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  1. matt0

    Gears 5

    Just finished the campaign on Experienced difficulty. I'd say this was a harder game then the others at the equivalent difficulty but also it gives you far more tools to work with in any given situation. When I struggled with an encounter it was always a change of tactics that got me through. I've been thinking a lot about the game's pacing as I've been playing it and I think it might be one of the best paced action games I've ever played. A jaw dropping, roller coaster opening, two slower paced chapters that let you take things at your own pace but are both bookended with big meaty action sequences and then another non stop, intense finale. Initially I thought the skiff sections were just dead air but I came to really appreciate them. They provide a sense of scale and the illusion of time passing and they frame some really intense one off encounters that would have been exhausting to have to plough through one after another. Act 3 worked better than Act 2 because you were interacting with the environment on a grand scale at times and there was a sense of progression that was missing from Act 2. Something weird was how each area you went to was walled off with a little entrance passage, which I figured was a limitation of the engine, but then in act 3 there's an encounter you can approach on the skiff from multiple angles and run in and out of the area in the middle of the battle and it's one of the best bits in the game... It's weird that they didn't throw more sections like that in. My new favourite campaign in the series.
  2. There's a whole survival mode. You build a shelter. The first time you play that shelter is usually a small dirt burrow which you cower in listening to the tormented moans of the undead who come out at night. You explore. You craft stuff and eek out your place in the world. There's a primitive eco-system to figure out. There's primitive trading mechanics. Simple systems play off each other and give you lots of short term goals. There's a weird end game area with a boss fight you can pursue which involves dimension hopping which requires you to know how the crafting tech tree works and do mini exploration objectives to get there. You don't have to do any of that though. I usually quit after I've established my first little shelter and done a bit of exploring and then start again, because I like the early stages of the game the best. There's a bit of Nethack in there. There's a bit of Dwarf Fortress. People do ridiculous, impractical things, like taking the simple electrical circuit crafting items and making working CPUs in game. ... Alternatively you can just whack it in creative mode and play Lego.
  3. I veer between Halo:CE, ODST and Reach to be honest. Halo:CE is a janky, unfinished game. The sequence where you rescue Keyes from the Truth and Reconciliation is pure bullshit. But the core gameplay loop contains some ineffable magic that the later games have never managed to fully recreate. I think ODST and Reach are more consistently entertaining games with more variety in the campaign and a lot more polish. And they both also have firefight mode which is the pinnacle of the whole franchise for me. But the highest high points of the combat loop never quite reach the highs of Halo:CE.
  4. Public beta 20 December 2010. "Full" release on 18 November 2011. There was a publicly available pre-beta version in 2009, but I don't think that should disqualify it (because it's on my list!).
  5. Even a dedicated games magazine like Edge ended up with a very weird top 100 (R-Type Final!), so what chance did the Guardian have. It's hard to argue with any of the top 10 though, except maybe Bioshock. Then again, plenty of people love Bioshock so...
  6. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    Evangelion 4.4: Install or/ Not available at this time
  7. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    Both on the internal drive.
  8. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    Bloodstained is a nice surprise! Curious to see what's changed with the Bad North update. I was obsessed with that game up until the point I finished it once, and then I had no desire to go back, will be interesting to dip a toe back in.
  9. I don't agree with the tone of the post or a lot of the points made in it though (assuming we're both talking about Lottie Bevan's post). I definitely don't agree with calling social media call outs "Blood sport", which I think is demonising people who in most cases felt they had no other choice or were compelled to action to prevent cycles of abuse. I obviously agree with: "We need structure and accountability and justice to make this industry a better place for women." I don't agree with: "Structure, accountability and justice are all things call-out culture’s left behind." Endemic misogyny has left these things behind. Rape culture has left these things behind. "Call out culture" is what's left.
  10. Referring to all this as "call out culture" is centering the problem in the call outs and, by indirect association, with people who have been abused. The problem starts with the widespread abuse going on and the failure of formal systems to deal with it. Social media accusations carry so much weight right now because of the failure of those formal systems, if someone is falsely accused in this climate then they're indirectly a victim of those systemic failures too. The cultural problem isn't in the call outs, they're just a symptom. In terms of how someone accused in this way can respond, their options, they don't have many, if any. That's obviously shitty but it's also the reverse of the power dynamic for abused people who try and go through the ostensibly proper channels. You'd think there'd be a lesson in that about the work that needs to be done in industries, in companies, to the legal system, in society as a whole. But you still hear over and over "HR and going to the police isn't working, we know that, but.... maybe go through HR and go to the police?"
  11. matt0

    Gears 5

    Well, that's my next year of gaming sorted then!
  12. Normally my sympathies lie with the Rom sites in cases like this. But given that RomUniverse were charging fees for premium access and had Switch games available for download, frankly, fuck RomUniverse.
  13. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    I had it recently with the Division on Xbox One. The installed version from Game Pass wouldn't accept the disc for a license key, and at one point I ended up with two entirely separate installs of the game on the dashboard and the save data wouldn't carry over. Luckily my world state and character data was all stored on Ubisoft's side, but it did mean that for a few days I had to click through loads of tutorial messages every time I opened up a different menu screen or encountered something for the "first" time, so whether you'd seen those must have all been stored locally.
  14. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    Yes, also bare in mind that the disc versions of the bigger games are usually cheaper than that price by the time they've been on and then are dropping of Game Pass, but sometimes the saves don't transfer between the digital and disc versions. That side of things is a bit of a mess, but I've never been properly stung by it.
  15. Tom At The Farm is a good one from a few years back (2013). A man attends his boyfriends funeral and discovers his boyfriends mother didn't know her son was gay. He then gets coerced in to staying at the family farm by his dead boyfriend's controlling brother who starts a campaign of psychological warfare against him centred around the secret of his brother's sexuality. Really tense, queasy stuff.
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