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  1. Same here. 10 minutes in and it’s pure unadulterated Shenmue. Stilted voice acting, squeaky kids, weird-looking adults and toy capsule vending machines. Precisely what I wanted It really felt genuinely emotional to take those first few steps and continue the journey once more after 18 long years.
  2. Yeah you're quite right, although 0 (sweat) grenades also disperse them, albeit to a lesser degree than 1 (piss) grenades.
  3. They're progressively stronger (sweat<piss<shit) grenades that reveal the location of BTs, cause them to move away from the location they're thrown at and make them more vulnerable to damage. Hematic grenades I found to be generally far more useful.
  4. I still have to pinch myself that this is almost here. So great that Yu Suzuki got to continue the series and 18 years (!) later we get to experience it for ourselves. Lan Di gonna get fucked up.
  5. Yeah I rinsed it fairly thoroughly although there's still one location I haven't hooked up to the chiral network. Episodes 3 and 8 are where I really did the most exploring and focused on building roads and levelling up locations etc. It's pretty clear when you're headed into the endgame and the last episodes are very cutscene heavy, as you'd expect. Although there are missions interspersed between them so any accusations of it just being a movie at this point aren't entirely correct. I'd set aside an evening and some tissues though. (Been bed-ridden recovering from an operation, so I sort of have an excuse... The irony of enjoying a game that features your character strenuously lugging cargo across a hostile landscape as I was sat on my backside for hours every day wasn't lost on me though).
  6. Aaand done. Ended up with 94 hours on the clock and I wouldn't take a single one of those back. Pure brilliance and enjoyment from beginning to end. The ending stretch story-wise is absolutely fucking insane, even by Kojima's lofty standards. I was an emotional wreck by the end of it. Easily my GOTY and I'll have to give it 6 months or so to see where it eventually settles in my personal all-time list but it's gonna be right up there. In terms of visuals, music, story, the moment-to-moment trekking gameplay and the social strand interconnections I've never played anything like it. I found it an incomparably haunting and engrossing experience that evoked many memories of treks and hikes I've done in various places round the world (but with added chest-strapped babies and transdimensional ghosts, of course). I think this was a huge part of why I enjoyed it so much and it had such a hold on me, but I'd never be able to fully explain it. It's just remarkable to me that a videogame can do that these days. It's a true original and in my opinion a masterpiece. (+20 Likes given to Kojima Productions)
  7. There's a huge amount of background lore and world-building in the interviews. It's really within those that the true themes and ideas of the game, its story and world are properly explored and expressed. Well worth reading in my opinion as there's some very intriguing stuff in there and plenty that fleshes out the characters and backstory. I'm up to 80 hours now and in no rush for it to end. It's just been a remarkable experience that has consumed me like few things ever have. It felt as if I was approaching the home stretch so I took a few days to go back and uncover all the hitherto undiscovered areas of the map, level up connection levels for the locations, claim the rewards from each and then finally complete the road network. Busy work? Maybe. Utterly engrossing? Absolutely. Loading up my truck with piles of materials and literally connecting the world together and seeing the fruits of my labours flourish as I was able to bomb from one side of the map to the other unfettered by BTs, MULEs or rocky terrain made it all worth it and was only accentuated by the thousands of likes that came my way as I had constant updates telling me that other players were now using the roads that I'd rebuilt. That social connection aspect that lies at the heart of the game and Kojima wanted to encourage has been pulled off so well I think. People that I've made strand contracts with have their signs and structures pop up with regularity and when I lay down my own I often see them liked by those same people in return. Some random American couch-dweller or Japanese kid making their way across this gradually reconnected world at roughly the same pace as me, helping and reciprocating in kind. It's beautifully done. None of it feels unbalanced to me though because building those roads took a lot of hard graft across initially difficult terrain and the road network only links major hubs rather than every location. So no matter how far into it you are or how many structures you've built or see from other players there's still always the requirement that you're going to have to lug cargo piled high on your back through hostile territory and environments sooner or later. Even after all this time I'm still coming across situations that ask for a different approach or equipment to conquer. Without giving too much away the story has gone to areas that tie into my own professional field in real life too, touching on evolutionary developmental biology. All complete nonsense of course but as bonkers sci-fi stories go it's been hugely enjoyable to be rewarded after a long perilous trek by the classic Kojima exposition dumps that tie your head in knots. The writing may not be the most naturalistic or deftly crafted but it's just so full of novel ideas and concepts that I can't help but applaud the sheer imagination of it all. As I say with every post in this thread, it's not going to be for everyone but I've loved every second. It's as if the game was made solely to satisfy me and in an industry that has become saturated with cookie-cutter triple-A games that play it safe I'm so glad that one like this exists.
  8. It's a slow-burner for sure but those who stick with it are amply rewarded both in terms of the frankly bonkers story and expansion of the game's core mechanics and the many approaches it ends up offering you. It's far, far more than just a pretty walking simulator. Its measured pace and extended moments of contemplative solitude definitely won't be for everyone, I can accept that, but I do wonder how many of those who reviewed it poorly or gave up on it early would have changed their minds if they'd had a little more patience with it. It goes to some fucking insane places later on, both literally and figuratively.
  9. Postboxes let you (or other players) deposit lost cargo and equipment in a safe place out in the field rather than just dumping it to be consumed by the timefall. If you're carrying too much lost cargo and want to lighten the load then you can deposit some of it in a postbox (the 'Make Delivery' option) and it'll complete the delivery but at a drastically reduced rate of likes than if you'd actually delivered it to its intended destination. If you 'Entrust Cargo for Delivery' then it will remain in that postbox and anyone else coming along can pick it up from the shared locker and either deliver it to its intended destination themselves or entrust it for someone else to deliver at another location further down the line. Everyone who contributed to the delivery chain will gain likes when the cargo is finally delivered and the longer this chain ends up being the more likes everyone will get. It's intended to encourage co-operation but it's dependent on someone picking it up and actually delivering it and there's a chance this may not happen, so it's best not to use this option if it's important cargo or for a delivery location that you're really interested in raising your connection with. You or other players can also deposit unneeded equipment in the shared locker too, to help others along. Sort of like a little gift package left out in the wilds for lonely wanderers. Or you can use the private locker function to store equipment and/or cargo that only you have access to, should you be passing back that way again (you could store a bunch of ladders or climbing ropes next to some cliffs, for example). They're not essential but they can be useful and are primarily intended to encourage players to deposit cargo throughout the world and ensure that it all ends up getting to its destination eventually.
  10. The odradek (spinning thing on your shoulder connected to BB) gives you all the information you need. It will always point towards the nearest BT and its colour and interval between pulses tell you how close the BT is. Light blue and infrequent pulse: BT is near but you're in no immediate danger. Walk slowly and it won't notice you. Light blue and more frequent pulsing: BT is getting nearer. Crouch down and move more cautiously. Orange and more rapid pulse: BT is now dangerously close. You should be crouched and moving in opposite direction. Bright orange and very rapid pulsing: BT is on brink of noticing you. Hold your breath, stay crouched and move away immediately but don't run or else it'll see you. As well as the above you need to be pressing R1 regularly to have BB send out a pulse scan that will show the shadowy figure of BTs hovering in the air briefly if they're in close enough proximity. You can also click the right stick to change the view to your opposite shoulder, which is handy if you're carrying a lot of cargo and it's obscuring the odradek. Not sure if you're there yet but fairly early on you'll be given access to certain items derived from your own bodily fluids which can be a great help. They work as follows: (spoilered in case anyone doesn't want to know what they are/work it out for themselves) If they see you and come after you (you'll start to see their black handprints on the ground coming towards you and the odradek/BB will go bananas when this happens) then sometimes you can still escape them if you don't panic. Hold your breath and move away staying crouched and you can often move out of their sensing range before they grab you. If they do grab you then all bets are off and you just have to struggle and fight your way out of the black goo. Or you can also piss on them as this will cause them to flee. If you follow the above and stay crouched and cautious when moving through a BT area then there's really no reason why they should ever get you. Later in the game you'll be given all sorts of tools to deal with them but for now it's an elaborate game of hide and seek.
  11. Don’t worry about this, trust me. I’m up to episode 8 and about 50-odd hours in, so have seen a lot of what’s coming your way. The fact that you have to extend chiral network coverage before you can see and utilise structures in newly discovered areas ensures that there’s always a challenge before you, regardless of your equipment and stats. Just as you’re getting complacent and beginning to think that nothing can stop you charging across the landscape the game will mix it up and throw some significant environmental obstacles in your way and present twists to the formula in later episodes that’ll laugh in the face of your juicy upgrades. The way they’ve judged and balanced your progression through the game in this regard is beautifully done, I’ve found. I won’t give anything away but you’ll be challenged in ways you hadn’t thought of and you’re in for an absolute treat both in gameplay and narrative terms. In short: keep on keeping on!
  12. They really fucked up by not having the Survival mode return for the sequel. In the first game it was one of the most tensely atmospheric experiences I’ve ever had but they just dropped it entirely for the Division 2 and I have no idea why. A few tweaks to the formula and randomised loot locations and they would have had the best twist on battle royale going but they’ve decided to consign it to history. Bizarre.
  13. You can open the map, hover over each location and press X to view any cargo stored there.
  14. Zabit saying that he had an infection that affected his cardio. Be that as it may it still looks like a potential glaring weakness of his and the type of flaw that Max could exploit mercilessly. You really don’t want to be flagging going into the championship rounds against Holloway.
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