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rllmuk

Wiper

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About Wiper

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    100% correct opinions

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    Being objectively right about absolutely everything.

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  1. The Middle Eastern release got fig-leafed. I'm pretty sure Benny's comment is meant at the expense at the godawful dregs of humanity who spent the launch of the game whinging ceaselessly and shouting at the the developers, rather than at the developers themselves. Who, frankly, would have been well within their rights to tell everyone to just go fuck themselves, and the fact they didn't and instead constantly worked on and improved the game was genuinely impressive (albeit it could, unfortunately, be interpreted as proof by the more bellendy side of the gaming community that the direct action of shitting yourself in public is an effective one).
  2. Wiper

    Xbox Game Pass

    Belated, but the very best, from best to slightly-less best, are: Into the Breach (super-small-scale tactics with roguelite framing) Stellaris (galaxy-spanning 4x) Frostpunk (grim, gorgeous city builder) Wargroove (fantasy-themed Advance Wars knock-off) Also, it's only just come out and I've barely played it, but Phoenix Point is a game from the makers of the original UFO/XCOM series, which takes some inspiration from Firaxis' reimagining of said series, but keeps ahold of the grander scale and slightly more brutal framing of the originals. Probably worth a look if you have any fondness for either flavour of XCOM.
  3. An ex-CDPR developer weighed in with a short, interesting, depressing thread:
  4. Wiper

    GOG.com

    I just wanted to pop in here to flag up how fucking good GOG Galaxy 2.0 is. It's still a little buggy to be sure, but having easy access to all of my games across all of the storefronts I use* is genuinely a huge boon. It's been interesting to see where I have duplicates across storefronts, but mainly it's just been great being able to browse all of my games without jumping from one store to another. Did you know I own Far Cry 5? I certainly had no fucking idea, but there it is on uPlay, with 0 minutes played. Maybe I got it free with some hardware purchase somewhere. Whatever the case, I'm going to try it now! I mean, I'm sure I'll find it incredibly tedious and nothing more than a rehash of the last two Far Cry games, but without GOG Galaxy I would probably never have had the opportunity to experience just how much I'll dislike the game. Thanks, GOG Galaxy *notable exception: itch.io. Here's hoping a plugin gets added soon!
  5. Love the choice of, er, screenshot for Fallen Order there. Entirely accurate representation of the game's primary mode of transportation.
  6. I mean, that's kind of moot on the Xbox side of things, at least.
  7. I just hope this means they're giving their staff a decent working environment in which to finish things up. As opposed to, you know, five (more?) months of crunch.
  8. Well, I'll put you all out of your misery on number 3 (though many of you had guessed it): Bronze Award 3. Untitled Goose Game At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that Untitled Goose Game belongs to the same genre of one-joke games with no actual substance as Goat Simulator. But you’d be wrong! For one thing, look at these: “The best Hitman game to feature a goose.” “Unquestionably the most accurate representation of a British village to have been designed by Australians for use in a video game.” “Unparalleled bell usage.” Those are just some of the accolades that Untitled Goose Game has received nowhere outside of my brain! For another, it turns out that you can in fact build a game around a joke and still have it come out as a well-designed game in its own right. Because Goose Game, even if surgically removed from its core premise, would still be a solid little puzzle-stealth game; a micro-Hitman game where you seek to subvert and take advantage of its clockwork world and its predictable, reactive inhabitants. Only with slightly less murder, and slightly more malevolence. Frankly, it’s the game I’d hoped Hitman Go would be, only with rather more feathers involved than I’d otherwise have anticipated. Figuring out just how to lure that character here so that this character does this thing which means you can grab that item and cause this horrific situation to unfold never gets any less delightful; a game of construct-your-own-practical-joke. Much as the best and most memorable of Hitman’s targets offer you the opportunity to enact hilariously dumb murders, so too Goose Game allows you to set off ridiculous chains of events that end in the distress of all around, and feel like a genius all the while. All that said, were the gameplay to be surgically removed from its core premise then it would lose all the context that adds to the delight of playing it. There’s deep pleasure to be had in role-playing as nature’s most horrible creature, and the fact that you’re wreaking havoc across this green and pleasant land for no better reason than your being a monstrous hell-bird is refreshingly simple. “What’s my motivation here?”, you will never find yourself asking. The setting itself is an enjoyable pastiche of the ideal of the English village; quiet, staid, and seemingly populated entirely with farmers, shopkeepers, publicans and nosy neighbours. Each villager is animated distinctly to them a distinct personality, and generous use of easily comprehensible emotes in place of facial expressions or voices does an admirable job of communicating their emotions (admittedly, said emotions most frequently fall somewhere between frustration and anger once the goose has gotten involved). Indeed, personality is one thing Goose Game is filled with. Aside from the perfectly observed animations (of the villagers, and also of your goose as it waddles around the village, carnage in its wake), there’s the fantastic use of sound: the patter of your little feet on different surfaces; your ineffective honk (and the various items that can modulate it) heralding certain doom; the snippets of Debussy that rise and fall as your naughtiness levels ebb and flow – the soundtrack alone chronicles the slapstick comedy of your visit to the village, and contributes a great deal to the game’s endearing atmosphere. Also, this is a game with a dedicated flap button. What does the flap button do? Makes you flap your wings. Why? Because you’re a goose. Goose Game does the impressive job of understanding and meeting its joint challenges of providing an enjoyable and directed gameplay experience, while also refusing to ever sacrifice its core joke in the design of its puzzles. You’ll never face a puzzle that can’t be defeated with the low cunning and ungainly stealth of a goose, while the incompetence of the villagers in their attempts to thwart you is always treated as yet another source of comedy, avoiding the traditional stealth game problem of your opponents feeling robotic in their failures to catch you. These villagers don’t feel like robots, they just feel inept, and that fits the fiction of the game perfectly. The game isn’t perfect; as much fun as figuring out the solutions to some of the thornier tasks is, it is a bit of a shame that many of the puzzles only really have one solution. And there are occasions where the perspective – and in particular the laconically-swaying (and, in some people, sea-sickness inducing) camera – can make parts of the game harder than they really ought to be. But really, the issues are slight, and very easily made up for by the sheer brevity of the title: issues like the above could have grated in a longer game, but considering you’ll likely finish Goose Game within a couple of hours, it hardly has time to outstay its welcome. For some people that may be a downside. For me, it’s one of the game’s greatest strengths. Goose Game is fun from start to finish, in large part because it doesn’t succumb to the pressure to be Filled With Content. No, it lasts exactly as long as it needs to in order for you to appreciate its design, figure out its tricks, and understand its story (such as it is). It gives you some optional tasks to go back for, should you want reason beyond simple havoc-wreaking, but otherwise is happy to give you your few hours of entertainment, then step back and let you know you’ve done it: you’ve seen what it has to offer, you’ve had a nice time, and now you can continue on with your life. If only more games had the self-confidence and respect for their players’ time as Goose Game. So, Untitled Goose Game. A worthy entrant in this year’s list? No doubt. Best game in this top three? Absolutely. Alex W: "A delightful execution of a delightful idea." Benny: "any game that makes me laugh like a drain in the first 5 minutes is something very special." GokouD: "Short and sweet, but utterly charming and properly funny. HONK!" mdn2: "Turns out the thing that had been missing from recent Hitman games is the ability to act like an utter evil bastard to a small British community. Who knew?" Siri: "I hate to say it, but even after playing The Outer Worlds, this is still the better experience. There's a lot to be said about a game that just comes along out of nowhere, puts you in front of something that's both fresh and familiar (The Katamari series was also a short-lived game about terrorising people in a comical fashion), stays anywhere between a couple of minutes to a couple of days, drops a solid punchline, and then simply drops the curtain. Grand Opening, Grand Closing. There's not a lot of games that do that - And some of the few that do turn out to be some of my favourite games ever, ones that remind me that videogames aren't supposed to be about collecting a load of shit, hours of side missions and drip-feeding content to generate more interest. Games like Wario Ware and Katamari consoled me in times where I grew tired of the medium, ran down by hours of JRPGs and Online Services, and simply provided something fun and new. And in 2019, sometimes, it's just better to be a bad-tempered goose."
  9. I don't think I worded things well enough in my write-up - I do like the combat, just not the actual gunplay (though evidently on that point BadgerFarmer and I disagree nonetheless). I find there's something almost unpleasantly lightweight about the shooting in Remedy games - like, guns should feel like they've got a bit of weight to them, and real impact to their shots, but instead they feel like airguns. It's like the movement in their games, in fact - again, that unpleasant feeling of weightlessness. But that really doesn't matter in Control because if you, like me, don't enjoy the actual shooty-bang-bang stuff, you can distract yourself by running from cover to cover launching objects with gay abandon and generally making a mess; helped by the fact that the combat itself is so easy to get through.
  10. I'm back! Let's see if I manage to not upset anyone this time around, eh? 6. Control I’m not necessarily the ideal audience for Control. For one, I’m not generally the most appreciative player of the linear-story-as-third-person-shooter genre; and for the other I’ve not been the biggest fan of Remedy’s more recent output – Alan Wake left me cold, and Quantum Break… well, let’s be frank, Quantum Break was a pile of shit, from gunplay to story. So, Control didn’t hold much promise for me. This, I thought, is going to be a game I regret playing. I was pleased, as I often am, to be proven wrong. Let’s get one thing out of the way: the actual shooting in Control, ostensible third-person shooter, is exactly as good as it’s been in every Remedy game since they moved away from the Max Payne series. Which is to say that it’s gash. Weightless, dissatisfying, and completely without challenge. I’m not sure Remedy have ever quite figured out how to make console controllers work comfortably, and every shooter they’ve put out that isn’t mouse-control oriented (and bullet-time focussed…) has just felt off to me, and Control continues that unfortunate tradition. Fortunate, then, that Control actually features relatively little shooting, at least once you’re past the opening sections. As your telekinetic powers increase the game becomes less about floating your cursor over enemies’ heads and making them pop under a hail of impactless pellets, and instead becomes a game of crowd control via mass destruction; if you’re more than five seconds into a fight and half of the arena isn’t flying through the air then you’re doing something wrong. Of course, the powers wouldn’t be half as satisfying if they didn’t look the business, so it’s just as well that Control absolutely delights in abusing its environmental physics engine; even on an Xbox One X you’ll find the machine grinding to a halt regularly in more intense battles, but that only serves to draw your attention even more to the catastrophic amount of mess that you’re making. Which actually seems a little ironic, considering you start the game pretending to be a janitor’s assistant. And it’s not just the physics that are impressive: the general environmental work in the game is second-to-none; the game is an unending series of gorgeous environments, with pitch-perfect offices and corridors enhanced by incredible lighting, otherworldly physics and mind-bending layouts; Control really proves that you really can make a game that is set entirely indoors into something intriguing and exciting to explore. It helps that the designers clearly had a great time lifting absolutely everything they could from the X-Files. Where Max Payne was a clunky, unintentionally funny knock-off of pulp noir, Control is a genuinely well-constructed pastiche of the slightly-goofy-slightly-sinister oddness of the world of Mulder and Scully. Only without the license. It’s also a game that’s packed with… well, not so much charm, as the opposite of it. But in a good way. Throughout the game you come across weird little skits in the form of live-action videos– the dialogs of definitely-not-a-mad-scientist Casper Darling; the absolutely-not-creepy children’s puppet show The Threshold Kids – plus a variety of documents and illustrations that genuinely flesh out the entertainingly disturbing life of a Bureau of Control employee. It’s a game that rewards you not only with wonderfully weird new environments to explore, but the promise of new, odd videos and documents to enjoy. It’s a rare pleasure these days to play a game where the collectables are something to collect because they’re worthwhile in and of themselves, rather than simply to make a number go up! Other aspects of the game aren’t quite so well done: the character models are a bit, well, off, and not in a good way; and the less said about the weirdly naff, endlessly repeating live-action footage of the Zachariah Trench videos the better. And the writing itself – as in, the actual dialogue – is very Sam Lake. Which is to say, not great. But not so bad as to undermine the fantastic world-building. And, as already mentioned, the controls feel a bit… floaty. Actually moving around never really feels satisfying, and that’s a shame. But none of that is enough to detract from the sheer pleasure of exploring Control, and that’s what makes it worthy of this list. Control is a game and lives and dies by its world: by the way you deform and mutate the environment around you; by the way the setting itself provides the game with its impetus and drive, the desire to see more, to understand more of the strangeness surrounding you; by the way that titbits of the wider world are strewn about to discover and experience, evoking more of that wonderful oddness. It’s a game which never allows you to be quite comfortable; everything is always just a little bit off, a little bit wrong, without ever veering into complete disconnect: it’s a game which manages to evoke the uncanny (and not just in its unfortunate character animation), and that’s delightfully rare. In fact, in the end what Control makes me think of most is not other third-person shooters, but the (oft-derided by Incorrect Opinion-holders) walking sim: this is a game where exploration is your driving force, where the ambiance of the world is what draws you in. That you also get to make the world bend and detonate and generally misbehave only adds welcome punctuation to that exploration. So, that’s Control. The best walking simulator of 2019. < All/Multiple opposed digits Elevated/Extended > Thor: "The staid aesthetic of the Federal Bureau of Control building's interior belies some truly inventive game design Remedy. Control is a joy to play with only a few particularly hard (but nowhere near insurmountable) difficulty spikes. The lead character is interesting, and the story more and more intriguing as you unravel the mystery of what's been going on behind the FBC's closed doors. A wonderful return to form for Remedy." Treble: "To remind yourself why games often have abstract, word salad titles, try Googling 'Control'. Poor nomenclature aside, Control is inconsistent both technically and artistically but won me over with its commitment to a pastel hued, Escher-like weirdness and an intriguingly outre plot." Vemsie: "I really enjoyed this. With RTX on and all the physics stuf going on around you, this is probably the most next-gen game yet. It's a blast to play too, with fun combat and lots of optional stuff to explore. It's delightfully weird in places and the Ashtray Maze is one of the gaming highlights of 2019."
  11. It's not due to difficulty, so perhaps doesn't belong here, but it's definitely the most recent game which has 'defeated' me despite a strong desire to complete it: Resident Evil 2. A remake of a game I love, lovingly made, gorgeously recreated, but just too terrifying for me to complete. I was fine until Mr X appeared, but his unavoidable, unpredictable appearance were just too much for me. Had to nope out of it
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