Succumbing to a few more Steam game purchases...

By bengy | The Elder Gamer | 16 Mar 2022


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Sigh... I really know that I shouldn't, but sometimes there are some really interesting games or games that I really want that are on sale on Steam, and I want to support the development of those games by buying them individually instead of waiting for them to land on a Humble Bundle.

Of course, that doesn't do good things for the incredibly long Steam blacklog that I still have... but I'm hoping that a Steam Deck will help out with that by allowing me to play proper PC games on the plane, bus and train! Or at the very least, to free up some hard drive space on my gaming rig and laptop by offloading some games onto the Deck!

So, I guess seeing as I succumbed and bought a few games over the last couple of days, I should at least show them off!

 

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First up is the crazily complex and gigantic space trading, empire, flight simulator... X4. I've been a huge fan of the X Universe series of games... there is something supremely serene about managing your trading empire, whilst taking part in the occasional dogfights and all of that.

I remember loving and spending so much time in X3... even the protocol and procedure of docking your ship to station is just so satisfying! It all helps me relive the fond memories of Privateer from when I was at university!

Anyway, you can play the game as a giant sandbox, ignoring the story and just doing your own thing... starting up from a single fighter/trade ship and eventually commanding capital ships and starbases! Everything is satisfyingly slow moving and epic, but there is always that ever useful time-dilation tool!

It is amazing that this game is now 4 years old, and has seen five major updates and three huge DLCs... I only picked up the base version and none of the DLCs. I might be tempted with DLC further off in the future once I have had the chance to get into the base game, but for the moment... I will limit my temptation!

One little thing that I wasn't too keen on was that the collector's edition contained soundtracks in addition to the DLC. If that wasn't the case, I would have snapped up the complete version instead of just the base!

 

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Shadows of Forbidden Gods is an impulse purchase of an Early Access game after I read about it on Rock Paper Shotgun. I don't normally buy too many Early Access or Kickstarter games... perhaps only a few each year. But when I do, there is something particularly interesting about the development team or the game concept that is completely out of the mainstream that I really really want to support. Of course, those sorts of bets don't always pay off in the form of a great or even good game... but I do want to support game developers who are daring enough to create interesting and unique games that are more to my taste and not just pandering to the latest fashion and hype.

So, Shadows of the Forbidden Gods is a turn based strategic game that has overtones of Crusader Kings 2. However, the twist is that you are an imprisoned evil god... and through your agents, you are trying to destabilise the world in order to break the seals that bind you to take your rightful place as supreme being in the universe! There is some element of AI War in there... in that you are severely overmatched by the opposing heroes, religions, and monarchs in the beginning and you need to stay under the radar and slowly undermine and corrupt them.

It is definitely an interesting concept... and the game is playable, if a bit rough in looks. The mechanics are generally there, but the flavour is really missing at the moment. The results of actions are just blandly described... and you get the impression that you are looking at and playing a numbers juggling game at the moment. That said, it is still Early Access... so, if they manage to put an engaging front-end to the game mechanics in a similar way to Crusader Kings, then we might have a winner here!

I've just completed the tutorial... so, keep an eye out for a first impression!

 

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Last on the list of purchases was Distant Worlds 2. Well... this was published by Slitherine Games, and that should already tell you everything that you want to know about this game! Slitherine is famous for neckbeard table top style games... hardcore nerd gaming!

Distant Worlds makes Paradox games like Stellaris look like simplified sandboxes. If you are into hardcore 4X gaming... well, this is it with the simulation delving deep in the supply chains and merchant navies in addition to the directly controlled governmental stuff! Thankfully, you are able to delegate as much or as little as you want.

I love these 4X games, and I've been really enjoying how Paradox and Amplitude have really pushed the boundaries of how the genre is developing and evolving away from the Civ model... Amplitude with their tight stories and narratives, and Paradox with their always deep and complex simulations. Distant Worlds ups the ante, and comes out with a near complete simulation... unmatched in depth and complexity. I loved the original and the Universe variants, and I'm really keen to see how nearly a decades advancement in computing and graphical power is going to affect this already complex simulation!

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bengy
bengy

I am a Musician (Violinist/Violist) specialising in Early Music living in The Netherlands. I have a background in Mathematics and Physics due to an earlier tertiary level study... and so, I'm still quite interested in Science and Technology related stuff!


The Elder Gamer
The Elder Gamer

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