Tag Archives: elite dangerous

All Open-World Games Need “Discovery Tour” Modes

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Assassin’s Creed: Origins is going to have a “Discovery Tour” mode that will strip out the story and combat and let players simply explore the game’s open world with some commentary from historians. People are already lauding this as an excellent use of all the historical research that goes into the Creed games. I think similar functionality should be expanded to virtually all open-world games.

It’s really just another step in the conversation surrounding “story mode” difficulty levels. I don’t see “discovery tour” as an actual difficulty mode though, but just another way to get use out of the art assets developers spend so much time and money putting into games. Maybe it’s not for everyone but it could offer some people yet another reason to buy a game. Continue reading

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Infinite Warfare Proves We Need More Air Combat Games

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In my previous post about Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, I said it’s probably the first COD with a truly naval focus. A big part of that is how much flight combat plays into the game, particularly if you decide to do all the side missions.

I think if you just beeline through the main missions the flight combat only shows up in one or two missions, so it’s sort of just one of the many neat distractions that tend to come and go in COD games. Something like half of the the side missions are just air battles though, and that’s where it wore thin for me. Continue reading

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No Man’s Sky: What It Is, What It Isn’t, What It Was Supposed To Be, What I Wanted

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So, No Man’s Sky. It’s out, it’s a real video game, people on the street are playing it, and there’s been a lot of controversy since it launched. I honestly don’t feel like I’ve played it quite enough to do an authoritative review or anything, but I’d rather not fall too far behind the discussion on this one.

The controversy surrounding how No Man’s Sky turned out in my opinion is stemming from three main areas: 1) What the game tries to be versus what people wanted it to be. 2) What Hello Games said would be in the game versus what’s actually in the game. 3) How this game’s creative vision might have been better executed given the first two points. Continue reading

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No Man’s Sky: Plans For Survival And Enjoyment

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Photo by “NickatNite”

I pre-ordered No Man’s Sky on PC so I won’t be able to play it at least until Friday and possibly not even until Sunday or Monday. I wanted to write something timely but all I can really put down about it right now are my plants for how to approach the game. Continue reading

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What Actually Matters In Procedurally Generated Games

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As we enter the final week before the launch of No Man’s Sky, online chatter around it get’s increasingly heated. The posts from supposedly the sole person on Earth outside Hello Games playing a retail copy haven’t dampened things in the slightest. One source of all the skepticism is the fact that the game uses procedural generation and how it doesn’t force players to an end goal. This new trend of never-ending procedurally generated games seems to be getting some pushback from those who prefer static level design and endings. What actually matters when you’re playing the former type of game? Continue reading

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Exploration So Far In Elite Dangerous

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I just crossed the 60-hour mark in Elite Dangerous and even though I don’t consider myself qualified to fully critique it or games like it, I think it’s time I at least put down some observations and general things I’d like to see Frontier Developments improve or change. If you’re one of those people who are still curious or pessimistic about No Man’s Sky, this post might help better inform your expectations of that game.

Even though I’ve done a few posts in the past on PC space flight games, I’m still not really “in-tune” with that genre. I don’t have a great idea of what fans of the “Fight, Trade, Explore” style space game expect from Elite Dangerous or games like it. I don’t know how it scales up compared to games of the past or similar games being made today. More importantly, I haven’t really interacted with other people playing this game so I don’t know what the common grievances have been. Elite Dangerous feels a lot like what I experienced in Frontier: Elite II but with more accessible controls I guess. Still, after 60 hours I find myself wishing for certain things in Dangerous. Consider this a critique with some suggestions from an average newcomer to the series and genre.

Everything I’m about to say has mainly to do with exploration in Elite Dangerous. I haven’t really done trading or bounty hunting at all so I have no idea how those aspects of the game have turned out. I’ve spent pretty much all my time exploring and scanning star systems, so I’m just critiquing what that experience feels like here. Continue reading

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Is Open-World Fatigue Even Real?

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After coming off all these massive open-world games from 2015 like Fallout 4Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, part of me thought I’d spend the beginning of 2016 taking a breather with smaller, more focused games. I was wrong. Open-world fatigue seems to be spreading among people who play all the big games, but I don’t really feel tired of them yet as I start the first Witcher 3 expansion, continue on through Elite: Dangerous, and prepare to start Grand Theft Auto V. With Elite specifically I don’t think I’ve gone over what separates the latest entry from other open-world games (a lot). Continue reading

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Space Games Part 4: Elite Dangerous

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The fall Steam deal convinced me (along with probably a lot of other people) to finally check out Elite Dangerous, sort of ending my trek through the series all the way from the 1984 original. I haven’t accomplished a whole lot in this game yet so this is probably gonna be part one of some kind of chronicle. I have to say though, this game is pulling me in probably more than Fallout 4. Continue reading

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What’s The Best Way To Port A Game From PC To Console?

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Two oddities of 2015 have been the enhanced versions of Divinity Original Sin and Wasteland 2. Both are hailed as returns to the old school traditional computer RPG, but have gotten console versions. Beyond the interest in seeing how the console audience would respond to such games, it’s kind of nice seeing their developers put proper commitment into carefully converting these games for play on controllers.

PC games, among them PC RPGs, have been ported to consoles for decades, but from what I can tell most of the time the conversion is either somewhat sloppy or a completely different game. What prompted this look back for me was an article Gamasutra just ran on how Larian Studios went about making the console user interface and control scheme for Original Sin. I haven’t played it or Wasteland, nor have I actually played most of the games I’m going to write about so I’m not really the person to look deep into this issue right now, but I still think it’s worth bringing up. Continue reading

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Space Engine: The Importance Of Interactive Simulation In Visualizing Space

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After glancing at it for a while I finally decided to download Space Engine. It along with some other games has affirmed my belief that 3D simulation might be the only way to meaningfully convey the scale of space and the universe in general to the layman. This post isn’t really about games in the sense of playing video games for fun, but it is about something I think the video game medium is uniquely suited to doing. That is, informing and educating people about space. Continue reading

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