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What's everybody playing?

Frag Maniac

Well-Known Member
Just started playing Remnant II. It's a very interesting game with sub worlds that are procedurally generated at random. More than that, each sub world can have a different layout, with routes to secrets being varied as well. The checkpoints, which are crystals that pop out of the ground as you approach them, will completely replenish health, health packs, and ammo. They are best used only at the start of a new region, or area within a region, as backtracking to use them will reset all enemies again in that area.

The nickname "Souls With Guns", which this franchise picked up after the first installment released, is apropos, as it can be tough to play solo even on the lowest difficulty mode. It's story is not deep or well told, and your character only speaks in cutscenes, while remaining silent with chosen dialog options. You are encouraged to be aggressive and explore, as enemies drop ammo (not always), and crates, chests, coffins, and corpses have useable items, but corpses don't drop weapons.

I'm playing as a Handler, since it's the only Archetype that offers a companion, a dog. He becomes more capable as you gain more XP, but his featured skill Kinship, which drastically minimizes the effect of friendly fire, does no good if you play solo. He is certainly useful for distracting and killing lesser enemies as you engage with tougher ones though, and can even nip away at and distract tougher ones when you need to take cover and reload or medicate.

The dog will also revive you once he becomes stronger, but if you go down at or near an AOE, there's a good chance he'll get stuck in it and die. You can also always revive the dog when he goes down. The game looks to have a lot of replay value considering there are several Archetypes to try, as well as amulets, rings, and relic fragments that can be used on gear and health packs. There are also mods and upgrades for the weapons.
 

Ikawaru

Well-Known Member
I am very disappointed with 'Remnant II', it takes away all of the simplistic charm of the first game and tries to make it more "Bloodborne" or "Dark Souls" which doesn't work for a fast paced gunplay game. What's more, all of the randomly generated content and maps actually make the game feel more artificial, not less. Playing the first game and (foolishly) expecting the second to be like it but better was a mistake on my part.

I mean, on paper the game does have a lot going for it, there is tons of equipment, rings, amulets, more diverse weapons and skills to unlock and not to mention two different classes you can choose. Unfortunately though it all becomes largely irrelevant when you feel the gameplay doesn't work very well because it tries to be 'Dark Souls' when it shouldn't. I mean, playing as hunter who sneaks around the map and takes out baddies covertly is quite fun, but dying because you are climbing down a ladder and getting wrecked by that one enemy you didn't see and dying very easily and having to redo it all at a checkpoint just doesn't work for this kind of gameplay.

I am really shocked and appalled and I feel like I was lied to when I read stuff saying that this game is better than the first one in all respects, this an outright falsehood and it's too bad that mainstream reviewers seem to get it all wrong when more thorough analysis is needed. What sounds good on paper doesn't always translate to better review scores and I can't for the life of me figure out why "professional" reviewers keep perpetuating this nonsense. Just like 'Resident Evil 7', which sounded great on paper but turned out to be little more than a huge full price tag gimmick for the series in practice, also was overlooked by reviewers and they hammered forward the lie that it brought the series back to its roots.

Close but no cigar for 'Remnant II', I should have skipped it and waited for 'Starfield' but now I will have to wait until 'Starfield' goes on sale and is patched up adequately. Oh well, serves me right for buying into hype when these kinds of things happen in the industry all the time.
 

pa-pappys8675309

Well-Known Member
I don't know those two games ^ but the gameplay vids look pretty cool, might check into them as time permits :)

I'm on RE2 remake lately. The thing I don't like about RE2 remake is all the backtracking. Just starting out on it I want to explore everywhere and collect everything because I'm not using a walkthrough guide and don't know what I'll need. I forgot how tired I was of all the backtracking to storage boxes all those yrs ago, but they have done a great job of reminding me lol. That said it looks great, but I've also gotten used to games where I can dodge pretty much at will and I'm bothered that I can't in RE2 remake. I'm still going try to buy into it though.

RE3 remake had decent mechanics but it was a bit too short and Nemesis wasn't nearly the unstoppable juggernaut he once was. I didn't miss the clocktower though and liked the Umbrella facility, just too short.
 

Ikawaru

Well-Known Member
EBOLA VILLAGE DEMO

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I don't know about you, but I like scantly clad protagonists!

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Gruesome!

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This may, in fact, come in handy.

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Shoot, this door just flung open, what could be behind it?!

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Shocker! A zombie/Crimson Head/Ganado type beast.

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What's behind this door??

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I found a knife, an heb, some shotgun shells, and more .45 ammo, lots useful stuff in one little entryway. Also there's some aggressive moaning behind this door and notice the bloody footprints.

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I shot him in the mouth and face and look what happens, gruesome!

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I took him down and found some clothes! She looks awfully familiar doesn't she?

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Also found this shotgun, and here is a save phone and an inventory box, very fitting. Now let's go back outside...

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I become surrounded and have to fight them all off! After taking damage I prevail. You should have seen what their faces looked like when I blasted them! I've never seen such graphic gore before.

That's it, the demo ends here, short but promising.
 

Jade Kennedy

Well-Known Member
Today, I'm gonna be playing Rock Band 3 with my bro. Specifically the DLC we bought (Paramore, The Smiths, AFI, etc.)
Tomorrow, we're playing again but I'm buying more DLC (such as Slipknot, more Paramore, Nine Inch Nails, and Dashboard Confessional.)
I can't wait! :D:D:D
 

Ridley Lockhart

Well-Known Member
Today, I'm gonna be playing Rock Band 3 with my bro. Specifically the DLC we bought (Paramore, The Smiths, AFI, etc.)
Tomorrow, we're playing again but I'm buying more DLC (such as Slipknot, more Paramore, Nine Inch Nails, and Dashboard Confessional.)
I can't wait! :D:D:D
NIN & Paramore and slipknot are awesome and some of my favorite bands. Ain't It Fun
 

Frag Maniac

Well-Known Member
Lately I'm playing Atomic Heart, Sniper Elite 5, Dead Space Remake, The Callisto Protocol, and Jedi Survivor, all of which I got on the EA Play and Steam holiday sale.

---SOME SPOILERS AHEAD---

Atomic Heart


Sort of like a steampunkish alternate timeline where the soviet union won WWII and leads the world in technology. There are many robots in the game, as well as horticulture projects to terraform the Moon and Mars.

Things go horribly wrong when a guy named Viktor Petrov sabotages the robots, which results in them attacking and killing humans, and even plant life attacking and mutating soldiers.

You play a guy named Sergey Alekseyevich Nechaev, whom is a Major in the military, and also goes by "Agent P-3". He is tasked by Dr Sechenov, whom is the genius behind the bulk of the technology, to find the culprit and bring him to justice.

There are various types of technology used in combat, such as shock, combat polymer, and canisters that can be attached to weapons that can impart environmental effects such as freeze and fire. You wear a glove, which can do everything from interact with robotic devices via it's tentacles that emerge from the palm, to emitting shock charges and spraying polymer. The polymer, especially when upgraded, can significantly effect the strength and duration of effects used. The glove also has telekinetic abilities, which can make looting very easy as it pulls items out of cabinets, desks, etc, and can even levitate and slam large groups of enemies when fully upgraded.

Sniper Elite 5

This is one of the better games in this great franchise, with very large and intricately crafted maps and missions. It takes place shortly after the events of SE4 in France. The graphics and effects in this one make it really stand out from prior installments. Not only is the detail very high, it has HDR too.

What I really like about this one is there are a LOT of little optional objectives that take a bit of work to do, as well as many ways to infiltrate. There are also many placements and types of troops. You also need to know what are good hiding spots for yourself and corpses, and take care to disable alarms, or kill enemies before they can sound them.

It has a light Hitman vibe now where you can hide 2 corpses in large bins that appear here and there, as well as key tools you can find that help open up routes, such as a crow bar, or bolt cutters. XP is given for hiding bodies in these bins, but they can sometimes be discovered in tall grass. Not all objectives show in your itinerary though, so you WILL have to explore to complete them all.

If you want to use suppressors on your long range rifles, you'll need to perform acts than net a good amount of XP repeatedly to unlock them. Not to worry though, if you prefer a more natural vs forced progression rate, you'll have access to suppressors on your shorter range weapons well before then.

Dead Space Remake

It's no wonder why this one has been a big hit. It not only looks WAY better than the original, with some of the best looking HDR I've seen, it has also improved upon it in remade gameplay, which adds navigation puzzles, a TON of added free form zero G elements, and yet it takes away the frustrating wasted upgrade nodes the original had. It also does a fair job of adding suspense. Just when you think things are easy peasy, as there are SOME omitted combat scenes from the original, it tosses in enough scares to keep you honest during the many times you will need to backtrack. The backtracking doesn't feel repetitious either, as there are ways they change things via lighting, explosions, etc, to make it look and feel completely different. There are some segments now too where instead of a small walking area, you have a very large area you can navigate via free form zero G.

Speaking of HDR, it's really brilliant not only how it looks, but how it's implemented. The walls of the ship are now VERY detailed in their texture and what is contained in them. There's even ambient lighting placed within the upper parts of the walls. This means the lighting is such that the HDR really pops, yet things still stay dark enough to be atmospheric. Another way HDR is used is there are now large 3"-4" conduit pipes you can rip off walls to use as Kinesis weapons. The HDR comes into play via a bright ring of light around the end you hold, while the other end is jagged. That light makes them easy to locate on walls or where you drop them. These pipes are very deadly, even with no Kinesis upgrade, and can pin a Slasher to a wall dead in one shot.

The Callisto Protocol

I know this game has had some negative feedback, but I feel it was primarily due to it's condition on release. Since then they have done a great job on optimizing it and revamping the gameplay to where reloads and healing are not ridiculously slow anymore, and made dodging such that you only have to hold a key before you're hit, vs time it well. They also did some decent bug fixing, and after a LOT of gameplay I've yet to have ANY bugs.

The game is still plenty legit hard enough for those looking for a challenge though. Besides being able to choose between 3 levels of Min, Med, Max security, you as well have Hardcore and Contagion modes. And even though dodging, reloading and healing are easier now, you still have times where enemies can combo 3 hits instead of two, or attack while you're fighting another, both of which can be hard to predict.

Callisto is a prison moon of the planet Jupiter, where things have gone awry. Following a biological attack on the moon Europa by a terrorist group Outer Way, the protagonist's (Jacob's) ship is overrun by the terrorists, and crash lands back on Callisto, thwarting his intended last ferrying shipment before retirement. Jacob wakes up in a prison cell, but almost immediately after, the prison becomes overrun by "biophages", inmates afflicted with an unknown disease.

Part of what is cool and suspenseful about this one vs Dead Space is you have no objective markers, or any GPS nav route to use. So there are times you need to listen carefully to dialog and/or explore, to know which way to go. Also, instead of "Kinesis", you have a GRP Glove. This can be used not just to pick up and throw objects, but also enemies. The way it's different from Kinesis is instead of a 3 shot module, you have a battery pack. The pack will drain very quickly if used to pick up and throw enemies, much less quickly tossing small items at Parasites, a small type of leech-like creature.

The game has excellent graphics, all models, environments and lighting are highly detailed. It also has RT and HDR, and it's HDR can also be set to match the nits of your display in 200 nit increments. The game is also very atmospheric in it's environments and audio, there's no shortage of creep factor here.

Jedi Survivor

I saved this one for last because, while the gameplay is very good, and challenging, it's also hugely disappointing that even with the 1/11 update, part of which is said to have performance and stability improvements across all platforms, it's STILL a stuttering mess going into and coming out of cutscenes, which includes loading saves or respawning after death.

It's a shame too because the game on max settings looks and runs pretty well other than that, and has a ton of pretty good exploration and combat.

That's all I have to say about this game until they can fix it properly, but I fear that may never happen.
 
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Frag Maniac

Well-Known Member
---CONTAINS SPOILERS---

This is the complete Castle segment of RE 4 Remake in HDR, where I captured pretty much everything in whole chapter videos. Since there's only really 3 major segments of this game, Village, Castle, and Island, there's nearly 5 hrs total of video here, averaging roughly 58 min each. However most of them average more like 51.5 min, as Chapter 9 is extra long, especially if you backtrack for treasure that isn't accessible until you get keys for it.

Gameplay wise I am not bothering with anymore Shooting Ranges, as they take a fair bit of added time, and I don't feel any other charms are necessary. I'm sticking with the three I have, Green Herb (15% more GH recovery), Handgun Ammo (30% more HA crafted), and Merchant (5% off weapon upgrades). The fact that these are random make them unpredictable and often a waste of time.

I settled on setting ShadowPlay to 1440p at 50Mb/s, and using 30,000 bitrate HEVC compression at Constant bitrate. This is more manageable for me since the compression time takes only half as long as the length of each video, and the file size is WAY less than 4K, so much quicker to upload on my slow 5Mb Up speed. 1440p is more accessible for most regarding res and ISP speeds too.

I have also tested playback on my end, and these do not look washed out for me even if I have HDR in Windows turned off, which is typically needed to be on to see things in HDR on my display for any videos or net content on the PC input. They DO look slightly darker though, so a bit less detailed in dark areas unless you turn up brightness a bit if you lack an HDR capable display. However if your display is not lacking in brightness, that may not be necessary.

I labeled these using the location and objective of the starting point of each chapter.

Chapter 7 - Entrance / Head for the Courtyard

Here we encounter the infamous fireball catapult Zealots, after being greeted by the first head popper in this level trying to give us a sermon in a small chapel, then the cheeky Ramon Salazar, followed by a very nasty Garrador in the dungeon.

Most of this chapter however takes place in the challenging Water Hall area, where flash bangs for head poppers, and pillar cover for flame bolt crossbow Zealots come in handy. The latter of which can be tricky when corpses fall into you during close combat.

Exiting this area then takes you to the courtyard, where Baby Eagle flies the coop.


Chapter 8 - Battlements Entrance / Find Ashley

This chapter has a fight in the Wine Cellar with a Summoner and his Zealots, the first encounter in the game with Ada Wong, a rather hectic fight along the Castle Battlements wall with a giant, ending with finding poor Ashley in tears over hurting Leon.

This is a short level with both stealth and chaos. The Battlements are also one of the areas in the game that can deceive you into thinking it requires backtracking to retrieve treasures, as it did me. Instead there's a way to get them all, even with the giant active.


Chapter 9 - Courtyard / Head to the Ballroom

This chapter starts with a mad dash around the courtyard maze being chased by feral dogs that can pop heads, battles off side rooms of the Grand Hall with a Summoner and his Zealots, and several head popping Knights, while obtaining 3 statue heads.

The Grand Hall is the main hub for this level, and there is also a LOT of treasure that can be had here, and in prior areas, as you don't get the "Cubic Device" until you beat the aforementioned Knights. The Battlements backtracking was my bad though.


Chapter 10 - Grand Hall / Head for the Throne Room

The first area of this level is the Ballroom and it's 3 dozen or so Novistadors (big flying bugs). I usually handle the first half of the Ballroom with a lot of flash bangs, which can stun 3 at a time and leave them vulnerable to knife kills. I was short on ammo and no flash bangs, but made it.

The next area is the Antechamber, which is very challenging as it has two Garradors, and waves of Zealots. I was handling it well until toward the end when I made a couple mistakes going loud shooting Zealots in unwise spots, which got me hacked a lot.

Next we meet up with Ramon again, who's commanding his henchmen to infect Ashley, before having you dropped in a pit. Then it's a fairly easy fight with four Novistadors, finishing with a crazy dance with the rather nasty and relentless Verdugo.

I generally treat the Verdugo segment as a survive and loot scenario, as killing it wastes far too much ammo. I was doing fine, dodging his attacks, getting in freeze/kick combos, and looting everything, until it ended with a cutscene robbing my freeze.


Chapter 11 - Underground Tunnel / Make Your Way to the Surface

This starts with a good battle in a mine against a lot of Ganados, and a male and female Chainsaw wielder. I used a trick this time I hadn't before shooting 3 Bolt Thrower mines way across to the upper tunnel opening enemies emerge from once you drop down.

The mines helped, and took a good chunk out of the Chainsaw guy's health. I used one mine again just after crossing the bridge you lower, which killed two Ganodos that often head pop. The Chainsaw gal though took a LOT to kill, including two Heavy nades.

After this is the romp with the two giants in the big round foundry room, which weren't too much trouble. Once Luis ran to get the dynamite pack though, the bigger armored giant easily caught up to me and smacked me really hard a couple times!

Then there's the mine cart ride, the Novistadors in the Hive, and the first fight with Krauser after he kills Luis. I'm a bit disappointed the cart ride now is just a glorified shooting gallery of sorts. In the original enemies could hop into your cart.

 

Frag Maniac

Well-Known Member
Chapter 12 - Hive / Make Your Way to the Surface

This is the shortest Castle level, at just over a half hour. After the elevator ride up, you take a gondola to the Clock Tower. I like most of how the Clock Tower is different now, including the flame throwing statue of Ramon, but it has one treasure that is very hard to find, which I missed. It's still fun to drop the ball on pursuing enemies once you get to the lever to do so with though!

This chapter ends with a showdown with Ramon, and it is a MUCH harder fight than in the original game. He is FAR more mobile, and his attacks are much more deadly. I was frankly worried I would not have enough ammo. I saved ammo a bit by taking out the three Zealots on the way to the fight with one Heavy nade, then careful use of the big pillar on the stairs made fighting him easier.

 

Frag Maniac

Well-Known Member
I just completed the base game and story DLC of The Callisto Protocol. The Final Transmission DLC extends the story arc of the main character and reveals how the game really ends.

I must say, despite some Steam reviews claiming this game has an uninteresting story, I thought it was pretty well written and suitably as horrific and desperate as you'd want a survival horror game to be.

There was also a bit of cognitive dissonance revealed at the end and a really sad ending in the DLC that wrapped things up well. It's one of those games that puts you in a mood after playing it that makes you really feel for the protagonist.

Gameplay wise, the arsenal, is rather minimalist, especially if you limit yourself to the 3 most effective weapons. You also have more inventory space that way, since there's less ammo types to carry. I actually prefer this in Survival Horror games for two reasons, they are limited resource type games anyway, and it feels more realistic than being able to carry an armory on your back like in Doom (which I'm fully aware is an FPS btw, not SH).

Combat loop wise it's fairly minimalist as well, requiring careful balancing of melee, guns, and GRP Glove. Some have claimed it gets repetitious, but I feel they varied the types of enemies and environs just enough to keep things from being predictable. Just the fact that you often don't know when an enemy's combo is going to end, or when another will join in the fight, keeps you on your toes.

They also save some of the best potential projectiles to toss with the GRP Glove for later in the game. I also prefer how the use of the GRP Glove looks, sounds, and feels compared to Kinesis in Dead Space. The inventory space is also more minimalist, as you don't change suits as often as in Dead Space. This means you have to carefully weigh your decision of how much health, ammo, and GRP batteries you carry.

Even the monetary system is more minimalist than Dead Space, where money you get for selling rare parts you find is not nearly enough to fully upgrade 3 guns, the baton, and the GRP. In fact I often times had to buy ammo vs an upgrade. It works out well as long as you don't overuse any part of the basic combat elements, which can leave you low on health, ammo, or batteries. In fact I'd say the game is well balanced.

Some have said as well that the combat, especially the melee, feels clumsy. It can, but mainly if you try to overuse melee, as when Jacob gets tired, it shows, as it SHOULD in a survival horror type game. There are also times when the reticule to shoot a worn down enemy appears when you're VERY close to an enemy that is sprouting, which is more likely to happen if you don't balance melee with dodge.

Tentacles sprouting on an enemy while in combat can be good, or bad. With a balanced attack, Jacob will less likely stumble toward the enemy, allowing him space and time to not just blindly shoot at the reticule prompt, but instead at the tentacles. The latter is preferred, because it can down them in one shot. That means less ammo used, and less likely another will gang up on you, leaving two to fight simultaneously.

If you get caught out stumbling tired though, chances are at some point, an enemy's sprouts are going to fester, and they'll transform into something MUCH harder to deal with. A lot of people I find don't pay attention to or appreciate small details like this in a game. It can mean the difference between a well fought fight, and feeling like the game is "too clumsy" in it's combat as some claim in negatively biased reviews.
 

Ikawaru

Well-Known Member
Atomic Heart

I like the setting, but I'm honestly getting tired of overly drawn out intro segments. I understand that they were designed to create a sense of immersion but at this point in my life I kinda just want to be able to start the game from the getgo and be able to piece together the story as I go, should I desire, and not walk around looking at crowds and scenery and listening to people fill me in on what is going on in the world. I prefer a sense of mystery and discovery.

Downloaded the demo, will actually play it after I get out of work. Looks promising but I hope it gets better after this drawn out intro segment.
 

bSTAR_182

Sexually Active Member
Aliens Fireteam Elite-

Downloaded this game for free from PlayStation Plus because it was the game of the month and I finally got around to playing it this weekend. Truly love it so far! It's like a 3rd person Left 4 Dead/Back 4 Blood but with Aliens. The mechanics also remind me of RE6's mechanics.

I'm currently on the 3rd part of the 1st mission and died horribly by the hoard of Aliens at the tail end.
 
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