Archive for July, 2016

Design Impressions: Torchlight 2

July 20th, 2016 No comments

Torchlight 2 picks up where the original left off, featuring creative new character classes, new environments, and more polish across the board. Endgame content is still a bit lackluster, but itemization is better tuned and more engaging overall.

• Knockback is a legitimately serious mechanic.
Torchlight 2 cover   ○ Some common enemies send you flying back 5+ meters on heavy hits, or 2+ meters on basic attacks.
  ○ Knockback reduction gear actually has some value, but only affects close range melee builds which are somewhat rare. I didn’t care about it at all while playing Embermage, and it only matters for Engineer while grinding levels to unlock Ember Quake.
  ○ Repeatedly Onslaughting into a Sand Spectre’s pushback sandstorm is pretty fun though.
• Onslaught is such an awesome Engineer skill!
  ○ Feels great on impact.
  ○ Travels extra distance when it has a valid target.
  ○ Passes safely through most projectiles.
  ○ Works surprisingly well as a tanky opening attack – due to slowing enemies instantly on impact (and Force Field making Engineer practically invulnerable in winnable encounters).
• Thunder Locus is a pretty cool Embermage skill.
  ○ Forceful summon animation, splendid VFX, and versatile tactical utility.

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Design Impressions: The Order, 1886

July 6th, 2016 No comments

The Order: 1886 was a highly anticipated PS4 exclusive title developed by Ready At Dawn Studios. Upon release, it was criticized mainly for being too short. It’s not hard to imagine the game being much more satisfying with a few extra levels to give the characters more time to develop at a natural pace. Still, it’s a fun shooter built around an interesting premise.

The Order: 1886 cover     Gameplay
• Gunfights feel solid, although melee combat is extremely basic.
  ○ Why not have custom close-range attack strings instead of instant kill on a single button press?
• There are a couple of creative instances of forcing players to use handguns: once while dragging a wounded officer to safety and once while holding a lantern.
  ○ The first felt surprisingly good, possibly because it was so short.
  ○ The second seemed like a good idea, but started to feel a bit clunky the longer it went on, especially as taking cover seemed to be arbitrarily disabled too.
• Quicktime boss fights are kinda lame.
  ○ Non-randomized quicktime events are silly and pointless in general.
• Lock-picking mini-games can be surprisingly rad, as it turns out.
  ○ The rumbling sensation changes with just the right balance of subtlety and clarity.
  ○ Plus they’re quick enough not to get annoying through repetition.

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