It’s on my to buy list but not yet
Yeah, Hitman never quite worked for me either. It has the same issues as Metal Gear Solid (and even a bit of the new Resident Evil games) for me. The stories they tell are really fun, and they’re obviously great games… but pin point accuracy and hitting every point of a plan under pressure is never my thing. My hand to eye coordination with a controller flies out the window when my heart beat races, and I always mess it up (I must have a low tolerance of adrenaline! I get excited over the smallest thing). And even if I do work hard to get it right, it feels like work and not the fun I play games for.
In all respects these should be my perfect games, but the punishing systems don’t suit my playstyle at all.
I have a similar thing where it never goes well for me in Hitman, but then for me that’s part of the fun! I enjoy the escalation that happens when you mess one thing up and the way the meticulous plan goes awry so easily. If you’re trying to get it “correct” then I can see how it would be frustrating. I don’t think the game lends itself to a perfectionist play-style unless you’ve had lots of practice.
I’ve been playing Metal Gear Solid V and I’ve just finished chapter 1 (of 2?). I have no idea what’s going on, since I never played the other games but I’m enjoying the gameplay a lot. In a similar style to Hitman, I like to try and do well but if it all goes wrong and I end up in a disastrous mess then I try to complete the mission anyway. I can see how someone might get frustrated with that if they’re looking for a stealthier approach.
Yes, I was much the same at the start, but frequent saving is your friend! Now I am “fulfilling contracts” with exploding rubber duckies like a pro.
I think hitman tries, quite successfully I might add, to let players go through multiple times and still throw up surprises and interesting gameplay. It’s very well done, it’s just I prefer a game which allows me to hang back and learn the level, methodically stack the deck in my favour before making a move, I feel like one day I will be in the right mood for it and it will be the perfect game then!
The levels are works of art, so many moving parts balanced to perfection!
I wonder, is there any appitite on the forum for a play by email game of one of the civs or civ type games?
They really are, but I start each mission with the assumption that my first few attempts are “training” runs. Just keeping track of where I am on the map can be a challenge for me at first. Some of the tactics one can take are extremely involved and intricate, but some are rather simple (and sometimes the most satisfying - kicking an uninstalled toilet onto the head of a Moroccan general instigating a coup springs to mind).
I’m slowly, ever so slowly, getting a little better at Apex Legend (PC) but WOW am I not great. I wouldn’t say that I’m a detriment since I’m at least good at calling out enemy locations but my biggest asset is that I’m an excellent human shield.
Everyone says Alpha Centauri, and I also had fond memories of it, but when I tried to replay it recently it just didn’t work for me. It was so uneven, and I think that has become more apparent over time.
Civ 4 is probably still the best, and has the best complete overhaul mods too. I think unit stacks are necessary for the AI to even have a hope in competing in military.
About more accurate modelling… I think that’s not quite what I want. Civ games are not simulations, and I think the closer they get to very involved board games with detailed fog of war, the better. I would like some empire stability modelling though, at a bare minimum, to make conquering the globe less trivial. That said, rebellions, revolutions, happiness, pollution… these are interesting things the later games lack.
I’m still working on Fallout 4, mainly because I get maybe 60 minutes a week to play.
But one day I will be finished!
The latest expansion for civ 6 is literally the global warming expansion and I think the first expansion for it added revolutions and culture. I warn you though, it’s just a “happiness” bucket to keep topped up and a “pollution” bucket to keep empty.
This is where I differ, the closer they get to board games, the more I dislike them. I don’t want them to be “realistic simulators” but “authentic feeling” if that makes sense, and I just don’t believe that is the strength of a board game empire simulator, I don’t want a million dull systems which all boil down to allocating resources, I don’t want a game that doesn’t care about single player because a vocal minority say that the competitive multiplayer is more important. I want a game where I can set aside my disbelief and roleplay the development of a nation, and the AI isn’t so laser focused on “winning” a set of rules but focuses on being interesting to play against. I don’t want to choose which research I do next - because once you’ve solved the laughably easy puzzle, it’s the same every game. Nor do I want to not be able to have wheels when my neighbouring country is trundling over my land in chariots.
My fondest memories of Civ are when I forget it’s a game, when stupid Chairman Lal is declaring war on me over a crater that is mine by rights, yet the world all suck up to him because of his UN credentials in the way that they never will to me with my literal Human Hive. Yes it’s uneven, but it’s compelling and packed with drama. It tells stories you will remember and retell. I’m sorry, but real board games do what civ 5 and 6 try to do, but better, as you said, civ rev was their best go at this way of thinking about the design of civ. Let’s not quadruple down on it a forth time with civ 7, let not try to make it so even that shudder they think they can dictate the generation of an esports community.
FWIW I have never and will never play a Civ game multiplayer. I have Through the Ages for that!
I’ve also never really experienced the “storytelling” vibe you describe, except maybe during my more impressionable youth, when I didn’t even try to understand the systems involved.
I do want a game in which the AI is interesting to play against, but my criteria are different from yours. For the AI to be interesting to me, it has to be able to win. I don’t think that is the case with 5 & 6, except maybe if you ramp up the difficulty to Deity and fail to exploit their incompetence in war.
I mean, I also want a game in which my empire fragments and revolts and descends into a dark age and I have to pick up the pieces, and I have imperfect control and all the rest. That sounds amazing. It would be a completely different game/genre though, and is a huge ask. For the moment, all I want is a decent Civ game.
Things I think Civ 6 gets right:
Policy cards - provides decisions, instead of exponential growth
Districts - makes city planning a little more interesting
Roads - made by trade routes instead of built
Lots of conditions for wonders, making many of them location-specific instead of a mere production race. Should maybe go further with this though.
Minor civs - lots of incentive to keep them in the game, and some interesting reasons for doing so.
Exploration is still good, and I’m not sure how it should be improved. Perhaps a supply or range limitation to prevent the whole map being revealed too early?
Things I think Civ 6 gets wrong:
Everything else (just kidding)
Military manoeuvring that the AI cannot handle
Golden/Dark ages being too manipulable and trivial
Environment/pollution effects being too trivial
Loyalty being too trivial
Religion. All of it.
Eureka moments being known and manipulable. Maybe randomised hidden eureka conditions might work?
Things I’m not sure about:
Overhauling the tech tree. Sure, limited direction of research might be interesting, but also sounds like a removal of one of the few interesting decision trees.
How to fragment empires while not eliminating player agency. Would love to see something like this work though.
… but at the end of the day, we’re looking at the game(s) from completely different perspectives. I just want a (much) better version of what we already have, streamlined, with a less boring endgame, more interesting decisions, and far fewer trivial ones. You want… Crusader Kings 2 over 4000 years with even less control? Maybe? I don’t know, it’s hard to imagine, and I never got into CK2.
I do, but not to replace Civ!!!
I’ll leave it by admitting I don’t really know what I want, I just know I don’t like the direction Civ has moved in since 4. I will say that modding is helping, for example, I use a mod that increases research times to hundreds of turns, and for me this is bliss - I recognise it’s not for everyone, but the idea of playing through a war where you might only get one technological boost that dictates the outcome is really compelling, and worth the endless clicks of next turn (which I use a mod to automate )I also use a mod to randomise the tech tree and hide the steps you cant see. It devalues the eureka, to only about 15% but it also gives them a very important role, visibility ahead.
So I guess, make modding easier and more powerful and I’ll be happy?
Ditto. If I can’t get in and out in less than 10 minutes then it has to wait until after the kids and wife are asleep, which is usually around 1100-1130
Just finished Bioshock 2 - not as good as the first, but an enjoyable romp.
I find the policy cards don’t provide much in terms of interesting decisions. In Civ V the policy decisions are lasting, so it feels like your civilization slowly develops an identity according to how you want to play. In Civ VI your choices don’t matter that much because you can change them every handful of turns without penalty. It transforms policies from civ-defining decisions to things-that-you-can-adjust-as-necessary.
Agreed - I really dislike the eureka moments. As you say, they’re a thing to manipulate, which means the early game railroads you down a particular tech/culture path according to your surroundings. That’s realistic, but it also removes interesting decisions.
Yeah, I meant the idea of policies is fine. Perhaps if you didn’t research so quickly, the choice of cards would be more meaningful. I was actually thinking of earlier civ games, where revolution to a new government required anarchy. The free and easy shuffling of cards isn’t right, I agree.
Be honest though, that just means one technological edge that you exploit for much longer, doesn’t it? Or do you actually enjoy being an entire age behind an aggressor for hundreds of turns?
I like the idea in principle, but think it requires a tech tree overhaul, otherwise it just becomes another tool to bludgeon the AI with.
As soon as I have the technological edge over everyone else, I tend to restart the game. I’m constantly adjusting my mods to ensure this gets later and later in the game each time I play. I also use a mod that take away some of the more direct bonuses for AI - free builders and settlers for example, and replaces it it with more of a boost to income and science, so they are usually equalish with me, and this means we get an extended time where they might have, say spearsmen but I have triremes or they might have archers to my slingers but I have chariots… each war becomes unique, game after game despite fighting in the same eras, and that’s what I like, not immediately knowing the answer to how best to fight the war, or if victory is even possible, not knowing when their tech advancement will come that will change everything, if they even will get one!