Thoughts: Pillars Of Eternity 2 – Deadfire

deadfire_map

I must admit to approaching Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire with an unaccustomed mix of resentment and resignation. It’s a feeling that reflects Obsidian’s fall from grace; after Pillars 1 and Tyranny, both extremely flawed games with only the Obsidian-brand reputation and faction systems to really make them stand out, in my eyes they’re no longer the accomplished masters of quest and mission narrative who came up with Mask of the Betrayer, Fallout: New Vegas and Alpha Protocol. Partially this is to do with other RPG developers raising their game, but there’s very little separating Tyranny from something like Torment: Tides of Numenera and Obsidian games have to do rather more to sell themselves to me these days. I had all but ignored the Deadfire crowdfunding campaign, was not really up for another game set in the rather tedious Pillars world, and only really bought it because I was done with BattleTech and Thrones of Britannia really wasn’t grabbing me.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Thoughts: BattleTech

battletech_shots

BattleTech is the other mercenary management game I’ve always wanted.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Brief Thoughts: Tacoma, Steel Division, Cook Serve Delicious 2

misc_tacoma

Personal difficulties have been resolved, and so I’m catching up on writing about some of the vast backlog of games I’ve accrued over the past few months. I’ll never have time to write full reviews of all of these, so I’ll instead settle for a few paragraphs about each one.

Tacoma

An interesting one. Tacoma is the next game from Gone Home developers Fullbright, and while I liked Gone Home very much I didn’t get on with Tacoma quite so well despite the setting being very much My Jam: instead of wandering around a spooky abandoned house trying to piece together what happened prior to your arrival, you’re instead wandering around an abandoned space station trying to piece together what happened prior to your arrival, with some AI stuff thrown into the mix. It’s a more sedate game than Gone Home was because at no point does Tacoma really try and trick you or really throw you any curveballs; the focus is instead purely on unravelling the station’s immediate past, with very few twists concealed within that past. It’s also more overtly linear than Gone Home was; Gone Home’s mansion allowed it a little more artifice in how it camouflaged its plot rails, while Tacoma doesn’t even try to hide it — there are four areas of the station, you tackle them one after another, and you cannot move on to the next one until you’ve finished all the plot in the current one.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Thoughts: The Shrouded Isle

shrouded_map

Yeah, I don’t think I like Shrouded Isle very much.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Plan B

nextwave

Well, that didn’t go according to plan. I thought this would be a good time to pick the blog back up again as we’re now deep into the autumn games rush, but unfortunately the universe has picked precisely this moment to drop a couple of significant changes in my personal circumstances on top of my head. Full resumption of posting will unfortunately have to wait while I sort out what I’m doing with my life, but in the meantime I do have a few smaller posts to throw in here as I was still writing during the 3-month drought, just not finishing stuff. So there should be something going on here if you check back every couple of weeks. By December I should be able to either resume a normal service, or I’ll have gone too far the other way and have nothing but free time to write things – either way I don’t intend to let this place lie fallow for long. Stay tuned.

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 , , ,