Let’s the end week with a bang. With quite a few new games to feature and guidelines on the Journey Through Steam series to share.
Several of these you’ve probably heard of. Which is fine, if I feature them its because I want to talk about where I am in relation to playing them. But I’ve got a few others to cover that I haven’t heard of before. So, let’s get to it.
This post is part of my new series where I take a look at the most interesting games on the new releases list for Steam. Learn more about this series here. <–This post has now been updated with the overall guidelines I’ve set for myself with this series. It should give you some idea of what I do and why I do it now.
Side Note: The Royal Trap
So, bit of a tip: a one minute and a half trailer featuring generic anime faces, names and characters doesn’t tell me anything. You don’t even give characters a personality outside of their clothing. No motivation. Not even lines and not even a reason why I should or shouldn’t play this game. The store page is certainly helpful but it’s mostly vague. Just talking about yet another princess in trouble. If I had a penny for everytime a game got released on Steam featuring a princess in distress, well, I’d be richer than Bill Gates. The trailer should really be selling me on WHY I should play this game. And pretty drawings aren’t good enough.
Side Note: World of Cinema – Movie Tycoon
If you want me to take your game seriously, don’t let your trailer be this terrible. Get rid of the windowed aspect, make it a proper wide-screen resolution (this is 2015, not 1985) and create a proper trailer. Not a gameplay trailer that explains absolutely nothing about itself. This would barely work as a second trailer.
Mixed Feature: Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1: A Dreadly Business
Some games like to be rather cheeky and this is one of those. Set in Victorian England with a very weird art style and universe, plenty of puns and more. Yet for all the cheek on display, I can’t help but be just a little bit intrigued by it all. Even if it’s a casual point-and-click affair originally designed for the iPad. It’s a bit odd that they say this is episode 1. As if to claim this is going to be an episodic game. But the website and store page doesn’t say when the next episode is arriving. Or if there’s going to be another episode. It’s odd. This was also originally Greenlit by the community.
This was one of my more anticipated games of a couple years ago. A new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. like experience from the devs who made the original games? I was hooked on the idea. But as more details began to surface about it being focused on PVP over a more open world exploration game, well, my interest petered out. I knew it had been on Early Access for some time but I hadn’t given it any attention. As I look at it now, I’m glad I didn’t give it any reasonable amount of my time. I have no idea why this suddenly left Early Access because the devs give no indication that this is ready for primetime. And if the reviewers are any indication, the game isn’t ready by their standards.
As I look past my rose-tinted glasses for the STALKER series, what I see is another generic Call of Duty FPS game with lots of mutated plants. Or Crysis 3. With a free to play business model to boot. The trailer nails the final hole in the coffin with its unimpressive selling of the game. Lots of rock music that doesn’t match up with what’s going on. Which what is going on is random action. Combine that with a graphical fidelity that somehow looks worse than Shadow Of Chernobyl. I mean, when the devs are putting this on their store page:
The Vostok Engine behind the game sports some of the best graphics in the genre. Immerse yourself within the world of Survarium!
And then you look at…well…any FPS that’s been released this year. I somehow get the feeling they haven’t looked at their competition recently. This looks like a hot mess. There’s already $84.97 worth of DLC which makes this an avoid for me. The fact that the Warrior Pack sells power in it doesn’t make me interested at all. I doubt I will ever give this game the time of day even though its F2P. I simply don’t have time to be further disappointed right now.
Feature: War for the Overworld
I’d say featuring this game is a bit redundant. But hey, I’m going to do it anyway. This is the spiritual successor to Dungeon Keeper. A game that EA seems hell bent on making sure they never do. I mean, that disgustingly bad Dungeon Keeper that showed up on mobile devices still makes me ill. As for myself, War for the Overworld is most definitely on my radar to play at some point in the near future. It’s just not going to happen right now. I have too many games and am overwhelmed. I can’t fit in another game and buying War at the moment would be a waste when I can and should wait. I do want to play this though. I had a lot of fun with the previous games when I played them about 1-2 years ago for the first time. I’m curious to see how the modern versions play out. Only thing that concerns me are the multiple reports of bugs still existing in the final release. I hope they work those bugs out. It does make me wonder why they weren’t when they spent such a long time in Early Access to begin with. Still, it’s nice to see another game in this genre. It’s been far too long since we’ve had one.
Feature – Out There: Ω Edition
Bit of FTL, bit of roguelike, bit 4X in this one. A resource PVE game with no combat? Hmm. Gotta say, I’ve heard of worse ideas. This one seems to have some interesting potential and it’s getting a reasonable amount of traffic already. The art style is quite nice too. It probably has the same issues as FTL where at some point, you get the same text screens over and over again. But, you know, I’d like to give this one a shot. If for no other reason than to see if the claim that “it makes you feel truly alone in space” has any teeth to it.
Mixed Feature: Finding Teddy 2
There are a TON of platformers. I’ve probably already said that but I’ll say it again. There are a TON of indie platformers. I don’t think a week goes by without seeing at least one artsy indie platformer. This one is clearly trying to be one and I’d normally write these off but I saw some quirky things in the trailer that caught my eye. Some sort of musical instrument mechanic? An odd puzzle mechanic perhaps? The store doesn’t really say. The art style and animation work is fantastic from what I can see. 20 hours though? That tends to be a bit long in my experience for platformer/metroidvania style games. Usually the game runs out of ideas and makes you backtrack a lot. I wonder if this one does the same. Still, a very intriguing title.
Mixed Feature – Elite Dangerous
I’ve mostly avoided the Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen epic Space Sim Open World hypetrains. I don’t have a ton of research or pouring over screenshots like many people I know of. I’m not extremely excited that these titles exist and for me, that’s ok. This genre has been niche and very hard to pull off. Can these two games do it? I don’t know. And I don’t know if I’ll ever find out. 400 million star systems demands an investment that I’m not crazy about. It’s the main reason I haven’t returned to Eve Online. I don’t have the time or dedication to play these titles. My issue with sandbox games like these is that there tends to be a lot of hurry up and wait, with little variety to go around on most average playthroughs. I’d like to see if Elite or Star Citizen solve that problem. But it won’t be any time soon. Both games are on my wishlist but at a very low priority. This is simply due to the demands on my time more than anything else. Still, it’s great to see Elite now out in the wild and taking names. I wish I had the time to invest into it. Maybe one day soon.
Mixed Feature: Nightside
Hmm. I can’t complain about seeing a new indie RTS on the scene. A few concerns to note is the rather short amount of time this game will be in Early Access, which is four months. Kind of seems like it’ll be pushing it to have all of these features they list ready in time. Though it’d be nice if the store page itself was a little bit more descriptive on what sets this RTS apart from the others. It’s not all that specific. They also note: “No fog of war, just lights of your units/buildings for vision”. Isn’t that still fog of war? Fog of war doesn’t literally mean fog, it just means you can’t see everything that’s happening on the map unless you have direct vision. Still, it definitely looks like a decent amount of work and heart went into making it. Even if it does look a bit derivative of C&C & Starcraft. Just my initial impressions though.
Mixed Feature: Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
I guess this is the Game of the Year edition? Not really sure why they didn’t just name it GOTY but I guess From Software just had to be that unique of a special snowflake. What I do find just a bit perturbing is that the multiplayer for this game isn’t compatible with the previous Dark Souls II. Neither are the save files. So, they just split up the multiplayer community. That…doesn’t seem intelligent at all. I mean, when you have separate map DLC packs for games like COD, you’re splitting up the community drastically. And then you guys go and do this? Ok….
This version gives us the “enhanced 64-bit version with updated graphics and added features”. To which reviews said: “I can’t tell the difference” or “This is the PC port of the next-gen console version”. Oh. Good. They also mention new enemy placements and NPC invaders with changed up online battles. I had heard that the enemy placement in the original edition wasn’t fantastic. So, that certainly makes me less dubious to try this out. It seems that if you don’t have the original Dark Souls II, this is the version to get. But if you do, might not be that great an upgrade for the price asked. Guess that’s up to you.
As for me, well, it’s on my wishlist but not for a ways out. I want to return to Dark Souls I at some point and do a few more runs. Get a really good sense of that title for my personal review. But, I’m not scheduling that yet which probably means it’ll be another year before I get to it. So, who knows when DS2 will ever be played.
Thanks for reading this epic long post. Wowsers, I got a lot of interesting games this week. As always, feedback is appreciated.