Thoughts – Divinity: Original Sin 2

os2_fire

God, this was not a good choice of game to get me back into the reviewing business. Original Sin 2 is a huge, sprawling monster of an RPG, in a way I’ve not quite seen since… well, since the first Original Sin game, but before that it was Ultima VII, a game which the Original Sin series pays knowing homage to. It took me sixty hours to get to the end, which should tell you two things.

  1. This is a really big game. Really really big. There are “only” four acts, each taking place in a single area of the game, but the first tutorial act took me 8 hours to get through.
  2. That I played Original Sin 2 all the way through to the end after ragequitting from Original Sin 1 because of increasingly unforgiving and unfun quest and encounter design indicates that Larian have made some significant improvements to their formula in the sequel.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Thoughts: Carrier Deck

Carrier Deck is Cook, Serve, Delicious with fighter jets.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Thoughts: Nex Machina

Going to try including some video of the games I review now, and Nex Machina is a good place to start since screenshots don’t really do it justice. If nothing else I’ll eventually figure out how to upload in 1080p without Youtube mangling the encoding.

I really liked shoot ‘em ups back in the day. “The day” in this case being the period around 2002-2003, when I was just starting university and had no money and the plethora of free/abandonware shoot ‘em ups perfectly fit the requirements of a man on a non-existent budget. I got quite deep into games such as Raptor: Call Of The Shadows, screwball stuff like Every Extend, the great Tyrian 2000, and Best Shoot ‘Em Up Of All Time Cho Ren Sha 68k. (An Underdogs-sourced copy of Mr. Driller was another favourite of this period, if not quite fitting the description of “shoot ‘em up”.) That being the case, it’s possibly a little surprising that I haven’t really bothered with the genre in the fifteen years since. Partly this is my tastes changing over time — I’m less into being incredibly stressed for fun than I used to be — but mostly it’s because the most interesting games tended to be released on the Playstation. Yes, I know Steam has roughly one billion pixel shooters available, but there’s so many of those I basically view them as shovelware at this point1. If something was going to tempt me back into bullet hell again it would have to have some exceptional selling points behind it. As it turns out, Nex Machina has two.

Continue reading

  1. Which is probably unfair to a lot of them, but there’s so much junk on Steam now that as a player I have to do this sort of ruthless triage to protect my time.
Tagged , , , ,

Thoughts: Expeditions Viking

viking_convo

I didn’t play all that much of Expeditions: Conquistador. Based on my experience with its sequel Expeditions: Viking, I’m starting to think that may have been a mistake.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Thoughts: Endless Space 2

Warning: getting maps off other people makes the endgame chug a bit.

It took me a while to warm up to Endless Space 2. I regarded the first game as something of a qualified success, but the fantasy followup Endless Legend left me completely cold despite having some ideas and mechanics that were, objectively, very good indeed – it’s the first time ever that I’ve bounced off a game without being able to really explain why, and to start with I was afraid that the same might be true of Endless Space’s sequel. Partially this is because I made the mistake of buying it a week before it came out of Early Access, foolishly assuming (because I’d done the same thing with Battle Brothers and had a whale of a time) that it wouldn’t be too different from the finished article; instead Amplitude released a 3 gigabyte patch on launch day that papered over a lot of the obvious Early Access holes and made it significantly more coherent as an end-to-end experience.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Thoughts: Prey

prey_lobby

I have done a terrible job of a) posting and b) responding to comments recently, for which I can only apologise. I was having some severe motivational issues and needed to take a break. 

Here’s a fun game you can play when reading a review of Prey on a mainstream gaming outlet. Do Ctrl-F, and count how many times the reviewer mentions Bioshock. Then do the same thing for System Shock. Then correlate those mentions with a score, or the overall tone of the review. I guarantee you the better reviews will have name-dropped System Shock at least once; these are the ones that really understand where Prey is coming from, because it’s System Shock 3 in all but name.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Thoughts: Battle Brothers

bb_orcs

Battle Brothers is the low-fantasy mercenary company management game I always wanted.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,