Sunday, July 12, 2015

Screenshot of the Week #46: Bad idea!

                Busy end of the week, Skyforge Early Access to the Open Beta started on Thursday and the expansion for Path of Exile was released on Friday.
                I bought into the Early Access for Skyforge after I played in the Stress Test. At first I thought the game leveling system would be more complex and the alternation between small to medium sized open world areas and small dungeons is going to work great. But the game places barriers on progression forcing the players in loop, replaying over and over again the unlocked content in order to move further. Repetition and grinding in an MMO are common features, but nowadays it's important for a game of this genre to mask these features well so they don’t push the players away. After so many grinding MMOs I don’t think there are too many players out there who are willing to grind one more time in a different game. Every map has the same objectives as the previous one and these objectives aren’t even too varied being mostly about killing monsters, looting stuff and interacting with objects.
It’s sad that the progression system is so dull because the skill system is interesting and most of the classes are absolutely amazing (some of the best I’ve seen in an MMORPG). I will grant the game some more time in order to reach the endgame content (if I can withstand the grind) and see what that is about and maybe even write a review about it.
                Path of Exile: The Awakening was the motivation I was waiting for in order to start playing again and the features this expansion brings are going to revitalize the game. The divination cards, the passive skill tree sockets and changes, the huge amount of everything (monsters, abilities, items, bosses) and most importantly the fix for the desync are great additions to an already great game. Yet, I’m a little disappointed with Grinding Gear Games. After such a long wait, the Act IV is released just to offer a few hours of gameplay. I was expecting a longer story and bigger areas to explore and I was a little shocked when I finished it in less than four hours.
Even so, for the hardcore fans of Path of Exile this expansion comes as great news and the number of those playing this game on Steam has increased tremendously.
                Finally, time to talk a little about Kholat. I started playing the game and the first thing that hit me was the quality of the graphics. Unreal Engine 4 shows its potential in this small indie game through atmospheric and detailed areas that will seduce snow lovers and not only them.
The game can be quite terrifying and gets straight to the point in the first hour of gameplay. The sound effects and the music contribute greatly to the creepy atmosphere and using my headset was bad for my health as I felt my heart going crazy at times because of sound design.
                I haven’t played an actual horror game in a very long time so this title is most welcomed by me. I do feel that the exploration could be better as the game has some weird limitations to prevent reaching some areas straight away. I also feel that the interaction with the environment should have played a much bigger role so it keeps the players concentrated. Other than these problems I think the game does a pretty good job for what it wants to be and does it so by combining elements from popular games of this genre that were released in the latest years.
It is so obvious I shouldn't go in there!

                No new article this week, because I was quite tired due to my work shift and I didn’t have anything to write about. I’m currently working on my Kholat review and with the newer games released I have more material to work with.

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