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Played in 2023
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Rather good RPG that uses rules of DnD 5th edition. I like the plot, I like the variety of choices and different ways to deal with quests and situations, I like the dialogue system and characters. It was fun to play it and it's been a long time since I invested myself in a game so much.
But there are disadvantages too and first of all it has a lot of bugs despite being released more than a month ago. The cooperative mode is mostly broken. The quantity of personal quest trigger on preset characters is way less than when they are regular NPC companions. Preset characters don't even share the info they know in single player. Will glitched and asked to bring him Karlakh every time player character talked it him, even if it was Karlakh herself. Joining to other players' dialogue can force the line skip (even after the patches). Sometimes there's a delay between action and seeing its result and it can last for like 20 seconds. Some graphic glitches break the whole picture on the screen from time to time. One temporary buff glitched and renewed itself every morning. Gale didn't want to consume items in a special dialogue window. The buff from my shoes always disappear for no reason and it forces me to put them off and on now and then. Some dice results are not calculated well. NPCs mostly act like a character turned into a gas cloud is an invisible one. Some quests are glitchy. The forgery is always stuck if you hit a boss with its hammer and you can't forge any more items after that (not happening if you finish the boss with your own weapon). Sometimes in the battle animation may stuck you wl be forced to watch enemy doing the same hit animation again and again for like 40-50 times before he actually hit someone. Some class buffs literally give "+0" to your dice result. Barbarian can shoot 2 arrows with one action normally, but I shot 7 special arrows once (bomb arrows) and maybe could shoot more if I had any. You can teleport behind a wall in some places with a spell. You can get stuck in an obstacle sometimes. Some flying creatures can be thrown off the cliff and die from that. Also I have 90-120 FPS in entire game, but 35-45 in Baldur's Gate itself, while not under the surface. And that's what I can remember right now, there are way more issues I encountered.
Really good game, but they released it a bit too early and I know several guys who was stuck in a softlock not being able to proceed because of the bugs. Will definitely be great after the patches and some mechanic improvements, though you still can enjoy it even now.
Was waiting for this game so much, but in the end stayed for just like 10 hours and decided to put in backlog for later. The optimization is rather poor, my PC that can run any other game on QHD ultra with no FSR/DLSS, 60fps stable, but can barely run this one, there are 45-55 fps on surface and 60-80 in space on medium preset with 10% better FSR. Flying feels nice, but I'm sad about surface performance. And it's not like this game has great graphics, no, some landscape views really look bad because of flat blue-ish surface they call "water" in this game and all those weird trees. Also, you can't adjust geometry or textures quality in settings, these options do not exist. Settings presets already have FSR on, even on ultra, this is the first game I know that have FSR on by default, I always play without it and this game literally require this option to run more or less playable. Tried to play it on Series X also and the framerate on console is stable, but it's stable 30 and I just can't play with 30 fps in a game that mostly designed to be first person. Maybe I am the problem, I don't know...
The story though seems promising and I kinda like the intro segment though I think it should be a little longer for more immersion. Character creation was kinda interesting, with all those treats and backstories, not sure why, but I liked it, even the "Adorable Fan" reference from Oblivion. But most side quests I found are pretty boring so far and clichéd like "hey, random guy, let me trust you something really important just because you're a main character". I guess that's just not how it works these days, looking at BG3. Also I still can't get how you can teleport in you ship right in the middle of the battle. What?! Every previous Bethesda game forbids you to fast travel or sleep with enemies nearby even if they don't see you, but Starfield allows to jump in your ship with one button even when the bullets are flying around. Apart from that I feel there is some retro-futuristic vibe all over the game, but for me something is missing to truly feel the atmosphere.
Maybe It's me who waited too much from this game. I knew about loading on ship landing, I knew about procedure generated planets, 30 fps on consoles and stuff, but well... I still wanted an interesting experience of exploring stars and the new plot, and right now I'm not sure if I'm into this game enough to enjoy it despite the disadvantages I see. Not hating it for nothing and I will try it once again after several patches, but it's sad to see Starfield in current condition...
I really like Layers of Fear from 2016 and I think that Layers of Fear 2 is little worse, but still good. And this one... well, it's a remake of LoF 1 & 2 made on Unreal Engine 5. There are only 2 reasons for this one to exist - to make people buy the same game one more time and to finally port the series to Xbox Series and PS5. Although I can't argue with the second reason, the first one seems odd to me. There are additional animations like hand animation for main characters and all, new animation is a good thing, no doubt. But apart from that graphics look only a little better and I'd say the only thing you will really notice is lighting. It's not entirely different from original, but IT IS different and while the game looks a bit better with new graphics there is an issue. Both LoF 1 & 2 (especially 1) are based on psychodelic experience and you can never guess what is happening behind you until you turn around. The room can change drastically. And with the new lighning, even if you turn ray tracing off... well, the experience is just broken. There is A LOT of moments where you can say that the room behind has just changed being 100% sure about it even if you haven't played the original games. Here's how it works: you explore the room and there's only one door left to check to find your way out of the room. You go to that door, you touch the handle... and in that exact moment you can see that the lighting on the door has changed. Warm light could become cold, the lightning source could be moved from left to the right side and you can see it clearly. You know perfectly well, that the room won't be the same once you turn around and that ruins everything because you must not know what will happen the next second after you touch the door, but you do.
Now let's talk about every part in details. Starting with the writer story. This content is new, it has never been seen before and... it's dull. There's no real story behind it, it feels like a stub to find a reason how to connect two original plots in the new game. There's a writer, she moves into a lighthouse because she believes it will help her to write a book. All we know about her is that she likes lighthouses, her son and she has problems with writing. That's it. We will never know why she loves lighthouses, who and why kidnapped her son in the middle of the story (if someone ever did that, I don't know, there's no explanation) or what exactly she wrote before. She's in the game to show us that the painting from the first game is not a regular painting and to tell us that "hey, it was her, who wrote the other stories". But the second game already had the reference to the first one showing us that these games have same universe, why making both characters fictional? Or were they still real? I don't know, because from the in-game notes it seems like it was the writer who created the plot twist about painter's daughter, but you can't say for sure if these characters are completely fictional... This story takes 30 minutes at best and ends with nothing for real, just like "well, you've finished our other stories, so we'll just live writer there and give you the credits screen". Bruh...
The painter story. Well, that's the one that makes me upset the most. It's not an original "psychodelic walking simulator-horror" any more, it's more like "you're stuck in a maze with monster game". And there was no running from monster in the original game! They also added the new 'Alan Wake'-like mechanic where you can make monster disappear with light for like 10 second. So why adding the monster if you can't basically die from him? There's only one moment where you won't be able to stop monster fast enought and she will kill you, but guess what - that is the same one exact moment where you meet the monster in the first game. So... no difference there, why adding the monster and all the mazed where you have to find keys/code pieces/gears while running in circles? It breaks the horror. This and the disappearance of like half of psychodelic moments. No knives screamer (I liked it!), no painting moving towards you on the ceiling and no almost HALF OF THE FINAL ACT SCENES. And that's only what I remember so far, there are many more changes like these. Some key moments from original game are there, but they are changed (often - in a bad way) or you have to run through same section backwards. There are also moments you have to explicitly decide which way to choose and that inflicts on what ending you can get because you won't be able to get items from the way you didn't choose and collecting all the objects is required to get any ending except the Loop Ending, just like in the original game.
And like all these changes weren't enough to break the first game, there is an additional DLC to painter's story made exclusively for Layers of Fear 2023. It's called "The Final Note". And while "Inheritance" is a consistent extension to the original plot, "The Final Note"... contradicts the painter's story! In this DLC we play as painter's wife, the musician, who was unable to play piano anymore because she suffered from severe burns. She tries to show us the pain and struggle she experienced from becoming ugly and unloved by her own husband, locked in a single house without a chance to get out and while this might be an interesting story, there's a problem with its endings. First of all, player may choose what she will abandon: her family or her will to die. And if you choose that she will turn away from suicide thoughts, instead of finding a strength to live for her daughter (not talking about her husband, he's already weird by this moment) she will... run away from their house, forever. Leaving her husband and daughter behind. I find it strange in spite of choices I make, but that's not the worst part. The thing is... WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN TO HER! The painter's story tells us exactly how she finished her path. But why would you make several endings then? Nobody would believe the freedom ending, this is just not true, it also makes like 20% of painter's story a false trash. The only way to make DLC about musician is to show the whole drama of her sick existence and NOT let player decide her destiny, it's already written!
Finally, the actor's story. This is the one that has least changes, but still. There's also a new flashlight mechanic and you use it to start animations of manekeens all around. A part of these animations were already in original LoF 2, but now you have to start them on your own. Just like the lamp from painter's story, the flashlight helps you to fight the monster. You can either freeze him for several seconds or turn into a manekeen in the last act of the story. Let's be honest, I didn't event like that they've added this monster into original LoF 2, but what's the point having it in remake if you can fight him and it's really hard to die from this? There's no reason to be afraid of something you can fight and again, the whole original LoF series is about being afraid of the unknown. Some good parts were cut off too, but there are few of them, not much difference, the only major moment I can recall is being stuck with the monster in a corridor and forced to run into a technical chamber, lock the door and deal with pressure valves quickly to avoid death.
And, finally, bugs. Sometimes game decides that I'm standing too close to something and teleport me all across the room. While playing 'The Final Note' I grabbed the note from the table and couldn't put it back after reading, just stuck with note in my hand walking all around the room being unable to touch anything else. The boy from actor's story sometimes appears in a T-pose. Also I saw some holes in the textures in painter's story.
Finally, I'd like to say that this remake or compilation of original games is just not worth your money. It's less interesting and less original than standalone versions of LoF 1 & 2, it has problems with immersion because of all these lighting issues and all the new content is either dull or pointless. It also took me way less time to finish these games because of all the cut out content and lamp mechanics. If you want to play Layers of Fear play the original Layers of Fear, Layers of Fear: Inheritance and Layers of Fear 2, these game cost less by now and they are still better than THIS game.