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Sturgeon's House

What are we playing?

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Do you play the CM games I posted about above, they're very old school & rather quirky, but tactically they are unmatched (the Australian military commissioned a custom game for training purposes).....Assuming you mean 'Modern' as in modern warfare, Black Sea might be of interest (like Shock Force, their Syria title, the game came before the real war), they also do a title set during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (which is my favourite for no reason I can adequately explain):


Black Sea:  http://www.battlefront.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=335&Itemid=579

Shock Force:  http://www.battlefront.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=33&Itemid=252

(Both of the above games are set in hypothetical wars, which subsequently sort of happened, naturally mod makers & scenario builders have used the engine to model actual units or battles)

Afghanistan:  http://www.battlefront.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=242&Itemid=374



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15 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Hate turn based RPGs (but can just about tolerate real-time games), love turn based wargames (but can just about tolerate real-time games).....So for me it's 'Horses for Courses' I guess.


I like both RTS and TBS, and hell, I even like some JRPGs, so it's really just TBWRPGs that bug the hell out of me. They have a problem keeping my attention, for sure, with very rare exceptions.


ARPGs have had me firmly in their grip since I was a kid, so my guess is that's not going to change any time soon.


Related: I've been re-playing Diablo III, and I have really warmed up to it. I played the piss out of it when it first came out, but still considered it not all that great of an example of the genre. Now, I think I like it better than Diablo II (Diablo I will still be king of the genre for me because of its grim ambiance and slower, more methodical pace). Comparing it to other RPGs, I feel like it has really emphasized the "A" and done a great job streamlining the experience in a way similar to how DOOM 2016 did for the FPS. It also has made much needed fundamental improvements to the genre (e.g., the difficulty system) that have been refined during the game's life.


Path of Exile is the darling child of ARPGs right now due to its complexity, but honestly I've always had a problem enjoying it. The problem for me is that it's one of those games that makes you want to break out a spreadsheet and an entire 24-tab Chrome window just to play it. I spend more time thinking about my character than I do actually playing - which in my opinion is a problem for an Action RPG. I certainly appreciate what the developers have done with the game and I do play it, but at this point Diablo III is just more fun. You can play Diablo III however you want. Pick your character, level up, select your skills, select the part of the game you want to play through, go have fun. No bullshit, no "Oh, I'd really love to play this segment of the game on Hard, but in order to do that I have to spend 8 hours planning a character, 16 hours beating the game twice, and 25 hours grinding out loot/skills for my build." Diablo III lets you just play what you want, and once I figured that out it was immensely liberating.


So... Yeah, a sleeper hit from Blizzard for me. 

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Oh also, Diablo III does still have serious issues ($15 for an overpowered Necromancer character? Are you for real, Blizzard?) but at least your immersion isn't broken by being in town with 80 other "heroes", including 5 whales with ludicrous shiny paid-for gear. It may be weird that I care about immersion in an ARPG, but, uh, I do.

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2 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

Anyone else out there who just can't stand turn-based RPGs? I have tried and tried to play some of the greats - Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Divinity Original Sin, and I just don't have any patient for most of them. DOS I can at least play for a while thanks to its strategy, but the others - whyyyyyy is the action turn-based? Real time action had been figured out by the early 1990s, so it's baffling to me that a game like Fallout (1997) would be turn-based like it is when Diablo (1996) plays along with a similar degree of strategy in real time.


And I just don't have the patience for that. It's boring.


I've not tried too many, but that's largely because I've not found myself to be a fan of the concept either.  Other stuff though I'm fine as being turn-based.  Recently downloaded a GBA emulator, have been playing through Advance Wars 1 and 2 and have been largely enjoying myself

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1 minute ago, EnsignExpendable said:


It was alright, however I enjoyed Mass Effect a lot more. I am now playing Mass Effect 2.


Posting my 2014 review of DA:O here:



I don't know what is so appealing to other people about this game. Every time I play it, I want to stab my own eyeballs out within 30 minutes.

Not only is the combat wretchedly clunky, the player's control of his characters is absolutely abysmal. I regularly have one character veer off randomly into a pack of darkspawn to die. I didn't send him there, he just decided for himself that splitting off from the group to go commit suicide-by-mob was the best course of action.

The camera control is crap. It's difficult to get a sense of where things are for more than about 100 square "yards" in any direction; not really enough to navigate with. The minimap gives you very little detail, and only shows you what's already onscreen anyway, so it's completely useless. The ability to rotate the overhead camera, coupled with the camera's vantage point is both unintuitive and disorienting. I can keep a sense of where things are when the camera is fixed to my character's point of view and movement as in Skyrim, or when it's in a fixed overhead position like in Diablo, but this camera somehow allows for neither of those tecniques. Hope you like having no idea where anything is.

The "pause, give orders, play, repeat" combat style is jarring and awful. Giving orders to your characters is needlessly complex and tedious, each requiring multiple clicks of the mouse where a simple hotkey would do (did they design this game for Xbox? I tried to play the game with an Xbox controller, but it would not let me). Combat would have worked much better if it were turn-based; as it stands, it has most of the disadvantages of turn-based combat without any of the advantages of real-time combat.

The tech tree is completely uninteresting. At level 4, I had like "super ultra combat mastery" or some ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ end tech combat enhancement that gave me a +5 to whatever. I couldn't imagine trying to level up that character for fun, just to get "shield bash level 4".

Well, combat, tech trees, etc aren't everything. Was the story good? Were the characters convincing? I don't know, because I was too busy preferring the scalding feeling of my flesh searing off my♥♥♥♥♥♥from the hot poker I'd shoved up my♥♥♥♥♥to playing this game any more than I have.

I remain unconvinced that anyone who enjoyed this game isn't actually one of the pod people. You'll have to prove you're really human, sorry.


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1 hour ago, EnsignExpendable said:

Sounds about right. I did play it on the XBox 360, and the controls felt alright. There was a bug where the character would start walking to the side after I exited the main menu though.


It was obvious they designed it for XBox, what's baffling is that they did not give me the option to play it on PC with an XBox controller! It probably would have improved my experience considerably.

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   Completed Minerva: Metastasis mod for HL2 about a week ago.



   Overal - good mod, quality on the level of main game, at times even better. It is about 4-6 hours (depends on difficulty), take place on the small island and Combine base under it. Gameplay is same as in main game, although there is no gravity gun given to the player. There are no new enemies, no substantial story, no terrible additional voice acting. All maps are custom for this mod, and starting area is actually pretty well designed from gameplay perspective, futher levels not so much although they look pretty great. Mod also have several custom music tracks made for it. 








   Gameplay feels very HL2 with action-relief-puzzle-action gameplay loop. There are number of scripted scenes as well, but as there is no much story in the mod they feel like not really needed in context of gameplay. There are moments of Minerva that do things better than in any of Valve-made HL2 and Episodes, and there are parts of this mod that are not working well for a game.


   One of mods problems is wall of texts that it spews on your screen (it is supposed to be words of your unknown "friend" that gives you orders). Your literally start the game on a beach under fire and modmakers decided to put big ass text on your screen that basically says "run right", and it distracts you from getting better cover from Overwatch soldiers fire and when you finally reach cover text is already not on the screen.


   An example of text messages you get (this is opening cutscene).

   Not only tose messages feels bloated but writing itself is irritating. Example on the picture is not the most irritating thing you will read. Also i didn't managed to understand character of your "companion" as what he writes in those messages changes all the time (although irritating style of non-stop talking smart-ass is still there).


   Second problem is in levels - for majority of the mod you will be inside of that undeground base, which means pretty limited color pallet of blue and a little less-blue, maybe some gray concrete few times here and there. Such limited space with few colors make underground part less pleasant to play. And not only those areas feels sometimes claustrophobic, but they are almost always have just a usual "not too obvious corridor from A to B" layout. Original game tried to use driving sections with optinal ability to check some places near the road in order to not wear down a player with those corridors. This mod don't have such sections, and they did not tried to use same design principles behind Island surface map in base maps.



   Third problem is creators used endless spawns of enemies in several parts of their game mod, which basically kills any interesting gameplay that they could have made in those maps. And there is no indication of when those spawns start to work as there is no obvious telegrpahing, no hints. Moreover, one such moment appears just after Island surface, which had completely different design principle behind it, so a moment when i understood that what i am trying to fight is unbeatable i just felt that moders took part of my freedom as a player that was present in game just 10 minutes ago and they took it for no reason.

   To be more specefic why such endless enemy hords are bad thing in context of Minerva - first such event happened after Island surface fights, which established certain gameplay mechanics and rules (at least usually introduction levels do such things when game don't have much story). Those rules were actually fun, not used in main game so i was onboard with devs. You enter an old WW2 bunker (starting area of undeground base) and there is a moment when you reach main base entrance (which is locked) and map layout just screamed "arena!" with interconnected rooms with 2 or more entrances/exits for each room. So the set up was very similar to previous level, but on Island surface enemies were spawn gradually, and my brain was expecting small changes in formula so that devs would spawn huge Overwatch soldiers unit to fight with in this area by evading, flanking, separating, baiting, etc, using sophisticated layout of base. But 20-30 minutes of fighting later and dying like 4 or 5 times after first group of soldiers breach to your part of the map i figured that there is no end of re-spawns for those Combine soldiers as they were appearing in same amounts from same places. After this part game become less interesting as it become more generic.  



   End of the mod. Zombies are endlessly appearing from bunker entrances.


   4th problem was using those fucking fast zombies with a lot of health and fast jump attacks in tight corridors and rooms of underground base. They are fucking annoying! Those bastartds are quick, can eat 2 shotgun blast point blank into their heads and still going, they are skiny and combined with speed makes them harder to hit in the distance and even at close ranges. Those zombies have almost no weaknesses except that they are not using guns.


   Yeah, just what most players like - an enemy with very feew shortcomings in big numbers in best type of enviroment for them to fuck you. At least they are not a constant threat.


   Of course there are good thing about this mod.

   As you already figured this out - Island surface map. In the beggining it was looking like one of those generic linear corridor map that you forget a few minutes later after crossing them from A to B, but after few minutes it opens up and work as arena with several areas each different from another (one is several buildings placed near each other for nice CQB, second is a beach with bunker towering and dominating it, third was small rocky area near one of entrances to central part of island and so on). AI was able to navigate whole island creating interesting gameplay of flanking, chokepoints, CQB and exchange of grenades with few options to be smart ass, and all this in unscripted gameplay. AI also felt to be better than in base game, maybe it was tweaked or maps were better designed for HL2 AI.












   Undeground bunker time to time offered great visuals and not bad puzzles, some firefights with Combine soldiers were pretty great, pacing was like in HL2, so gameplay was not bad (although a little too generic for me). Ammo and health/armor supplies were not too much (makes game too easy), but not to scarce, they managed to balance resources well enough so it doesn't feel broken. 

   If you want to play HL2-esque game, Minerva should be a pretty good choice for you, if you can get over its shortcomings. Mod feels like a serious, quality work that managed to replicate HL2 gameplay loop pretty well and in several occasions add something new to it. Recommend to play it in 3-4 sessions of 1-2 hours (especially after first "chapter") for better experience.

















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4 hours ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

Yeah but you can't use it much unless you cheat.


1 hour ago, Oedipus Wreckx-n-Effect said:

Why? Don't you have a raging hate boner for Bethesda fallout games?


Sorry, I may need to clarify: The fact that you get power armor so early made me NOT buy the game.

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1 minute ago, SergeantMatt said:

The writing is also atrocious, as expected from a Bethesda game. Some benevolent billionaire needs to buy the rights to Fallout from Bethesda and return them to Obsidian, where they belong.


Fuck, why not just let Id develop a Fallout game? That would sell like hotcakes, AND probably be an excellent, transformative installment in the genre.

Anyway, my pirated copy seems to be running lol.

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Playing my bootlegged copy of Bethesdajam 2015.

First impressions:

1. Runs fine so far (of course I'm running a late patch 2 years after release).


2. Looks really good. I don't just mean the graphics (which are fine), but Bethesda clearly did much more work making environments that didn't blow. I found the overworld very rich and compelling.


3. First person mechanics are vastly improved. I like that you don't have annoying slowmo glory kills for every bloatfly you shoot. Helps with immersion.


4. Character creator is a dramatic improvement over previous gen Bethesda games. I'm not sure why they bothered in this game, though, since they give you a pre-packaged storyline and everything. Why not just give us a pre-packaged character, too? Would save us 15 minutes.

5. There is still lots of annoying BETHESDA STUFF, like how the *first* enemies you face are fucking radroaches. Bethesda, jesus christ, that was a fucking joke ten years ago, why are you still doing it? My girlfriend suggested a far superior sequence: You see your first lone radroach in the same "OH NO YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO FIGHT THE RADROACH" kind of thing, and it runs up to you and you just stomp it to death in an automatic pre-rendered animation. For the rest of the game radroaches and bloatflies avoid you.


6. I heard that melee mechanics were super OP in this game, so I went 1 STR 1 END, and I don't regret it (so far). I still kill roaches and flies in 1 hit, and dogs in 2. I will say, however OP melee mechanics are, they feel very good. Not at all like previous Bethesda games. Also, at least this early game captured something (maybe accidentally given my spec) that I've wanted out of games for a while, and that is to not have a "melee or guns?" choice, but rather have the melee and guns compliment each other. The early game captures this. Melee is greatly superior to a firearm up close, which is how it should be in my opinion.


7. There are some annoying menu comforts missing. There's lag in the pointer when using computer menus, shit like that. This is all easy stuff that could be modded out, which makes it kinda baffling that they left it in.

8. They shuffle you into the Vault in a decently hectic sequence that I felt could have been a lot better, but was still pretty ok. One thing I noticed is that they hand you a brand new vault suit in the plastic, and then you open it, put it on, and they have this animation where you raise your hands and look at the suit... And it's already the weathered, post-apocalyptic version of the vault suit. Come on, Bethesda, get your shit together.


Overall, a much better start that I expected. I think with mods (dunno if it'll need a few or a lot), this game could be really fun.

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17 hours ago, EnsignExpendable said:

The STALKER guys are left without an IP to make a game around, give it to them.


Make a STALKER / PUBG mashup, and also give it a nice single player story mode. 11/10 would play the shit out of that.


Now that I think about it, the Stalker universe would be very fitting for the battle royale style gameplay. Instead of some arbitrary blue zone, you have to seek shelter from a blowout. Military airstrikes would replace artillery. For added fun, you would have NPC threats like zombies, blood suckers, snorks, controllers, etc. You could also add an artifact as a mission critical objective.


I'm getting moist just thinking about this.

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  • 4 weeks later...
9 hours ago, Sturgeon said:


@LoooSeR confirmed for furry degenerate

in this FPS you kill hundreds of humanoid animals, comrade. And you kill them with M-60 and PPSh, with pieces of their flesh being ripped from bones by bullets as part of vivisection mechanics, when you can cut parts of flesh and see internals of enemies, (doesn't work for humans).


This is a game where you kill many furries in brutal ways, @Sturgeon.

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