jenniferkoliver: (Foo Fighters | Learn to Fly)
Jennifer K. Oliver ([personal profile] jenniferkoliver) wrote2015-08-07 04:06 pm

Gaming: The Order 1886, Dragon Age Inquisition, & etc

I'm never immediately sure when the cinematic cutscenes in The Order 1886 are finished and I'm in control of the character again. It's seamless. Visually this game is something else. (Here's the trailer if anyone missed it. Yeah, so the gameplay looks exactly like that.) It's boggling how fast game development has progressed even just in the last few years. It makes you wonder what games will be like in five, ten years time. :O

A few acts into The Order 1886 and it's enjoyable so far. The prologue is nice, though I don't think it does the visuals as much justice as it could--the scenes are shadowy and shaky and sparse, and the real wow! doesn't happen until Act I when you've flashed back. Galahad is a cool dude, the supporting cast seems intriguing, and the voice acting is superb. I really hope there's a lot of character development and emotional stuff to come; I feel like this game could blow the mind if the writing is as strong as the virtual world-building.

I'm a little disappointed by how linear the gameplay is, though. They show you this rich, complex and incredibly detailed labyrinth, but you can't really explore it in the way you want to. Just a little bit of freedom to wander side streets and pick up mini missions would probably make the setting more satisfying. I prefer having the option to occasionally deviate from the main story, do something else for an hour or so, and then come back to continue the main plot when I'm ready. Right now, it's very much like watching a movie, which in some ways is great, but I'm not really having to think too hard or strategise.

And on a different gaming note, Dragon Age Inquisition. Yeah, I'm terribly late to this party, but it turned out my PC laptop was unable to run the game when it first came out. There was a lot of sadface about this because some of my friends were playing it and having a blast (gaming envy, meep). But hey, I got a PS4 recently so I'm very much back in the game!

Party set-up for my level 16 Rift Mage: Varric for ranged, poisoned weapons, and a bit of stealthy goodness; Vivienne because as a Knight-Enchanter she is developing into a freaking godly one-woman-army; Cassandra because she's not a terrible sword-and-boarder, and damnit I've grown attached to her. We make a nice little team. The other characters are nicely distinguishable from each other, but I get stuck in my ways (for example, in DA:O it was invariably DPS!mage, Alistair, Wynne and Leliana). Initially it was tempting to go the Knight-Enchanter route, but I heard that running Viv in the party with you also as a K-E mage pretty much nerfs the game. Like, you could virtually go out with just you and Viv and take everything down. While that sounds instantly gratifying, I'm looking for a bit of a challenge, so in the end Rift Mage seemed the less easy option.

The war table is a particular delight, and cuts down a number of plot points that would otherwise have to be resolved in yet more side quests (and there are more than enough of those already). Good thinking on BioWare's part; they didn't have to compromise world-building or lore.

It's wonderful to see a few familiar faces in Cullen, Leliana and of course Varric. The brand new characters are unique enough to be interesting, but almost to the point where I have no idea how I'll find time to get to the bottom of all of them. It's a fairly big cast this time, and not just in terms of characters you can have in your party. Of course this means multiple playthroughs. :)

The only thing leaving me cold is the option to romance different characters, which is weird because in DA:O I always romanced someone. Honestly, I think this one is more about the bromance for me. There was a vague interest in Blackwall and maybe Dorian, but eh. I can see myself just as easily not bothering in favour of getting on with the plot.

Speaking of, as a completionist I'm finding that often my mage is way overpowered for the new areas. I'm getting to the main quest later, having levelled due to side quests and exploration. This isn't terrible, but it feels a bit imbalanced. It might have been better to withhold some of the side stuff until post-main quest, so people could attack the main milestones at roughly the right level for them to be a challenge. I know this is my own fault for having to clear out an area before feeling happy to move on (derp), but still.

All in all, enjoying it so far. It's going to be a bloody long time before I reach the end though!

Also played a little bit of Destiny but that's one to be put aside for now. I can already tell that I'd get massively sucked into it and with current writing projects and general life stuff, there just aren't enough hours in the day. Sigh. :)

Also, even more sadface, a few weeks ago Cam and Seb put up their last episode of Top Five Skyrim Mods of the Week. Gah, I'm going to miss this show so much, and honestly I'm not ready to let go. :/ But best of luck to the guys and whatever they plan to do next.

Revolution by Xilent.

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