Saturday, 19 October 2019

Modern games that I just can't get on with.

There are quite a lot of modern video games that I just cannot get into. Some are perfectly good games according to other people, but I just have a hard time liking them. Others I liked at first but the developers made changes that put me off them. So here's a trio of current generation games that I can't really connect with.

No Man's Sky Beyond


I loved No Man's Sky upon it's original release. Yes the creatures looked a bit derpy and the planets were pretty much the same aside from a different colour palette, but I thought it was a pretty nice and relaxing game. Sort of a virtual wander through a park if you like.

Other people, though, thought it was a bit naff, and Hello Games worked their collective butts off to flesh out the experience and add new features. This is where the game went a bit wrong for me, because they added base building. This seems to now be an integral part of the game, where you have to build certain base modules or equipment to unlock things to progress, and to get the parts for it you have to collect resources. This makes the whole experience a bit too much of a grind.

I much preferred it when the start of the game was simpler and you could get your ship off the ground and into space without the need to build all this extra rubbish that I'm probably not going to use again. Before the Beyond update, you had the option of following a second mission that skipped all of the base building and concentrated on getting your ship working. All you had to do was find a crashed freighter, some antimatter and a blueprint for some hyperspace fuel, and away you went. I don't want to spend two hours collecting stuff to make a base that I'll probably never return to, I just want to be a space nomad, wandering around planets and looking at the pretty scenery and derpy animals. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy base building in other games, I just don't enjoy base building when it's forced on me at the start of the game and I'd rather spend my time doing something else.

I'm sure once I get through the beginning part of the game and out into space I'll enjoy it again, but I find the first hour or two to be a bit too much of a grind. Maybe they could fix it by letting the player choose a starting point, so those of us who want to just bum about in space can start with a fully functioning ship and skip all the tedious stuff at the beginning.

Resident Evil VII: Biohazard


I managed to play Resident Evil VII for the first hour, and then I gave up. Not because the game is really scary, but because I thought it was the singular most ridiculously silly thing I've ever played. And I've played some really silly stuff over the years.

It started off great, with a creepy atmosphere and a vibe to it that really set the scene of wandering through this derelict old house in the woods. Then I met Mia, the young woman the protagonist is looking for, and it just went mental.

At first Mia seemed like your normal, average young woman, until she attacked me with a knife, threw me through a wall and was stabbed in the neck with an axe, but was still able to charge at me through an attic window with a chainsaw and cut my hand off.

All of these things wouldn't have been a problem if I was armed and I could defend myself, but for most of it I wasn't and the whole thing played out like an extended cut scene. I was a passive observer throughout the whole thing, which, along with the over the top violence and gore, made the experience seem more like a parody of a Resident Evil game (Resident Evil meets Happy Tree Friends perhaps) than a proper survival horror game.

I couldn't help but think of the Black Knight in Monty Python and The Holy Grail. It was blood and gore to the level where it becomes silly rather than shocking. Maybe that was the whole point and I missed it because I couldn't suspend my belief long enough to stop thinking "This guy's been stabbed and hacked up with a chain saw, and he's still alive... yeah, right!"

I have been told that I quit just at the point where the game does become more like the usual Resident Evil games, but the first hour was so silly that I have no desire to sit through it all again.

Spider-Man


My brother bought me Spider-Man for Christmas last year, and at first I thought it was okay. It was a bit like the Batman Arkham games, and I enjoyed them so this should be fine... Except it wasn't.

I'm not sure what it is, but this game makes me feel tense when I play it. It constantly makes me feel like I'm on edge, and swinging between buildings has a really odd feel to it that leaves me stressed out. I feel like I'm rushing my way through the city, and I can't relax and slow down. This means that when I encounter a boss fight, I'm already wound up by the game, so I'm often too tense to complete the challenge, and I end up losing the fight. Then I turn the game off in annoyance.

I could probably adjust to it if I played the game longer, just randomly swinging through the city finding all the backpacks and other collectables, but I find that dull due to the way the game is structured.

This game suffers from a classic case of tower-itis. You know the type of thing, go to a point on a map to unlock a tower which reveals some of the city and things to do. Then you complete them and wander to the next tower to repeat the process all over again, and again, and again and....... ZZZZzzzzzz.... Sorry, I nodded off there for a sec.

Come on, developers! This sort of thing was fun in the original Assassins Creed a decade ago, but it's been done to death now. Come up with something original for your open world games, please.

Final Note

I could probably get into each of these games if I took the time to. They're probably great games in their own right - in fact I know No Man's Sky is, and the jury is still out on Spider-Man because I feel I could like it if it didn't make my teeth itch - but I cannot get very far into any of them for very long before I give up, which is a shame.

Anyway, that brings this rather negative post to an end. I failed my driving test yesterday and needed to moan about something to let off some steam.

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