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rllmuk

Pob

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  1. Pob

    Ad Astra

    I really enjoyed this and think is stands up well compared to recent SF fare. Despite the voiceover explaining Pitt's every thought I still found plenty to wonder about, and I'm still thinking about it a lot this morning. It's more focused on the characters rather than the science, despite feeling very grounded, so I didn't get taken out of the film by any potential scientific inaccuracies - the technology of the time was left vague. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey outwards and the different look of each stage - getting darker and more bleak the further he got from the sun. It definitely nailed that feeling of awe and fear that the best science fiction films manage. I wasn't bored in the least.
  2. Yeah I had that exact thing on that race. On one attempt the crashed motorhomes fully blocked the track such that I couldn't even push my way past without wrecking myself. This is definitely my favourite racer ever. I'm on the final championship now, racing A-class cars and it's just amazing. There is such a difference in handling depending on the car, the way it's tuned, the armour upgrades and the track surface. Lots of races simply require you to survive longer than the other competitors and you end up having to pick your way around carcasses. I did an event just now which was a 1-on-1 with my B-class Roadslayer against a totally upgraded A-class Roadslayer, where the reward for winning was a A-class Roadslayer GT. Instead of spending loads of money upgrading mine to make it competitive, I just harassed him on the corners before he got away from me, eventually managing to make him lose a wheel by crashing out. From here he struggled on for a bit before wrecking himself why trying to catch me up. Hilarious. Dirt Devil Stadium is my favourite track:
  3. Pob

    Gears 5

    Twice now I've gone to play this co-op and I've been on an older version than my mate, with nothing in the 'updates' area in 'manage game' to install. The update has only appeared for me once the it's too late for a sesh, so it seems like the update is rolled out in stages. Is this a common thing on XBL? I've not experienced it before. It's a bit shit.
  4. The only thing that rankles with that last is including the more recent Rockstar efforts (GTAIV, V and RDR2) rather than the really influential stuff from earlier generations when they were at their peak. Any of the three main PS2 GTA games would've made more sense than GTAIV, as would RDR1 over 2. Though GTAV probably deserves a spot off the back of GTAOnline, which is huge. Is Gears 2 the best Gears then? I never got past the lift near the start.
  5. Pob

    Ad Astra

    Grace Randolph reckons this is one of the best films she's ever seen. Seems a bit hyperbolic but it certainly piqued my interest. I thought it looked so-so from the first trailer but I like any half-decent hard sci-fi so it looks like I'm going to see it this weekend.
  6. There are no private lobbies yet - does this make it possible to group up for a race?
  7. This is the only racing game where I bother with the tuning. It's simple enough to understand and actually makes a difference. I was having trouble getting that Escort-alike above to turn into corners so adjusted the brakes to the rear (or something) and suddenly it'd go into a satisfying but hard-to-control power slide at the slightest hint of braking. Awesome.
  8. Good write up @Dave White. I give it another little go last night and spent 20 minutes sprinting around the Erehwon dump trying to get back out into the field. When I did I just got in an armoured car and hightailed it towards my next objective, past a couple of patrols who had no hope of stopping me, then decided to go on foot for a bit so at least I felt like I was supposed to be surviving. Was scoping out a little building guarded by some dudes, planning my assault, when a UAV spotted me out of nowhere and a little Hunter Killer drone appeared and killed me. I respawned exactly where I died. I considered going on to my objective but just though 'what's the point?' and put Metro Exodus back on. It's so frustrating that they make these incredible-looking GR games and then dilute what should be tense, tactical, immersive survival gameplay with a load of superfluous shit that just takes you out of the game. Wildlands and this both need a 'realistic' or 'hardcore' mode that actually use all those systems and mechanics that do exist within the game, and bring them to life. Wildlands eventually got a the promising Ghost Mode about two years after release but it came with mandatory permadeath that wiped your entire progress. Given that all GR fans want something that feels more realistic and tactical I'm surprised they didn't include that mode from the start this time that does away with all the extra cruft. Wildlands sold like the clappers. It'll be interesting to see how this fares now it's been weighed down with the latest Ubisoft fad of loot mechanics and stats grafted all over it. Are people getting sick of this stuff appearing in every game? I certainly am. Meh, I'm probably just bitter at the direction they've chosen to go in with this and all their games. I used to be the biggest Ubisoft fan but this craze for percentages, buffs, stats and loot just leaves me totally cold. It only detracted from Assassin's Creed Origins in my opinion and turned a fairly immersive series into something that felt really gamey. I just hope it doesn't ruin Watch Dogs Legion as well.
  9. This is much better than the Alpha (to be expected) but I'm still quite concerned. It's got the setup of a survival game, with all those health pickups and bandaging animations, yet even on Extreme difficulty, every time I lose health it refills like Master Chief's shield without me needing to use an item. So what's the point? Also if I'm supposed to be scavenging how come I can hold hundreds of rounds of ammo, and how come all loot is marked on the map and HUD, totally unmissable? It's just a boring trudge to pick thing up by following the minimap rather than poking around points of interest hoping to find genuinely needed supplies. They've fucked the aiming up since Wildlands somehow. It feels floaty and imprecise, more like Red Dead Redemption 2, whereas Wildlands was perfectly calibrated. There are about a billion aiming options which might resolve it but I'm not sure how they've fucked up something that worked so well by default before. The camera position means your character obscures the action a lot of the time. Again, this was fine in Wildlands! Movement is weightier, which is good, but the walking and running animations are very bizarre. I like that enemy levels and health meters have been removed but I hope the underlying game has also been tweaked so we're not facing up against bullet sponge enemies wearing nothing more than combat fatigues. The loot and levelling system is my biggest concern - it just doesn't fit with this type of game and feels totally shoehorned in. They've removed the half-decent chopper controls from Wildlands, leaving only the ultra-simplistic drone-style controls, meaning flying is going to be a bust. Why not improve the original flight model, introducing strafe buttons and a crosshair for aiming, rather than ditch it completely? I'm still excited to see how it ends up, but I do feel as though Ghost Recon's identity crisis has worsened rather than improved since Wildlands. It doesn't know what it wants to be. A series that started off a realistic military shooter now feels like a Division-style loot game, yet is presenting itself as a semi-realistic survival game.
  10. I finally finished a game! Spider-man on PS4. I enjoyed it overall, though I agree with criticisms in the reviews. It feels padded out with busywork and terrible, terrible stealth mission for MJ and Miles. Their only saving grace is that they are easy. It's almost some Dragon's Lair type shit in places, so light are they on player agency. However, it really shines in other areas. The combat is challenging, deep and very Spider-man. This seems to be where most of the development focus has gone, and it paid off. Traversal is decent enough but there's not enough latitude for advanced swinging techniques. It's just swing, jump, zip-to-point with some optional wall-running and diving. It's easy to get into the swing of (lol) but also easy to master and risk-free which makes it a bit un-engaging after a while. I'd love to see an 'advanced swinging' option in a sequel, with left and right webs controlled by the two triggers and more fine control allowing the dextrous player to pull off fancier manual moves and really get that momentum going through skill. The story, though, is really excellent. I'm not one for story in games - they are mostly all shit - but in this it kept me going. Dr Octavius and Norman Osborne in particular are superbly written, designed and acted, and the interplay between them (and Peter) makes for a really compelling plot. The story missions are decent enough despite being from the New Tomb Raider school of spectacle and limited interactivity in places. It works in this context though as it breaks up the open-world swinging and fighting. It's impossible to not compare it to the Arkham games, so similar is the template. Spider-man just as slick and polished as the Arkham games but I really think Rocksteady are on a different level in game design terms. Everything in Arkham Knight is that bit better and more coherent in my opinion. Batman's gadgets are used in different ingenious ways no matter what type of gameplay you're currently involved in. The side content is more cleverly designed and integrated. In every Arkham game, Rocksteady have felt as if they're total masters of their game, whereas Spider-man often feels as though Insomniac had to crib from elsewhere or fall back on heavily scripted gameplay just to fill the game out. Hopefully those things can be addressed in the sequel.
  11. Yeah, a few times I've had a bad start but soldiered on and ended up coming first just by other cars crashing out, crawling round on 3 wheels or fighting amongst themselves. The AI does a good job of acting human. It's a totally different feel to other racing games, but still feels like proper racing. The luck element, and the way fortunes can change in an instant for any car on the track, makes a big difference. I love the 'survival' element as well. A survival racer!
  12. Takedown fail (I'm the black car):
  13. I'm finding Realistic damage / all assist off (except clutch) / max AI to be well-balanced for me. The AI racers take a good line, will try to take you out but also fuck up and take each other out. Upgrading your car can give you the edge in a tough race, helping to make your way up the pack. I've even started using the tuning options - a first for me - as they seem to help and the options are clearly explained and easy to use. Even once you get out in front you can still end your race with a single slip-up so it remains tense. Absolutely loving it - could end up being my favourite racing game!
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