what games are you playing?

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  • The first Gears game is legendary, put a huge emphasis on horror that the later games strayed away from as the war progressed and it adopted a more hopeful, more colourful palette than the first game, but the first one will be something I'll always remember for its horror and brutality. Genuinely terrified me as a child yet I kept coming back to play it.

    Graphically, the original does look solid for an Xbox 360 game released in 2006, it does show its age today but I think it's important to remember and appreciate that it looks the way it does for the time it released in. I'm on Act V now, hoping to beat the game tonight after work.

    The Ultimate Edition includes a cut chapter from the original game, that does a better job explaining a transition in a crucial portion of the game, that the original game just sort of skips to, so I do feel the Ultimate Edition is the definitive way to play the original. It's on Game Pass if you wish to give it a try, we could even try and do a co-op run at some point if you wish? :smile:

    Menofthe214 posted: »

    The first Gears of War games were very brutal and detailed. Never played it except maybe Gears of War 2, I can't remember its been a while.

  • Genuinely terrified me as a child yet I kept coming back to play it.

    If I played it back when it came out in 2006 my parents would be terrified, and that's being nice about it :D

    It's on Game Pass if you wish to give it a try, we could even try and do a co-op run at some point if you wish?

    Unless it's cross compatible unfortunately I probably won't be able to do co-op. I only use PC to play games now :(
    It's good that your playing it again because I just saw the new prequel Gears of War trailer. It captures the feel and setting of the originals.

    The first Gears game is legendary, put a huge emphasis on horror that the later games strayed away from as the war progressed and it adopted

  • :D** Currently I am playing Call of Duty: Warzone and PUBG. **

  • Unless it's cross compatible unfortunately I probably won't be able to do co-op. I only use PC to play games now :(

    I did some searching and unfortunately, it isn't cross compatible, it came out before Xbox announced their Play Anywhere initiative, so sadly it didn't get an update or anything to include that. I'm sure that there are some other games we could play together besides Rocket League :joy:

    It's good that your playing it again because I just saw the new prequel Gears of War trailer. It captures the feel and setting of the originals.

    It was actually that trailer that got me back into it, along with watching some lore videos, it pushed me to replay the games, I wanted to do co-op with my brother but never found the time, but I might do it soon to connect with him more as it's been difficult since I moved across the country.

    The trailer does look good though, I was hoping that The Coalition would come out with a Fenix Collection, including a remaster of the second and third games, and I still hope for that, but I'm happy to be back in the boots of Marcus Fenix and having Dom back. The newer installments in the main Series, while maintaining the classic gameplay and improving it, just doesn't hit the same, it's a newer cast and they have strengths and weaknesses but they aren't as memorable as Delta Squad and their chemistry.

    Menofthe214 posted: »

    Genuinely terrified me as a child yet I kept coming back to play it. If I played it back when it came out in 2006 my parents would b

  • Shadow of the Erdtree is extremely gorgeous.

  • edited June 26

    I beat Gears of War Ultimate Edition a few days ago, and it was a blast, I do think they increased the difficulty a bit from the original game as the Locust takes far more bullets to kill, while it takes less bullets to kill you. I played on normal difficulty, I prefer being able to enjoy a game than pull my hair out from it.

    The game is graphically gorgeous, the Series has always had beautiful skyboxes and wonderful environmental storytelling that paints such a grim picture of the war and the brutality of the Locust. I found myself admiring the environments as they are so heavily detailed, the cutscenes themselves are smooth and fairly life-like. The original game did have solid graphical fidelity for a game released in 2006, that I think if anyone was playing it today, you can definitely notice its age, and the stiffness in some animations, but I think in that case, it's important to view it through the lens of what a game released in 2006 would be like, and I do think Gears of War stood out for being a graphically strong game with good animations for a product at that time.

    Gameplay wise, you can really feel the weight of the characters you control, they are big brutes, and they move like such, the weapons pack a punch, you feel powerful and in awe of the Gnasher Shotgun, the Lancer, and of course, the Hammer of Dawn, you know when you press that trigger, you know you are utilising a weapon that will turn the Locust into mince meat.

    Gears of War is a fairly tactical game, I'd say it's not like your traditional shooters where you just run and gun, with Gears you really have to work your way up, attack and progress, it's almost non-stop action from beginning to end, you have a minute or so to catch your breath after a wave and progress further into the Chapter, but soon enough you'll find yourself in cover again, having to pick off enemies to work your way through. The thing is, cover doesn't always guarantee your safety, the Locust are always pressing forward, so you may be comfy in cover for a bit but soon enough you will have a Grenadier pressing you and forcing you to move otherwise you'll be obliterated by their Gnasher Shotgun.

    As for the story, it is a remaster, so it's the same as it was years ago, only difference is they included a cut chapter in Act V that does a great job in transitioning from early Act V to the endgame, which the original game didn't have. But the story for Gears of War is a solid one that's harrowing and bleak, you can see the desperation of humanity in the war, through their evisceration of their home using WMD's, they really have been pushed to the brink. Latter games in the Series do adopt a more hopeful story, but the first one will always be remembered for its emphasis on horror.

    The characters, particularly the main cast, are especially charming and memorable, Cole and Baird are two characters I enjoy a lot. Cole is an energetic killing machine that used to play Thrashball, the Series' version of American Football, he takes great pleasure in his job, his charisma skill tree was maxed out. His introduction is legendary, very memorable, and shows how effective The Cole Train is for the COG.

    Baird is very tech savvy, but a sarcastic asshat, which I do love, I love a bit of sarcasm. He does clash with some of the main cast due to his personality, but he does mean well and his heart is in the right place.

    Dom is a good man, always wanting to help people, he is someone that hasn't let the war strip him of his humanity, he is like a brother to Marcus, the main character, he always has his back, through thick and thin, Dom was and is always there, genuinely trying to fight for a better future.

    Marcus, the main character, is a real scruffy, blunt kind of character. He's hardened, as you would know straight away from looking at him, he's literally been through the wars, and is looked at as a hero, and a traitor. Beneath that cold exterior is a good man, with a big heart, he doesn't look at his military as one without fault, he's aware of the corruption, the atrocities, and is a big critic of how they carry/carried out their missions, but he puts it to the side in order to reach a common goal; to end the Locust war.

    The cast overall is very memorable, the dynamic between Delta Squad is legendary, their banter takes the cake, it's so much fun to listen to them, they bounce off each other very well.

    Overall, I think Gears of War Ultimate Edition is great, a fitting remaster that pays tribute to the original game, and enhances it to make the experience so much better.

  • RE8VR: House Beneviento.

    nothing "scary" has happened yet, but it's just a weirdly small, SUSPICIOUSLY QUIET house.
    I KNOW the game is gonna throw something spooky at me at some point but it's been a good few minutes of slowly exploring and still there's nothing. No payoff, no catharsis.

    Started a puzzle room in the basement with a big mannequin, and yeah, nope, nopenopenope not doing this tonight this is getting too freaky

  • Beat Gears of War 2, such a ride. Sequels often have a hard time matching up to the originals, but this time, I feel the sequel did far better than the original. It expands upon everything from the first game, gameplay is far tighter, introduction of flashy and graphic executions that make you question why it wasn't in the first game, and the story... I remember saying that the games after the first Gears of War are a lot more hopeful, with the use of a brighter colour palette to support that, but honestly, it isn't really the full case with Gears of War 2.

    To get onto the story, the game does get into even darker territory on the Locust war, showing their brutal nature of the humans of Sera. The first game makes you feel like a buff super soldier that can take down anything, and while that is there in the second game, you are then hit almost instantly with an event occuring that shows you are human, you can only do so much, and sometimes that isn't enough to get the result you wanted, you are very much one individual in a grand war, that while you are instrumental, you see the effects it has on your team, your friends, and on you, that although you may not have totally succumbed to the trauma and bloodshed of war, you see toughened soldiers that fall, and realise that the very same can happen to you. I'll elaborate more on that later in a spoiler tag.

    Graphically, the game does have subtle differences in character models from the first game, there is more detail, we are talking about an Xbox 360 game from 2008, so for what the game turned out like, it is stunning for a product of its time. There are some issues with rendering of textures, where characters would appear smooth, then the detailed assets will load in, it's noticeable and off-putting when you are watching a cutscene and that happens, but it is what it is.

    The gameplay feels a lot tighter, if I were to compare it to the Ultimate Edition, then the Ultimate Edition takes the cake completely but comparing it to the original 2006 release, it's a night and day difference for me. New animations were brought in for a feature that was introduced in Gears 2, named "Executions", as the name would imply, it allows you to execute downed enemies, often in very brutal ways, but it also means that the enemies can now execute you. One feature that was a game changer is the introduction of a downed state for the player. The original game and the remaster didn't have that, so if you took too much damage, you were dead, simple as, see you later, sayonara. It was frustrating as Gears is a fairly difficult game to be honest, so not having that chance to come back in the first game, it was frustrating. The AI for Gears is decent, but the problem I have is when you are downed, your teammate, be it Dom, Baird, whoever, they will stand beside you, or walk around you, shoot down enemies, get swarmed, then they are downed, you just sit there watching your screen gradually turn red, hearing Marcus ask to be revived and be walked past, then you get a Drone, just the one, the lone survivor that comes in and finishes you off. It annoys me so much. The time for being in the downed state is quite short also, it is something they adjusted in later entries to be more forgiving, but you have so little time to be revived in Gears 2, it can get frustrating, especially on higher difficulties when you will be downed a lot more.

    Regarding the Story, it takes very dark turns, and it does end on a hopeful note, but for 99% of the game, it's dark and gritty, pure Gears of War. I'll be touching on the big defining moments that stuck with me, because as often is the case with Gears, those moments are the dark, brutal gritty ones.

    So early in the game, you are travelling to a point of interest, to drill and go underground and go on the offensive against the Locust. As Marcus and Dom are getting loaded into the machine, a high ranking Locust, named Skorge, armed with a staff with two chainsaw bayonets appears, and tears through a vehicle like a hot knife through butter. You don't seem the aftermath of Skorge's destruction as you are sent underground, unable to stop his rampage. You leave behind Tai, and Dizzy, two of your own men. Later in the game, you go through the prison cells of a Locust barge, and find Tai, completely physically and mentally broken. This is a guy we saw earlier in the game walk out from under the rubble of a destroyed vehicle, without a scratch, just shrugs it off and carries on, this is a guy that despite everything he has seen, remains mentally tough, but after a number of hours of torture, they broke him completely, the damage they inflicted on his body and mind, are explicitly shown when you rescue him. Marcus arms him with a Gnasher Shotgun, and Tai turns the gun on himself and takes his own life. It came as a shock to everyone, because he was someone who was revered for being able to survive anything, yet the Locust completely destroyed him.

    Another big moment is when Dom finally finds his wife Maria, who has been missing for years, but she too was tortured, as the term that is used "processed", completely lobotomized, unable to recognise Dom, unable to muster any words, just completely a shell of her former self. What makes the scene heartbreaking is that Dom doesn't see it straight away, he envisions her to be how he remembered her, a beautiful lady, but reality creeps in and he sees what the Locust done to her. Out of mercy, Dom takes her life. I think they handled it very well as it was an emotional scene, but it was set up from the first game, it wasn't the main objective, but because of your bond with Dom through the game, you want him to be reunited with Maria. The game didn't make it the primary objective, it was very much a side thing that also happened to have a resolution as the war progressed, which I liked. It was, as you would expect, a very defining moment for Dom, really developed his character and provided resolution to a story introduced from the first game, and it just further solidifies how horrific the war is. We saw what happened with Tai after a few hours, Maria was trapped for months, Tai showed the beginning of "processing", Maria displayed the end result if carried out uninterrupted. It is honestly so tragic and gut wrenching.

    Benjamin Carmine, the brother of Anthony Carmine from the first game, who was sniped early on, he gets swallowed into the Riftworm, and brutally devoured by the creatures within the Riftworm, it is actually a scene that has stuck with me for years, back when I first played Gears 2 in early 2009, which is a bit worrying, but he did deserve better. He's that kind of character that means well but makes ill informed decisions, he deserved better, but his death continued the unlucky tradition of the Carmine family and their enrolment in the COG, which often led to their own horrific demise.

    The last memorable scene I want to mention is the final boss, the Lambent Brumak, it is a freak of nature, actually disgusting. You are riding a Brumak to tear through the Hollow, the Locust stronghold, and as you are traversing through, the Brumak walks into a lake of imulsion, a fuel source in the Gears Universe, but it is a parasite, it's actually a living organism that infects and turns the host into a mindless, raging, explosive monster. You see the Brumak undergo a very graphic, disgusting transformation, growing tentacles that root it into the lake of imulsion, its veins glowing a bright, luminous green, and the worst of all, a worm-like thing that springs up from the inside of the Brumak, out through its mouth, and it sheds that former skin, it is very graphic and unsettling, the stuff of nightmares. Entertaining boss fight though. The game ends with the Gears sinking Jacinto, a full blown city, in order to flood the Hollow in attempts to wipe out the Locust, the game does take a brighter appearance in its final cutscene, to make it seem that it is all finally over and that the humans of Sera can finally rebuild, or at least, the tides of war have changed.

    Overall Gears of War 2 is a massive step up from the first game in all aspects, it is a joy to play through, it has some very emotional moments so keep a box of tissues handy, and enjoy the ride.

  • I did it.

    I beat Shadow of the Erdtree. Best DLC that didn't even feel like one, which is a good thing.

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