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4 hours ago, GamesGamesGames said:

The interactions of systems to produce emergent gameplay. Yes please.

This would be a big one for me. Gameplay mechanics that interact with each other to provide a playground essentially. It's one of the reasons I still play Spelunky on a daily basis.

 

Another one would be worlds that feel like they don't just exist because I'm there. This is quite rare. Games are often set up to provide a journey for the player. Everyone and everything is there for you, and so you're afforded special status - either to do whatever the fuck you like with no consequences, or because everything wants to kill you (and no-one or nothing else). I like worlds that feel like they'd get on fine without me. Where other entities have their own lives and concerns, which may not involve me in the slightest.

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2 minutes ago, MarkN said:

This would be a big one for me. Gameplay mechanics that interact with each other to provide a playground essentially. It's one of the reasons I still play Spelunky on a daily basis.

 

Play Noita all day.

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I love a good turn based RPG with a great story.  Something that makes you feel like you’re part of an epic tale.

 

Suikoden I and II are right up there with some of my favourite gaming experiences. Also Chrono Trigger.

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Stealth, or hiding, and sneaking. I love it In horror games such as The Evil Within or Outlast, and of course the mother of all those, Alien Isolation. I also love it action games such as Metal Gear Solid or The Last of Us, and first person games like Thief, Deus Ex and Dishonored. 
 

I just love that feeling of passing through somewhere undetected, or the nail biting thrill of the chase and then hiding praying you don’t get caught. 
 

Even games that aren’t really properly stealth games but have it in a bit, like Spider-Man or the Arkham titles, sneaking around the rafters taking out foes from above. 
 

I also love games that offer a real sense of solitude or escape - Metroid Prime comes to mind where you really feel alone on alien planet, or even just pottering around at night in Animal Crossing, or getting up high in the mountains in Breath of The Wild and staring out over the land, the wind whistling. 
 

And then there’s Dark Souls. People must enjoy it for all different reasons but for me it’s about the sense of place and atmosphere, the ever respawning enemies popping up again and again in exactly the same way, knowing they’ll likely be struck down - if not at first then eventually and again and again. It functions in ways that only a video game can yet it seems to comment on something more, in a literary sense, something about life and death, repetition, the meaning of something. It feels almost sci-fi, like some strange digital purgatory. I love the noise of a bonfire too, that sweet relief. I know all that is verging on being a bit pretentious but there’s just something so special about it and if I were a better writer I’d love to explore it more. 

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Oh no, not stealth missions - like standalone shoehorned in for the sake of it stealth with unfair or seemingly arbitrary rules, they’re only one step up from escort missions ;) 

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I like stealth done well. 
 

I stealth-murdered every single person in a heavily occupied paramilitary base in Wildlands last night without anyone sounding an alarm. None of them had time to even tell. Almost got spotted many times but was always able to take them out in time. Wasn’t playing it safe either, was sprinting around abusing line of sight and using people as human shields to surprise rooms of enemies. Then when it was the last man standing I blew him up with C4. Yeah take that you impoverished Bolivians

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Loot. I don’t mean randomised epic loot rolls, I mean 14 drawers full of lint and pencils to rummage through. I love hammering buttons to pick up lots of crap. HL Alyx was brilliant for rummaging, maybe the best rummaging ever. 

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Bestiality. Sorry, I mean bestiaries. When a game puts all the creatures you encounter into a huge compendium with everything numbered with added information and lore. It's also great when you can spin the models and play an animation. I guess it's the Pokédex appeal. It lets you know they put effort into the game because they really didn't have to bother. I think it was Vagrant Story that did a really good job of this.

 

And because it feels perverse to write only positive things, Last of Us 2...what were they thinking making you unlock the artwork? Plus, animating the models would've been nice, come on.

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46 minutes ago, Triple A said:

Slick menus with an eye for cool graphic design and animation.


Persona games, Final Fantasy games, Ridge Racer games - I’m looking at you especially.


Great point - Even if I couldn't stomach Final Fantasy XIII, the whole thing they did with the FMV cut-ins layered into the menu background was slick as fuck.

Going on from that - really clean/aethetically pleasing splash/title screens with fairly soft title music playing. Specifically the likes of Kingdom Hearts , Persona 4 Golden, Nier: Automata and Xenoblade Chronicles. When you got screens that have that level of care and attention as the face of some 80-hour behemoth, you're in for a treat.

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Skill trees (that aren't overly complicated). I like getting XP for completing tasks and being rewarded with a choice of things like more life, new weapons etc.

 

Likeable characters, or even love-to-hate-able characters (Hi Wesker :bye: )

 

A nice chunk of cheese. In this age of everyone's-a-critic, nitpick-everything mentality and "super mature cinematic storytelling", it's incredibly enjoyable (when done right) to see something ridiculous and large-ham. The Mass Effects had a fair few of these. <3

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I love a game with good dynamic weather effects - especially good rain. Sleeping Dogs and Mafia spring to mind as having really good rain and nice environments to just walk around in (which I often did). Homefront: The Revolution had good rain, too - with puddles that formed and dried up as the weather changed.

 

The Division has good snow, too. I gather The Division 2 has good storms, so I look forward to that once I've got through the first game.

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I bloody love a bit of 4th wall breaking. When the game directly fucks with the player. Especially when a game simulates a hardware failure - in Arkham Asylum, there's a bit where the graphics start to spaz out in a fashion very similar to a failing GPU. MGS 1 has a bunch of famous examples.

 

Eternal Darkness pretending that your controller was unplugged, and pretending to delete your savegame was especially delicious.

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On 27/07/2020 at 16:38, GamesGamesGames said:

 

Play Noita all day.

I'll have to give Noita another go. It never quite did it for me first time around. I wanted to love it, but it just felt a bit too ragged around the edges. It felt scruffy and loose, and whilst I am personally both of these things I want more from something I expect to sink huge amounts of time in. Nearly loved it, but actually didn't quite get there. Hard to put my finger on, but it wasn't quite right for me. 

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Open world. I think it's become a popular thing to hate recently, probably because of Ubisoft, but there aren't many things in games that appeal to me more than an open world to explore.

 

Skill trees and shoehorned RPG elements too! I'm crap at games, so I enjoy brute forcing my way through them by grinding to unlock skills early on.

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2 minutes ago, Thwomp said:

Open world. I think it's become a popular thing to hate recently, probably because of Ubisoft, but there aren't many things in games that appeal to me more than an open world to explore.

 

Skill trees and shoehorned RPG elements too! I'm crap at games, so I enjoy brute forcing my way through them by grinding to unlock skills early on.

Allowing the player to level up beyond the game's difficulty level would be a huge one for me. In Morrowind I spent an enormous amount of time creating a set of armour that healed me faster than I could be hurt (by anything, or even by several anythings at the same time). It made the endgame a walkover. It was fantastic. I probably wouldn't have had the patience to do it properly.

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Games that you play from the opening moment. Games that don't make you wait, don't force you to sit through anything, no cut scenes etc.  You press start and you're in.

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12 hours ago, MarkN said:

Allowing the player to level up beyond the game's difficulty level would be a huge one for me. In Morrowind I spent an enormous amount of time creating a set of armour that healed me faster than I could be hurt (by anything, or even by several anythings at the same time). It made the endgame a walkover. It was fantastic. I probably wouldn't have had the patience to do it properly.


Which took skill in and of itself, right? It’s not cheating, it’s not an exploit, it’s Batmanning the situation and it’s awesome that you were able to do that

 

I like being able to get into a game and crush side quest stuff to get cool abilities that would take you ages to acquire just doing the main quest. Most recent example is Wildlands again. The drone is fucking shit when you start, but you’re so weak and have such poor weapons you need to use it to mark enemies so you can stealth missions. So I upgraded it more or less fully before I even took on the first Buchon. 
 

Also the sniper rifle and scope you start with was shit so I went to the inventory screen and found the equipment I wanted, and it said “Explore this area to unlock it.” So I loaded the gang in a pickup and trucked across the map, raiding intel caches and interrogating suckas until I found them. Proper behind enemy lines stuff, as both the rifle and the scope were in high security states and discovery by la Unidad spelled certain doom. 

 

Made taking down convoys trivial - 1 shot from the .50 cal beast destroys more or less any vehicle. Always classic fun no-scoping choppers. 
 

I also love guns, so good gun balancing is a turn on. It’s fine to have lots of guns in your game, but there’s nothing worse than them all being more or less the same in terms of their quality/ damage/ accuracy etc, and there’s also very little worse than two of them being excellent and the rest being terrible. For example, my MK17 is powerful and accurate, but it’s also fairly loud even when suppressed. AUG a3 is quieter but has less stopping power. HT1 can take anyone out, inc. vehicles with one shot, but is very loud and rof is slow so you have to use sync shot to take out enemies who are standing near each other. Dragunov SVD is much more rapid firing so you can eliminate groups of enemies yourself without raising the alarm, but you do really need headshots so have to be a better shot. 
 

Also being able to reliably shoot enemies through walls is sweet. 

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On the systemic side: getting AI factions to fight each other to the death.

 

There was a level in Doom 2 where you could run round the level opening doors to monster closets and circle strafe around until the zombies, imps and pinkies are all shooting and scratching each other, then watch to see who was left standing.

 

In GTAIV I used to bait enemy gangs to start attacking me, then hide behind cover and dial 911 on them. The cops would show up and I'd try to get a good angle to watch the ensuing fireworks.

 

Watch Dogs 2 is brilliant for this too because you can call a gang hit or SWAT team on literally anyone. Find a gang hideout and send in the cops, then use the drone to film your own shocking live shootout news footage.

 

The Last of Us 2 introduces this too - you can set infected/clickers on humans watch how the AI deals with it.

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1 hour ago, Floshenbarnical said:

Made taking down convoys trivial - 1 shot from the .50 cal beast destroys more or less any vehicle. Always classic fun no-scoping choppers. 

 

Oh, this is a good one. Taking down convoys.

 

In fact, anything that can systemically recreate the running street battle from Heat, complete with driveable vehicles. SUV-fulls of enemies turning up who can be riddled before they even leave the vehicle or flipped with a well-placed explosive, having to shoot round civilians as they abandon their cars and flee, gas tanks catching light and setting off chain reactions, running between cars, using them as cover to get a close-up angle for a shotgun kill, jumping in an empty car and giving chase as the target enemy does a runner across the map.

 

Basically, Michael Mann encounter simulators. The first Watch Dogs is the best for this. Wildlands and GTA are also brilliant.

 

EDIT: this sort of thing:

 

 

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2 hours ago, Pob said:

 

Oh, this is a good one. Taking down convoys.

 

In fact, anything that can systemically recreate the running street battle from Heat, complete with driveable vehicles. SUV-fulls of enemies turning up who can be riddled before they even leave the vehicle or flipped with a well-placed explosive, having to shoot round civilians as they abandon their cars and flee, gas tanks catching light and setting off chain reactions, running between cars, using them as cover to get a close-up angle for a shotgun kill, jumping in an empty car and giving chase as the target enemy does a runner across the map.

 

Basically, Michael Mann encounter simulators. The first Watch Dogs is the best for this. Wildlands and GTA are also brilliant.

 

EDIT: this sort of thing:

 

 


Yeah GTAV does it in a shit scripted way but that heist you pull off where you have the option to either be stealthy and sensible or shoot your way through the business district of LA was one of its best moments. 
 

Yesterday I had to extract a target from a heavily fortified mansion. Government troops and also the cartel were guarding it. So obviously I started sniping lone targets etc, but made a mistake and one of them discovered a body. They decided they had been betrayed by the other faction and they all started shooting each other while I kept picking them off. It was great because a bunch of cartel went inside and killed all the feds sheltering in the building. In the end I just walked up and shot the last guy through the window. It was good because I was dreading the gunfight

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