Visual Arts

Environmental Showcasing [Just Cause 3]

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Rating: 3.5/5 (2 votes cast)

I find that this game has taken a brilliant game design choice to invite the players to admire the good looking environments, which are at times quite beautiful. Often times I see games which have in fact fantastic art assets, but because they have no gameplay associated to seeing them many twitch players miss them. This simple gampley (could just as well have been collecting points) combined with the challenge of gliding invites me to go close and go into a mood of calm and observation paying attention to the surroundings.

 

Star Wars – Knights of The Old Republic (Apeiron HD Remake)

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Are all these video game (and movie) reboots making you feel left out? Don’t worry! Chances are you’ve enjoyed the first two games set in The Old Republic times, and maybe even had a daydream about them being remade.

Dream no more; a small, independent team decided to step up, and treat KOTOR to a nice shine and polish, featuring modern models and shaders, and a first-person mode, among many other goodies.

Don’t forget to check their progress over here.

At the time of writing (August, 2016), Apeiron has not yet received a cease & desist. Good for them.

Surreal Waterway

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Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

I still find it amazing that this whole world is generated and yet it can produce such interesting places with pretty believable placing of plantlife on surprisingly non-flat geometry landscape.

Demon’s Crest Speedrun

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Find this game so fascinating, the only SNES game i actually finished. The world, the anti-hero story, the creatures, the superb and varied locations… so much respect for this one.

I remembered it because I saw it today on games done quick:

Holding up surprisingly decently good 22 years after it’s launch in 1994: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon%27s_Crest

The Memorable Great Bridge

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

This bridge is one of the places that sticks in my memory among the strongest in the wonderful world of Dying Light. It’s a testimony to Techland’s amazing masterpiece that it isn’t even part of the main questline but encountered in a few (awesome) secondary stories, should you find them, and should you feel like doing them, or simply like going there because it looked interesting. I love the feeling of discovery to find something so big and interesting inviting but not forcing you to explore (and in multiple stages of “secret”)… how amazing!

I can only hope that the new Assassin’s Creed will learn from this and make the leap into first person on this level of quality, and whenever I think of the Mirror’s Edge games, which i should’ve so loved (first person, exploring worlds!!!) I think what a shame they haven’t managed to create worlds nearly as beautiful or intricate or alive or open or inviting to explore as this. And since I’m already making “enemies” of fans of other games, I should also mention that the much praised new Doom game which is so praised for secrets and exploration has not just a much worse environment navigation system with many surfaces that seem climbable being invisible walls and the world not being nearly as interesting (although it should, being an original world as opposed to boring old contemporary reality!) but also having to lamely point out “you found a secret” and give counters and numbers to motivate, while Dying Light invites exploration with aristocratic elegance, with visual cues, with stories, with curiosity, and having whole huge amazing areas as “secrets” yet not feeling the need to brag about it.

So much respect for Techland!

Island Overview

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

What a beautiful aaaamazing magical island! I reaaaly hope Techland will one day turn their magical hands to making fictional/dark fantasy/original worlds. If this is the level of beauty, believability and human emotion they can bring to a contemporary world setting my brain explodes and imagination is watering at what they’d do within their own original worlds!

Beautiful Smog

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Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

What an atmospheric world!

Skywind – Prevalence

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Amaaazing progress!

Adr1ft – Beautiful Nature in Space

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Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Looks quite beautiful at times and the vegetation growth is a beautifully brave and interesting idea. Too bad it looks a bit repetitive, but I’m definitely curious of the other zones.

Witcher 3 Forgotten Song

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Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Not only very professionally done visually but the seriousness of the storytelling i find worthy of great respect. You can tell on his actions and expressions that for him it’s very life&death, and what others may think falls to the side.

Dark Souls fan art community

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Rating: 3.5/5 (2 votes cast)

What a surprising community.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Debut

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Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)

Yeayy, England’s industrial revolution! I’m happy to see how the series is making it’s way through all the properous countries in their respective periods through history. It’s ironic though given the “for the poor” tendency stories. :)) Hope they’ll get to Asia, ancient Middle East and hopefully one day even Greece, Egypt & Rome too. I guess hoping for Assyria is a bit too much to dream of though.

DARK SOULS II: Scholar of the First Sin trailer

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Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)

As cool as I find this trailer now I think it’s largely because of the many beautiful memories, because if I try to have a detached look at it I would probably dislike how empty/flat many of the environments look and that it seems to be all about fighting bosses. There reason I’d be wrong though in not playing it after this trailer is because what the trailer doesn’t show are the many choices and paths you can take, the many ways you can approach things and the beautiful ways in which you can get lost in the worlds realistic deadends… the feeling of exploration.

And with all 3 addons… man, there’s a LOT of exploring to do in there for anybody who hasn’t played it.

San Andreas Timelapse

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

A magical world that comes in a box that you can put in your pocket. It amazes me to think that this is true like in a fairy tale… you could be holding in your hand something which is in fact a living world if you just look at it.

DmC: Devil May Cry – quick impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

 

+, +, +  at times the environments are quite fantastic. Not all levels though, some or rather dry and uninteresting, but maaan, when it shines it really shines. Breaking apart bits of interesting architecture in an empty space rearangement in abstract yet meaningful ways was the part that most impressed me, but there were also very interesting other locations and contracts, including to my surprise rather late in the game a uniquely used graphical chalk look environments for planning storytelling

– waves after waves of similar enemies

+ however this is slightly counterbalanced by the quite through/reflex thinking provoking series of key combos, even to some extent customizable. On a physical reflexive plane it at times feels quite satisfying

+, + very interesting story told in quite bold cutscenes with nice cinematic work.

-,+ punishingly tough at times even on the easiest level, though once you accept that I must admit there’s a certain elegance in the way it pushes you to play inteligently even with fast reflexes

+ pushes the cinematography for a game medium to surprising places

– annoying music with the angry voices, I mean at times it is atmospherically aggressive rock, but mostly it would have IMO been much better with just instrumentals

+ interesting cast of characters

+,- the colors of the game had good and bad moments, sometimes the stylization felt good, while at other times the over saturation filter on everything made things burn out in not so good looking ways.

+ great idea with the switching between the real and the limbo dimension, and correlations between them, how the humans perceive an event and how the demons do

Overall: 3.5 (on a -5 to 5) scale. Though not the kind of game I admire the world, being neither choice oriented or open world exploration oriented the game really shines with it’s original environments and quite interesting story. It has some quite moving dramatic moments as well as an interesting perpetual tensions between dimensions, main characters… Warmly recommending it despite the occasional finger pains from button mashing :D

PS: [Vergil’s Downfall] my recommendation refers only to the main game, the Vergil’s Downfall DLC I started with great excitement because the first location was cool and new, but then it got diluted and artificially prolonged artificially with too many filler waves of battles and the story was nowhere near as good as the main game, neither in the artwork, or in the narrative.

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