Tag Archives: open world

Searching For Crates In Rage 2 Sucks

Rage 2 is a violent and dangerous world. Every day is filled with action, explosions, car chases, and giant monsters. It’s all very exciting and a blast to experience. But one of the most prevalent activities in this world isn’t killing mutants or destroying enemy convoys. No. Instead, for some reason, the game really wants you to find a bunch of crates. So many crates. And it sucks.

I’ve been enjoying my time with Rage 2, even if the game feels like six things copied and pasted a thousand times. Luckily, most of Rage 2 is fun and feels great. I love the shooting and driving, so I don’t mind doing the same things over and over. It’s fine. What I do dislike and actively hate is how nearly every single location in Rage 2 is packed with the same collectibles. And each location tasks the player with finding them.

Again and again and again.

To be fair, you don’t have to find these collectibles which are usually crates and PDAs. However, if you want to fully check a location off your map you will need to spend some time searching for crates and stupid little PDAs.

And again, to be fair to Rage 2, you don’t have to collect these things. This is just a problem I have while playing. I just can’t walk away from these locations and see them on my map unfinished. I hate it. This is my personal hang up, I understand this. If you can drive by a bandit camp that isn’t checked off the map, more power to you. I can’t do it, which means I end up digging around every location searching for shit.

Here’s the thing though, even if these crates are optional, I don’t understand WHY these scavenger hunts are even in the game at all. Because they suck. They are just the worst.

Crates can be hidden almost anywhere. Sometimes they are just sitting out in the open. I love these crates. I’ll never say anything bad about these good ones. They are fine. But other crates are bastards, hiding in weird spots or under buildings. These crates are annoying, but I understand that these scavenger hunts need to be a bit challenging, so I’ll get grumpy at these bastards, but I don’t hate them.

No, I reserve that hatred for the asshole crates.

These assholes are always a pain to find. Here’s an example of an asshole chest. I was searching a bandit camp in Rage 2, looking for the last crate in the area. I spent way too long digging around this area, searching every room, behind rocks and even vehicles. I almost gave up. Suddenly, as I was walking by a large shipping container, my view stopped moving and locked onto the doors for a moment. I stopped and checked the container and found the doors were locked with a small pink padlock and my reticle was locking on to this object due to auto-aim. I shot it, the doors opened and I found the last crate. What an asshole.

This sucked and wasn’t fun. I didn’t feel clever finding this box. Up until this point, I had no idea I could shoot locks that I found randomly in the world. I didn’t even know I could check shipping containers, as most of them are locked and can’t be opened. In fact, at this location, there was actually a few other containers that I couldn’t open. After finding it I felt cheated and it left a sour taste in my mouth, a taste that I quickly rinsed away by shotgunning some bandits later.

There is an ability players can unlock that adds a item tracker to the in-game HUD. I didn’t have this tracker for my first few hours of Rage 2. Once I did unlock this tracker, I was excited. Finally, chests will be easy to find.

Except there was a big problem: The tracker blows.

It works well enough in large and open areas. But more compact or vertical bases are still a massive hassle to search. One problem is that the tracker seems to be inconsistent or at least it feels that way. It also has a problem with how it works. It tracks not just crates, but PDAs and Ark chests (another collectible some areas have you search for.) This means if a PDA, chest, and crate are close to each other, the tracker will change wildly as you move in different directions. I’ve gotten better at using it, but it doesn’t really solve my main problem with these overused checklists.

These item searches are a terrible activity. They aren’t fun or interesting and their rewards are rarely worth the time. These damn crates are a wonderful example of how overstuffing an open world can lead to things that are created simply to be time sinks. A way of making that list to “finish” the game get longer and longer.

These things add little to no value to the game and for the players, like me, who try to complete them, they often make us hate playing the game we were enjoying just a moment earlier.

So if you are enjoying Rage 2, don’t worry about tracking down every chest. Find what you can and if you really feel up to it, wait until you unlock the tracker before looking for all these collectibles. Don’t make my mistake. Instead, have fun. Don’t worry about checklists.

Source: Kotaku.com

American Fugitive Is A Small Town Version Of GTA

I was driving fast in a ugly sedan. The police were chasing me and I was trying to lose them. I had robbed a home and got caught in the process. Now the cops were hot on my trail. I flipped a corner and they lost me. I quickly jumped out of my car, hopped a fence and found some clothes drying in a backyard. Jackpot! I grabbed a new outfit and quickly put it on then hopped another fence and watched police whiz by, still looking for some dude in a black shirt.

This kind of stuff happens often while playing American Fugitive, a game heavily inspired by top-down Grand Theft Auto games but set in the Midwest.

And unlike the bigger and newer GTA titles, American Fugitive is more focused on small-town crimes and hijinks. You won’t be robbing multimillion-dollar government superjets or selling jetpacks to domestic terrorists. Instead, American Fugitive is all about breaking into homes, knocking over convenience stores, ditching cops in dirt road pursuits and small-town politics. Like, for example, how the Sheriff is corrupt and a member of a rival family.

The mission design in the first few hours reflects this smaller and more grounded world of rural crime. Most missions take only a few minutes to finish and are fairly simple. Maybe too simple? I really felt the missions, like stealing a police car or blowing up some rivals, never felt very involved in the first hours of the game. Maybe later missions add more depth? I really hope so.

Even still, the main draw of American Fugitive is the open world and all the different ways players can interact with it and the citizens living there.

Nearly every building can be broken into or entered. This is done via a mini-game using a blueprint of the building. It may not be as impressive as creating and rendering hundreds of individual homes, but it works well enough and casing a joint before hitting it is tense. You need to be patient to commit a perfect robbery. Check each window, make sure nobody is home, bring a rock or crowbar to break the window or lock, then quickly search around for loot. Get too lazy and check only a few windows and you might climb into a house and right into the eyes of its owner, who is now calling the cops.

Unlike Grand Theft Auto games, the world reacts more to you and your crimes. Walk around with a gun? People will call the cops. Crash into some street lights or parked cars? Cops get called. Trespass onto someone’s lawn? Cops are coming, buddy. This might sound annoying, but it actually makes the world feel more intense and every mission and activity can be screwed up by breaking a small law.

At one point I participated in the mandatory open world video game activity of “racing around the map in a short amount of time.” But unlike most open world games that don’t let police chase you during these side activities, American Fugitive does. I was about to get a fast completion time, slammed through a fence and someone called the cops on me for dangerous driving. Suddenly my race became a high-speed pursuit.

After playing games like GTA and Saint’s Row for years, American Fugitive feels very different. Having to worry about traffic laws, keeping my guns hidden, etc. made nearly every mission and moment a bit more exciting.

Sadly, American Fugitive feels unfinished and cheap in some spots. This is a smaller game from a smaller studio, so I understand there are limits. But I really wish the game ran better. On my PS4 Pro I found the framerate to be all over the place and ran into some audio bugs. The menus and cutscenes also feel like the fell out of a mobile game from a few years ago. Camera controls are also messy and I would love to see a patch to improve them.

But I still enjoy playing American Fugitive. I like an open world crime game that actually makes committing crimes feel exciting and even like a small puzzle. Should I cut this corner and risk getting cops called on me? Should
I use guns in this mission and get police sent to my location? These are questions I never really asked myself while playing GTA and I like having to worry about these smaller details of committing crimes.

I just wish the game had more interesting missions, felt a bit more finished and had better performance on consoles.

Source: Kotaku.com

Fallout 76’s New Camera Quest Helped Me Fall In Love With The Game’s Broken Beauty

The Harper’s Ferry Armory.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Fallout 76)
Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.  

Fallout 76’s world is lonely. Despite being a multiplayer game, it hosts just a couple dozen people around a sprawling map in any session you play. Other Fallout games might have a lot of computer-controlled civilians to chat with. Not this one. All of the non-player characters died long ago, or mutated beyond recognition. This limits the game’s drama, but the more I play Fallout 76 the more I’ve come to appreciate what it gains from being so empty.

I had this epiphany thanks to the game’s newest quest, Bucket List, which adds a new playable object to the game: a film-based camera. This is distinct from the game’s photo mode, which requires players to open a seperate menu and temporarily disables their character. The new camera, a ProSnap Deluxe, lets you capture moments with the ease of zooming down the sights on a gun, one of the most natural instincts in any shooter. Ever since getting the camera I’ve been eagerly snapping pics.

The New River Gorge Bridge.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Fallout 76)

To begin the quest you first have to find the corpse of a tourist, one which wasn’t in the game prior to last week’s update but now randomly spawns at any number of locations across the world. I found mine after climbing up through the Landview Lighthouse. Looting a skeleton draped across the wrought iron railing at the top I learned it belonged to Anne Litzinger, a college student who moved from San Francisco to go to school in West Virginia and didn’t like it at first. “I thought this place was antiquated, filled with ignorant hillbillies. I hated it,” she says in a holotape. “Eventually, I guess I got over myself. It turns out, people are people. Brains aren’t regional and our birthplace doesn’t define us. I decided that once I graduated, I’d really explore West Virginia.”

Even though Fallout 76’s world doesn’t have living non-player characters, their ghosts continue to haunt the world, imbuing it with low key melancholy that makes it feel like one of the most relatable in the series. As Litzinger tried to mine through Appalachia’s cultural and architectural heritage the bombs fell. Her sightseeing list became a bucket list instead, knowing the radiation would kill her before she could finish it. She asks that whoever finds her body does so for her.

It’s not enough to loot Anne’s corpse and start taking pictures of the locations that remain on her list. You first have to repair her broken camera and make some film for it. I was missing some of the aluminum and crystal necessary to do so first before going back to my camp I made a detour into the Morgantown high school. The cafeteria pantry is full of cans and the classroom has microscopes, both of which could be broken down into the ingredients I needed. I couldn’tt help but think about the students told to duck and cover under their desks when the alarms went off as I walk the hallway of broken lockers.

One of the places on Anne’s list is the Red Rocket Mega Stop, a 1950s-style gas station and diner for vacationers coming in off the highway. Another is the Pumpkin house, an old Victorian home surrounded by jack ‘o lanterns where a robot programmed to harvest the orange gourds continues to do so in perpetuity. It’s inspired by a real world location in West Virginia where people carve and display thousands of pumpkins every year.

The Pumkin house
Screenshot: Kotaku (Fallout 76)

At the end of the quest the Fallout 76 gods dump a random legendary weapon and an assortment of other lesser loot directly into your inventory for your trouble, since neither Anne nor anyone else is alive to give it to you.

Fallout 76’s landscape is dotted with so many strange, decaying monuments to space age Americana that I can’t help but marvel at them, especially when one unexpectedly catches my eye as it peeks out over a tree line or from around the side of a mountain range. But some part of me also feels compelled to take pictures to document the beautiful parts of a disappointing game so many people will never get to see. It’s a sentiment that’s also subtly reflected in the Bucket List.

Games fit into the various nooks and crannies of our lives in all different ways, and where Fallout 76 failed as an ambitious new type of story-driven multiplayer sandbox, it’s performed admirably as a destination for virtual camping trips and strange archeological hikes. I’ve come to fall in love with the sounds and sights of Fallout 76’s post-apocalyptic Appalachia in the dozens of hours I’ve spent combing through it. Players might never be able to rebuild it as Bethesda once suggested, but even as a graveyard for the victims of a nuclear war it’s the one I keep returning to.

Source: Kotaku.com

YouTuber Takes Beautiful Walks Across Huge Video Games

Open world games keep getting bigger and bigger, but the time we have to thoroughly explore them is limited. Most players will never see all the beautiful things a game has to offer, but a time-lapse walkabout across the entire map can offer a slightly blurry glimpse.

As spotted by Eurogamer, Gaming YouTuber Enigma recently started uploading videos of timelapse walks through big gaming worlds. The newest takes viewers on a tour of virtual San Francisco from 2016’s Watch Dogs 2’s. They start at the northern edge of the Golden Gate Bridge before making their way down into the heart of San Francisco. They head further south into the game’s version of Silicon Valley before crossing the San Mateo Bridge to get into Oakland. One moment it’s bright blue skies over the bay. In the next, San Francisco is lit up at night.

Enigma commented under the video that the trip ended up taking two hours and 20 minutes to complete, but the time-lapsed video is able to show the journey in just under four minutes. It helps that Watch Dogs 2’s map is very circular, allowing Enigma to hit all of the main locations without having to backtrack or hop into a boat. It also shows off the beauty of Ubisoft’s open world while in motion. Much of Enigma’s walkabout takes place on highly trafficked roads, and it’s cool to see them waltz through these areas as the AI-controlled vehicles gracefully glide past or quickly stop to avoid hitting the player.

In the past couple weeks, Enigma has posted other time-lapsed escapades through sprawling video game worlds, like last year’s Red Dead Redemption 2. Unlike Watch Dogs 2, or the recent Grand Theft Auto games, which Enigma has also explored this way, the RDR 2 video offers a sped-up hike through naturalistic landscapes of 19th century America. Instead of a flood of cars or people passing by, it’s the thick, fluffy clouds constantly morphing as they roll across the horizon that steal the show.

Enigma’s journey eventually ends in a snowy blizzard up north, with the time-lapse able to show off not just how sweeping RDR 2’s world is but how it transforms as the weather and sunlight change.

The videos are certainly no replacement for digging into these games first-hand but condensing their scope into a few minutes of footage makes it easier to appreciate just how vast and diverse their worlds can be. 

Source: Kotaku.com