Some more notable games. (Gaming)

by cheapLEY @, Sunday, January 02, 2022, 11:38 (844 days ago) @ CyberKN

Now I'm hoping for Switch ports of some of those 1st-person Metroid Prime games on the Gamecube.

Jeff Grubb has basically confirmed that Metroid Prime Remastered is happening. He's pretty reliable and has good sources for industry news like this.

So, onto some more games.

Exo One
This one came out of nowhere a few months ago on Game Pass. I finished in one sitting, around four hours. It's just a cool experience. You are basically a spherical space ship traveling over alien worlds. You pull the trigger to increase gravity and release the trigger to lower it. It's like a 3D Tiny Wings, in a lot of ways. It does some clever things later on like taking away directional control, so you have to use the terrain intelligently to direct yourself towards the objective. It's well worth checking out.

Life is Strange: True Colors
The best Life is Strange game. What more needs to be said? But I'll say it anyway. The core mystery of the game is interesting, even if the payoff doesn't quite land. Alex Chen is straight up the best Life is Strange character, though. She is so well realized and so relatable. The character writing in the game is stellar. The choices feel meaningful. I think the supernatural gimmick of this game is sort of a wasted opportunity. There's only a couple of really big moments in which you use the power, and I'm not sure they're really paid off all that well. But it's a great experience and easily my favorite one of these.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
I didn't finish this one, but it's a great game. It's gorgeous, it's fun, I think it's a great revival of that sort of old styled game.

Another strong argument for Game Pass. Outriders didn't quite hold up in the end game, but it was a fun 8 or 10 hour campaign, plus another few hours playing through random stuff with friends. The gameplay is really fun. It's truly the closest thing to Mass Effect 3 gameplay I've seen since then, and it was kind of exactly what I wanted at the time. I wouldn't call it great, but I also liked the writing in the game. The player character is written as a sort of cliched sarcastic badass, but it really worked for me in Outriders. It struck the exact right balance of goofy and sort of self-serious that I'm pretty convinced wasn't intentional, but still worked and ended up being really great.

Hitman 3
I don't think it's as good as Hitman or Hitman 2, but the fact that those two games get updated into the Hitman 3 engine and can be played from within Hitman 3 makes it basically a completely package. It's still the great new Hitman gameplay with a few cool levels and few bad ones.

Forza Horizon 5
Another great entry in the series, and probably my favorite. It looks gorgeous and is as fun to play as ever. More than anything, though, it made me really excited for the next Forza Motorsport, which is supposed to be a ground up rebuild of the engine and tech behind Forza.

Unfortunately, this is my most disappointing game of the past few years. I was so excited for this game. I thought I was getting Hitman by way of Dishonored, but ended up with a game that didn't live up to either of those things. The potential is there, bu the pieces didn't come together. Instead of getting a Hitman style clockwork world with the gameplay of Dishonored, where the player pieces together how to kill all 8 Visionaries in a single day, we ended up with a sort of mediocre Dishonored style game in which the game holds your hand every step of the way and points you directly towards the next thing to do. Instead of experimenting to craft a perfect run, it's a paint by numbers follow the objective with not much else going on.

Halo Infinit
I'm still not sure about this. I had a good time playing through the campaign, but I didn't do much of the open world stuff, and I think it was actively bad design decision. It's not additive to Halo (at least not in the way 343 implemented it). The best I can say is that they don't force the open world on the player--with a few minor exceptions, you can just go from campaign mission to campaign mission. Not being able to go back and replay those missions without starting over is something they need to fix, too. I'm reasonably happy with the story. I think they did a fine job actually addressing the Halo 5 ending while sort of sidestepping it. I can't decide how I feel about basically just returning to the status quo at the end in regards to Cortana. And I'm not sure introducing yet another ancient precursor species as a new enemy was really the correct call. I think there's so much room to explore conflicts in the post-Covenant era between all those species that we don't really need another galaxy ending threat to fight. It's sort of boring.

The next two games didn't come out this year, but I played a lot of them, and they're worth talking about.

It's just fun, y'all. You think your Guardian feels powerful? Your Guardian is a fucking chump. Warframe is Powercreep: The Game, and it's an absolute blast. Building out guns and frames with stupidly powerful mods and laying waste to everything the game throws at you is just joyful.

Genshin Impact
This game is legitimately great. It's good, not just good "for a free to play game." It's legitimately one of the best, most well designed games I've ever played. It's just a joy to play with fun exploration, fun combat, fun stories to experience, great characters. I know at least one Bungie dev that plays this game a lot, and I genuinely hope he's taking notes. The open world of Genshin is just enormously fun to hang out it in, and it's rewarding to just run around a do open world activities. It's filled with puzzles. Some are large and involved, lots are very small and simple, but they're all fun to engage with and rewarding to complete (both in terms of just joy of completing the challenge and also in the drops you can use to level up characters or gear). There is no Two Tokens and a Blue equivalent here--activities that take a tenth the amount of time as any Public Event are far more rewarding with tangible rewards for your characters.

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