Tag Archives: dishonored 2

Which Games Do New Game+ The Best?

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Among the changes Horizon Zero Dawn is getting with its 1.30 update is a New Game+. I feel like that feature is sort of coming back a little bit and developers are only just now realizing its benefits. It’s really a wonder why more games aren’t doing it.

I’m not gonna go counting but I feel like New Game+ is one of those things that was more common in the heyday of original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games, and then was forgotten in the rush for more heavily scripted linear games. I remember New Game+ being a notable inclusion in Dead Space back in 2008, and we’re starting to see it slip back into relevance with popular games like The Witcher 3. Like HorizonDishonored 2 has had New Game+ added post-launch. Continue reading

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What’s Dishonored 2 Really About?

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I finally just finished up Dishonored 2, and while I’m not going to “review” it, I have a couple fairly broad things to write about my experience with the game overall. Its later parts certainly live up to what I’d played at the time I put it in my 2016 game of the year list. What stands out to me coming off it though is that while Bethesda and Arkane billed it a stealth game about eliminating targets, I spent a whole lot of time doing nothing related to eliminating targets.

There was a point in the final level where I was about to enter the area where the final boss resided and I remembered I’d forgotten to figure out some extra objective way back at the beginning of the level, so I spent a few hours backtracking. This was supposed to be the climax of the game and I just put it on hold because I wanted to find more generally useless crap. Continue reading

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My 2016 Top 10 Games List

People seem to think 2016 was generally an awful year, but at least it was a good year for video games, probably even better than 2015. 2015 I feel is when AAA games emerged from a sort of rut that started after 2011 as developers were getting used to new hardware. 2016 is proof some kind of good trend is in full swing. I usually don’t force myself to pick 10 games I think are the best of a year, but the fact that I was actually able to pick that many games I immensely enjoyed this year is a great sign.

One thing I also noted is the games on my list tend to be exactly the kinds of games that performed somewhat below expectations commercially because of changing trends in the business. The big budget game business is starting to favor continuous services providing online interactions and rolling content updates. Most of my favorite games were singleplayer with little online interaction — the kind of game that generally stays the same after the initial purchase. I feel like we got a lot of great games of that type in 2016 — games where the developers somehow got a lot of resources to invest not into devices for player retention, but into simply crafting good level design and pretty game worlds for players to explore. Maybe that’s why their weakness in the marketplace against Games As A Service was more visible this year.

Before I start on the list though I should go over the games I couldn’t get to in 2016 and actually didn’t mention in my earlier post about this. Firstly, a lot of seemingly great RPGs came out in 2016, particularly on handheld systems, that I never even tried to find the time to buy or play. Fire Emblem Fates and Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse look like perfectly fine games. Pokemon Sun & Moon also got quite a bit of hype and praise but I’m so hopelessly far behind in Pokemon I mostly just scrolled past it all on my social media. I want to get to it someday though. Also, I pretty much didn’t touch most of 2016’s indie games. I think I was able to finish Firewatch and Inside and that’s it. I bought a few others like Oxenfree and Hyper Light Drifter. I’m sure a lot of those games were great, it’s just that the more time-heavy AAA games got really good in 2016.

And onto the list, starting from the top:

1_29719099415_555a44429b_o-copy Continue reading

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Deus Ex Mankind Divided vs Dishonored 2 (Part One?)

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I wanted to finish both Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Dishonored 2 before I wrote this post, but I didn’t have nearly enough time before I had to start thinking about 2016 end-of-year recaps. I managed to get through a healthy chunk of Mankind Divided but only part of the first real mission of Dishonored 2 as of this writing. Still, even from that much I can sense some subtle but important differences between the games.

Dishonored 2 and Mankind Divided are worth comparing because they come from the same roots. The level designer for the first Dishonored was the level designer for the original Deus Ex (I don’t know if he also did the sequel). All these games are about letting players solve problems in tightly designed but open-ended levels by choosing from a variety of methods and playing around with a multitude of tools and systems. In Deux Ex it’s cybernetic augmentations, in Dishonored it’s supernatural powers. Continue reading

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Are Fewer, Longer-Lived AAA Games Really A Bad Thing?

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News has been coming out that October 2016 was a bit of a disappointment for sales expectations of some blockbuster video games. One narrative trying to explain why suggests that the transition to games-as-a-service is giving some older games longer tails, cannibalizing new ones. If this is what’s happening (there are other explanations), I’m honestly not sure whether it’s a bad thing or a correction I’ve been waiting to see for years.

US retail and UK retail are reporting disappointing numbers for games like Dishonored 2Watch Dogs 2Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, or Titanfall 2, despite critics receiving those games quite positively. There could be a lot of explanations: particular things going on with each individual game (like Titanfall 2 coming out in-between Battlefield 1 and Infinite Warfare), or particular things going on in the UK retail market or the US retail market. A convenient one however has been that the push to present blockbuster games as services people play and pay into for longer periods of time is giving those people less time to play every new big game that comes out. Continue reading

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Black Friday 2016 Was A Surprise For PC Gaming

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I have to admit video game-related Black Friday sales (Black Week really) seriously caught me off guard this year. I ended up grabbing several high-profile 2016 games I didn’t think I was going to bother buying any time soon. Originally I didn’t have many planned Black Friday targets, but from my perspective this year seems very different from previous years, mainly in regards to sales for PC games. Continue reading

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What Does Dishonored 2 Really Bring To The Table?

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Dishonored 2 is out and even though I’ve already bough it I probably won’t be able to touch it for a while. It’s one of my most anticipated games for 2016 but I actually haven’t been paying much attention to it. It’s probably because of how the game has been advertised which mostly runs counter to why I’m buying it. How do you advertise parts of a blockbuster game other than combat and deep stories? Continue reading

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Review Code Controversy: Do You Really Need To Be There On Day One?

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Tension over game publishers giving critics early review copies less and less often seems to be coming to a head with Bethesda being forward about the practice through an announcement regarding Skyrim Special Edition and Dishonored 2 review copies. One lesson someone might take from this would be to not pre-order games since you don’t really have to anymore. I’d go beyond that though and ask: do you really have to play that game on day one (or day zero)? Continue reading

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[E3 2016] Conference Round-Up

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I’m gonna see if I can cram all my thoughts from all Monday’s and Tuesday’s E3 2016 presentations, so I’ll try to keep each subject brief. I won’t go over every press conference, just the games I’m actually interested in playing (not necessarily the only ones I think look good) along with some more general thoughts. Continue reading

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How I Feel About The “Most Anticipated Games” of 2016 — Halfway Through The Year

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We’re almost halfway into 2016 and taking a look at the lineups of late May and all of June I also took a look back at what I wrote back at the end of January. In terms of big releases I’m not sure this year is going to be as good as 2015 was but it’s still going to be better than 2014 or 2013. We’re out of the AAA slump as developers have eased into the existing hardware. I’m still in hype mode for almost nothing though. Continue reading

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