Sunday, April 7, 2019

Titanfall 2


So, Apex Legends came out this year and was suddenly very popular. I'm not really into battle royale games, but I decided to give it a try. I find myself confused and out of practice. The training map is very minimal, there's no solo mode and I'm forced to play with strangers. I don't understand why developers try to force people to play in small team games where teamwork is super important. In my experience (DOTA, DOTA2, Overwatch, ...) teamates end-up blaming each other and it gets ugly fast. I find myself wanting for a traditional deathmatch / team-deathmatch. Even if like the battle royale gameplay in Apex, I can appreciate the mechanics, the guns, the characters. I find out that Titanfall 2 which was also developed by Respawn and released in 2016 is on sale for 8$(CAD) I decide to give it a try.

I used to stick to steam mostly and I'm not too familiar with the origin store. I see there's the base game for 8$ and 4-5 DLCs for 30$. It turns out that those DLCs are cosmetic only, there's no extra campaigns or maps. I buy the game, I download it and then I try the campaing.

The campaign of this game is short but amazing. After the first few missions each mission brings its own gimmicks and it really keeps the game fresh. There's a lot gameplay mechanics to tinker with. The main character is very mobile, a bit like Lucio in Overwatch. There are lots of guns and of course there are the mechs. I would say its the best single player FPS campaign I've played since DOOM 2016.

After finishing the campaign I take a look at some multiplayer on twitch and it looks amazing but the skill ceiling seems pretty high. This is not the simple deathmatch game I was looking for.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Mass Effect 2


After playing the first Mass Effect in 2010  I did as I usually do: I played a completely different game next.

I never guessed that so much time would pass before I played the sequel. Eventually the stars aligned: I was bored after Christmas, I did not feel like playing any of the games in by Steam backlog and the game was on sale. So 9 years after it's release, and 9 years after I played the first Mass Effect here's my review of Mass Effect 2.

Overall the game is very good. It mostly improves upon the first game. This time there's not much old-school ambiance exploration gameplay: there's no time! You've got to save the galaxy! Gogogo! There are still many secondary missions and this time their quality is on par with the rest of the game, however, the game will force you into the main objective once in while.

At some point I realized that I had been doing secondary missions for one hour and that none of them involved running around shooting aliens. It was a coincidence, most of the game is action oriented, I just happened to do a few role play missions in a row. I would say that the game has a good balance of action and RPG elements.

I was a bit disappointed by the few choices of weapons. I've heard the argument that its meaningless to put lots and lots of choices of weapons in a game if it they do not make a difference or if there is only one obvious good choice. But then again just make them meaningful! Some weapons could be better against different types of enemies or situation. There are ammo abilities in the game which play a similar role but I thought they were somewhat uninteresting. Watch-out! I'm using my ability to use armor, shield or barrier piercing ammo!

 My first character was of the Adept class (more based on abilities and less on guns). There is a global cooldown in this game and I would say that for me this is probably the most boring class. I restarted as an Infiltrator, and it was  much better, sniping enemies and setting them on fire between shots and running around invisible and gunning them down with my sub-machine gun when they are alone in a corner.

I did not bother importing my saves from the first game. There might be perks associated with this like more paragon points and seeing the impact of your action in the first game. I did not remember my choices in the first game so this did not prevent me from enjoying the game.

So, yeah, I do recommend this game. Its still very good on PC in 2019.