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General Gaming / Re: Diablo II: Resurrected announced by Blizzard
« Last post by MysterD on Friday, February 19, 2021, 05:32:43 PM »
D2:R for PC, PS4, PS5, X1, X Series S/X, and Switch.

Sources:
IGN - https://www.ign.com/articles/diablo-2-resurrected-announced-for-pc-ps5-xbox-series-x-ps4-xbox-one-and-nintendo-switch
CNet - https://www.cnet.com/news/diablo-two-resurrected-will-hit-pc-consoles-and-nintendo-switch/

Info:
- 4K60fps support on PC, PS5, and XSX.
- PC will also support ultra-wide monitors & gamepads.
- On the Xbox One & PlayStation 4 families of consoles; and Nintendo Switch, it will run at lower resolutions.
- Cross-progression will be supported on any platforms that choose to enable it, according to Blizzard.
- Underneath, the original D2 game is here & can run at 800x600.
- With a one-button press, you can switch b/t the old version of the game (2D) & the new 3D graphics version.
- Cinematics, however, can’t simply be up-rezzed.
- Blizzard and Vicarious Visions are “fully remaking every minute” of Diablo 2’s cinematics.
- The cinematics amount to roughly 27 minutes of pre-rendered video.
- Some quality-of-life (QoL) additions have been made.
- Some QoL stuff are just baked in, such as new ambient noises like wind rustling the leaves in trees...
- ...And a shared stash so that you no longer have to make a mule character.
- Others QoL stuff will be opt-in, such as...
- ...Auto-pickup for gold & loot drops for those that don’t want to have to click on every single piece of loot on the ground.
- On PS5 and Xbox Series X, the team is “taking advantage of what's there” on the new consoles...
- ...Such as the aforementioned higher framerates & resolution as well as the faster loading times the SSD drives afford.
- Blizzard is looking at adding things like raytracing effects, but Fergusson was clear about not promising anything...
- ...And suggested that if any specific next-gen upgrades are added, they’ll come along after the game’s release later in 2021.
- Finally, with regard to multiplayer, couch co-op hasn’t been added – Fergusson called it “a bridge too far” for this faithful remaster effort.
- All of Diablo 2’s original eight-player online functionality is still here.
- And you’ll now have the option to store characters on Battle.net for dedicated-server play.
- “It's more secure” when it comes to bots, item duping & other cheating-related issues that ran rampant in Diablo 2 back in the day, Gallerani said.
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General Gaming / Diablo II: Resurrected announced by Blizzard
« Last post by MysterD on Friday, February 19, 2021, 05:32:37 PM »
Diablo II: Resurrected (Remaster) - Announcement Trailer:


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General Gaming / Re: Mass Effect 2
« Last post by Quemaqua on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 10:49:53 AM »
I really do want to get back to these. Still haven't finished ME1, and I have 2 somewhere. Thinking about getting that remastered collection eventually and giving it another go.
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General Gaming / Re: Mass Effect 2 - Update: 1Up Article On The Final Boss in ME2
« Last post by MysterD on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 08:22:54 PM »
MASS EFFECT 2 = 02-09-2021:
Mass Effect 2 (base-game), which I played numerous years ago, is one of those great sci-fi shooter/RPG hybrids. This game spun the world & galaxy on its head. ME2 did this by basically flipping the script on RPG/shooter hybrids of that sort at that time, turning the combat (of the original ME1) from a RPG-first/shooter-second to the reverse in the sequel (ME2) with a shooter-first/RPG-second approach, replying more on the actual combat & shooting than the RPG stats of such for when the player ran into combat.

The gamble & risk here paid off immensely, improving the game's combat in its feel in just so many ways. Pretty much, many RPG/shooter hybrids afterwards began following in the footsteps of ME2 with its reverse approach. Combat just look & felt better, first off, feeling more in line with games that were straight-up cover shooters, like that of say Gears of War titles. If this wasn't enough, combine all of that with the usual hallmarks of BioWare games with a great story; great characters, world, setting, dialogue, writing & prose; RPG-style decision-making; a moral system; and whatnot - this all made & added-up, making this an absolutely unforgettable experience.

MASS EFFECT 2: DLC BUNDLE PACK = 02-09-2021.
After numerous years of waiting, some few years back, BioWare & EA finally put together the game's normally expensive Premium DLC's into one DLC big pack. I bought them a few years ago (and also bought the DLC Packs for ME3 and DA2) and with being so jazzed with the upcoming Mass Effect: Legendary Edition collection, I've finally decided to tackle the DLC's.

LAIR OF THE SHADOW BROKER DLC = 02-06-2021:
Despite its brevity of 3 hours or so, it's an awesome DLC. With a new race mission; awesome & fun combat; action-packed; well-designed; doesn't waste much or any of the player's time; plays fan service to fans of the original Mass Effect 1 game; a really interesting story with a few twists & turns; and this story really sets up an important character for ME3 - it's hard to not love this DLC. This DLC fires on all cylinders and is an absolute blast.

KASUMI: STOLEN MEMORY DLC = 02-07-2021:
Taking approximately a little over 2 hours, the Kasumi DLC is in the books. Also, despite its brevity, this is another really well done & put together mission for the excellent ME2. Adding a new mission with some investigation elements; a cool high-end party to visit; a new cool & awesome new companion in Kasumi (who can join your party); a really good boss fight; and more awesome action - Kasumi is just another awesome winner in the Mass Effect 2: DLC Bundle Pack.

ARRIVAL DLC = 02-09-2021:
Taking up almost about 2 hours here, the Arrival DLC comes to its epic conclusion. It's a really good DLC overall, even despite its brevity here. This DLC is really important in setting up some really important events that shape the events going right into Mass Effect 3. It doesn't offer-up a new companion to keep like Kasumi DLC did and doesn't offer up say a new race-like section like Shadow Broker DLC did - but It's well done to say the least and another Mass Effect 2 mission. Though, It's importance to ME3 cannot be understated here. It's a really good DLC gameplay-wise and the mission's a blast, but it's essential and crucial, making this DLC a must play b/c of how it ties directly right into Mass Effect 3.

OVERLORD DLC = 02-13-2021:
At around 3 minutes shy of 2 hours, another DLC winds up in the books as finished. This time, it's the Overlord DLC. In this DLC, a scientist lets you know that an AI has taken over the area; killing off people; and taking over the Geth & communicating with them. Your objective: get to the AI and decide what to do with the AI. In this action-packed DLC, you'll be fighting enemies in big open-spaced arena for shootouts; driving a ship w/ guns on it to battle enemies & cannons to get to areas; and a really good final boss battle.

This DLC doesn't offer up any new companions (side note: Kasumi DLC did add a new companion) nor does it add new interesting sequences (side note: Shadow Broker DLC added that race type of section). Still, everything is well-executed here: the story & character stuff's good in its short time-frame; and the combat's really good.

While this doesn't feel entirely essential to the ME Trilogy here - unlike both the Arrival and Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC's, which do feel essential & tie into important events in ME3 - this DLC's still really good, even despite it brevity. Overlord DLC is another really good, yet short DLC for Mass Effect 2.

CONCLUSION = 02-13-2021:
After playing this ME2: DLC Bundle Pack for around a total of around 9-10 hours or so, the DLC Pack is complete. Arrival & Lair of the Shadow Broker both are essential & important for some of the events, character-related stuff, and whatnot for ME3. The Kasumi DLC is just flat-out awesome & great, also offering up a new companion to take with you throughout ME3. Overlord DLC is a really good side-quest on its own and is certainly worth playing for its own story & action.

Given that all of the DLC's range from really good to great here - and also with some of these DLC's feeling essential to some stuff for ME3 - this makes it pretty easy to recommend the Mass Effect 2: DLC Bundle Pack for another 9-10 hours for basically more Mass Effect 2 - in which you'll get more game-time, missions, story, and sci-fi action of the fantastic Mass Effect 2. This DLC Bundle Pack here is all killer and no filler, just like Mass Effect 2 base-game.

Mass Effect 2 was (and still is) an amazing & fantastic game. Certainly more of that greatness added to ME2 from this ME2: DLC Bundle Pack is certainly more than welcome here, as what's here overall in this package is nothing but quality. This ME2: DLC Bundle Pack is great.
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General Gaming / Re: Metro: Exodus
« Last post by MysterD on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 08:16:20 PM »
Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition announced for PC, PS5, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X:
https://www.ign.com/articles/metro-exodus-next-gen-enhanced-edition-announced-for-ps5-xbox-series-xs-and-pc

Info:
- This is a free update for Metro Exodus owners.
- PS5 and XSX console versions of Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition will run at 4K/60 FPS...
- ...While the Xbox Series S will target 1080p/60 FPS.
- All versions will use ray traced lighting and global illumination, across both the base game and DLC expansions.
- Textures will be rendered at 4K, and loading times will be reduced.
- There will be a few platform specific features, too...
- ...Such as a spatial audio system for Xbox and haptic support for the PS5’s DualSense controller.
- The PC version, meanwhile, will require a ray tracing compatible GPU as standard.
- As well as all the enhancements seen in the console versions, the PC upgrade also has advanced ray traced reflections...
- ...And support for Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0 technology.
- Since these changes mean it is fundamentally different from the original version, it will be added to your Steam/EGS/GoG library as a new, separate game.
- PC version is coming Spring 2021.
- Console versions of Metro Exodus EE have no date for release yet.
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General Gaming / Re: MAFIA Trilogy (Remasters & Remake) announced by 2K
« Last post by MysterD on Monday, February 15, 2021, 04:51:44 PM »
Mafia: Definitive Edition (Steam/PC)

My Thoughts & Impressions....


MAFIA (Original) = 02-14-2021:
I can remember buying the original Mafia (PC version), like it was yesterday. In a jewel case, all patched-up to its latest version at that time at WalMart's for around $10 (before tax); back in the days when PC games were often still bought at a retail level and not digitally. At its time, there did not feel like a ton of games were like this, back in the day. While this game wasn't truly open-world in full, as there wasn't many - heck, if any, side-missions/side-content in the main campaign - this game delivered the good on everything else.

With outstanding voice-acting, storytelling, narrative & writing, all while being also cinematic as can be, Mafia felt like something special. Mafia also felt purposely built to feel & be more of a realistic simulation than the GTA games (those were more arcade-y and action-y, back then). This all here led me & drew me into one of the great mafioso video-game experiences, feeling like we had found The Godfather of video games here.

This story & game of a cab driver, Tommy Angelo, who is trying to make a living in the 1930's somehow winds up involved helping out a gangster...and then eventually joining a (Mafioso) Family that are at war with other gangster & crime families is memorable as can be.

And now, we're back...with Mafia: Definitive Edition, a Remake of the original classic, which they've remade & moved over to a tweaked-up version Mafia 3 Engine.

MAFIA: DEFINITIVE EDITION = 02-14-2021:
I'm around 2.9 hours into this Remake, according to Steam. So far, I have to say this: I'm really impressed with this Remake.

By re-making this classic game on the Mafia 3 Engine, we also now have the combat & cover system from that game. So, a lot of the clunky-ness of trying to duck behind boxes & objects to try to hide & take cover behind from the original version of Mafia is gone here in the Remake. There's now a cover system here and the combat feels really good, just like it did in Mafia 3. There are also stealth mechanics in Mafia: Definitive here, which also is coming right from Mafia 3. The car mechanics, including the ram mechanics from Mafia 3, is also here.

Everything was fundamentally & mechanical really sound in Mafia 3 and seems to be here in Mafia 1: Definitive. Mafia 3 had issues of grind, repetition & UbiSoft open-world side-quests everywhere & collect-a-thons everywhere, getting often in the main of the excellently presented story, narrative, character development, and all of that game's ebb & flow - and so far, I haven't run into any of that in Mafia 1: Definitive. There are some collection items & things to find - yes, just like in Mafia 3 - here in Mafia 1: Definitive. But, this all doesn't feel really over-bearing & feel like it's everywhere around almost every step of the way and every corner, interrupting the flow of the story.

It seems like Hangar 13 has learned from the Mafia 3 problem and is also honoring the legacy of the original Mafia here, since just like the original Mafia game and also some of the Mafia 3 DLC's - it's sticking to great missions, story, narrative, and immersion. Mafia 3's Faster Baby DLC & Sign of the Times DLC, for example, which are all short and excellent, BTW - were all killer and no filler, just like how Mafia: Definitive here feel. Mafia: Definitive here is - well, at least so far - doing its best to be all killer & no filler, sticking to the excellence of its main story...and I hope it remains this way, too.

There are some other settings for the player also. While there are modernizations here - namely coming from Mafia 3's engine, gameplay, gunplay, combat, and mechanics here - there are extra settings here for those who loved the original game and its aim for realism & Simulation. I'm playing as Hangar 13 intended, on Medium and with the Normal settings, as they expect most new players to play the game as. There are other settings, for those who want to make the game more of a Simulation for it to be more realistic (like the old Mafia 1 game), where you will need to obey the law to stop at stop signs; stop at street lights; and drive the Speed Limit. I don't have all of those on, but for those who want to original game experience: there's settings there, for fans of the classic game that might've also wanted this to be also done in that game's more realistic style.

While this doesn't retain entirely the voice-actors and the music & radio stations from the original game; the tone feels at times a bit darker & meaner; and not as innocent; and Tommy doesn't seem as innocent as he was in the original title (especially in the very beginning) - what's here & also what's new, so far, are all still great. The voice-acting, the graphics, the music, and the game-world: this all sounds great and just looks great. Just like Mafia 3 and the original Mafia 1, this game just oozes with immersion, immersing the player right into the world & atmosphere of the game.

Everything looks and sounds great, on this engine and in this game. Textures everywhere are detailed, even if it feels like this game really might've needed more AA options available to it. I might need to try some forcing of other AA methods, as some things in the distance look a bit blurry, just like in Mafia 3. But up close, stuff looks great. It might not be the best technical-looking game - yep, just like Mafia 3 - but the textures and everything looks so fitting of the time period; and it feels like you could really live in this world.

Performance is definitely fine here, as the game's running smoothly at 1080p60fps at its maxed-out settings with no hitches, no slow-downs, nothing. I'm running this here on my new PC (from Dec. 2020), loaded with these specs: i7 10700KF; 16 GB RAM; 8GB RTX 3070; W10 x64. It's running smooth as butter & silk; and like an absolute dream here.

With all of this Mafia: Definitive talk and all of my thoughts here so far, I think I need to make my way back to Empire Bay.

MORE ON MAFIA: DEFINITIVE = 02-14-2021:
I'm some 6.9 hours so far into this awesome remake. Some more things worth noting, on this remake.

Via the NVidia Control Panel, I have cranked-up a few things: FXAA to 8x; AA set to Enhance the App; Image Sharpening to 1.00 with 0.17 on Film Grain; SuperSampling to 8x's. Texture Filtering on High Quality; Trilinear filtering with Trilinear optimization is On. No framerate loss, no hits, nothing. Still hitting 1080p60fps without an issue here; and the game in looks a lot clearer & sharper.

The infamous racing mission doesn't seem as difficult here as the original Mafia - well, at least at the difficulty that I have it on (i.e. what the game suggests by Default). The main missions have been awesome & memorable missions, even if they have been modernized in some ways and made a cinematic at times.

Also, there is an option when driving to skip the actual driving part. In the original game, there was a lot of driving, in which...nothing of much was really happening and you were just soaking in the atmosphere & traveling in the game-world. Options are always a great idea, so the option to skip this is appreciated, as some might not care about this stuff.

You can still do the driving part yourself, if you'd like. Though, the thing here in Mafia: Definitive is this: you (as Tommy) will be often riding with someone and get a lot of insight into the game-world, characters, story, plot, thoughts, details, and whatnot - well, at least with the first go around here - you actually might not want to skip these drives.

The drives from place-to-place actually here have a lot of voice-over work - yes, like what GTA games do a lot of - and will likely clue you in with something that you might want to know. Some might be wanting to get to the action & push the game ahead - but if you appreciate story, character, dialogue, and voice-acting, and/or you want to joy-ride around the game-world - you might not want to skip this stuff.

Since I've said & typed plenty here, I'll wrap this up. Can't wait to get back to this game and play some more of this awesome remake.
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General Gaming / Re: DOOM: Eternal
« Last post by Quemaqua on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 02:09:09 PM »
Been back at this again. This game really keeps on giving. Just when I think it wasn't my game of 2020, it comes back and is my game of 2020.

What started as an attempt to show some stuff to Kman, who was having some difficulty on his play, just turned into me using YouTube as an excuse to play the game again, haha. I also kind of wanted to get back to learning how to do some basic video editing and re-learn how YouTube works as far as framerates, resolutions, and encoding nonsense is concerned, so that made this sort of the perfect time to do it, I guess, since I'm still looking for work.

Anyway, that resulted in this:



I believe 8 videos currently available, up through Sentinel Prime, currently uploading #10, and have done a few past that. I think this has shown me that ... maybe I actually do want to try to do Ultra-Nightmare. Hmm. I think I might be able to do it eventually. My play is still pretty average, hence the series title, but with a little more work ... maybe ...

First episode is rough, as I was going through The Ancient Gods Part 1 prior to it, so going back to not having dash and air control and such made it tough. Also had some recording issues early on, which I think I've got resolved entirely now, and I've learned a fair bit about the technical details along the way. It's been a lot of fun, either way. I don't really have any desire to be a YouTuber, but knowing a bit more about the process certainly can't hurt my chances of a job later on.
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General Discussion / Re: Betty White
« Last post by idolminds on Wednesday, February 03, 2021, 05:15:36 PM »
I agree.
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General Discussion / Betty White
« Last post by K-man on Wednesday, February 03, 2021, 11:13:31 AM »
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General Gaming / Re: NieR: Automata
« Last post by gpw11 on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 01:59:40 AM »
I finally got around to playing this recently and just beat it. I do have to say it was super enjoyable and I definitely get why people have been praising it for the last few years. Made me very interested in the first Nier game.
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