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For a while I’ve been wondering about the robot lady on the bridge of the Discovery, with her having such an elaborate (and good-looking) mask/makeup and what not, while she never has had a single line and I don’t even know her name. And I’m one of these people who know 99% of names on Game of Thrones. :P

But with 1×13 things have changed. The world will never be the same! She finally talked! And it’s not just that it’s eerie, that everything I complain about actually happens the next episode – what stuck out to me was the way this was done. I was immediately reminded of M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense” with Bruce Willis, because her scene had the feeling of something that was later added in during post-production. Just like it was done with Bruce Willis, being a ghost in The Sixth Sense, no one ever looked at her when she said something, or reacted to her in any way. So it’s totally feasible this was just the production staff reacting to fan feedback, adding her in last minute. :P

Oh and of course she has a robot voice. Is it racist, to assume someone must have a robot voice, just because they have a robot face? :P And if you have the technology to make your voice sound any way you like, would you still give yourself a robot voice? I honestly don’t think so! :P

Also, what happened to non-mirror-universe Lorca? Is it just an oversight, that this was never even brought up? Was it something deemed entirely unimportant? Or are they deliberately keeping their options open to return to it in the future (no pun intended)?

PS: I thought Rise of the Robots… uhm never mind, was a better title. :)

PPS: This is the robot lady without her grey makeup. :P

I told you so. :P But seriously, although most “twists” were very predictable so far, I won’t hold it against STD, because at least it means they don’t just throw random shit at the screen but are actually building towards something. And honestly, everyone should prefer that. It makes me feel like I’m on a real journey and I want to know now where it’s going. :)

So Lorca is the Mirror-Lorca and has always been the mirror-version, right? Does this even still count as a prediction?
The “mirror story” is that their version died/vanished during an attempt on the emperor’s life (shouldn’t the title be empress?!?) and then was never found. The explanation obviously is, that he somehow ended up in “our” universe and became Captain of the Discovery.
Lorca has this eye-condition, but it’s never revealed which accident gave him this injury, they especially never show that. So this incident was when he failed to assassinate the empress, right? Also, he said he refused medical treatment for his eyes – out of fear he would be found out?
After Lorca spends the night with Admiral Cornwell, she says stuff like “don’t even know you/you seem different”… And the short war they are in with the Klingons couldn’t have changed him that much, so…

When they took Lorca to the torture chambers he seemed to know a little bit too much about what was waiting for him.

Other than that, there’s not much to say, he always behaved more like a villain on the show and the way he hired Ash Tyler on the crew was pretty much like Captains select their own personal guards in the mirror universe.

So the real Lorca is probably dead.

Also don’t forget this chamber full of weapons he has collected. Really weird for a Starfleet Captain, but super normal for anyone in the MIRROR-UNIVERSE.

I feel like they laid out all these bread crumbs. I will be really surprised if this doesn’t happen!

Ah, Dishonored… Is the architecture and level design of these games the best in the industry, or just very close to that? I don’t know. It’s the best part of these games in any case. The worst part however (sorry!), must be how they always dump a single, short scene at the end and then go right into the ending credits. Those games are definitely all about the journey, not the destination. While this is anything but uncommon in the realm of gaming, this absolutely has to be the worst part of these games. I love these screens that are shown at the end of each mission, giving a summary of everything that took place in YOUR playthrough. The most intriguing section probably is “special actions”. So in one of the Death of the Outsider missions I saved a witch from her prison cell and you can meet her again in the same level outside sitting on a chair – but that’s it. You’ll never meet her again and nothing further will change anywhere. Everything will be as if you didn’t do that. Now I understand that it’s very expensive to reflect player actions and choices in a game, but this is the only big thing where all the Dishonored games really drop the ball. After spending many extra hours sneaking and not killing anybody (obviously you can end the game in a fraction of the time if you just kill everything), I want more than a short clip at the end, saying “Yeah you got the good ending BYE!”. It’s frustrating. I want a real payoff. I deserve one! :P A proper epilogue, at least, is not too much to ask!

But more specific to the Death of the Outsider, I found the idea so odd. Why would anyone want to kill the guy? Without him giving Corvo these powers, he never would have been able to survive the events of Dishonored 1 or at least to have a meaningful impact. He also always gives these insightful hints. That’s pretty cool, right?
The only thing I ever wanted in regards to the Outsider, was a little bit more info on him. And, shocker, this is exactly what this expansion didn’t give me. Instead there is this premise I didn’t really buy into and then it only leads to the typical 30 sec Dishonored ending scene. Great! The thing I want now, what they’ll obviously never do, is have us play the Outsider in the next Dishonored game. Retconning everything is even a Dishonored tradition (they’ve done it in every sequel, at least to a certain degree), so this wouldn’t be a showstoppper.
Spoilers: The only thing I learned about the Outsider in Death of the Outsider, was that some cult performed some ritual on the Outsider, but I still have no idea why and why he was chosen. There is also no information on who he was or anything else that might have been actually interesting (the sole reveal they tease a bit, his name, they completely chicken out of). It’s a complete cop out on anything story related. The game is as bad in telling any kind of meaningful story, as it is good in world-building and creating an enticing atmosphere. The people who hacked all these notes together should have been able to come up with some sort of rudimentary story. Okay, I guess they kinda did, with an emphasis on the rudimentary.
This game was also the first entry in the series which deemed it necessary to call itself Dishonored®: Death of the Outsider™ instead of just Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. Yay! :D

btw: The graphics really impressed me. Incredible textures all throughout. Breathtaking art everywhere. Someone should do a Dishonored museum with only paintings from this game. [1] In one scene I thought for a second there might be some decal stuck in the air in front of me, but it turned out I was under a tree and its leaves were falling… And let’s not forget the lighting effects, those were pristine. Best I ever saw in a game, I think. [2]

PS: The “void leaking into the world” part was “strongly reminding” me of BioShock Infinite. There was only Elizabeth missing making a comment about it. :P

PPS: OWLS! What’s up with the owls?!? A reference to Blade Runner? An inside joke? Did I miss something?

[1] Part of the Dishonored 2 exhibit at the Art Ludique

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dishonored_2#Release

[2] Arkane removed unneeded elements from the engine like the mini open world and overhauled the graphics. The new engine is intended to improve in-game lighting and post-processing to help the game’s visuals, and allows the game to visualize subsurface scattering.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dishonored_2#Development

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Most companies manage/intend to improve their games in some way over time, so I absolutely wanted to play Transistor because I thought Bastion was interesting. For whatever reason, I have to say I liked Transistor less than Bastion. The great graphics are back, but everything else feels almost like a step back. They definitely tried to do something here, there are a lot of powers that can be used as active or passive abilities and the mix is up to the player, but it didn’t engage me much. I just picked some combo that seemed to work and stuck with it for the entire game.

What I couldn’t get into at all was the story (although I really wanted to – at first when it still showed promise), which probably explains my lack of motivation to get through this. I don’t think I would have finished it, if it wasn’t relatively short. Even now I have no idea what it was supposed to be about. I waited for some twist or explanation that never came. The characters are (trapped?) in a seemingly digital world, but how they got there, or what their origins are, remained a mystery. I tried to come up with explanations of my own, to make some sense of this at least, but I never like it, if something has so many holes, that the story will only work if I fill in all the blanks myself. I’m not willing to tell a story to the storyteller who I’ve paid to tell me a story. :P

Anyway, the game goes into its version of NG+ right away after finishing and all I thought was HELL NO. The game really overestimates how good its gameplay actually is (this ain’t XCOM). And I think I’ve said enough about the story (I don’t care if there is a super-awesome fan explanation somewhere that elaborates on everything).

So yeah, I wouldn’t buy it again. Sorry. Their new game is a party based RPG as far as I know, this already sounds so much more to my liking. :)

If we weren’t supposed to be up at NIGHT, we wouldn’t have evolved to warm-blooded creatures.

Prey

I liked Prey a lot, I especially enjoyed it more than the last Deus Ex (although that one wasn’t a bad game either) – this is the kind of game this Prey is most similar to. It has such an odd genesis, resulting in having nothing in common with the other Prey, which is fine, I guess.

Prey is an unrelenting exploration game (is the term metroidvania applicable here?). It has a ton of gameplay systems and most of them are working very well, most other games don’t even have half as many. Inventory, hacking, repairing, recycling, crafting, turrets, sneaking, gunplay, zero gravity, scanning device, accessible computers, toy gun, upgradeable suit, upgradeable scanner, multiple supernatural abilities, countless objects are movable/destructible, character progression through neuromods and probably more I’ve forgotten.
I cannot even imagine how one would pitch this. It sounds like someone just trying to throw in all the buzz words. But they actually delivered on all of it. Quite rare. And it’s still fun too. :D

The ending made me mad at first, but there was “another ending” after the ending credits, which redeemed the game. :P If the first stop would have been the actual ending, this would have sucked so hard. :D I don’t know if they intended to mess with the player this way. Probably.

Because I’m so slow it took me 52 hours to complete this (according to Steam at least).
Honestly the game was great, I can only complain about the bugged Kirk Remmer quest. This bug is in the game since release and they should have fixed this by now.

PS: The player can somewhat protect turrets with the GLOO cannon and I feel like an idiot for not realizing this during my playthrough. It says everything about this game that there always is another way to do something. :)

I already thought during playing Mars: War Logs, that their games are essentially like RPGs BioWare would have done 10 years ago, before they “pivoted” towards a focus on DLC, microtransactions and tacked on multiplayer – just on a smaller budget. That’s not even saying that everything in this game necessarily feels “cheap” or “small”. There are a lot of solid RPG systems in this (fighting especially has improved since MWL) and they obviously did motion capture. The movement of the characters ingame, but also especially during fights in cut scenes, look rather impressive at times (or maybe even all the time). IMHO this is done better than what e.g. MEA had to offer – a game which probably cost a thousand times more money. :P

The “cuts” are once again most noticeable wherever it comes to the story and the characters. While I’m usually not looking for mere padding in games, elaborating on a few things here and there really could have helped Bound by Flame. Too often, developments between characters are so sparse, it’s hard to overlook how abrupt e.g. companions jump through “the motions” that are typical for games of this genre.
The game is very detailed in other areas. All the numerous weapons (swords, axes, hammers, daggers, crossbows) look fairly distinct, unique even.

This is also why I was never a huge fan of enormous game worlds. It can work out (of course), but all too often a bigger game world only creates the problem of having to fill it with something (which in turn will too often lead to garbage/filler content) or there will be only this giant dead space for the player to be bored in.
If I would have been involved in this game’s development, I would have opted for a smaller game world. Bound by Flame doesn’t really allow for much in its areas except for killing enemies and finding some loot here and there. There is a lot of traversing through huge areas in this game. Thankfully the ability to run really fast was included. It would have been so much worse without this.

In the end I enjoyed this game a lot more than MEA (having already mentioned it and all), because at least the world felt original and their heart seems to be in the right place. Who knows how great this game could have been, with more quests/side-quests and more depth for its characters (it’s not like they can’t do good/memorable characters, Fatso comes to mind). Oh and I would have been okay with a lower difficulty level. I’m not one of these Dark Souls masochists and Bound by Flame can get relatively hard in some areas. I wouldn’t want to play this on its highest difficulty setting. But people are different, naturally. I can imagine some people would like to check this out because of that.

I really want to play Technomancer now. I heard it still has some of the same problems of their other two games, but since I can live with them, I’m almost certain that I would have fun with that game too. Maybe I also should check out if they are working on a new title. :)

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