General Video Game Thread
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Courtesy of @Auspice's advice on the xbox pass thing, I've been playing The Outer Worlds, and while I think it's a good game I can absolutely understand anyone who would have criticisms. It's pretty clear that the game benefited hugely from comparison to Fallout 76 and is being hyped in response to it. I've talked about the whole BioWare/Black Isle/Obsidian/etc lineage so these comparisons are reasonable but it does give people an agenda in wanting to love one and shit on the other, even though The Outer Worlds is... 80% Fallout in space, with a visibly smaller budget.
The writing is great. But the companion quests are really thin. Having seen the reviews and chatter, I was primed for the Parvati stuff but there's... very little to it? The idea of dealing with her sexuality being one thing you talk about was intriguing, yet it being the full extent of the character was a let down.
And compared to a game that focuses on it (I think this is relevant to @Thenomain's comparison with Borderlands) the combat is mediocre: there are all of... I want to say a dozen different enemies in the game (if you don't count variants), and RPG wise I wouldn't say the numbers and systems are well designed: armor has close to no value on 90% of enemies, plasma is almost always the right damage type, stuff tends to get one-shotted or kill you equally fast, etc.
I did like the character creation a lot, but there are still cg traps despite the 'play your way' hype. This is actually exacerbated by the respeccing, since some skills are really only useful in the between-mission sense, so that its better to respecc in and out occasionally than actually play with them (looking at you Science). Experimenting with the Flaws, they're not fun, just punishing. The drugs (and consumables in general) are underwhelming or outright terrible: why would you ever use Adrena-Time?
This isn't to say it's bad. Its a fun game with a solid story and some great characters (ADA continues the creators legacy of hilarious artificial characters) and probably worth one replay for a different playstyle and major decisions (and hardcore mode), but its definitely not the holy savior of gaming that some of the coverage is hyping it as.
@Auspice Right? It's a really simple core experience, but there's so many things to work out and learn that it keeps on being more to explore. There are almost no games I'd accept this little of a tutorial in...
Honestly, it seems to be just about everything I hate in video game design (aside from microtransactions) but I still love it to a possibly unhealthy extent.
(Through my day, in the idleness of the work week, I find my thoughts drifting to evocative writing, subtle world-building, and the constant running of timers. While I cruise MSB for shitposts, its tantalizing icon beckons me, almost inexorably. Just a hint, a touch, to see if my next Dream action might yield the next step of my progression...)
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So. Has anyone played Death Stranding yet? I'd like to hear some thoughts.
I finally today earned my Codex of Xerrath, yay me!