Games That Don’t Have a Thread Catch-All

I'm writing music for a 3D bullet heaven/survivorslike indie game called Terralysia - there's a playable demo up on Steam if that sounds like something you might enjoy. We also just dropped the theme music:

Wanted to bring up Songs of Silence again now that it's out in Early Access. This is the one with the striking art nouveau look, not the pixel art Songs of Conquest which I confused it with many months ago.

I picked up The Ascent ($8.99/Xbox), which is essentially a twin stick, bird's eye Cyberpunk shooter. It's visually stunning with smooth gunplay, some rpg elements and interesting world design.

93_confirmed wrote:

I picked up The Ascent ($8.99/Xbox), which is essentially a twin stick, bird's eye Cyberpunk shooter. It's visually stunning with smooth gunplay, some rpg elements and interesting world design.

Love this game! It's like having a living, breathing cyberpunk dystopia diorama in your PC. I sometimes wish the itemization was more interesting but they targeted an action gameplay-forward game over a systems & stats-heavy ARPG. With the rising popularity of WASD in traditional isometric ARPG I wonder if the tight gameplay loop of The Ascent played a role in driving that trend. (we also see twin-stick controls being used in Vampire Survivor-like auto-combat/survival games)

Shymlark and I played it co-op. It was a ton of fun. Incredible environments.

I had a lot of fun with The Ascent in Co-Op the game is not without a few issues (especially the map) but it is worth it.

Really enjoyed The Ascent but never finished it as my build couldn't cope with one of the timed events. Keep meaning to go back to it, probably a fresh playthrough and crack on through. Will try on the Steam Deck I think.

I don't think Vampire Survivors or Brotato and other similar games are twin-stick, since they are auto-fire? You just move the character and the weapons target themselves. It seems like a small thing, but it's not for older gamers with joint troubles or slower reaction times.

The Ascent is definitely a twin-stick shooter. I usually hear Vampire Survivors and Brotato called "Bullet Heaven" games (i.e. the opposite of a Bullet Hell shooter) since the player is emitting zillions of bullets.

bbk1980 wrote:

I had a lot of fun with The Ascent in Co-Op the game is not without a few issues (especially the map) but it is worth it.

The map is worthless. I wish it had one similar to Hollow Knight.

93_confirmed wrote:
bbk1980 wrote:

I had a lot of fun with The Ascent in Co-Op the game is not without a few issues (especially the map) but it is worth it.

The map is worthless. I wish it had one similar to Hollow Knight.

Just something with any utility at all would have been nice. It didn’t stop me finishing it to be fair.

merphle wrote:

The Ascent is definitely a twin-stick shooter. I usually hear Vampire Survivors and Brotato called "Bullet Heaven" games (i.e. the opposite of a Bullet Hell shooter) since the player is emitting zillions of bullets.

That's true. I was drawing more upon my experiences with the Vampire Survivor-likes that are mechanically more "action-y" with twin-stick controls, such as Halls of Torment and Death Must Die.

Phantom Blade Zero looks very promising. We're going to need a Catch All soon.

Podunk wrote:

I'm writing music for a 3D bullet heaven/survivorslike indie game called Terralysia - there's a playable demo up on Steam if that sounds like something you might enjoy. We also just dropped the theme music:

Podunk my boy is a budding musician. If I get him to give his composition some more work would it be alright if he submitted something for fun for you to listen to?

A handful of cool XCOM-alikes dropped in May.

Crown Wars The Black Prince has a medieval setting with occult elements (basically so you can have enemies doing wizard things).

It’s buggy as hell and prone to stalling or crashing on PS5, so save scumming is required.

But I’m finding it super engaging. When you take a mission your squad has to march there and back, meaning it’s unavailable for days, so you are definitely fielding multiple teams and developing your whole roster, instead of having a favourite A-Team that does most of the work.

Also squaddies get class XP and weapon XP, each with their own skill tree, making for some variations within classes: eg one Crusader class is a 2H sword specialist while another is mace and shield.

Overall, I’m digging the ‘mission-base-mission’ loop enough to push through the bugs.

I started Tiny Tina’s Wonderland last night. It is very much more Borderlands but as always that’s fun in coop. The “humour” will probably run dry quite quickly but I have to admit to laughing at calling a mission

Spoiler:

Thy Bard with Avengence

Felix Threepaper wrote:

A handful of cool XCOM-alikes dropped in May.

Crown Wars The Black Prince has a medieval setting with occult elements (basically so you can have enemies doing wizard things).

It’s buggy as hell and prone to stalling or crashing on PS5, so save scumming is required.

But I’m finding it super engaging. When you take a mission your squad has to march there and back, meaning it’s unavailable for days, so you are definitely fielding multiple teams and developing your whole roster, instead of having a favourite A-Team that does most of the work.

Also squaddies get class XP and weapon XP, each with their own skill tree, making for some variations within classes: eg one Crusader class is a 2H sword specialist while another is mace and shield.

Overall, I’m digging the ‘mission-base-mission’ loop enough to push through the bugs.

Like you say, there have been a lot of "XCOM alikes" in recent months, but none of them have really grabbed me enough to get any of them

Sorbicol wrote:

Like you say, there have been a lot of "XCOM alikes" in recent months, but none of them have really grabbed me enough to get any of them

I'm enjoying Showgunners. Gets a recommend from me.

Flintlock: Siege of Dawn is coming out July 18th. Close enough to my birthday to be a present to myself.

Higgledy wrote:

Flintlock: Siege of Dawn is coming out July 18th. Close enough to my birthday to be a present to myself.

What's it about?

Sieges. At dawn

It’s a soldier killing escaped gods in a fantasy ‘Napoleonic’ era with melee weapons and muskets. It’s a souls-like, which may peak or tank your interest.

6th anniversary of this trailer today:

I have just finished (almost - I'm stuck in an epilogue with no obvious way to progress it) Botany Manor, which is a lovely litttle puzzle game. Vibes of Firewatch, but no other characters and no voice acting, just wandering around a lovely old house making some plants grow. Very chill

Another Steam Next Fest, another 11 games from my wishlist (and 3 or 4 others that have grabbed my attention) now have a demo available, along with hundreds of others. This is a great time to see how far some upcoming games are from being 'ready' (not always related to how close they are to Early Access release, or full release).

93_confirmed wrote:

I picked up The Ascent ($8.99/Xbox), which is essentially a twin stick, bird's eye Cyberpunk shooter. It's visually stunning with smooth gunplay, some rpg elements and interesting world design.

I bought this over the weekend for my early gen Xbone, and the load times were atrocious just to get to the first level. I turn 45 next week, I don't have time for this!

Flintlock has a demo. Sadly it was more then buggy for me. Audio was delayed by minutes, and boss didn't spawn. Hopefully that'll get sorted out but not a positive sign. Tried a bunch of other demos but none of them worth mentioning sadly.

Mixolyde wrote:
93_confirmed wrote:

I picked up The Ascent ($8.99/Xbox), which is essentially a twin stick, bird's eye Cyberpunk shooter. It's visually stunning with smooth gunplay, some rpg elements and interesting world design.

I bought this over the weekend for my early gen Xbone, and the load times were atrocious just to get to the first level. I turn 45 next week, I don't have time for this!

The load times are a bit long. In the few hours I've played (on Xbox) since my post I've had 2 sudden crashes to Xbox Home screen and one stutter/freeze glitch. In all 3 cases I lost a good chunk of progrss so I bailed on the game. No tolerance for that and the devs aren't actively working on the game so the issue won't be fixed.

Gamepass has Lords of The Fallen v1.5 up. So far I've been impressed. Still learning all the things but I think it's good.

Reporting on week 2 of Crown Wars:

Well, that took a turn. Major difficulty spikes in the 2nd/3rd Act. Some missions will throw 20+ enemies at you—not trash mobs, either, but soldiers with the same HP, armor and weapon skills that your squad has, if not better. You get a squad of 4-6, plus any pets if you bring beastmasters (which you should).

I unlocked a new gunner class, allowing me to recruit level 1 gunners with one measly weapon skill, and in the first mission afterward, I meet fully-maxed-out enemy gunners, with the super deadly final gunner weapon skill. Ouchie.

Different mission types require different strategies, even different squad builds. You do not have to clear the board every time. In fact, if a mission involves getting to an evac zone, the game will send too many waves to kill within the turn limit. You instead have to avoid/CC them. The worst are "Defend" missions, where someone in your squad has to stay in a square for 10 turns while the AI throws wave after wave at you every 2 rounds --- there is no way to kill each wave before the next arrives and you will end up losing soldiers.

I'm still pressing on, but now there are certain mission types I will not take and I will cheese and save scum wherever possible because the AI throws too many enemies at you! Unfortunately one of the cheese strats involves sacrificing pets, because pets do not have to heal or revive after missions, unlike human squaddies.

Given the wealth of other XCOM-alikes out there, it's hard to recommend at full price to someone in the state it's in. Maybe wait for a patch or sale, or both. I'm pressing on, but through gritted teeth now.