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  1. Mechanically it does look better than Odyssey to me, albeit not drastically. Main reasons I say this: Fodder enemies seemed less spongey and finishing moves were a lot swifter; Odyssey's canned animations go on far too long. Think they've added some hitstop to give attacks more weight, too, although it was hard to tell given the general jerkiness of the footage. Whilst I don't come to the series for open conflict, the stronghold assault looked a lot more interesting than the last game's conquest battles; you could help with the battering ram, take out people on the walls, go behind enemy lines to free prisoners to fight with you or seemingly open gates from the other side. Not saying it looks thrilling, just better. Seems like there will be fewer equipment sets which you can choose to upgrade piece by piece, which should mean your inventory isn't constantly overflowing with trash you have to sift through. In the leaked footage the player could take fall damage, so perhaps there will be some consequence to traversal. (Not holding my breath for a stamina system.) We should get some official footage from Ubisoft's Forward event on Sunday the 12th.
  2. New trailer for the PC version, releasing August 7th: No sign yet of DLSS 2.0 support, which Death Stranding has, but I'm guessing it'll run great on any modern gaming PC anyway.
  3. Yeah, this is more what I was getting at. Murder is commonplace in The Last of Us's world – remember that Dina killed her first human when she was 10 – and throughout most of Ellie's journey she has a veneer of justification for her actions: the WLF attack her first, the Seraphite's attack her first, Nora was already dead from infection, etc. Her confrontation with Owen and Mel goes totally wrong and is, seemingly, a turning point: everyone from Jackson agrees to go home after this, until Abby shows up at the theatre. (I'm not sure whether Ellie would ultimately have been able to accept this. I suspect she might have been able to, given she'd still have Jesse and a non-twisted Tommy around, but perhaps not.) I'd say that Abby is more of a 'successor' to Joel. She is similarly ruthless – best evidenced by her treatment of Joel himself, which doesn't fix anything but causes her no remorse – and ultimately ends up on a similar redemption arc, albeit with Yara and Lev rather than Ellie.
  4. I think this article puts too much emphasis on casting characters as hero or villain, when surely a major takeaway from the game is that they can be both to different people and at different times. We saw some of Joel's heinous acts in the first game, and know he's done worse, yet when you visit his house you can see the many sympathies of the residents of Jackson and the new life he'd built. A monster to the Fireflies, a hero to Jackson, both to Ellie for much of the game. Similarly I've seen a lot of people say that the game wants to chastise you for partaking in it, but that's not the impression I get. There's no penalty for mercilessly blowing up a dog and its owner, or bonus for sneaking by and leaving potential foes unscathed. There's no morality meter, no Good and Bad ending, or any judgement given at all. Now, obviously the game does regularly want you to feel certain things but – as identified in the article – this is used to better align you with the character you're playing. I think this is part of the reason why you have to attack Nora: in this instance Ellie doesn't want to do what she's doing but feels she has to, so the player is handed both control and an echo of being in that situation. For me it's about empathy rather than finger wagging. It's interesting how the game shows Ellie fail in her attempts to emulate Joel. For example you have the torture of Nora which, whilst 'successful', leaves Ellie figuratively and literally shaken. (An interesting counterpoint to her flippant comment to Dina in the courthouse about only needing a few minutes with her knife to get someone to talk.) Then you have the interrogation of Owen and Mel, straight out of the Joel and Tommy playbook, where she quickly loses control of the situation and is left shattered once again. I suppose another interpretation of the ending, when she spares Abby, is that she finally understands how Joel could go to such horrible lengths to save her life. In that moment she is able to both forgive him and stop short of becoming him.
  5. In a spoiler, for the sake of those who'd rather not know:
  6. I disagree, I think the last part of the game is key to Ellie's story.
  7. I imagine Xbox will support streaming to Twitch, YouTube and Facebook, they're just forming a 'special relationship' with the latter because they're the only real choice for the click-to-play xCloud stuff: Amazon and Google run their own cloud platforms and are hoping to break into game streaming, so they're Microsoft's direct competitors in two different ways.
  8. In case you missed it, you're getting one from WB Montreal supposedly called Gotham Knights. I don't have any affinity for Suicide Squad but then I could say the same about Batman before AA released. I'm fairly confident Rocksteady will deliver a good game regardless of license.
  9. I'm curious if they'll tone down the brutality for a multiplayer game. TLOU2 is an extremely graphic game but it never felt gratuitous to me as it doesn't revel or linger on it; if anything it's disturbing in its matter-of-fact-ness. Transpose that to a multiplayer setting – with all the predictable juvenility of some portion of the player base – and the tenor is quite different as the violence is no longer in service of a narrative, it's just an infinitely repeatable charnel house. It's an odd one as the mechanics are excellent and a great fit for competitive multiplayer, but I'm not sure I want to be matchmade against the people it'll likely attract.
  10. When they stop and 'scream' they'll detect you via echolocation, unless you're in cover or right behind them.
  11. A new screenshot has emerged, albeit not full resolution:
  12. In what world is it "cliché"? If you just don't like it then that's fair enough, but I've a hard time thinking of a game soundtrack in many years with a more eclectic mix of instruments and influences than the first game's. I'd say it's telling that a few seconds into the the trailer I knew what it was for a based on the soundtrack alone.
  13. I agree that the Ratchet set piece doesn't change a huge amount in mechanical terms, but then that's what it is: a spectacular set piece, likely from near the start of the game. I think it's a clear demonstration of something not possible on the current consoles, and whilst they didn't dig into all the ways the game might make use of such techniques – which isn't surprising given we've seen a few minutes of a 10-ish hour game – I'd say it's enough to fuel people's imaginations as to what they might do. Rift Apart is also an extreme case in that they're seemingly dumping an entire level and loading another one with very few shared elements. That's kind of a worst case scenario as they're likely having to free up and refill the vast majority of RAM, yet it happens in a couple of seconds as opposed to the minute plus you'd be facing on PS4. Insomniac are certainly a very talented studio but this is still one of the first (unfinished) games made for the new system, so it's inevitable that the SSD will be better utilised in future games. It's important to recognise that modern games are streaming in new data constantly, not just during load screens, and the SSD will have a huge impact here. Loading an entirely new area in a couple of seconds is impressive but most use cases will be dealing with more manageable chunks which can be brought in within milliseconds. For example, if there's a building behind your character, out of view, a game might not even have any of its textures in RAM because by the time you turn around it can load them in. This boost in efficiency for memory usage can ultimately lead to upping the richness and variety of whatever you can see, as they don't need to keep a bunch of stuff on hand just in case you decide to turn around sometime in the next 30 seconds. And this applies to everything, from enemy models to animations, alleviating a lot of the limitations that have been causing developers headaches for generations. (Bit of an aside, but as an illustrative example in Mass Effect 3 you can't holster your weapon during combat sections – like you can in the prior two – because they didn't have the RAM budget for the additional animations. It's easy to see why such a non-essential function got cut but it's those kind of concessions which can really add up to impact the 'feel' of a game.) Regarding your specific Elder Scrolls examples, an SSD (and other aspects of next-gen hardware) makes all of them significantly more viable. As with most things it's something you could do now if you built your game around the idea – Outer Wilds gets most of the way there – but few 'AAA' games are so focussed on a particular mechanic. Loosening the grip of memory management is going to make a lot of those internal arguments around implementing cool ideas a lot easier for people to win.
  14. The 2018 game is all a single 'take'. Obviously the camera moves but it never cuts to another angle or fades to black. Not really sure how that works for Halo, unless they just mean it's always first-person; in that case Half-Life would be a far more apt comparison. Can't say I like the idea of trying to drive a Warthog in first-person, mind, as their camera-based steering is key to the feel. Maybe they actually mean there aren't any time skips or interstitial loading screens, so when you're moving between levels/areas you actually take a Pelican ride there, that sort of thing?
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