Gaming in 2020

Discussion in 'General Games Discussion' started by Donald Draper, Dec 26, 2020.

  1. Donald Draper

    Donald Draper Well-Known Forum Member

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    I’m curios to hear about the games everyone particularly enjoyed or hated this year. Before I give you mine, I’d like to encourage everybody to head on over to mysteamgauge.com. Set all of your account stuff to public, search your steam ID, and download an excel spreadsheet of your time played as of today. I’ve been tracking annual playtime since the end of 2017, and it’s interesting to see what games caught your attention each year. It takes about five minutes, then you can put your privacy settings back to wherever they were.

    Don’s game of 2020Ori and the Will of the Wisps

    I’m a sucker for 2D platformers, and metroidvanias in particular. What sets this one apart is the movement. As you progress through the game you get additional abilities – double/triple jump; gliding; tunneling; self-launching (hard to describe, but fun); grappling; dashes; etc. All of them are fun, and they are all needed to access new areas. Similar to the first Ori, there are several chase scenes where you have to chain together moves to survive.

    Will of the Wisps is what you want in a sequel – a refined version of the first game with additional elements that improve the experience across the board. Each boss fight is unique and much more than just mashing buttons till you win. The final boss was particularly fun – the aerial combat was great game design.

    Downsides? Well, combat is easy compared to some of my other favorites (such as Dead Cells). While you gain additional offensive capabilities throughout the game, I relied on the basic attack almost exclusively. I used movement rather than ranged weapons.

    I’ve got a little over 26 hours in the game. Maybe 20 or so of that is playtime, I tend to go afk from single player games I can pause. I haven’t collected everything, but I’m pretty close. I explore thoroughly while playing, but don’t consult guides online. I don’t care about 100% completion.

    Currently Ori is on sale for $15, and that’s a steal. Highly recommended, one of my favorite games from the last few years.


    Don’s disappointment of 2020Hunt: Showdown

    My brother gave this to me for Christmas. We thought it might be a fun two player experience. It’s not. Hunt seems to combine the worst elements of various genres into one game, and I’m not entirely clear what type of game it wants to be.

    Is it stealth, because you have to move slowly and quietly or you’ll scare birds, dogs, etc. and alert everyone to your presence? Not really, because you also have to cover tons of ground – some of which is in wide open fields.

    Is it a shooter? No. Gunplay is a disaster, unless you like horrible iron sights and having to lead your shots on targets 20 feet away.

    At least there’s no hackers, right? Nope. You’d think that they could at least ban people on the public leaderboards with higher than 50 to 1 k/d. And the extra kick in the pants is that you have to buy your weapons with earned in game currency before the match. If you die, you lose your guns and have to buy more. And you lose your hunter with whatever skills/stats you’ve earned. If you lose to a hacker it is much more punitive than in games like PUBG/CS:Go.

    As for the positives…it’s an interesting concept and it has great ambiance. Graphics and sound are great, maps are atmospheric, and it definitely has the polish to fool you into buying it.

    Many of my complaints about the game are reasons why I haven’t bought Escape from Tarkov. But having played Hunt, I’d say go with Tarkov if you’re trying to decide between the two.
     
  2. SirReginaldCockhammer

    SirReginaldCockhammer Well-Known Forum Member

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    I'll actually type in proper capitalization for once to make this shit readable.

    The absolute champion of a game that I played this year was Yakuza 0. It is on sale for 5 dollars. It is a steal at full price. It would be a steal at full launch price. Buy it immediately. The main game loop is a free-roam through one of two cities (entertainment districts in Tokyo and Osaka), with 3D brawler combat interspersed throughout. The story is a well-paced crime drama involving two protagonists involved in a dispute over a plot of land worth several billion yen during the Japanese bubble economy in the 80s. It acts as a wonderful counterbalance to the absolutely fucking bonkers substories you can find scattered about the cities and the anime-ass heat actions you can perform in combat. The story and the gameplay don't really talk to each other and I would not have it any other way. There is just such a massive fucking breadth of shit to do in the game, and a decent amount of depth to at least the combat system and a few of the minigames (off the top of my head the Pocket Circuit racing minigame and the cabaret club management minigame).

    If you need further convincing, consult this video:


    Personal highlights of the game from my around 100 hours were recruiting a chicken to work at my real estate firm, defeating the final boss with only a single magic pixel of health left and nearly shitting myself with relief, absolutely fucking decimating a room full of small children in the aforementioned Pocket Circuit racing, and learning a heat move where you rip a man's arms out of his shoulder sockets, bitch slap him so hard he forgets his mother's name, and then throw him across the room. (Seriously most of the recipients of these heat actions probably need to use feeding tubes after the fact, they're great.)

    In no particular order, other games I recommend this year are:

    Yakuza Kiwami and Kiwami 2: Neither are as indomitable as Yakuza 0, but both are good in their own right. Kiwami is pretty similar to 0 in that it's on the same engine and has a similar combat loop and a few shared minigames, but the story is greatly enhanced playing it after 0 and getting used to the setting and characters. Kiwami 2 is on a newer, more demanding but pretty gorgeous engine but I think is by far the funniest of the three between its substories and combat loop. (They added ragdolls to the combat system and it's like you're fighting on an air-hockey table in the best possible way.) I think Kiwami is on sale for 10 and Kiwami 2 for 15 and both are also absolute steals at those prices.

    Hylics 2: On the other end of the spectrum, we have this wacky little turn-based RPG that I saw a youtube comment describe as "a Primus album cover come to life." The combat is pretty interesting in the middle game but is pretty samey towards the start and end of the game (not that most turn-based RPGs don't also fall into that trap), but the real joy to be found in this game is just exploring the colorful environments and vibing with the soundtrack. It's on sale for 12.75 and I think that's about the perfect price for it.

    Titanfall 2: This one's kind of cheating since it's been out for a while but just came to Steam this year. It's on sale for 10 dollars and it's a steal for that price. A really nice fast-paced shooter with a good set of movement options and giant robot battles. Just the campaign is a lot of fun, but this is one of the few games I can actually stand the multiplayer community enough to play in a solo queue and have fun with it. Even if you buy it on Steam you'll have to install Origin to play it which kind of sucks, but I already had Origin due to the Mass Effect games so it wasn't that big of a pain for me.

    Deep Rock Galactic: The best 4-player co-op shooter I've ever played. You play as a group of drunken reprobate Dwarven miners being sent in to an extremely hostile planet to gather resources while fighting off giant bug-creatures. A lot of great movement/terraforming options between the four classes and some great dynamicism in the pacing - going from calmly working out how to extract some resources in a complex cave system to having to scramble back to your team before a big-ass horde attacks is a lot of fun. I put over 100 hours into it and would love for us to get maybe a dedicated group set up for it. A bonus special mention is just how fun fucking around in the pre-game lobby is. You can get blasted drunk in-game and even touch down on the planet while still seeing double. Great fun. Currently going for 21 dollars.

    Risk of Rain 2: Apparently this left early access at some point in the year but even before it did it was worth paying full price for. A third-person shooter roguelite where you control one of 10 survivors of a shipwreck as they try to get off a hostile planet. You gather a bunch of wacky-ass items to help you try and not die, but you will die a lot at first because the game is pretty difficult and ramps up (literally) exponentially as the game timer goes on for longer. You can take a game up to the 2 hour mark if you really start snowballing but I would say that once you get used to it the average game should take about 30 minutes. Especially at first you'll be unlocking a bunch of new shit really really quickly so the pace of progression feels pretty nice. There's multiplayer for up to 4 players but I never really play it just because I prefer the single player shenanigans.
     
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  3. Donald Draper

    Donald Draper Well-Known Forum Member

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    Titanfall 2 (which some heretics refer to as TF2) is a great game. We used to have a group that played together several years ago. The mech version of MVM is fun. My bourbon soaked brain can't remember everyone I played with, but I know Clutch and Thor were two of them.
     
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  4. Kung

    Kung Well-Known Forum Member

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    I have recently brought the stealth-action horror game GTFO a few weeks ago and I had so much fun playing such an unique game. It is an early access FPS that focuses on teamwork, atmosphere, and it is very hard. The level of polish already put into the game is well-thought and I cannot wait for how it evolves in the next few months. Anyways, the "horror" aspect does not come from any jump-scare or any typical horror cliché that is popular today. Instead, the sense of fear originates come the fact that one mistake from a player could cost a team an entire game. It is challenging and GTFO is phenomenal at giving players a chance to not only communicate but cooperate together in levels that are often pitch-black and the only source of light being a flashlight.

    The community in Discord is quite friendly and there are many players willing to teach beginners. I remember the first time I played in a round; a Swedish teammate took his time to explain what to do in common situations and even to this day - I continue to learn new ways to deal with situations that is stressful but rewarding.

    Explaining the concept of the game in a TLDR - it's pretty similar to when "every enemy is a witch from L4D" and the only weapons you have are melee, a few shots of ammo, and the sense of dread one feels when a single mistake could screw over a game. However, I find it incredible by how GTFO quickly turns from a quiet stealth game to something that is thrilling once a gunshot is heard.

    Lastly, the motto of the game could not sum up GTFO any better: Work together or die together.

    If anyone has any questions about the game; I would be happy to help answer any curiosities and be glad to explain more in-depth about GTFO.
     
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  5. mystic chips

    mystic chips Active Forum Member

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    My favorite 2020 game has to be Mount and Blade: Bannerlord. Sand-boxy Medieval game where you start off with dog shit stats and have to actually use the skill set you choose to be proficient enough to survive. There's enough variety in combat to keep you occupied for a while (One handed weapons, shields, 2 handed weapons, polearms, bow, crossbow, throwing knives/axes, javelins, horseback combat). You can enter tournaments, become a merchant/trader, raid caravans and towns, become a smith and sell your own weapons and lay siege to castles. Eventually you can create your own kingdom and lead armies of over 1000 people into battles. Some exciting news about this game too is people are working on a Lord of the Rings mod for it!
    Downside thus far is it's in Early Access so the story line missions aren't complete yet, so it's basically a complete sandbox game for now. And I WISH this game had CO-OP, but with how you can pause the game and how you enter a different screen when you talk to people, it's understandable that it isn't.

    My favorite multiplayer game would have to be Phasmophobia. It's one of the few games that can actually startle me, and the nightmare of fun trying to figure out how the ghost hunting equipment actually works in the beginning was a great time. You basically go to one of several properties and use various ghost detecting equipment to figure out what kind of ghost is haunting the location, and get out alive. Definitely worth it if you have a few friends you can play with.
    Downside to this game is since there's only like 6-7 maps, after maybe 15/20 hours and once you get enough money to buy all the equipment, it's repetitive. But that hasn't stopped me from still getting startled and playing this over and over again. Plus I think this game just has 1 developer so it's understandable.
     
  6. nicholasktu

    nicholasktu New Forum Member

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    Horizon Zero Dawn: It is the best single player game I played in a while (I know it came out a while ago but it only recently came to PC). I like story driven single player but mostly the story is ok at best (looking at you Deus Ex series) but HZD has a very original and interesting story behind it. I really like the game-play as well, especially for the stealth aspects.

    Black Mesa: I think it came out in full in January so it counts for 2020. The Xen chapter is very well done and very improved from the 1998 version. I highly recommend it to anyone who liked Half-life.

    I agree on Titanfall 2, it is a great game, I really like the Frontier Defense mode (mvm equivalent). I have tried 2D platformers before and I never liked any. I never played any games growing up so I don't have an nostalgia for any older games.
     
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  7. Rocky

    Rocky New Forum Member

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    I've got to put another comment in for support of Risk of Rain 2. They handled the transition from 2D to 3D really well, considering the fact that they hadn't made a 3D game before. The devs also generally tend to stick to the dates that they set for updates and such, so they seem to be pretty well organized.

    Fallout: New Vegas is another game that I've been replaying recently since The Frontier is coming out in January apparently. The game engine is jank, but the character interactions and world are just something I'll always enjoy, no matter how many times I play through the game.

    ULTRAKILL has got to be one of my favorite FPS games of all time. Everything in the game just feels SO good. The movement and shooting mechanics are incredible, and I can't wait for the rest of the levels to be in the game.

    My big disappointment out of the games I got this year was Daemon X Machina. I thought a bright and colorful mech shooter game would be really fun, but the constant cutscenes with terrible writing and characters ruined it for me. They're not even bad in a funny way, it just sounds like writing that an edgy teen would think is cool.

    I actually really like Hunt: Showdown, but I'll admit that it's not really a game for everyone. I've got both Hunt and Tarkov, and Tarkov is a lot more of a pain in the ass to play in my opinion.
     
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  8. Dstraktd

    Dstraktd Adminstigator Staff Member

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    I played Hunt: Showdown on a free weekend, and I wanted to like it so much. It really had some potential. PvPvE

    But yeah, you hit the nail on the head with that.
     

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