Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Ringdrotten on Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:48 am

Petty -



And you forgot to give a review of the important part -
Spoiler:
how's the porn?

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:26 am

Laughing

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:43 am

{{{Ringo -
Spoiler:
surreal! Shocked
}}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:15 am

{{{ :facepalm: }}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Ringdrotten on Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:42 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{{Ringo -
Spoiler:
surreal! Shocked
}}}

Spoiler:
Laughing

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:52 pm

{{{ To give a slightly fuller review of that aspect of VR (for the sake of information and completion only you know Nod ) for the adults here's what I thought-
Spoiler:
lets just say that I found the experience so damn weird that having let my initial curiousity check it out I haven't bothered going back. I dont know if its just the examples I saw or if they are all that way but they seem to think its a good idea to put the pov of the VR camera where the head of the male participant would be- which effectively means your head is on someone elses body, someone nature was overly generous to in the trouser department and who works out a lot. Mad The entire experience therefore was more like a disturbing sexual nightmare in which aliens have transplanted your head for weird reasons of their own onto someone elses body than any sort of experience you'd want to actually have- hence why I haven't bothered looking again since- and it would be even more disturbing I'd imagine if your a woman watching from that pov! Shocked
}}}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Lancebloke on Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:37 pm

Okay... do here goes for me on PSVR.

Headset and Setup

OK... so there are a lot of wires although I believe less than some other examples. There is a basic rewiring or the PS4 needed which actually is annoying in the long run because the video output now goes through the VR processing unit which needs plugging in. Basically, this means you either need to rewire it every time or you need an extra plug socket plugged in all the time you are using it which is annoying.

Other than the wiring, it is pretty much plug and play with some faffing around with the playstation camera needed whenever someone of a different height is playing.

The headset is easy to put on and comfortable enough to wear for a few hours (ignoring the gameplay... just talking headset comfort here). It is hard to get people to understand how to fit it to themselves the first time as most think it is blurry but normally only need to move it up or down a little to bring in to focus.

So all in all not too difficult to sort out but one frustrating bit with the way the wiring needs to be set up.

Experience

You may hear a lot of people say this, but you have to put one on to understand how immersive it can be, especially with a earphones on too. The headset comes with some demos of different variety and the one we started with was a deep sea dive.

The first thing you may notice is what people are calling the 'screen door effect.' Basically, the quality of the headset screen when it is that close to your eyes means you can start to see the pixel density which makes it look a little like you have a screen door in between you and whatever you are looking at. You quickly get used to it though so not a show stopper.

The second thing is the relatively narrow field of view. Again, something you look through once you get going but definitely noticeable at first.

Last thing that is really limiting is the quality of the graphics. I believe this is just the ability to pack as many pixels in to a small screen and additional processing power needed which means possible improvements as newer versions come out. However, I would say we are talking PS3 maybe 3.5 quality graphics.

All that aside, within a second you are looking all around you at the crabs, fish and other marine life that they have populated the ocean with. You go deeper and meet some Manta Rays and further still to a dark area where you are greeted by jellyfish. Very pretty and kids and adults alike will be trying to reach out to grab things only to find thin air or a confused dog.

The shooting gallery demo gets your hands involved using the controller (which helps if you know where all the buttons are instinctively as you cannot see it) to shoot all sorts of targets.

Then there is the play room which is probably something that could rival the Nintendo Wii in terms of multiplayer, stupid fun if there weren't a £350 price tag involved!!

These games often have the VR player seeing one thing and the TV player(s) seeing something else. An example would be the VR player having to capture cowboys by the TV player having to explain which one in the crowd was the baddie.

On to some serious games. Call of Duty: Infinite War let's you pilot a Fighter in space to take out some baddies. This could be your first taste of motion sickness as your brain will be well and truly tricked in to thinking you are moving while your body isn't. I have gotten used to that now so less of an issue.

There are a few others though (Street luge and some robot thing) that still make me feel a bit green when some big, unnatural movements occur.

Lastly, The Kitchen. This is a short demo related to the upcoming Resident Evil 7 game (which will be fully VR compatible). I got my other half to do it first as a laugh and when I say she screamed... she really screamed! If you like horror things and find yourself easily shaken up then give that a go. That stuff normally makes me laugh and coupled with some dodgy graphics (e.g. close up of hair freely flowing through a knife blade) it didn't really get me.

Future

Well... it seems to have sold really well so I am hoping that game developers will now have the incentive to make some AAA quality games. If they stick to what this could be great at, and by this I mean experience type games, not FPS style that will make you puke, then this could be really great and we'll worth the investment.

All down to them now!!

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:19 pm

{{{bollocks made a long reply Lance and lost it before I posted it!!! Mad I'll get back to you once my crabbit about that has got low enough again Banghead }}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:00 pm

{{{Right second, properly shorter version!

I found it interesting that despite both ps VR and the occulus having, in theory simple set up procedures, in practice we both found, different but equally annoying, teething problems in doing so.

Regards the graphics- I can only conclude that its either a difference in the screens between the two systems, or simply the raw graphic power available on pc compared to ps4 (I believe the minimum pc requirements of a nvidea 900 series or higher is already above what a ps4 can manage).
The only real downgrade in graphics on occulus is in resolution, textures and lighting effects ect, at least in Elite Dangerous are all present and correct- there is a slight blurrying on distant objects, but as these resolve as you approach them it seems to be down to the resolution not the graphics per say.

You should check out the ps4 reviews of elite dangerous when it comes out an dhow it performs in VR on ps- if its good, and I think it will be as they optimise the code so well and if they can do it on an xbox they can do it on ps4, its easily the most immersive VR experience I have had, well worth the money as its hundreds of hours if you want it to be, theoretically infinite- and not many VR experiences you can say that about!- though invest in a HOTAS set up- mine is about 40quid- and for ED its not just a huge bonus to gameplay- in VR it will complete the sense of being there as its what you use in game to control your ship. }}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:04 pm

{{{Aliens!!! alien Aliens have turned up in Elite Dangerous!- An xbox player was the first to have an encounter- a rather hair raising one as they were pulled out of hyperspace and all their instruments go dead and they get a good probing! pale }}


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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:36 pm

And the first thing he does is shoot at them.    :facepalm:

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:15 pm

{{Well I did say it was an xbox player! Very Happy Bloody console kids shoot first ask questions never Mad }}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:54 am

Just mucking around a bit in Minecraft; I've had football on the mind so yesterday I decided to make an American football field to complement my soccer stadium that I did back during the Euros. I had to build this one in 2x scale for the lines to look good, given how wide Minecraft blocks are, so I dunno if I'll try to build a full stadium to match.



(You can click on the image to see the full thing if the right goal post isn't showing up.)
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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Lancebloke on Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:26 am

Forest Shepherd wrote:And the first thing he does is shoot at them.    :facepalm:

That is the only correct thing to do isn't it?

Eldo - how long did that one take?

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:38 am

I'm not totally sure but I'd say about three hours.
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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Lancebloke on Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:56 am

That's not too bad. Thought you were gonna say a few days.

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:58 am

Cowboys vs. Cowboys? Or are those end-logos usually the same team name?

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:46 pm

Thanks Lance!

Forest Shepherd wrote:Cowboys vs. Cowboys? Or are those end-logos usually the same team name?

Generally both end zones are painted with the colors/name of the home team. The main exception is the Super Bowl, which is played in a neutral location, so the end zones are different. I decided to model my field after the Cowboys one; the star in the middle is their logo.
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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:31 pm

{{ Elite Dangerous: Horizons 2.2 a VR review. (Part One -Context- and in 2 parts because I seem incapable of writing anything that's actually fucking short!)


1) Elite Dangerous- what the buggery is it actually all about then?


Before I get to the review its probably best to explain what the game is about first, what sort of game it is and what you can do in it.
For those who just want to read the VR review you can skip this bit if you like and wait for the review bit. Lazy bastard!
But you will need to have a basic idea of what the game is about as I do not intend to go into game mechanics or mission structures or play styles or anything else in that section- just what the VR experience brings to it and what the issues are with it. It will not tell you much about what the game is actually about or what you do in it. Just what the VR does for it.

So to explain ED I want to first explain the original game that began it all, Elite, way back in the mists of 1984. I have before spoken of the wonders of its programming so won't go into that again here, rather more some context of the times.

To understand its importance you have to appreciate the games world it came into which was the heyday of the Arcade Machine and the very dawn of what would eventually become the home console market. But in the UK home computers were the thing, two years earlier Clive Sinclair had unleashed the mighty zx spectrum 48k on the European market bringing BASIC programming and early games into peoples homes for the first time and to a mass audience.



And the stately, and for the time surprisingly decent processor possessing  BBC Micro B was in every state school and it was to this more reputable institutional computer, launched in 1981, and with a miniscule 16k that two young programmers Braben and Bell decided to bring their game concept, Elite. A space trading game but unlike anything else seen yet.



The games of the time, though innovation was beginning to come into play with the rise of the home programmer (many of the top selling games of the early home computer market came from lone teenagers sitting in their bedrooms learning to code on a zx spectrum) they were still very much stuck in a mould.

Certain tropes set by the Arcade machines in the dawn of the industry, where the aim was to keep the punter pumping in the coins for another go or another life or an extended play, were so ingrained as part of what made a computer game a game that they were nearly universal features in games and blindly accepted as such and rarely questioned.

Such basic principles included having three lives. A constantly increasing challenge- complete one screen, one wave of aliens, one race track, move onto the next harder one.- with an end goal of beating the game or amassing that High Score no1. And games had very strict rules which the player was forced to adhere to- you can jump here or to there, but not to there- you can go over there but not there, if its a platform game or a racing game you cant start shooting stuff as that would not be a mechanic in that genre and games were firmly in there genres rarely crossing over, even less so successfully: you had shooting games, puzzle games, maze games, platform games, puzzle games and racing games all in their own little separate worlds and you always played the hero of the tale- and as of 1984 nothing yet was in true 3D. Everything was sprite based. 2D. Flat.

When Elite burst onto the scene in September of 1984 it on the other hand did away with lives altogether- you just had your life, your character. And you could save your game and progress and come back later picking up from where you left off! And you weren't given a character- you were someone whose uncle had died and left you a single shitty ship, you are otherwise next to broke and no-one important and you could even name your own character- but you were not the hero, not the saviour, not a prophet, not someone about to take part in universe shaking events. No special destiny. No grand path to glory laid out before your feet. Just another person.
There are no levels, there are no obvious goals, there is no high score to chase (though there is the rank of Elite to gain) and there is no restriction on where you can go. See a star? Set your course go see what is there- in 3D. Rubbish wireframe vector graphic 3D granted, but at the time groundbreaking- and on a BBC Micro B with only 16k memory, not all of it accessible it was close to miraculous. Everything about it was groundbreaking in fact as a game.

A Viper and two Cobra class ships.


A Correolis Station


It was the first true sandbox game- it has no goals, no structures, no guiding hand to lead you through the game- it just gave you a ship, a pittance of money and simply shrugs 'so what you going to do now then?' and walks off and leaves you.

Its not so much that the player gets the feeling the game hates you, its worse than that the game doesn't give a shit about you- you are just another person in a universe where the stars will still burn the planets still turn no matter what you do in your short game life span, or how good you get at the game.

This obviously came as a bit of a shock to a game audience used to the familiar structures. But it blew a seizable section away in its imaginative scope and reinvention of game structure, or what even counts as a game and it influenced so many games after it it would be impossible to list them all.


Fast forward to the present day and Elite Dangerous.
Vector graphics aren't going to cut it or impress any more in today's hyper graphics culture, and the old structures Elite so successfully brought down have been reworked, retried, innovated on and advanced in the time since. Sandbox games are plentiful and some of them very famous like GTA or Witcher. Its a whole new marketplace. Or is is it?

Because for all the change some things remain- players may not expect three lives in every game any more but they do still expect a lot of conventional gaming structures- far more than in the past in fact- tutorials, cut scenes that explain advancements in the plot or characters, levelling up characters by distributing points to skills, structured linear mission progression, arrows pointing you to your exact goal, increasing difficulty as you progress and more often than not, though there are exceptions like Half Life and Skyrim, the player is given a character to play with a history and personality pre-written with their destiny to be the hero of the game already mapped out before them. And despite some exceptions most games are still in their pigeon holes of genres.

And you guessed it ED doesn't do any of this. What it does do is exactly what the original did only more so in every way. - and yes, ED gives even less of a shit about you than Elite did.

Once more you begin with the worst shittiest cheapest ship in the game and a pittance of cash, once again the game just says “get on with it then” and leaves you to it.
There are missions you can take on the bulletin boards at stations to earn money, reputation with particular groups or for fun, but they are not structured missions and they are take them or leave them entirely up to you, just another thing you can do if you want to.

Mission board accessed at stations


Most importantly there is no character to play, its just you playing, you can play at as you would if you were really there, or you can role-play as whatever sort of a person you like and act accordingly- its all up to you- there is none of the modern games preoccupation with hand holding, with making sure you don't miss the really clever plot thing the developers created, or that you don't miss the lovely city they crafted. ED does none of that.
There is a  levering system of sorts- it doesn't care for you either you start of rated 'harmless' and after a great deal of time and slog you will finally rise in rank, to 'mostly harmless'- its as if the game actually relishes pointing out just what a speck of infinitesimal stuff you are, only reinforced by the games scale.
There is levelling of a sort, you go up in ranking more you do stuff- explore a lot go up in exploration rank, shoot a lot of people, go up in combat ranking ect- higher the ranking better the jobs people will offer you with more pay to reflect your experience.
But there is no character screen to level up powers or skills- want to level up your piloting skills- play the game, you'll get better as you learn how to fly naturally, want to improve your combat skills get in a lot of fights and learn from your successes and failures, its your real skills that will be the difference not the games or your characters superpowers- you don't have any.
ED goes out of its way to make sure you don't feel important or special.

Once more the game is a true sandbox, only this time its rather large- being in fact a 1 to 1 recreation of the Milky Way to best current scientific knowledge. Its roughly 6 billion systems, which can have anything from 0 to about 100 planets or bodies in each one and a variety of numbers of stars. Along with nebula and black holes.  This taken with your meagre pitiful start in the galaxy and the games way of implying constantly that you are no-one important at all in a universe that doesn't even notice if your there or not can be both daunting and somewhat off-putting to some. But what it does achieve is driving home the sense of sheer scale of everything in ED.

The game is split into two distinct regions- the 'Bubble' of inhabited space and everything else.
When inside the bubble of human colonisation it seems huge, because it is, but in comparison to the rest of the Milky Way which is largely unexplored its still just a drop in the ocean.

In the Bubble you will find all the ways you can make some money and upgrade your ship or eventually buy a better one.
There is a wide selection of ships to fly ranging from small one man fighters up to massive battleships and even space liners to take rich passengers sightseeing on. They cost a fortune, kitting them out with the best gear cost even more so there is plenty to aim for.



How you make money in the bubble is largely up to you.
Each station has a commodities market where you can buy and sell goods and a mission board, or you can go and look for ships that are wanted and become a bounty hunter. You can work for any of the military factions and go up through their ranks, getting ever more lucrative, and usually dangerous missions as you progress. Or you can be a pirate waylaying haulers and ships laden with goods on the trade roots. You can become a taxi and eventually set up your own tourist company with a luxury liner. Or you can pick sides in one of the many system skirmishes and aid or fight the rebels there gaining and losing reputation with factions as you do so and maybe doing your small part in shifting power in the system.
You can become a miner and go out and mine asteroids in planetary rings or from asteroid fields.
In short there is a lot of ways to make a living in the Bubble.

And how you go about each of these is down to how you want to role play the game- you could slowly get rich moving hi-tech equipment out to low tech worlds, or maybe get not so rich so fast but feel good about yourself taking grain to needy worlds going through a period of starvation, but then maybe its faster to sell on the black market and risk the fines running illegal arms or even slaves.
If you pick a fight among factions will you aid the rebels, even if it means supplying illegal goods to them, or do you side with the local authorities and believe in maintaining the law even if its martial law? Even tourism is up for moral grabs- do you take holiday passengers to luxury locations or famous interstellar beauty spots? Or do you do run trips to high risk war zones so your passengers can gloat at the carnage?

Moral choice are all left in your hands- three are ways to make money and there are ways to make money- which you pick is down to who you are or want to be.

On top of this you have Power Play which is the political level of the game and how involved or not at all the player is in this is entirely up to the player. But if you do get involved then you can have a small hand in events that shape parts of the galaxy, usually in the form of Community Goals which brings me onto multiplayer.

All the above is what you can do as a single player- when you start the game you can choose to play in Open (multiplayer) Private (with invited friends) or Solo (where all other ships are computer NPC's and you don't meet real players -its a great place for new comers to learn the ropes without super experienced players blowing them up).

In multiplayer you will find all sorts of player groups- from pirates to scientific communities studying the games puzzles and riddles (more on them soon) there is even a group of players, the Fuel Rats, whose sole purpose is to rescue stranded players who have run out of fuel far from help.
You will also find Community Goals- these can range from a call for materials for the building of a new space station thus expanding colonised space- to searching for evidence of Alien or past civilisations in the galaxy.

All of these things appear also in single player with the difference that you only encounter npc ships no player ships obviously and you can only participate in Community Goals in Open, thought he results of any will still happen in all play modes.

So what do you do outside the Bubble? Well there is no one out there that anyone knows of- but there is plenty of rumour and speculation- there are maybe lost colonies from when humans sent out the Generation ships in the early days of space flight- no one knows what happened to them though players have found some abandoned camps and settlements. And there are mysterious ruins seemingly from an alien race, and even alien ship crash sites and an unfolding alien mystery that may be threat or not. All of these discoveries will make you money.
But the main income from going out the bubble comes with equipping your ship with an array of sensor equipment, a fuel scope  and become an explorer- discovering new systems and cataloguing them- being the first to visit new worlds. Then when you get back to civilisation, if you make it back, you cash in your data- further out you went, and more scans you got close up of metal rich, life bearing, water, or earth like worlds more money you get.

Now all this gives an idea of what you can do in the game, but what will you the player actually be doing?

Well flying. That's basically it- no matter what you do you will always be in the cockpit of your ship flying it, or if you have one fitted and are on a planetoid or moon your buggy cockpit. So the first thing to be clear here, though it makes accommodations for being a game it is nevertheless in large bit a space ship simulator.

Depending on your chosen career what you do may vary. You may just be making a short hop from station to a combat zone where most of your play time will be space combat- a short trip from a to b of maybe a few minutes real time before the combat- but then you might be exploring, or hauling cargo long distances between ports- then you will be jumping between systems and probably staring at empty space, quite a lot, it can take anything from a couple of minutes to ten or fifteen minutes or more worst case scenario to get from one point in a system to another depending on the system size.

Even at the speeds your ship travel sat whilst in supercruise, the mode you use to traverse systems at faster than light speeds- you may well be staring at growing dots on a screen for ten minutes or more, often all you have to do in that time is make the odd adjustment to speed and direction every so often till you get where you are going- this is the down side to a 1-to-1 recreation- space is really fucking big and a lot of it is empty, ED will give you a sense of that all right if you are flying a lot between points in large systems. There is no ED equivalent to Skyrim's fast travel function, you have to fly there, every last bit of it in real time.



ED simulation aspects do not just extend to flying your ship but to their recreation of the galaxy. And it doesn't compromise on either.

I use a HOTAs set up- stick for flight  and a separate throttle control with plenty buttons on it- and I still need the extra keyboard controls for all the flight controls.
You do everything- need to land at a station? You have to contact them, request docking, manually match your ship rotation to the stations entrance slot and fly into the station, locate your designated landing pad, lower you landing gear and successfully fly down and line up with your landing pad before descending to dock. There's no help, no magic cut scene, no having the controls taken over for the tricky bits- its just you and how well you can fly her (and cock up too badly and the stations defences might just blow you to tiny bits in seconds!).

There is in game help however once you've learned what half the stuff on your HUD is telling you- you have a radar which presents a very accurate and easy to work out at a glance display (its based on the original elite radar which was such a good way to do 3d space on  a radar it been used in about every space game since) and you have some handy info on your HUD- your speed for example is displayed by a bar which has an area in blue- this is your optimum speed for maximum manoeuvrability- when you approach objects in space- such as approaching a station from a great distance or a planet you have a handy couple of bars pop up- speed and distance- keep both in the blue and you will be going at the perfect speed to arrive safely (worth noting however its up to you, you can get there faster by deliberately overshooting, using the planets mass as a brake and flipping the ship over in a loop when you overshoot to bring you out closer and quicker than using the 'safe' way indicate by the ships computer. Seat of the pants flying and ignoring your computer is, like everything else, up to you.



Your ship, every type of them, is also extensibley upgradable- from better weapons to better components, like thrusters, power plants ect there are a lot of options, none of them cheap so you always have something you have an eye on you are working towards- whether its a whole new ship or just a new power distributor for your existing one. Because the game doesn't care if your an idiot you can in fact totally cock up just outfitting your ship- I once fitted overpowered weapons to my ship without a sufficient power plant to supply enough power when everything was deployed at once, I got in a fight, pulled out my weapons, the power plant overloaded and my systems all began shutting off one by one including my life support!
Fortunately you can also extensively manage your ships systems- every module can be individually turned on or off (in the above example I saved my bacon by switching off every module I did not immediately need and restoring power to life support, thrusters and the main drive and getting the hell out of there) and you can quickly switch power between your systems, weapons and engines on the fly dependent on what you need in the moment.

When on planets or in random encounters which happen in space you can also collect materials- these have two main purposes you can use them to repair parts of your ship or even to make new ammunition for projectile weaponry, or certain specialised materials can be taken to Engineers, a group of specialist in the galaxy who in return for either specific goods, materials or deeds will make upgrades to ship modules unavailable in any other way.

Talking of being on planets you can land on certain planets, at this stage in the game's development it is confined to planets with no or very thin atmospheres. This means largely rocky, sandy and ice worlds- though there are a great variety of each type as each world is uniquely generated based on a variety of factors like distance from sun, but also how likely it it have been bombarded by meteors, proximity to other bodies ect making every surface unique with its own unique landscape features. Some world also have things of interest on them like geysers or plant life, and you may stumble upon installations, private outposts, or hostile outposts guarded with armed sentry drones or even an alien crash site. Some of these you might encounter on missions, others just randomly.

Whilst you can simply fly over planets if you have one equipped you can also go out for a drive in your buggy. Not only can you explore in this fun way you can also collect materials and cargo you find.

As well as the permanent space ports to land at which operate the same as the space ports do you may also encounter other things whilst exploring a planet- a crashed ship with its cargo spilled out waiting to be stolen, or its black box waiting to be found and returned (for a price!), outcrops of mineable or valuable material, an abandoned outpost, a data cache full of military secrets, a pirate base ect which are randomly generated when you arrive and work much like the 'unknown signal sources' you encounter  in space which are also random events you can choose to investigate or ignore.

As you can see ED is a lot of game. Which finally brings me onto the VR review part of the game because if there is one thing any VR user will tell you is that what there are not many long, full experiences in VR. There are a plethora of demos, and plenty of short games, but few that would feel like Triple A games, fully formed and with hours and hours of gameplay in them (technically more than a single lifetimes worth!) ED does because, though VR has been incorporated into it and planned for since the very start, it is a full game in its own right largely played by people without VR. So right out the gate Ed has an advantage over most other VR games in that there is not much competition in the way of full high quality, high production games without compromises for VR.


A Correlis Station in ED (compare with the original in Elite above)



Which finally now I've explained what the game actually is, brings me onto reviewing it as a VR experience in part 2 of this. }}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:18 pm

{{ Elite Dangerous Horizons 2.2 VR Review


2a. So What does VR add to ED then?

Once ED loads the very first VR experience you will have is with the menu screen, which hovers in the air in a station hangar, complete with a ship and a buggy parked. And its here you will get the first impression of the main things VR brings to ED, a sense of scale.
In 2d its hard to comparatively grasp the vast scale of ships, stations and planets. In VR its impossible not to notice the scale of everything.

Options wise you can set it to VR low, medium and ultra, but there is also the option to set the graphics to the normal low, medium or ultra.
To be honest I have not found a great difference between VR ultra and normal ultra- draw distance for detail seems to be slightly higher in ultra than the VR equivalent but anti-aliasing seems better in the VR option. But its nice to have the choice anyway.
Its also recommended you set the FOV to as wide as it will go. Other than that game options remain the same as for the usual game.
You will almost certainly have to alter your controls set up too, particularly for map screens but I will cover that later in part 2b.

Once you start and are in your cockpit the first thing likely to strike you is your HUD. Its always been that the HUD is a holographic display, its just in VR it really is, screens float before you, pop up and disappear under your gaze. The radar is fully three dimensional, you can crane in for a closer look, or peer over it to look top down.
The cockpits are all beautifully detailed and you will spend a fair bit of time just peering around your interior, seeing design features you never knew were there as they are out of sight and impossible to get to without VR.
But most impressive is it gives true scale to your ship- you can look to the walls either side and make a pretty accurate stab at their distance from you as well as you could in whatever room you are currently sitting in reading this, you get a very real and solid sense of exactly how big your ship is, and this bleeds out as now you have a personal point of scale reference for everything else- the humongous scale of a space station becomes undeniable when you peer out your tiny cockpit at it all around you.

The next thing you are likely to notice is light and shadow- shadows in ED have always moved according to the direction of light sources- but its such an engulfing experience in VR when you pass a sun, your cockpit filled with light so you can see every detail back to the exit door behind you, and then the shadows stretch by you and over you as the star passes engulfing you in darkness and shadow and likewise your entire cockpit. Its an immersive experience that really does add that feeling of being there.

If you are using a HOTAS set up this will perfectly match the ships in game controls. Some minor adjustments to positioning of your real life version will allow you to reach your hand out and take hold of the control purely from inside the VR- and even better if you move the throttle or the stick they move correspondingly in-game. When you are properly set up this way with your real-life controls matching the games the sensation of being there is pretty total.

Another great feature is simply that you can just look around. In 2d there is free head movement mode allowing you to look about you to a limited degree, but its nothing compared to being able to glance to your right and left to read panels or set controls, or to sit staring straight up, neck craned, as a star passes by over head or to look down and watch a planetary ring system slipping by beneath your feet.

But where this really comes into its own is in combat. In fact it sso much fun in combat that when I first played in VR I did almost nothing else for some considerable time. Being able to fly your ship and track your prey just by keeping your eyes on them is both huge fun and hugely natural. You are doing exactly what you would be doing where you dong it in real life- and that's about as much as you can ask form a simulator.

Lasers fly around you, cracks appear in your canopy, sparks fly about you and smoke billows form equipment. Its all so wonderfully focused and keeps you immersed in the experience. Combat was always fun in ED but in VR its a hell of a lot more fun.

Another area the VR adds to the experience is exploration. Especially going down to land on planets or moons. Again its that sense of massive scale as a dot becomes a planet becomes the surface, becomes one individual crater, becomes a small patch of ground you landed on. And all around you the planet stretches off to the horizons and the star you jumped into orbit around is now just a blazing bright yellow spot in the sky overhead.
Scale is really where VR wins in ED and what it brings to the table along with naturalistic movement that actively adds to the playing experience.

2B) So what does VR take away from ED?


Arguably nothing at all. The game experience is completely uncompromised for the VR experience- its exactly the same game as you would be playing in 2D. There are no differences in game play or what you can or cannot do between normal and VR.

However that's not to say that there are not issues.
There are though not all of them the fault of the game.

But to start first with issues which are the fault of the game.

For those with a maths head and who know there way round there x,y,z axis this may not be such an issue. For idiots like me it was.
But map screens in VR, and in particular the Galaxy Map are tricky to set up for VR use.

The galaxy map like everything else in VR is fully three-dimensional, as you move about the map stars whiz by you. Navigating it in VR with stick and thruster is not a simple task, working out how to even select the right star took me several attempts altering the control set up before I got it right and to be honest I'm still not entirely happy with it and still find it awkward at times to pinpoint the exact star I want.

Once you finally get the controls working for the galaxy map it is no longer such an issue- nevertheless the process for setting up the control configuration for it is not well explained, or explained at all, and difficult to work out.

There are also some graphical issues, most noticeably tearing on large objects at the edge of vision, usually when in close proximity to a planet which might be filling most of your side vision. The flickering can be noticeable at the very edges of the screen and distracting at times.

Other issues are more to do with the current tech for VR. Textures in VR are neither as well defined or as sharp as they are in 2D due to the pixel limitation of the devices lenses itself.
The upshot of this is distant objects may appear fuzzy or seeming somewhat out of focus, and when objects are in mid-distance some textures can look muddy or blend together. At this range also you may notice the individual pixels making up an object more than normal too- the so called 'screen door effect'
At close range the issue does not present itself much as an issue unless you are actively looking for it, but at range it can be noticeable.

Finally there is the matter of controls. As I mentioned before even with a HOTAS set up you are still going to need to use your keyboard for some ships functions. This can be tricky when wearing a VR headset and you find yourself at a crucial moment fumbling about for a key.

For this reason I strongly advise when using VR to also purchase the third party program Voice Attack and one of the ED VA voice packs. It will add an extra 15-20 quid to your purchase price but it will not only eliminate the need for a keyboard as you can now use voice commands instead, but will also give your ship a new onboard AI to interact, chat with and who can provide general galactic info on stars, nebula ect during those dull moments when your just flying from a to b.

Lastly one that's more personal person to person- motion sickness. So far I have had no instances of motion sickness while flying in hours of gameplay.
However I have had minor bouts of it whilst driving on planets, especially low gravity ones, in the buggy.
The game does come with an array of options for the buggy in VR which removes shaking, keeps the horizon fixed, fades to black when you seriously spin out and start flipping over ect. But even so with all those switched on it is still the only times I have experienced any motion sickness at all.

And that's really all the negatives I have for playing in VR over 2D.

On balance the pluses of playing in VR far outweigh any shortcomings of the tech or the game engine or the design, even the annoying if impressive galaxy map screen. The overwhelming sensation of being in the cockpit of a spaceship flying about is enough in itself to make the experience worthwhile.

If you think ED is the sort of game you might enjoy and you have a VR set up then there is nothing better on the market than ED. Its literally endless in its hours of gameplay and is fully functional in VR- and the very nature of the game- that your character is seated in a cockpit lends itself perfectly to the VR experience as it matches what you are actually doing in the real world, sitting in a seat with the controls before you. And the setting- the entire Milky Way with endless new vistas is also very well suited to the VR experience.

Elite Dangerous Horizons 2.2 VR definitely gets the Tyrant seal of approval- but I doubt that will come as a surprise to anyone! }}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:38 am

Good write up... sounds like a fun experience.

I am getting ready to take on Resident Evil 7 in VR. Will let you know how that goes!

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:06 pm

{{Keen to hear how that is Lance- so far I still find FPS style games make me prone to motion sickness in VR.
I was however looking forward to experiencing this one in VR and was hugely disappointed to learn that though its out on pc the VR version is a 1 year playstation exclusive Mad

ED is out on ps4 this year, second quarter.}}}

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:43 pm

I am hoping (and from what I have read) the Resident Evil is really good in VR being that is was developed specifically for VR rather than for regular screens and converted.

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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:28 pm

{{Captured some footage of me playing in VR- though need to find a different recording method- this looks choppier when its actually smooth as silk to play, and its not showing either full width or the top and bottom of the screen- still gives a vague idea of what its like to play it- well at least how well it works for a cockpit game in terms of just being able to look about with ease as you fly}}


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Re: Favourite computer games of all time. [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:33 am

Can you visit Earth?

Also, do any of the planets have noticeable atmospheres?

Nice write-up in Part 1 Petty: quite a complementary review for the game. You should submit it elsewhere too.

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