Games I played 2014.

List items

  • A game that I was really psyched about when I first heard about it... and then heard horrible things about.

    ... But, it's a decent co-op experience - much better than I expected. Though it's probably the ideal amount of fun if you are 4 people.

  • Oh man, Nuclear Throne is so much fun. Amazing game for short breaks.

  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a game I originally played on PS3 last year, and ended up receiving as a christmas gift this previous christmas for PC. Being a fan of swords, metal gears, ninjas and stuff, I obviously played it again.

    Conclusion? While it's clear that it's Platinum's first foray into making PC games - the resolution cap is just silly - it's clear that they did a very competent job out of it overall, considering the overall performance of the game, rarely dipping under 60 fps. (There have been issues with AMD graphics cards, I believe - but I had no technical issues).

    Adding the DLC to the package is just gravy - and while some of the fights are extremely frustrating (because of difficulty), the mechanics make sure you never feel like you are entirely out of your depth.

    Really glad I decided to play through it again.

  • Act 1: Much prefer the Vella part of the game, much more playful and interesting. Not sure what about the Shay story kept lulling me to sleep.

    Love the art style, either way :)

  • I picked up Lightning Returns having read the reviews. I knew largely what other people thought of it. But I had pretty much made up my mind before the game was released - I wanted to see the end of Lightning's story.

    Really, I've grown quite fond of the Lightning character - she's strong, and they don't fall down the usual pitfalls that video game heroines end up falling down.

    Unfortunately, Lightning Returns has a rather week mid-40 to 50 hours, with an interesting start and end, but almost everything in between struggles.

    I'm not going to even put into any effort in deciding if I like where they move the arc of the story at the end - but I do like what they did with the characters.

    Mechanically, Lightning Returns does quite a lot of interesting things. The combat is pretty good, and does some interesting things - but the schemata system is clunky, and would probably be much better with a few more iterations.

    The way they limit consumables... I'm not sure if I'm a fan of. In concept, it's a good idea - it limits consumable spam (which I consider to be bad anyway), and it benefits players who have learned (been taught) to avoid using consumables other than as a final way out. Completely limiting EP recovery items to (high-level) quest rewards is really taking it too far, though.

    Ultimately, I think it was a fair end to the FFXIII trilogy, but I couldn't recommend it to anyone - as I feel the 40 to 50 hours I spent on this game was not really worth it.

  • Oh man. *sigh*

    Thief makes me really bummed out. The sneaking works pretty well. But everything surrounding that is just... not very good? There's also something weird about a game supposedly focused on stealth, where pretty much every tool you get is clearly not stealth-intended - some instantly causing alerts. And the few tools you do have that feel like they are intended to use with stealth? Extremely limited - for obvious reasons, as they are so utterly game-breakingly powerful that if you could carry around several of them, the stealth would be trivialized.

    *sigh*

    Beyond that, there are some issues with transitions between areas - there are basically 4: 1) Open Window (QTE), 2) Sneak through path, prop up plank (QTE), 3) Sneak through path, prop up plank - MIRRORED EDITION (QTE) and 4) Fade to black - which uses the other 3 transitions as well as any other appropriate time to transition to just fade to black (say, you've jumped over a fence or walked through a door).

    As for the story, I felt like it started decently, and then just kind of lost it. There's a part that kind of elbows you in the stomach going "Eh, remember the orphanage from Thief 3?"

    Not quite impressed.

  • I find it hard to not be reductive when describing Titanfall. It's Call of Duty. It plays exactly like Call of Duty. With Scifi, jetpacks and mechs.

    Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, the jatpacks give you a great nimbleness that the Call of Duty games have been missing, and adds a dimension to the battlefield.

    Similar, the Titans, while, in my opinion, less critical to the Titanfall experience, also add, rather than subtract to the gameplay.

    However, if I were to point at the single greatest "innovation" in Titanfall, it would be the NPCs that are scurrying around every game. What they do, is something pretty revolutionary - it gives people who aren't very good at shooters something to shoot at, and distorts your perception of how a match is going to feel consistently pretty good about yourself.

    That is pretty cool.

  • There's no doubt in this being a cash in, using existing assets from Sniper Elite v2 and Sniper Elite:NZA - making the game pretty much free to develop.

    There's not much to get here, it's effectively a poor man's (for a higher price) Left 4 Dead, based on game mechanics that are largely pushed the wrong way - all the accuracy of Sniper Elite is still a thing here, but you really don't have the time to line up shots. This is further made worse because of how the zombies will bob and weave unreliably.

    But, yeah. Like everything else, Co-op makes it passable entertainment. And can make the miss-feasts really humorous when everyone is trying to hit the same zombie.

    I'll say this though - for someone who will violently roll his eyes at the mere mention of Zombies, I made it through this game without hurting myself.

    Zombies are still dumb and boring.

  • Payday 2 remains one of the best LAN party games, the way the character build system works for at least the first 40 levels (so far, I've only reached level 43 (update end of year: reached 77)) makes the game great in requiring you to rely on your partners to get anywhere.

    Also, the cloakers are a study in fear in action video games. Just the NOISE a cloaker makes when he is near is nasty enough that it makes you want to hunt him down just to shut him up.

    Of course, unless you are very prepared, it's likely that you'll get knocked out, however.

    In one mission we had a cloaker sitting on a roof for close to 7 minutes - because we refused to go up there to fight him. I had a splitting headache afterwards. :P

    Great co-op game.

  • After being disappointed by Diablo 2 - I spent a lot of time in Diablo (1), and I expected Diablo 2 to be more than it was - and then again with Diablo 3, because of the broken game loop, I wasn't expecting Diablo to get it's claws in me again.

    But, for some reason, colleagues convinced me to play Reaper of Souls, and I found out that I really liked it. At 150 Paragon Levels, I suspect I'm still considered a "newbie" in the "endgame" Diablo 3 community, but being able to farm Torment 3 comfortable and Torment 4 uncomfortably, I feel pretty good about my performance.

    Sure, it's still not perfect - even with the loot system rebalanced to drop items you theoretically care about (ie: it's exceptionally rare that you get drops for another class), eventually, the problem gets pushed into a different level entirely. I kind of stopped looking at non-legendary/non-set items that dropped. And knowing that a legendary item was likely to drop about once per hour, it eventually kind of became this equation of me putting in an hour and expecting a legendary out of it.

    ... of course, most legendaries, even if aimed towards my class is not the Best in Slot item I was hoping for.

    Not sure I even want them to fix that - but it just isn't a game for me at that point. (and that's fine).

  • Torn.

    Music and Art is beautiful. Art has it's problems with some environments being so beautifully drawn that their lack of animation steal the life from them that the art almost promised. I understand why they aren't animated, but...

    Music... beautiful.

    Story gets a bit messy. As much as I respect a story that doesn't give you all the answers, some of the questions in transistor are left a little bit too much hanging in the air with the potential answer of "Because it's an indie game" - but that might just be me.

    Also some of the things they do with New Game+, I'm not a super fan of.

    But I'll probably end up finishing NG+ at some point as well, just so I can listen to the music again, and get the missing parts that New Game+ promises.

    Also, shipping a PC game missing a lot of common resolution options is almost criminal in this day and age. Fortunately, command-line commands allowed overriding the options in the game.

  • Wow.

    I wasn't really expecting what The New Order showed me. I only picked it up on a whim - partly loyalty towards the developers who have proven themselves to offer very interesting games in the past. And in part because I liked much of what I saw in the coverage around the release.

    First of all - it's canonical nature with, apparently all BJ-Wolfensteins(?) is weird, but I haven't played most of the post 2000-Wolfensteins, so I'm not really sure if that's a good or bad thing.

    But. Yeah. The game does a great job with characters. All/Most of them are very memorable. And most of their stories are dark.

    And most of all, they do an amazing job with BJ. While he's got all the trappings of a Duke Nukem, he's always respectable, he's always believable. No quipping, very introspective.

    Mechanics. I'm torn on the perk system, it works pretty well, but some of them are very... circumstantial.

    The shooting is a nice mix of old-school and new-school shooters - and the LKW gun has a great feel of a 90s id game, where they often included a tool, gun or mechanic that was a bit quirky and special.

    Story/timelines. The story is competent. BJ's "Count to 4. Inhale. Count to 4. Exhale" ties together the game very nicely, and I felt gave it the vibe it needed. When you are surrounded by this much messed up stuff, you need a way to cope.

    Largely, the story itself is nothing special - many of the beats are very obvious. But the trappings around the story is very well crafted.

    Which is not to say that the game doesn't have big problems. The health-mechanics is a halfway between modern shooter's regenerating health and the old-school health mechanics - it regens to the closest, higher, even 20's (so, 1 -> 20,39 ->40,60,80). Most of the time, it works fine. But there are situations where it all breaks down. This is further compounded by power-ups being picked up do not respawn upon death. This has a tendency of making certain fights extremely frustrating.

    Software is unfortunately the real weakness here. I experienced several bugs while playing the game, including several crash bugs.

    I also noticed that it seems like the graphics engine optimizes out anything that moves as soon as it is hidden by something else - and it then takes a couple of frames before they return.

    This is especially noticeable when you peek in and out from behind cover several times - this kind of takes you out of the world quite a bit.

    But overall? Way better than I expected it to be.

  • Interesting, but pretty hand-holdy. Not burning to follow the series, but I expect I'll get through it eventually, it's certainly piqued my interest.

    Do wish Wadjet would occasionally release a modern game, though, as charming as these games "look", I'm certain you could achieve that effect without making a game that is barely functional.

  • Spoilers.

    While Aiden really isn't a very compelling character (though, let's face it, he's bargain bin Batman), I do think that many of the other characters are quite interesting - even if they invite you to stereotype them, they surprise you - like how Iraq seems like a dumb thug.

    How Bed bug is pretty dumb, but still kind of endearing. Clara's role and ultimate story. All of Raymond Kenney.

    And so on.

    Gameplay, the game kind of mixes GTA with a simplified version of Syndicate's hacking. It's solid.

    One complaint here, though - some gadgets are kind of pointless, I found.

    Largest problem of the game? The technical issues. While I'm not going to suggest people stay away (I liked it!), the game autodetects settings that are just flat out wrong. And in many cases looks pretty crummy as a result.

    Oh, make sure you check out the digital trips, those are really trippy.

  • Not sure why, but I've been putting off MGSV:GZ for a long time for some reason.

    Sure, it's not a very long story, but... it really does showcase that they are building solid gameplay in regards to both stealth and combat, even if certain old tropes are still a thing (such as guards effectively forgetting your existence after a few moments - and really, it would not be good gameplay if they didn't) it's a good game, with a compelling (if not very nice) story.

    Still looking forward to Phantom Pain.

  • Conceptually an amazing game, but realistically rather troubled. I remember being extremely disappointed the first time I finished it - I loved the mechanics, but... it was so short at 3-4 hours!

    This time around, having played ZoE2, I see how the mechanics received further polish in the sequel, and how they avoided the horrible human models in cutscenes ;)

    Considering the short playtime, it's rather shocking how much of it is spent looking for things the game doesn't tell you where it is.

    But it's still a great game. Amazing music, amazing mechanics. Decent storytelling.

    And the way the final fight is handled is perfect. They tell how it's going to play out - but while most games would just cut-scene the event, ZoE gives you the illusion that you can do the impossible.

    I really like this game, and expect I'll play the sequel in the coming days as well.

  • The rebooted XCOM sure is a game. It's really good in many respects, and Enemy Within builds on a strong foundation.

    Unfortunately, it's also largely a bummer for 2 main reasons:

    1) Technical:

    XCOM: Enemy Unknown was terribly buggy to begin with, and Enemy Within does not change anything here - besides the random crashing, endless enemy turns, etc. I also had to manually copy files between two folders to get the ending of the game.

    Seriously, get your act together Firaxis - I had really hoped and expected the game to have had most of these bugs fixed this long after release.

    2) The new stuff:

    While the base game remains solid, the new stuff has big problems - and I'm pretty sure Firaxis is aware of them.

    Let's begin with Gene Mod soldiers. Cool idea. Works pretty well. But when you look at the upgrades you can give them... they aren't balanced against one another. The only interesting choice there is (skin) is meaningless because one of the upgrades is interesting, and the other one makes your soldiers almost permanently invisible.

    The rest? There are a few good utility ones, but they mostly feel like things that should've been in the Officer training academy.

    In fact, Mimetic skin is so good that it pretty much breaks the game and removes most of the challenge. It almost becomes more of a puzzle game.

    (Until Sectopods prove that they can see through the invisibility...)

    Also, gene modifying soldiers also apparently removes the sleeves off of their uniforms, and makes all armors look almost identical.

    Next: MEC troopers - cool idea, but... and I realize here that these guys are going to be difficult to balance. Either you make them cheaty Sectopods, or they are normal soldiers with large healthbars who can't take cover.

    (for the record, they are the second).

    EXALT does a couple of interesting things, and covert missions are a cool idea. Unfortunately, for me, by the time covert missions were getting interesting, they also went away. Oh well.

    Beyond nitpicking on new stuff, it seems like they've tried to balance Snipers by removing the ability to crit on squadsight-targets. It's unfortunate that Mimetic skin renders this entirely laughable, as you can now safely take potshots from literally across the map without putting your soldiers into risk at all.

    Don't get me wrong though - this was my second game of XCOM: Enemy Unknown (first with expansion enabled) - and it pushed my total played time well over 100 hours, so it's a very good game. I just wish these problems weren't a thing.

  • I'm glad Shovel Knight exists. And to a very large extent, it is everything I loved about Mega man, "in the olden days".

    It's a faithful rendition of what Mega man was using modern technologies, going so far as to mimic the graphics style of 8-bit platformers.

    This game even has a decent story.

    But.

    BUT.

    This game is also as frustratingly DELIBERATE as those old games. Maybe that shouldn't be a problem, but when games like Super Meat Boy exists, where the frustration lies in the challenge, not in the games mechanics deliberately slowing you down.

    But can I really criticize them for that when everything else in the game is so perfectly recreated? ... probably?

  • Interesting game - though it can kind of be abstracted down to "a simplified Terraria without building".

    Ultimately, it's decent game and it's entertaining, but it does drag on for about an hour longer than it should've - I felt.

  • Manic. Interesting. Frenzied.

    It's a bit short at the moment though, which is a bit of a shame. But maybe it's just not a big campaign game?

    (Also a bit buggy?)

  • Cool puzzlegame. Interesting visuals. music. Pretty short, but didn't outstay it's welcome.

  • *sigh*

    There's a lot you can say about Killer is Dead.

    It's certainly crazy. It's certainly got a lot of cool moments.

    Unfortunately, those cool moments are little but bookends to insane nonsense that barely ties things together. It's like a fever dream with occasional lucidity.

    And no, it doesn't help that the game keeps nudging and winking at the player with references to the characters being aware of being in a game, or how some tropes make bad games - and then still do those things.

    Then there's the story. If people felt that Peter Dinklage's "That Wizard CAME from the MOON." line was disjointed - it's basically the story of the game.

    Then there's the mechanics of the game. *sigh*

    Constant loading.

    Constant cutscenes of the game moving your character into an elevator, out of an elevator. Opening a door. Walking through a door. Or enemies spawning. Or enemies dying. Or...

    And there are several situations where you after using a "handscanner" (let's say 10 second animation?) to open a door (let's say 4 second animation?), only for you to step through the door ...and get hit by a loading screen. Ngh.

    I don't even want to talk about the Gigolo missions, or the women calling you mid-mission to "whine". I barely touched those parts, and the parts I did see did not engage me (and kind of felt like proof of some rather weird and dated ideas about what women are/should be/do.

  • Wow. Divinity: Original Sin is one hell of a CRPG.

    I played through the game fully co-operatively. All 82 hours of it.

    I think it's the best combat system I've seen in any CRPG so far. The way abilities, spells and powers interact with one another is amazing, and really pushes the game from what would otherwise be at best a tolerable experience, to one where every fight is a puzzle.

    The way elemental abilities react to one another sets you up to an amazing push-and-pull system where every spell changes how effective the next one will be - in many ways, a water mage and a fire mage, even on the same side, will be effectively fighting one another.

    Unfortunately, the abilities are also where the game struggles the most. Where every ability should be interesting and game-changing, too often, there's a lot of overlap in abilities. And to make matters worse, the non-magical skills don't even appear to get any new abilities past a fairly early point in the game.

    And the abilities that magic users get access to at the very end of the game tend to be both extremely powerful and so stupidly niche in their use that you will most likely never really get a chance to use it (such as the "Earthquake" spell, which covers a 15m area, attacking random targets for large amounts of damage, knocking them down - getting your mage into a situation where there are a lot of enemies around him/her, casting Earthquake (and not getting killed themselves by it), and getting out... is pretty unlikely.

    Either way, the combat system is robust, if lacking in areas. And it stays challenging, but is not necessarily punishing.

    Statistics, leveling and skills are similar in structure and appearance to many similar CRPGs, in that there's an overwhelming array of choices to make. And ultimately, most of them prove to be entirely unappealing, to the point where you just end up grabbing something for the sake of leveling up.

    Companions are also a weakness. My co-op partner and me picked a Battlemage and Cleric as our starting classes, with the expressed purpose of eventually picking up a "rogue type" character to balance our party out. It was quite a disappointment when we realized that The developers have only built 2 "characters" (which are at the time already quite firmly specialized) to have as companions. The developers have included a method of picking up another companion if you for some reason don't want one of these specialized characters.

    Unfortunately, they then have no dialog or personality, and no impact on the rest of the game - while the two characters have their own quests, and will chime in on events that you experience.

    Not a deal-breaker, but it was quite a bummer when we realized we "needed" to replace one of the supporting characters.

    The story is rather standard fantasy: "Big bad evil happened, you need to save the world, here's your checklist (questlog) of things you need to deal with to do it.", but it's decent, and I didn't have any major issues with it.

    (Wasn't a bit fan of the final scene though. Felt a bit like a cop out.)

    That may sound largely negative, but I feel like I've omitted what makes the game so great: It's details. There are details everywhere. Most quests have multiple ways of dealing with them. Do you want to be vindictive or compassionate? Are you spiritual or materialistic? There's a system for these personality-attributes that will give you bonuses depending on how you act.

    In co-op, certain decisions (usually things that can be moral grey areas, or just is a philosophical discussion point) in the game will trigger conversations between the main characters. These discussions are the primary method of acquiring the previously mentioned personality attributes.

    But there are other situations where this kind of discussions will also pop up, while talking to other characters, or attempting to do certain things.

    In cases where it's a contest of will, the game will present you with a rock/paper/scissors interface.

    At one point, very near to the beginning of the game, my co-op partner egged me on to dig up a grave over voice chat - I first balked, but gave in. As I attempted to perform the digging however, he was presented with the option to argue with me about the morality of grave robbing.

    As he did so - and ultimately won the argument through a game of rock/paper/scissors, we both realized that at that moment that both of our characters had taken on a life of their own.

    He was the hippy cleric while I played the bold, "have to break some eggs to make an Omelette"-kind of mage, and each following decision only added to that rivalry.

    There were a bunch of technical issues - but most of them were related to the game being networked because of the co-operative gameplay.

    Overall? Divinity is a great game if you have 70+ hours to put into it. Well recommended! And if you have a friend you can play it with, it's going to be a wild ride. (Keep in mind, however, that only one player will get the savegames if you play co-op. The other player only plays a character in that person's game)

  • This season did not punch as hard as the first one, and I felt that it was rather front-loaded. In many ways, the big decision at the end was too obvious - they spent most of Season 2 building up to it, and I still don't think the game made the decision have the weight it was supposed to have.

    To make matters worse, the decision straight after the big decision was too binary. Those aren't the responses any reasonable person would have to that situation. You might end up with the same result, but without swinging so hard - that really bothered me.

    A weak finale aside, I do feel that there were some pretty good situations through the game. Though... it does kind of feel like "Other people makes bad decisions: The Video Game" at many points - much more than the first Season did - where I felt you were more often forced down a path, by 'natural' circumstances - rather than because of [other person] can't stop acting... I want to say randomly, but it's really not. It's just acting in a way that is counter to their message.

    Maybe that's how people work? Or maybe it's just bad writing for those characters? I don't know. It bothers me, either way.

    You'd think people would have some survival instincts :P

  • Shadow of Mordor is a game that can be largely described using other games. It's reductive, but...

    Chiefly, the two games I'd use to describe Shadow of Mordor with is Batman: Arkham [something] and Assassins Creed. Specifically - it's basically the combat system from Batman lifted straight over (removing the flying cape and the batclaw, adding the branding mechanics). It's still skillbased. It's still looks and feels rewarding to "do well". I'm not sure if it's QUITE as tight as the latest Batman games though.

    The other reductive part, the piece taken from Assassins Creed, is the world navigation - and again, it's more or less so similar that you'd be excused if you forget which game you are playing while running around the world.

    There are a few tweaks here and there though - overall, I think I spent less time running into walls I can't climb up, but more time jumping off of things in slightly the wrong direction (ending up somewhere I hadn't intended)... but it's such a subtle thing, it's barely meant mentioning.

    The third part, the creamy center, as it were, of the game, is the Nemesis System. I spent a stupid amount of time just rolling around the world, murdering Uruk captains and causing shenanigans.

    This system is at it's strongest when you give it time to shine, when it produces strong enough opponents to push back against you.

    Unfortunately, I do not feel like the game's combat system is flexible enough to account for someone who has spent some time with the Batman games, and has already to some degree mastered how that system works.

    Some captains get really strong, but there are counters to everything, and if all else fails, there are a couple of combinations that no Uruk can counter.

    It does create a lot of really cool situations where some Uruk will haunt you for hours, where there's a push and pull effect where they manage to kill you 1-2 times, and then manage to flee from you a few times.

    Or how insanely effective it is to have an Uruk bring you down, laugh at you and just walk away, without finishing you.

    Another success in this system is how the Uruk are generated with personalities, weaknesses and strengths, and how this is presented to the player. Like the Uruk who speaks in poems... or the one who just sniffs at you, and smacks it's lips. Creepy and efficient.

    Of course, these are the rare ones - the vast majority of Uruk will taunt you normally, making the special ones feel truly special.

    (spoiler) Where the system ultimately really fell down for me, is at the end, where the game reveals which Uruk it believes is your main enemy.... and the game revealed to me an Uruk who had defeated me once, followed by me immediately killing it. Lifetime: ~10 minutes? It was an oddly flat moment of "Wait, what. Who is that? Oh, right......"

    (end of spoiler)

    But before you become a vengeful god of Middle-earth near the end of the game, the game is very effective at creating a personal rogue's gallery for you to compete with.

    The fourth part is setting and story. I'm very torn on the story - it's napkin thin, it's an excuse for what transpires in the game. But on the bright side, I felt like I was running around in the Lord of the Rings movies - which is what I felt like they were going for.

    (Disclaimer: While I appreciate Tolkien's works for what they are, I'm not a big fan)

    So, yeah, great game, mechanically.

  • Probably not a popular opinion, but Dragon Age: Inquisition is not a great game. There's a pretty good game in there *somewhere*, but it's choking on silly amounts of padding. It also has a huge problem with UI design, consistency and... respect of the player.

    "Inquisition's" strength is the same as all Bioware games, the characters, the setting, and the world, even if it still feels like a fantasy clone of Warhammer 40k (even more than Warhammer Fantasy) - and the addition of an inquisition to that does it no favors. But these components are all very well done.

    However, at first, none of the characters really clicked with me - in fact, they all felt very boring and grey next to returning characters like Varric and Morrigan. In the end, they do get fleshed out a bit more, but I still feel very ambivalent about a distressing amount of the cast.

    This makes one of the weaker casts of recent Bioware games. This is likely a direct result of the size of the cast causing some characters to never really come into their own.

    Where the game really shines is the same place as the previous Dragon Age games - when the characters interact without you. One of my favorite moments included Iron Bull requesting Cassandra "go low" on the next enemy, while he would "go high" - hoping for a flip. He really wanted to make someone flip. That's excellent.

    (That said, it is a bit odd that your companions chitchat through the 100+ hours of the game, but they never directly adress your character in the field...)

    Unfortunately, there are so many problems that I didn't come away from the game feeling good about the 101 hours I put into it.

    First problem is how they handle Savegames. Allowing players to transfer decisions from game to game, impacting the world is, in my mind, the banner feature of Bioware's games. And I could not imagine playing a Dragon Age game without that feature.

    So it's unfortunate that they couldn't or wouldn't handle the automatic import of your previous Dragon Age saves, but rather forced you through an enormous website with many of the same UI problems that plagues tha game persisting even there. I understand that the likely reason why they aren't doing savegame transfers is that the new generation of consoles has put them in a difficult position where players may be crossing from PS4 to Xbone (and vice versa) - and I can imagine that the first party platform holders aren't thrilled about facilitating that. And PC just wasn't deemed worth the effort of being the sole platform to handle that feature. Understandable, but doesn't excuse the terrible user experience.

    To make matters worse, the save game you import from Dragon Age Keep retains a generic name even after you change it, "Default World State" does not sound like the 200 or so hours I put into the first 2 games... or what I named my customized dragon age keep...

    Getting into the game, I quickly realized that Dragon Age's designers still exist in a vacuum, creating a game that is controlled as if they've never tried other games. It's clunky and uncomfortable - you learn to deal with it, but it never quite clicked with me.

    Maybe playing with a gamepad would make it less uncomfortable? I don't know.

    In the game, you are presented with a world that feels like it wants to be Skyrim, but can't quite get there. And by this I mean that the inclusion of the jump and larger "maps" makes it feel like you should be able to go anywhere you can see - or at least climb. But it's disappointingly easy to invisible walls, and walking into water deeper than waist-deep just teleports you back to shore instantly.

    The War Council table is conceptually an interesting idea, except I don't think it's suitable for this game. Making matters worse, it's difficult to pick out which missions are "necessary" (say, your Inquisitor Specialization mission) and which are utterly meaningless.

    Making matters worse - you are forced to use the table regularly, and every time it plays a 5 seconds unskippable cutscene that never changes (except for the occasional addition of another character)... and another 5 seconds, again unskippable, cutscene to leave the table.

    And that's not the only waste of time - Haven and Skyhold are both poorly designed. I appreciate that they are built to have "realistic" proportions, and characters hanging out where it kind of makes sense (though not always...?), but the it makes the game a bad game when it just takes so much time to get everywhere.

    They HAVE put quick-travel points into the game - but it feels like whoever placed them never played the game, because they are not where they need to be. Most atrocious example is the Undercroft - there's NO reason why there can't be a quick-travel point down there - instead you have to travel to your throne (loading screen!) and then walk through the door (another loading screen!). And then you obviously need to get out of there as well (third loading screen).

    Similarily, the War Council table in Skyhold's closest quick-travel point is the throne (which doesn't get much use) - but requires you to run 15 seconds to get to the War Council door, and opening 3 doors before you get there. That's not cool.

    Adding to this, whenever you travel to Skyhold, you are placed in the place furthest from everything. Why?

    Then there's the question of the inventory. Someone at Bioware must be under the impression that Inventory management is back in rave since Mass Effect (1) was panned for it's poor inventory managment, because Inquisition does a horrible job here - not helped by the slow and unhelpful menus you are forced to navigate. It doesn't help that the game insists on filling your inventory (mostly with random crap) every 20 minutes, forcing you to deal with it.

    Another terrible inventory decision? The "Valuables" inventory (which is a bad name for it...) automatically includes items that you should be handing in to get damage bonuses against monster types. Making the "Sell All" button a trap.

    Combat itself is quite ok. Though it's certainly not balanced. I randomly picked the most overpowered specialization for mages (Knight-Enchanter) and proceeded to plow through the game with no real thought - even going so far as to raise difficulty to "Hard", I was able to defeat all 10 (sidequest) dragons using level ~15 gear, without really using strategy - or dying more than 3 times in the game (twice before I became a knight-enchanter...)

    The most painful part of Dragon Age Inquisition is how padded it is. I feel like there's a good game in there somewhere, but it's choking on this terrible late-90's MMO design. And every zone feels like someone's been sat there with a timer going "Oh no, the time spent in this zone is all wrong! Add 4 groups of 3 shards for the player to backtrack to find!"

    Some of the worst quests even require you to go back to Skyhold, send your followers on a mission (which can take everything from 9 minutes to 24 hours), talk to a character and immediatly go back to Skyhold to discuss something with one of your councilors.

    Most quests like that just feel like a way to pad the gametime, as they don't really add anything to the game, story or setting.

    Overall, I've continually felt very negative about Dragon Age, because I don't feel like the game respects me or my time. After almost 100 hours, I feel like the game should've ended almost 70 hours ago.

    Very disappointing.

  • Yeah. I played a whole lot of Warframe 2014.

    Not as much as I did in 2013, but I played less games over all, so that's not really a surprise.

  • I've never been good at Trials.

    I'm still not very good at Trials.

    But it's fun!

    And "WELCOME TO THE FUTURE. MAN, MACHINE, THE FUTURE!" is one of the best introduction songs in games ever.

  • Cool game. Had fun with it - but don't feel like I have a lot to comment about it. It's really difficult, controls well and the music is great? (so it's a Vlambeer game?)

  • I appreciate this is heresy, but I'm increasingly learning to appreciate that this just isn't the kind of game I enjoy. I know "PA" has issues - but for me, I just want to take one planet and smash into another, all the other units just don't interest me... and I probably won't be back (because I didn't enjoy the first hour I spent with it...)

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