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Alan Stock

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    Games, Photography, Travelling, Films, Clubbing, Dog's bottoms.

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  1. Alan Stock

    Battlefield V

    Do you mean you played with the reverted "fast" TTK? It's such a shame EA/Dice screwed the run-up to release so badly, to my money this should be rivalling COD in popularity. I really hope its lack of big success doesn't put Dice/EA off of the tweaked mechanics for their next game.
  2. Alan Stock

    What if all games were subscriptions?

    I'm currently using Boomerang rental to get games that aren't the "main" ones (which I buy). Because I'm skint - but there's still a lot of games I want to play. And if you compare this to something like PS Now or the various PC game streaming services, they are all around 5-20 quid a month. I think services like this will become more popular as time goes on - it's the natural evolution which mirrors TV/film streaming with the rise of Netflix etc. But I agree the question has got to be in financing. Are games more expensive to make than movies or TV series? I guess it depends on scale but we know big budget games are hugely expensive. I can't picture a gaming subscription/streaming service being able to actually fund multiple developers until it had a huge userbase and I can't see that happening any time soon. Maybe the next console generation will see a shift though. I could envisage a world where PS5/New Xbox come out with a PS Now style sub service as standard, where there are games you can only get via that service. Sony and Microsoft are big enough that they could make it work, so that might be the future. They'd still want indie games to diversify their catalogue (and they're generally much cheaper to fund). I think we'll always have games that you "own" (even if they exist on a server rather than your machine), so I wouldn't fear the death of indies and originality if sub services become the norm.
  3. Alan Stock

    Battlefield V

    I would have liked to play the new TTK to get a feel for it, but I won't get the game for another few days. I did feel like you died very fast in the Beta which could be annoying. But after the Beta I bought Battlefield 4 and you die even faster (at least it felt like it) and much more randomly from everything from snipers to vehicles to autofire from 400m away. In BFV even though I died fast I generally felt like I had more control over it, maybe that's changed now that a lot of players will have the most upgraded weapons. Really hope this arrives before christmas, if there are any PS4 players that wanna squad up give me a shout. PSN: Jigsawn (please say who you are if you add me).
  4. Alan Stock

    The Long Dark - Episode 1 & 2 Redux Update Out Now

    They say there are 3 more chapters for the story. As for the core survival game its complete, although little features creep in over time as they add new story episodes. The first two chapters will take you as long as a fully fledged single player game and survival mode even longer.
  5. Alan Stock

    The Long Dark - Episode 1 & 2 Redux Update Out Now

    Thanks for the heads up, I think I'll be replaying this Xmas too. If we don't get snow here at least we can crunch through the Canadian snowdrifts whilst starving to death!
  6. Nah, the Epic game store is PC only, I will update the post!
  7. What was the reason to kill in Manhunt? I never could bring myself to play it, for me it was just way too grim, grey and murderous for no good reason than the shock factor (plus the gameplay was supposed to be a bit meh).
  8. Alan Stock

    Heavy Rain (PS3)

    Maybe its because I was a lot younger. Maybe it's because there were so few cinematic story games out there then, but at the time I did think the story was amazing. You know it had elements of Saw, detective shows, twists, and I was probably blinded by the amazing realism for the time it was out then. I was completely sucked in and the game doesn't really let up to give you a chance to think how muddled it all is (except the sexy women bits). I've certainly raised my standards for game stories since but I've seen many people who play the game even in the last few years that still think the story is great even now, though I can't agree. I think it's because of the rollercoaster, the twists and the fact that your actions feel that they really matter. Then when you look back in hindsight you realise its pretty shoddy.
  9. For PC on the Epic Games store. Thanks to Eurogamer for the heads up: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-12-15-subnautica-is-free-from-the-epic-games-store-right-now Subnautica is an amazing underwater survival game. It mixes exploration and base building around a compelling story, set in a stunning world beneath the surface. You start out marooned in an alien world with only a life pod and a fabricator. You have flippers and a wetsuit, but as you find more technology you can unlock equipment, base building and transportation (including a submarine) allowing you to go deeper and deeper to explore new biomes, creatures, wrecks and uncover the mysteries of the world. It's beautiful and even scary at times, really tapping into the fears of the deep and the things that lurk there. It's one of my top games of the past few years and it has an incredibly immersive atmosphere with particularly amazing sound design. Stick with it past the first few hours, once you get past the stress of survival at the start, the game opens up in a massive way. I've sung its praises on the rllmuk thread here and would love to see more people get into this game many have overlooked, enjoy! Subnautica by cooly08, on Flickr Subnautica by cooly08, on Flickr
  10. Alan Stock

    Heavy Rain (PS3)

    I replayed this earlier in the year and its aged terribly. It still looks good (remastered), but the story, characters and mundane shit are all so dated now. Overall its still an entertaining experience but flawed in many ways. Whats funny is that when it came out it was one of my favourite games of all time, it shows how far cinematic story based games have come, like Detroit Become Human which I loved. The premise and twists of Heavy Rain are still good and it does have some great moments. But throughout it falls apart due to the over the top story, unbelievable character actions, cringey sex object scenes and annoying controls. I used to think the story was the best thing ever but once you know the twists you can see it for the weirdly paced rollercoaster it is. And I must mention the animation which hasn't held up well at all, with some very weird and uncanny valley expressions. What does still work is the tension, stress and hard QTEs which make for some thrilling action sequences. The "24" style split screen works well and in the detective scenes you do feel like a detective. There are multiple endings which does give weight to your decisions and investigations earlier in the game. And despite the cheese and tryhard writing, you do empathise with father Ethan and detective Scott when you're playing them. For its time it was a remarkable experience, but oh how far we've come. P.S. Super best friends are so cringey, cynical and tryhard funny that I'm not sorry to see them go. I did like them when they actually had something to say about what they were playing but I never found them funny in the slightest.
  11. Narritavely I can hardly think of any games outside of war and spy games where there's any believable reason for killing hordes of people. In The Last of Us it felt ok for Joel to be this brutal killer as it fit his character, but then Ellie becomes just as bad which really felt off to me. Despite its silliness, the Metal Gear games always felt like Snake had no real desire to be this mass murdering killer and its something he struggles with, the old soldier surrounded by death. There's a good bit in MGS1 where Meryl kills someone for the first time and Snake is lamenting how it gets easier and easier until you lose your humanity. If you have a game where the gameplay revolves around killing people, its always going to be a very hard task to reconcile that with any "good" characters you play as. What I find interesting is how this becomes more relevant the better that game tech becomes. Back in the 8 and 16 bit days you shot shapes of people or sprites of people, very abstract and cartoony. Now look at this generation where people are rendered and animated in stunning fidelity, and its only going to get better. Think to the Last of Us 2 trailer where the enemies seem so realistic. Question marks start to form about where do we draw the line. Of course in tv and films we see real people "die" all the time and we brush it off as we know its fake, so maybe it's not a bit deal. Though in that media we are the passive observer, not the one initiating the violence. One of the reasons that you can handwave away mass murder being "gamey" is that AI opponents often are clones, act stupidly or in very scripted ways. But in future I'm sure we'll have more procedurally generated enemy visuals for grunt type enemies where they look like individuals, and animation and AI will be stepped up. With enemies appearing even more human, will we question our protagonist's seeming lack of empathy more? Maybe with GTAV and RDR2 we're starting to see that shift.
  12. Alan Stock

    Critical Role - The new campaign

    Gotta say those minis look ace. It's a shame Orly hasn't been featured much (although I'm a few episodes behind). That's the funny thing about role playing, you can have these great characters the DM has made but if the party hardly interacts with them then you miss out on all their potential. Slowly powering through both seasons still. Season 1: Season 2:
  13. Alan Stock

    Below Is Out Now

    That does sound stressful! So it's a proper survival game then. I hope it gets more sustainable over time, so you can do some meaningful exploring/secrets etc. It's always a tricky balance to get right with survival and horror games. Someone was talking about Resident Evil 3 recently and pointed out they had no time to appreciate the environments or explore, because half the time they were being chased by Nemesis. Subnautica starts out quite hard where you struggle to survive with food and oxygen, yet over time you become more self-sufficient as you upgrade your tech. Then the game shifts into more of an exploration game and the survival aspect becomes when you venture into deeper areas and against harder enemies. I think this change of pace is important for survival games with stories or exploration. If you're constantly running around hunting for supplies on a tight death timer, it becomes hard to relax and appreciate the places you're visiting.
  14. Alan Stock

    Below Is Out Now

    I read about this recently and the creator said its design was inspired by Fez in terms of handholding, world building and secrets. And Fez was amazing. So there should be a lot of environmental storytelling, secrets and lore stuff to unravel, which sounds great. He wanted players to have to figure things out themselves and use icons instead of text to convey information. I'm really hoping this will be good! And did I remember right in that levels are procedurally generated? How's that working out?
  15. Alan Stock

    Metro Exodus

    Yes I think they're worth playing. They still hold up as solid 7/10 or 8/10 games (though make sure you get the redux versions). Atmospherically they're great and the gunplay is decent. They have a survival horror aspect in that ammo/resources are limited too. If you like games like Fallout, Stalker etc then you'll appreciate the setting a lot. I wouldn't spend time on them if there's 9/10 games out there for you to play, but if you've got entertainment time to burn they aren't a bad choice. I appreciated them and I only played them this year.

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