JamesM

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JamesM

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Edited By JamesM

Brad is right in his suspicion: you can't eat the heavy soldiers with the shields. That puzzled me in the demo. What you can eat, however, is both halves of the other people. Rorie was leaving some legs around that could have given him a bit more biomass! Though to be honest, I've found that cool though the eating mechanic is, really it's more a matter of surviving a combat encounter then refilling at the next save spot.

I'd recommend giving the mouse and keyboard controls on PC a go if possible. They feel very natural - you just click where you want to go, and right-click to grab onto stuff.

Anyway, I've been enjoying this game. My main criticism is that it isn't really much of a Metroidvania, as @mordja suggested. It has the trappings - you're constantly looping back around and pressing switches here to open doors there - but the way forward is usually pretty constrained, and you only rarely do something of interest in a room twice, rather than briefly passing back through. As I say, I like it as it is, but I think I'd like it more if the design were a bit more open (with secrets!), and a map were provided to compensate for the less guided structure.

What I think the game does really well is expressiveness. As Brad says, even movement feels violent, and the game is pretty good at enabling you to act as a monster would: pulling doors off their hinges and flinging them behind you, or thrusting them forwards to knock down whoever's behind them; crushing people with ceiling grates, or pulling them down into the depths below their walkway to eat them; smashing all the light bulbs while scientists run around in terror; smashing an armoured guard endlessly against the walls in frustration at your inability to eat them. It all feels very in-character, like you're embodying this amorphous ball of rage.

Speaking of the light bulbs reminds me of a misconception I had early on in the demo. When they described it as a "reverse horror game", I imagined there would be a greater mindgame component, like how you were supposed to stress out the enemies in Arkham Asylum by letting them see their buddies hanging from statues and so on. There's hints of a more involved combat system there - there are plenty of tunnels that allow you to circumvent rooms and stage ambushes - but the nature of how the game controls and the tools you have available to you means I usually just end up careening through, taking everyone out in a frenzy. That's a lot of fun, but it would be nice if you could snake down a single tendril and grab someone from their chair, or knock out the lights so the guards couldn't see you, or whatever. I guess that's describing a different game than what they were going for, but it would fit the theme and level design pretty well, I think.

Anyway, cool game.

EDIT: It does actually seem like you may be able to mess around with the sequence of the areas a little, although it's hard to tell if that's what's actually happening or if I'm just accidentally wandering my way into where I was about to be guided. But sometimes I open a new area and then immediately go elsewhere.

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JamesM

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@humanity said:

@toxicantidote: I wouldn’t say one-trick-pony but I agree a lot of his films share a common theme although what is interesting is that between Memento, Inception and Interstellar the idea of time is explored in very different ways which I find equally interesting and enjoyable.

It certainly seems that he's a bit obsessed with time. In addition to the above, what I gleaned from the Tenet preview is that it was something to do with the ability to reverse time in a localised way, and even Dunkirk plays with time in that it stretches and compresses each parallel timeline (One Week, One Day, and One Hour) to keep the dramatic arcs concurrent. You could even argue that Insomnia concerns human perception of time - if it's always daytime, perhaps you start to lose the ability to divide time into discrete portions. The calendar ticks over, but it's still the same day.

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JamesM

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URGENT CORRECTION:

A stone is 14 pounds, not 15.

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Edited By JamesM

My sister used to live in Leatherhead, and I'm not too far from there. It had an immediate Surrey vibe - there's a lot of those pink trees about (cherry blossoms?) - though I'm sure there's plenty of other parts of the UK that are similar enough. Then that bus said Epsom Buses on it (Epsom is another nearby town).

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Edited By JamesM

Perhaps the Atari ST was a regional thing - I knew several different people with one when I was a kid here in the UK. Though to be fair, one of those was my cousin, who had pretty much everything (BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, IBM compatible, Amiga, Atari ST, some Pong clone, an ancient PC with a dot matrix printer that had an incredibly sensitive sensor to detect when its cover was open...)

As far as I'm concerned, the main distinguishing feature of the Atari ST was its cool slanted function keys:

Just look at those beauties!
Just look at those beauties!

Also, as far as I can remember that weird stretched high resolution mode did look like that on the monitor. I guess doubling resolution in both directions would probably be too big of a performance hit to be worthwhile.

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JamesM

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@fram: Is there any reason he couldn't just stack them up sideways, one on top of the other? It was driving me mad.

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JamesM

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I guess Vinny never did notice that there's no X in NINTENDO.

(The letters actually spell out EXTEND.)

Anyway, fun stream. I look forward to part 2.

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For those wondering, "Wolcen" is short for "woluntarily cenobite".

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JamesM

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Edited By JamesM

I came here to post that clip. It's so good. Absolutely required viewing:

Loading Video...

In a way, though, it's the only really interesting strategy. Presumably most conversations boil down to people trying to convince each other they'll split, regardless of what they're actually going to do. At least this is something different. And it introduces a wonderful element of drama.

Of course, the "I'll split the money" part doesn't work in the video game, but it would still be a fun reveal, and it'd be interesting to see how people reacted.

EDIT:Radiolab did an episode about it, which if I recall (don't have time to listen now) revealed that the above clip is heavily edited, and actually played out over a much longer length of time.

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JamesM

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I've been to Brands Hatch. It was fine I guess.