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militantfreudian

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#1  Edited By militantfreudian

I voted for Doom Eternal, but Kentucky Route Zero is definitely the best thing I played all year. I forgot that it came out this year. It feels so long since I played it even thought I didn't finish it until late March.

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I felt like his music was off-kilter enough that it would stand out if compared against other (?) metal soundtracks. I liked the music in Doom 2016, it helped define what that game was (at least for me), and it made the combat more intense. And I thought his music for Eternal was more varied and memorable. So, this falling-out is definitely disappointing.

Whether it will affect my enjoyment of future titles is hard to say. My only concern is that id tries to get someone and tasks them with replicating the sound of the past two games. I'm way more interested in seeing what other composers can come up with to complement the gameplay of Doom. And I'm not particularly married to the idea that Doom is "metal."

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The reputation surrounding the Souls games made me ignore them for so long. The first Souls gameplay footage I've seen was the Dark Souls QL (with Rorie, Vinny, and Brad) sometime after it came out.

It slowly became apparent to me that these games (at least the earlier ones) seemed to reward patience just as much as skill. And that they're bucking the trend as far as storytelling and gameplay. What made me finally jump on-board was the We're Playing Dark Souls Too! videos. I wanted to be part of the conversation.

I started with Dark Souls 2, relying for help on the impressions and 'tips and tricks' threads that were popular when the game came out. After finishing 2, I went back to the first game, then played every subsequent game as they came out.

These games actually changed my views on certain video game facets and tropes.

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It's been great so far. There's something consolatory to seeing others trying to work from home. The content itself has been better than I could've imagined. I feel like we've been spoiled for choice. Perhaps it's the solo nature of the streams that allow for more spontaneity, but I'm happy there's a lot more variety. I too would like to say that solo Brad is awesome.

That said, I caught a glimpse of a UPF playing on Infinite a few days ago, and I couldn't believe it's only been a month since the crew started working from home. It felt like UPF was a show that's been discontinued for ages.

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I played through the entirety of Kentucky Route Zero leading up to Doom's release. I'm surprised by how little discussion there had been of the game in these forums. I'm aware the first four acts came out years ago, but I'm sure at least some have waited for the full release.

It hasn't been more than three weeks since I finished it, but it's haunted my thoughts ever since. Certain moments hit me like a ton of bricks. I imagine some of the topics the game grapples with are more likely to be gut-wrenching in the current crisis. In any case, I can't help but applaud the game for being unambiguous in its exploration of economic disparity.

One of the game's most fascinating aspects is the dialogue choices and how they blur the line – in a theatrical sense – between spectator and performer. Games far too frequently draw from cinema when it comes to their visual language; I can't think of a game better than KRZ that leverages this language (and that of theatre, of course) to frame and construct scenes.

I don't keep a list of my all-time favorite games, but I can say with confidence that it ranks among the very best experiences I've had. The game started strong and continue to impress me at every turn. In other words, I can't recommend it highly enough.

I have also been playing Doom Eternal since its release. I have been vocal about how much I like the game, yet I'm still surprised by how long the game has managed to keep my attention. I started a second playthrough on nightmare just to keep it at the ready, but I couldn't stop playing. It has actually helped me to get over a cold this past week. With such a high skill ceiling, I feel like the game is well-worth going through a second time.

Thinking about what I liked about KRZ and Eternal, I realized that they share a point of commonality, in that neither settle into one rhythm. Obviously, KRZ has more room of experimentation due to its structure and the standalone nature of its interstitial episodes, but Eternal, in its own right, introduces enemies and gameplay gimmicks consistently throughout its lengthy runtime.

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#6  Edited By militantfreudian

The only point in the game where I found myself neither engaged nor actively having fun for a significant length of time is the final level. After a typically thrilling first encounter, everything goes downhill to culminate in what is the least enjoyable boss fight I've played in a while.

Doom’s boss fights are rigid and old-school to such a degree that I rarely enjoy. Naturally, I was baffled when the game didn’t end on the previous level, which ended on the one capital-B Boss fight that didn’t overstay its welcome.

The narrative is the other aspect I was disappointed with. The storytelling was of inconsistent quality, and tonally, Eternal wasn't as cohesive as 2016. Moreover, the moments of levity were very hit-or-miss for me. That said, some of the story threads 2016 set up toward the end, and Eternal expounds on, came together better than I expected.

In any case, the moments of frustration, for me, were few and far between; most other complaints I have with the game amount to nothing more than nitpicks. I simply cannot overstate how much fun I had playing through it this past week.

I appreciated that Eternal was intent on forcing me out of my comfort zone, whether with the new gameplay loop, level- and encounter-specific gimmicks, or the expanded range of enemies (hot take: the Marauders actually grew on me). The game feels like a true evolution of Doom 2016 rather than merely iterative. I actually can’t think of a gameplay facet that isn’t better in a meaningful way.

The combat isn’t as prescriptive as it lets on in the early goings. As your arsenal grows, and more enemies get introduced, encounters become much more dynamic, with ample room for player expressivity.

I think Eternal gives Doom a more recognizable and distinct visual identity. The locations are visually varied, and memorable as a result. And unlike the first game, each level has a bespoke musical theme and the adaptive soundtrack works flawlessly this time around.

Not only do I prefer Eternal to Doom 2016, which was superb, but I think it may be one of my favorite games this generation.

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@bhlaab: I get what you're saying, but in practice, that translates to having weapons that are either all-rounders or easy to master without any quirks to work around. The difficulty setting I'm playing on has consistently been pushing me to play better. The end result is that I'm making a quick work of hordes of enemies, so I simply don't believe the weapons are useless, or even situational at best.

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#8  Edited By militantfreudian
@jesus_phish said:
@militantfreudian said:

At least in this way, Eternal has the same sensibilities as say, Sekiro: both demand you play them the "right" way. And since, for me, it feels goods and looks good to play that way, I'm totally okay with it. Combat encounters have consistently been edge-of-your-seat thrilling. The levels are unpredictable and the soundtrack is a banger. Honestly, the last I had this much fun with a game, it was probably Sekiro.

So I've been thinking about Sekiro as well but in how it did it much better. In Sekiro you don't ever need to use the items or gadgets like the spear or the fire crackers. But if you do, it makes the game easier. In this, it feels almost mandatory to use the right weapon against the right enemy or else you waste too much ammo. There's a bit too much, IF X THEN Y in this game.

Also Sekiro had designed encounters, not randomly spawning enemies constantly to make up for the fact that if you run out of ammo you need something to punch to get some more.

I should've been more specific. I was referring to something broader than similarities in mechanics. I'm not sure if the weapons in Doom are analogous to the prosthetic tools in Sekiro. For starters, you could miss many of the prosthetics, and I'm led to believe that you're not supposed to use them constantly if only because they're governed by a shared and limited resource. I personally didn't run out of emblems, but others like Ben, for example, have.

Playing Eternal, specifically, reminds me of Sekiro in the sense that both are unwilling to compromise in their vision of what the base-level experience of play is like. For me, the duels in Sekiro were about the sense of danger you feel by being so close to your opponent, and the tension that builds up until you break their posture. The game is intent on keeping you in close proximity to your opponents: enemies regain their posture if you're not keeping up the pressure, and certain enemies punish retreating with attacks that are impossible to dodge. This works in concert with how the game demands as well as rewards deflecting attacks with precision. What you do moment-to-moment feels meaningful. Whether it was as a result of admittedly punitive design choices or negative and positive reinforcement.

The practical upshot is that it's probably impossible to see someone blundering their way into beating Genichiro. You probably already know this, but it feels incredibly satisfying to play well: to play according to the specific demands the game put in place. At least in my experience so far, this holds true for Doom Eternal as well. More so than before, I feel, mid-combat, like the super-human character the game portrays and the game-world revers.

I have an anecdote of when Doom 2016 failed to engage me, which is symptomatic of design flaws that Eternal addresses. I replayed a few levels on a harder difficulty after beating the game the first time around. Only I noticed that I wasn't having as much fun mostly because I stuck to the combat shotgun – my favorite weapon in that game – even against two Barons of Hell. That was because, by that point, I had already completed all the challenges, and without them, I had little incentive to switch weapons much. The combat certainly didn't necessitate it; my experience was all the worse for it.

I'm willing to bet you could beat Doom 2016 with less than half the weapons, without experiencing any major increase in difficulty. It's not much a game of combat chess when your arsenal – essentially your chess pieces – is made up of queens. I doubt you could do the same with Eternal. Yet, even with enemies being vulnerable to certain weapons and less so to others, it's not as strict as I initially thought nor as unvarying as you claim. I find myself, depending on the situation, prioritizing different enemies and using different tactics to deal with them, whether by targeting their weak points or faltering one heavy while I deal with another.

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#9  Edited By militantfreudian

I realized after replaying Doom 2016 last year that part of why I loved it was its novelty, which, to me, masked some of the game's flaws. They were definitely more noticeable and felt on a second playthrough.

So far, I think Eternal is doing everything better than 2016, with the sole exception of story and tone. Eternal has the ethos of the previous game, but whereas Doom 2016 gave you leeway in how you deal with enemies, this game certainly does not. It punishes you for using the wrong weapon or tool, for not disabling heavies or prioritizing the right targets, and for not adjusting to the more complex resource loop.

At least in this way, Eternal has the same sensibilities as say, Sekiro: both demand you play them the "right" way. And since, for me, it feels good and looks good to play that way, I'm totally okay with it. Combat encounters have consistently been edge-of-your-seat thrilling. The levels are unpredictable and the soundtrack is a banger. Honestly, the last I had this much fun with a game, it was probably Sekiro.

Platforming in Doom 2016 was there almost by necessity to break the monotony of combat. In Eternal, however, it's been a key aspect of the game. It varies from one level to the next, and it's generally more involved. I actually like it.

Like I mentioned, my only complaint has been the narrative and tone. Well, the history of the different races is mildly interesting. At the very least, it gives an excuse for having different types of enemies and environments. But when the game attempts to be overtly funny, its jokes are groan-worthy at best — at best! Those awful UAC public announcement... yikes. The sly humor of Doom 2016 is not completely absent though. I chuckled when all of a sudden an objective popped that read something along the lines of: "punish demons in prison." The story's nowhere near as self-serious as some reviews have indicated, it's still goofy and always self-aware.

Even after my second playthrough, I thought Doom 2016 was the best shooter I've played. Five levels in, the changes have been a net positive for me. That said, I'm not surprised by the mixed reaction. In fact, I fully expected it not two hours into the game.

Edit: I replayed a level because I didn't complete one of the challenges. I completed the challenge less than halfway through, but proceeded to play most of the level to go through the Slayer Gate encounter again. That's how much I like the combat, haha.

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I preferred the side with no filling so I'd sometimes twist it, eat the less tasty one with the filling, then the plain one. Otherwise, I'd eat it in one bite, or rarely dip it in milk. I used to have a four-Oreo pack most days after school while waiting for lunch. It's been years since I've had an Oreo and I, uh, don't think I'll ever have one again.