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Topic: Games you've recently beat

Posts 1,561 to 1,580 of 1,674

Thrillho

@Rudy_Manchego The South Park games are good fun. FBW is better in my opinion as the combat is much improved but SoT was from the era when I still watched the programme so got more of the references.

Thrillho

Rudy_Manchego

@Ralizah Completely agree with all your points.The game completely slowed down and is a reason why it took me so long to finally finish it. Also agree with Tetra - she was a great character with some actualy chemistry. As for the HD, it is the best way to experience it - the additional items and controls made it a lot better (I had got probably 4-5 hours into my GC version before restarting). I'm part way through Phantom Hourglass though always have struggled with DS stylus controls.

Really don't know why I hadn't played Stick of Truth earlier. ALmost kicking myself.

Now I may be an idiot, but there's one thing I am not sir, and that sir, is an idiot

https://jambags.co.uk

PSN: Rudy_Manchego | Twitter:

Rudy_Manchego

@Thrillho I am pretty much up to date on the series but I have already ordered FBW. I had a feeling it would be harder going back to SOT afterwards.

Now I may be an idiot, but there's one thing I am not sir, and that sir, is an idiot

https://jambags.co.uk

PSN: Rudy_Manchego | Twitter:

Ralizah

@Rudy_Manchego Tetra is easily the best incarnation of the princess in the entire series. I just wish they hadn't done her dirty near the end.

The Wii U re-release is fantastic, and is easily the definitive way to play the game. I love having the map and inventory on the GamePad. The swift sail should have been in the game by default, as it makes the sailing not suck.

The TP remaster is similarly extensive, but, visually at least, the improvements are like putting lipstick on a pig. It's an ugly game, and nothing short of a complete remake would change that.

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Sorry for the late reply @Ralizah didn't mean to just poof away like that

My main line of thinking was that every review I've seen, for good reason, compares Bloodstained to Castlevania and I figured whilst I'll not get all the nods or callbacks I might look upon it more favourably without any Symphony of the Night or the likes to compare it to...

I do however look forward to trying Symphony of the Night and the other 'Vania's when I can... The fact that Bloodstained is more recent doesn't bother me at all! I honestly play more older titles then new these days

Oh and that music is deeeeeeeeeelightful I've listened to Gears Of Fortune like ten times since... That string section is superb!

-Edit- And don't think I've forgotten about my REmake impressions! That's coming soon!

Edited on by Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

You don't need to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all you need is something simple, like someone to take care of - Aigis, Persona 3

"No cost too great. No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering" - Hollow Knight

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

mookysam

Tetra is one of my favourite Zelda characters. The pirates in Wind Waker are great. I never understood why as soon as her ancestry was revealed Nintendo made her so weak, because Tetra the pirate would have faced danger head on. It was worse that they lightened her skin tone.

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy
I'm quite near the end of Bloodstained. Although it's definitely a more "classic" design than newer games in the genre, it's so well done as a Castlevania game (which is basically what it is). Personally I enjoy that there is less crap layered on than games like Guacamelee 2. Bloodstained would be an excellent starting point to piggyback onto the Castlevania games, and in general its reasonably balanced difficulty means it is a good game for gamers who haven't played many Metroidvania games.

Also highly recommend the little NES styled Curse of the Moon that came out last year. It's brilliant!

mookysam

PSN: mookysam

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Yeah, while I think the game is pretty good all-around, the music is the one area where I feel like Bloodstained uniformly knocked the ball out of the park, so to speak. Bringing back Yamane to do the soundtrack was the single best decision they made with regard to the game.

Mentioning REmake reminded me that I still need to play Claire's campaign in REmake 2. I think I'll complete that after Horizon and Digital Devil Saga.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Th3solution

Beat Telltales Game of Thrones over the weekend.
Overall I liked the game, and it kept my interest, but after our discussions of Detroit Become Human, I cant help but be frustrated by the lack of control over the narrative direction. It seemed like no matter what I did, I was funneled into gradually escalating circumstances and no matter the strategy I took (honesty vs deceit, courage vs deference, loyalty vs self preservation), the Forrester family just kept getting into a progressively dire state of affairs. I do like how the game wasn’t afraid of killing off characters and many moments were shocking, which helped to keep interest.
Graphically, the game is PS3 quality at best. Actually some PS2 games look better. The character animations are bad and the background art is even worse. It looks muddy and textures are jagged. If not for the compelling story then the game would not be worth experiencing due to its technical limitations. Alas, the game gave me a platinum — my fourth this year. So at least there’s that.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Rudy_Manchego

Finally finished Stick of truth as I spent some time doing all the side quests etc. As a South Park fan, I liked the game. It is also the first turn based game I have completed in many a year - I mean prob since my PC gaming days in the early noughties. It is quite simple which is good for me, only a few challenging battles. I liked the game though, really had the feel of a South Park episode and it was obviously no lazy tie in as most licensed games are.

I have the Fractured But Whole to start but might save that for my holiday in a week or so.

Now I may be an idiot, but there's one thing I am not sir, and that sir, is an idiot

https://jambags.co.uk

PSN: Rudy_Manchego | Twitter:

JohnnyShoulder

@Rudy_Manchego Have you played Child of Light? That has turned based battles too and is quite short. Brilliant little game and I really liked the art style.

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.

PSN: JohnnyShoulder

Rudy_Manchego

@JohnnyShoulder I have it on Vita and PS3 I think but haven't played it. This has encouraged me to put it in the list. I struggled with the turn based strategies in games like P4G but I think I need gentle easing in with more western fare like SOT and maybe Child of Light.

Now I may be an idiot, but there's one thing I am not sir, and that sir, is an idiot

https://jambags.co.uk

PSN: Rudy_Manchego | Twitter:

Thrillho

@Rudy_Manchego As I said before/elsewhere, the combat in FBW is completely different and so much better. The UI is also quite different which took me a while to get used to as well.

Thrillho

Rudy_Manchego

@Thrillho Looking forward to it. I played a demo at EGX and if I remember correctly it was quite different in terms of combat and even general design.

Now I may be an idiot, but there's one thing I am not sir, and that sir, is an idiot

https://jambags.co.uk

PSN: Rudy_Manchego | Twitter:

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Resident Evil (REmake) for PS4 via the Resident Evil Origins Collection

This review took a LONG while to finally figure out my thoughts on it and adequetely explain my reasoning.

I played through Resident Evil (REmake) as both Jill and Chris. Jill first on Easy (Though I thought it was the normal option) and then Chris on Normal.


A Little Background

So if you looked over my Resident Evil 0 review then you already know my background with the Resident Evil series and video games in general because of it.

Resident Evil or REmake is unsurprisingly a remake of the PS1 classic Resident Evil. REmake was originally for Gamecube before being ported to modern consoles and PC.

Like Resident Evil 0 before I hadn't had the chance to play this version before because of the limitation of it being a Gamecube exclusive at the time. I never got past Yawn in my playthrough of the PS1 original which I played once at fifteen and haven't tried it since.

I did watch my dad play it through completely but I barely remember it... So this is more or less a completely fresh experience to me.

Resident Evil has series favourites Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine of the Raccoon City S.T.A.R.S Alpha team as the "stars" of the show.

Alpha team heading into the Arklay mountains after the S.T.A.R.S Bravo team has gone missing after investigating attacks and cannibalistic murders in the mountains outside of Raccoon City.

Needless to say this doesn't go as planned with Alpha team getting attacked by zombie dogs (or Cerberus as they're called in game) and ends up fleeing to the iconic Spencer Mansion with only three of the team remaining when the game truly starts...


What I like

The Remake/Remastering of it

If my dad were still alive I would've played this with him... Playing this here and now though and remembering the fifteen year old me who had a cushion to her face and snuggled up next to my dad at 3am in the morning and waking mom up with my screams there was an additional sentimental milestone and a sense of catharsis to me beating this game (Even if it is a different version)

The graphics are great and it just really shows what you could do with the Gamecube (and the much beefier PS4 giving it extra sparkle and detail). I certainly don't regret having a PS2 but I'm glad I can play this today and think that it looks and plays very well!

Never had a problem with tank controls (I think it partially adds to the experience even of a survival horror) but having that updated control scheme is pretty nice for people who can't deal with that.


Item boxes

I don't care if you break the laws of physics item boxes. You're so helpful and awesome and I'm glad you're back after the horror show that was 0 without you!

Inventory management isn't that much of a pain either. Ok sure I wouldn't mind maybe ten slots but eight's definitely enough to avoid hassle with Jill.

Six with Chris is pushing it a little but at least that Shotgun only takes up one slot.

Dropping things like in 0 would be good in tandem with the item boxes though


The Design & Atmosphere Of The Mansion

It's pretty great and a testament to the game's design that they managed to remake it with all these neat additions, switching things up with new puzzles, so that it feels like a fresh experience while still keeping various things from the original like that infamous L hallway or the main foyer of the Spencer Mansion.

True I never got past the attic before on the PS1 version... But I remember it vividly 22 going on 23 years later with those blocky PS1 visuals still in my head.

Curse those lightning strikes though! I have no idea if it's completely random or there's a set time between them but man does the mansion feel spookier then it did on the PS1 (And it was already pretty spooky).

I almost always had one occur when I was in the main hallway and I didn't feel at ease at all during my time playing the game aside from when I had temporary respite in the item box rooms.


What I don't like

The Middle and End

Playing through the game I think it and 0 (and most of the mainline Resident Evil's in fact) have one thing in common in that they have pretty great starts (Especially this, 2 and 4) but as you go on I feel it gets weaker and weaker (Though I think 4 had a pretty good design overall).

The first two hours were extremely tense and I was trying my best to dodge and get past the living dead and letting out a yelp as I ran Jill's beret wearing butt past zombie dogs.

After you leave the mansion though it gets a little less interesting and the crimson head mechanic becomes a complete non issue and weirdly I feel it winds down for the most part.

The locations taking a bit of a hit as well and weren't as visually interesting to me.


The... Pursuer?

This one isn't so much a bad point. More just a meh point but I didn't want to break my flow of the praise of the mansion to my misgivinngs with the rest of the locales in game.

It's not like Lisa Trevor is a bad mechanic or character. Her backstory is pretty darn sad and disturbing. But I don't feel she really adds anything to the overall experience unlike Nemesis, Mr. X or the Bakers. She only appears three times and is fairly easy to get past. The boss fight against her isn't exactly hard either... I think there's some lore implications of the other viruses were made/extracted from her but that's not enough to make her a worthwhile addition to the game for me personally


Boss Designs (And ever so slightly the fights as well)

This is more my personal opinion but similarly to Resident Evil Zero I'm not really a fan of the animal bosses. At least the Cerberus have flesh peeling off or something that makes them a touch more visually interesting.

Whilst mechnaically I like the fight against Yawn It's just a giant snake... nothing interesting about it's design in the slightest other then it's giant.

Momma 'Tune having a similar thing cus she's just a giant shark (Though again there's interesting mechanics to play with at least for her fight(?)).

The pathetic excuse for a boss in the caverns The Spider though has nothing to hide behind. It's very uninteresting.

The final boss fights of the Tyrant fares a bit better

SPOILERS FOR RESIDENT EVIL 0 But the Prototype Tyrant looks a little more visually interesting... Even if those fights are quite pathetic in 0

But as I say, I think that's more my problem as I don't honestly see a lot of bosses that look interesting to me throughout the series as a whole.


Bad Voice acting

Ugh... people say the live action opening of the original Resident Evil is bad (It is) but at least that's so bad it's kinda good. The voice actors in this are not up to snuff at all.

This was 2003... that's no excuse for Resident Evil at this point. If this was some obscure as hell game by a company just starting up then I'd be more favourable to it (I still wouldn't like it but there'd be a reason at least) ... But it's Resi!

Metal Gear Solid 1 & 2 had come out and proven you could have great voice acting in gaming.

True Resi is... well I'd say silly but Metal Gear is batsh$t bonkers in comparison... but you get my drift. It only takes away from the experience.

(Also there's only six months or so between 0's release and REmake and they couldn't get the same Rebecca VA? She's much better in 0 then REmake!)


Additional points

  • I'm never playing invisible zombies mode. You can f&$# right off with that!
  • Same goes for that One Zombie mode. I HATE YOU FOREST!!! 😂
  • And never touching the Real Survival mode that makes the boxes function like normal boxes either! But all three modes are good additions and I'm glad they're there for people for extra replayability or challenges.
  • The fact there's difficulty options compared to the original PS1 release is also nice.
  • The Self Defence weapons were pretty interesting... Certainly helped my survivability!
  • I love that RE3 Jill is an unlockable costume even if it makes no sense as a costume for Jill. The BSAA costume is pretty sweet too.
  • I can't picture Chris as anything but 'Roided up RE5 Chris. He just doesn't look right otherwise. Had to play his scenario with that costume on.
  • Chimera's are pretty creepy. I find them much more off putting then the kinda goofy Hunters in comparison
  • I didn't notice the soundtrack that much again. This time though I was more focused on actually playing the game rather then carrying stuff to another place.
  • The body outside the serum room... I spent the entire game hoping it wouldn't turn into a crimson head. Glad it didn't lol

Overall REmake gets an 8

Having played Resident Evil 2 (The PS1 original (I have yet to play Resi 2 REmake)) again a few months back I think I prefer it to Resident Evil 1 no matter the shape or form of this.

That maybe partially due to nostalgia with it being the first of the series I properly played and successfully completed but I like the larger scope that game has and the museum turned police station is just as cool of a starting location to me and maybe a touch more memorable as mansions are used in the series plenty (0, Code Veronica, 7... probably more) but the station is only in RE2 (and 3 but that's another topic for another day)

Either way I enjoyed REmake. It has it's faults sure, but nothing too detrimental to the experience and I'll definitely play it again.

Edited on by Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

You don't need to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all you need is something simple, like someone to take care of - Aigis, Persona 3

"No cost too great. No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering" - Hollow Knight

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Great impressions! You put a lot of thought into this post. I like how you articulated your feelings about it in relation to the rest of the franchise.

The lightning adds a lot to this atmosphere of this game. I mean, it's such a cheesy, old-fashioned way to creep out the player, but, on top of everything else, it just works well.

I didn't see Lisa Trevor as being the same sort of thing as the bosses that stalk you in subsequent games, personally. She's there, I think, to add dimension and character to the environment, and to deepen the sense of mystery and unease surrounding it. Definitely not as constant a presence as something like Mr. X or Nemesis, though.

RE voice acting, I didn't this it was bad at all, but that might just be due to how much better it was than the voice acting in the PS1 original. I'm sure it doesn't live up to modern standards, though. Thankfully, there's not a huge amount of dialogue in this game.

The game IS absolutely gorgeous on the GameCube. Unbelievably so. I think, more than any other game I've played from that generation, it holds up beautifully on an audio-visual level.

I can see why someone would be down on the giant animal bosses and enemies. They're VERY old-fashioned for video game enemies, hearkening back to a time when bats, rats, and spiders were the monsters you often faced off against in horror-themed video games.

I'm sorry to hear about your father, but I appreciate you sharing that very personal dimension of your experience with the game. When we experience media, especially with other people we care about, they often become another material that's woven into the fabric of our lives as social-spiritual animals.

Glad you enjoyed it overall! It won't be everyone's favorite, but I do think it stands as a unique and often tonally dissonant entry in the series.

PS: You may act like it's the worst thing in the world but you know you can't wait to replay this game in invisible enemies mode and run through a mansion full of invisible, flesh-hungry beasts.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Very appreciative of your response @Ralizah

Very true about Lisa Trevor . It was the closest thing in the series I could really compare her to though. Again she's not bad by any means, I just feel her presence could be removed from the game and it wouldn't be missed all that much

You don't need to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all you need is something simple, like someone to take care of - Aigis, Persona 3

"No cost too great. No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering" - Hollow Knight

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

KratosMD

Just finished Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. I've already talked so much about this game that I'm going to keep this post brief. The second half of the game was seriously really good compared to the first half. I really loved the gameplay loop but there was so much padding and text to read through that I would get annoyed quite often. In conclusion, this was a great game and it's even better if you have the patience to sit through the monotonous text.

I finished the game after 50 hours, which is a decent length for this type of game. I kinda wished I could've played it on the Vita though. It definitely feels like a much better fit for that system.

KratosMD

Ryall

I completed Bullet storm and what remains of Edith Finch today. Bullet storm took about three days to complete what remains of Edith Finch took less than 2 and a 1/2 hours. I finished it in a single siting. In the end I find killing stuff a lot more fun than being killed.

Ryall

Ralizah

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Platform: PS4

Level of Completion: Pretty much everything in the base game. Unlocked the platinum trophy and spent roughly 70 hours playing the game. Didn't touch the DLC, but I'll play that separately at a later time.

PRO

  • Let's start with the obvious: Horizon: Zero Dawn has one of the most fascinating and lovingly realized post-apocalyptic worlds I've ever encountered in Western media. The art direction for the machines and the environments is amazing. Additionally, there seems to be a ton of world-building here, and this was one of the few games where I actually bothered to stop and read a lot of the history and lore informing the tribal conflicts and mythologies at play.
  • Combat against the machines that inhabit this world is just... superb. All of them are so different, requiring different tactics to tackle different machines. It's a bit like a Monster Hunter game insofar as I initially struggled to beat the often intimidating new machines I encountered, only to become an expert and quickly taking them down as I learned their patterns and the best ways to neuter their offensive capabilities. Strategically removing components from the machines plays a huge role in this game, and the best way to get good at hunting the wildly diverse array of robotic wildlife is to isolate what components they're drawing strength from. Scrappers, for example, are fairly easy to deal with if you quickly remove their back-mounted guns; Thunderjaws need to be stripped of their rocket launchers sooner than later; Glinthawks are a pain until you realize that using fire arrows will ground them very quickly; Stalkers are terrifying until you learn to quickly strip them of the component they they use to become invisible; etc. There's such a huge amount of depth to these encounters, and when you learn to "git gud," every fight flows like beautiful poetry. Human combat doesn't fare nearly as well, but there is something fun to stalking around bandit camps with modded stealth gear and quietly murdering everyone like The Predator.
  • There is a fantastic level of diversity to the weapons you can use in this game. You get normal arrows, elemental arrows, arrows that specialize in removing components, arrows that explode and strip machines of their parts even more quickly, weapons that lob normal explosives, explosives that stick to stuff, explosives that trigger when something gets near it, wires that explode or trigger elemental effects and damage, landmines, a weapon that ties machines down with arrows, etc.! Learning how to combine these various tools to devastating effect against the monsters you regularly encounter is one of the funnest aspects of this game.
  • I really like how much stuff you can mod and upgrade in this game. Modding weapons and armor allows you a certain level of customization that will change your playstyle.
  • Additionally, there are skills you can unlock throughout the game that will often dramatically change how you engage in combat. They almost all feel invaluable, and it was difficult to pick out what skills I wanted to attain first. Which, of course, increases my desire to play more of the game and continue to upgrade Aloy.
  • How Aloy controls. Unlike a lot of Western AAA titles I've played over the years, where the character you control feels 'heavy' or otherwise doesn't respond immediately to controller inputs, Aloy in HZD controls beautifully. She'll twitch around instantaneously to any touch the control sticks. It feels good to run, jump, dodge, etc., which makes the game's brilliant machine fights all the more fun.
  • The world in Horizon: Zero Dawn is often photo-realistic and is one of the most visually resplendent environments I've encountered in a video game. This is both due to the level of detail in the environments as well as the gorgeous weather and lighting effects. Guerilla Games did a great job of getting the somewhat weak PS4 to render this absolutely stunning world at a consistent frame-rate.
  • Performance is excellent. If this game was dropping frames, I never noticed it.
  • While it took me a LONG time to bother really engaging with the main plot, I ended up being quite into it as I progressed further in the game. But I'm a sucker for good science-fiction, and I liked how the game attempted to fully explain why the world is the way it is.
  • This game really nailed the side quests. Everything has so much narrative grounding and the presentation is frequently so superb that even mere fetch quests felt substantive, like I was making a positive change in the world. And there are a LOT of side-quests in this game.
  • HZD is good about frequently rewarding the player for completing side content and exploring, making it where I rarely felt like I was wasting my time or playing the game just to play it.
  • The game almost always opts for "gamey" design over pure realism when it'll impact the player's enjoyment of the experience, which I really appreciated. A perfect example of this is the treatment of mounts. After you learn how to override and mount machines, you can use them to quickly traverse dangerous environments. Now, in many other games, mounts are often more trouble than they're worth because you can't stray too far from them and they'll freak out at the slightest hint of environmental unevenness. The beautiful machines in this game will intelligently maneuver over streams, up small rocks and down slight dips, so that you can still take shortcuts, explore, and stray away from the beaten path. Additionally, you can summon your mount from pretty much anywhere, no matter how far from it you seem to be. The best skill in this game is actually one that allows you to automatically spawn a mount to ride whenever you need it, which is SO helpful and convenient. Unrealistic? Absolutely. But it made the game better, and I appreciate that the designers prioritized fun gameplay over an obsessive fixation on realism at all times.
  • The photo mode in this game is super robust and a ton of fun to play around with. I never really bother with photo modes in games, but I spent a lot of time lining up great screenshots to share with people. This is mainly down to the camera being VERY flexible and adjustable, I think. Aloy has a lot of different poses as well.
  • Aside from one particular trophy, the platinum was a pleasure to achieve, and most of the trophies come along with fully engaging with the game.

Mixed

  • While the world is full of stuff to do, the way it's designed is pure Ubisoft. In particular, there's a number of striking similarities to recent Far Cry games, particularly in terms of how a huge emphasis is placed on hunting animals for resources to upgrade your gear, and icons of those animals adorning your map. It works... but it also means that HZD never feels fully realized on a game design level (absolutely brilliant combat and art design aside).
  • The music is serviceable, and I have no complaints about it, but, aside from the title theme (which IS quite lovely), I didn't really take much away from it. It's difficult to even remember the music in this game a few days after completing it.
  • The characters are all over the place. I really, really like Sylens, and several of the side characters have a surprising level of depth to them (Nil, Erend, etc.). Others, like the primary human antagonist and numerous other people you meet, are fairly stereotypical, although you can't expect great development from hundreds of characters. What moved the characters to the "mixed" category for me is Aloy herself. She, to put it in no uncertain terms, a generic heroic character who rarely struggles to do the right thing and almost always seems to reach with grace to a situation. Burch's voice work for her is excellent, but there's only so much personality you can impart to a character who is fundamentally unrelatable. This is particularly grotesque when other people in her tribe literally begin to worship the ground she stands on (which she, of course, dissuades them from doing). You can have morally upright and strong characters who are also interesting and relatable, but I don't think they really achieved that here. If anything, I thought the scientist that Aloy is a clone of had a much more interesting story arc and characterization.
  • The voice work in this game. There are a ton of voiced side characters in this game, and I've noticed that the quality of the acting varies pretty wildly over the course of the game. Thankfully, the core cast of voice actors do a pretty good job overall. With that said, every time I stumbled across another shrill, whiny male NPC in the overworld, I would feel a momentary urge to mute the sound.
  • I like all the loot you can find in this game, but it doesn't feel like there's a whole lot to do with most of it other than sell it. The bulk of craftable items tend to draw from a small pool of similar items. Which means, despite the huge amount of stuff to find in your environment, you're better off selling most of it and having blaze canisters, ridge-wood, and a few other useful items take up 3/4 of your available inventory space.

CON

  • The climbing in this game sucks. The geometry is set up in such a way that it's difficult to even try to climb up some boulders without Aloy stumbling around like an idiot. At least in Skyrim you could kind of clip your character up a hill, but, here, unless you get extremely lucky, you're mostly relegated to using these horrible yellow handholds plastered onto everything in this world to climb places. Even worse is when the game expects you to know that some grooves on the faces of mountains and rocks are climbable, meaning you often have to go way out of your way and hunt for some creases in a wall so that you can climb up a short way to a building or tower on a different environmental plane. When you do climb, it's this loose, Uncharted-esque flow of movement that takes minimal effort on the part of the player.
  • More broadly, while the environments, as previously acknowledged, are GORGEOUS, the way you interact with them is incredibly shallow. You don't get cold, wet, hot. Environments don't really burn or ice over. Weather doesn't matter. The environments are beautiful window dressing meant to change the scenery and little else.
  • It's understandable given the almost complete lack of loading screens as you're actually playing the game, but the load times when you first start the game, or when you fast travel across the map, can exceed a minute in length and feel PAINFULLY long.
  • During cutscenes, the game has this weird tendency to engage in jump cuts when a character is in the midst of a drawn out dialogue. It's always startling, and impacts the immersiveness of the game during story segments.
  • The way lighting changes in the environments in this game is frequently very odd. It's like, when the sun is setting or rising, instead of a gradual shift in the environmental color gradient, there'll be sudden, jarring shifts between different colors, or, even more jarringly, between darkness and illumination. One second you're surrounded by darkness, the next, the sun is suddenly illuminating your surroundings.
  • What's up with the camera hugging the backs of the protagonists in so many PS4 exclusives? The camera is always sort of close to Aloy, but in caves and towns it zooms in so close to the character that I almost felt claustrophobic at points.
  • I hate that Aloy, and the game with her, kind of forgets about Rost after the start of the game. I was hoping for some sort of callback or tribute or SOMETHING at the end of the game, but it never happens.
  • The facial animations in this game are... not good. These are some seriously creepy looking people: their lip movements never really sync with the dialogue, they're often somewhat strange looking, and I feel a chill going up my spine when I see their plastic-y mouths move and contort. The Nora apparently live in the heart of the Uncanny Valley. These are some of the creepiest looking video game characters I've seen this side of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and its parade of deformed-looking hill people. I've heard the animations are improved in the DLC campaign, though, so I'm eager to play that at some point and see how they stack up to the base game.
  • I found the final mission to be somewhat rushed and disappointing. Not a big deal, but it doesn't match up a lot of the narrative highs in this game.
  • Obtaining all the collectibles is boring. Finding them involves pixel hunting in certain parts of the map. No puzzles, no quests, you just follow a map and hunt around an area until you find them. The power cells are a bit different than this, insofar as they're hidden out of the way, but you still don't really do anything interesting to collect them.

Conclusion: Despite the large number of complaints I've made about the game, it should be pointed out that the impact of almost all of these were fairly minimal on my enjoyment of the game as a whole. Horizon: Zero Dawn is an epic, original, inventive, addictive, responsive, beautiful, and straight up fun game, and, more than 95% of games I play, feels high quality in almost every respect. HZD is the complete package, and it's very, very satisfying to play a game that feels so... complete as an experience. I wasn't expecting to like this even half as much as I do.

I don't know that it's the BEST game on the PS4, but it's absolutely my favorite exclusive on the system now (sorry, Tetris Effect, but you've been dethroned), and I'm excited to see how this franchise evolves going into the future.

Verdict: 9/10

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Kidfried

@Ralizah Love this bit: "The game almost always opts for "gamey" design over pure realism when it'll impact the player's enjoyment of the experience, which I really appreciated"

That's exactly what I love about this game too, and that counts for games in general. In some respects we share a very similar vision of what makes a good game, I feel. Realism should never be in the way of gaming fun. I'm looking at you, Red Dead 2.

Kidfried

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