Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Touchdown

What a great time to be a gamer

Recommended Posts

A few months ago I've been playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and for some reason it made me realize something about modern games. During the exploration of Prague, I walked into a store and started looking around. There were all sorts of products on shelves, lying around and it got me thinking: someone has modelled all those items and came up with all sorts of covers and logos, different types of things, food, drinks, entertainment, so on and so forth. It was one of those "I knew it but now I REALLY get it" type of revelations. It made me realize just how huge video games are today and how much thought and effort goes into them. In that moment I've found a new appreciation for just how impressive this medium is. There's so much great art that gets easily overlooked just because it's not directly related to the gameplay.

I've been playing games since the early 90s, I've seen them change and evolve. And unlike many folks my age, I've never hit a low point of "all games suck, oh where are the good old days when I was a teenager?" I've been playing consistently for all those years maintaining an opinion that there are always gems to find and good stuff to enjoy.

But this year is kind of special for me. For the first time since the original Deus Ex I honestly feel like "holy shit, games are really great now!" Just 6 months ago we had what I consider to be one of the best shooters ever made which is DOOM4. A big budget AAA that somehow managed to bring back the visceral joy of shooters that's been lost for many years. Then there was Mankind Divided, a game with many flaws but also the best hub area I've seen in a long time and some of the most immersive areas, characters and sidequests. Just recently I had a lot of fun with Shadow Warrior 2 that, again, despite it's shortcomings, made me feel like a kid playing Duke3D back in the 90s. We had XCOM2, an amazing strategy/tactical title that really is a modern X-COM done right. I have just started playing Dishonored 2 and I'm doing my best to like it... But I felt not including it would be cheating. ;)

The cool thing is that I think we're at the point where technology is often no longer the primary focus and it's also advanced enough that devs can make cool things without compromises. Consoles are just powerful enough not to hinder the creative visions and more and more thought is being put into gameplay. Games that are more complex or more difficult are no longer off-limits just because someone might get lost or frustrated. And then there's also plenty of stuff being made with oldschool graphics and mechanics.

And that's the cool thing. We have some brilliant AAA games with absolutely stunning visuals and art styles and we have smaller indie titles with delightfully dated graphics. We have action games, RPGs, strategy games, platformers, horror games, puzzle games, top down shooters, games that focus on the atmosphere, games that are experimental. We have DOOM4, Deus Ex, SOMA, Hotline Miami, Undertale, The Stanley Parable, Dishonored, Pony Island, Beginner's Guide, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Shadow Warrior, XCOM. We have games that are slow, fast, sad, happy, badass, dark, depressive, beautiful, funny, long, short and sweet, easy, hard, games that make you think, games that are focused on blissful fun... There really is something for everyone. There's so much variety and the quality seems to be going up. I just get this positive vibe where I feel glad I get to play all this cool stuff.

It's not all perfect and flawless and it never is but I really think that in many ways this is a wonderful time for gaming. I don't know if anyone agrees with this, after all this is just an opinion and a perspective of a single person. But personally I think things are pretty damn awesome now. To me it's not so much "it's not bad but I hope it gets way better" anymore. More like "it's awesome, can't wait for the future!" Maybe it's just me though.

Anyway, I'm just throwing those thoughts out there for no particular reason.

Share this post


Link to post

there's something for everyone

if you have to money for it.
Honestly, I'm not just talking about buying the titles, also you need a rig bad-ass enough to move those beasts.
All that jazz is anything but cheap.
Still, maybe it never was cheap.

Share this post


Link to post

1,500+ games in my Steam account and I only play Doom, TF2 and FTL. Over saturation drops the price down quick. GearBox and Bethesda games half off within a mere month or two.

Share this post


Link to post

I actually think it's a pretty interesting time to be a gamer because we're seeing really obscure or thought to be lost games pop back up. Killing Time just went up for sale on GOG, Turok 2 is in the works for a re-release, I can go to GOG or Steam and buy Eradicator or Battlefield Redux or Homeworld, or even fucking NAM, which cracks me up. It's nice to see this because unlike other mediums, video games do a really shitty job at preserving its history and we finally made some progress thanks to companies like GOG and Night Dive.

I mean, this is an industry that will outright kill games, pull the life support, or lose the source code and completely fuck the rights ownership. Thanks to that, games like NOLF may never see a legal re-release ever again.

Who would have ever thought we'd get to play System Shock 1 and 2 again, a remake is in the works, and a legit sequel with Warren Spector is in the works? Or we'd get another proper lineup of XCOM games? Or a spiritual successor to Syndicate or Dungeon Keeper? That's just not what I expect to happen in this industry. I always expect the worst with it.

Even cult classic games are getting re-releases like Postal and Carmageddon. It's fun to see this stuff still kicking after all these years. The 90's never left.

pablogener said:

there's something for everyone

if you have to money for it.
Honestly, I'm not just talking about buying the titles, also you need a rig bad-ass enough to move those beasts.
All that jazz is anything but cheap.
Still, maybe it never was cheap.


Uh, it never was. No.

Though honestly I'd say nowadays you can spend less on hardware and more on software, Today you can build a rig for $700-1000 and it can last you years and years, whereas in the 90's sometimes you'd need to switch shit out within a mere year or two since all the advancements were baby steps.

Plus, the titles go on sale so often and for so cheap on PC now, that's not really a big concern anymore. If anything we're spoiled as fuck.

Though, any entertainment hobby can be expensive if you take it seriously. I remember my WH40K army, paints, books, and set pieces all cost me far more in the end then any PC I've ever built.

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah I mean you can always still play old games from the "good old days" whilst also getting to enjoy modern ones too. So hooray for 2016. The same goes for music as well. The fun never ends!!

Share this post


Link to post

I will never understand the mindset that insists on playing 15+ year old games and completely ignoring anything new. Great games are always coming out, then as now -- and the classic revival (System Shock returning!) can only mean good things for everyone, because it means greater accessibility for everyone. It can be hard to get people into older games -- so the more painless they are to set up and play, the easier it is.

Share this post


Link to post
dethtoll said:

I will never understand the mindset that insists on playing 15+ year old games and completely ignoring anything new.


Greedy companies with their bad business practices keeping people away from modern gaming, I'm guessing. I have to concur with you, though - I've played many an awesome game that have been released in the past 10 years. As bad as the game industry is in its current state, I don't let it get in the way of my enjoyment of video games.

Share this post


Link to post
CARRiON said:

Though honestly I'd say nowadays you can spend less on hardware and more on software, Today you can build a rig for $700-1000 and it can last you years and years, whereas in the 90's sometimes you'd need to switch shit out within a mere year or two since all the advancements were baby steps.


well I don't know how it is where you live, but here in Argentina, where I'm from, US dollars are 16:1 with the local money, and it's not so easily that you can raise 16.000 bucks to throw in the 'fun' fire of a new pc. and AAA games, that cost 60$, would be somewhere around 800+ peso and that's anything but cheap, but fo' damn rrrreal, man.
It's what happens with the internet. The forum is american, but it can be accessed from anywhere in the rest of the world and ppl's opinions mostly have to do with their environments too.

Share this post


Link to post
CARRiON said:

Or a spiritual successor to Syndicate or Dungeon Keeper?


Satellite Reign and War for the Overworld are two titles you may want to look at.

Share this post


Link to post

I was looking so forward to Mankind Divided until I found out about the singleplayer microtransactions and how much shorter than Human Revolution it was even though I was okay with HR's length, I really don't want to give Eidos/Square Enix money for it now for trying to squeeze extra money out of the game, I just can't help but want to standby the principal of it.

Share this post


Link to post

I believe the gaming industry is experiencing the same problem the music and movie industry is having. The overwhelming mass of consumer products. I'm sure many of their products are great but I simply can't dedicate my time to all of them. This results in less interest towards them and I just stick with my favorite old games. Maybe even saying all new games suck just to justify my lack in interest. However I wouldn't call that a "low point". I appreciate the devs effort but it's just too much for me. I guess when you're still young it's a great thing. But I have job, family and no time for all these games and it's probably a better idea to invest my money in more important things rather than video games, that I probably will never have time or motivation to play anyway. But that's just me ;)

Share this post


Link to post

I basically agree.

But I'm also glad that we have the old games and the eras that we did - for example I wouldn't want Doom to be any different to how it is - it is just right - of its time and evocative of the tech and it wouldn't feel or be as special if it had been 2 years earlier or later.

That's not quite such a thing now - the curve is flatter where visuals etc. are concerned. And yeah we're spoiled for choice; there's a ton of good games out there and a whole generation now schooled in the arts of making them where once it was a niche sector. Better tech has made games easier and faster to produce, but that takes nothing away from it.

Because I still go through phases of just wanting to play Doom etc. I find I have a backlog of games in my Steam these days, courtesy of the sales, that I'm waiting to play. And that also means I never any longer want to go out and spend £££ on a console and games.

Share this post


Link to post

Gotta disagree on this one.

Steam singlehandedly killed PC gaming for me.
I still play some older games and buy stuff on GOG, but mostly moved on to being a music collector.

Not interested in consoles either, since modern consoles have become more or less inferior living room computers. Meh.

What a horrible time to be alive.

Share this post


Link to post

It is pretty interesting how the difficulty curve in a lot of games has really decreased over the years. It's kind of undeniable more people are playing games now than ever before and I can't help but think they've been altering parts of the core experience to make it more palatable to a massive audience. The linearity, difficulty, checkpoint systems, regenerating health, these appear to be influenced at least in part by the larger audience the developers have in mind when they make these titles. I mean, yeah die-hard gamers aren't their main constituency any more but that's not a bad thing imho.

I mean, the highest difficulty settings are still there which makes the regenerating health necessary and experience can be as difficult as you could probably hope for. It's just that "normal" mode is usually damn easy the whole way through. Not all games follow that pattern though, I really hesitate to generalize because there are a lot of games out there that stayed pretty hard the whole way through

Share this post


Link to post
Avoozl said:

I was looking so forward to Mankind Divided until I found out about the singleplayer microtransactions and how much shorter than Human Revolution it was even though I was okay with HR's length, I really don't want to give Eidos/Square Enix money for it now for trying to squeeze extra money out of the game, I just can't help but want to standby the principal of it.


I know that MD had microtransactions but I could not actually figure out where they were or how to access them. But as far as game length, it's easily as long as DXHR, if not longer -- my clock tells me I spent 50 hours on it. That's as long as it takes to get through DX1, ffs.

Share this post


Link to post
TheCupboard said:

I mean, the highest difficulty settings are still there which makes the regenerating health necessary and experience can be as difficult as you could probably hope for. It's just that "normal" mode is usually damn easy the whole way through. Not all games follow that pattern though, I really hesitate to generalize because there are a lot of games out there that stayed pretty hard the whole way through


Nothing's worse than an underwhelming normal mode that makes you think you should've put it on hard mode and a hard mode so lopsided it turns the once fun gameplay into an unintended grind with a very specific playstyle to complete the campaign now. FEAR 2 was awful in this regard. It's too easy to make a hard mode just artificially harder by raising enemy damage (and sometimes hit points) to obscene amounts while changing nothing else.

Share this post


Link to post

i think i ran into that problem with Quake 4 when i finished. from memory, Doom 3 was a cakewalk even on Veteran, so i figured Q4 wouldn't be any problem either. but Quake 4 on Lieutenant was really fricking hard, which surprised me. i haven't played the game on Corporal yet, since Quake 4 as a whole underwhelmed me, still though. and Doom 3 really is too fucking easy, especially the BFG Edition.

Share this post


Link to post
TheCupboard said:

I mean, the highest difficulty settings are still there which makes the regenerating health necessary and experience can be as difficult as you could probably hope for. It's just that "normal" mode is usually damn easy the whole way through. Not all games follow that pattern though, I really hesitate to generalize because there are a lot of games out there that stayed pretty hard the whole way through

Cyanosis said:

Nothing's worse than an underwhelming normal mode that makes you think you should've put it on hard mode and a hard mode so lopsided it turns the once fun gameplay into an unintended grind with a very specific playstyle to complete the campaign now. FEAR 2 was awful in this regard. It's too easy to make a hard mode just artificially harder by raising enemy damage (and sometimes hit points) to obscene amounts while changing nothing else.


I'm playing Call of Juarez: Gunslinger atm which has a novel twist on this which I at least haven't seen before.

I played through it on Normal and it was barely challenging, and I thought kinda short. I was also surprised that I hadn't even come close to unlocking all the skill upgrades that are omnipresent in modern FPS. Then I saw that New Game Plus had been unlocked.

This means you play through the story again keeping your skills, and allowing you to keep going for exp to get the rest. So I'm playing through on Hard this time, and this time instead of just progressing and surviving I'm going for riskier combos to gain more Exp, the challenge to myself being to unlock all the skills before I take on the hardest Wild West difficulty on my third, and presumably final, playthrough. Suddenly the game is more challenging, and more fun.

This suits CoJ's recollections-based storyline; it won't work for all games, but it works well here and is an effective way of maximising enjoyment of the game content.

Share this post


Link to post

With some exceptions, I mostly just play old games (2005 and older). Games like Doom 4 introduce way too many typical modern elements to the game for me to make it memorable, and many other modern games play it safe and play off of video game tropes that I've seen a million times before. Combine this with the fact that I think 75% of all modern releases do not look deserving of the ridiculously steep system requirements that they're asking for, and you can see why I refrain from playing most of them.

I did enjoy the first Shadow Warrior reboot though, even though I absolutely hate that "rebranding" of the game's title like so many games and movies are doing these days. Just call it Shadow Warrior 2. Bethesda didn't run into any financial trouble when marketing Fallout 3, so I don't see why "AAA" developers are seemingly panicking when a game series reaches the point of multiple sequels.

Other exceptions are there though: I'm looking forward to Resident Evil 7, which is one of the first post RE 3 games that looks interesting to me as someone who likes horror. I also love a bunch of smaller indie titles, and I also really enjoyed Rayman Origins (haven't played Legends yet) which was a big surprise to me. Origins is one of the best platform-games to come out over the past decade, easily (IMO).

Besides everything I said, I do always look at game related news, and I try to keep my eyes pealed for any games that I think look kind of interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Pure Hellspawn said:

the biggest problem i have is the huge backlog of games i have to play and the lack of time to play all of them.

Same. Damn you steam and humble bundles :-|

Share this post


Link to post

Idk, I'm conflicted

I do like how the advance in technology allows games to have bigger worlds, more complex mechanics and better graphics. But I'm not seeing many games that take advantage of these aspects to the fullest. Many new releases just seem to be about getting a product out there without much thought put into the actual game and we've been seeing games becoming oversimplified for years now.

Share this post


Link to post

There are some fantastic games in the Elder Scrolls series that allowed you to change difficulty on the fly. That was amazing.

I remember there being some awkward transition times around level 70-90 in Skyrim where it's like, "yeah I can tank almost all the dungeons, except for the vampire dungeons where every enemy has a class specialization and don't even get me started on the Vampire King who steals my life points when he gets enough magicka". So there were times when you have to take it down a notch from the Legendary difficulty

Some games, it's like they assume you are crafting epic-level gear even when my character never even bothered to do crafting/smithing which is kinda annoying, so it's necessary to turn down the difficulty a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
TheCupboard said:

Some games, it's like they assume you are crafting epic-level gear even when my character never even bothered to do crafting/smithing which is kinda annoying, so it's necessary to turn down the difficulty a bit.

That was kinda a problem with Skyrim, unlike the previous game (Oblivion) the enemy loot wouldn't level with you making either smithing a must or earning your gear from random chance chests your only chance of obtaining the good stuff (because somebody thought level caping vendors was a good idea, it was not).

Share this post


Link to post

Tbh Skyrim did screw that up a bit. I mean all the gear in the world was unimproved, even the smoldering ebony gauntlets of jesus were never even of (fine) or (legendary) quality. You had to do the grindstone in order to make any of the random drops worth using.

Share this post


Link to post

On one hand, yes, on another, not always. I'm grossed out often at the level of greed and lack of accountability in the industry, or maybe just more aware of it. Games are a very different beasts nowadays but I can't help but feel bad when buying a game on day-one usually means it won't work. Or the sick feeling in my stomach when people can pay 80 bucks for Battlefield 1 just to play three days before everyone else. Or that digital copies somehow cost the same as a physical copy. The list can go on and is exhaustive.

Thankfully like many here there's still great games, and a large offerings for people that prefer pick-up-and play mentality. It would be unreasonable to say the whole industry is bad, but the glossy super-budget games are more exposed so that's what everyone sees.

I finally opened my copy of Red Dead Redemption after 4 years and really enjoy that one, Skyrim Special Edition has torn another rift in space-time and absorbs all thought, and I picked up some RGB cables for my Saturn and Genesis to use with their 'new' PVM so what is old is new again!

Share this post


Link to post

I do remember spending a lot of time looking for Daedra hearts in Skyrim.

I always prioritise smithing pretty early on. Isn't that kinda the point...? But there's a limit of like 80% damage reduction at any given level or something anyway isn't there?

IIRC, you can get the Daedric stuff above any amazing loot / reward stuff. The only thing that slightly sucked, IIRC, was only being able to craft on two enchantments vs. some reward items that had three?

I thought the Daedric stuff looked badass in Skyrim anyway so I stuck with that for most of the later level progression. I think I was about level 70 when I ran out of anything new to do.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×