It’s me again! It’s been a quiet few weeks from me, but I’m looking to get back into some game recommendations. While everyone is focused on the current craze, I’ve been trying out some other games that deserve attention, games old and new.
The latest in my Time Capusle series, I’ll be looking at some more games from previous years, and give my personal recommendations!
What started a flawed release became a real success story in the survival base building genre. I have always been fond of 11 Bit Studios. The guys who are behind the incredible experience that is This War of Mine (My 2014 game of the year I might add!), they have made some fascinating games. In 2018, they launched the brutal survival management game that is Frostpunk.
When it first launched, I was a little surprised by the lack of content, and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. There was nothing wrong with it but I felt lacking replay-ability was a major drawback of the game. This is a feature any management game needs in order to survive, and it’s something certain other management games lacked in 2018. Talking about you, Jurassic World Evolution.
You need options and ways to show off your creativity. In fairness, Frostpunk is more of a survival sim than anything else, making you make shitty decisions for the greater good. Like This War of Mine it made me think about the morality of my actions, which takes talent. Too often in gaming it feels okay to be a raging psychopath running around, butchering without fear. This time, you feel the pain of your settlement as they freeze, eat sawdust, starve and perish.
I did not need to worry, because 11 bit studios is one of the best devs I’ve seen for any game. They always listen to their players and Frostpunk has been well supported with excellent new content addons (free as well) including an Endless Mode which handles all of the initial problems I had with the game. They have some chunky paid DLC as well, which seems to add a good amount of extra content, though mixed in quality.
Want to get into Frostpunk in the current time? Now is a good time. It’s still getting frequent updates two years after launch, and things are looking good. A city builder with an excellent story is hard to come by, and Frostpunk sits in the back of the bus with the other cool kids.
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014)
The Dragon Age series has been weird for me. I didn’t play much of Dragon Age II, and Origins was a weird one. I played it and enjoyed it, but at the same time, something didn’t sit right. Then Inquisition came out in 2014, and….I have rarely felt so torn between liking a game and disliking it.
How would I best describe this game? Single Player MMO. It has that feel for certain. The game is massive for certain, with a lot of content. Now, I generally hate MMO’s on principle. Maybe that is because I got burned hard by ArcheAge (An MMO I liked, but it is so Pay2win it just pissed me right off it, and I will never touch another game published by Trion Studios again.) A word of advice to devs. Just because you make a game free to play does NOT make it okay to force players to spend tons to get in on a competitive level. It drives customers away, like me.
There was really a lot of weird stuff to Inquisition. I’ve played this game for around 60-70 hours so far, and only just managed to finish it a few months ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like repeating the game again. Just too much effort, you know?
I wasn’t lying in that this game is immense. Bioware knew what they were doing at this time. (Let’s not mention Mass Effect Andromeda.) Huge amount to do, but suffers from “open world syndrome.” Many of the quests are cheap, MMO like fetch quests to me. Bioware did a lot of things right in this game, but many things were also wrong. It’s a good RPG no questions asked, but again, it’s an RPG, and summed up by the problems in such games in a nutshell. Despite this, Inquisition did many things well. Large in scope, a good cast, some very strong character development, better than expected combat and a funny script which had me laughing throughout.
This game did make me wonder if there’s such a thing as “too big a game.” Lots of good things to do, but how much of that is fetch quests I wonder? It has some technical issues, but overall runs very well. It really is a Fantasy Mass Effect (obviously, it was developed by Bioware) and overall it’s been a lot of fun. Play it, try it out. You may be bogged down though. Is it the best RPG of all time? God no. But overall? Well worth the money, especially now it is a lot cheaper, and it’s even on Steam.
I’ve been playing it on Xcloud on mobile, using the snazzy Xbox Game Pass app.
The Technomancer (2016)
I’ll say this right now. It’s not a great game. It’s certainly overpriced for what it is at full price, possibly worse than No Man’s Sky.
The Technomancer was an ambitious project released in 2016 by Spiders and has a lot of flak for its high price tag and questionable gameplay. It’s a pretty big RPG/Combat, I feel it’s a very-low tech future Witcher 3. It had it’s massive faults, but it’s really not too bad a game. I easily got 20-30 hours of content in it. It’s probably not worth the £35 price tag it has, but for a non AAA title, it’s not awful.
Emphasis on “low-tech”, it’s a very low-tier RPG, certainly with more flaws than strengths. It has problems, with pretty awful combat, and the difficulty is rather high. Bad voice acting, clunky fighting mechanics and crashes were also a problem for me. However, it had a few strengths going for it: A solid open world with a lot of content, the amount of combat options (still limited, but better than say Witcher 3) was decent, and the environments looked pretty damn good. For an indie title and a modest budget, it really isn’t that bad. If you can pick it up on sale for say 10$, I think you’ll get your money’s worth. It wasn’t amazing, or even that good, but it wasn’t dreadful either. For what a small company did (and this is ambitious and large for such a title), it really isn’t that bad. It has a charm which made me go back to it a couple of times, and not just to laugh at voice acting and poor animation models.
Spiders made huge progress in their development as a game studio with the release of Greedfall in 2019, a major improvement on Technomancer. Who knows? You may see me reviewing it in the future.
That’s all from me for now, but join me next time!