Hey I had no idea Squeenix adapted Telltale’s episodic format! Can’t wait for episode 2 to come out! :P But seriously: Just finished it – took me 46 hours (according to Steam) and the ending credits were like 20 minutes of that. :D I loved it. The only thing that annoyed me, is that the story isn’t nearly done. The last mission doesn’t feel like the final one and more like a point at which everything seriously starts to kick off. It’s designed in a way, other games handle their middle.

Usually this is a “feature” which I strongly dislike in a game, the reason I love this latest Deus Ex anyway, is because they still did pretty much everything else very right and I loved every second of playing it. The world building is tremendous (even better than in Human Revolution) and even the side quests are usually very good. They all have something memorable to offer. Maybe that’s even the reason the main story came short, because they build such a massive hub (Prague – the city consists of five separate maps), that they had to stop somewhere, to finally have a shippable game. At some point each dev has to polish their product into something that can be released at a realistic date and it’s often done by cutting.

I could be wrong, but Mankind Divided might be the first game I ever played that didn’t have any noticeable clones. In fact I dare to claim, that there is no other game, which has such a diverse cast of characters. Even in games which care about that, we usually see NPCs with clothing only in different colors, which is otherwise the same nonetheless. You know what I’m talking about. Eidos Montreal however, went completely nuts here. The characters have different faces, hair cuts, clothing, they wear glasses, have dirty faces, are having various augments installed… It’s so incredible. I’m not usually one to look for such stuff, this is how much effort was made here, that even I had to notice this.

Seriously, which game has even minor side characters switch their clothing?

Another thing that I had never seen like this in a game before was, when Jensen met a contact in a club and agreed to see the same person a little later, this person was then wearing different clothes! Completely crazy! Usually there’s only one model per character (unless it’s the main character or some other special case) and it’s used for the whole game, but here a minor side character got this treatment. I’ll never forget this, the amount of work put into this single aspect of the game must be insane!

Thief 2014

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 2016

I should mention though, that they did reuse some assets from other games like Thief.

I guess this could be interpreted as a reference, like the one for Hitman. Before I forget it, the facial expressions and animations are usually also super awesome. They are so good, they often appear seamless, it’s like not noticing a special effect in a movie because it’s done so well you don’t recognize it as an effect.

So coming back to the story and its abrupt end, I’m forced to keep wondering if they will just drop it, make a sequel, or publish “appropriate” DLC for this game. There is a season pass for this game, which I obviously didn’t buy (especially not since it’s almost the same price as the ), but even so it is very doubtful that the 2 (shorter?) missions in it are supposed to give closure to this 40 hour game. But even if they did, it would only leave a very bad taste, that you couldn’t experience the story fully without paying extra.

The game is so glorious, that I don’t even have to think about playing it again. It’s only a matter of when.

Oh and because I read on Steam other people have bugs/technical issues with this game, I really didn’t except for the glitches I will describe in a moment. I’m not writing this to say that I’m one of these crazy assholes who think that a game can’t have issues just because they didn’t run into any.
I played it for 46 hours, in that time it crashed once to desktop, once the textures glitched out into some dark mess and in one hacking minigame, I just couldn’t click on any nodes. Nothing would happen. It was so broken, that I had to use a multitool to get into this specific computer.
The only bug (?) that really annoyed me in this game, was that reloading a save was only possible by pressing space at the end. Sadly space is also the key for all kinds of stuff in the game. And – get this – Deus Ex executes the button for reloading a savegame in game, as if you had pressed it twice. That got me into all kinds of trouble, because space would sometimes make Jensen jump in front of enemies or something equally crazy. At some point I would just force myself to put Jensen somewhere “safe”, so that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I had to reload a quicksave (or any save). I seriously hope they will fix that.
A last ugly thing I noticed, is that they got this disturbing relic still active (I already hated that with a passion in Human Revolution and Mankind Divided inherited it), of the game pulling the last equipped item after hacking a computer for instance. In case someone doesn’t know what I’m talking about, every time the player ends hacking a computer with clicking on the exit button (instead of using the escape key for example), Jensen will draw the last equipped item, usually a weapon, without the player wanting him to do that. It’s less fatal than the aforementioned savegame issue, but as annoying.
Since they haven’t fixed this for a solid 5 years now, maybe Eidos Montreal thinks it’s a feature? One last thing that I wish would work differently, is some shop owners repeat their intial greeting phrases after every mission. Usually I love ranting about Dragon Age Inquisition (because I hate games that betray their potential more than anything :P), but for once this game has something which is a good idea, namely every shop allows to either talk to the owner, or just open the shop. Having to endure these long winded talks when I just want to sell some stuff cluttering my inventory, I’m constantly missing this feature.

PS: I appropriately praised all the awesome stuff in this game right? Because it deserves praise, how they designed everything so there are always numerous ways of doing something. Many games struggle with getting one way to barely work out. When playing this game, it’s always obvious why it took them 5 years to make it. Unless devs are willing to put this much time and effort into a game, such incredible blockbusters like Deus Ex would be impossible to even remotely pull off. I’m so happy that there are still some who are willing and able to do just that.

v9.6 04.08.2016
—-
+Fixed warform-weapons bug, moved Yugo to pier and limo onto street.
+Adjusted some weapon damages for plus and restored some for basic.
+Added shake to forklift hit and improved two friend emails timings.
+Fixed museum areaportal and small texture issues, thanks Psycho-A.
+Added door to SM haven bathroom and masquerade area outside museum.
+Mentioned Clan Lasombra in the world loading tips, thanks to IanW.
Corrected bad elevator light at Red Dragon and Jezebel’s door lock.
Fixed decapitation shot and restored basic drugbox value and rain.
Unified keypad sounds and fixed wrong detection and sounds on Dane.
Fixed museum door not being locked and some minor dialogue issues.
Lowered Asylum music volume after loading and fixed minor map bugs.
Added original Japanese and Russian words to translated subtitles.
Fixed Society of Leopold map hole and reduced artefacts over beach.
Updated SDK and fixed audio loop at Fu Syndicate, thanks Psycho-A.
Made manholes in Venture Tower cellar and Ocean House sewers close.
Fixed bad Kerri dialogue start and delayed Jeanette and Ming ones.
Used autoexec.cfg to fix talk dsp sound and frame rate door issues.
Enhanced some areaportals at Leopold Society and Giovanni Mansion.
Recompiled Kamikaze Zen and Zhao’s Warehouse maps to fix some bugs.
Fixed Nosferatu causing Masquerade violations exiting Luckee Star.
Made Chunk not attack you if you convinced him thus in the endgame.
Fixed some Ocean House rails, areaportals, shadows and a map hole.
Adjusted volume of some NPC lines and removed doubled pier effects.

https://forums.planetvampire.com/bloodlines-tech-support/unofficial-patch-9-6-beta-released!/

XCom2_160524_2257262

Another huge patch for XCOM 2 was released, of all the patches so far, this is the one I noticed the least differences with. They got rid of that empty slider in the options though.

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Like most other bigger patches, it came along with a DLC, this time the last one from the season pass, Shen’s Last Gift.

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I liked the dynamics the battles against the new boss enemies offered in the last DLC a lot, even if some of the armors you got out of it might have looked a little silly. There is no such thing this time. Pretty much all this DLC does, is add robots. While I usually like robots in such settings, I’d call the sparks: a liability.

XCom2_160702_1605593

Even fully leveled, they hardly ever hit anything, which makes me feel like I wasted a spot on the team. Especially late game, I can’t afford it anymore, to bring people who won’t perform well. If other soldiers suck, I can always equip them with a superior scope and/or a superior perception PCS (pretty much everyone in my a-team has a 100 aim or even more). After that treatment every soldier becomes a great shot. Sparks however, can use neither. So what good is my big dumb robot, if it doesn’t hit anything?
I just finished my first campaign with this latest DLC and of course I wouldn’t bring a spark on the last mission. This is why I think the last DLC was much better, because it doesn’t just offer some interesting boss fights, but also supplies the player with some useful items one can keep using throughout the whole game.

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So this basically means, that with the end of the one story mission, you are done with this DLC and there aren’t any other gifts it has to offer.

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Am I using sparks wrong? Does anyone find them actually useful/prefers them to other soldiers/classes?

TB-wallpaper-fullcast

This game is just great. It isn’t just one of the best adventures of the last few years, but one of the best overall, since I started playing them 25 years ago. It’s already one of my favorites and I’ll never forget it. I already spoke a little bit about, how especially new adventures usually regressed, in comparison with really old adventures, when I wrote a few lines concerning the Day of Tentacle Remaster. This isn’t the case here. It’s so weird how it’s now necessary to play the low budget indie adventures, to get some features that were normal 25 years ago, but then were dropped from almost all adventures released in the last 15 years. Somebody explain that to me.
Technobabylon is also the best kind of adventure in another very important arena. I’m currently trying to force myself to finish Deponia and those 2 games are polar opposites. Technobabylon has this immersive story and great, interesting characters and there are some puzzles to solve, but these puzzles always serve the story and are always tied to the story. They are not an end in itself. This is exactly how these games should be designed. IMHO, of course. Deponia on the other hand (and in comparison), throws the player on screens that have, what feels like 50 puzzles to solve. And even then there is only a little bit of story happening. The game hardly has any story and every screen is not about discovery or fun or story, it’s about removing all those obstacles on each screen, that then will only thrust the player into the next round of puzzles. Thus it starts to feel like a tedious chore.
Technobabylon never does that, it remained interesting until the end, I never wanted to stop playing because I lost interest, so I guess they also got the length just right.
It’s really these wadjet eye games, that offer the most fun for people who once liked LucasArts adventures. Just like those, these games are often extremely original and vastly different from each other. It’s already a little adventure to learn what the next game is going to be about.
Since this game offers some choices to players here and there, I might even play it again. At the very least I’m asking myself, what would have happened, if I had acted differently. That too, is a very good thing.
I still have tons of these indie adventures ahead of me (claiming that there wouldn’t be adventures anymore is the biggest BS, btw), so I guess I’ll never finish Deponia. :)

Ever since Firefox 47 Beta… 7? Firefox keeps throwing these errors:

Failure Log
(#0) Error Detected rendering device reset on refresh
(#1) Error Detected rendering device reset on refresh
(#2) Assert [D2D1.1] 3CreateBitmap failure Size(76,76) Code: 0x8899000c format 0
(#3) Assert Failed to create DrawTarget, Type: 7 Size: Size(76,76)
(#4) Assert [D2D1.1] 1CreateBitmap failure Size(30,30) Code: 0x8899000c format 7
(#5) Error Detected rendering device reset on refresh
(#6) Error Detected rendering device reset on refresh

I hoped it would vanish in the final, but (shocker) it didn’t. Firefox 48 Beta 3 shows the same behavior. Another horrible thing about it is, no crash reports are created. Nothing that can be reported. Long-term I’ll have to switch to Chrome, because this is unacceptable. The windows keeps flashing during these events and it can crash too – as I said without a report…

I frequently like to complain about XCOM and its story (because it is one of my favorite games), this is basically where Valkyria Chronicles comes in, because it could roughly be described as XCOM with a more fleshed out story and characters. I know right? Why isn’t everyone playing this right now?!? Lack of marketing?
Anyway, I myself discovered it by accident and quickly fell in love with it. Music, story, characters and gameplay are mixed into something that makes a quite solid game. The PC version also comes with all of the DLC.
I liked this setting so much, that after finishing the game, I watched the anime too. It’s roughly the same story with the same people, but with lots of small and some bigger differences. Although I preferred the story version of the game, I still enjoyed the anime quite a bit, it was a good way to “let go” after finishing the game.

One of the few ways how they could have spiced things up even more, would have been to also introduce different outcomes for story and characters (this is supposed to say how good it already is). Pretty much everything else, that is fun in such games, was already there. One unusual and innovative feature the game did include, was a list of all the soldiers names at the end, showing whether they had survived the war or not – reflecting the player’s current playthrough of course…
I also can’t say I encountered any bug in all my time with this game. This is so rare…

So, uhm… go play it, I guess.

Also:

Wot I Think: Valkyria Chronicles

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