Have you been spending hours trying to pass a level? Or maybe you are completely addicted to a newly bought game. Do you have a question about a game or would like to share something else? In the Weekly Discussion Thread, you can do it all!

Please don’t forget to use the spoiler tag as soon as you start talking about a storyline.

  • Aielman15
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    8 months ago

    I’ve been playing Dead Space Remake, since it’s been released on GamePass. Had to jump through some hoops to get my Xbox account linked to EA, but eventually managed to do it and I’ve been playing it for the past two weeks.

    Just reached chapter 8 (comms array). So far, it’s good. I’ll preface saying that the last time I played the original Dead Space was five or six years ago, so my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I feel like the game’s a lot more balanced than the OG, although not overly difficult. I remember blasting my way through hard mode with nothing but the starting gun back in the days, but I am playing more conservative here because I feel like ammo drops are scarcer, and stasis stations are a lot rarer than they were originally.

    Finding all the guns in the wild instead of having to build them first lets you playtest them against real opponents, and having half the tech tree locked until you progress enough means that you are more incentivized in using them. In the original, I’d main the starting gun and install all my power nodes on it, while in the remake I’m acquiring nodes faster than I’m able to unlock upgrades for the guns, so I’m spending them on my side weapons. The ripper is still as gloriously broken as I remember it!

    I like that they didn’t rely exclusively on the procedurally generated enemy spawns, nor on the hand-made encounters, but have a mix of both. Procedurally generated content tends to fall flat because a computer doesn’t know how to set the mood and jump scare you appropriately; while hand-made content tends to grow stale after you play the game once or twice (or reload the same section to complete it with more ammo/health). A mix of both is the best of both worlds, and I’m positively surprised by how well it works in practice.

    As for the most discussed improvement in the game, the interconnected world, I honestly find it… okay, but I’m not blown away by it. It works in games like the OG Resident Evil because you have a bit more control over where to go, how to tackle specific threats, and what enemies to expect in each room. I remember myself planning ahead the best route to reach my destination inside Spencer’s mansion or the police station. But Dead Space remake is still a fundamentally linear experience from start to end, so the ability to backtrack to previously explored areas is never fully utilized.

    This is further exacerbated by a map system that I find too clunky to use (it’s very slow and sometimes confusing when there are too many levels), the lack of precise notation (security doors are fully visible, but master override chests are one of many small icons that I’d never find if I didn’t know where they are to begin with, and lockers do not appear on the map at all), and the frequent lack of proper rewards for backtracking.

    I tested the system as soon as I was given a chance. After I completed the second level and got my first security clearance, I backtracked to the security door situated on the tramway halfway through the first level. I got ambushed by six (!) procedurally-spawned enemies on my way there, just to find common loot inside the room.

    At first I was confused by this, but now that I’m halfway through the game, I understand how the system was designed: The developers didn’t expect you to backtrack at your leisure. Instead, they carefully placed locked rooms and lockers at just the right clearance level, that you’re supposed to have when the linear story gets you near those locked rooms. The level 1 clearance door on the first level? You can get it quite easily on chapter 6, when you pass by that room. The same applies to side missions as well. They are designed so you can complete them on your way to the main objective with very little extra effort.

    I don’t hate the game for this. I loved the original and I’m totally fine with the remake being another linear experience. I’m just confused by the design principle: they talked extensively about making the world more interconnected and adding side content and optional exploration on the side, but it ended up being just more content that you do while you progress through the linear story, rather than making it work properly as an open-ended experience, and I feel like the attempt at making the remake feel more open ended than it was originally largely failed for me, as I never felt truly in control of where to go or when to complete certain side quests or get some loot that was previously inaccessible.

    As for the changes in the story, I’m only halfway through the game, and I don’t want to tackle the argument until I have the full picture of the story. I’ll only say that I liked some changes, I was okay with others, and I’m a bit dubious about a handful. One of them is Hammond, who is a lot less present in this first half of the game compared to the original; the other is Temple and Cross, who I like so far, but I feel like they are two completely different characters whose role could have been given to new characters instead of replacing their original storyline. But as I said, I’m only halfway through the game, so I may change my opinion on this.

    TL;DR: I’ll write my full opinion on the game when I finish it, but I’m liking it so far and I think it’s a valid replacement for the original if you never played it and don’t want to buy both. Some changes are appreciated, others less but don’t detract from the overall experience, and the game for the most part feels like “the original, but improved”, which is a perfectly valid spot to land on when you are developing a faithful remake. The game feels and plays like the original, but still manages to bring something new for who, like me, played the hell out of the first game back in the days.

  • @Bustedknuckles
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    88 months ago

    I recently picked up Cobalt Core and am enjoying the take on slay the spire with additional crew/ship interactions. So far it seems to be missing StS’s fully broken synergies that you could achieve with e.g. thin deck infinites, armor stacking, etc - which was a fun aspect for me. But the writing is fun and the challenges are varied. I only have about half of the unlocks so hopefully it’ll open up more soon

  • @[email protected]
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    88 months ago

    Still on Disco Elysium. It’s good, thus far, but some of the controls bug me. The game has made me laugh multiple times though, it’s a real “dramadey” of video games. Although I had a nice evening the other day playing the Jackbox Party Pack.

  • @[email protected]
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    78 months ago

    Talos Principle 2 is just… wow. It’s been years since I played the first game and it’s remarkable how fast the sequel was able to get me back in the space of “I’m here to solve puzzles and argue philosophy…”. Everything I loved about Talos Principle has been polished or expanded, and the way the writers somehow managed to get me to accept that we need to solve a bunch of puzzles to advance the plot - AGAIN - is impressive.

    I’m so happy the game is this good.

    • @[email protected]
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      18 months ago

      Love it! The puzzle design is extremely good, almost nothing feels finnicky or overly complicated. The story got me good and I enjoy thinking about the specific themes it goes into. I’m only sad that apparently I wasn’t sufficiently convincing for ma boi Yakut.

  • Okami
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    68 months ago

    Just finished 100%ing all achievements in Factorio. Got the speedrun achievements over the weekend, and let my original factory run overnight for a few days to grind out the 20m green circuits.

    Still got the itch to play more factory sim. Debating whether to dip my toes into Dyson Sphere Program or try my hand at the Space Exploration mod for Factorio.

    • @[email protected]
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      58 months ago

      Dyson Sphere Program is a phenomenal factory game, debatably on par with unmodded Factorio.

      It’s an absolute delight to get the Sphere going and figure out the best ways to utilize it.

      • Okami
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        8 months ago

        I’m a bit leery of Satisfactory due to the first person perspective. Watched a few gameplay videos and I don’t think it works for the genre, at least not to my taste.

        I’ll probably break down and pick it up eventually, but I don’t plan on it anytime soon.

        • @[email protected]
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          38 months ago

          As a fan of it, I do highly recommend it for factorio players; or for those new to the genre.

          The third dimension adds a whole new aspect, and way more variety.

  • @Hyrulian
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    8 months ago

    I circled back to vanilla no DLC RimWorld. I’ve owned the game for years, have quite a bit of time in Dwarf Fortress, but due to the fact I tried to mod the game right away it didn’t hook me. Turns out it’s really hard to learn a game and look stuff up when you have 200+ mods that alter things in tiny ways to make them completely different than base game. New colony is going strong! Just finished unlocking the advanced research bench, stable food source, strong outer walls. Such a fun game. I’ve been missing out. If anyone has any beginner tips or anything let me know. I’m gonna try to make it all the way and build the space ship!

    • @Hyrulian
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      38 months ago

      Update: It’s over, damn Mega Spiders.

      • @quarcod
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        18 months ago

        Every single colony I start, I think will be the one to finally make it to space. And every run ends short in a completely new way.

    • @[email protected]
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      18 months ago

      That’s one of an important rule for me in every game, never mod a game before doing a vanilla run first. You won’t understand what a mod is changing until you know what’s the vanilla behavior. Especially for games like rimworld with 500+ mods, you gotta know every aspect on what the mod changes and what are the mods that can be clashing.

      You can try a small list of qol mods tho, once you get used to some its impossible to play without them. And keep trying, you will eventually get there once you understand every possible problem and how to tackle or avoid it.

  • Cyv_
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    58 months ago

    Been playing age of wonder 4 with a friend, I really like that you can build your own factions and faction leaders, though I’d def install the fair play ai mod, since the ai is a lot less annoying with it.

    Also void crew, its sort of like sea of thieves in space, but very much still in early access and has some obvious issues(AA seems to not work at all for me lol). Its fun so far tho.

  • @Armok_the_bunny
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    58 months ago

    I’ve been going through the Talos Principle, trying to get around to actually beating it. I probably won’t go straight into the sequel though, since I prefer to wait for games to go on sale.

  • @virock
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    47 months ago

    Currently playing “Dave the Diver”. The game is therapeutic :) Some parts require serious thinking and reaction but most of it allows you to just turn off your brain and relax.

  • @Buddahriffic
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    48 months ago

    I finished Code Vein (well, one of the endings) and started Elden Ring. I enjoyed CV, but ER just feels like it’s on another level entirely. It’s difficult but not in a “do this thing with frame perfect timing or start over” kinda way. You can go from getting completely destroyed by a boss to beating it from one attempt to another. I’m also loving the game mechanics so far, even if it mouse/keyboard control scheme is a bit of a pain (especially target control and camera control being the same when I’d prefer the ability to look around without changing targets when fighting multiple foes).

  • @caut_R
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    48 months ago

    It‘s back to Skyrim for me, I‘ll beat it eventually!

    • Beefy-Tootz
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      48 months ago

      Are you running modded or vanilla? I also think a very fair question would be what do you consider beating Skyrim?

      • @caut_R
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        8 months ago

        600+ mods lol, I‘m just trying to get a taste of all the quests and I thought getting the achievements would be neat, I like to platinum games if it‘s not too ridiculous.

        Sadly, the DLCs aren‘t playing too nicely with my mods - the Dawnguard locations look kinda boring and low res compared to Skyrim, and Solstheim - while looking amazing and I love the place - has some very noticable graphical glitches. But it‘s a price I‘m willing to pay for the stunning vistas a heavily modded Skyrim has to offer.

        I never got into unmodded Skyrim, it was just too much jank for me. So I‘m catching up.

  • dan_the_accountant
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    48 months ago

    Just finished my second playthrough of Balders Gate 3, about to start Disco Elysium! I feel like turn based games are making a comeback!