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What Was The Last Game You Played?


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I've never finished Farcry 3, even though I really quite like the Vaas bit. I've played it twice but always end up chucking it not long after getting to the second island. Like you say, it's like a different game all of a sudden and I struggle to get into it.

I have to admit, Far Cry games are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, I always pick them up cheap a year or so after launch and never regret it. I even liked New Dawn and Primal.

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Since 3 is the formula that years' worth of games and franchises have followed with little deviation, I imagine one game is the same as the next. Literally hundreds, thousands of hours*, of chewing gum for the eyes.


*Platinum trophy in this took me 17 hours, although you don't need 100% for that

Edited by Miguel Sanchez
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Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (PS4, 2014)

Guacamelee! is a 2D roguelike dungeon crawler in which you play as Juan, a farmer from the village of Santa Luchita. One day the evil demon Carlos Calaca turns up and kidnaps the girl he likes to use her in a plan to merge the world of the dead and the world of the living, and rule over both. Juan tries to fight him and is swiftly killed, before being given a special Luchador mask which gives him powers. He then jumps and punches his way through an assortment of rooms to try and stop Calaca before his plan succeeds.

In theory, I'm not a fan of this kind of game. I generally find backtracking and multiple paths through an area trigger some form of OCD in me where I'm afraid I'm missing content. This is basically the perfect game to introduce someone to the genre. It's mostly linear with a bit of exploration, and an easy to follow map which lets you make sure you've covered everything. The gameplay is the right mixture of platforming and attacking, with an array of powers and moves you unlock as you progress through the story. Some fights can feel overwhelming especially if there's lots of enemies in the one room, but it's never cheap and really satisfying when you work out an effective strategy for dealing with enemies attacking you in different ways. 

The enemy design is wonderful and varied too, and the overall aesthetic is a really strong part of that. The Mexican, cartoony and slightly hand-drawn feel to everything is a very strong and consistent look, and all characters really play into that. The boss fights are no exception to this. Neither are the locations with side-quests, with relatively charming NPCs offering you small fetch quests. It doesn't always feel like a very deep world, but it's a nice one. 

Movement and exploration are both varied throughout. Some places require backtracking once you've unlocked certain abilities, but for the most part they're easy to get to. The obvious highlights are when you can turn Juan into a chicken to get through small gaps. The squawking noises he makes are worth it alone. The fast travel system is pretty awkward, with each main area having one area you can teleport to. This means you could go back to the end of a long area to discover a missed collectable at the start, and given the swift nature of the rest of the game it seems like an oversight rather than a deliberate choice. It's not too big a problem though, and probably only applies if you're as I've described, paranoid about missing things. 

In addition to the strong art and design, the writing is great too. All of the dialogue is text-based, but it's funny. It's not consistently wacky, it's not that irritating early 2010s meme-based irreverence, but it's distinctive and enjoyable. There are quite a few pop culture references in addition to the Mexican theme, and it's nice to see a game made with such love which acknowledges its influences. I remembered the Journey reference from when I played this on PS3 and it still hits.

As far as criticism goes, it's short. I got 100% while playing on hard in 13:40. I used a guide for some of the collectables, but that's still not very long. It's also worth pointing out that the PS4 version includes the PS3 version's DLC but adds new DLC of its own. With a few new characters you can play as. I didn't actually realise this and I'm pretty sure I paid more for the DLC than I did for the game itself. This feels like a pretty cynical way to get some extra money out of people, but I've spent more on things I've hated and spent less time with, so I can't really complain. 

All in all, good fun. It also offers four player local multiplayer, which I'm sure would be great fun. It's definitely worth your time.

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19 hours ago, Saigon Raider said:

I’m playing Psychonauts 2 on the Series X and it is outstanding. It’s a platformer but is incredibly creative and you play with a smile on your face the whole time. It’s also on Game Pass - highly recommended.

It's great fun. Good vibes all round.

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Just finished working my way through Zombie Driver HD again.

Quite a fun little top-down driving game with missions, hordes of zombies to mow down, a story mode, and lots of slaughter maps and such. Recommended for brief bursts of mindless mayhem, and it's quite cheap too.

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I’ve reached Resident Evil 4 in my RE run through. It’s tremendous fun and I can see a lot of similarities to RE village.

21 and a half hours later and I’ve finally completed RE4. What a bloody journey that was.

The chainsaw and machine gun boys were a pain in the arse. The blind things you have to shoot in the back were a good challenge as well. The regenerator were murder so I just mainly ran away from them to save bullets.

I died 81 times and made 861 kills with a hit ratio of 75% which is decent for me.

It took me about 11 attempts to drive that bloody speedboat out at the end.
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Currently playing the Uncharted 4 game, I know nothing about the series and haven't seen anything from it but so far I'm loving it, throughout enjoyable, usually cba with the cut scene patter but I'm pretty invested in this, after playing Jedi Fallen Order you can definitely see some similarities but bizarrely to me this seems a lot smoother, don't know if there'll be much difference considering I'm playing it on the PS5 but the graphics look incredible for an old game, shooting is a bit janky but other than that I'd easily believe the game came out last year or something. 
I never played them until last year

The uncharted collection was a ps+ game, as was the 4th

I had the pleasure of playing all 4 back to back over the course of 5/6 weeks during lockdown for the first time, really enjoyed them,

not played the 5th one but may give it a shot
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  • 2 weeks later...


Guacamelee! 2 (PS4, 2018)

Guacamelee! 2 is the sequel to Guacamelee!. Before, you played as Juan, a farmer who had to become a luchador to stop the evil Calaca from merging the worlds of the dead and the living. Now you play as Juan, a former farmer turned luchador who has to be brought back to stop the evil Salvador, who killed Juan and Calaca in another timeline and is threatening to destroy the entire Mexiverse. What follows is a metroidvania journey through various timelines filled with pop culture references (Dan Harmon has a lot to answer for) as Juan meets friends old and new, gathering some powers to take on all the enemies and platforming that gets in his way. Oh and he can turn into a chicken occasionally and he uncovers the secrets of the pollo illuminati when he's there.

Everything combat and movement-wise is largely the same as the first game. You start with a jump and a punch and unlock slightly more complex versions of those as you progress. Enemies get tougher as you progress, and you not only have to master all your skills but be able to switch between them quickly to make the best of certain fights. Combat generally felt more fluid than the first game, although there were some occasions where I couldn't see where I was on screen and I got swamped by enemies. On the whole I'd say it's an accessible yet still challenging example of metroidvania gameplay. There's a lot going on, but it's easy enough to follow and retain control of.

There are additional platforming elements this time and for the most part these have a similar blend of challenge and reward. Having to switch between dimensions to make an eagle hook appear so you can jump then fire yourself across a gap and hope you aimed properly otherwise you're going into a spike sounds like a lot. It's especially a lot when you've got a few of them chained together. But no matter how overwhelming these sections might seem, when you figure out what to do and get past them you find yourself wondering why you were so worked up. The hardest sections like this I found myself moving through by instinct rather than a conscious awareness of which buttons I was pressing. I don't know if this was intentional, but it was a good feeling when it paid off.

The expansion of the chicken mechanic - Juan turns into a chicken, which makes him able to fit through small gaps, and offers a different kind of movement and combat - really helps the game feel more expansive than the first while still retaining the same core foundation. The final challenge with the chickens is literal bullshit, but I overcame it. I can't really do this sort of thing justice with words, you'll just have to believe me when I say that the game is better for being able to turn into a chicken and squawk loudly when you peck an enemy to death.

Similar to the first game there's a lot of charm, wit and care in the game's writing and homages. At times it can seem like a lot, and now that I think about it there's probably an argument that the game's references cover up the comparative lack of original world-building, but everything's enjoyable enough that it feels like you're in on the joke rather than having to endure something which isn't as funny as it thinks. Juan is silent, so everything you learn about the world is through interacting with NPCs and the environment. This means it occasionally feels like you're being shown a world rather than being part of it, but there's just the right amount of self-awareness to keep your attention. 

The art design is a nice complementary part of this, with a bold, colourful animated style which  is always eye catching and distinctive. The music is less invasive than I remember from the first game which is another big positive. The environments are rich and detailed, with each area looking unique yet consistent. 

I liked the first Guacamelee!. This is more of it, with expanded gameplay, and a near comprehensive love letter to the games and entertainment media which inspired it. What more can I say?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 24/09/2020 at 17:43, NotThePars said:

Detroit Become Human might genuinely be the stupidest game I’ve ever played


On 24/09/2020 at 16:14, Miguel Sanchez said:


Detroit: Become Human (PS4, 2018)

So it's come to this. Four console games in and David Cage, in his neverending quest to impart EMOTIONS upon the player, has finally realised he can make a game about robots. Either that or he watched Blade Runner one night and thought it was a really good idea. 

Detroit: Become Human is the story of three people who aren't human. The year is 2038 and Detroit is the android capital of the world. The company CyberLife was founded in the early 2020s and immediately changed everything. Lifelike androids now do all the jobs humans didn't want to do, and there's a bunch of other fancy stuff like autonomous cars and light-up clothing. You play as three androids - Connor, a prototype loaned to the police to investigate cases of 'deviancy' as androids malfunction and think they're people, Kara, a domestic android owned by a junkie who abuses his daughter, and Markus, another prototype belonging to an elderly and paraplegic painter. As the game progresses the androids do... you know, I can't even do this vaguely without spoiling the detail I'm going to go in to later. They do things.

Before that however, I'd like to share a video of a tech demo Quantic Dream did in 2012:

The video shows a lifelike android named Kara being assembled and activated by a voice off-screen testing her and telling her what to do as she's put together. The voice even calls her "baby" at one point, strangely. Once Kara is put together and has skin and a sense of shame she asks what's going to happen to her. After being told she seems disappointed and says "I thought," which results in the voice saying she's defective and the robotic arms that built her start taking her apart. She gets upset and pleads to not be disassembled, also saying "I'm scared." This is enough for the voice to stop and have the assembly finished and have Kara shipped off on a conveyor belt ready to be sold. 

While the video is especially impressive considering it was rendered on a PS3 in 2012, it raises a few questions. If you were in charge of quality control on the assembly line for androids that are supposed to look and act like humans, you would want to be fairly discerning. Androids are machines after all, and they're not supposed to think. They are tools created to complete tasks. If an android thinks it is alive and has feelings, this could be bad. The reaction to such an instance would surely be to examine and analyse the (deactivated) android in detail to understand how this malfunction happened. You wouldn't shrug your shoulders and let it carry on as normal because it asked nicely. After all, if there's one defective unit on the production line there's a good chance there could be more.
Surely then, six years later, Quantic Dream could take the game and the universe built based on Kara and refine it, ironing out the obvious discrepancies with reality as exhibited in their original video, couldn't they? Well they could have, but this is a David Cage game.

Gameplay takes the form of the now standard Quantic Dream interactive drama model. You control characters in third person view, moving around an area interacting with things through contextual onscreen button prompts and quick time events until you've done enough of them to progress the scene. The controls are about as good as they're ever going to get, although moving characters around sometimes felt like their legs weren't connected to their bodies or brains properly. After the linear, single-character focus of Beyond: Two Souls there's a return to the multi-character interwoven narratives of Heavy Rain, and I think the game is better for it. The narratives aren't strictly connected to each other, but the influence events have is clearly noticeable across all stories.

The biggest difference between Detroit and previous Quantic Dream games is the sheer volume of different story outcomes. While Heavy Rain had a few different endings and some consequences for doing or not doing things, Detroit has a seemingly endless amount of different paths your story can take. While this is good since there is a proper sense of consequence and importance added to the choices you make, it does have its downsides. You're still at the mercy of interpreting the speech cues to try and gauge a proper reaction to someone in a conversation. It has a little of the problem L.A. Noire had, where the prompt doesn't align with what you'd expect the longer response to be. The higher amount of story branches that result from your actions can make certain moments feel more stressful than they should be as a result. 

This is the first Quantic Dream game where a fully fleshed out world is necessary and there are mixed results. Since there are more characters and a wider reaching story there has to be more detail pretty much everywhere. Conversely, the result is actually quite shallow. Early on, Markus is framed for attacking his owner, Carl, and shot by the police. He's then dumped in an android scrapyard and has to scrape his way out. It's a very evocative setpiece and it really demonstrates the fragility and construction of the androids. That's if you just play it and don't think about it. If you did you'd wonder why defective androids aren't disassembled and destroyed, why functional components aren't salvaged, or why a mass-market android industry that's only been running for about ten years has produced dumps on the scale of the one Markus ended up in. 

I could genuinely be here for hours listing all the strange discrepancies here. Why does the news say the economy is as great as it's ever been when 30% of the American population is unemployed? Why are the androids made to look life-like when they were initially intended to carry out menial tasks? Androids have a circular LED light on their right temple like the processor light on a computer, but this can be removed with no problems. Wouldn't this just make deviancy easier to conceal, or make it easier for people to use androids for malicious purposes?

The biggest problem by far with the androids in Detroit however centres around a prominent NPC. Kara's story sees her in the employ of a destitute drug addict named Todd, whose wife left him and their daughter in a run-down house. Todd is unhappy, and Kara is introduced as he picks her up from a store after she "had an accident" and had her memory wiped. Oh, okay, I think, an actual focus on the domestic consequences of androids on people. Even Kara's turn to deviancy seems to be from an intellectually intriguing perspective, as she changes and goes on the run out of a sense of protectiveness towards Todd's daughter, Alice. The rest of their story is a touching (or as touching as David Cage can get) examination of motherhood, and rather than the human relationship with androids, the android relationship with humans. 

David Cage however isn't a good enough writer to set up twists properly, so it turns out that Alice is an android. Android children exist. A collectible magazine tells us that human birth rates are declining because of how convenient the android children are. 

Androids are mass-produced. They are models, where multiple units are built looking exactly the same. Kara realises - or eventually admits to herself - that Alice is an android because she sees another one of her. How does this work? Do the android children go to school? Can they turn deviant like the adult models? Do they live in some perpetual Benjamin Button-like existence, never growing up and never realising this? Perhaps more importantly, how in the name of f**k could any company making entirely life-like facsimiles of humans manage to be allowed to make child versions? Androids are supposed to be completely subservient. Obedient. They do anything you tell them to and they're functionally the same as humans. Honestly, this isn't so much the usual plot hole you can turn your mind away from, if you actually think about child androids for too long you start feeling a bit sick. 

Speaking of bad writing and world building, let's have a little think about the assorted historical allegories David Cage does an extremely bad job of emulating. I mentioned Blade Runner flippantly earlier on. Robots that think they're human - or don't realise they're robots - is a classic sci-fi trope dating back decades. That's fine. There are original spins to be put on the concept, especially since Detroit also briefly touches on subjects like over-population, climate change, food shortages and artificial intelligence. All of that's fine. Even the angle of androids being recognised as people is potentially interesting, if you step back and consider that humans have created sentient life and eventually try to kill it off when it asks to be treated as such. This doesn't even seem to be about fear about being replaced, just selfishness.


Let's review a couple of things. Androids, when outside and working, wear android uniforms. These uniforms feature a blue armband around the upper arm, and a big blue triangle on the front of the chest. At the end of the game as the androids are starting to rise up, the army gets called in to round the androids up into camps and exterminate them. Exterminate is actually the word that's used. 

As Kara tries to escape to a safe place with Alice she ends up near the border with a black woman named Rose. Rose is sympathetic to androids and helps them flee persecution by getting them to Canada, a country which doesn't allow the construction of androids. But, as we've seen, androids can blend in easily by removing their LED. When Kara asks why she helps androids, Rose tells her "my people" were once persecuted, and that she doesn't want to contribute to that.


Far be it from me to say that David Cage isn't good enough at writing to make a game which makes such blatant allusions to things like the Holocaust or slavery. I'd love to sit here and tell you I could come up with something better. Maybe even given him the benefit of the doubt and say it's down to the multiple options that need to be left open for a game like this. If it was a film or a book with a single pre-determined narrative, it might be easier to be concise and considerate of the themes being explored. All of this is a lie, however. Any delicacy that's needed to have a sincere, thought-provoking comparison between life-like androids and actual historical atrocities is never going to be in a game where normal human interactions, emotions, conversations, are so badly lacking. Come to think of it, while your actions with Markus and the rebellion change the public perception of androids, you never actually see any human reactions first-hand. At most you see them get pissed because their android runs away. 

Consider this quote from David Cage from 2017, after a demo of the game was shown at E3: https://kotaku.com/despite-political-overtones-david-cage-says-detroit-is-1795939952

Better yet,

There's times where I don't need to even say anything. I suppose, fittingly, there are exactly two available options here. Either David Cage is absolutely sincere in what he says. There is no intended political message here, and if the player sees that, that's up to the player. If this is the case then he is the single dumbest man alive. I suppose that's preferable to the alternative, that he's trying to profit out of winding people up using slavery and the Holocaust as bait. 

I may as well talk about the game itself. The three playable characters are all enjoyable to experience, even if their stories aren't always. I'll cover each individually.

Connor (here's a thought, how are androids named? They have model and serial numbers and actual names are given to them by humans - how does this work if androids become free?) is a prototype loaned to the police to investigate deviants. He teams up with Lieutenant Hank Anderson, which allows David Cage a return to Fahrenheit and its tortured references to every 80s cop film ever made. He just hates androids, man! That's why he drives the only manual car left in the world and tells his Captain he hates androids every chance he gets. As they investigate through the classic point and click looking at clues we saw in Heavy Rain they start to bond, and both men ultimately change each other. 

I enjoyed Connor. In spite of all the cliches I enjoyed Anderson, played by Clancy Brown. In my first playthrough I thought the game set me up for failure since I played Connor straight and got a terrible ending, but when I thought about it later it was my fault for not picking up on Connor's burgeoning humanity. I think there will come a point where a Quantic Dream can't have a character and mechanics like this because of how unoriginal it will get, but it's at least appropriate for the game.

Kara I've already discussed some, and she was my favourite. It's interesting that her story occurs in isolation from the rest of the game. The only time events elsewhere can influence her is right at the very end. I'll come to that later, but up until the twist and even beyond that I was actually invested in what happened to her. I wanted her and Alice to survive and escape together. I can't give them any higher praise than that.

Strangely, given his story was the main point of the game, I found Markus to be the least engaging character with the least engaging story and the least engaging chapters. It's eventually explained that androids become deviant after experiencing a significant emotional shock which effectively brakes their programming. This is fine, but why does Markus end up being the one who swans into their hideout like Jesus and starts directing them? Why is he the only one to free androids by touching them? What happens if the android doesn't want to be freed? Some androids hate humans, some don't Markus didn't, and he still cared about Carl later on. 

The whole concept of deviancy isn't really explored or explained, and Markus' story suffers as a result. Several deviants that Connor investigates start writing "rA9" everywhere when they can, and there's a suggestion that there's some sort of religious belief they spontaneously create and share. But it's never explained. You meet the man who created androids and who subsequently left his company, and he's just weird enough to make you think he did it deliberately. If this is the case then there's nowhere near enough detail, and Markus as a character and his story end up suffering as a result. His chapters vary between linear braking and entering or pretending to be Martin Luther King, there's not much to draw you in. 

As a game which offers choices to the player in terms of how the story progresses, Detroit does something which from what I remember of the others is new for a Quantic Dream game. On more than one occasion you'll be faced with a choice, you'll make the choice, then you'll get offered a big ARE YOU SURE??? choice again. Despite everything I've listed, this might be the worst part about the game. Why offer choices if you're going to undermine them right away? This is one of the worst parts about Markus' story too, since he's always flanked by two androids who are basically a talking moral choice system. By the end of the game I stopped caring and got so annoyed I stopped being invested in the choices at all, which I doubt was the intention. 

In fact, the most egregious case of choices being misrepresented was something that played a big part in giving me a rubbish ending. When the army turns up to flush out the android hideout, you're running away from it with Kara and Alice. At the exit you stay down and play dead. The game then offers you the choices "don't move" and "protect Alice." To me, this suggests that staying still won't work. But it does. This isn't so much a choice being presented twice as a choice being completely misleading, and I'm surprised something so glaring was left in and came so near the end. 

When I first played Heavy Rain I got a pretty poor ending. This ultimately came down to two reasons. The first was me failing a QTE and missing a piece of evidence. Fine, I failed and that's on me. The other was not realising that I could survive a house fire by hiding in a fridge. That's bullshit, and when I found out that's what I was supposed to do, I was unhappy. Detroit eschews the need for a protracted wait or a game walkthrough to make you disappointed with what you did. The end of every scene sees a full flowchart of all the choices you made, with all the other potential options greyed out until you've chosen them on another playthrough. While it can be argued this adds replay value (if you really really like the game and want to see every possibility) across multiple playthroughs, it undermines the game and the initial experience anyone who plays it blind will take away from it. How can I be satisfied with the choices I made (and I made some pretty bad ones) when I'm constantly being presented with the suggestion of something different? By all means keep the flowchart, but don't show it at the end of each chapter. That's just rubbing it in.

None of this is helped by the classic David Cage problem of plot holes you could drive an oil tanker through. I'll give you a taste of some of the more memorable mistakes I made that I would argue are the game's fault:

- In one chapter, Markus and friends break into a broadcasting tower to transmit a message to the humans. If you chose to be nice and spare a human who ran away at the start, a swat team turns up and one of your friends is injured. If you drag him to the roof while you're escaping you're given the option of killing him to stop the police from probing him and finding out the rest of the androids' plans. However, the police investigation is carried out by Connor, controlled by you, so if you don't go up on the roof, you don't find him. Better yet, the injured android is somehow able to escape from the tower and get back to the android's hideout. 

- If you protest peacefully throughout the game you'll reach a stage where Markus and the androids are in a stand-off with police. After barricading themselves in the androids get charged by the police anyway until there's about ten of them left. You're given some options. My choice was Sacrifice, believing pacifism above all else to be what I supposed to do. If you select Kiss, however, Markus kisses his (extremely clumsily written) girlfriend North. The police lower their guns, the President who is watching live says "tell the police to stand down!" and this happens immediately. Having to guess what the game thinks I should be doing is bad enough, when it's David Cage's hilarious expectation of how romantic relationships work, you'd be better with a monkey throwing darts at the screen. 

- At the end of Kara's story you make it to border control in Canada. After queuing to show a guy your passports he checks your temperature. If Markus has been peaceful and public opinion is positive, the guy lets you off and you get to slip through quietly and start a new life. Why does this check happen at the extreme end point of the journey? Why aren't people scanned entering the building? Getting off the bus? Getting on the bus? Getting through any of the checkpoints in Detroit she had to sneak through along the way? Why does it come down to one guy, and why doesn't his scanner start beeping immediately?

After recently playing Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls - two PS3 games - on PS4, the jump in graphics and the technical aspects of Detroit is very noticeable. This game looks amazing. The motion capture and detail in characters is fantastic. Faces and particularly eyes look better than ever, and this helps the game be more immersive and the characters more empathetic. The same goes for environments which look richer and fuller, and what I mentioned before about the world being more detailed than before is a direct consequence of this. As ever, nobody reacts when it rains so you can see water running down peoples' faces just to really show off the detail, but at this point I just knowingly roll my eyes. You might say it's like water off a duck's back. 

The soundtrack is also a big highlight of the game. Each character has their own theme and subsequent style of music throughout the game and whether ambient or focused, the music is always great. As with previous Quantic Dream games there's a series of behind the scenes videos showing you how the game was made, and being able to watch the composers explain why and how they developed the game's music is really interesting. I think NHL 2003 was the first game with lots of behind the scenes stuff I remember watching and I really enjoyed it. All games should have that. Maybe it'd be nice if studios that don't have the questionable work environment that Quantic Dream has did it, although it's always good to have a laugh seeing someone talking to camera while the word EMOTIONS is on the wall behind them in big black letters.

In addition to the evocative soundtrack, the game's general aesthetic is very striking. In one of those behind the scenes videos the guy responsible for the game's costume design explained that he wanted clothes that looked modern but 'normal,' and this plays a big part in making the world look convincing. I don't know how comparable to present-day Detroit the world is, but it looks like a city that's benefitted from a company that makes androids. You could argue there are issues with the human side that aren't really explored. There are a couple of humans featured earlier on in the game but considering the mass unemployment, and especially considering public opinion of androids is so important to the game's outcome, there's not much in the way of detail. It's a game about the androids so this is understandable, but it's still the humans' world they're trying to claim a place in. 

It's also worth pointing out that David Cage's direction has finally managed the properly cinematic. Beyond: Two Souls was full of terrible set-pieces and was presented in widescreen, which just make the game look like a giant cutscene. The aesthetic of Detroit itself is expanded to the game as a whole, and the overall experience benefits greatly as a result. The soundtrack, the acting and the detail in characters' faces ties in with this, but the game is consistently beautiful and striking, and always visually compelling. Scenes like Markus entering Jericho, Markus leading the freedom march, Connor's visits to Amanda, they all stand out. I can't even remember anything from Beyond: Two Souls besides the odd interior shot and Ellen Page crying a lot. Although there are still the overly creepy chapters that don't actually add anything to the story which you always get in a David Cage game (the guy with the pigeons is a particular highlight), the whole game is just much better cinematically than anything they've done before.

If I were to judge Detroit: Become Human alongside the other Quantic Dream games, I don't think it's the best. Maybe it's because Heavy Rain was my first exposure to this type of game, but it's still my favourite. It was the best experience, going in blind to the story. Detroit is better technically and mechanically, but the illogical results of some of the choices mark it down. Plus the whole child androids and terribly written slavery and holocaust parallels are just disgusting. 

Maybe if I was completely new to this style of game I'd have enjoyed Detroit more, I'm not sure. The subject matter seems well-suited for the type of games Quantic Dream makes, and while Detroit is unquestionably a vast technical achievement, the same pitfalls of clunky writing and what just seems like poorly thought out story threads hold it back from being genuinely great. I dread to think what David Cage is probably in the middle of writing right now. 

I played this game and I am not sure what to think of it.

Also I killed everyone of the Characters cos it refused to recognise me pressing the buttons it asked me to 75% of the time.

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I finished two bang average games recently: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Advanced Warfare

The first half of this is so on rails and boring that I only stuck with it because I was basically trying to skive off work and couldn't be arsed playing anything more demanding. The latter half is actually pretty good though as they mix things up and give you a bit more freedom. There's a mission later on that asks you to take out three turrets in a busy city centre and they even give you a grapple gun to help you get about! That's fun. There's a section where you're disabled and can only use one handed guns and can't reload. I've played Infinite Warfare and modern Modern Warfare and these problems still persist where there's a tension between giving the player some freedom to approach the objective versus putting it on rails to make it more movie like which is annoying because passivity in gaming (especially when the story is by the numbers) is a cardinal sin. 

Not talking about the antagonist in the game because it's played by a very famous actor who does a pretty decent turn but is even more malevolent in real life and probably has a similar body count to his Advanced Warfare character.

Shadow of War

This game is really fun in the minute to minute stuff. The combat is challenging, the enemies are varied enough to stay interesting, you're given a ton of cool powers to mix and match and the traversal is so fast and crunchy. The story is so boring though. I could barely tell you a thing that happens from start to finish except that they do another thing which irritates me where a spin off from an IP tries to shoehorn as many recognisable characters into the story, no matter how implausible, to keep you doing the Leo Di Caprio point at the screen. 

Anyway, if you want a podcast game this is the one for you. Just mute the tele and blast through your backlog.

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5 hours ago, NotThePars said:

Not talking about the antagonist in the game because it's played by a very famous actor who does a pretty decent turn but is even more malevolent in real life and probably has a similar body count to his Advanced Warfare character.

Kevin Spacey, if anyone can't be bothered looking it up.

16 hours ago, Busta Nut said:


I played this game and I am not sure what to think of it.

Also I killed everyone of the Characters cos it refused to recognise me pressing the buttons it asked me to 75% of the time.

It's peak David Cage, and it's crap. 

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I've put off finishing and posting this for a while because I don't really feel as if I can sum up everything I want to, but I don't think I ever will so here you go:


Gran Turismo Sport (PS4, 2017)

I've known for about two years that I'd write a review of my time playing Gran Turismo Sport one day. What I'm going to say probably hasn't changed much over that time, it might just have got longer. Of all the games I've ever played and written about at length on the internet there's no question that this is the most important one that means the most to me.

The first Gran Turismo I played was 3. I played this for years then I played Gran Turismo 4 for years too. I played 4 so much my PS2 stopped reading all GT4 discs. I followed the development of Gran Turismo 5 religiously and the disappointment when it came was astonishing. Gran Turismo 6 was a bit of a waste of time and the first time I was genuinely unengaged with one of the games. Hundreds of hours each went into 3, 4 and 5, I finished 6 and pretty much stopped there.

Despite my disappointment with 5, those three games are defining for me in a way I forgot about to an extent after 6. It was around that time I was discovering PlayStation Plus and the amount of games available to me I'd previously never considered. This was both good and bad - my tastes expanded massively as I took in games and genres I'd never been aware of, but it's ultimately led me to being the trophy-chasing, backlog-obsessed weirdo most people who devote time and critical thought to video games nowadays are. I'm not sure which of these I'd prefer, churning my way through dozens of games a year or playing a fraction of that and becoming an expert on every aspect of them.

One thing those three games manage perfectly all these years later is feeling. The recent Gran Turismo 7 trailer featured homages to the opening movies for games 1 to 4, and the memories evoked by that alone are different from anything else I've ever experienced with games. I wouldn't want to count how many times I've watched the inside of the engine of a JGTC Castrol Tom's Supra zoom out to the exterior of the car before Just a Day by Feeder starts and the action starts, cars and tracks that look so much better than anything else in a game at the time. Even now I could listen to a compilation of Gran Turismo background music or sound effects and no matter how long it's been, I'd remember all of it.

I didn't get a PS4 until November 2017, and GT Sport was bundled with it. I knew absolutely nothing about the game at the time, and it's honestly been so long I don't remember how I learned about what was in it. I was so disengaged I remember driving round the Nordschleife wondering if the time of day was changing, but not actually being interested enough to look it up.

Compared to Gran Turismos 1 through 4 and to a lesser extent 5 and 6, GT Sport doesn't have an extensive single player mode where you buy/win cars, tuning and upgrading them to win higher tiers of events against faster cars. It doesn't have license tests educating you in the various aspects of controlling a car and going round a circuit. It has "Mission Challenges" which are even easier than past license tests and which occasionally vary into races, or at least 'pass all these cars in this amount of time.' It has the Circuit Experience, where you have set times to beat over the different sectors of a circuit then the same for a single lap at the end. Over time more traditional single player content was added with a range of races featuring different types of cars. I've long since finished all of them but from what I remember these were characterised by 'rabbit chasing' even more than GT5 and 6 were, where no matter the race there will be one or two cars which are impossibly faster than everything else.

The single player content in GT Sport is largely a waste of time. It exists purely to reward the player with credits to buy cars. Circuit Experience isn't a substitute for just going to a track and doing laps, which you can do whenever you like. You don't learn anything from racing against the AI for two reasons. If you're close to the leading positions in a race, they cheat. They cheat in a way which doesn't actually work, because cars can often go faster than it's actually possible for them to go, and end up flying off track. If you're in evenly matched cars it's arguably even worse, with the AI being incomprehensibly slow during corners and turning in on you any time you try and overtake them in a corner. I've seen it argued that the AI is responsible for people not being able to race cleanly online and there's probably something in that. Then again, if you can race the AI in this game and not win by miles then your own lack of place is probably as much a problem as anything else.

I typed a lot of stuff after this but I wasn't really happy with it. Ultimately all I really need to focus on is saying whether or not I like the game. I've played it regularly for over three years. In that time I've watched streams, videos, talked about it on the internet - I've probably spent as much time watching and reading about the game as I've spent driving. I don't quite remember when it happened, but a point came where I stopped thinking about the game as something I played and just something I did. On a Wednesday and Saturday (plus occasionally some other days) it was race day, and I planned accordingly.

Online racing, or Sport Mode, takes two forms in GT Sport, Daily Races and the FIA Championships. In daily races you can practice as much as you want. Your best time in free practice is the qualifying time you enter a race with, with three races to choose from each week. I'm not as much of a fan of this format as I was in the early days. Originally the three races changed on a daily basis. After about ten months they started changing weekly, and this had benefits and drawbacks. You had more time to practice and learn a race, but so did everybody else. Most crucially though, the repetition of car/track combinations is a long-running joke. Considering Sport Mode is the main point of the game, lots of the games cars barely ever get a look online, and it's a real shame.

The vast majority of my time, and why I like the game so much, is in the FIA races. The box tells me I can "Race in online competitions endorsed by motorsport's governing body, FIA." Rather than free practice and races every twenty minutes, each race has its own dedicated qualifying session before the race starts. This gives the occasion a sense of formality and pressure which alone makes it more enjoyable than the daily races. There are two championships. The Nations Cup has different car choices each race and ranks players predominately by country. The Manufacturer Series sees you pick a manufacturer at the start of their season and only drive their cars.

While I've never challenged the top end of these championships, I've competed regularly in both and improved my driver ratings and standings position each time. I've progressed from using a controller and automatic transmission to a wheel, pedals and manual. Doing the races regularly and watching all of those streams and videos, where top level drivers narrate their races and describe what they're doing and why, has all added up. It might sound obvious that spending years immersing yourself in something will make you better at it, but I'm legitimately proud of the progress I've made, and the fact I can see that is probably the biggest reason for that.

The biggest reason I've thought so highly about this game in all the times I've thought about the day I'd write this review is going from high to low on a race by race basis. I've had good races. I've had races battling for a top ten finish which were harder and more satisfying than wins. I've had ragequits from races where I never wanted to think about the game again. Yet, with the scheduling structure there's always been another race, so after a few days I'm fine, I'm back in and I'm committed to improving and learning.

I could genuinely be here for hours recalling great performances but I'll try and sum up a few of them. I've raced against World Tour drivers who travel(led) the world in Gran Turismo's live events, back when that was a possibility. I've raced against professional sim racers. I've raced against real life GT3 drivers. I've raced against streamers who've been able to have amazing opportunities and make a living because of this game's success. I mean, I've been in the same races against them. I've finished an an S-rank driver for finishing top 10 in my chosen manufacturer (technically this should have happened three times, but I'm not counting). After hundreds of races I became an A-rank driver. After thousands of races I reached the highest rank, A+. While it's hard to compare a competitive online game with a narrative-driven single player experience, the sense of satisfaction and emotional investment I've had from GT Sport is more than anything else I've ever played. The fact I do it on a weekly basis just extends that in a way that can't ever really be matched.

I need to mention my two Nissans somewhere. In the Manufacturer Series you pick a manufacturer and just drive their cars. Ever since I started doing FIA races regularly in August 2018 I've driven for Nissan. The Group 3 GT-R is a pig. It's large, it's heavy, it understeers and oversteers at the same time. It's fast in a straight line but not as fast as it used to be as attempts at balancing the car have slowed it down. It's only in certain situations where this car can succeed but when it does, it feel satisfying in a way nothing else does. At low speeds it has no grip but through high speed corners you throw it in and it just sticks and everything just feels right.

The Group 4 GT-R isn't a real car in the way the (2013) GT3 GT-R is. Most of Group 4 isn't, they're the equivalent of the real life GT4 class but just custom-made for the game. The Gr.4 GT-R is a four wheel drive car. As a result, its front tyres die in every race you ever enter. Its brakes are made of cheese. Its gearing is terrible. It's heavy, it's about eight miles long. It's also a complete tank that's impossible to lose control of because of how big and cumbersome it is. If I didn't have such experience with this car I would never have taken to using a wheel as readily as I have. For whatever sense of satisfaction the Gr.3 car gives me there's arguably more in this, having to drive it in a certain way to manage the tyre wear. Now I can.

The game isn't without its strengths and faults elsewhere. For the first time in Gran Turismo's history there's a livery editor, so you can make and share your own liveries for cars. I love this. I judge players on their livery more than their driving, and I take my own very seriously. I'm not very good at it - some of the liveries you see people make are genuinely unbelievable - but the good ones I have I'm quite proud of. GT7 looks like it's improved some of the interface and options for this feature, so it's good to see that Polyphony recognise the success of it.

As anyone who's played an online game will know, you get people who act like dicks and attempt to disrupt what's going on. A matchmaking based racing game with no damage and bouncy collision physics isn't a good combination. The penalty system has historically been the biggest problem with GT Sport. Assigning blame properly for incidents is a complete nightmare, not helped by the system being changed frequently by a developer which has little direct interaction with players, and which offers no explanations for their changes or the regular complaints players have. When you see how other e-sports platforms interact with their players it makes Polyphony's way of working all the more exasperating. I hope they're able to rectify this properly in the future, but I'm not hopeful.

I feel as if I'm somehow letting myself down by not typing, or not being able to type, thousands of words about the time I've spent playing this game. I think I feel as if I need to somehow complement the time I've put into the game with time justifying it. This is the first and really only game where I've properly felt part of the online community for a multiplayer-based game and that's been a massive part of the game's impact on me. Before I started playing it I had no idea that sim-racing existed. Now I do. I play other sims too and enjoy the feeling of different cars on different tracks in different conditions. Now I take part, although my terrible set-up and playing on console isn't anywhere near serious. None of that matters. I'd like to think I still have time to improve and if GT7 continues this successful online format then hopefully I will. I can't really imagine my life without it, so if that doesn't sum up how important Gran Turismo Sport is to me then I don't know what will.

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3 hours ago, Miguel Sanchez said:

Kevin Spacey, if anyone can't be bothered looking it up.

It's peak David Cage, and it's crap. 

Hard to know how to feel about Spacey who is a great villain even with obvious little direction knowing it's probably because he's that malevolent irl. 

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Ace Combat 7: skies unknown. This game is fucking brilliant. Arcade action flying, with loads of different planes and weapons to pick from, and a batshit mental story set in some alternative world called Strangereal that has a space elevator. I didn't really follow it properly to be honest but the gameplay is fantastic.

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