather unimpressive given the hype imo
Horizon I dropped cos its just another damn open world game
SotC I haven't played but I tried Ico and was very bored
ICO is boring/overrated, but SotC is a much better "boss rush" game than No More Heroes could ever dream to be. Especially with the gorgeous remake (I only played the remaster, admittedly).
 
  • Like
  • Toucan
Reactions: AHA-Lambda and Wok

MegaApple

Just another Video Game Enthusiast
Sep 20, 2018
932
2,048
93

FINISHED : Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies

I've really enjoyed Ace Attorney DS games (including the Investigation spinoffs). First AA is still among my favorite adventure games, and last cases for original trilogies are some of most enthralling moments in gaming.
So, naturally I got my 3DS, I hoped onto Dual Destinies.

Love the new mechanic of emotions, 3D art is stellar, great soundtrack and good work in rounding out the characters (mainly Phoenix and Apollo) if you've played Apollo Justice (AA4).
That said... IMO this is probably the weakest entry since Ace Attorney Investigations 1. Cases didn't felt like they had stakes, some leaps-of-logic I feel too wild even by AA standards, cases sometimes felt too stretched (eg - AA5-2), really shoe-horned in callbacks and a really baffling final case. I dunno what his fan reception is, but I didn't really got Blackquill. He doesn't feel intimidating or challenging. Good prosecutors was one of many enjoyments to me, but I didn't felt it here.
DLC was a nice change of pace (in terms of outcome), but didn't do much for me.

It says something about the AA series, that even the weakest entry is still an enjoyable game.

7/10
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
46
122
33
I've completed Deathloop. Fantastic stuff, had a lot of fun messing around, although the ending was underwhelming. It's like they took parts of Dishonored and Prey: Mooncrash and mashed it into a timeloop game.

From a level design perspective, Deathloop doesn't quite hit the highs of Dishonored 2 and Prey. I loved exploring the maps, but after several loops they were too bitesized and nothing really stood out. They're lacking the intricacy of the Clockwork Mansion, or the density of Talos One.

The gameplay loop was very satisfying, with sufficient options for stealth and combat. Like with Mooncrash, the game pushed me out of my save-scum comfort zone, forcing me to live with my mistakes and improvise. The invasion mechanic occasionally throws a wrench into my plans too. I played with the AI only, so no spectacular showdowns, but it added some tension nonetheless. I just killed a visionary, I'm on my last life, I'm rushing to get back to a safe zone - and here comes Julianna to fuck up my run.

Handholding: yup, the game does it for the main story. But if they didn't then people would be complaining that the game was too obtuse? It's tricky to balance. Thankfully there are side puzzles where it's left to the player to figure out, those were fun.

I really enjoyed the writing and dialogue. Fuck your fried eggs, iconic. The banter between Colt and Jules especially. Ending/lore specific thoughts:
But yes I had a lot of unanswered questions when the game rolled credits (pretty abruptly imo), so ultimately my enjoyment was slightly dampened. I was almost expecting some big twist or setpiece for the finale, but that was it? The ending didn't explain anything at all. What happened to Colt when he was in Operation Horizon? Why can he remember events in the loop? Why did he choose to return to the island with AEON?

There are theories that the game is set in the universe of Dishonored, which is intriguing.

Final rating: a solid 9/10 loops. Quite possibly my GOTY.
 

Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
130
267
63
I am 5 hours in Deathloop, just got the infusion ability which is the point the game opens up, I guess.

I gotta say I am not feeling it. Apart from its technical issues (the lame stutter caused by steam overlay or whatever is annoying), this game completely lacks the strong, distinct atmosphere that Dishonored had. And I am not sure how quickly it is going to become repetitive but I am already not a fan of having to go through the beach and tunnes again and again.
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
46
122
33
And I am not sure how quickly it is going to become repetitive but I am already not a fan of having to go through the beach and tunnes again and again.
Fair enough. I did enjoy exploring the changes in districts at different times of day at first. And those areas became playgrounds to test out new abilities and weapons. I guess I had a fairly high threshold for this as the repetition only sunk in at the 80% mark.
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog / Sony, 2011) in the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (Bluepoint Games / Sony, 2015) remastered version for PS4.

Nathan Drake and associates are back, chasing ancient treasure and demons from Nathan's past in the final installment of Uncharted originally released on PS3.

Pro:
  • The Bluepoint remastering job is consistent with the superb work done on the previous games in the collection: Bump from 720p / 30 to 1080p / 60, texture upgrades, lighting modifications, geometry smoothing. Especially noteworthy to me were the improved controls compared to the original, which is the only Uncharted game I had previously played on PS3 - finally you can properly aim, no terrible deadzones, no weird inertia on the camera. Everyone who remembers the original game can look forward to vastly improved headshot stats in this version.
  • The writing finally addresses the minimal characterization of the protagonists of the game and delivers a bunch of it right at the beginning in a flashback to Nathan Drake's and Victor Sullivan's past.

Con:
  • Uncharted 2 set a new standard for integrating set-piece action sequences into a classic third person action adventure. Very unfortunately, Uncharted 3 tried to top the previous game and, faced with the limitations of the PS3 hardware, went down the path of making levels smaller again and cramming the game full of pre-rendered cutscenes and motion captured animations. This delivers a lot of whoah-moments and effectively hides loading the actual levels in, but the result is that the controls get taken away from the player way too often, interrupting the flow of the game severely.
  • A lot of combat especially in the early parts of the game now is QTE-based brawling, something that at least I was not and still am not looking for in an Uncharted game at all.
  • The contextual music system had trouble keeping up with the action on screen occasionally in the previous Uncharted games already, but in this one it's outright buggy. On multiple occasions, the game failed to notice that I had killed the last enemy and it kept on looping the combat score until I exited the area.
  • As mentioned above, the writing starts off trying to make amends for all the flaws of the previous games, but abandons the effort completely halfway into the game and goes back to all the previous sins: Abandoning characters for less than believable reasons, making wild leaps with implausible justifications, not bothering to explain any motivation or history of central characters (in this game, this mostly goes for the antagonists). Towards the end, the whole game feels like a LOT of events and developments were cut short in order to make a deadline and the story suffers the most.
  • Even on easy difficulty, the combat system sabotages itself often - the combat arenas are designed for cover-based shooting, yet the game blatantly spawns enemy AI behind the player's back to simulate flanking. Unfair at worst, not fun at best.

This game still is a great action adventure and fits right in with the previous Uncharted titles, but the apparent ambition of the developer to top the previous game despite the limitations of its original target platform unfortunately left it with flaws that even a remaster cannot fix.



3.5/5
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,750
113
Finished


Not as good as the first game or Before the Storm, but a lot better than LiS 2. The world building is nice, the characters are well-built with well-made back stories, Alex (main character) and the other characters are interesting. I did like the power of empathy she has, but it is not as cool as Max's power in the first game. Lovely to see Steph again (she was in the first game). The story was somewhat badly paced and didn't get really interesting until the end of the first episode. The game is shorter than expected, took me 10 hours or so to finish, feel like the devs could have gone further into the world, written more, made 2-3 more episodes, basically I feel the devs could have explored Haven even more, also the characters. The music is nice, but not as good as in BtS and LiS. Nice graphics and sound mixing. The man antagonistwas well-written, but again, I feel the devs could have gone even further with the main antagonist. I missed some of the emotional moments I got from BtS and LiS than made me wanna replay them in the future, but there is sill a chance for True Colors (replaying it).

Score: 8.3/10
 
Dec 5, 2018
879
2,103
93
Final Fantasy IV (Pixel Remaster)

The first of the SNES games. I had played various versions of this game in the past but only finished once (before this). This game was way more "cinematic" than their predecesors (for better or worse). This game was more story/character focused. The main plot is basically a sort of redemption arc of a soldier of a kingdom that's commiting atrocities and kinda starts his own journey and leave the dark side (this is an oversimplification but that's the gist of it).

This was the first game in the series to introduce the ATB system in which each character has a "timer" until their next action. The game goes back to a more traditional class system, each character has a fixed class, and with a plot related exception it can't be changed. Like FFII your party is not fully fixed as it changes as part of the story (a good improvement of this version is that when a party member leaves all their equipment is removed back to your inventory).

When I mentioned that the game is more "cinematic" is because the game is way more scripted. There're many battles that are scripted (you can't win, you need to use certain item, or they're fully AI controlled) or will continue automatically after some dialogue. Or the fact that a character will learn a spell but will never have enough MP to use it since he needs to use it as part of the story.

The world has more optional content allowing you to get better gear and skills.

I remembered this game being longer, it "just" took me ~20h to 100% it and that was with a beat of cheating (more on that later) for some optional stuff. I assume this is for various reasons, like auto-battle, or the fact that you level up twice as fast (if one were to be pedantinc what they did is cut in half the exp required for every level, but in practice it's the same effect), meaning grinding is not a necessity (some people might not like that since you are most likely going to be over leveled for most bosses), and faster movement.

My main complain with the game (and it's not a thing exclusive to this version) is that there're some special items that give you hidden summons (and also access to what i belive it's the best armor in the game) that have a very low drop rate (according to the first patch and some internet search it's higher than in other versions but still miserably low), after a while trying to farm them (using cheat engine to have infinite supply of an item that guarantees the spawn of certain enemies), I ended up using a trainer to have a guaranteed drop rate (still took me a few tries, but it wasn't miserable). Did I have to do that ? No, but it would have been the only thing left to do. It probably would have shaved a few hours of my playthrough.

7/10

 

gabbo

MetaMember
Dec 22, 2018
2,650
4,270
113
Toronto
The Suffering
1st/3rd person action game about a hell on earth haunted prison, and, you, the death row inmate trying to escape when undead creatures that look like prison experiments gone wrong show up.
The horror elements were pretty light, but the game does deal with the idea of spousal abuse/murder, so the enemies arent the real horror anyway.

controls pretty well, still looks okay for its age, and the voice acting and script is pretty good - you of course being mute the whole time.

Would recommend for a short-ish excursion
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
5,952
113
Finished Nier Automata i was expecting to like it more but didn't enough to play the 2nd playthrough stopped near beginning of it, it was a decent experience i'll give it a 7/10
The thing is, you didn't really finish Nier until you went through all of the routes. That's really how the plot has been designed. Which, is complete bullshit, but being hard to play and punishing the player is kinda the thing about Yoko Taro games.
not saying you should go through with, clearly not a good idea if you didn't feel motivated enough. Just pointing out that the Route A, in and of itself, is not complete.
 

Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
683
1,900
93
I feel the way it presents the information doesn't help NieR:Automata's case. But it's not a "second" playthrough, instead a continuation of the first. As are the other two routes, that are vastly different from the original game.

Only once you've played all of them have you completed the game.
If I remember correctly route B does at least at the start is very similar to the first one so yeah, can't really blame anyone for not going through with it or not seeing the need to do it unless they are told about it.

Hard to judge if it's worth for someone to complete all the routes or not, but if he gave a 7/10 just for route A it's probably worth a try. For me the other routes really did elevate the game and story to another level for me.
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
If I remember correctly route B does at least at the start is very similar to the first one so yeah, can't really blame anyone for not going through with it or not seeing the need to do it unless they are told about it.

Hard to judge if it's worth for someone to complete all the routes or not, but if he gave a 7/10 just for route A it's probably worth a try. For me the other routes really did elevate the game and story to another level for me.
Agreed Route B is similar. But it adds depth and context to the game and reframes everything by shifting perspective.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Digoman

Magnamalo

bearded sora
May 9, 2021
28
41
13
The thing is, you didn't really finish Nier until you went through all of the routes. That's really how the plot has been designed. Which, is complete bullshit, but being hard to play and punishing the player is kinda the thing about Yoko Taro games.
not saying you should go through with, clearly not a good idea if you didn't feel motivated enough. Just pointing out that the Route A, in and of itself, is not complete.
I feel the way it presents the information doesn't help NieR:Automata's case. But it's not a "second" playthrough, instead a continuation of the first. As are the other two routes, that are vastly different from the original game.

Only once you've played all of them have you completed the game.
Oh didn't know it's a more unique playthrough on the 2nd? In the beginning hour or two of 2nd playthrough it seemed it's the exact same as first playthrough but you play as 9s

Guess i should have played a bit more, the game didn't really give any indication it would be new story etc thought it would be exact repeat of 1st, already uninstalled it guess i'll give it a go again soon again later when i reinstall it again thanks
 

Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
683
1,900
93
Deathloop


It’s a good game…. but not much more for me. I should say that I played it offline and I’m not really a fan of rogue like/lite games, with some exceptions like Hades.

The whole thing is designed to play to Arkane’s strengths of designing maps with multiple ways to do something, with you revisiting four maps at several times of the day. That more or less works well enough.

But at the same time it also limits your loadouts. You can only have two powers equipped, and is also limited to 4 character upgrades at a time, and that includes any health/energy ones.

I guess the idea is to force you to plan for certain scenarios, but if you are like me and considers the teleport one kind of essential for traversal (especially on subsequent visits to a map)… it really limits your experimentation.

By the second half of the game I was kind of “locked” in with the teleport and shield power and also health/energy upgrades, because even if I did have the patience to do stealth for the 4th time while I was infiltrating something, it was the easiest way to deal if things go wrong or the AI/another player invades, and you don’t want to do the whole thing again.

The world and characters are interesting, and actually motivated to fool around a bit looking for the side/hidden content. But the ones I did had really crappy rewards. Still, everything has that Arkane “charm”.

Note on performance:
As I write this (23-September-2021) they patched the awful mouse movement. It’s way better now and playable, but still not nearly as smooth as other games at the same framerate. Speaking of which, you really need to cap at either 60 or 120. Since I have an old quad-core CPU, it was 60 for me. I also turned off Raytracing after reading some comments and was lucky enough to not have any crashes on my 3080.

Summary:
Don’t want to sound too harsh. There is a lot to like here, but I personally bumped my head too many times in some limitations (intentional or not) and was running out of patience by the end, while also finding the progression not that rewarding. If you are more immersed than me, it will probably enjoy a lot more…. well, except the ending because that felt really rushed and short.

4/5 or maybe a 3.5/5

-I'm terrible with scores. Also that's without considering technical issues.
 
Last edited:

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
5,952
113
Guess i should have played a bit more, the game didn't really give any indication it would be new story etc thought it would be exact repeat of 1st, already uninstalled it guess i'll give it a go again soon again later when i reinstall it again thanks
Without spoiling anything, Route B is definitely going to show you lots of things you saw before, but it starts to deviate more as the plot goes on. As C-Dub has nicely said, it's about shift in perspective which allows you to more fully understand the story.
That being said, I think it also speaks a bit about the insanity of Yoko Taro as a designer to really be so extreme a to repeat almost the entire story of the previous route, without skipping things you already saw. Nier really is a strange example of a game that is at time almost aggressively inaccessible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Magnamalo

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Oh didn't know it's a more unique playthrough on the 2nd? In the beginning hour or two of 2nd playthrough it seemed it's the exact same as first playthrough but you play as 9s

Guess i should have played a bit more, the game didn't really give any indication it would be new story etc thought it would be exact repeat of 1st, already uninstalled it guess i'll give it a go again soon again later when i reinstall it again thanks
Route 3/4 is where it goes off the rails (in good way).

Route 2 is about shifting perspective and seeing your foes with a different point of view.

But the point stands that you’ve barely scratched the surface on this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Magnamalo

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Completed Deathloop (PC)

This game is not a roguelike. I repeat, this game is not a roguelike. I hate roguelikes/roguelites and I loved this game.

Deathloop is, at its core, an investigative immersive sim that leans closer to BioShock than Deus Ex as far as immersive sims go. It's more action oriented and leans heavily on dynamic gameplay with different weapons/powers/approaches, with a linear story (with some choices near the end) and less on the interactive story that Deus Ex-style immersive sims lean on. This is a change for Arkane, who were clearly following in Deus Ex's footsteps when making Dishonored.

While that bit disappointed me in the offset, I cannot deny that Deathloop is awesome.

Yes, you have the loops. Some have said that makes it seem like a roguelike at a glance, but actually the story and character progress linearly advances with each loop that you manage to do something in, with you learning more about the world and the characters as you progress. Roguelikes define themselves as starting from square 1 each time you die, but the looping mechanic in Deathloop is actually part of the plot and the world in a more meaningful way than any roguelike I've played and it doesn't feel like a chore to repeat things as you're always doing a different task in each loop.

The other way to think about it is that, theoretically, it's possible for you to do everything in a single roguelike run. In Deathloop it's impossible as you need to manipulate events to learn new information that you take to the next loop, and you need to do it to such an extent that it becomes impossible to have the "perfect" loop.

But if I were to peg it, I'd say it's BioShock with very light sprinklings of some Souls mechanics (though not the difficulty, more invasions and the Residiuum is similar to Souls inasmuch as you gather it and lose it when you die, and need to recollect it from where you died), a wafer-thin roguelike loop structure (that surpasses it in every single way) and a slightly more limited version of Hitman. But I feel the balance is perfect and all come together really well. If they'd leaned too heavily on any one of these elements, the game would've become overcomplicated and fallen apart. Its depth is in its broadness of gameplay that it's borrowed/adapted, rather than it really drilling down heavily in one specific area.

I'd like to re-emphasise that if you don't like roguelikes/roguelites like me, that shouldn't be an impediment to playing Deathloop because the parts they lifted from roguelikes are so wafer thin, and they've fleshed them out in a way that pushes them beyond that horrible genre in every way imaginable.

If you don't like BioShock/System Shock games, then I'd 100% say to avoid Deathloop. But if you loved those games, you will love this.

The story in Deathloop is fun. Nothing remarkable, and the ending feels like it needs a bit more to it as it's very vague and a little unsatisfying, but the journey to get there is very enjoyable. I love to hate all of Blackreef's hedonistic pieces of shit Visionaries (and very much enjoy killing them), and I enjoy the conversations between Julianna and Colt as you move around Blackreef.

The elephant in the room are the bugs. The game has notable performance issues which I avoided with some setting tweaks (I played everything on High/Very High with AMD's upscaling tech at "4K" locked to 60fps). My main issue is the crashing, which can be very frustrating when you're trying to pull off something and you're almost there, and the game crashes, requiring you to restart the whole sequence (not loop - the game saves multiple times each loop as you progress from morning to evening).

But bugs will (hopefully) be fixed and it wasn't so bad that I couldn't see the credits roll. So I'm going to be generous and rate Deathloop as the game I hope it becomes once Arkane have spent some time fixing up the technical issues. Deathloop is a triumph of game design and is a breath of fresh air - a game I've been dying to play since BioShock 1 but never knew I really wanted.

If bugs are going to bother you more than me, then wait this one out for a bit. We all know Arkane is going to be working on it for the forseeable as their new owner will want this on Gamepass for Xbox and PC once Sony's console exclusivity runs out, which gives them valuable time to polish it up and make it the best game it can possibly be.

10/10 - my GOTY so far
 

Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
130
267
63
That was a good review. I would not personally rate it a 10 (more like 8) and consider it weakest Arkane game since first Dishonored, but as unimpressed as I was 5 hours in, now at 16 hours having gotten into the groove of it, I am enjoying it.

The crashes are annoying as fuck though,yeah. Had two in span of some 5 hours gameplay, most recently.
 
  • Like
Reactions: C-Dub

AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
1,936
4,370
113
Completed Deathloop (PC)


I'd like to re-emphasise that if you don't like roguelikes/roguelites like me, that shouldn't be an impediment to playing Deathloop because the parts they lifted from roguelikes are so wafer thin, and they've fleshed them out in a way that pushes them beyond that horrible genre in every way imaginable.

If you don't like BioShock/System Shock games, then I'd 100% say to avoid Deathloop. But if you loved those games, you will love this.
I think you’ve sold me 😮

have you played Hades? Cos that’s the other big “rogue like for people that don’t like them” and I have been unconvinced by everything I’ve heard of that.
Curious of your thoughts and how this may compare?
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Naughty Dog / Sony, 2016)

Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher have hung up the adventuring boots and settled into ordinary lives as a married couple - him working as a commercial salvage diver and her as a magazine journalist. But one night, Drake's past life catches up with him as somebody shows up on his door step who, for years and years, he had presumed dead ... and now needs Nathan's help.

Pro:
  • The game's direction is mostly a direct continuation and expansion of Uncharted 3's design: More cinematic cut-scenes, even more intricate character animation and a literally seamless, loading-screen-free experience from start to finish. Free from the limitations of Playstation 3, the levels are now bigger than ever and most of the time feature multiple paths for the player to the current destination, sometimes walking, often climbing and occasionally also swimming, or driving cars or boats. And there are still specially crafted set pieces to take the action over the top. The technical quality is impeccable across the board and squeezes the Playstation 4 for all it's worth.
  • QTE-based brawling is almost completely gone.
  • While technically Uncharted games had stealth combat mechanics since Uncharted 2, this game is the first where you feasibly can (and sometimes are explicitly meant to) stealth your way through entire encounters.
  • The game's story is meant to wrap up Nathan Drake's stint as a protagonist of Uncharted and so, at least for him, finally, there is lots of backstory and characterization, whole levels and hours of gameplay dedicated to them in fact. In general the writing, dialogue and story-telling is the best it's ever been in an Uncharted game up to this point.
  • The size and detail that the Playstation 4 hardware enables for the level design also enables much longer exploration gameplay phases, and this game is a joy to explore, with fantastically detailed level and asset design and flawless voice over and motion captured character acting.
Con:
  • The antagonist characters still do not get much beyond the minimum necessary characterization to suspend disbelief.
  • The stealth system can't hide it's relation to The Last of Us - when there are AI-controlled friendly characters with you, they will happily scurry around on their own from cover to cover to avoid detection - but it's not convincing, there is never any doubt that the enemy AI is simply ignoring them. This breaks immersion quite a bit.
  • The enemy AI in gunfights does not cheat (i.e. back-spawn) anymore, but is still a tad too aggressive for my taste, often forcing the player into mad dashes of running-and-gunning.
  • In general, the high graphical realism of the game now clashes more noticeably with some of the very videogamey action systems, particularly for the climbing and parkour.
  • We're back at 30 FPS.


A lot of things happened between 2011, when Uncharted 3 came out and 2016, when this game was released. Amy Hennig departed from Naughty Dog and Neil Druckmann took over lead-writing and creative-directing duties. Naughty Dog made a little game called The Last of Us. The genre of purely exploratory/narrative games (i.e. walking simulators) exploded. The open-world action-game and RPG genres exploded. The Tomb Raider reboot. Playstation 4. All of these have strong visible influences on Uncharted 4. It's fair to say that at this point, Uncharted is no longer breaking much new ground, it's now taking on inspirations from others and trying to create the perfect package.

Is it the best Uncharted game yet in my opinion? Not quite, Uncharted 2 in the Nathan Drake Collection remastered version is still king for me.

But as far as the more recent grand action-adventure competition is concerned, this five year old game game still beats everything I played so far. Nothing quite achieves such a smooth and tight blend of gameplay, narrative and presentation that is all experience and zero filler. I really should have played this sooner. On the other hand, getting all of this in a sale for EUR 8.99 - amazing deal.

PC gamers really have something to look forward to here with the upcoming 2022 remaster release.



5/5
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
I think you’ve sold me 😮

have you played Hades? Cos that’s the other big “rogue like for people that don’t like them” and I have been unconvinced by everything I’ve heard of that.
Curious of your thoughts and how this may compare?
I did not like Hades because its a roguelike for people who like roguelikes. I don't buy it's for people who don't like them.

It's like putting pineapple on pizza. You love it or you hate it. 99% of roguelikes are akin to putting tinned pineapple on your pizza - some of them will be quality pineapple chunks on the pizza. Some of them will be flavourless watery lumps of shite. Hades, by comparison, is fresh pineapple on pizza. But it's still pineapple on pizza, right?

On the flip side, I loved Deathloop because it ain't a roguelike.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Toucan
Reactions: Paul and AHA-Lambda

AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
1,936
4,370
113
I did not like Hades because its a roguelike for people who like roguelikes. I don't buy it's for people who don't like them.

It's like putting pineapple on pizza. You love it or you hate it. 99% of roguelikes are akin to putting tinned pineapple on your pizza - some of them will be quality pineapple chunks on the pizza. Some of them will be flavourless watery lumps of shite. Hades, by comparison, is fresh pineapple on pizza. But it's still pineapple on pizza, right?

On the flip side, I loved Deathloop because it ain't a roguelike.
Thanks, you’ve sold me 😁👍
 
  • Toucan
  • Gib
Reactions: C-Dub and Wok

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Fixed

(great analogy, I laughed..and nodded)
I almost put "fucking pineapple on pizza" but in my old age I am more conciliatory towards people who like it. It's still nasty, but I'm done crying about food crimes.

But yes, the point is Hades is a very good roguelike. I played it and I appreciate the quality of the product and Supergiant's skill in creating it. There is no doubt in my mind that Hades is an absolutely excellent game... for people who enjoy roguelikes.

Deathloop is different and very hard to define. But it is definitely not a roguelike.

I think at its foundations it is from the BioShock/System Shock family of immersive sim, with some elements borrowed and streamlined from Hitman and Souls, and all of it is weighted and balanced to perfection. It has a superficial structure that on casual glance may be mistaken for a roguelike, but it's really not a roguelike and the developer is keen to emphasise that.

The timeloop, in my view, feels like a twist to the immersive sim formula rather than a roguelike with immersive sim elements. The game very firmly has its roots as an immersive sim, and I don't think Arkane decided at the beginning that they were going to make a roguelike and put immersive sim gameplay into it, but that the looping mechanic is an interesting playground for an immersive sim.

The closest game to a roguelike with immersive sim gameplay in my mind is probably Void Bastards, and that is nothing like Deathloop.

Thanks, you’ve sold me 😁👍
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I always get nervous when someone follows my game recommendation because I really hope you don't pay money for Deathloop and hate it. But if you've read my review and the pizza analogy and this post and you've now decided that Deathloop is for you, I'd say go for it. Just be wary that the game does have technical issues on PC so you may want to hold off on a purchase until Arkane have sorted those out.

I have faith they will. The game has reviewed well and Microsoft will be keen to use it to bolster its Game Pass for Xbox/PC in a year, so I suspect they will be putting the work in to get it into a good state.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Evil
Reactions: AHA-Lambda and Wok

Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
2,055
5,735
113
Tales of Arise. Main story and 80% of side quests completed. 70 hours on moderate difficulty.


Positive
  • First half of main story. It has some neat ideas. Execution is shallow, but generally good ideas that not many JRPGs have touched on
  • Visual. From character models to backdrop, perfection
  • Combat system. I mained Rinwell (magic caster) and she is very fun to play with
  • Music. Only a few of them are unforgettable, but most of them are good enough
  • The overall feeling of polish. UI, notifications, in-game map are all clear and easy to use
  • Mascot. Hootle is such a lovely owl. Very expressive in some skits and cutscenes.


Negative
  • Second half of main story. It tries to provide answers to some questions, but in the end more questions are being created. The story also throws tons of new concepts to players within a short period of time
  • Pacing. Watched two to three hours of cutscenes non-stop during one late-game segment. Exposition after exposition.
  • Skit. My biggest complaint of the game. They could have cut at least 1/3 of them because the characters kept repeating the same dialogues. Past events, motivations, beliefs... It is like watching how Tony Stark keeps telling you why he became Ironman, or how Captain American keeps reflecting his past during the Great War non-stop. Largely redundant. This also exposes how shallow the characters are. Last but not least, all of the good and funny skits are related to late-game side content so many players are going to miss the good ones
  • Enemy variety. Another major problem of the game. The variety is very limited and you fight the same wolf / boar / birds etc. throughout the game, including non-human boss
  • Some boss fights are annoying.

Generally speaking, I was very impressed during my early hours into the game. However, the more I played it, the flaws became more noticeable. Skits being repetitive and too serious certainly did not help. In addition, the development team clearly rushed the later half of the game, as evident from poor story pacing and boring environmental design. Nonetheless, these flaws exist on a strong foundation so they should not be overstated.

7.5/10
 
Last edited:

Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
683
1,900
93
Sable


It’s impossible to talk about Sable without also talking about the technical problems, but I’m going to separate them, so if/when they patch the game, you can ignore that part.

First of all, the art style. When I played the demo I was really bothered by the 30 fps cap and “jerky” animations. I think in an attempt to be like a cartoon, several character animations are not smooth and that can be a bit jarring at first. But at 60 fps the camera movements were way better (and actually some of the animations too) and that was enough for me. After that, everything clicked.

Sable is a game about exploring the world that they created… and that’s most of it. It’s not a walking (or hover bike) simulator, because you have to talk to characters, do some platforming and very light puzzle solving, can upgrade your bike, buy outfits/items, and so on. But everything is about absorbing that world. There is no dying and you can actually end the game pretty early if you choose not to explore.

It’s a low budget/small team world, with lots of geometry glitches, but it looks really good and interesting in the unique style they have. As annoying as it is to use buzzwords, what we have here is “organic exploration”. You see something on the horizon and you go check it out. Or after climbing to get to a cartographer in a balloon and buy a map (you can never fully escape Ubisoft towers), you look for interesting looking marks and go there.

The important thing is that… it all works. It’s a relaxing exploration game and it does that really well. I got immersed and had lots of fun wandering around, even with all the severe performance problems I was having. In the end I think I was missing two masks and didn’t collect all the eggs either, but explored just about everything else and I had a really good time doing it. Bonus points for a simple but also relaxing soundtrack.

----
Performance issues (as of 26-Septempber-2021):
Which is why this part is kind of painful to write.

Performance on this game was terrible for me. I have an older quad-core CPU and a 3080, and the game didn’t appear to be pushing either of them, but still after the initial/tutorial section there were a lot of areas that constantly dropped my framerate to 40-50 and some that even got below 30.

And then there were the constant stutters. Even in the most smooth sections the frametime graph always had small spikes, but there were also a lot more severe ones when loading objects and so on. And when the fps tanked, it got really bad.

I don’t know if it was particularly bad on my system, but there are lots of complaints in general even on consoles. And all of this with simple graphics and actually some aggressive pop-in in some details in objects.

I also have lots of sound problems. Some are also part of the stutters problem with audio cutting out, but there are other bugs like sometimes you are riding your bike and a loud sound effect pops out of nowhere. Also it was common for some soundtracks to get stuck playing, particularly the one that plays when you are inside the ships or the one that has a heartbeat sound. They stayed on even when returning to the main menu and required a full game restart.

There are also several small bugs/glitches but not as problematic as these.

Summary:

Crap this post got long…. so here it is:

It says a lot that I played the game more or less nonstop until finishing it (around 12 hours) even with the performance problems I was having. Though I should note that I used a controller which helps with my tolerance of stutters and low fps.

They nailed the hardest part, which is to make a game I really wanted to play, but the technical side needs some serious patching. And I don’t if I’m that confident they will get there. It needs a lot of work and the game doesn’t appear to be doing that well sales wise.

What’s at the center of this stutter mess is great - again if you want relaxing exploration - but I can’t really recommend it in its current state.

2.5/5 for the technical aspects
4.0/5 if they fix it.

Maybe even a 4.25..... I guess I should switch to a x/10 scale.....
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,750
113
Finished

Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PC)

A very good game, much better than I expected. The world is gorgeus, grat environmental details for the majority of places, a bit muddy/blurry textures here and there, but overall really good looking game. Gameplay is tight, but basic. Feel like I have played a lot of games with the same gameplay, but Kena does it solidly even though it's basic. Upgrading abilities and stuff helps to give the gameplay some varation. Very nice and beautiful music too. Story is kinda meh, was interesting during the first 3 hours, but then it got uninteresting and I sorta forgot what was happening. The devs could have explored and gone more into depth with the story and lore of the world. Still thought, very beautiful and well-designed world. A lot of variation in the level design too. Took me 10 hours to finish the game. The rot in the game (small black creatures) are really cute, the characters are also interesting, but I would like to know more about Kena herself. Exploring the world was fun, finding collectibles and doing side-tasks (not many of them, but there are some). The use of magic is also cool. The boss fights were kinda annoying, blocking and dodging didn't always work, felt it was based on luck, not skills.

Overall a fun and great game that is brought down by basic gameplay despite being solid and tight, a story that is sorta forgettable and uninteresting overall. Very nice music thought and great world to explore. Im also very suprised how fast the loading was, super fast loading, Im on a HDD. The optimizaiton was also great.

Other than that, I hate that the game is currently exclusive to EGS on PC. The game does not support cloud save, does not support Dualsense (had to add the game to Steam to get Dualsense working wit hsome haptics stuff), does not support Nvidia Geforce Overlay (so no Ansel, no FPS counter).

Im definetly getting the game on Steam when it's out there, feels like due to EGS I wasn't getting the complete package. I don't feel the platform/launcher/storefront behind a game should matter towards my feelings about the game, as it is not the game's fault, but I actually felt the lack of Steam with Kena.

Score: 8.5/10