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Re: Steam sales
#1
Just can't stay away.
Just can't stay away.


Total War: Shogun 2 is free to keep on Steam for a few days. At the moment the store's bugged and no one can actually get it for free but I bet it will get fixed soon.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/201270/Total_War_SHOGUN_2/

Posted on: 4/27 12:01
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Re: Virtual Reality (Oculus Rift)
#2
Just can't stay away.
Just can't stay away.


Alright, time for more VR experiences, with slightly less text than in War and Peace.

Boneworks

This is a highly praised and awaited VR game. According to rumors the developers made a VR Half-Life game and showed it to Valve, but Valve told them to change everything related to the Half-Life games before releasing it. You can still swing a crowbar at an enemy that acts exactly like a headcrab. The ammo is also found in familiar looking ammo crates that must be broken to get the ammo. On its release day it reached top 100 player count on Steam and was the best selling game on that day. It was among the top 20 best selling VR games of 2019, even if it was released in December.

Enough about sales figures, more about the actual game. Like the Half-Life games, there's combat with puzzle elements. There are a few things separating this one from the numerous other VR games out there. The campaign is about 11 hours long, while many other VR titles are only half of that. Boneworks is a physics-based action adventure game with puzzle elements. The enemies are mostly unarmed zombie-like creatures, but there are also some enemies with assault rifles as well as the totally-not-headcrabs.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to buy the game until I saw a gameplay video where the player had to figure out a way past a turret. You could try shooting it if you have a gun or you could sneak past it, climbing a few walls along the way. But in the video the player grabbed a nearby trash can, put it over his head and ran past the turret while bullets ricoched off the trash can. Outside of the box or inside the can thinking? When I got to that part I picked up the trash can lid and used it as a shield like Captain America.


Combat and realism

The arsenal of weapons consists of pistols and SMGs (using the same magazines) and assault rifles with various barrel lenghts, attachments and sights. There are also lots of melee weapons from knives and swords to crowbars and baseball bats. The combat with melee weapons can be a bit clumsy. The game simulates your body's physics and you can't swing a sledgehammer as easily as a knife, for example. The game instructs you to act like you're holding a heavy item in your hands and slow down a bit. It takes some time to get used to. You can also punch with your fists.

The guns and everything else is a physical object with mass and volume. You can't stick your gun through walls or enemies. If an enemy surprises you in close quarters combat, an assault rifle can be a bad choice with its long barrel. You can do CQC like Solid Snake, with a pistol in one hand and a knife in the other. You can also dual wield anything you like; pistols, knives, assault rifles, or combine them any way you like. There are no restrictions, it's VR! Of course reloading becomes a problem when you don't have a free hands to do it with... Speaking of reloading, it's quite realistic with you having to eject the magazine (either pulling it out or by clicking a menu item, or by hitting the magazine with another one, all a bit strange ways to do it), putting a new one in and cocking it.

One realistic thing is that the bullets do come out from the barrel and the sights are aligned to about 50 m away. There was a time I aimed at a nearby breakable padlock with the iron sights and a laser right, but I couldn't hit it. I had a look at where the barrel was pointing and it wasn't at the padlock. You can't adjust the sights but most of the combat takes place at about 50 m away anyway.

As with all the other VR games I've played, one handed weapons like pistols and knives feel the best and two handed weapons feel a bit floaty. You have to pretend you have an invisible assault rifle in your hands, which can be difficult in hectic situations. In real life you would easily find the barrel with your support hand by feel but in the game you have to rely on visually seeing both the hand and the barrel. You can place your supporting hand under the barrel or on the base of the magazine. In the game placing your hand further away from the magazine seems to be a more stable way of holding it. In the army I found it quite straining and like many others began holding it on the base of the magazine.


Inventory

The inventory works in two ways; either you put pistols or other small weapons/items in underarm holsters, two weapons behind your back and one weapon behind your lower back, or you can access a menu for quick access. At times it can be difficult to reach the specific weapon in the heat of the battle, and especially the two rear inventory spaces get mixed up easily. Sometimes a weapon you are trying to put away just falls on the floor. At the end of the level you can throw any found weapons into a vortex to use them in the arena and sandbox levels. The inventory is reset between each level, but most levels start with a weapon shop where you use magazines as currency. Luckily there's a lot of ammo to be found, although some are in hard to reach places.


Climbing and VR comfort

You can climb almost anywhere you want to. Your hands are usually all you will need but you can also use a crowbar or a similar item to reach higher places and pull yourself there.

A side effect of the player character being affected by physics is that climbing can feel like you're made of jello, wobbling around as you go up. The first time I played it I got a bit nauseated by this, and I have played a lot of VR games with no problem. But that was the only time, maybe I had a too long pause from VR gaming. This is not a game for people who get VR sick or who are new to VR games. The only movement option is "sliding movement" with the stick which makes some people sick. There are no dark bars around the edges of your vision while moving, not even as an option. I'm fine with it, but many people do get VR sick. You just need to play for as long as it feels good to and then play again the next day, building a tolerance.


Saves and plot

At the moment the only saves are between levels, and some levels can take more than an hour to complete. This is annoying as there isn't a way to know how long a level is going to be, so playing on weekday evenings you better start early if you want to go to bed in time. A checkpoint system is in the works.

And oh yeah, there is some sort of a plot about being trapped in a VR world but it's barely there. The game is all about physics interaction and combat, the plot is there to barely justify you being there doing what you do.


Summary and verdict

While I haven't beaten the final level yet, I think it's safe to say that all in all it has been a very enjoyable experience, setting a new standard for VR games to come. At a regular price of 25 € for more than 10 hours of gameplay it's a good deal. Compared to Arizona Sunshine, a very good zombie shooter with a 3-5 hour story mode and a base price of 40 € Boneworks is a steal.

Other notable VR games

Half-Life: Alyx is coming in March 2020 and will most likely be a must-buy for any VR gamer. I know I will buy it the moment it becomes available.

Another one worth noting is the recently released The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. Yet another zombie shooter but reviews say it's very well done, interactions are close to what Boneworks has and the campaign is about 15 hours long. There are some problems like you can only crouch with the press of a button, not by crouching yourself but there's a patch coming to fix that. I haven't bought this one yet but probably will in the future.

The stealth game Budget Cuts got a sequel, Budget Cuts 2. More teleporting and throwing knives at patrolling robots, but there's also a crossbow to use this time around. Reviews say it's good and expanding on the first game with more variety. Another one I will surely buy in the future.

The Spy Who Shrunk Me is inspired by Ant-Man & Austin Powers while being a gigantic love letter to the legendary No One Lives Forever series of games. It's a stealth game set in the 1980s where you are armed with a shrink ray you can use on your enemies and yourself. It's a short game made in Finland with a regular price of 10 € (I got it for 2,50 € on a sale) and that's the next one I'll tackle after I'm done with Boneworks.

Posted on: 2/1 14:49
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Merry Christmas 2019
#3
Just can't stay away.
Just can't stay away.


To all of my Clan Brothers, Merry Christmas!

Posted on: 12/22 17:36
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Re: 28 Weeks Later| PCGN's Megaloot.
#4
Just can't stay away.
Just can't stay away.


Glad to see you're around.

Posted on: 2019/8/13 12:06
Steel Rain Brings The Pain!
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28 Weeks Later| PCGN's Megaloot.
#5
Just can't stay away.
Just can't stay away.


As I finally begin to have more time to game after nearly a year break I have learn't that PCGN have a standalone server which some fellow spartans have been working on to make DayZ SA a game I am interested in again!! 

Oh the bloodshed to come! 


Posted on: 2019/8/8 6:15
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Re: Hell Let Loose
#6
Site Admin
Site Admin




MINIMUM:
Processor: i3-4130 @ 3.3GHz / AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0GHz
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: GTX1050ti / R9 280 (minimum 2GB VRAM)
DirectX: Version 11
Operating System: Win7 64bit
Storage: 20 GB available space


RECOMMENDED:
Processor: i5-7600 @ 3.5GHz or Ryzen 5 1600 @ 3.2GHz
Memory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1070 or AMD RX Vega 56
DirectX: Version 11
Operating System: Win7 64bit
Storage: 20 GB available space

Posted on: 2019/6/1 10:39
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Re: Latest Standalone news...
#7
Just can't stay away.
Just can't stay away.


Out for consoles now. I'm thinking of getting it.

Posted on: 2019/6/1 7:19
Steel Rain Brings The Pain!
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Re: Interview With SEAL/CIA
#8
Just can't stay away.
Just can't stay away.


Shawn trained the John Wick actor for the upcoming release. Article has a video linked to it.

Posted on: 2019/4/4 7:09
Steel Rain Brings The Pain!
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Re: Hell Let Loose
#9
Site Admin
Site Admin



Posted on: 2019/2/17 6:45
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Re: Virtual Reality (Oculus Rift)
#10
Site Admin
Site Admin


Awesome, Al. Appears the game making support is present for the VR realm.

Posted on: 2019/2/8 19:56
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