[SW] Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble by icycalm on 12 Jun 2019 02:16

Official site: https://tinymetal.com/

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Gorgeous artwork. Those colors...

Kinda crazy that the price quoted is $14.99. That's like half the price of the original iirc. That's DLC price. And cheap DLC too.

The "Spring" release window has also come and gone, and I can't find an update, though the devs are saying the Steam page will appear soon, so maybe we'll get some info then. I have it down as "TBA 2019" for now. Looking forward to clocking these back to back.



lol by icycalm on 12 Jun 2019 00:02

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Hipster Souls: Birth of a Fad by ChevRage on 10 Jun 2019 21:21

It's definitely easier (and more effective) to grind in Demon's Souls than in the later entries in the series since they greatly ramp up the experience needed for higher levels.

That game also has way more exploits and ways to cheese enemies (which are, again, fixed in later entries). A notable one being that once far enough from their starting location, enemies will turn their back on the player, forgetting that he ever existed, to walk back to their starting location. You can then sneak up on them to get an easy back-stab. Rinse and repeat.



Hipster Souls: Birth of a Fad by icycalm on 10 Jun 2019 10:38

Thanks for the detailed analysis.

My PS3 blew up in 2013, otherwise I would have played Demon's by now. I don't generally play games out of order if I can avoid it, for various reasons, a major one being so that I can review them properly. So I'll get to these games when I get to them, and then I'll write about them in depth. Until then, we have this thread to tide us over.



Hipster Souls: Birth of a Fad by before tigers on 10 Jun 2019 09:51

The way the Souls games handle "grinding" is not as straightforward or typical as you might think and I'll try to explain all of it as best I can. NB: I haven't played Demon's Souls (no PS3, nor desire to get one in the current year) but I have played the other Souls games extensively, and I am fairly certain the general points I'll make apply to Demon's Souls as well as the rest.

1. Your primary source of power increase is weapon upgrades, which are restricted by progression through the game. You cannot upgrade your weapon past Regular +5 in Dark Souls without obtaining a Large Ember which is only in a specific chest located a good chunk of the way through the game. A majority of the materials required for other upgrade paths are also only found in places more than halfway through the game. Grinding will not get you what you need to make your weapon stronger; you must make progress by clearing levels and beating bosses.

2. Your secondary source of power increase is character stats/level, which have heavily diminishing returns from early on aside from HP. You can not trivialize the game by grinding because the enemies hit hard no matter how big your health bar is (pumping it up so that it takes a boss 5 hits to kill you as opposed to 3 won't make a decisive difference if you suck at the game).

I suggest that critics of the day were unprepared to deal with the difficulty of the Souls games and referenced grinding to cope with their videogame illiteracy since it seems like it's there, but really isn't, and the ultimately insignificant health gains one might eke out by grinding give some casuals the will to persevere. They are actually developing their skill at the game while they are focused on the illusion that the vague stat numbers going up enables them with. It's a positive feedback loop.

You cannot beat Dark Souls without being able to hit and to evade with proper timing (unless you figure out some cheesy instakill tricks on certain bosses), and the stats do little to change the fundamental essence and demands of combat. You might be able to take more hits, or have to land less hits, but regardless you need to learn the boss patterns and how to deal with them just like any decently challenging videogame.

I recommend you actually play the Souls games and see for yourself that grinding doesn't get you anywhere in them, nor will it decisively get you past any bosses.

It's also worth noting that the Souls games (with the exception of Sekiro) are actually rather shallow once you look past the cruft they bombard you with and understand that all that matters is your i-frame roll and picking the correct openings for a basic attack. Even game journalists can beat a Souls game; anyone can (every kind of cripple has), but they successfully seem much harder than they actually are, which I think is brilliant design since in videogames the feeling of challenge matters more than any factual degree of it. Regardless, you cannot beat them through grinding. It just doesn't help much.



Insomnia's Steam Curator by icycalm on 10 Jun 2019 08:29

Updated with all the latest upcoming games: https://store.steampowered.com/curator/ ... ulture.vg/

Some potential gems in there I guarantee you haven't heard of, so head on over and take a look.



[PC] [ONE] [PS4] Cyberpunk 2077 by icycalm on 10 Jun 2019 03:27

Yep, it's also on the Epic store (tho you have to scroll all the way down the frontpage to find it, whereas on Steam it's the banner game; Epic still has things to learn about marketing): https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p ... -2077/home

CD PROJEKT RED wrote:
PLAY AS A MERCENARY OUTLAW
Become a cyberpunk, an urban mercenary equipped with cybernetic enhancements and build your legend on the streets of Night City.

LIVE IN THE CITY OF THE FUTURE
Enter the massive open world of Night City, a megalopolis that sets new standards in terms of visuals, complexity and depth.

STEAL THE IMPLANT THAT GRANTS ETERNAL LIFE
Take the riskiest job of your life and go after a prototype implant that is the key to immortality.

Digital goodies included:



The tagline is "THE REAL YOU IS NOT ENOUGH".

But I thought I was equal to... myself?



[PC] [ONE] [PS4] Cyberpunk 2077 by icycalm on 10 Jun 2019 02:47

Looks like they won't try pulling the same shit as with that Witcher card game. If they ever had a game that would raise GOG's profile sufficiently to fight Steam, this is it, but they aren't using it that way, which means they've given up the fight against Steam (which makes sense, since now they would be fighting both Steam and Epic, for which they obviously lack the resources).

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1091 ... punk_2077/

CD PROJEKT RED wrote:Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. You play as V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality.


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Official E3 2019 Cinematic Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIcTM8WXFjk

lol Keanu

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April 15, 2020.



[PC] Conan Unconquered by Insomnia on 10 Jun 2019 00:41

Review (3/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7057

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Insomnia wrote:Conan Unfinished.



[PC] [MAC] [ONE] [PS4] [SW] Vambrace: Cold Soul by Insomnia on 09 Jun 2019 19:06

Review (2/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7056

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Insomnia wrote:You play as big tiddy waifu roaming around the streets of Icenaire or whatever where fox people, other anime brides, and drawings of faux-masculine dudes wander around.



No Mercy For The Effeminate Nerdy Videogame Mob by Discord BOT on 09 Jun 2019 11:06

CULT|icycalm

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He not only deleted his Patreon pledge after this, but even left the Discord server lol
And of course he comes from the Learn to Counter site and is friends with that other child-fagot, DJ Orwell
They have no conception at all of what it means to be a man who has work to do
All their communication essentially consists of womanish nagging
In short, if you’re a woman leave me the fuck alone to do my work, and even better leave the fucking server
-ACKSHUALLY
-Fagot
They are so weak, effeminate and downright socially retarded that they can’t even discuss a boss fight in a videogame without bringing social status into it somehow
And even THEN they wildly miscalculate
For he is wrong both on the technical point about the game under discussion, AND on the subject of my status in this server and in the gaming community in general
Wrong on all counts PLUS a fagot
No wonder he has to spend most of his time on Discord lurking invisibly because he gets anxiety from the mere fact of people knowing he is online lol
He actually admitted to this a few months back
Total waste of organic matter
I know I am losing supporters by putting this nerdy mob in its place, but the only way to please these wretches, ultimately, is to become like them, thereby destroying my site and all my work, so fuck that, and fuck them



[PC] Baldur's Gate III by icycalm on 08 Jun 2019 05:21

Steam page is up: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1086 ... _Gate_III/

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Also, looks like release will be around November, because it's slated as a Stadia launch title, alongside the PC version (added the format to the thread title).

Baldur's Gate 3 announced for Stadia launch, watch the trailer here
https://www.polygon.com/2019/6/6/186551 ... an-studios



[PC] [ONE] [PS4] [SW] American Fugitive by Insomnia on 08 Jun 2019 00:42

Review (2/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7053

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Insomnia wrote:Not even a GTA clone, it's the GTA clone's stupid little brother.



[PC] Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest by Insomnia on 07 Jun 2019 20:52

Review (2/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7052

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Insomnia wrote:Their idea of "Normal" difficulty is magically spawn enemies within a level to force you into the objectives, which spawn more enemies (even BOSS enemies) to murder you. That's not normal, that's stupid.



Hipster Souls: Birth of a Fad by earthboundtrev on 07 Jun 2019 13:24

I was looking through the IGN hub page for Dark Souls this morning trying to figure out how coverage of it has changed over the years, and confirmed that it did take some time for Dark Souls to become popular: https://www.ign.com/games/dark-souls

According IGN's coverage timeline Dark Souls becoming a fad is something that took place around 2014, and based on IGN deciding to stream playthroughs of it I can assume that Dark Souls being streamed on Twitch, and played by people on YouTube around the same time or a little bit before contributed to its popularity considerably.

The website Kill Screen has been used as a hub for the feelings the hipsters have about videogames for a long time, so I think linking their review is necessary to begin a conversation about where the fad started. Unfortunately, I cannot tell when the review was published because there isn't a date on its page, but I think it's a good example of the kind of review we are looking for: https://killscreen.com/articles/review-dark-souls/

The grinding is praised halfway through their review:

Jason Johnson wrote:Quite often, you will be utterly defeated. In exasperation, you may turn to the classic technique of grinding. This relic is often cursed as the bane of modern game design. What could be more archaic than spending time killing the same set of bloodthirsty enemies over and over again: as if you were flogging yourself nightly to obtain moral fortitude? And yet, it feels like a huge relief here. You are grateful for it, because you are so desperately weak.


Another even possibly better starting point is from this website: https://critical-distance.com/2018/03/2 ... rk%20souls. It's a link from a review/article aggregate used by "critics" aiming to answer the question of "Where is all of the good writing on games?", but then features hilarious content like this on its Dark Souls review/article aggregate page:

Kris Ligman wrote:So when I say that ‘sex is like Dark Souls,’ I also mean ‘Dark Souls is like sex,’ in that there is a culture of acceptance… in how we talk about certain experiences as being either universal or ‘should be universal.


Here's a full link to the article quoted above if anyone is willing to read it: https://direcritic.tumblr.com/post/1320 ... dark-souls



[PC] Pathfinder: Kingmaker by icycalm on 07 Jun 2019 10:01

Based Russian devs not only brought pen and paper rules back to CRPGs, they even picked the most hardcore system.

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/pathfind ... -254450509

Lanrutcon wrote:So there are many editions of D&D. Eventually it got to an edition called 3.5, which was terribly complicated, so for the 4th edition they dumbed it down a lot for the mainstream. Some people were unhappy with that, and made Pathfinder. Pathfinder is 3.5 which extra bits and absolutely no shame when it comes to complexity. D&D is currently in its 5th edition, which isn't as vapid as 4th edition but definitely isn't as crushing as Pathfinder.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker will teach you most if not all of the rules in Pathfinder. It will teach you nothing about D&D 5th edition, as they are separate things.

There is no way to play Pathfinder: Kingmaker without getting a hang of the rules, but you'll learn them as you go along.


More good news is that Enhanced Edition and Beneath The Stolen Lands DLC are now available: https://www.gog.com/news/release_pathfi ... _lands_dlc

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GOG wrote:Enhanced Edition is available as a free update for all owners of Pathfinder Kingmaker. The update introduces plenty of significant changes, fixes and quality-of-life improvements, such as muсh requested respecialization option, new locations, weapons and enemies, further balance improvements, and a new class - Slayer.

Beneath The Stolen Lands gives the player an opportunity to enter a massive, procedurally generated, rogue-like dungeon. You can face this new challenge with the party made from scratch or visit a preset version of the dungeon during the main campaign.


Beneath The Stolen Lands Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nPvcPFv8vs



[PS4] Days Gone by Insomnia on 07 Jun 2019 00:01

Review (3/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7051

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Insomnia wrote:Like RDR2, good scenario, good world, but that's it. Game is boring.



[PC] Baldur's Gate III by Hanged Man on 06 Jun 2019 18:49

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https://baldursgate3.game/

https://gematsu.com/2019/06/baldurs-gat ... -pc-stadia

Created in close collaboration with the Dungeons & Dragons team at Wizards of the Coast, Baldur’s Gate III is based off current D&D mechanics and spells and is the official new chapter in the legendary series.

Baldur’s Gate III will push the boundaries of the RPG genre and offer a rich narrative with unparalleled player freedom, high-stakes decisions, unique companion characters and memorable combat. It is Larian Studios’ biggest production ever and will be playable together with friends or as a single-player adventure.

The teaser trailer shows a return of a malevolent presence to Baldur’s Gate, intent on devouring it from the inside out, corrupting everything that remains in the Forgotten Realms. Alone you may resist, but together you can overcome. Gather your party.

“Baldur’s Gate means so much to so many people. It’s a great responsibility but I think we’re ready for it,” said Swen Vincke, Creative Director at Larian Studios. “We’re all about creating reactive, systemic worlds that respect player agency and having a chance to apply our team’s skillset in a universe as rich as Dungeons & Dragons is a lot of fun. We’re working very closely with Wizards to bring an unprecedented level of immersion to the realm of Faerun and I can’t wait to show the world what our team cooked up.”

“Partnering with Larian, a studio that combines a remarkable history of critically-acclaimed titles with a genuine passion for one of the most iconic locations in Dungeons & Dragons, has been a terrific experience,” said Chris Cocks, President of Wizards of the Coast. “We believe fans of the Baldur’s Gate saga – and even those new to the series – will be thrilled to step into this epic story.”

Larian Studios plans to work closely with the global community to bring the coveted series to life, with more news to follow over the course of the year.


Teaser trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcP0WdH7rTs



[PC] KurtzPel by Insomnia on 05 Jun 2019 07:39

Review (3/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7049

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Insomnia wrote:Waifu fighting sim... gud gaem 10/10 animu degeneracy, I guess the combat is pretty good too.



Sweden meetup (August 2019) by icycalm on 05 Jun 2019 02:37

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So I was just talking to Mox about meeting up in Sweden in August. schadenfreude is currently with me in Tenerife, arrived about a week ago, and he plans to stick around and follow me to Sweden this summer, so it looks like he'll be there too. The two of us might make the trip one month earlier, in July, but either way it's almost certain we'll be there in August to meet Mox.

So, three people are enough to call it a CULT meetup, I think. If anyone else is interested in joining us, post here. We're talking the full month, but of course people are welcome to drop by for a week or for a day or whatever suits your schedule.

We haven't decided on city or accommodation yet, but we can discuss all that in here in the run-up to August.



Games you just got by earthboundtrev on 02 Jun 2019 14:12

Found a cool videogame store in the mall near where I live in Virginia: https://springfieldtowncenter.com/direc ... s-rarities. I bought Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, and Star Fox Zero from them. I'm planning another trip there soon hopefully, and I expect to buy a lot more next time...



[PC] [ONE] [PS4] A Plague Tale: Innocence by Insomnia on 02 Jun 2019 03:25

Review (2/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7047

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Insomnia wrote:As annoying as you might expect a game-long escort mission to be.



[PC] [ONE] Outer Wilds by Bread on 02 Jun 2019 00:52

Launch trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKJUMMCJvGM

The PC version is a timed exclusive on the Epic store, and now there's a 50% discount.

https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p ... wilds/home



[PC] [PS4] [SW] Banner of the Maid by Some guy on 01 Jun 2019 16:19

Full title: 圣女战旗 Banner of the Maid

https://store.steampowered.com/app/9947 ... _the_Maid/

Released May 28th.

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Azure Flame Studio wrote:Banner of the Maid is a turn-base strategy game set in the time of the French Revolution. You will lead the army to break through the difficulties and experience the different stories of that most uncommon time with wine of salon and the smoke of battlefield.

Banner of the Maid is a Turn-Based Strategy Game set in the late 18th century to early 19th century, based on the alternative history of the French Revolution.

At the end of 18th century, as the House of Bourbon was on the verge of clasping, Louis XVI of France planned to secretly escape from his country. Starting from the French Revolution, the wave of chaos swiped across Europe. Follow the steps of our protagonist, the young female officer Pauline Bonaparte, to start her journey as a regular officer and win battles both on the battlefront and in the political vortex of Paris, and finally write her own heroic story.

In the heat of the French Revolution, the Royalists, Club des Feuillants, Club des Jacobins and Malmaisons, various factions contend with each other on the grand stage of Paris. Starting from the eye of storm, the Malmaison Salon, Pauline Bonaparte have to approach the factions, complete their quests and challenges in order to establish connections with political figures and win over their support, gather funding to improve her weaponry and equipments, secure army supplies while she also tries to discover and unveiled the secrets of the Maids that are buried deep inside the City.

The storm of the French Revolution and the mysterious Maids had changed the fate of the entire Europe.

The revolution is a time of heroes: talented and trustworthy generals, secret agents of the Royal Family, even musicians who possesses extraordinary talents. More than 30 characters with distinct background will be available for you to command. Hire them to be one of your own, understand their stories and cultivate them to be your unstoppable force on the battlefields.

Command the iconic troops of the 18th and 19th century such as Line Infantry, Skirmisher, Calvary, Artillery and much more through the Turn-Based Strategy combats to experience the reimagined European battlegrounds.
Train your commanders to improve their abilities and learn the appropriate tactical skills, defeat powerful enemies!

Over 30 maps, including cities, plains, snowy mountains, etc. Utilize the unique elements on the battlefields to ensure advantages.

- Critical terrain elements that provide advantages and disadvantages during battles;
- Different key locations that provide unique support to different types of troops;
- Special events that take place on the battleground as the story progresses;
- Environment changes such as storm, heavy snow, thick fog, dark nights, etc.


Announcement Trailer for Nintendo Switch Full HD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXzMeQpBX5A

[EN] Gameplay Features Trailer | PC, Switch, PS4 | CE-Asia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s17tuUHPdNs

There's no English language support at the moment.



D&D: Deals & Discounts (Games) by Bread on 31 May 2019 01:28

Obduction is free on GOG (until tomorrow): https://www.gog.com/game/obduction



[PC] Pax Nova by Insomnia on 29 May 2019 21:49

Review (1/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7045

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Insomnia wrote:You wait 50 turns in order to declare a single war. Then you win. Then another 50 turns spent waiting. Or hey, you try diplomacy. 50 turns waiting...



[PC] [MAC] Tropico 6 by Insomnia on 29 May 2019 19:02

Review (4/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7044

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Insomnia wrote:I can make paradise for SJW! Great game! 63/63 genders!



[PC] [ONE] [PS4] Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey by Some guy on 25 May 2019 16:46

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Out Aug. 27 for PC, December. for PS4 & Xbox One
https://www.allgamesdelta.net/2019/05/a ... ailer.html

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Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey - 101 Trailer EP1: Explore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pqc7som ... indOdyssey

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey - 101 Trailer EP2: Expand
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM0OERl ... indOdyssey

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey to Launch for PC on August 27, 2019 and Consoles in December 2019

Private Division and Panache Digital Games today announced that Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey will launch for PC via the Epic Games Store on August 27, 2019, and digitally for PS4 system and Xbox One in December 2019. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the debut title from Panache Digital Games, the independent development studio co-founded in 2014 by Patrice Désilets, the original creative director of the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

The game is available on PC exclusively through the Epic Games Store for the first year, at which point it will come to additional digital PC retailers.

In Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, players are challenged to survive and evolve in the harsh yet beautiful land of Africa spanning from ten million to two million years ago. As humankind’s primate predecessors, players explore Neogene Africa, expand their territory, and evolve to advance their clan from one generation to the next in order to survive in this innovative take on the open world survival genre. The game and its mechanics rely on evolution, discovery, and survival as players traverse a variety of terrain and environments, encounter various predators, and learn new abilities to pass along to the next generation of their clan.

“Our goal for Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is to provide an experience no player has ever lived before”, said Patrice Désilets, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Panache Digital Games. “Our small team is creating an ambitious and immersive game with a unique setting that will captivate gamers of all types, and we look forward to players exploring our world later this year.”

“Private Division and Panache Digital Games share a passion for providing the best possible experience to all our players,” said Kari Toyama, Senior Producer at Private Division. “As partners, we support Panache in taking the time to ensure all versions of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey deliver the standard of polish upon release that the team has set for themselves. As a developer focused publisher, this is an important approach we take in working with smaller independent teams.”

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In conjunction with the release date announcement, Panache Digital Games and Private Division have unveiled the official key art for Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The team has also released the second episode of a three-part video series featuring Patrice Désilets explaining the game’s unique mechanics and concepts.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey game will support the following languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish (Castilian), Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Russian, Polish, Portuguese and Arabic. For more information on Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, visit AncestorsGame.com.

About Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a third-person open world survival game where you Explore, Expand, and Evolve to advance your clan to the next generation in this exhilarating new adventure from the creator of Assassin’s Creed.

Embark on the most incredible odyssey known to humankind: human evolution. Spanning from 10 million to 2 million years ago, begin your journey, “Before Us,” in Neogene period Africa. Explore a beautiful yet ruthless world, from swinging through tree branches in the jungle to stalking prey across the golden savannah grasslands. Decide what attributes to learn and hone in order to pass down knowledge to future generations, from crafting tools to enhancing evasive tactics against predators. Just like real life, make sure to eat, drink, and sleep to stay alive and have the energy to face any danger that may come your way.

Grow your clan and find strength in numbers as you progress through critical evolutionary stages of human evolution. Your choices will write your clan’s story and determine if you can survive your evolution.

Key Features

• Explore Ruthless Africa: Explore the never-before-experienced world of Neogene Africa starting 10 million years ago at the dawn of humankind. From the tops of tree canopies overlooking lush jungles to the golden grasslands of the savannah, traverse a beautiful yet unforgiving landscape. For every breath-taking view, beware of the weather, predators, and other dangers that threaten your survival.

• Expand Your Territory and Grow Your Clan: Increase your chances of survival by uniting new members of your species and giving birth to future generations. Control different clan members, form bonds to create families, and work together to intimidate predators during expeditions. Conquer fear as you explore unknown locations in order to expand your territory.

• Evolve Through Multiple Generations: See the physical and intellectual evolution of the first hominids as you explore, learn, and survive. Spanning from 10 million to 2 million years ago, play as one of the first hominids and evolve over the course of millions of years during key stages in human evolution. Make crucial discoveries and hone physical abilities that will be passed down to future generations such as Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus.

• Choose How You Survive: Evolution was not written in stone. Your decisions shape how you will overcome obstacles, increase your species, and what knowledge will pass on to future generations. Focus on specific attributes or choose a more balanced approach to survival. Your clan’s ability to survive will be directly impacted by your choices, making each player’s experience unique.



[PC] Conan Unconquered by icycalm on 24 May 2019 19:51

Co-op Multiplayer & Challenge Mode
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ewuq-1O2qQ

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It is a total rip-off of They Are Billions all the way down to the little green square grid, BUT WITH CO-OP, which is what people have been screaming for at the TAB developers on the Steam forum for frigging years now. And it's out on the 29th! (Steam says the 30th, but an email I got from the PR team saying it's launching a day early.)

https://store.steampowered.com/app/9896 ... conquered/

€29,99 doesn't sound like much if the game is decent, so unless first reports are utterly horrible, I am in.

Now, I know that I've got people to buy Ymir and Satisfactory recently, and we still haven't played any of them, but that's because I've been working on getting the site all up-to-date again and haven't had the time to play anything. Once that's done, in the next few days (certainly before the end of the month), I'll go all in with these three cool strategy/tactics games, and play the fuck out of them and churn out full reviews. They are certainly some of 2019's most anticipated games for me, and I hope a bunch of y'all will be around to play them with me. See you on Discord!


P.S. And by the way, TAB's campaign is out in June, with all new units and mechanics, so once we're all done with the campaign we're resurrecting the high score competition!



[PC] [MAC] Imperator: Rome by Insomnia on 24 May 2019 18:41

Review (2/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7041

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Insomnia wrote:When you order tea but get hot water...



[PC] [ONE] [PS4] [SW] Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night by Saf on 24 May 2019 15:56

Release Date Trailer | PS4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d79KArgmgcc

They seemingly took the criticisms to heart and it looks considerably better with the visual improvements.



[PS4] Nioh 2 by icycalm on 24 May 2019 11:59

Nioh 2 | Closed Alpha | PS4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmzW0IYhXlk

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Contains plenty of play footage. It reminds me of the Otogis perfectly, minus the verticality/flying. I hear Sekiro has that (though I doubt to the same extent, by the footage I have seen...), but Sekiro doesn't seem so colorful to me as the Otogis and the Niohs. Oh well. An Otogi 3 is what I would have liked above all else.



[PC] [MAC] John Wick Hex by icycalm on 19 May 2019 06:32

The Epic store page is up and you can pre-purchase the game, while the sale is on, for €5.19 lol: https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p ... ckhex/home



[PC] Satisfactory by icycalm on 17 May 2019 19:45

https://www.satisfactorygame.com/update

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End of April™ Update
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aceacdNX9WA

The main new thing seems to be lifts to help build on the z-axis (which they incorrectly call the "y-axis").

Coffee Stain wrote:CONVEYOR LIFTS

Because you need something to do all the lifting for you.

No more overly complicated, inefficient and messy conveyor belt spirals. Verticality is the new black, so we’ve been working hard on a streamlined, efficient way of transporting goods along the y-axis. They take less space, less effort, and definitely require less overheating from your poor computer.


They also started a blog: https://www.satisfactorygame.com/blog

Dedicated servers are on the roadmamp, but with no ETA: https://www.satisfactorygame.com/#roadmap-section

I'd love to run it on our server. It's been dormant for ages, and this game would be perfect for it.



[PS4] Predator: Hunting Grounds by icycalm on 17 May 2019 19:08

recoil wrote:too bad it's not a first-person shooter


I haven't seen the perspective discussed anywhere, so it may be. For what it's worth, their previous game—Friday the 13th—was third-person.



D&D: Deals & Discounts (Games) by icycalm on 17 May 2019 16:37

Satisfactory €19,99
https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p ... ctory/home

Not sure how long the discount will last. I am thinking of jumping in.



[PC] [ONE] [PS4] Rage 2 by Insomnia on 15 May 2019 21:36

Review (3/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7040

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Insomnia wrote:Like Mad Max except instead of being Batman when you're not in a vehicle, you're Doomguy.



Hipster Souls: Birth of a Fad by icycalm on 15 May 2019 12:38

I'd be interested in reading the very first Western previews/reviews/articles/blog & forum posts that contributed to the rise of Demon's Souls' popularity in the West. If you have some sources, let's see them.

My provisional hypothesis (without having played any of these games) is that the game is very good at making you feel as if you've overcome a tough challenge, whereas in fact you've just mostly been grinding, so that even an effeminate hipster who only plays "indie" games will feel like he is cool. This is the exact challenge model that dungeon crawlers of old used, and that's precisely what Demon's Souls is, only 1) in real-time action, like Dungeon Master, 2) with only one avatar, unlike Dungeon Master, and 3) with production values through the roof, unlike contemporary dungeon crawlers. So it makes sense why gamers would take to it, because the idea behind the game is solid, but it makes no sense why the hipsters would flock to it unless my challenge=grinding hypothesis is correct. Even then, the dungeon crawler is such a primitive, esoteric genre that, even in its modern actiony manifestation it's the last type of game that you'd expect hipsters to flock to. So I would like to read the very first hipsters/journlolists who advertised it and try to figure out what they were thinking (more precisely, what they were feeling, because effeminate males, like women, don't really think). So if you have some relevant material in mind, go ahead and link them and we'll go through them and discuss them.



[PS4] Predator: Hunting Grounds by recoil on 15 May 2019 00:03

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https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games ... ounds-ps4/

IllFonic wrote:Predator: Hunting Grounds is an immersive asymmetrical shooter set in remote areas around the world, where the Predator stalks the most challenging prey. Play as a member of an elite Fireteam and complete paramilitary operations before the Predator finds you. Or, play as the Predator to hunt the most worthy prey, choosing from your vast array of deadly alien tech to collect your trophies, one by one.


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The game looks okay, too bad it's not a first-person shooter.

Reveal Trailer | PS4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiSmINxtLC8

2020.



[PC] [MAC] John Wick Hex by recoil on 14 May 2019 23:52

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https://johnwickhex.com/

John Wick Hex turns gun-fu chaos into a tactical puzzle
https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2019/0 ... very-move/

Dominic Tarason wrote:Of all the developers to head up a John Wick game, Mike Bithell of Thomas Was Alone, Subsurface Circular and Volume is not one I could have predicted. John Wick Hex also looks like a bit of an oddball, genre-wise. It’s a pseudo-turn-based tactics game, with players planning Keanu Reeves’s every move in order to dodge, parry and shoot his way through each gunfight with maximum style, and minimum damage taken or ammo wasted. There’s no release date yet, but you can get a first peek at the game in the trailer below, plus some screenshots showing off its interface.

John Wick Hex will tell a new story (hopefully one where no dogs get shot) for Keanu’s super-killguy, not directly linked to the films. While details on the game’s specifics are bordering on nonexistent, the trailer and screenshots do give us some interesting details. The game’s combat is not purely turn-based, but plays out over small chunks of highly planned time. Every action has costs attached, both in terms of time taken and ‘focus’ used. It reminds me equally of Frozen Synapse on a smaller scale, or All Walls Must Fall with less bullet hell. Familiar, but different.

While the core of the game will be a story mode, high scores on each mission there will unlock new guns, outfits and locations for use in other modes. Interestingly, it seems that weapon reloading happens semi-realistically – if you’ve still got thirteen of fifteen shots left in a magazine, then reloading could be potentially wasteful. There’s no mention of procedural generation, although that doesn’t rule it out either. In a small-scale tactics game like this, it would be unusual to have an entirely scripted game, but this one does seem to be marching to the beat of its own drum.

This is to be John Wick’s second game, after the very brief John Wick Chronicles for VR. For more traditional platforms, he’s been part of the Payday 2 playable cast for ages, and you can even earn some of his assassin funny-money to upgrade your hideout with. Unofficially, he’s been lurking around in Fortnite for a while, too. Honestly, I’m surprised he hasn’t already starred in a trilogy of Max Payne-inspired bullet time shooters yet, but nobody can make sense of Hollywood.

We don’t know when John Wick Hex will be launching, but we do know that it’ll be an Epic Games Store exclusive at launch. There’s no store page yet, but the game’s official page is here. It’ll be published by Good Shepherd Entertainment.


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Looks like it's a tactics game akin to Frozen Synapse, but simplified. The art doesn't look good either.

Announcement Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nEwjqisgGY

TBA.



The Official Insomnia Game of the Year Awards (1962-2019) by icycalm on 13 May 2019 22:45

I replaced Astro Bot with Kingmaker, and with the Spider-Man review now up, and Kingdom Come retaining its position as GOTY, that completes 2018 for now. If you've played a 2018 game that you think should replace one of my selections, I am all ears. In the meantime, I am turning my attention to 2019, to figure out what's the best that has been published so far.



[PS4] Spider-Man (2018) by Insomnia on 13 May 2019 21:47

Review (5/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7036

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Insomnia wrote:Does what a Spider-Man game should do!



[PC] [ONE] [PS4] Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint by recoil on 12 May 2019 23:00

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https://ghost-recon.ubisoft.com/game/en-us/breakpoint

https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p ... point/home

Ubisoft Paris wrote:Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint is a military shooter set in a diverse, hostile and mysterious open world that you can play entirely solo or in up to four-player co-op.

Experience a military shooter set in a diverse & hostile open world that you can play solo or up to four-player co-op.


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The game looks as good as Wildlands and it sounds like there's a nice amount of improvements and additions.

Official Announce Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLWt9MQLVgU

Official Gameplay Walkthrough | Ubisoft [NA]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvHGqvV0qRg

October 4.



[PC] [ONE] [PS4] Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice by Insomnia on 12 May 2019 15:05

Review (5/5): https://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=7034

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Insomnia wrote:Best rhythm game 2019.



Asymmetric mechanics by icycalm on 10 May 2019 21:52

ReyBiz brought this up on Discord, and we discussed it in some depth.

CULT|ReyBiz
Had a high level game idea, wondering if there is any merit to it: Multiplayer game where one person plays something like a "titan", versus a group of players who play "humans". For example, titan needs to destroy a city, humans need to protect it.
The titan game is very difficult, player needs great reflexes as well as good tactics. He is greatly overpowered vs. any single human, but he is alone. The human game is focused more on teamwork and grindy aspects (think of something like in WoW where in certain battlefields lower level players could go grind NPC mobs to buff the fighting high level players).
Since lag and cheating would certainly kill this game, I thought about it more in an e-sports setting.

CULT|icycalm
There have been several games like this released in recent years. It sounds like you haven't been playing VSMP games recently
Hold on, I'll find some links for you
This is the most recent one I am aware of: https://culture.vg/reviews/in-depth/dea ... 18-pc.html
They are called "asymmetric multiplayer games"
Left 4 Dead was one of the original ones
Dead by Daylight is another recent popular one by the same dev as the one that made Deathgarden
There was another one where it was 1 monster vs 4 players, but I forget the name

CULT|ReyBiz
I'm going to read the review. Seems I'm a bit behind what is available in the marketplace lol.

CULT|icycalm
The only original idea in your idea is the city-destruction
Like King of the Monsters Neo Geo
I wanted that in my Ubergame
But instead of 1v4 it would have been thousands of players FFA
(but they could form teams)
And it would take place on the entire earth, spherical PA style, plus the solar system
It would be an Overman free-for-all a la Highlander

CULT|ReyBiz
I just wonder, and it's a bit like my question about movies for higher men, a high budget game has to always tend to a big group of mediocre players. That's how I came to my seemingly not so original idea. I'm also curious to see whether the asymmetrical mp games will be pushed further, because I was thinking of like 100 vs 1.

CULT|before tigers
"There was another one where it was 1 monster vs 4 players, but I forget the name"

Evolve

CULT|ReyBiz
Are you still working towards this particular Ubergame idea?
Evolve sounds very interesting, anyone play and liked it?
I'll have to get back into modern gaming at some point, I'm missing the good stuff and it's evolving quite fast.

CULT|icycalm
Yeah, Evolve, thanks
I don't see 100 vs 1 working
As for the budget stuff, it's not as simplistic as you say
Blade Runner was pretty high budget and it's the best movie ever made
Braveheart too etc.
Lots of these movies also get high acclaim, and lots of profit etc.
So it's not a simple equation like "great artwork = unpopular"
If it was that easy we wouldn't need critics
As for my Ubergame idea, I would need five Ubisoft studios to make it, so no, I am not working on it
The reason I don't see 100 vs 1 working is because in that case you are turning the 100 players into movie extras. Into pop-corn enemies in a shooting game
Even with 4v1, it is obvious that each of the four players will be in the game for less time than the single player (otherwise the single player would never be able to win)
So the more players you want the weaker side to have, the smaller the role that each of these players will end up having in the game
4v1 is feasible, and so is perhaps 10v1
But by the time you get to 100v1, you might as well use AI bots for the 100 players, which is indeed what single-player games have been doing since the beginning of time
So finally your discussion reached the theory stage, because my reply to it is now deep enough. I will make an asymmetrical thread in the Theory forum
See, when you are discussing a game idea, that's not theory, that's a game idea. But when the discussion reaches a general idea like "asymmetric mechanics", that's when it becomes theory
I think I have an aphorism on Orgy about that somewhere. Not sure if on the frontpage or the forum (or my notes). It goes something like, "Whether an issue is philosophical depends not on the nature of the subject, but on the depth of the answer"
Everything can be philosophical if analyzed deeply enough

CULT|ReyBiz
So I was an AI bot in World of Warcraft all along
:smiley:

CULT|icycalm
MMORPGs are not asymmetric
They are FFA, not 1v100
I.e. they are symmetric, i.e. every player is worth the same as every other

CULT|ReyBiz
Oh you had this particular battleground where low levels couldn't fight but help out gathering resources

CULT|icycalm
In asymmetric, you have to give one player much more power than all the others, otherwise he can't defeat them
And the greater the asymmetry, the less power the many players have. Past a certain point it's not fun playing as them

CULT|ReyBiz
Of course, everyone wants to be the hero in the story. But there is also something satisfying about being a cog in a machine that seems to work well. I have this sometimes. But this might be very much a herd animal sentiment.

CULT|icycalm
Dude...
There is a time and a place to talk with Nietzschean terms
And then there is shoehorning them everywhere for the sake of shoehorning them
Being a cog in a machine for 5v5 Siege is a different thing than being 1 out 100 players who will be taken out within 20 seconds of the game starting
You see that, right?
Your "herd" comment is completely unrelated
Unless you classify as "herd" every time 2 dudes try to cooperate

CULT|ReyBiz
No, I'm talking about a feeling of being quite content to do janitorial tasks.
Like a cog in a big machine, knowing you're just small and insignificant but add a small bit of value.

CULT|icycalm
Okay, you can sweep the Planetary Annihilation factories

CULT|ReyBiz
Like the example in WoW, you were level 50 with bad gear, you collect items so the level 60 characters in top end gear get a 1% boost in damage.
And yet sometimes it felt comfy.

CULT|icycalm
That's more grinding than 1v100
In 1v100, you die and you are out
You die in seconds
In WoW, I don't think anyone meaningfully dies
It's just another form of grinding
People just relax while clicking on things and looking at colors
It's closer to meditation than anything, since there is no challenge

CULT|ReyBiz
Yeah, true, well it changes the tide of battle when resurrection timeouts kick in

CULT|icycalm
The difference with me is that I relax with sports
That recharges me on all levels, so that when I fire a videogame, I am looking for excitement
If I want to relax I take a stroll and talk to girls
So for me, WoW etc. are for extremely weak people, who can't do sports or talk to girls or even read books etc.
Their whole "entertainment"/occupation has to come through the screen
I've known people like this and studied them deeply
I think it's genetic
They just don't like to move

CULT|ReyBiz
Yeah, I'm sure. It's more of an addictive machine that substitutes real life victories with flashes of light, and faking social hierarchy too

CULT|icycalm
When such a person pours his life into studying something useful, like e.g. insects or history, we call him cool. When he pours it into WoW we call him lame
So it's not the passivity itself that's disgusting. It's what he does with it that makes a difference to the rest of us
The scholar does not do sports or chat up chicks either, but he's at least useful to society, so I have no problem with him. The WoW gamer just consumes resources for no reason, which is why when the drone army is unleashed he will be among the first to be slaughtered

CULT|ReyBiz
Have mercy on the poor souls

CULT|icycalm
Poor Souls
The Dark Souls of politics
By then it might be as easy as unplugging them from the wall socket
So it might not be painful for them

CULT|ReyBiz
So, do you place speedrunners in the same class, kind of?

CULT|icycalm
Anyone autistic who doesn't use his autism for the benefit of society, yeah

CULT|ReyBiz
People that become extremely good at 8bit game playthroughs and such

CULT|icycalm
If the speedrunner does it for fun in his free time, while in his work he decodes Chinese communications for example, that's ok
What people do for recreation is up to them
As long as they are contributing to mankind
Every kind of animal has its own recreational needs