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  1. The flashbacks and PTSD episodes back at the farm were so important for understanding Ellie's motivation, I think I'd have preferred more of that prior to her mission to Seattle. It reminded me a lot of Aliens, and how James Cameron said they needed a really cast-iron reason for why Ripley would return to LV462 so that the audience can get behind her. The PTSD she experiences while trying to return to a normal life justifies her decision immediately. Although she physically survived, she's mentally still there, and tries to fix herself by going back. Just speaking personally, but for me to be aligned with Ellie's mission in the first half of the game, I would've preferred: knowing nothing about Abby until the mid-game switcheroo an Aliens-style scene that makes it clear that Ellie can't get on with her life until she faces Joel's killer. the focus of the mission to Seattle being purely to get Tommy back, with revenge being more of an ulterior motive that Ellie keeps hidden from Dina etc. I felt everyone was being idiots at the start, and didn't believe that an idyllic settlement like Jackson could survive with the leader tacitly supporting tit-for-tat incursions into hostile territory. Again, I think this is even more important in a game than it is in passive media.
  2. It's especially interesting because I thought The Last of Us pt 1 worked really hard to dispel the ludonarrative dissonance that plagues semi-realistic story-focused games where your heroic avatar kills hundreds of people. Your character is an established killer, he's in an environment where violence in commonplace and inevitable, the violence is visceral and disturbing, he kills people to survive and protect his charge. Then pt 2 turns it on its head by deliberately distancing you from the protagonist and forcing you to carry out violent acts in a setup where the violence was totally avoidable.
  3. I played a couple of 'encounters' from the main menu last night, everything on Survivor but resources on Light, and it was brilliant. Not having to worry about hoarding resources for onward sections means you use whatever is to hand to survive. It's brilliant. Shame you don't see to be able to take upgraded weapons into those fights - you just get given a set of upgrades that emulate what you might've had at that point in the campaign.
  4. Infected vs human battles seem pretty dynamic - I've had infected get gunned down immediately and also seen them wreak havok and leave hardly any stragglers breathing. I guess it's all dependent on where the enemy AI is positioned and whether they get split up and picked off. It's almost like an RTS!
  5. The structure of this game is so interesting. There are so many ways that the segments could've been presented - ordering of scenes, which bits you control, which characters you control. It seems like ND really wanted you hate Abby in the first segment, but then come to empathise with her after the second. In reality I assumed Abby had a good reason for doing what she did so I was sympathetic to her pretty much as soon as she turned up at the theatre. Rather than being aligned with Ellie and Dina on their mission to Seattle, I thought it was foolish and misguided. I mean, it clearly was foolish and misguided but I get the impression that I was supposed to be full on-board with Ellie at this point, just as I was when Joel busted up the Fireflies and rescued Ellie in pt1. Abby is already partially humanised before 'the act', as we get to play as her and get snippets of back story. She's out for revenge. Joel has done some terrible things. Although I didn't agree with the act, I understood why it was happening and that there was probably a good reason. I wonder how it would've felt if we experienced Joel's death exactly as Ellie did? Seeing Joel beaten to a pulp and then finished off by a violent gang with absolutely no context. It's not like I can't be manipulated into rooting for a character who wants revenge. For example, if the bad guys were those tossers sending Twitter death threats to Abby's real-life likeness - I hate those guys, send me after them. Also, the player doesn't get full context for Ellie's state of mind until the end. The state of play with Joel, the PTSD. This may work fine in passive media but feels strange when I'm supposed to be in control. I actually really loved Abby and being aligned with her mission made me realise how preferable that state is. I've no doubt ND intended to break that alignment, which is brave and original, but I'm not sure how advisable it is. I think perhaps ND were overly worried about people not buying into Abby's story so went a bit overboard making Ellie unlikeable. That's just my feelings, though, and I do totally appreciate ND's ambition. As for the game itself, it's got the best third-person CQB I've ever played, and unlike others I was actually delighted when the game carried on in Santa Barbara. The look and feel of that section was sublime and it just felt good to be merking some real arseholes as a badass-looking Ellie.
  6. You'll finish it tonight.
  7. Am I losing it or does this thread have a bunch of posts from other threads in it all of a sudden? I made a post about Observation in the Game Pass thread, yet now I'm seeing it here. Now I'm seeing a load of posts about Tories and Covid-19.
  8. Is Observation something I can play while my 8 year old .... observes... or is it swears/scary?
  9. Yeah I agree and that’s what I’d do, especially with the big story-driven single player games Sony specialise in. It’s just a black mark in the ‘do I buy a PS5 a launch?’ column if I’m essentially paying an extra £100 up front to avoid being fucked over. @Stanley I’m going by Digital Foundry’s analysis re cost of Blu Ray drive to Sony. Also, agreed, the Series S could well be digital only but the combination of Game Pass and MS better track-record of handling digital game collections would take the sting out of it. I’m happy being mostly digital with Xbox - I can’t say the same about Sony.
  10. If there’s a £100+ price difference between the two PS5 models for a sub-£50 component then it will feel uncomfortably like I’m being enticed into consumer-unfriendly position. With the Series S and X the difference in spec and price will likely be a simple ‘standard’ vs ‘pro’ choice for people to decide what’s important to them. I still don’t trust Sony with my digital game collection so it’s very unlikely I’d go all-digital but I really wouldn’t be happy paying over £100 just to keep control of my purchases.
  11. Pob

    Xbox Game Pass

    That's true for some of it, but I found the game came alive when focusing almost entirely on the weekly seasonal content (unlocks at lvl20). That mode gives specific rewards for coming 1st in hand-picked championships at higher AI skill levels, as well as encouraging you to try out other things like PR stunts, skill-chaining etc, all for specific rewards. While doing that I've also found myself working towards other goals, such as buying properties (for more convenient garage access) and ticking off achievements for my daily MS Rewards points. Ultimately I've found it to be an extremely rewarding loop that has taken me on a journey of different cars, classes, car tunes, and race/activity types, all the time enjoying the amazing handling and environment. Like you, I've struggled to get into racing games for years now due to the glut of content and lack of structure, but the 'Gaas' nature of FH4 just clicked with me. A limited number of hand-picked events each week really works in my opinion. It takes a while to find the gold in amongst the sea of activities and map icons, but since I got into the groove it's gone on to become perhaps my favourite racer ever.
  12. I'm into the final third now and (spoiler for end of Day 3)
  13. Timeloop games actually give you infinite time to explore. Yes, at some point timing and racing against the clock comes into it, but you have infinite chances to prepare. Time is such an under-utilised dimension in games. I find games that make proper use of it (Dead Rising, Outer Wilds, Hitman) to be massively compelling.
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