Whatcha Been Playing?

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

Suits wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 3:45 pm
The invisible arrows that kill you when you tread outside of where R* want you to go in RDR2 really dampened the open world-ness of the game for me.

Sure, BotW has areas that your not supposed to go, but they gate that with items like cold weather clothes and heat proof items, which makes more sense to me than the death screen of RDR2.

Not being able to “go over there” in RDR2 really made me sad when I fancied an archeological adventure.
You could go anywhere in RDR2 though. The only part of the map inaccessible was the south west portion for story reasons. In missions yeah, you couldn't stray too far from the route, but in free roam the whole world was explorable.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits »

After the first 20 hours or so I wanted to go exploring to find some dinosaur bones and couldn’t.

So you can’t go everywhere.

We may well have different ideas here about what you class as go free to go everywhere.

Dying by invisible arrows every time you cross that river or ravine sucked.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

Fair enough, definitely not saying it didn't happen, I just never came across it. Was it a specific area you're talking about?

ThirdMan

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan »

Suits wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 8:01 pm
After the first 20 hours or so I wanted to go exploring to find some dinosaur bones and couldn’t.

So you can’t go everywhere.

We may well have different ideas here about what you class as go free to go everywhere.

Dying by invisible arrows every time you cross that river or ravine sucked.
Where exactly were you trying to go? On my first playthrough I explored the map from top to bottom within the first 20 hours and never had any issues, except for the southern area from the first game.

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DeadpoolNegative
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by DeadpoolNegative »

Can Androids Pray: Blue- A few weeks ago I happened to come across this- an itch.io narrative game that somehow wound up on XBox One, snuck onto the platform on Christmas Eve. Written by Xalavier Nelson Jr. and designed by Natalie Clayton, with music by Priscilla Snow. Despite it being only 20 minutes (and far less if you're a speed reader like me), it's $6.99 (Ratalika has several narrative adventure games three times that length for cheaper). And yet, I don't feel cheated, because Can Androids Pray is a moving experience.

We're hundreds of years into the future, on a planet that may or may not be a dead earth, and two female mech pilots are stuck on the surface waiting to die. They're both soldiers in an endless war between Mercury and Venus, though they're on the same side. The mechs are broken. The radiation on this dead earth will surely kill them by morning. No one knows where they are. Help is not coming.

You play one of the women, and it's all dialogue choices. The other mech pilot, the inquisitive one, keeps badgering you in your final hours. And you learn a few things about this world. And the way it's come to value humanity. Without giving too much away, Nelson causes the player to question the reality of the situation, mainly because these characters aren't too sure themselves. And there's also the question of faith in a world that can seem completely artificial.

I can't say any more. But If you've got the extra shekels and want an easy 1000 game score, and want a good story to boot, I say give it a whirl.

--Dan

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits »

Alex79uk wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 8:31 pm
Fair enough, definitely not saying it didn't happen, I just never came across it. Was it a specific area you're talking about?
ThirdMan wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 10:30 pm
Where exactly were you trying to go? On my first playthrough I explored the map from top to bottom within the first 20 hours and never had any issues, except for the southern area from the first game.
It's hard to recall exactly, as I last played it during its release week, when a I booked a few days off, a friend came to stay and we planned to rinse this game.

Anyway. From my memory after the initial 10/15 hours of our gameplay we fancied a change and started exploring the beautiful world and scenery.

Another thing me and my pal like to do in these games is collect the "hidden package's" to which we still refer to them as.

Because of this I also picked up the official hard back guide and we soon identified the dinosaur bones as a fun task to explore the world and poke around in all its corners.

It was at this point that we soon realised that if you stray too far from the story beat, or beyond what area the story decides you must stay in, you simply start to take damage from what appears to be invisible arrows, or gun fire.

It took us a few attempts to begin to realise that you couldn't explore the areas that you wanted to until you had unlocked the game - fair enough.

But the invisible deaths suck.

These areas were the areas to the West and the South as you have both suggested.

We continued to play the main story well into our 40th hour and even once we'd returned from our tropical isle adventure, we still couldn't explore the world freely.

I recognise the game as a marvel and probably the greatest video game story I've ever enjoyed, but I didn't enjoy the "open world" roll out and the ethereal gatekeepers that keep you pinned in the area you are supposed to stay in. (As well as the controls, pacing and traversal in the game.)

My friend went home and picked it up and put another 100 hours into his save. I never played it again after release week.

Long story short, will a bit more context, but I much prefer the open world setting and its mechanics of BotW over RDR2.

ThirdMan

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan »

I also prefer the exploration and mechanics of BotW. It is indeed the high watermark. It's utterly peerless in my opinion.

'Invisible arrows' are immersion-breaking constructs so I understand where you're coming from. It just wasn't an issue for me. I didn't know New Austin was going to be available in the game. It wasn't revealed or hinted at during the promotional build-up (at least not that I can remember) so it came as a complete surprise. I'd just put 70+ hours into the main map and here was a whole new area opening up before me.

If I had come across invisible arrows I'd have simply thought it was an expected, albeit hackneyed, way of telling me what I already knew, that the map has to end somewhere. This is a representation of the United States, not a fantasy island, so there simply has to be some reason why I can't keep walking outward indefinitely. I'd have met the arrows and said "okay, the map ends here" then turned around, just as I've done in a thousand other games. As luck would have it I didn't push at those (necessary) boundaries and I was richly rewarded.

It sounds like you had the game's biggest reveal spoiled for you because you chose to use a strategy guide. That's a story as old as time. if you didn't look at the guide you wouldn't have known there was an accessible New Austin to find any bones in. You'd likely never have ventured out as far as the arrows, or if you did you may have just rolled your eyes at how poorly Rockstar implemented the game's ultimate invisible wall. However you chose to break-out the full, spoiler-tastic map, then rail against the game for not letting you access something which, in the ordinary course of play, you wouldn't even know was there.

I'm not criticising you by the way. You've handed over your hard-earned cash and can play the game however you want. That's a guiding principle of single-player games as far as I'm concerned. But you risk having a qualitatively different experience and, I'd argue, not the developer's intended experience, when you resort to a guide or other extra-textual material. That's a lesson I learned all the way back in 1999 when I spotted 'Qui Gon's Funeral' on The Phantom Menance OST, a full month before the film was released!

For me, there was no open world "roll out". The map that fans expected, that was released during the promotional build-up, was fully explorable as soon as you finish the prologue, just like BotW. However unlike that game you could fully explore that map. There was no temperature or stamina restrictions, which in practical terms gated parts of Hyrule until you level up your gear. Hyrule is fully open as soon as you descend from the Great Plateau, except it isn't, not really. You have to make progress in the world before you can walk every route. In contrast, you can explore RDR2's main map from top to bottom as soon as the introduction ends. That the game surprises the player with a whole new area in the final fifth of the game doesn't detract from the fact that it's an open world. You've put "open world" in quotation marks as if it hasn't earned it. The exact same thing was leveled against The Witcher 3 because it's ultimately a composite of multiple maps. I'd still argue that game, just like RDR2, is one of our finest open worlds. At times it seems as if people's expectations aren't in line with what's possible. Thankfully the new Microsoft Flight Simulator is imminent. An actual, open-world is finally within reach!

Anyway, if your position is simply that every single square inch of RDR2's map isn't open from the very start of the game then fair enough, you're correct, and you're clearly justified in criticising it on those grounds. Personally I think there's a coldness and lack of imagination in that analysis but, as I said, you're not wrong. There's no reason why New Austin couldn't have been open from the start. Personally, I'm happy it wasn't. We're living in an age when we're all dodging leaks and spoilers. It's a minor miracle that I made it so far into the game without having anything ruined, particularly something as wonderful and nostalgia-fuelled as New Austin.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits »

ThirdMan wrote:
February 8th, 2020, 1:49 pm
It sounds like you had the game's biggest reveal spoiled for you because you chose to use a strategy guide. That's a story as old as time. if you didn't look at the guide you wouldn't have known there was an accessible New Austin to find any bones in. You'd likely never have ventured out as far as the arrows, or if you did you may have just rolled your eyes at how poorly Rockstar implemented the game's ultimate invisible wall. However you chose to break-out the full, spoiler-tastic map, then rail against the game for not letting you access something which, in the ordinary course of play, you wouldn't even know was there.
Sorry pal, but your presumption that what spoiled the game for me was that, - is total rubbish.

All the guide does, or what I used it for, were the locations of Dinosaur bones.

I didn't enjoy the game for frustrating gameplay choices and certain mechanics that I felt made the game too slow.
ThirdMan wrote:
February 8th, 2020, 1:49 pm
Anyway, if your position is simply that every single square inch of RDR2's map isn't open from the very start of the game then fair enough, you're correct, and you're clearly justified in criticising it on those grounds. Personally I think there's a coldness and lack of imagination in that analysis but, as I said, you're not wrong. There's no reason why New Austin couldn't have been open from the start. Personally, I'm happy it wasn't. We're living in an age when we're all dodging leaks and spoilers. It's a minor miracle that I made it so far into the game without having anything ruined, particularly something as wonderful and nostalgia-fuelled as New Austin.
Like I said, 40 hours in.

New Austin was leaked about a year before the game came out.

ThirdMan

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan »

Suits wrote:
February 8th, 2020, 2:39 pm
Sorry pal, but your presumption that what spoiled the game for me was that, - is total rubbish.
With respect, I never assumed, or indeed said, that having the New Austin map revealed in the guide spoiled the game for you. You'd already made it clear that you had other, more fundamental, problems with the game. What I said was much more limited in scope, namely that it it looked like the strategy guide may have spoiled that one key reveal for you. I expected you to reply, perhaps even strongly if I was way off the mark, but if you're going to tell me I'm talking rubbish then let's at least make sure we're talking about the same thing! In any event you were already aware that New Austin was playable, up to a year before the game dropped, so my guess/assumption was void ab initio.

In any event I don't think I was being unreasonable. I wasn't aware that the full world had been leaked, let alone that far in advance. As far as I was concerned the New Austin issue was 'live' at the time of us all playing the game in week 1 (or week 3, in my case). You'd been using a guide to effectively spoil the location of the bones (I find that quite baffling actually, but hey, they're expensive games and we all have our own way of getting value from our purchase) so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that you'd have spoiled the full map while doing so, if you weren't already aware of it. But again, you were already aware of the full map so I was incorrect from the outset.
Suits wrote:
February 8th, 2020, 2:39 pm
Like I said, 40 hours in.
Okay, 40 hours in. The net effect is the same and you're correct either way. RDR2 isn't like other open worlds in that it withholds some of its map until the story has been progressed. Please tell me if that's an accurate summation of how you feel. However you frame it, I'll likely agree because it's simply a matter of fact. You cannot explore the full world at a time of your choosing. That choice has been made for you.

I just don't think that warrants the game's map being contested as you did when you described it as an "open world". Correct me if I'm wrong, but you came across as quite derisive in that sentence. As I've already made clear, I'm not going to disagree with you in so far as the game isn't fully open until late in the game. But to contest RDR2's status as an open-world game is, to me, quite extraordinary. Does Rockstar's decision to withhold New Austin mean they've created a semi open world, which earns full open world status when the game finally and fully unlocks? I'm not sure what your position is. I fail to see RDR2 as anything other than an open world game. I mentioned The Witcher 3 earlier. I can see how that's not an open world in the way that GTAV is an open world, but semi open-world just doesn't cut it for a game of that scale, with vast areas that have all of the choice and accoutrements that we expect from open worlds.

Bringing it back to BotW, I adored that game for its unguided openness. And yet like RDR2 it's not fully explorable until well into the game. I've already made that point above but it's worth unpacking a bit more in terms of hours. How many hours of gameplay does it take before you have all of the temprature blocks and stamina wheels to go anywhere you want? It's possibly the most free form and open game I've ever played and yet I had to solve puzzles, earn currency and collect parts before I could kit myself out with the appropriate skills and gear to let me go everywhere. It's not story-gated like RDR2, but there are systems in place that impose limits on you and that guide you toward progressing your character until you can surmount them. It's certainly a different approach and offers substantially more freedom than RDR2 but certain of BotW's areas are gated.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits »

I’m so sorry, I just don’t have the inclination (or ability), to go as granular into the points you make - which are all excellent by the way.

I simply didn’t like the way you got murdered by sky angels in RDR2 when you stepped into an area you’d not unlocked the privilege of exploring yet.

New Austin being in the game has little to no effect on me at all.

I have issues with that game that make it fundamentally hard for me to enjoy. Sadly.

However - I still recognise it as an excellent achievement in video game narrative.

ThirdMan

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan »

That's fair enough. It's election day here so I've been happy with the distraction but I realise the topic isn't worth the time.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits »

The Rugby 😐.

ThirdMan

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan »

Ha, I've no interest in rugby. Like most Irish people actually. Before we became good at it, that is.

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DeadpoolNegative
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by DeadpoolNegative »

I would join in on this RDR2 discussion since i Beat it recently but I made a massive post in its own thread for the podcast (which I Hope came in on time for the guys to read on the show, as I have not listened to it yet).

--Dan

ThirdMan

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan »

DeadpoolNegative wrote:
February 8th, 2020, 8:42 pm
I would join in on this RDR2 discussion since i Beat it recently but I made a massive post in its own thread for the podcast (which I Hope came in on time for the guys to read on the show, as I have not listened to it yet).

--Dan
Whether it made the podcast or not, it was an excellent post and a fine contribution to the thread.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

I'm fairly sure I remember it being on there, DPN.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

Deus Ex

First time playing the O.G.! I thought I would just play for a bit, get a feel for it, then maybe move onto Human Revolution. I ended up playing it for about 9hrs over the weekend. This game is compelling. The levels have an extraordinary sense of place, the fragments of flavour text you get build a picture of a 2052 that has gone very wrong, and some of the level design is A+.

For example Hell's Kitchen which I think is quite a well regarded one,there are just so many ways to go through the level and so many things to do. I got that great immersive sim feeling that I had only really done about 30% of the level, and that I could play it again and have a completely different experience.

Can't wait to get back into it... I will probably end up mainlining this. I still have BioShock on the go, but that one I feel like an hour here or there gunning down splicers and mucking about with plasmids is about right. With Deus Ex I can just sink hours into it without realising, it's so much fun.

Doom (2016)

Did an hour of this as well. It's great! That glory kill system is just as satisfying as everyone says it is.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by duskvstweak »

Finished Metal Gear Solid 3 put me in the mood to tackle more unfinished PS2 business. So, I've started Kingdom Hearts II. Past that awful tutorial prologue and now into the game proper. I'm not shy about how many memories this game is bring back.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

I can't settle on much lately. Started and abandoned Wolfenstein, Doom, Prey, Saints Row IV...

Managed to finish Horizon Zero Dawn and now playing Mafia III. I was a big fan of the first two games, and know this got mixed reviews, but I'm enjoying it so far.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by duskvstweak »

Alex79uk wrote:
February 10th, 2020, 8:25 pm
I can't settle on much lately. Started and abandoned Wolfenstein, Doom, Prey, Saints Row IV...

Managed to finish Horizon Zero Dawn and now playing Mafia III. I was a big fan of the first two games, and know this got mixed reviews, but I'm enjoying it so far.
Which Doom and Wolf?

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