It's 'Dead Cells,' 'Prey,' and 'Endless Space 2' on Waypoint Radio


#1

Y'all want space politics? Y'all get space politics.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/its-dead-cells-prey-and-endless-space-2-on-waypoint-radio

#2

I "one more turn"ed the hell out of Dead Cells today. It’s so hard to put down.

Relatedly, does anybody know how many stages it has? I know it’s great know but I’m wondering how deep it goes for now. (not that I’m good enough at video games to get too deep in)

Can’t wait to listen to this episode


#3

I read an article on it recently that said:

I’ve played about 12 hours and have still only beaten one boss. There are only about ten levels for now and two bosses.

It sounds like it’s keeping folks busy, though! :blush:


#4

Awesome podcast as usual! Anyone playing dead cells with a keyboard, does that feel OK? Thinking about getting it.


#5

It’s totally playable with a keyboard and you can remap the key bindings to whatever suits you. With the default keyboard controls, though, I’ve found myself accidentally rolling when I didn’t want to because I inadvertently hit the shift key instead of A or D to move left or right.

Also, it might just be my imagination, but I feel like I have more precision guiding my jumps and sticking to ledges using a joypad rather than the keyboard.


#6

Well inty Endless Space 2. Gonna have to listen to this sometime soon when I’m not fawning over Overwatch stuff.


#7

Thanks! Yea I imagine that it’s better with a controller, but if it’s OK with a keyboard I’ll probably pick it up :slight_smile:


#8

Hey, that Question Bucket was super relevant to how I feel about Breath of the Wild and how I’ll probably feel about Horizon once I’m done with it.

So this year has been great for games, we all know that - but all of that has had a bit of a dampener put on it for me, because I kicked this year off with playing and finishing Bloodborne for the first time. And since doing that, every game I have played, the lasting thought I have had is “wasn’t as good as Bloodborne.” Including Dark Souls 3, which I managed to blast through over the past month (It felt super easy to me, but I don’t know if that was because I know how these games tick now after finishing Bloodborne or if DS3 is genuinely quite easy).

But anyway, I feel like playing Bloodborne directly before jumping into Breath of the Wild really kinda clarified why I’ve never been that big a fan of the sandbox design of open-world, instead preferring the more intimate, labyrinthine world designs of something like Metroid, Castlevania, Arkham Asylum or indeed, Bloodborne. It’s because for however interesting a sandbox world may be - and Breath of the Wild (and Horizon) certainly have interesting sandboxes - the world itself isn’t the point of interest, it’s the things you do in it. Like, the main function of the world in a sandbox game is just to pace the player, to provide some rest between the action, whether that be a Shrine or a Korok puzzle in Zelda or a Cauldron or bandit camp in Horizon. But in Bloodborne, and in most metroidvanias (I consider the Soulsborne canon all metroidvanias, but that’s for another post) - the world is the point of interest. Because of the labyrinthine design, going through the world of a Metroid or a Dark Souls feels like unraveling a ball of yarn. Every shortcut you uncover, every ability you gain, every save point/bonfire/lantern you find re-contextualises the whole space, in a way that a sandbox game cannot.

And it’s because of that that even with all of Breath of the Wild’s systems and world left up to player discovery - I never really felt like I was uncovering anything, I mean I was, but it never really felt profound, it felt like I had just dug up some Tonka Truck some kid had left in the sandbox, to use that term literally. I mean I also have issues with how Breath of the Wild rewards the player for discovering things (that’s also for another post) but because of the way sandbox games by design are more focussed on getting the player to engage with the spaces and activities the developer wants them to, rather than designing the whole world as a space for the player to engage with, it makes the world in a sandbox game feel less natural, there’s an obvious design at work that even a game like Breath of the Wild that strives to be so systems driven and so focussed on creating a breathing, living world feels - aptly - like a kids sandbox, with toys strewn around to play with.

That might seem like an odd argument to make, given that the world of a metroidvania or a soulslike would obviously be more carefully designed but I feel because the design is purely focussed on the spaces that the player will be exploring, rather than what will be in that space for the player to explore and engage with - it feels far more natural than a sandbox game ever will.