For me it’s Operencia and Sword Legacy: Omen. What are you guys playing?
Plowing my way through Deus Ex: Mankind Divided again. It’s really a pretty good game; the team seems to have tried hard to understand what made the original Deus Ex fun to play and given it a much slicker coat of paint.
Just bought Splatoon2 again (will sadly have to redo all my progress AND purchase the DLC expansion since I previously had it downloaded on my ex’s Switch), and I just started watching my partner play Kingdom Come Deliverance! Really fascinated by the world-building, and I’m extremely invested (even though we haven’t gotten very far yet).
I already know I should play through SS and SS2 before Shock3 comes out… I have TIME, but the earlier the better, right?
I’ve been meaning to play Mankind Divided. System Shock is mandatory. There are plenty of high resolution texture packs if you require eye candy, but I suspect both games hold their own, even today.
Have you played Etrian Odyssey Nexus yet?
THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME TO PICK THAT UP! [Etrian Odyssey Nexus, that is]
I sadly haven’t!! But I really should, especially since my 3DS has been collecting dust lately…
I usually don’t mind playing with games that have poor UI / dated graphics. It helps me appreciate the game with the “original mindset”, and I think navigating through the UI can be its own experience. (I’ve seen the screenshots of the original SS. I know it’s gonna be rough…)
SS wasn’t terribly difficult. I managed to beat most of it with the wrench. It’s a long game, but incredibly engaging.
I’m talking about navigating the original Shock UI lol
Should be fun for me to play through the game in the office; the last time I played Ultima Underworld in the office, the LGS boys would silently watch behind me and chuckle when I started to get into trouble, or give me hints when I started to get lost. They did NOT warn me about Lurkers then EITHER!
Not to change the topic, but you would probably enjoy Infinite Adventures on Steam. It’s an anime dungeon crawl, strongly reminiscent of Etrian Odyssey, and games like Unchained Blades (yet another fantastic one you can buy from the Nintendo store for 3DS.)
Operencia and Might & Magic X are both also great, if you prefer a more westernized aesthetic, without the weeaboo.
- System Shock with the original mouse control scheme? Like Ultima Underworld’s? Uh-oh. It certainly can be done, but there are likely to be some frustrating moments.
But hey, you can save and reload any time, as is proper for a PC game… cough And there are only a couple of places where multiple enemies come at you aggressively, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Just remember to use those Lean buttons!
(And feel free to join me in my never-ending sideeye at NightDive when they talk about changing the level geometry or weapons or enemy AI…)
- For System Shock 2, I strongly endorse applying most of the mods at the SS2 Newbie Mod site, especially Four Hundred, SHTUP, and Rebirth. (The others are good; I just found these to have the most visible benefits.)
I normally don’t advocate modding a game before playing it the first time, but these really do improve the SS2 experience immensely.
- Kingdom Come: Deliverance turned out more fascinating than I expected. Modeling a historical period, with no time travel or dragons or aliens or magic, etc., feels incredibly fresh.
The combat is relatively hardcore. This may be one of those times when simulation fidelity should have given way to generally enjoyable gameplay, but tastes vary. That said, this is the best description of how KCD starts:
Diablo. Original vanilla, with the patch to fix the level-up ‘n’ stuff. As Warrior. Got down to the Caves and had to take a break. Didn’t remember the difficulty ramping up so much all of a sudden, heh heh.
Once the enemies gain resistances, it gets tough. Vanilla Diablo was actually my favorite Diablo. They kept a consistent tone throughout, and with the limited lighting globe, you were constantly searching the dark for what lay ahead. I will always remember first meeting the Butcher.
Diablo 2 I liked less, because it varied up the environments too far from the “medieval, dark ages Christianity” feel of the first game. Egyptian deserts didn’t do for me what catacombs did in terms of atmosphere and consistency. The tone was much different, and less compelling artistically.
Yet another thing I liked about the first Diablo was findable skill tomes, which I prefer to skill-trees, because they tie in progress with exploration. It was too bad they weren’t class-specific. (i.e. if you have a warrior, you only get tomes that provide warrior skills, not mage or rogue spells/skills.)
The Witcher 1.
People have been telling me for a while it’s a worthwhile series, and I finally got round to starting on it.
Witcher 2 sounds like it kinda sucks, but I’ve not heard anyone say a single thing bad about Witcher 3.
Funny, I just bought Witcher 3, but haven’t touched it until I finish up some half-started games. I am really excited about Cyberpunk 2077.
+1 for Cyberpunk 2077. Really curious to see how it ends up!
- Definitely going to enjoy Leaning. One of my favorite parts about sneaking around corners in Thief…
- Thanks for the link! I think last time you recommended the same thing actually :D Consistent!
- Yeah, the fist-fighting is pretty hardcore. It feels clunky, but also more dangerous for some reason…
Nope, nope, cannot resist weighing in on CDPR’s The Witcher games.
I’ve seen some people gripe about the original The Witcher: that it was grindy in places, or that there was too much story, or that it in some way didn’t do everything they wanted a game to do. I don’t share those complaints; I see all the things TW did do amazingly well.
The systemic stuff is just extraordinary. One of my favorite things in any game ever is watching townsfolk in TW when it starts to rain (also, this game has rain): they run to cover. Not only does this look fantastic, it appears to increase the odds that they’ll have conversations with each other. I’m moderately good with words, but I lack the words to fully describe how much I love this seemingly simple example of world dynamics.
The Witcher also does a considerably-better-than-average job of combining story with world elements and integrating both of those with gameplay mechanics. Because they’re presenting the world through the eyes of a well-defined character – Geralt of Rivia – I think this allowed CDPR to deliver a much more highly-focused game: every single thing in The Witcher is directly connected to the central theme of “Geralt fights monsters, and sometimes humans are the worst monsters of all.”
And yet, maybe as a comment on modern times, the thing about The Witcher that gets the most attention isn’t the story or mechanics or world-building: it’s CDPR’s “sex cards.” Basically, as Geralt wanders from place to place, he’s able to have sex with multiple women. When he does, CDPR popped up a visual representation of a card to, I guess, commemorate the happy event. (Amusingly, the graphics on these cards showed more sexybits in the European release than the American version, which is a thing guaranteed to galvanize a comments section into action.)
Back when they were still worth reading, Rock Paper Shotgun had a pretty good analysis of this “sex cards” thing. They didn’t like it. But the argument was presented intelligently, and you could make up your own mind whether CDPR were properly reflecting both mature human themes in a game as well as accurately depicting the not-entirely-nice character of Geralt, or if the Eastern Europeans working at CD Projekt Red were a bunch of misogynistic dudebros who were titillated by objectifying women.
The Witcher remains a remarkable statement of game development.
The Witcher 2 was a console game, whose one well-deserved accolade was for having the courage to create an entire enormous second chapter whose content you would never see in a single playthrough depending on one choice you make.
The Witcher 3 is one of the greatest single-player RPGs ever made. Every complaint I’ve ever read, or had myself, has been trivial – in combination, TW3 does nearly everything extraordinarily well. The world-building (and I think going open-world was absolutely the right choice), the power-progression mechanics, the combat, the DLC, the grimness, the humor, the art style, the voice acting, the ambient audio, the characters, the minigame of Gwent… I mean, I’m actively looking for something bad to say about this game and I honestly can’t think of anything.
And, importantly, on top of all of that, The Witcher 3 is one of the only games I’ve ever played that actually had me tearing up a little. The story of the game is of Geralt trying to find his daughter, Ciri… and after everything you as the person playing Geralt go through to achieve that resolution, when it finally comes (in its own Witchery way) it is one of the most satisfying moments of gaming I’ve ever experienced. CDPR made me care.
Playing the original The Witcher is a good choice if you like good PC gaming. Playing The Witcher 2 is an option if you’re a completionist interested in game design (or want to understand all the backstories in TW3). Playing The Witcher 3 is an absolute necessity if you want either a great gaming experience or to see what the very best modern single-player RPG in the world looks like.
Which is why Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the very few games on my anticipation radar. I can’t even imagine how good this game may be given what CD Projekt Red accomplished on the Witcher series…
Agreed, and Cyberpunk 2077 supposedly is going to push the envelope much more than Witcher 3. I cannot imagine how.
Prey: Mooncrash. It took me forever to really understand its roguelike elements and I still prefer the base game, but I want to see it through to the end.
I haven’t played the DLC, but the Arkane Prey still weighs on me. I really should pick it up! Hope you have fun with it.
Meanwhile, EO:Nexus just came in for me today! :D Super excited to start this, most likely on the weekend…
Etrian Odyssey <3
Tell me how it is. Gonna recommend Operencia again. It is THE definition of a perfect dungeon crawl. Most fun I’ve had since Wizardry 8 and M&M X.