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(Are you in) Control? - 27 August

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On 04/01/2020 at 14:09, Thor said:

Funny, to me you both describe Death Stranding, which I believe is Pete's GOTY. ;)

Certainly is! :D. 
But I can see how control is the more accessible game. 

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I really wanted to like this. The setting is fantastic, and I usually love a good Metroidvania, but I've reached what I assume is the final stretch and I'm really not having a good time. 

 

My main issue is the combat, which I've struggled with almost all the way through. At best it's just an annoying obstruction, and at worst it's enormously frustrating. Death can come quickly from unexpected directions, and at this particular point of the game that can mean a slight mistake can throw you back a loooong way. I'm so close to the end but I'm having so little fun that I'm seriously considering just watching a Let's Play.

 

The sad thing is that this section followed what was easily my favourite part of the game. :(

 

I might have one more stab at it tomorrow, but otherwise I think I'm done.

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The Anchor. Jesus wept.

 

I get my head into one of the tough sections on this and refuse to stop playing until I've done it. That one took me maybe 40 attempts.

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The Anchor is the toughest bit I've done so far.

 

I find the combat swings between annoying and hugely entertaining, mostly depending on how well it goes. The problem is you don't necessarily know exactly what's in the room with you, and you can suddenly get knocked down to almost zero health by something unexpected. But when you know what you're dealing with and find the right approach, I think it's great fun.

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Anyway,, I suppose I'm probably in the final third of it now. My feelings are mostly positive overall, although the current mission feels needlessly padded out. The side missions are often the best bits.

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48 minutes ago, choddo said:

Is that looking for P6 by any chance?

Spoiler

I had to go looking for the janitor before doing the ashtray maze. All seemed a bit of an unnecessary detour, but I'm back at the maze now.

 

I guess I might be nearer the end than I thought, but I've also discovered more side missions so there's still tons I could do.

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Ha yes that did seem a bit arbitrary but quite a cool embellishment.

 

I'm still doing side missions having finished the main storyline. :)

 

fwiw



I'm not happy I spent anything on Charge

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Went ahead and finished the main story. Didn't take too long from there. Just glad I managed that final sequence quite quickly - it could've got pretty tedious having to restart it numerous times.

 

Hope I can go back now and finish some other bits off.

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13 hours ago, choddo said:

The Anchor. Jesus wept.

 

I get my head into one of the tough sections on this and refuse to stop playing until I've done it. That one took me maybe 40 attempts.

 

Isn't that the one where you can just hide and pop out from behind a wall on the right just as you enter? Not the way you're supposed to do it I suppose but I did.

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4 hours ago, Len said:

 

Isn't that the one where you can just hide and pop out from behind a wall on the right just as you enter? Not the way you're supposed to do it I suppose but I did.

 

Not that I noticed!

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Yeh, just as you enter, the raised block on right has a wall you can hide behind and pop out from to throw stuff from. Worked for me. 

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I found the anchor quite simple. I just waited on one platform for the most part, with a bit of rubble ready to chuck at the core as soon as it pointed towards me. If hiss spawned I'd take them out with more rubble and the service weapon, jumping to another platform if I needed to avoid an anchor shot. It went swimmingly until the very end, when the anchor almost took me out with one hit I didn't see coming, but I finished it off at the same time.

 

I ended up finishing the game yesterday, getting through the slog I was stuck on by just hanging back as much as possible and being super cautious. It wasn't the most exciting way to win the fight but it was quite effective.

 

Overall I didn't enjoy the game very much. The story never grabbed me, which didn't help, and I never really clicked with the combat either. There was one brilliant section towards the end of the game where everything seemed to come together, but that was it really. I still love the setting, but sadly that's all that really worked for me.

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The main story ties it all together, but that's about it. I really like what it becomes after that's done if you've left a lot of side missions for post-credits play.

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I just kept going after the credits and now got the platinum. The main story is really only half of it - well worth going on after it's done.

 

Longer thoughts, which I've written for the completed thread:

 

1. Control [8]

30 Dec-11 Jan

 

This is an excellent and original AAA action adventure game with some minor issues that just bring the overall experience down a touch. I loved the location and the way the scenario allows for all kinds of reality bending events. The combat is also great fun for the most part, especially once you've unlocked a number of skills, with a great fluidity between the different moves. It encourages you to get in amongst the action, rather than hiding behind cover, and reeling in a hefty piece of scenery then chucking it back at an enemy never gets old.

 

But still there are too many regular battles with enemy designs that could've been more interesting. The middle of the game certainly started to feel a little padded out. It's also annoying how quickly battles can go wrong when you've been doing well, as you're suddenly caught unawares by a projectile or fall off the edge of something while charging about the place. The health recovery system is a nice idea but sometimes just isn't convenient, and the checkpointing system is a bit weird, adding to the frustration. Other than that, special mention to the map for being next to useless half the time. And although performance on my base PS4 mostly wasn't too bad, the loading times became an issue.

 

And yet, there's so much clever stuff to find and do, so many neat little touches or amusing characters, none of that can really spoil it. In the end, the main story is almost merely a way of introducing all the areas and powers and getting you used to how the place works. What I enjoyed most was doing all the side missions, many of which are better left till after the credits have rolled. It's here that things get more imaginative, and there are some proper bosses to take down, which were genuniely interesting and solid challenges. It's a brave game that hides so many of its best ideas, but it works in terms of gradually unravelling all the mysteries of the place. I was happy to just keep investigating and uncovering new stuff, to the point I ended up exhausting it all and getting the platinum trophy (rare for me these days).

 

After all that, I think I'd really appreciate a sequel. Perhaps one that involved travelling around different places investigating reports of strange activity. There's certainly plenty of potential in the fiction to explore, and with a few tweaks to the systems the results could be very special.

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I'm getting pretty close to the end of the main story now, and have four or five side missions I haven't got to yet.

 

I'm loving the main story, and don't want to break off, but I also don't want to get to the end and then find that there's no way/point to doing the side missions. Is it still worth going back to mop up after finishing the main story? 

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It depends really, you can continue playing after completion and it's cool to see how the characters react to the changes that have happened, but I did all the side stuff purely for the costumes and platinum trophy.

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I think it's definitely worth continuing after the main story. In hindsight, I should've got the main story out the way more quickly and saved almost all the other stuff till after. Either way, some of the best bits are side missions, and they can all be done post-credits.

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How's the performance on PS4 Pro these days? I know it was patched last year, but some of the posts since then have referred to frame rate issues on the Pro.

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