Horizon Zero Dawn

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I just beat this and want to talk about it without cluttering other general threads too much.

My earlier comments still stand: it has some roguh edges that are issues more attributable to games from previous generations (clipping, stiff motion capture, quests finish states transitioning abruptly), but the good outweighs the bad.

* Unabashedly progressive politics. Loads of secondary characters are people of color, and the main character isn't sexualized (you don't even have romances in the story, though at least one female character flirts hard with you), several key figures in the story are women (in addition to the female protagonist), plus climate change is mentioned in the narrative lore.
* Combat is silky and transparent.
* Load screens -- hardly any! It probably loads fewer assets than Witcher 3, but if I had to choose between fast load times and environmental details, I'd choose the former without fail.
* The game has two narrative settings, one in the past and one in the present. The one in the past is easily my favorite, as it deals with issues close or adjacent to things I care about outside of video games, with an impressive level of detail and thoughtfulness.
* The level of polish that I expect from a AAA game is pretty much there in the DLC.

Alexandric Ocasek-Carstez (Leee), Sunday, 18 November 2018 03:55 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Ok, I can wait for Josh to get around to playing this or for the sequel to come out on PS5.

From Damage Inc. to Metallica Inc. (Leee), Monday, 3 December 2018 06:55 (five years ago) link

Ha. This is actually one of the first games I bought for the PS4! (There was a great deal at Best Buy; $10 maybe?) But yeah, I can imagine it will be one of the last I'll play. It looks complicated!

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 3 December 2018 14:27 (five years ago) link

It's not. It's a stripped down version of The Witcher 3 (and yet I like it loads more than W3). You can easily charge in with guns blazing if you don't want to take a stealthy approach.

From Damage Inc. to Metallica Inc. (Leee), Monday, 3 December 2018 17:17 (five years ago) link

I abandoned it early on because I was terrible at the combat (being bum-rushed by robosaurs while running away and panic-shooting a bow made me feel bad), then I went back and actually learned which buttons to press and had a great time.

Not a fan of beige post-apocalyptic environments like Fallout but obviously this is a different vibe, one of the prettiest games on PS4. Based on Colorado, Utah, New Mexico iirc. The main city is one of my favorite game designs ever, fantasy epic-ish while still feeling like an actual place people live and work.

But what made the game most memorable, like you said, is the main character and the diversity in the cast. How many AAA games star a woman (exiled from a matriarchy for reasons I no longer remember) with no choice to pick a dude version? Her voice acting is great—she also did the voice for Chloe in Life is Strange if that means anything to anybody.

orifex, Monday, 3 December 2018 19:53 (five years ago) link

exiled from a matriarchy for reasons I no longer remember

~mysterious circumstances of her birth~

From Damage Inc. to Metallica Inc. (Leee), Monday, 10 December 2018 23:32 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

started this tonight. Just saying

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Tuesday, 2 June 2020 00:12 (three years ago) link

It's on my list! (lol)

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 2 June 2020 13:05 (three years ago) link

You keep playing with my heart!

Swoler Bear (Leee), Tuesday, 2 June 2020 17:07 (three years ago) link

I'll get there eventually! there are about three games I want to finish beforehand, assuming I totally abandon super Mario Odyssey.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 2 June 2020 17:09 (three years ago) link

the 'simplified Witcher 3' comparison is apt, but it doesn't seem to make it any less enjoyable so far. I'm really enjoying hunting the machines - battle mechanics that are a lot more fun than Geralt just hacking away at enemies. feels more tactful.

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Tuesday, 2 June 2020 23:37 (three years ago) link

Apparently the combat mechanics are pretty deep in that the assortment of weapons available let you use very different tactics depending on your preferred fighting styles. I never got to that point, though, and used basically the same tactics for everyone.

Swoler Bear (Leee), Thursday, 4 June 2020 00:07 (three years ago) link

That's kind of the approach I've had in all similar games. The games throw so many options and combos of equipment at you, but I just don't have the time/interest/OCD to investigate them all. Which often means missing out on all sorts of cool animations, but not much else, imo.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 5 June 2020 14:51 (three years ago) link

It's a beautiful game. One of the most pleasant to just run around and aimlessly explore.

ShariVari, Friday, 5 June 2020 14:58 (three years ago) link

I am enjoying this so far, still early days, but I have to say it is making me feel like returning to the Witcher and finishing off the quests in Skellige I left out

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Saturday, 6 June 2020 09:32 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

About 20 hrs in and Lance Reddick showed up!

This is a very pretty game and fighting robosaurs is fun. I had got bored of Witcher 3 at this point so I guess what I wanted was a dumbed-down W3 with better battle mechanics. I like how you gotta be strategic and can't just send Aloy in wailing away like you could with Geralt.

closed beta (NotEnough), Monday, 5 October 2020 11:11 (three years ago) link

I liked it enough but I found the dialogue a bit longwinded and expository. Then I got stuck at the bit not far from the start where your youth trials get ambushed, kept dying in a couple of minutes, respawning and getting blasted straight away. Will prob go back to it

Specific Ocean Blue (dog latin), Monday, 5 October 2020 20:51 (three years ago) link

lol the dialogue scenes are all terrible

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 5 October 2020 21:41 (three years ago) link

Aw I liked them.

Fisherman's Worf (Leee), Tuesday, 6 October 2020 00:12 (three years ago) link

four weeks pass...

gave this a shot on steam, enjoyed how pretty it was but felt i was in for an assassin's creed/far cry/ghost of tsushima kind of thing but simplified witcher and aimless exploring sounds nice. returned it under the time window because money is tight but if it's different enough from the games i listed i may give another shot

global tetrahedron, Tuesday, 3 November 2020 19:12 (three years ago) link

six months pass...
eight months pass...

I find that as the release data gets closer, the more anxious and impatient I am to play the sequel (I wasn't even the least bit fussed a few months ago).

Gowron Hubbard (Leee), Thursday, 27 January 2022 01:35 (two years ago) link

Hmm, done with DS2, so looking for a new game. I know I have Horizon Zero Dawn, would it be a good choice? Though I might play something lighter before I dive into another epic, like this or TLOU2 or the like. I've not played any of my Uncharted games yet ...

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 30 January 2022 15:07 (two years ago) link

FWIW HZD deals with the apocalypse (though it takes place 1000 years before the setting of the game) and is also pretty long, although it's essentially hopeful.

Gowron Hubbard (Leee), Sunday, 30 January 2022 17:43 (two years ago) link

OK, loving this already, I'm such a sucker for AAA games. Reminds of of God of War so far. Very pretty.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 30 January 2022 21:45 (two years ago) link

Yeah, this is like God of War meets Last of Us, so basically a Sony exclusive Frankenstein AAA monster. Still figuring things out, but I bet it will all make sense soon enough.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 31 January 2022 21:39 (two years ago) link

Ok, I can wait for Josh to get around to playing this or for the sequel to come out on PS5.

― From Damage Inc. to Metallica Inc. (Leee), Sunday, December 2, 2018

Or they happen at roughly the same time (although I'm still missing the PS5).

Gowron Hubbard (Leee), Monday, 31 January 2022 22:32 (two years ago) link

All the robot parts and ingredients and materials I'm collecting, what am I supposed to horde and what am I supposed to sell? And what do I do with my money if I sell stuff? I'm obviously very early game (just got the Thundernet, or whatever they call it), but it seems about half of the stuff I have is marked "common" and the rest is either "rare" or "uncommon," which makes me not want to sell it. On the other hand, killing these (I presume common) robots has been pretty easy, so their parts can't be that hard to come by, and when there's something specific the game wants you to learn (like fire arrows, or the thundernet) it does give you a specific ingredient to search for.

Anyway: all my crap, is it to sell or to save? What should I never sell and what should I never save? And what should I buy (from the first merchant, at least; I assume there will be more).

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 1 February 2022 13:13 (two years ago) link

i haven't played HZD yet, but as i understand, the game actually IS inventory management, in large part, the decisions you're talking about. Monster Hunter Rise (the first one I played) was like that, and a lot of games are in general. have you played diablo? the game is about collecting trillions of things and deciding what to wear and what to sell and what to use as crafting components. diablo ended up creating a generation of poopsockers (people who poop in a sock rather than getting up from their computer) and Diablo III was one of the best couch co-op experiences of my life, so the formula seems to work!

but anyway, there are entire websites and guides that are all about which items to keep and which ones to sell

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 1 February 2022 14:09 (two years ago) link

Never played Diablo (how do you poop in a sock?). But yeah, I've seen enough HZD guides and tried to parse them and am still confused. Some sites basically say "don't worry about it there's plenty of xyz." others say to prioritize certain things over others. And yet what I've found in most of these sort of acquisitive games, from Breath of the Wild to Dark Souls, is that I end up not needing or using the vast majority of stuff I accumulate at all. I suppose I can just follow the game's lead and prioritize what it implies I should prioritize. Like when the game tells me to accumulate "blaze," do that. Or when a scan tells me a robot is vulnerable to "ice arrows" (or whatever), know to focus on getting those ingredients.

Right now I would say the focus of HZD is not inventory management but stealth and sneak attacks. But I'm early game and haven't faced anything serious yet. And maybe haven't died yet? I can't remember.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 1 February 2022 14:21 (two years ago) link

Do you mean mods or crafting resources? If mods, you might not be at a point in the game where you can equip them, but yeah, if you have similar ones but with different stats, sell the ones that have worse stats. If it's crafting resources, some are quest-related, but most of them aren't difficult to come by. You might want to look at https://horizon.fandom.com/wiki/Resources.

Or, if the item description sez it's only used for selling, just sell it.

At the same time, I'd prioritize increasing your carrying capacity, though eventually you'll still be doing inventory management.

You use the metal shards to buy new armor, weapons, and of particular usefulness is this: https://horizon.fandom.com/wiki/Golden_Fast_Travel_Pack

Gowron Hubbard (Leee), Tuesday, 1 February 2022 18:29 (two years ago) link

Sounds like I'm early enough in the game that I should just go with the flow, then.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 1 February 2022 18:42 (two years ago) link

I'm still pretty new to pseudo-open world games, but while this one does look and play like God of War a bit, it's essentially a future-Earth Breath of the Wild, right? One that makes up in plot and "realism" (for what those are worth) what it lacks in creativity and ingenuity? I can see why someone burned out on AAA open world games might not dig this, but I do like it a lot. And everything is easy after a couple of From games.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 2 February 2022 14:34 (two years ago) link

It came out at the same time as BOTW, but I can't really find the lie here:

One that makes up in plot and "realism" (for what those are worth) what it lacks in creativity and ingenuity?

Gowron Hubbard (Leee), Wednesday, 2 February 2022 19:34 (two years ago) link

HZD is forgiving in that you can do the practice challenge areas that open up and get really good at the right techniques to take out certain enemies, or you can grind a bit and kind of power through it once you get nicer gear. On the higher difficulty levels, you have to do a bit of both.

mh, Wednesday, 2 February 2022 22:02 (two years ago) link

I'm playing on normal, which is fine. I'm just about to talk to Teesa (?) about my mother. A lot of cut scenes early on, which mostly seem to happen when I either have to go to the bathroom or otherwise need to turn off the game and do something else.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 3 February 2022 00:26 (two years ago) link

I generally like the AI of this game, and the various freedoms you have to approach certain situations - avoid, confront, etc.. But I ran into my first snag at a bandit or cultist or whatever base, where for whatever reason the most obvious solution just was not the most obvious to *me,* and I spent waaaay too long trying to take on these countless enemies (and giant robots) all at once, or one at a time, or trying to race past, and so on. When it turned out to be a sneaky mission that just required me to sneak. What a relief, because it wouldn't have taken me eons to snipe and run everything down to zero.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 6 February 2022 04:56 (two years ago) link

Ha, I thought I had it figured out and was prepared to play sneaky, but I didn't notice that I had already agitated all the baddies when I paused the game, so when I resumed and went to sneak they busted me pretty quickly. Fortunately I just had to take a few hits on the way to blowing up the thing to trigger the QTE, and presto - mission accomplished.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 6 February 2022 17:37 (two years ago) link

Got myself some fast travel, though I've got to admit, as with RDR2 or Breath or whatever, just roaming around is part of the fun. However, I assume as I get more powerful it'll be nice to skip some BS. Some of the robots are really tough and not really worth the time, like the Robogators or the DFA birds.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 7 February 2022 23:47 (two years ago) link

Any updates Josh? Your posts are like methadone while I wait for my sequel fix.

Choice Errol Quotes (Leee), Thursday, 10 February 2022 00:09 (two years ago) link

It's great so far. I'm at Meridian, and I've been taking the time to upgrade some stuff. I was taking out a bandit base the other day and it was the first time I ever ran out of material to craft more arrows, which has made me more aware of how I burn through resources. For example, this morning I learned that if you are one arrow short of your max and craft more, it still uses the full amount of resources rather than a proportional amount, so you shouldn't craft until you are out. I've also destroyed a few more new machines, like this giant one and some of the cyber birds; the Robogators remain the toughest. Oh, and I had another epiphany. I just came off a couple of From games, where you upgrade more or less a couple of weapons, but you're constantly finding more in the wild. Here, though, you can just buy whatever you want from a vendor, so no reason to hold off purchasing them. Oh, and I did my first Cauldron, too, which was cool.

Nothing in this game so far has been particularly challenging, but some of the enemies can be tough, and the mechanics take some getting used to. I do think this is sort of my platonic ideal in terms of visuals and gameplay, though. Like, between this, or God of War, or RDR2, I can't imagine anything on PS5 being so dramatically superior. From my limited experience these games are so smooth and cool-looking. And I don't mean that I want every game like this, I just mean for this type of game it's as good as anything I'd want. Like, if someone told me this game came out last week, not five years ago, I'd believe them.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 February 2022 00:46 (two years ago) link

Huh, just now I got attacked by one, maybe two ... invisible robots? With lasers? Wasn't sure what to do about it, but at least I escaped.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 February 2022 21:31 (two years ago) link

That'd be a pack of Stalkers

Gotta get some proximity bombs and tripwires

mh, Thursday, 10 February 2022 21:44 (two years ago) link

I think I have some of those. Is the idea that when they find you, you just bunker down and set traps, Predator-style? Or can you always just run away. This was out in the wild when I was on some other mission.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 February 2022 22:10 (two years ago) link

They make a distinctive noise and don't immediately cloak, iirc

You can also shoot them and take out the stealth module

mh, Thursday, 10 February 2022 22:20 (two years ago) link

Stalkers were easily my most hated machines in the early game. You can definitely run away from them, but in at least a couple quests/areas you have to kill them.

Choice Errol Quotes (Leee), Thursday, 10 February 2022 22:57 (two years ago) link

They were the first machine to take me by surprise. Usually you round a corner or something and think "Oh shit, that's something new!" But these things started attacking me before I knew what was going on.

Just finished a couple of relatively easy Meridian quests, killing some bad guys (very RDR2) and getting a couple of different machine lenses, one of which I had already. Probably time to progress the plot a bit, though I did find another town with a few more side quests and errands, so maybe not.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 February 2022 23:09 (two years ago) link

I took a stealth machine down. I set traps then set off one of their flares, which attracted it to is doom.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 11 February 2022 01:38 (two years ago) link

One thing I haven't quite determined yet is the advantage of riding a robot from point a to point b over just fast travel. I guess for the scenery? Or if I need to stock up but don't feel like strolling?

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 12 February 2022 14:30 (two years ago) link

I do like overriding them and just watching them fight.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 12 February 2022 14:31 (two years ago) link

are they really called "deathfuckers"

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 16 February 2022 18:02 (two years ago) link

I wish.

Something I've found tangentially challenging about this game is that I have the complete version, with DLC, but it's not always clear what missions or side missions are DLC, or if the DLC only unlocks when I finish the main game. So anything that involves snow or ice missions into the hinterlands I've generally avoided.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 16 February 2022 18:06 (two years ago) link

If you hit level 30 or so, that's a good time to do the DLC stuff

mh, Wednesday, 16 February 2022 18:09 (two years ago) link

You'll know when you're there, because there's a pretty fraught chase bit to get into the area the first time

mh, Wednesday, 16 February 2022 18:10 (two years ago) link

DLC is gated behind a specific part of the map, so you're not going to stumble on any of its quests on the main map.

Choice Errol Quotes (Leee), Wednesday, 16 February 2022 18:54 (two years ago) link

I have a lot of map left to explore, so I guess I'll see it when I see it.

I'd guess I'm almost halfway through the main quest. Maker's End?

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 16 February 2022 18:59 (two years ago) link

I think that's halfway!

By the way, with regards to that quest... just make sure you're collecting everything there is to collect as you go because you CAN come back and get it later but it's a chore to do so.

flamboyant goon tie included, Wednesday, 16 February 2022 19:13 (two years ago) link

This game runs about 5000x quieter on PS5 compared to my PS4 Pro. I might actually play it!

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Wednesday, 16 February 2022 19:55 (two years ago) link

fuckin’ Ted Faro

mh, Wednesday, 16 February 2022 20:36 (two years ago) link

Just finished Maker's End. Deathbringer! Exposition dump! Lance Reddick!

This game is fun. I assume someone is already turning it into a movie/tv show?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 17 February 2022 22:04 (two years ago) link

Not that I know of, though this has more than a few similarities with the game: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Mother

Choice Errol Quotes (Leee), Thursday, 17 February 2022 22:10 (two years ago) link

There is a secondary character named Trevor whose backstory, told in logs, is awesome and hilarious

Most of this game felt pretty popcorn but it seems as if I'm nearing the end of the main story and there have been some emotional moments, some real "wow I do feel very nihilistic now" moments

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 18 February 2022 00:14 (two years ago) link

I haven't read any of the logs and stuff, I guess this means they are worth it?

I do like how this game rewards different play styles. Like, when I come across a bandit camp I snipe everyone from a distance, like a coward. But I had watched a bit of a playthrough a while back, and the player chose to just abandon caution and ride a robot bull right into a bandit camp and run people over before jumping robo-ship and just going melee ham. Maybe that's what happens when you've been conditioned to play everything like a FPS?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 February 2022 13:54 (two years ago) link

Is it worth doing the side quests in the original? i.e., are they mostly inconsequential "go here, fetch that”, or do they add to the story/world? I’ve seen folks on reddit saying the game is more fun—or at least, easier to avoid burn-out—if one just does the main story and exploration with the occasional side quest. I’m usually one to do all the missions in an open world but obviously the quality/essential-ness varies from title to title. I’ve completed Ghost of Tsushima recently, and Red Dead last year, so am interested in playing this but want to avoid “oh, this type of mission again" overfamiliarity. (Or perhaps I should just let more time pass before attempting another open world game…)

blatherskite, Friday, 18 February 2022 16:43 (two years ago) link

Imo so far the bandit battles have been pretty repetitive and probably not needed (very similar to some of the Red Dead bad guy camps). The cauldrons are pretty cool and useful, if iirc still optional. Same with the Tallneck towers. But the sidequests and stuff in general, some of them have been pretty fun, and all of them so far have added some color or filled in some mythology. I've yet to come across any real surprises in the wild like I did with RDR2, where out of nowhere there is a serial killer quest, or a spooky swamp mission, or helping a circus trainer find his lost lion or whatever.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 February 2022 16:52 (two years ago) link

The ish really is some of the side quests might as well be main quests, and others are boring and dumb, and there’s no way of knowing which you’re gonna get

Of all the errands, I would only recommend the hunter’s lodge errands, which results in a frankly wonderful battle

Aside from that, in order of fun/useful to not-fun/not-useful

Corrupted Zones
Bandit camps
Trials (I didn’t bother really I found them annoying)

I definitely got into the audio logs and data entries and I do think the story is exceptionally good. Don’t adore the two leads overall but love the mythology they build

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 18 February 2022 17:29 (two years ago) link

A big mid game “aha” for me was to sell off all my bones and skins with the idea that I’d buy them back later if needed. A lot of space taken up in your resource pouch with those things

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 18 February 2022 17:32 (two years ago) link

Huh, I knew you could buy them back but it never occurred to me to use that as de facto storage. Smart!

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 February 2022 17:43 (two years ago) link

the epilogue explains the flowers in a heartbreaking way

mh, Saturday, 19 February 2022 00:53 (two years ago) link

Few hours into the sequel, the improvements outweigh the nits if not quantitatively then quantitatively.

- Aloy is much more sharply written with greater psychological depth.
- Writing has more personality overall, quite a few excellent zingers already.
- Motion and performance capture are more naturalistic and consistently present, especially with our girl.

- Outside of the subtitles, text is too small to read.
- Environments are so color saturated that resources are hard to see.
- Tutorial level is kind of long and short on action.

Choice Errol Quotes (Leee), Saturday, 19 February 2022 07:48 (two years ago) link

Oh and a much bigger con: texture pop in has been pretty common.

Choice Errol Quotes (Leee), Saturday, 19 February 2022 07:50 (two years ago) link

Reviews seem to indicate the release day patch had quite a few fixes. Sony's QA for their productions is usually higher, and they did push the release back, so maybe they're slipping a bit or assuming this is just the new status quo

mh, Saturday, 19 February 2022 17:58 (two years ago) link

Currently unlocking all the Tallnecks (in the first game). I figure that will give me even more flexibility to decide when to move the plot forward and when to goof around on intriguing side missions. Basically cut down on the wandering around, which I've probably done enough of.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 20 February 2022 14:18 (two years ago) link

Today I fought the giant Tyrannosaurus Killbot in one of the cauldrons, which was pretty cool. That gave me the power to override a Snapjaw, so the next time I found a pile of them hanging out I converted one to the good side and it just kicked so much ass for me, destroying not just two other Snapjaws, but also whatever stupid killer robots joined the fight, all while I hid behind a rock and watched.

Speaking of which, leading up to that cauldron was the usual chaos of robo animals that I picked fights with, including a couple of ravagers (the ones with the guns on their back). On a whim I picked up the giant back canon I'd knocked off and took it with with me over a hill, and upon reaching the top started getting shot at by what I assumed was another ravager. So I just let loose with the cannon in the general direction of the shots in the tree line below for several seconds, Predator-style, until whatever was shooting at me stopped. And when I got down there and saw all those red traps I realized, oh shit, it was three (!) of those invisible robots! And I had demolished them all without even knowing it.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 03:07 (two years ago) link

This game is $125AUD on the PSN store as a download but $80 for the same thing as physical copy from JB Hifi. What the fck?

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Wednesday, 23 February 2022 03:11 (two years ago) link

The new one, for PS5? That's weird, I wonder if there was just a mistake in the JB ad?

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 03:19 (two years ago) link

I hit my first big roadblock against a giant turtle, might have to grind out some levels and upgrades. Also I'm completely overlooking the valor surges, as the bar that tells me when it's changed up is too inconspicuous for me to notice in the thick of a fight.

Choice Errol Quotes (Leee), Wednesday, 23 February 2022 06:38 (two years ago) link

I've got to finish the first game so that I know what any of you are talking about, lol. I'm about to hit the Grave Hoard, Near which I think, per one of the post's above, that I was just given a chance to proceed to the DLC (The Cut?) but Lance Reddick told me to turn back.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 13:33 (two years ago) link

Oh? I went to The Cut long before I needed to go to Grave Hoard.

I was playing this game a lot, like four hours a day, last week, and I wanted to get more work done than I was doing, and I saw Elden Ring's release date approaching, so I rented a car and drove away from my apartment and the PS5 so I could work remotely until I got caught up haha

flamboyant goon tie included, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 14:10 (two years ago) link


Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 14:14 (two years ago) link

I thought you were going to say that you rented a car and took your PS5 with you to another more isolated place to just bunker down and finish the game in preparation for Elden Ring.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 14:31 (two years ago) link

The number of people I saw posting on forums about how they were getting caught up on their work in February so they could spend March in a gaming vortex was... many. I myself do not have that luxury! Hopefully I'll get a "vacation" later in March

flamboyant goon tie included, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 14:35 (two years ago) link

i will never “get caught up on my work”

mh, Wednesday, 23 February 2022 15:26 (two years ago) link

Rent a car, drive your PS5 to a distant & secure location, return home to work.

Usually I feel guilty if I use my limited free time to play games instead of working on music, so I'm pleased to report that I actually finished the premasters for an EP yesterday. Thanks to Miyazaki for the deadline

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 23 February 2022 16:34 (two years ago) link

Took down my first full power Deathbringer. It was pretty tough, at least until I figured out what to do. The cautious player that I am, it really gives me some anxiety to spend so much time building up an arsenal that it feels like you have to use up entirely on one enemy/boss. Though of course that's an exaggeration, since at least on "normal" setting this game really throws resources at you.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 24 February 2022 17:37 (two years ago) link

I had to do some googling to bring down my first (the one in the hangar). Didn't quite understand the overheating mechanic! now I do and they're not hard. I struggle most with Stormbirds

flamboyant goon tie included, Thursday, 24 February 2022 18:34 (two years ago) link

I finished my final cauldron, the bandit-heavy one, which was a lot of fun. I liked not knowing how to get out, and how they kept throwing new challenges at me, especially the invisible robots, which are uniquely challenging (though not difficult). I love scanning the area for enemies, tagging a couple of bandits, and then hearing a shout and next thing I know the bandits are dead. I wasn't really paying attention, but I saw the red flare traps and realized, ah, invisible robot cats! And then I had to figure out how many there were, which is a good habit to keep, because the next stage had three of 'em. No problem for me, What *is* a problem is that I've somehow ended up with close to 10,000 shards and have no idea what to do with them. I've been wearing the heavy stealth outfit for 95% of the game, and so far I see no reason to change. No idea what else to spend shards on.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 25 February 2022 23:47 (two years ago) link

Took some of the tips in this thread about using multiple weapons in conjunction during tough fights and had a blast.

Mobile Suit Gundam Style (Leee), Sunday, 27 February 2022 16:34 (two years ago) link

I tried a couple of the hunter trials (in HZD), and they were certainly tough, but I appreciated how a couple of them explicitly required the use of multiple weapons.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 27 February 2022 17:31 (two years ago) link

Just hit the massive (mandatory) exposition dump section of the game. Some good sci-fi plotting/twists, imo. I must be close to the end of the game, but I keep bumping into sidequests, which is always awkward from an emotional investment standpoint. "You are the only one that can save us from extinction! We've got no time to waste!" (five minutes later) "Can you please help me get medicine for my sick cat?"

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 2 March 2022 11:36 (two years ago) link

Getting that cat medicine is a critical experience building endeavor that will only help Aloy save the world though!

Mobile Suit Gundam Style (Leee), Wednesday, 2 March 2022 19:13 (two years ago) link

You never know in this game. Some of the side quests have been pretty neat/fun.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 2 March 2022 19:35 (two years ago) link

I really liked how this game's plot unfolded. Some real emotional moments! I didn't win it yet and haven't spoilered myself about the ending

flamboyant goon tie included, Wednesday, 2 March 2022 20:46 (two years ago) link

I'm super impressed by how these AAA games deliver plot. It's a neat trick, when done well, considering everyone is playing them at different speeds, or in different ways. Movies and books generally adhere to a certain rhythm and structure, but games prove even more than some of the loosest of the former that you can stretch and disrupt the rhythm of your story all you want as long as the story beats drop somewhere, eventually, in some semblance or order. Some people might hit a huge story beat a couple of hours in, others might not hit it for 10 hours. It's kind of like a cross between the staggered narrative of fiction (another format we typically pick up and put down over the course of weeks) and the more condensed nature of cinema.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 2 March 2022 21:57 (two years ago) link

I came across a random side quest with a weirdo who drinks robot blood. After I got him the required blood, he has a vision of ... "Horizon Zero West"?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 3 March 2022 21:33 (two years ago) link

love that dude

mh, Thursday, 3 March 2022 21:51 (two years ago) link

I think I just got the final power cell, and if I didn't I must have missed an earlier one somewhere ...

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 5 March 2022 14:43 (two years ago) link

OK, got my super armor (sneaky to put one back in the very first location) and I think am primed for the final/end battle of the game, but instead I decided to start the DLC. I think I read something saying that while it doesn't matter whether or not you do the DLC before or after the main game (the game I guess adjusts accordingly), the writer of the story recommended doing it before you finish the main quest. I did find that kind of surprising, because even leveled up well above its suggested start number that first enemy (demonic scorcher?) was *hard*. In fact, even though I destroyed it, I suspect it's mostly there as a warning and that you're meant to find a way past it rather than fight it. Sort of like sneaking back through your homeland toward the end of the game, which is full of tough enemies you can fight if you want but you're probably better off avoiding, unless you just want the challenge and/or XP.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 6 March 2022 13:44 (two years ago) link

Frozen Wilds is definitely harder than the base game, but I am also better armed and leveled up, which means the enemies aren't *that* hard, they just take tons of your ammunition, which for the first time I sometimes run out of. Anyway, glad I am doing this now and not after the main game, since I think it would be a let down.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 8 March 2022 12:20 (two years ago) link

Ok, finished frozen wilds and the main game. Really well done! Looked great, fun to play, great writing with nice emotional beats. I wonder if there is a different path to writing these things than there is to writing a movie, for example. They hit many of the same standard emotional /plot marks, but games parcel them out at a totally different pace. Anyway, good job, people that made this game. Look forward to playing the sequel in a year or so.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 15 March 2022 19:29 (two years ago) link

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