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Topic: Pure Xbox Game Club - Evil West (Jun)

Posts 2,361 to 2,380 of 3,463

ralphdibny

@GamingFan4Lyf nice, added!

That's actually an excellent choice, it's an Xbox staple and the first two games are available for free on the Xbox store if anyone needs to catch up (like me 😅). I actually bought a physical copy of the third one from Argos for £3 a couple years ago.

I haven't played any of them but this could be the kick up the backside that I needed to actually have a go!

See ya!

Lavalera

I tried an hour of Atomic heart and Uninstalled it. The first half hour is like a walking sim with some annoying dialogue. When you finally get to control your character you're still walking 5 meters and then have another cinematic. I almost fell asleep 2 times during that first hour and I generally love cinematic heavy story games. Oh well luckily it's a gamepass game so it's OK. I hope the others like the game better but it's not for me

PSNid: Lavalera

trev666

@Lavalera did you even get out of the first location Chelomey? the walking have been doing is not what the game is after the first hour

Edited on by trev666

trev666

Lavalera

@trev666 I don't know the name of the area , I was in some underground area with an axe spam opening boxes . There really wasn't something that drew my attention in the first hour. The horrible dialogue voice acting and the extremely slow start just put me off.

@ralphdibny @themightyant haha yeah usually it is because I'm so tired but jsut don't want to stop. This time it was because the game just didn't pull me in

PSNid: Lavalera

trev666

yeah its a hard game i played it on easy

trev666

GamingFan4Lyf

I really want to like Atomic Heart, but I keep finding little annoyances that spoil the experience. Like, this game has this strange identity crisis.

Is it a puzzle game? Is it an action adventure game? Is it a survival horror? It's hardly a shooter or even a competent brawler.

It's just so easy to get swarmed and killed because the weapons have no stagger or real heft and the powers are weak.

If melee is going to be the primary way of dealing with enemies (because ammo is so limited), have a block button that has a knockback effect or something rather than only having a dodge because if you get stuck in a corner, you're screwed.

The axe is garbage. The shotgun's ammo is too precious to use a lot. The shock gun is mostly useless.

New weapons seem to take a crazy number of resources I am not finding (and I am looting a lot). I have unlocked numerous weapons but can't do anything with them because I don't have enough to craft them. I am cautious about upgrading weapons because I want to try new weapons, so I need to conserve.

I am still trying to give this one a chance because I like the art design and the premise; but the gameplay quirks are getting in the way of enjoying it.

Edited on by GamingFan4Lyf

My Nintendo: Daemonrunner
PlayStation Network: Bioflare
Steam: Bioflare

Xbox Gamertag: Bioflare

trev666

play it on easy its too hard on the standard setting i went through the entire game with the axe as my main weapon

Edited on by trev666

trev666

GamingFan4Lyf

@Balta666 @trev666 I have nothing against playing on Easy, but a solution to fixing a game's issues shouldn't be "switch to easy".

I'll consider it, though.

Maybe I will focus on upgrades as I do have a good number of resources to upgrade. Perhaps that is how the progression system works in that the game wants you to focus on upgrading those starter weapons first.

I have noticed that the Recipes are slightly random. I looted a bunch of chests in one area, died, and when I reloaded, I ended up unlocking two more recipes I didn't get before from the same set of chests on top of one I did get (but it was found in a different chest from the set I did loot).

I forgot that there is a shield I can get. I should really unlock that as well.

Edited on by GamingFan4Lyf

My Nintendo: Daemonrunner
PlayStation Network: Bioflare
Steam: Bioflare

Xbox Gamertag: Bioflare

GamingFan4Lyf

@Clankylad Yeah, I recently (like between my last comment and now) figured out how to add canisters to the Axe. I have Fire and Electricity and it's helped out a lot!

My Nintendo: Daemonrunner
PlayStation Network: Bioflare
Steam: Bioflare

Xbox Gamertag: Bioflare

MaxC

I made it out of Vavilov and did a few other things in the outside area before deciding the game wasn't for me.

  • On a positive note, the setting and visuals are very compelling and the few mini-puzzles I had to solve were enjoyable. The combat is also very well-done (I was playing on easiest difficulty based on comments I saw here and elsewhere).
  • The dialogue was just terrible and I played using Russian audio after hearing how painful the English was, but even reading it was painful. lol. Also, none of the characters are likeable. I get that the setting is supposed to miserable to an extent, but I don't want to spend my time listening to a protagonist be awful and critical to everyone and everything.

Overall, it's simply not my type of game. It certainly wasn't bad, I just felt that investing more time into it likely wasn't going to be enjoyable.

MaxC

Xbox Gamertag: Max Collins

themightyant

I finally started Atomic Heart, more on that in a minute, but first up I finally got round to playing A Plague Tale: Requiem, which I skipped as I was busy with GOW:Ragnarok. So 4 months later I present to you:

My mini-review of A Plague Tale: Requiem

First a little personal series history. I really liked the first A Plague Tale game, it was a short, polished game with an interesting story and some interesting mechanics that didn't outstay their welcome. For a AA game it felt like it had a lot of AAA production values: graphics, sound, acting etc. and I had to remind myself at times that this was a lower-budget AA game, because it really didn't feel like it. It had a few obvious flaws but ultimately the quality of the story, the writing and the performances combined with the great presentation really shone through. I loved it. And frankly i'd love more experiences like it from smaller teams punching above their weight.

So what about Requiem? In short: Mostly much of the same with a few differences. I didn't think it's quite as well rounded a package, it was a little too long, but when it hits, it hits hard.

Technically this game is a marvel. Once again French game developer Asobo Studio - who somehow managed to map the entire world in Microsoft Flight Simulator - has knocked it out the park again. They are absolute wizards. The level of artistry, graphical fidelity and detail is incredible, creating a truly stunning game that rivals, and at times exceeds, many AAA experiences. Add to that a beautiful, haunting and moving musical score and brilliant voice acting and it's hard to fault the presentation of the game.

I particular loved the variety in tone of the artistic design, from being in a vibrant town, with all the colours of the rainbow that is absolutely teeming with festive life to being in a dark, miserably oppressive rat infested tomb. I often stopped just to admire the view or soak up the atmosphere. It really highlighted the changes that were happening in this world. Life and death. Though it also frustrated me a little as it didn't always match up with the plot or character motivations. More on that in a moment.

In terms of gameplay a lot of the same rat mechanics returned from the first game. Using fire and light to avoid the flood of rats and mostly stealth to avoid soldiers. But I was particular impressed with how they switched up the gameplay to keep it interesting over a longer runtime. They did this in several ways.

Firstly they varied the gameplay by using the different characters who accompany you and their variety of skills. Lucas makes fires explode with his wonderfully named Stupefaccio, blinding soldiers and pushing back rats in a spark of light. Arnaud fights soldiers for you, Sophia uses her crystal to refract light, and Hugo, of course, controls the rat swarm. They were also creative in how they used all the skills. These differences and variety meant that the gameplay stayed relatively fresh despite it's longer runtime. One clever example was sinking a flaming crossbow bolt into Arnauds shield and using him as a walking source of light down a rat infested tunnel.

Second they also allowed a little more variety to playstyle. While it is predominantly a stealth game, especially with soldiers, they do allow a few more aggressive options. I particularly liked the 3 skill trees that went up as you played the game in that style. If you were more stealthy you would gain stealthy perks and if you were more aggressive you would get violent perks. A clever way to dole out skills without making you too overpowered. Though the "retrieve crossbow bolts from enemies corpses" was a bit OP.

Lastly they mixed it up with a range of different sequences from Uncharted style Rat chases sequences where you would often run towards the camera, or other interesting set pieces.

Despite these additions and variety there were still moments that the game dragged for me, especially in it's middle half/third, and i'm not sure the longer playtime was the right move. And puzzles were often explained by overly 'helpful' compadres before we'd even had a chance to figure them out. Additionally there were some frustrating moments, including some insta-fail sections and times where the stealth was annoying. Not least if/when you were discovered it didn't feel like there were many options to escape or hide, and I would often just instantly pause and restart the checkpoint. One particularly annoying boss quite late on was chasing and you had to run away. But it was not clear to me where you had to run at times and I had to repeat that segment many times until I stumbled on the solution. In the end it was to run back on myself, and go down a corridor I thought I had just come from, but I just felt that wasn't telegraphed enough.

That brings us to the story, characters and acting. This is where I am a bit mixed. Like the first game this one ends very strongly, there is a great tempo and crescendo towards the end with a poignant close. The voice acting in particular was stand out. Completely agree with @Lavalera here, Charlotte McBurney as Amicia was wonderful. The quivering in her voice as she experiences moments of turmoil and desperation made you feel her pain and experienced her vulnerability. She covered such a wide range of emotion. Bravo!

Like the first game Hugo was at times annoying. This is quite deliberate, you are meant to get frustrated with him at times, he is a five year old boy who throws temper tantrums. Equally you are Amicia is far from perfect too. I like that. The rest of the cast were more than able too.

Arnaud was another one who grew on me and had a great arc. Like @ralphdibny I had no idea who he was when he rescued us. At first I assumed he was someone from a previous game. But it's just bad storytelling. I even googled "Plague tale requiem who is..." and it immediately came up with "who is the guy? Arnaud" I even went back and am replayed the early game, aiming for the 1000GS, and it's just not clear even second time round. Up to that point every time we have seen Arnaud he is wearing a helmet, and his name is only mentioned in passing a handful of times so this is the first time we see his face. Perhaps we were meant to recognise his armour and heraldry... Honestly it's just told really badly.

However what frustrated me most was some of the characterisation and lack of empathy between what is happening in the world. The term "Ludonarrative dissonance" is overused but this is exactly what it happening here, a conflict between a video game's narrative told through the story, and the narrative told through the gameplay.

For example, very early on we see hundreds of dead bodies, millions of rats and a whole town destroyed by the rat swarm all because of Hugo's illness/mood. At this point I was just thinking the simple option here is to let Hugo die, tragic but for the greater good. Death of one to save thousands. When the same happened for the third or fourth time, especially on the island where we have seen the vibrant and festive before, I was screaming it. Hence, by the end of the game, when this was the final supposedly the 'difficult' decision, instead of being agonisingly split over this I was instead thinking "FINALLY you've come to your senses and it's the only logical conclusion, what took you so long? Only several thousand people had to die in between. It was a little frustrating to end on this note.

Though it does make me raise the question, topically a bit like Joel in TLOU, is Amicia actually the villain with countless deaths on her hands? That all said McBurney and the other actors, directors musicians etc. did such a great job here that even my stone cold heart was still moved. And the epilogue was great.

So time to wrap this up. I really did enjoy A Plague Tale: Requiem, it has some really excellent moments, but it is dragged down at times by some gameplay frustrations and some disparity between story, characters and gameplay. I felt it was a little too long in places but ultimately had a really good time overall.

My Score: 8/10

Edited on by themightyant

themightyant

themightyant

As for Atomic Heart I'm about 3-4 hours in and am mostly enjoying it but there are definitely some things that drag it down.

I REALLY like the worldbuilding and setting, it feels novel and fresh. Graphically it looks amazing, and personally on XSX I haven't noticed any of the technical problems reviews highlighted on Day 1, if they are there, it seems the worst has been patched or i'm blind.

I think a problem at the beginning is how slow it is. It basically felt on rails for about an hour. Compare that with some of it's inspiration like Bioshock or Half Life which introduced actual normal gameplay FAR faster. Here it felt like a overly large lore dump, that would be better spread over a longer period and told during gameplay. Show don't tell.

Combat can also be occasionally hard and frustrating, getting stuck in corners or sniped from afar. Doesn't help that the checkpoints aren't great. I also had to remove the spinning round axe 'upgrade' as it was just disorientating in an FPS and was getting me hit/killed. Perhaps I should just craft ammo, but it seemed to be in short supply, i'm saving it mostly.

The climbing is also so slow and there is no run button.

I also like the level design with lots of rabbit hole like paths through levels in theory. That said as someone who's natural playstyle is to explore every corner, plunder every cache and take my time i'm already getting frustrated with the number of rooms filled with loot and off the beaten path chests. I suspect my playthrough will be 2, 3 or even 4 times longer than anyone who mainlines it straight to the next waypoint, which ultimately might mark it down. The obvious solutions would be ignore all that, but it's a bit of a compulsion, especailly with so many upgrades, it's not so easy to just say "ignore it" as doing so it frustrating in itself to someone that naturally wants to explore. I think there is just too much of it.

Like the on-rails info dump at the beginning a little less is often more. Instead they are just flexing a bit too hard. Restraint is sometimes needed.

I REALLY don't like the voice acting of either the main character or glove. The main actor is an awfully one dimensional malcontent oorah cheese-***** with zero personality. I keep expecting him to say "i'm here to kill Chaos" or something, so overly edgy and yet completely bland at the same time. They also haven't yet really made me interested in any of the other characters yet except Granny Zina. While it could be seen as a positive I have no idea who the big bad is, what my motivation are or where this is going. If Ii had to guess (can a guess be a spoiler? I'll play it safe) The visionary who saved my life and is giving me orders is actually the bad guy, he probably didn't save my life. We are probably going to have a fight in the building with aeroplanes in it at some point, why else go there? Maybe i'm way off.

Lots of smaller grievances but i'm still enjoying it, just not as much as I hoped.

Edited on by themightyant

themightyant

Lavalera

@themightyant Thanks for your wonderful review of A plague tale requiem. I always like to read your reviews since you really go in depth why you do or do not like certain parts of a game. Aa you said it's an amazing game with a few annoyances here and there.
About your spoiler part: Villain is a big word here. But Amicia really doesn't stop to do everything thing she can to protest the most precious thing to her, her little brother. It was already clear from innocence that she would do anything to help Hugo, no matter the cost. I think it's an interesting question: How far would you go to save a loved one? In Amicia case it's clear that she so desperately tries to save him, that's its driving her insane and does even worse things than she wants to do, just to make sure Hugo is save. So yeah I can totally see how that looks like a villain since she even indirectly kills innocent people. The reason I don't see her as a villain is because I understand her point of view and the reason why she does what she does.

PSNid: Lavalera

themightyant

@Lavalera Thanks for the praise, I enjoy writing them too. It really helps cement how I feel about a game, and means the notes I always make whilst playing aren't entirely useless! Then it's fun to discuss what we all thought here.

How far would you go to save a loved one?

It's always an interesting question. It's part of what made The Last of Us so good, and endlessly debateable, especially as our views can change over time

E.g. I know many people that thought Joel was in the wrong at the end, but once they have had kids change their view, they would do anything for their kids.

I agree we can Amicia's point of view more clearly here, mostly due to how it is presented, though I did come to the ultimate conclusion Hugo's Death quite a while before her, she just could not accept it and would do almost ANYTHING to protect Hugo. ]I don't REALLY see her as the potential villain in quite the same way, but it is an interesting thought. If you look at the trail of death and devastation in their wake, were the order wrong to chain up Basilius (the former Carrier) and was Amicia right to keep Hugo alive for so long at the cost of so many other lives

Again endlessly debateable. Loved that part of the game.

Edited on by themightyant

themightyant

trev666

@themightyant I think i liked innocence more than requiem

As for Atomic heart glad your giving it chance i liked it. like you say not as much as i was hoping but for me that doesnt mean its trash and im glad i played it the story takes ages to get going but in the end i thought it was good. we'll have a chat when youve finished it dont want to spoil

trev666

themightyant

@trev666 I definitely preferred Innocence to Requiem, but then I usually prefer smaller, more streamlined games. But I enjoyed both.

Played a lot more Atomic Heart yesterday. I am enjoying it, and FINALLY got to the open world. However there a few new annoyances. There is a huge imbalance between the number of cameras, the alert level, the flying drones that constantly rebuild everything, and keep coming. I've already taken to just avoiding combat in the open world, running past most battles, which seems wrong, but they are too irritating otherwise. Except I need a lot of materials to upgrade... so am forced to take on some.

Also played against my first open world boss, the round ball that took out the train, it was kinda fun but my movement seemed so slow and sluggish compared to it and there didn't seem to be any way to avoid some of it's attacks, which was frustrating.

Still enjoying it despite these aggravations.

themightyant

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