#106 Mad Max
Welcome to Wasteland!
Max starts his adventure by losing everything he holds dear. In other words his car and gear. Luckily his charm and never-ending optimism couldn't be taken away (when I think about it me and Max have a lot in common) so it won't take him long to replace the vehicle and find allies that will help him reach the Plains of Silence where all of his problems will magically disappear. While I wouldn't say the story was amazing I think it did good job to introducing the post-apocalyptic world of Wasteland.
Speaking of Wasteland, this is my favorite desert in video games. The open-world map is well designed and offers plenty of sightseeing for what should be... well... the desert. Graphically, pretty much everything looks good. From lighting effects, cars crashing into each other, to a very good draw distance and character design that brings all of this together into an eye-pleasing experience.
When it comes to audio I will start with my least favorite part. The music wasn't that amazing. I liked a few tracks, but that's about it. I can't say the voice acting in Mad Max is bad, but nobody, in particular, stood out and made me notice their performance. On the other hand, I really enjoyed sound of Magnum Opus engine and the deafening sound of the storm. Everything else sounds pretty much standard for this kind of game.
The gameplay is split between car and melee combat. Car combat felt very good. Going around in Magnum Opus and spreading chaos was so satisfying. As you do different tasks you unlock car parts which then you can buy to customize your vehicle. I had fun finding a compromise between tank and racing car. I have to point out that several times I had a significant frame rate drop while driving around. Melee combat is simple, but Max is very sluggish and his counter attack often felt unresponsive. It was most noticeable when a fight wouldn't take place on a flat surface and enemy that attacked wasn't on the same elevation as Max. I wish there was a way to reset convoys and camps once you completed them. I had fun clearing them and wouldn't mind having another go at some of them with fully upgraded Magnum Opus and Max.
The trophy list is very grindy. You need to complete almost all in-game challenges and pick up every collectible on the map. There are a couple of trophies that are apparently buggy, but i didn't have any issues with that. And finally, unless talk about the patch is true, the plat will be unobtainable from November 2020. That means this could be the last week to make sure you get to
Halls of Valhalla.
Another record in Livelock! This time in Open Protocol: Extraction
#94 Far Cry 4
#95 Sinper Elite 4
#96 Shadow Tactics
#97 Rise of the Tomb Raider
#98 Just Cause 3
#100 Red Dead Redemption 2
#103 Batman: Arkham Knight
#104 Dying Light
#105 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
#92 The Last of Us Part II
I hope this review will be grounded enough.
I usually start by talking little about the story and characters, but what to say about the story that had upset so many gamers before the game was even published. Well, I don't agree that the script is poorly written. After finishing the game the whole experience stayed with me and made me think about it. Since I've been gaming for almost 30 years, there's only a handful of games that did the same and it wouldn't be fair to say that storytelling didn't leave an impact on me. I will just end this with a quote from Forrest Gump: "That's all I have to say about that.".
Graphics are amazing. Imagine that an NPC in TLOU2 found a Snickers bar. He starts to chew on it, due to taste realized that expiration date was over a decade ago, he spits it out, steps on it and leaves it there during a hot summer day. Later on, you come across that same Snickers bar and while you stare at close up of this brown mess on the floor there's a good chance it looks more impressive than a panoramic view in some other title. Personally I really liked the use of filters that would set the mood for a situation you're in, grass that besides looking good also added to gameplay and character design. The level of detail on all characters relevant to the story is great. Hair, eyes, amount of details on hands, clothes they wear, plus blood, sweat and dirt that would accumulate on them over time look breathtaking. The Last of Us was one of the best looking games on last-gen and Part II, in spite of more fierce competition, graphically will easily be in the top five games of this generation.
Another thing that The Last of Us sequel does well is audio. All sound effects are done really well and music/score is on point. I have to mention I really like the end credit song. While people can argue how good, or bad characters development is I think nobody can deny the performance made by voice actors. I hope at least one of them gets a nomination for the performance of the year on next Game Awards.
Now, when it comes to gameplay things get more complicated for me. I was never really crazy about the gameplay in the first game. While prolog was great the game very quickly turned into a repetitive sequence of a row of humans, followed by a row of zombies that stand in my way to progress the story. For Part II I can say I enjoyed the gameplay more. The gameplay loop is about the same and there's no extreme amount of replay value, but thanks to the fact that nobody used lawnmower since the end of the first game and better level design stealth was more functional and I had more fun with it. Also cinematic events were a lot more to my liking and kept me more engaged. While pretty much all of them are cliches people at Naughty Dog are absolute masters at making them. Early on in the game there was a nice hub area. After I was done with it I was hoping I would get a couple more of them later on, but unfortunately that was the only one.
There were a few things that bother me though. You can make some terrific screenshots in photo mode, but I ran into a small problem when I was trying to get screenshots of stealth kills. From all the motion capture it took to make this game they decided that facial expression of your character for stealth kill animation should be something that says "Hey, I'm constipated!". Another thing that didn't make sense was Chapter Select. If you finish the game and decide to use Chapter Select to replay something game will lock up all chapters that come after the one you picked. Why they didn't use separate save for that is beyond me. An easy fix is if you have manual save at the end of the game otherwise jumping back and forth through the game doesn't work.
This is another game with an easy trophy list. Beside lots of collectibles there's nothing that takes effort to get platinum. I think that's about it. Just one last thing. Please don't leave any spoilers on this update.
ihadalifeb4this replied to JoaLoft's topic in The Last of Us Part IISince this will show up on my profile i will just do this to spare some poor soul seeing spoilers before they play the game. You're welcome.
#91 and 6 000th trophy Botderlands 2 (PS4)
I will keep this short. Game is not fresh enough in my head to break it down.
This is one of my favorite co-op games. I played 95% of the game with Siren (on PS3 and PS4) and from early on had Res skill. That's the only proper way to play with Siren in co-op. I'm not particularly crazy about any type of looter games, but Botderlands 2 still managed to win me over. I liked pretty much everything about it. Humor, story, antagonist and ridiculous guns. My favorite character is definitely Moxxi because she's a sugar and very suggestive. That's why i left Sugar Daddy trophy for last.
#90 Resident Evil 2
There's two sides to every story,
and that's definitely true for Resident Evil 2. Your first decision in the game will be to pick one of two characters. Either Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie cop that's late for his first day at work in Raccoon City Police Department, or Claire Redfield, a college student that is looking for her missing brother. After bumping into each other at a gas station they are both about to have the most horrific night in their lives. To make it worse they will get split-up right away and will have to face this nightmare separately. While there are some changes from the original game, the base idea remains the same. You have to play with both characters to experience the whole story.
As soon as Leon and Claire get separated RE Engine kicks in showing off zombies in all the gore you would expect from them. There's a lot of good stuff when it comes to graphics. Some motion capture of facial expressions during cutscenes, faithfully recreated locations from the original and very good light effects. However, zombies are definitely my favorite and how they respond to actions. You can set them on fire, give them an acid bath, tear them apart limb by limb, or with precise headshots peel layers of skin and flesh off their faces until there's nothing left but the brain soup on the floor. All of that looks disturbingly good. On top of that, I didn't notice that frame rate is suffering (I'm playing on PS4 Pro) from any of that.
Audio has the classic Resident Evil signature. Most noticeable are footsteps against different types of surface and squeaky sounds doors make when you use them. Gunfire sounds flat for the most part. The only time I really noticed a big difference is when I was shooting enemies in the parking garage. Any other room in the police station didn't make much difference for gunfire. Overall, music was serviceable and it only stood out for me with end credits song and when music was trying to pump up action for a few extra modes that you unlock after completing the game. Voice acting for cutscenes and a few conversations that are done on the fly are well made, but besides that Leon and Claire hardly say anything. Occasional hint for a puzzle, some swearing during combat, sigh when they are injured and a handful of one-liners is all you will get during the gameplay. I wish they at least had something more to say while examining various items you pick up throughout the game.
The gameplay was completely redone. Fixed camera angles from the original were replaced by a third-person perspective. There are some new mechanics, like using wooden boards to seal windows and using sub-weapons to get zombie off you before it does any damage. Inventory management and puzzle solving are still here, but don't expect to know how to solve every puzzle if you played the original. As far as I can remember the original, most items are in different places and puzzles are changed, or replaced completely. There's some RNG in the game. Thanks to that zombie movement can be pretty unpredictable and it affected my accuracy. While in the original I didn't mind that it took five bullets from the regular handgun to turn walking dead into just dead dead, in the remake on several occasions it felt annoying that a zombie would still go at me after five headshots. Leon and Claire have different sets of weapons. In my opinion, Claire got a better end of that deal, but both can hold their own. The first playthrough with both characters took me a little over 7 hours for each, but I practically checked every corner of every room and picked up every item there is. On top of that add few more hours for extra modes. One of these modes is from the original game and others are new alternative stories that never happened.
Trophy list is very easy. It requires you to go through the game several times, but you can easily do a playthrough in around 2 hours. If you want more challenge than the trophy list has to offer you can try to get S+ rank. You have to finish the game on hardcore difficulty, within the time limit, 3 saves, or less and no use of special items. Reward you get is one of the two most powerful weapons in the game. Weapon you get depends on whether you got S+ with Leon, or Claire, but both of them can use it afterward. In case even that is not enough of Resident Evil 2 for you, you can connect your PSN account with RESIDENT EVIL.NET and try out some of the weekly challenges.
I would recommend this game to both old and new fans of the Resident Evil games. If you ever decide to play Resident Evil 2 don't be sad if it's raining during your visit. After all,
Raccoon City is the home of Umbrella.
- Show previous comments 4 more
Thank you guys!
@Lan Stee I played both RE2 (ps1) and RE4 (ps2) to death. Back then I could finished RE2 with both characters without saving. I didn't play RE4 as much, but it wasn't that far of either. I had fun unlocking all guns in RE4. That was pretty much like getting plat back then.
@DamagingRob but what about Lara and her adventure in Peru?
ihadalifeb4this replied to charxsetsuna's topic in Site help, issues & feedbackWell, that's kind of cherry picking only the part that supports one side of argument while ignoring everything else it was said. Like hittheroadbucky pointed out there's nothing on that profile that confirms that anything that was said is based in reality. Could it be true? Yes, but could be true is not proof. If someone would do this i don't see how flag would be justified if nothing is wrong with trophies. I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable to flag someone over post like this. Look, i see you mean well, but i really don't think this kind of approach helps in disputes. If there's reasonably explanation for something it shouldn't be dismissed. Anyway this is getting off topic. I will not post here anymore. Take care!
ihadalifeb4this replied to charxsetsuna's topic in Site help, issues & feedbackActually it could easily be argued whole statement was purely hypothetical and because of that can't be used as proof for flag. Just because someone sees that comment as a fact doesn't prove anything. This is actually good example of attitude in disputes. Everything that makes you look guilty, must mean you are guilt. When i say this i'm talking about majority of random people that drop in and not CRT. When i was following disputes i didn't agree with every decision, but i still believed CRT was trying to do the best they can. However, i'm not following disputes for a while so maybe things changed for the better. In that case my statement is based on outdated experience and it should be taken as that. As for topic itself i see this as someone elses problem and it will hopefully stay that way. I truly hope we won't have any honest gamers ending up permanently flagged over this.
@DamagingRob This is how tombs will look on ps5. 🙃 I will leave how Lara will look to your imagination, but i bet it will take a lot of triangles. Edit: Just for reference. First Lara Croft model was made of around 230 triangles.
#89 Shadow of the Tomb Raider
A famous explorer once said extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.
These were first words Lara Croft said in reboot of Tomb Raider back in 2013. Now, after I did everything that Shadow of the Tomb Raider has to offer, it's time to see how seriously this words were taken by Square Enix. First little bit about story, characters and set up.
Story starts just couple of months after Rise of the Tomb Raider. After short visit to Mexico you will get clue and trigger events that will take you to Peru where new Lara's adventure will take place. On this journey Lara Croft (Camilla Luddington) will be accompanied by her friend Jonah Maiava (Earl Baylon) and their opposition will be same shadowy type organisation from previous title, that is just hell-bent on shaping world to their liking. As far as character and acting goes I really liked Lara and Jonah. Interaction between two of them is good. At this point they are pretty much like siblings, that even in spite of fact they don't always agree with each other, will do whatever it takes to have each other's back. As for rest of characters and performance of actors nothing really stood up. That includes main antagonist that made me feel nothing, but indifference toward him and his goal through most of the game.
This is kind of issue that shows through whole game. For every thing that Shadow of the Tomb Raider does good there's a missed opportunity that's holding it back from being great game. For example Peru as a location is great choice. It's a place that offers great diversity when it comes to environment, climate and wildlife. However, you will not take a stroll through scourged desert, or hike on snow coverd Andes. Your whole visit in Peru will be spent in jungle and that brings us to graphics.
Jungle itself looks very good and there's a plenty of breathtaking location, but if I had to pick one thing that shows off graphics it would definitely be underwater and that's not just because Lara gets wet. Underwater locations come in all shades of blue, yellow, green, depending on environment and source of light that compliments them. It's a real treat to dive through this location from one air pocket to another. Once again there's a negative side. Settlement are weak link when it comes to eye candy department. I wouldn't say they look bad, but you will easily spot twins and triplets of NPC's and for some objects in the game you just have to wonder why did they bother putting them there at all. Overall it's not big issue cause rest of game makes up for it.
Gameplay has couple of new mechanics and there are some new additions to enemy line up, but mostly you will just fight reskins from Rise of the Tomb Raider. While there are still scripted fights that will force you to shot your way through, this time around, you will more often have to rely on stealth. One thing I didn't like about this encounters is that areas where they take place were often just too small for number of enemies you're up against. While that meant you couldn't always count on to clear area in "perfect" stealth Lara was still OP badass that could easily take two groups of three enemies if few seconds thanks to her skills, throwable objects, special arrows and ammunition.
When it comes to progression nothing much changed. You're awarded with xp for doing pretty much anything. Picking up collectible, progressing in story, killing enemies and so on. Every crypt and tomb comes with it's unique reward, some weapon upgrades and gear can only be bought from merchants and you still have to collect resources to upgrade your weapons at campsites.
I didn't notice any significant changes when it comes to platforming either. It can still be pretty satisfying when it works, but when I play with Lara her biggest adversary is still gravity. Part because of my bad choice and part cause game would simply not register input properly. Because of that reason I gave up on attempting to finish game on Deadly Obsession difficulty on my first playthrough. Considering you "have to" 100% game and checkpoints are more spaced out that would just lead to unnecessary frustration and take away fun from exploring.
Finally, tombs are still well made, amusing puzzles and each of them comes with it's own unique challenge to overcome. That is even more so true when it comes to seven tombs you get from DLCs. While I could easily pick three out of this seven as my favorites in whole series (I also had fun playing all of them in Time and Score Attack) I just can't shake off impression that they were cut out of main game and sold at later date. I don't have any insight in development process and I could be completely wrong. Think of this as one madman's theory more than a fact.
Trophy list doesn't come with much challenge. With average completion of 31% (on this website) and fact that with all DLCs you get exactly 100 trophies this is one of easier and most rewarding games on my PSN account. On more personal note I did very good in Score and Time Attack for for few DLC tombs. My run on Slayer's Gauntlet was good enough for 6th place on leaderboard. Here's a YouTube link if anybody wants to see.
Now, my final verdict for Shadow of the Tomb Raider. This is still good addition to the series worth playing. Probably even more if you get complete edition and you enjoyed playing previous games in franchise. I just hope that in future Square Enix will not let Lara Croft pay the price for what I think were just bad business choices. Maybe next time they will publish Tomb Raider game they should take more to heart following words Lara said.
I make my own luck.
I always had fun playing twin stick shooters. Because of that i just have to brag about this.
Today i set new record on solo leaderboard for Livelock - Bridging the Gap. This is first game on ps4 where i managed to get on top of leaderboard. After first attempt i was 19th. It took couple of hours to get record.
Dude, your trophy profile is badass. I saw the games and statistics and thought, "Huh, not friggin' bad at all." Then I looked a bit closer and saw the epic setup for what's to come. Nicely done.
#88 Death Stranding
Big question is did first independent game from Kojima deliver? It's question that's hard to answer, but i personally enjoyed the game. I will try to explain idea behind the game and that will hopefully help you decide for yourself.
After apocalyptic event known as Death Stranding (the less you know about it before you start playing the better) society is in ruins. People are living in underground bunkers/cities known as Knots. Some of survivors are trying to form new government known as United City of America. Three years ago they sent expedition going across continental US convincing remaining survivors to join them and leaving terminals along the way that are needed to build the network. Expedition was success, but leader of expedition was captured. This is where you step in. You play as Sam Porter Bridges and your objective is to follow steps of first expedition, connect all terminals to the network and to save leader of first expedition.
Practically always when you're going to next terminal you will get cargo that survivors there need. Cargo will force you to plan your route and make best use of the equipment you have. This made me notice something else about open world. Map itself, beautiful as it is, also has a smart design. By creating choke points map often makes you pick your poison. You can either gear up and try to traverse over harsh terrain, or take a long way around that will often go through enemy territory. Either way there's a potential danger to lose, or damage your cargo. However, sometimes game will go "Fuck you!" and just throw everything at you. In spite of that your journey will often be serene complimented by good soundtrack. Here's a YouTube link of first song you get to hear in game.
Once you deliver cargo you are awarded for your effort. By completing deliveries to specific Knot you can get new, or better version of gear from that facility. No matter where you deliver you're always getting stats progress for Sam. It's very basic. Depending on type of delivery you're levelling stamina, health, load capacity etc.
Most of the time after completing first delivery you will be allowed to connect Knot to network. This is when "social" and building part of the game starts. How many structures you can build is limited by bandwidth. The more facility you connect to network and the more deliveries you do for each facility (there's a bandwidth cap for each of them) will increase your bandwidth. Connecting Knot will also make game randomly spawn structures made by other players. This works fairly good. Since bandwidth is limited and you need material to build and maintain structures people are pretty reasonable with what they build and where they build it. Big plus for using other people structures to create viable path between facilities is that they don't need any bandwidth. This makes you relying on other gamers a little bit and creates sense of community even though you will never encounter another person. In case you don't need/want anything someone else, or you built it's easy to remove.
Game itself has Hideo Kojima signature all over it. Long animations, humor, characters, some bosses and fights you have with them can leave strong deja vu feeling if you played Metal Gear series. On the other hand story and lore are pretty orginal. It's one of the games where i couldn't predict ending whatsoever. Technical part is damn good as well. Game runs on Decima engine and both environment and characters look great. Add good music and performance by actors and you have very good story driven title. It's also fair to say that Death Stranding is a slow burn and if you can't find some joy in building fast routes and connecting facilities it could feel like chore toward getting platinum. Trophy list itself doesn't bring much of a challenge and majority of gamers should be able to plat game under 100h.
... evaluation complete.
Thanks Hideo Kojima. Your efforts are appreciated.
#87 Alien: Isolation
One of better horror survivor games i played. In first mission everything looks bland, but as soon as you step on Sevastopol (space station orbiting the gas giant) game starts to do some really cool particle, light and sound effects (along with music) that will create enough tension and uncertainty to make you feel like you're stuck in million tones of metal with creature that took few days off from it's job in hell. Also, game really nails that lo-fi look (and sound) from original move and alien itself looks really good. I really liked the tail. The only thing i didn't like about alien is that it looked little bit too "clean" for the most part... i don't know if that makes sense to anyone else.
I decided to do my first playthrough on nightmare difficulty. That created a slight problem with exploring Sevastopol because map is turned off on nightmare. Nightmare also reduced resources to the point where i could easily do full inventory list at end of the game. However, for the most part that wasn't problem cause gameplay is mostly based on stealth and distraction.
Note: You don't have to play on nightmare for plat. Hard difficulty is enough.
My first proper encounter with alien went really bad. It must have killed me at least dozen times until i did my objective and got out. At that time i thought i won't have to farm 100 Times Too Many, but after finishing everything else i was still around 40 deaths short to get trophy.
If you play with headset (and it's definitely worth it) make sure you turn off sound tracking in game options, or mic itself. Game says it tracks sound from PlayStation camera, but it looks like any mic will do. I figured that out when i was gamesharing with friend. Alien killed me 3 times in 5 minutes before i realized that chat was the problem.
I wrote lot more about this than i thought i would. I don't think i will make this a habit.
This is Ripley, signing off.