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  1. For me the key is that every element should have a use of its own. Although having said that, I wouldn't mind a shooter where you gradually lose a small amount of accuracy if you don't oil a gun, etc; bring in a few more sim elements. Very easy to go too far, though, and I've only once enabled full breakdowns in racing games. And I wouldn't say no to MacGyver: The Game or A-Team Escape Room. Crafting's closely linked with levelling, which I wouldn't mind if upgrades were based on merit rather than grind. Fighting games reflect my level in one of the purest ways, and I guess that's why I don't play much else any more. (Dhalsim's definitely a crafter.)
  2. Escaped

    The Last Of Us

    Exactly that. It's not that the characters were suddenly much better-written, just that their lives were more relatable without Cageisms. The teenage boredom of the scrapyard especially.
  3. Escaped

    The Last Of Us

    That's exactly how I feel about Before the Storm versus Life Is Strange!
  4. Escaped

    Xbox Game Pass

    I've 21 months remaining, and I'll be at the point of being able to add the additional 15 in the next week. But can I? Are there any good Gold-extending 12+3 Ultimate deals at the minute?
  5. Escaped

    Xbox Game Pass

    My Ultimate runs out in April '22, what's the best way to extend it as far as possible? They didn't have any 6-month codes in stock at the time, so I bought a couple of 12s and a 3 for a total of 30 with the renewal business. Think it cost about £70. So if I can, I'd like to add another 18 months to give me 3 years from the SX launch. Or an extra 12/15 months if I do it now, since that looks mandatory.
  6. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. I think it's open to fair criticism, but I found its lack of reciprocal gameplay ballsy as a throwback to 8-bit adventures where your imagination led, because while its story's a load of crusty old sci-fi cobblers, the stillness and beauty of its world isn't. Not to say I wouldn't have enjoyed a lot more interactive detective action, but to get a game made about a quiet English village in the '80s these days... And Return of the Obra Dinn, largely for being created by one person, amazing soundtrack an' all. It's the Another World of its generation for me.
  7. The last time I was this out of step was probably Before the Storm, which I rate as the only good game in its series. Whereas the majority considered it an extra, less engaging chapter, rather than a well-written detour into a supernatural-dodging world in which its characters became relatable. It's what I expected the original to be like when I read its hype, not a David Cage take on a Stephen King.
  8. It'd be silly to have Ellie as a complete pacifist in such a world, and its story hinges on the psychological effects of that, but I'd like to assign her mandatory kills to end-of-level baddies. There are lots of obviously tough film characters who rarely, if ever, engage in violence; Captain Quint's my first thought. Ellie isn't swapped for MacGyver during cutscenes like Drake, that's true, but when the option's there to stealth a level and you're still dealt a rargh-argh cutscene to close... It just becomes oppressive more than impactful, I think, telling the player that absorbing *this* is more important than whatever path they were trying to carve through the game as individuals. Because for all the tactical options on offer, it's a world that affords you no identity, always delivering its grim experience note-for-note for everyone. Which is fine if you enjoy it, but its foundation of story above player puts me off given its content and how, without my input, it's handled.
  9. If I do a pacifist run through a level and get a murderous cutscene for my efforts anyway, the narrative refuses to give an inch to reflect my choice as a player. Ordinarily that's a game thing we accept, like you say, but this is a narrative that bangs the old ‘Isn't it awful you have to kill these people to survive’ drum, when you're often simultaneously given the option not to. So it doesn't need branching, just minor alterations to the ending and cutscenes according to what you did, and anything that happens against your will via overridden controls shouldn't be presented as your choice. I think it's another dose of Housering, where you don't get to have fun with improvised tactics in a GTA any more because you might complete a mission before you've heard his dialogue. In these situations I think it's fair to hold their stories to the same standards as non-interactive ones. I might still buy this for its multiplayer, but I wouldn't get any more out of its singleplayer than watching someone else, and that's always been the beauty of gaming for me, right back to the days of watching others in arcades — the consequence of actions. If we're talking about garden-path gaming, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture doesn't feel off because you can't influence anything. You mightn't care for its story, but it has united gameplay.
  10. You've played it, right? Here be spoilers:
  11. If one of the spoilers is true, I think it's a huge anti-agency slap that'd cause me to argue the very same as you from the opposite side: that invasive authorship disrespects our choices, the outcomes of which comprise the central pillar of great gameplay. Which is fine for a story game where you expect rails, not so much for an action game where your agency counts for nowt amid pretence. Even if the combat's really enjoyable, there's still a disconnect when you can't influence jack in a world you're sold as the hero in shaping. As for scoring, an idea I've had (if you wanna keep scores) is to make every one a range. There's never a 10 in everyone's book, so that'd make 9-10 the highest. Or you might review a largely crap game with some really fun bits and give it 2-7. Almost every game seesaws, and in trying to arrive at an average we have to consciously bin edge-case highs and lows. It feels to me like a better way to align scores with text.
  12. I'm guessing £400 at the lowest and £500 at the highest for all of them. Maybe £400 for the digital PS5, £500 for the standard, and something like £480 for the SX. Outside chance of £530 for the PS5 and £500 for the SX.
  13. To date, no, but with either of these I'd have no choice. The space where my PS4 lives is probably wide enough, but I doubt tall enough what with its spinning base plate (wouldn't it be hilarious if it actually spun?!). I do have room for an upright, and I think the SX'd be a much better fit there, aesthetically and physically.
  14. I know it's not happening and that's my point. If I could transfer my games over I might be tempted by the digital while my PS4 still has a bit of value. Aye, they seem to be thinking we'll all be using the C for new controllers and regular for legacy ones, when it's far more likely to be two of a kind. But then the SX only has one port on the front, so that needs an extension for convenience as well. 1.5 jobs.
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