dirigiblebill

The Crew 2 is a more joyful, less edgy breed of open world racer

dirigiblebill

3 days ago

@Sukiwondercat Good question. I think they have a bespoke handling/physics model for each control peripheral they support, so the wheel support should carry across, but I'm not sure.
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dirigiblebill

4 days ago

@opeth13 I was afreud people would read that the wrong way.
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dirigiblebill

4 days ago

1 0

dirigiblebill

4 days ago

@the_ewan They've yet to really talk about it, but it's basically about becoming a motorsports celebrity. I'm told it's more about the "universe" than any "story", though, so if you enjoyed the last one's plot this might disappoint a little.
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Dark Souls on Switch just got delayed

dirigiblebill

5 days ago

"The Dark Souls of game delays"
17 0

Remembering the original God of War trilogy's biggest hooks

dirigiblebill

5 days ago

@Brainflowers Thank you! I realise it doesn't gel with my right-on persona but I do like writing about big chunky weapons. I should probably pitch a series on the subject, somewhere.
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dirigiblebill

5 days ago

@JorgeLuisBorges noted and appreciated :)
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dirigiblebill

5 days ago

@pooKy1979 Ah, I was confusing it with the constellation.
5 0

Charming shop management action RPG Moonlighter is out in May

dirigiblebill

1 week ago

Played this briefly at a thing the other week and it was a lot of fun, though you could argue games like Rune Factory have done it all before.
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Why Below has taken half a decade to make

dirigiblebill

2 weeks ago

Good chat!
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Far Cry 5 review - a competent yet conflicted open worlder

dirigiblebill

4 weeks ago

@Return-of-Jafar Honestly, the aspect that really pulled it down for me was the lack of new ingredients for the combat sandbox. I was expecting the socio-political stuff to fall flat, but I didn't think it would be such a conservative piece of design.
24 1

dirigiblebill

4 weeks ago

@CrashOkami The story and social commentary are a huge component of the game, dude! Sorry if you'd rather have heard more about the gunplay, etc, but I felt it was important to discuss this aspect given its prominence and the extent to which Ubisoft has talked it up in preview sessions.
39 36

dirigiblebill

4 weeks ago

PSA for the comments - this was written following a bout of really bad insomnia, so there are probably a few phrases that sound a bit mad. Apologies in advance!
10 11

Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom review - majestic if not magical

dirigiblebill

1 month ago

@ithis It's just a shit joke about my lefty tendencies/relatively ornate style and the reaction to all that on these pages - Soporific Jaundiced Warbler = SJW. I should probably get it updated, now that my profile appears on the frontpage. "Pretentious wanker" is a good shout :)
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Ghost of a Tale review - a creature castle fantasy with plenty of Soul

dirigiblebill

1 month ago

@marijnlems Haha, will fix! And thanks for the kind remarks - it's always great to share and discuss something special which isn't that well-known.
6 0

Hunt: Showdown is brutal, but you'll soon get caught in its web

dirigiblebill

1 month ago

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dirigiblebill

2 months ago

@AgentDaleCooper It definitely needs a non-PvP mode of some kind - perhaps the smaller enemies could roam more - but I imagine bosses need to stay indoors because a) you'd just blow them up from a distance, and b) their behaviour patterns rely on a given lair environment.
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Why are turn-based games so good at creating stories?

dirigiblebill

2 months ago

@Rogueywon I'm sure you've come across it but you might get a kick out of the upcoming BattleTech adaptation - I previewed that a few months ago and it looks like the best mech sim in years.
2 0

dirigiblebill

2 months ago

Lovely piece. A vague follow-up thought - in Japanese TBT games like Final Fantasy Tactics characters often animate while idle e.g. jogging or bouncing on the spot, which suggests that they too are outside the designer's construction of time.
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Sim Society: DARPA, serious simulation, and the model that stopped a flood

dirigiblebill

2 months ago

Fascinating article and great illustrations. It makes me wonder how many abandoned scaled-down physical models for hypothetical disasters there are in the world - presumably more than enough to fill a theme park!
11 0

What medieval bestiaries tell us about Monster Hunter World

dirigiblebill

2 months ago

@serbaekin This is interesting - can you point me towards any research on the subject?
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dirigiblebill

2 months ago

A lovely article offering much to ponder, and some beautiful illustrations.

"it's still a bit of a shame that Monster Hunter World, like most games, never asks what roles its monsters play in its world's culture and imagination"

I think the trick to Monster Hunter is that the monster hunting is really an allegory for present-day systems of animal exploitation - "lean" management, factory farms, "using every part of the pig except the squeal", etc. I'm kicking around a piece of my own on the subject, actually. Would be interested to hear your thoughts!
9 4

Vampyr's parasitic promise is plagued by conflict

dirigiblebill

2 months ago

@Third It's a fair point! I'll edit the piece.
3 0

dirigiblebill

2 months ago

@Sagara_Sousuke_x I'm probably selling it too short. It did have some great art, and quite a fun custom combo system. Still, there are times when Dontnod reminds me of pre-DmC Ninja Theory - they have a great eye for a fantasy world and a flair for writing, but you need somebody like Capcom to come in and mentor their combat designers and animators.
7 0

Fe review - uneven indie from EA Originals

dirigiblebill

2 months ago

@laughingorc It should!
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Sea of Thieves is an overdue antidote to content farming

dirigiblebill

3 months ago

@spongebob Depends what you look for in fun. I played a few hours alone, and it's mostly laidback and serene with bursts of adrenaline and some really testing tactical play when another crew spots you (the NPC enemies are a pushover). It's half the gentle satisfaction of keeping the boat in order, and half the thrill of the chase. It's not a game you pick up because you want to load straight into a fight or have your reflexes constantly tested. Beyond that, we'll have to see what the other two types of quest really offer.
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dirigiblebill

3 months ago

Responding to a few of the comments here in one - yes, you can play alone in a single-mast sloop that's fairly easy to manage, but it's a persistent online game, so you're going to run into another ship or player eventually. It's a question of watching the horizon. I never encountered anybody at initial spawn unless I'd teamed up with them, and player counts per instance in solo play seemed to range from two to six.

As Bertie wrote earlier in the week, it's a lot more solo-friendly than you might think, but if you're looking for a straight single player experience you should obviously look elsewhere.
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dirigiblebill

3 months ago

@Rhaegyr Point taken - but Rare's Kinect games are genuinely pretty good, just sorely undercut by the platform's limitations and broader business priorities. It's still a very talented team for all the veteran staff departures, and I'm interested to see how the design thinking they've amassed during the Kinect years plays out in other projects. Assuming Microsoft doesn't decide to wash its hands of them, of course.
5 5

Darkest Dungeon and the Lovecrafting of crunch

dirigiblebill

3 months ago

@Malazan Oh blast, will update!
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dirigiblebill

3 months ago

A thing I was trying to work into this feature, but didn't have the time to research properly - the history of the phrase "breaking point" is interesting, and a bit sinister. It seems to have been coined with reference to ironworking in the early 19th century. Nowadays it sees a lot of usage in (a) stress management literature, and (b) criminal interrogation manuals. Make of that what you will!
3 0

Dragon Ball FighterZ is the perfect winter pick-me-up

dirigiblebill

3 months ago

@SuperBas Sadly not! It was a mid-December event so the odds of a big reveal were pretty low.
2 1

The year in apocalypse

dirigiblebill

4 months ago

@Mar27w D2 and Prey really struggled. I'm intrigued/fearful to find out what Arkane does next, now that Raf C has left.
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dirigiblebill

4 months ago

@Brainflowers I do like all the bow gadgets and the larger robot encounters are a bit reminiscent of SOTC. I'll give it a shot over the holiday - who knows, perhaps I'll end up writing a defence. Somebody's got to stand up to that awful Martin.
7 1

dirigiblebill

4 months ago

@eshy76 No worries! Please, that was hardly a rant compared to some of the stuff you read on here ;)

I've played 4-5 hours of Horizon and am planning to go back to it soon - I hear the story takes some interesting turns and there's certainly a lot going on with the creature design, but I'm not sure I can be bothered to plough through another few dozen hours of open world quests.
8 0

dirigiblebill

4 months ago

@ToWhomItMayConcern It's on the list! There have been many great, intelligent games this year, and frankly, my backlog dates back to 2012. Steam sales are terrible things.
12 2

dirigiblebill

4 months ago

In case anyone's wondering about its absence here, I'm still making my way through Horizon: Zero Dawn. Ditto Nier, which appears to cover some of the same ground as Observer and LOCAL HOST.
18 4

Mass Effect's Vigil Theme and the fight to remember

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@Mr.Spo This sounds like a much stronger article than mine! Though I think I do touch on some of your points, and the wider context of history and oral memory is worth dwelling on. Do you write about games anywhere, beside your academic work?
4 1

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@Hexagon_Sun True! It's probably a subject for another piece. There's an article in one of the recent Unwinnables that explores the idea in depth.
0 0

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@Whitster Fair enough. What in particular struck you about it as fake?
1 1

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

Hey up all. I've removed the line about colonialism and neocolonialism in the writing and levelling, as while I feel there's a case to be made on this count, I accept that the claim is too off-the-cuff here. See, I do listen!
2 0

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@Mr.Spo The line about colonialism is quite throwaway, and perhaps misleadingly worded - I didn't mean to imply that "neoliberalism" applies to the writing and "colonialism" exclusively to the levelling, and perhaps "neoliberal" is the wrong term. A slightly longer version: Mass Effect is a game about a glorified murder-spy with a more or less open mandate to kill and interfere, with an RPG structure that involves converting a diversity of races and encounters into various forms of currency (XP, Paragon/Renegade points, etc). I see this as a fantasy of capitalist interference and exploitation. There's a lot more to it, of course, and these points apply to many games.

How would you have extended the core of the argument regarding narrative, Vigil, memory, etc? Writing on phone now, but will try to add more later.
3 3

Playing the Arab Spring in Riot - Civil Unrest

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

If people want to know more about the 2013 Egyptian protests I heartily recommend The Square. http://thesquarefilm.com/

It's one of the best and saddest documentaries you'll watch.
6 0

Raji and the rise of Indian gamedev

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@g4r37h This is an interesting perspective, thanks for sharing it. Is that software as in game software? I suspect the quality gap you describe has a lot to do with the funding situation in India - these companies probably have to take on a lot of jobs at once to break even.
4 0

Revisiting Crysis, the last great bastion of PC elitism

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@Rogueywon Eh, if I was ripping from the headlines I'd have talked about how the Ceph are secretly Putin or the real invisible terror is Article 50, or something - sorry to say, but I've been banging on about Nazis and colonialism for years.
7 5

On the secret smallness of Skyrim

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@blarty It's a fair point! I've tweaked the sentence.
3 0

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@greenwichlee Greenwich is wonderful, and yeah, landscape gardening is one of this article's missing links.
5 0

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@blarty It's probably more a case of phone aesthetics in general, but come on, that hub and the tab structure are built for swiping, and Bethesda has gone on the record about its debt to Apple. http://www.pcgamer.com/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-ui-inspired-by-apple/
8 0

dirigiblebill

5 months ago

@UncleLou BoTW is almost certainly bigger - I was suggesting that Skyrim still feels pretty big even in comparison.
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