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Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby Dalv » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:34 pm

Age of Empires 4 has been announced at last!

http://www.pcgamer.com/age-of-empires-i ... _pcgamerfb

Not much is known so far but it is worth mentioning and discussing a very important fact: the team behind AOE4 will be Relic Entertainment, a worldclass RTS studio and maybe the only worldclass RTS studio remaining alive nowadays alongside Creative Assembly (which isn't exactly an RTS studio). So Relic kinda represented the only valid option for such a project. However, it can be a sword with double edges. Let's analyze this a bit:

So Relic has at least 2 RTS series which are ranked to legendary status: that is Homeworld and Company of Heroes. Altough they aren't as successful as AOE2, they are really good RTS games. I will be talking about Dawn of War, their 3rd RTS series, later. The experience and potential is definitely there, but here come the questions marks.
Company of Heroes is more of an RTT than RTS, focusing on tactics rather than strategy with very little economy and macromanagement, so while it does have superb multiplayer (at least COH1), its style isn't exactly AOE's cup of tea. Homeworld is a genre defining space RTS with many RTT elements, shining especially in single player with a superb campaign experience, with highly acclaimed atmosphere and story, but it sails even further away than AOE's magic formula.
We can conclude that Relic doesn't have much in common with a rock-paper-scissors historic RTS, but being maybe the only choice out there, it can be trusted as an experienced enough developer for a change of style. And I am rulling Creative Assembly out for 2 reasons: they don't actually develop RTS games, and the only one they did do wasnt so good - Halo Wars 2, even though you could say they were heavily restricted because the had to make it for consoles.
Very important though as a positive is exactly what sets them apart from AOE, their RTT nature. That can actually be a very good thing because while they wont risk making AOE4 into a full RTT game and have fans raging all over, they have got exactly what AOE kinda lacks of: tactics and positioning. Thats their area of expertise. So if theres one spot where you could improve the AOE formula, these guys got it. They just have to be careful how they fine tune it, too much shift to tactics over strategy would obviously be a bad thing. And Im sure we are going to see some improvements in Real Time Tactics, you camt just bring Relic and not use their biggest strenght.
But now let's go to Relics not-so-good games and even failures:
Company of Heroes 2: game ruined by pickable armies and commanders, which isn't only representative of whats wrong with games today, but was also tried in AOE3 (cards and home city deliveries) and it failed even though it wasn't as important as in COH2. If AOE3 had at least one positive, that was proving that such a design choice has no place in AOE.
Dawn of War 3, the latest Relic title: complete failure due to trying to make the game into a MOBA hybrid. While not legendary, the Dawn of War series were still good RTS games, a Company of Heroes done in the sci-fi Warhammer universe. Making the 3rd game after todays MOBA trend caused massive outrage in the community for a very bad product.

Now that we also got the negatives out the way, here is why I think Relic is the best choice for Age of Empires 4:
* Theres one positive I didnt mention, they share a very important similarity with AOE -> they dont make cartoony graphics. Having also in mind the bad example of the Age of Empires: Online fiasco, it is more than safe to say we wont see cartoony graphics.
* Relic started favouring contestable mainstream gameplay mechanics (progression systems, MOBA) only when they were acquired by SEGA. Not only do they have the bad examples from Company of Heroes 2 and especially Dawn of War 3, but they are now contracted with Microsoft (probably paying SEGA full rights for "renting" the studio) for this huge project. Microsoft will surely be a better publisher and big company to work for, and it's unlikely they'll force Relic to adhere to some designs they already now they dont work and they are not wanted by the community.
So yep, I think it's the best decision, Relic is the best out there, huge experience and amazing CV, I trust them. I'm only afraid about the age they will pick, hopefully it's not going to be modern.
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:10 am

Now that's a PC game I wouldn't mind playing


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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby MaCk0y » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:24 am

Win10 Store. :(
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:41 pm

US PS+ accounts:

Full Lineup
inFamous: Second Son, PS4
Strike Vector Ex, PS4
RIGS Mechanized Combat League, PS VR
Monster Jam Battlegrounds, PS3
Hustle Kings, PS3
Hue, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4)
Sky Force Anniversary, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4 & PS3)


EU PS+ accounts:

inFAMOUS: Second Son (PS4)
Child of Light (PS4)
RIGS: Mechanised Combat League (PS4 bonus title – PS VR required)
That’s You (PS4 bonus title)
Truck Racer (PS3)
Handball 2016 (PS3)
We Are Doomed (PS Vita & PS4)
Hatoful Boyfriend (PS4 & PS Vita)


As someone who rarely plays online multiplayer, I'm glad I'm European this month :) Child of Light looks right up my alley unlike Strike Vector. I dislike the PS3 for both.


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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby #12 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:46 pm

Anyone getting/playinh the LiS prequel? I'll wait for the cheap season pass anyway but a small review would be much appreciated!
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:18 am

I preordered the deluxe edition (was afraid the eventual Max episode would be unplayable without the deluxe version). Had it installed before release but it was unplayable until midnight yesterday. Didn't have time yesterday though, and probably won't have until Sunday, so I'll let you know then.

I might try it out for a few minutes later today though.


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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:27 pm

Haven't played it much so I'll write more when I finish episode 1 but so far it seems neither better nor worse than the original game. The lack of time travel is barely noticeable, and you seem to have quite a lot of choices where you have to choose between Bad Chloe and Good Chloe. The new backtalk challenges seem fun, but I've only encountered one so far.

Settings are the same or in the same style. There seems to be a big focus on Chloe's psychology but I've barely met Rachel yet so I expect this to change. Other than that it's very similar.

Chloe's new voice actress takes a while to get used to, but maybe that's because I played the original very recently.

Oh, and it seems to be much easier to find optional graffiti than it was to find optional photos. The clues really tell you everything. For example, for the first one the clue is "Lame ride" and you're in an area with about 5 vehicles.
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby #12 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:33 pm

Well "not worse" than the first game would make this an awesome game... Still trying to save a little though
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:37 pm

I got the whole thing (season pass + deluxe and preorder bonuses) for €25, which is OK if you ask me considering the fun I had playing the first one. The first episode will surely be available for free eventually though.

I saw some review headlines and the entire episode seems well received. Haven't read them though to avoid spoilers.
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby #12 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:58 pm

It's just gonna be 3 episodes though or did I get that wrong? 25 for 5 would be very acceptable in my book...
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:23 pm

#12 wrote:It's just gonna be 3 episodes though or did I get that wrong? 25 for 5 would be very acceptable in my book...

3 episodes for the story. Not sure whether they are longer than the first game's episodes.

There will also be another bonus episode after all 3 are released where you control Max but I'm not sure whether that's just for the deluxe edition.
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby #12 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:13 pm

We'll see - I guess there will be some sort of possibility to get the bonus later on as well...
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:23 pm

The first episode is fun, but not particularly mindblowing. The original LiS improves in later episodes and I suspect this one will be the same. This episode really has a prologue feel to it, and it seems to set the stage for a great 2 more episodes.

One thing they haven't quite matched up to the original in is that all the characters save for Chloe are very flat. It feels as though they're relying a bit on the player being already familiar with many characters. The focus here is entirely on Chloe's psychological state, and that's done very well. I'm certain Rachel will be a second round character whose psychology will also be explored in depth, but so far there's only a teaser of that.

Speaking of Rachel, the Chloe-Rachel dynamic is much better than the Chloe-Max one in my opinion. There's one thing I really liked about it, but you might consider it a mild spoiler.
Spoiler: show
One thing I was scared of with the prequel was that it would remove the mystery of Chloe and Rachel's relationship, namely whether it was just friendship or something more. This is definitely a great part of the game so far, but the decision on the kind of relationship it is seems to be entirely up to the player's choices, which I think is great.


With LiS, the focus seemed to mostly be on Max, her life changes and her time-bending mistakes. Here, the stage seems set for two vulnerable characters and their changes. I feel that makes up for the lack of time travel. The focus here is entirely on the dynamic between the two characters, their problems and reactions to them. It lives up to the original in terms of story and relatable issues. Throughout the entire first episode I never felt something was missing because of the lack of time travel. I did notice, though, that there seem to be less exclusive choices. Most of the time you can explore all dialogue options. The choices which will change the direction of the game and cannot be reversed mostly relate to whether you do the good or the bad thing (such as stealing money) and what you say/do with Rachel.

Recommended on my part. It's a fun extension to the first game and it looks like it'll only get better.

P.S. I was right that the collectibles are easier, so far at least. I found the first 8 out of 10 during ordinary play without much effort, just exploring everything. I had to use collectible mode for the last two, but I actually suspected the right locations in both cases during play; I just had cutscenes interfere and stop me from doing them. In the original game, I needed a guide for about a quarter of the photos.

#12 wrote:We'll see - I guess there will be some sort of possibility to get the bonus later on as well...

I read somewhere that SE announced they would change the trophy list since it includes a trophy from the bonus episode and therefore the platinum would only be available to Deluxe edition owners. This implies they don't plan to release the bonus episode to a wider audience, at least not for now.
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby #12 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:16 pm

Is the DE still available or was it a pre order thing?
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Re: Miscellaneous Video Games Thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:50 pm

It seems to be. On the Maltese store (which I imagine should be the same as other EU stores) there's the Deluxe bundle I got for €24.99 (all episodes + bonus episode + bonus outfits + mixtape mode). There's also a Deluxe upgrade for €9.99 which includes everything but the 3 main episodes, but I imagine purchasing the season pass and the upgrade will turn out to be more expensive.

There are a couple of in-game outfits which were pre-order only. That would be the only thing you're missing. So far I've only had the opportunity to change outfits once anyway, and I've been using one of the Deluxe ones because I didn't really like the preorder ones.
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