Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Horizon Zero Dawn
Avatar
Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
Admin
March 7, 2017 - 4:23 pm
Member Since: November 9, 2010
Forum Posts: 1075
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I see some Tappers have this one, so let's discuss!

I'm several hours in, not far after the first big story event.  So far I'm ambivalent about the game.  Some things I really like.  Other things I find annoying (with regards to mechanics) or cringe-worthy (with regards to story and/or characters).  The setup, and the promise of ancient ruins to uncover and mysteries to solve, currently holds my interest.  I hear that the game suffers (pacing, padding, balance) in the later stages but we'll see.

I just found my first Longneck or whatever.  It's essentially a tower (mobile in this case) which reveals more of the world map, a la every open-word game in existence.  The premise is cool, but the execution was pretty tame.  Though to be honest, I don't really have much experience with open-world games, of the current style that is.  I suppose it ticks a lot of the right boxes but I have no feel for how it stacks up against the competition in that regard.  I don't even know what games are considered the gold-standard.

I think I've come to understand why many RPGs piss me off, and why Dark Souls ruined most of them for me.  If you're having to work hard to make your side-quest not look like busy-work, then you're doing it wrong.  Make the side-quest organic.  Make its existence a consequence of some action you took (perfect example: the quest to cure curse in Dark Souls could be considered a side quest, but one done right).  Most importantly, I realize that I lack the discipline to ignore this kind of filler.  So I do all the side quests and collect all the crap, while the rage builds.  And ultimately, not only do I hate your game, but I resent it for the time-waster that it is.  What does that all have to do with Horizon?  Hopefully nothing.

Finally, I'll paraphrase one of Xtal's rants about third-person games with melee combat: Would you just copy Dark Souls for crying out loud and ditch whatever crap system you mistakenly think is cool?

Rule #2: Double-tap

Avatar
xtal
planet
Moderator
Staff
March 7, 2017 - 4:36 pm
Member Since: April 19, 2009
Forum Posts: 1629
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Synonamess Botch said

Finally, I'll paraphrase one of Xtal's rants about third-person games with melee combat: Would you just copy Dark Souls for crying out loud and ditch whatever crap system you mistakenly think is cool?  

That is one of my more salient points! We've endured a solid half decade of hearing critics praise the combat in the Arkham games and, while I think that combat is fun and satisfying, it's simplistic and repetitive to a degree that it shouldn't be copied. Dark Souls' combat should be copied because it's the best. Case closed!

I played about an hour of Horizon but am now too caught up in Zelda, and haven't gone back yet. I will of course. The first hour did hook me, at least in the sense of okay, I'm intrigued with the world you're trotting out, here...

It sounds like it may be too late for you, Botch, but I've heard there are some map related things you can buy in Horizon that you maybe shouldn't buy, because it irreversibly litters your map with collectibles.

I'm no longer part of this agency. You there, get my shoes!

Avatar
Dix
Moderator
Staff
March 7, 2017 - 4:45 pm
Member Since: June 6, 2011
Forum Posts: 462
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I would like to briefly come to the defense of Arkham to say that that game's combat deserves the respect it receives, to my mind. That said, as with those games that imitate Dark Souls, there are plenty of games who lift that system functionally but fail to execute it with the proper care.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

Avatar
Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
Admin
March 7, 2017 - 4:50 pm
Member Since: November 9, 2010
Forum Posts: 1075
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It sounds like it may be too late for you, Botch, but I've heard there are some map related things you can buy in Horizon that you maybe shouldn't buy, because it irreversibly litters your map with collectibles.

Yep, too late.

Rule #2: Double-tap

Avatar
xtal
planet
Moderator
Staff
March 7, 2017 - 4:53 pm
Member Since: April 19, 2009
Forum Posts: 1629
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Did the combat change much through the other games, Dix? I played just the first game and never got to City, Origins or Knight. What I'd compliment it on was its high level of polish. It was a very tight combat system. My biggest complaint was feeling locked into one strategy of fighting.

Since we're talking about combat, what are your thoughts on Horizon's combat so far, Botch? I haven't reached any yet so zero experience here. Reviews/LPs I've read or watched mostly praised the combat. I saw some comparisons to (rebooted) Tomb Raider, another game I'm woefully unfamiliar with.

I'm no longer part of this agency. You there, get my shoes!

Avatar
Dix
Moderator
Staff
March 7, 2017 - 5:03 pm
Member Since: June 6, 2011
Forum Posts: 462
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Though I'd have to revisit the original to really be sure, the system was mostly refined and somewhat expanded in the later games, adding a few new enemy types to contend with, more ways to utilize your gadgets on the fly, and so on. It never had the flexibility that Dark Souls does, of course, because everything you can do is sufficiently Batmanesque, and they don't want you to decide one day that Batman fights with a pushbroom now for, like, reasons.

I generally find the system dynamic enough (because of its reliance on environmental awareness and timing of several different responses) to remain fresh for the duration of the Arkham games, generally. It's basically trying to offer so opposite an experience to the combat in a game like Dark Souls, though, so it's hard to draw meaningful comparisons.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

Avatar
Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
Admin
March 7, 2017 - 5:10 pm
Member Since: November 9, 2010
Forum Posts: 1075
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I haven't experienced a huge amount of combat so take this as a set of initial impressions.

Firstly, the comparisons to Tomb Raider are, I think, fair to a degree.  One of your main weapons is a bow, which was also true of Reboot Lara.  I don't know that I'd take the comparison too far though.

So long as you're fighting from a distance, it's perfectly fine, if nowhere near as crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside as Dark Souls (I'll officially start replacing that with Bloodborne from now on since I consider its combat the best in the series).

Up close, it's a floaty, clumsy mess.

The game has a significant stealth aspect.  My preferred style in these kinds of games is to use stealth as a setup for the kill.  I'm no ghost (although I killed very little in, say, Dishonored; but that was more governed by the story outcome I desired, and also it was just more fun that way).  The game works fine with that approach, with some good skills to complement it.

Basically, all these reviewers haven't read the Gospel of Xtal on the matter and are still benighted in their notions of what constitutes good 3rd-person melee.

Rule #2: Double-tap

Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
Admin
March 8, 2017 - 8:58 am
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 3274
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm about where you are, Botch -- just did the first Longneck and am wandering around looking for quests to do. I have positive and negative thoughts on the game, which so far reminds me most of Shadow of Mordor in everything except setting.

Generally speaking I'm enjoying it, but I see Horizon ending up the same way most other open world games of this nature do: as a trudging icon hunt that lasts much longer than it should. The combat is fun but already becoming sort of redundant; I like that it rewards care and tactics without forcing them on you. Still, there's only so much tall grass I want to hide in. A little more innovation here would have been nice. Climbing trees, for example. Also the herds of ro-beasts would do better to range around like... er... realistic... ro...beast...herds (you know what I mean) instead of predetermined circular paths.

The Gospel of Xtal is wise as usual. Sidequests that are reduced to the same activity over and over again are far less enjoyable than sidequests with meaning.

And don't give me a customizable HUD I can't actually customize. If I want to turn off your fucking floating GO HERE icons and other hand holding, I should be allowed to. Why not just make the compass the whole game? Point yourself at an icon and push forward until you get there, wash and repeat.

That sounds over-negative; I do like Horizon so far and I'd like to keep liking it. But I was hoping for something a little fresher, and it's clearly a pretty by-the-numbers open world adventure in the Shadow of Mordor vein.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Avatar
xtal
planet
Moderator
Staff
March 8, 2017 - 1:27 pm
Member Since: April 19, 2009
Forum Posts: 1629
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

This is good. I've really only heard a lot of praise so far (maybe I need to expand my sources) and you guys have tempered that praise a bit. I have heard much positivity on the character of Aloy herself. She sounds cool, so I hope to like her.

So on that comment I made, the purchase that litters your map with icons, is that like, a pretty obvious thing to be purchased, so likewise easily avoided? I don't see myself caring about these collectables so I'll avoid at all costs. This reminds me of a skill I bought in Fallout 4 that highlighted containers holding certain types of items in the world. It kinda ruined part of the game for me because it was an irreversible choice and after buying it a ton of crap in the world had a stupid glow around it. Bad, developers! Bad! When will you learn, don't do that please!

I'm no longer part of this agency. You there, get my shoes!

Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
Admin
March 9, 2017 - 9:40 am
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 3274
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

If you're a player who enjoyed any of the generally-accepted-as-best "open world adventures" (eg Shadow of Mordor) in the past few years, you're very likely to enjoy Horizon because Horizon cherrypicks good stuff from all of them, introduces some good stuff of its own, and generally avoids serious mistakes.

While the "worst" I could say about it varies hour to hour depending on my mood, I think the meta-worst is that it's not an innovative game; it's more of a distillation, which isn't a terrible indictment. We see these from time to time: games that take the best of their format and leave the rest out. If you're hoping for something different in a gameplay sense you won't find it here, but if you're looking for a solid, robust, standout example of the style, Horizon is likely to become the standard.

On the character of Aloy there is much to be said, in part because there's so little to be said, at least on the subject most people would have anticipated being the dominant one. Aloy's gender has nothing to do with the adventure, and Horizon gives us a 100% gender-equal, mixed-race world without making any statements to that effect. It's just the way it is.

As to Aloy herself, everything about her from bone structure to fashion sense strikes me as very maturely designed. Unless there's an outfit I haven't seen yet, she doesn't wear stupid revealing shit because she's a cave-person and cave-people would die if they wore stupid revealing shit. Her red hair is I guess kind of well-maintained given cave-person hair product technology but we can overlook that since you're going to be looking at that hair for a lot of hours and it just makes sense for it to look nice.

While it's unclear how much impact her dialogue decisions have on the game as a whole (versus just the immediate conversation) I appreciate the option to play Aloy how you like. She's very badly treated for most of her life, and grows up to be a very justifiably angry young woman, but it's your call if you want to maintain that attitude or become a more traditional white-hat heroine who cheerfully gathers mushrooms for people.

She's played by Ashly Burch doing a dead-on Jennifer Hale impression; if acting in games is a pet peeve of yours it's only fair to warn you that except for Burch the acting is mediocre at best, and the script is... strange. It veers between stilted, formal "Cave-Person" and modern colloquial English from line to line. The result is very dissonant and off-putting. There's at least one character who talks with an affected New Yawk accent which makes me want to kill him, and almost everyone else is either just not very good to begin with (JB Blanc) or clearly struggling with the script's schizophrenia (Crispin Freeman) or both.

Mostly I hope the game ends in a timely manner because I'd be sad if it tried to make itself bigger than it needs to be. I already sense that happening, though. As to your question, xtal, the maps in question are indeed very obvious and readily avoided. They're called, like, "Map to a Bunch of Annoying Icons #4" and stuff.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Avatar
Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
Admin
March 9, 2017 - 11:23 am
Member Since: November 9, 2010
Forum Posts: 1075
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yes, easily avoided in the sense of "these are things which will show me possible locations of stuff on the map" but not in the sense of "and also irrevocably clutter your map with junk! kthxbai!"

Aloy's characterization is fine, if not praise-worthy.  Steerpike, the things that annoy you about the uneven dialogue and acting bother me as well.  A lot actually.  If you're going to go for a period piece, with a certain tone, then please stick with it - this is a major pet peeve of mine.  There are many instance where current cultural expressions and attitudes creep into the dialogue.  They often seem delivered as if to suggest that anyone who shows even the slightest disagreement is a hopeless troglodyte.  Perhaps it's just me being over-sensitive to these kinds of things.

That said, I do like Aloy.  Her delivery is mostly subdued and never hammy.  She has sympathy for others, despite her poor treatment, and as such she earns mine.  But also as Steerpike said, the rest are an extremely mixed bag.

Rule #2: Double-tap

Avatar
xtal
planet
Moderator
Staff
March 9, 2017 - 12:14 pm
Member Since: April 19, 2009
Forum Posts: 1629
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Both of your insights into her character and the character of others, I have heard some of this before. I really like the idea of a game normalizing women as a force equal to men in a society (because obviously) and normalizing a mixture of races and it not mattering in a practical sense. It makes me wonder if the Native American writer who criticized the game could have chosen a more worthy target, as from what I can tell by the word of others, Horizon is a relatively socially progressive game. Anyhow, I'm eager to get more into this game's world. It's just that...Breath of the Wild.

It's funny to hear that there's a mixing of "old" and "new" speak in the game. I'm picturing a character talking about offering prayers of such and such to the all-mother, and then commenting on their roasted duck sandwich being "lit af." Someone says, "lit af" in this game right? Please say yes.

I'm no longer part of this agency. You there, get my shoes!

Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
Admin
March 9, 2017 - 3:57 pm
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 3274
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It does have perhaps the greatest line of dialogue ever written, even if I suspect the writer didn't realize what he/she was writing. Ashly Burch understood the glory of it, though, and delivered the line perfectly:

"That... is not... a goddess! That is a door!" 

It was indeed a door. It was quite clearly a door, a door without any particular divine substance. Sometimes it's the little things that make it all worth it.

The flavor of the dialogue is just odd enough that you're never quite able to get into the flow of conversation -- "I am but an apprentice healer, with little experience to my name. But I've mastered the basics."

Stuff like that. I suspect if this was intentional, it's a failed effort to show that these people are technically Future Cave People, and maybe their cadence retains some elements of no-longer-applicable colloquy, the same way we might use the word "record" when it's digital music or whatever. But it doesn't work, and it makes me feel better to see it got to Botch as much as it does to me, because it seems like a really small thing and yet it can be momentarily immersion-breaking.

Dia Lacina, the Native American writer who shared her criticisms of the game, is only wrong in a certain respect: there is a vast gulf between "insensitivity" and "racism." Much of the verbiage in Horizon is careless and ill-considered, but that's insensitivity, not racism, and while I'm onboard with the idea that sensitivity is important, it's also possible to over-analyze and that's what I think is happening here. 

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Avatar
Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
Admin
March 9, 2017 - 6:31 pm
Member Since: November 9, 2010
Forum Posts: 1075
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

And what is behind that door?  That question, perhaps more than anything else, is what's got me engaged.  This next part is perhaps a bit spoilery so I'll put it in tags.

If you go back to the ruin which you fell in as a child, you'll find an email message from the "Director" of the place you're in, whatver it was.  It states that the worst case scenario has happened - the so-called "Wichita salient" - and that her peoples' two choices are to chance it outside, or get some good old assisted suicide right now.  Perhaps I'm naive but this is tantalizing stuff.  What the heck happened here?  I really want to find out.

Edit: does anyone say "lit af"?  I don't know but it wouldn't surprise me.  They certainly do the fist-to-chest thump.  Sometimes in sync.  Just watch any merchant for about a minute and feel the immersion slipping away.

Rule #2: Double-tap

Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
Admin
March 10, 2017 - 1:22 pm
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 3274
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I haven't played in a couple days because stuff, but I'm wondering... has anyone found any reason for the title yet? Or is it as I suspect, and this game could just as easily be called Aurora: Grim Passing?

or, you know, Monster Madness or Robo-zone or That's Not a Goddess that's a Door, or whatever. Is there a reason that we get ZERO dawns? Not even one tiny little dawn?

Or do we think maybe it's meant to make sequels easy to name? Like...

Horizon: Zero Morning

Horizon: Zero Just Before Lunch

Horizon: Zero Early Afternoon

OR will they go with One Dawn, Two Dawn, Three Dawn? Or will the horizon change and the Zero Dawn stay the same? Like Skyline: Zero Dawn, and Ecliptic: Zero Dawn, and what have you?

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Avatar
xtal
planet
Moderator
Staff
March 11, 2017 - 1:53 am
Member Since: April 19, 2009
Forum Posts: 1629
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yeah the title is fucking stupid. Like you suggest, it might as well be called Ventures: Electricity Forgiveness. Or Shepherds: Ended Winter. Or Peak: Surrender Origin.

I'm no longer part of this agency. You there, get my shoes!

Avatar
Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
Admin
March 11, 2017 - 1:19 pm
Member Since: November 9, 2010
Forum Posts: 1075
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

All of my previous criticism still hold.  However, it has got its hooks in and they're driving deeper if anything.  I cleared a bandit camp by stealthily, systematically murdering the whole bunch.  So that was fun.  Also, I've explored my first Cauldron, which without spoiling anything starts to pull the curtain back from what is really going on in this world.

You don't really find out what a Cauldron is until you reach Mother's Crown, which is where the Matriarchs send you on your first real mission as a seeker, outside of the Embrace.

I'm enjoying some of the tactical battles with the machines.  There's some good stuff here.  However some of the mechanics are poorly explained and don't always seem to work as advertised.  I'm talking mainly about the elemental stuff, which you're supposed to be able to use on the machines (each has its own set of weak points, with potentially different elemental weaknesses for each).  When it works it's really satisfying to take down a powerful foe with good tactics.  When it doesn't work i'm left baffled as to what I could have done better.  These have mainly been boss (or min-boss) fights where I couldn't figure out a way to exploit their weaknesses and was left whittling down their health bars while dodging around.  Not satisfying.

Rule #2: Double-tap

Avatar
Toger
Somewhere, out there...
Moderator
Staff
March 13, 2017 - 11:55 am
Member Since: April 10, 2009
Forum Posts: 1488
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Steerpike said
I haven't played in a couple days because stuff, but I'm wondering... has anyone found any reason for the title yet? Or is it as I suspect, and this game could just as easily be called Aurora: Grim Passing?

Yes, there is a reason for the title. (Yes, I'm still here tongue)

I'm not actually playing the game (alas, no PS4), but I have been watching several "let's play" videos (which is annoying because none of them play the way I would play and it makes me yell at the TV. Plus, I'm missing some of the back story because one guy only plays the audio logs, another does everything the game offers but none of the audio/email logs coalesce into a meaningful way in his brain so he's constantly trying to figure out what's happening and kinda sucks at combat (says the combat-weenie) and the third only does the main missions, but I digress). Even with those handicaps, I've somewhat figured out what's happened in the world ahead of the game spelling it out. It's an interesting premise... I'll say no more.

Powered by PMS ™

Avatar
xtal
planet
Moderator
Staff
March 13, 2017 - 12:49 pm
Member Since: April 19, 2009
Forum Posts: 1629
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hey Toger!

Yeah I haven't gone back to Horizon yet. Free gaming time is almost all going to Zelda. Still excited to find all the Dawns though.

I'm no longer part of this agency. You there, get my shoes!

Avatar
Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
Admin
March 17, 2017 - 10:57 am
Member Since: November 9, 2010
Forum Posts: 1075
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Jim Sterling has an interesting review here:
http://www.thejimquisition.com.....wn-review/

While I don't really follow him or even agree with him very often, I pretty much agree with every point he makes in this review.  I have been a bit harsher on the voice acting and dialogue, but it's actually gotten better as the game goes on.  In particular I'm fascinated by the NCP named Nil.  He's easily one of the most interesting characters I've encountered recently in a game.  His bold "doing good for evil reasons" philosophy is oddly refreshing.

And that currently sums up my impressions of this game: It started out good, with a few clumsy missteps, but has done nothing but get better and more compelling.  We'll see if it can sustain this, since many games fail to, but I'm hooked.

Rule #2: Double-tap

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/Detroit

Most Users Ever Online: 63

Currently Online:
6 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Spike: 1187

Pokey: 894

Jarrod: 607

Finkbug: 468

Armand: 318

kaythomas: 307

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 7

Members: 863

Moderators: 18

Admins: 6

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 4

Topics: 805

Posts: 18313

Newest Members:

Andrestecy, Terrygof, assignmenthelp, EcranFilms, jannyw4011, Normansot

Moderators: Cheeta: 0, Jen: 631, Orb: 0, Scout: 1205, Toger: 1488, Yapette: 836, Dobralov: 17, xtal: 1629, Meho: 82, Tap-Repeatedly: 0, geggis: 1376, Lewis B: 214, Mat: 245, AJLange: 200, Dix: 462, LewisB: 0, Amy Louise: 12, l0vetemper: 3

Administrators: admin: 2, MrLipid: 31, Steerpike: 3274, Helmut: 795, Synonamess Botch: 1075, heddhunter: 26