These are games that I briefly tried, often during a livestream, and then made a mental note that, hey, that might be worth spending more time with! At which point, they tumbled into the backlog never to be seen again. Until today.
You don’t have to grind levels to unlock loadouts in Insurgency: Sandstorm. Everything is unlocked from the start, and you use supply points to select your loadout in your class. All weapons and items cost supply points and you have a limit on how many supply points you can spend.
Note, however, that there are limits on how many players can be in each class, e.g., in co-op there can only be one marksman, two advisors, one breacher, and so on (rifleman is the only class without this limitation).
And, yes, the co-op in Insurgency: Sandstorm is great.
I know that right-click-to-move was patched into Agressors shortly after Tom’s stream, as was the ability to check the diplomatic map before making decisions. I forget what his other interface complaiints were.
I had high hope for Project Aura despite the learning curve until I discovered that in order to get past it, you not only had to complete the tutorial, but several lengthy8 training missions, none of which were saveable. That was enough to drive me away.
Aggressors: Ancient Rome is my favorite game of 2018. It is actually two games in one. You can play as any of the early Roman era “nations” in their struggle for power, or you can play on a randomized map with various nations starting in highly customizable states mimicking conditions of that period or further back. And while the military struggle is front and center, effective play is less about painting the map and more about controlling the resources. Citizenry matters a lot. Diplomacy matters a lot. Infrastructure matters a lot. Terrain matters a lot. Supply is central. Technological development makes a big difference, but is more the outcome than a quick path to supremacy. All in all, lots of balls to juggle, and unless you play at a very low level of difficulty, you are not going to be able to single mindedly build up an overwhelming army and crush the world. There is always something (gold, population, coal, a neighbor’s powerful ally, lack of access to a particular body of water, whatever) that must be addressed carefully in order to proceed. Thus, the game does not tend to become a slog in the mid-late game.
However, the game does not model internal politics nor personal leadership. And government types, while represented, are not particularly important. Troops gain experience, but nothing dramatic (although they do need to be trained, they do detract from working population, and battle losses further detract from working population).
It really does not remind me of Civ or Paradox games at all. But the UI is way beyond quirky. I think this developer is making a huge financial mistake – this could be a very popular game with a carefully considered coat of paint.
I mean to praise it… but I also know that the UI is going to turn off a whole lot of people.
I have been following the Spire of Sorcery Discord, as they talk about all their struggles to make every detail of the UI effectively communicate game content. And then I look at Aggressors, and the contrast is so very stark.
I played a chunk of Ghost of a Tale. It’s definitely beautiful! And the stealth mechanics are more than serviceable. I think I got to a point where my patience with stealth wore a little thin and I couldn’t figure out the way they expected me to puzzle through a room, and so I ended up dashing around madly and getting chased all the time, got lost, was totally out of my depth, and didn’t know how to recover. Or what exactly I should be trying to do?
Definitely worth a little more time, in my estimation. But I’m wondering if it’s always going to end that same way…
Glad to hear that from someone who has more time into it than I do.
I bought Ghost Of A Tale long before it was finished simply because it was gorgeous, the mouse was very cute, the controls were really tight, and the animations were superb. You control a little Minstrel Mouse who goes on a mission to rescue his lady. That’s all I needed to hit the “buy” button.
I played about a half-hour immediately after buying it, fell in love with our little hero, and then put it aside, vowing to wait until it was done. A year or so later, it was done. I downloaded it, played the same half-hour over again to confirm it still was good, and then something else came along and distracted me.
I truly did love the little bit of time I spent with it, and fully plan to get into it when I have more time to give it at least a few hours of attention. From what I’ve seen and played though, I predict a really good time. I can’t wait. I can’t stress enough how great the animations are. The creatures are all very convincing. Especially recommended if you’ve got kids or a girlfriend or wife who doesn’t like violence or gore. As for me, I love violence and gore, but I also fell in love with this.
IIRC, it is a one-man project by a former lead animator at DreamWorks, and from what I recall of his devblog, it was a labor of love, and he spent a lot of time creating it.