31 July, 2016

Keepalive: Soma, Outlast, EDF 4.1, Yakuza: Dead Souls

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 31 July 2016

Soma (3 of 5)

DISCLAIMER: I cheated my way through Soma.  I used a mod that made the monsters blind.  They could still find me by sound and in certain scripted sequences could chase me, but that was it.  After Penumbra Overture, Penumbra Black Plague, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, I've had enough of playing hide and seek.  It doesn't help that Metal Gear Solid V and Dishonored spoiled me by putting many more stealth tools in the tool chest.

That said, Soma was a good experience.  The setting is imaginative.  The puzzles are decent.  The production values are impressive.  Philosophically the game is at its best when it's putting the player in difficult situations and letting them decide for themselves what's ethical.  I don't think it actually makes any points other than people are dumb, which isn't news.

I'm similarly cheating my way through Outlast, but thanks to many quick scripted sequences, I'm being forced to hustle a good bit more than in Soma.  Outlast doesn't seem to have any philosophical dilemmas, but it's a solid scare fest so far.

I've been playing a fair amount of EDF.  I leveled my Ranger and spent some time working on my Air Raider and Wing Diver.  The Air Raider really needs co-op play to shine, and overall I've been happy with the players I've met online.

I'm in part three of four (I think) in Yakuza: Dead Souls.  It replaces the good but not great brawling with okay shooting and replaces human enemies with zombies in a fanciful "what if" story.  Ultimately I kind of don't care about the story.  And the mechanics / enemies aren't particularly great either.  The tragic tone also takes some of the fun out of things.  I don't know if I'll finish it.

Looking on Wikipedia I saw that Dead Souls came out only a year after Yakuza 4 and a year before Yakuza 5.  I think it may have gotten squeezed in the middle, resource-wise.

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