The "Should I buy this game" thread


I agree with the above commenter. Mafia 1 was an interesting contrast to GTA 3, going in a story heavy direction instead of focusing on the spectacle. It was fun to drive around in a recreation of the 1920’s and follow speed limits. Since the game covers a decade of time you also get to experience the evolution of cars in that era, from slow ones that can barely turn to what feels like sports cars by the end of it (including an actual racing car in a sequence that was nail bitingly hard at release but got patched to be less so after a couple of months).

The story is stock mafia stuff, but at the time (and it’s funny because we talked in another thread about what it means for a game to hold up or be good for its time) it was a pleasure to just have actual characters in a game. Don’t count on it being anything special though. Play it if you want to see an early iteration of a path that open world games could have gone down, but mostly didn’t.

Mafia 2… I can’t recommend, at all. To some extent because it shares a bit too much of the Mafia 1 structure, but not really improving upon it in a meaningful way. Since it’s set in the 50’s you also don’t get the same cool evolution of cars as in the first.

Mostly though, it stars two genuinely unlikeable characters. Vito and Joe just come across as stupid, more than anything. To the point at which I’m not sure whether or not the developers were trying to make a point about how you play as disposable cannon fodder for the mafia bosses to use. Which, to be fair, I think is an interesting theme for a genre that so easily seems to slip into romantic notions about “family”, but even if that is what the game is going for (and I’m not convinced) it doesn’t work out. It’s a boring story, with boring missions, and I wasted 17 hours hoping to like it.

As to whether any asshole gets your money, well, Dan Vavra of recent Warhorse and Kingdom Come fame headed the two projects, although I believe he left the studio before Mafia 2 was finished. I cannot tell whether he gets any money off of these sales.


I think I’m about halfway through Assassin’s Creed Origins and I was wondering if the story DLCs, The Hidden Ones and The Curse of the Pharaohs, are worth a purchase.


Mafia 1 is a classic. Haven’t really played it in years so I might not remember any downsides, but I would highly recommend it. Good story, fun action, varied missions. nice atmosphere in the world, but I’m not sure if these versions still have all the good music?

Mafia 2 is absolute garbage. Stay away from that one.


Hola. Should I buy Watch Dogs 2?

For context, I’m a huge fan of games with interlocking systems, like Breath of the Wild, Far Cry 2/3/4, etc. I’ve been jonesin for another game with that feel and I’m wondering if it’ll fill my need.


Probably not. WD2 is fun when you’re figuring out how to climb a building to pick something up, and in that sense there’s quite a bit of enjoyment to be found in it. It also has quite a few PoC and LGBT characters (emphasis on the T) done, as far as I can recall, quite well. But the plot is generic Ubisoft stuff, the characters are unbearable, and it’s otherwise just a very standard third-person shooter. It’s not a terrible game by any means, and you will have some fun with it if you pick it up, but it seems like a waste of the time with all the great stuff that’s already out there.


I understand that Skyrim is or was a big deal; given that it is 2018, should I still play Skyrim (on the Switch)? I like fantasy stories, RPGs, and extensive worlds that I can throw myself in to; having said that, I am not interested in games that require a hundred hour investment to get through the basic story (e.g. Xenoblade Chronicles, I also disliked that combat system). I have also not played Dark Souls and am planning to pick that up when it comes out–I am much more attracted the aesthetics of Dark Souls. Should I be prioritizing one over the other? Are they apples and oranges?


Honestly if story is something you care about Skyrims main plot is boring. What makes that game (and most Bethesda games) fun are the small story side quests and environment story telling. Personally I wouldn’t buy it on the Switch just because I find that mods add so much more to the game that I couldn’t go back to vanilla.


To add to what @Wazanator said, Skyrim’s structure isn’t really the same as with many RPG’s, I played the game without touching the main story at all after finishing the tutorial. Almost every different questline in the game is available to you from the very beginning and it’s just a matter of going and finding it.

As for comparing it to Dark Souls, they are somewhat apples and oranges as I’d come to them both with different desires of what I want out of them. Dark Souls has more mechanical depth, but structurally more rigid (though still fairly open in some ways) and isn’t an open world. Skyrim is often described as “wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle,” as there is a lot to do and free of structure, but many of it’s systems and mechanics might be considered shallow.

My satisfaction with Dark Souls came from mastering a strict set of rules, my satisfaction from the Elder Scrolls and Skyrim came from exploring the world and discovering new things.


Thanks to you and @Wazanator for the immediate feedback.

Something about the description of “wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle” doesn’t sit entirely right with me. I can understand the desire to jump about in a puddle but I haven’t felt that way in a while and find myself increasingly turning to games to throw myself into some deep water. I may simply put this game on a long list of things to check out if a copy basically falls into my lap.


WD2 is a superfun dumb and crazy sandbox-game. The version of San Fransisco they created is beautiful, and to cause total havoc in it with all your mad hacking-abilities kept me entertained for 40-ish hours without it getting old.

If you’re looking for an interesting story however, look elsewhere.


Yeah, the metaphor is often used while critiscizing the game for that very reason, people find the systems in the game ultimately unsatisfying after the allure to the exploration disappears.


The lead dev for Kingdom Come: Deliverance lists himself as the “creator” of Mafia 1 + 2, so there’s that.

I’m gonna push back on this and say that I actually liked the characters and the writing in WD2. While it’s a bit over the top, it’s one of the few Ubisoft games to have an almost coherent point of view, and actually follow through on it. It also does a lot of work with background conversations and design that make it feel like an actual city, maybe more so than any other open world game I’ve played.

That said … some of the missions are intolerable. Anything involving getting away from the cops in a vehicle is bad. The game doesn’t make clear which upgrades you actually need in the early game, which can lead to wasting money on stuff you don’t need. It’s also an incredibly fussy stealth game, which leads to some really frustrating moments.

The first major story mission in the game is basically all of the above in one big, unplayable mess. If you can push past that disaster, the game opens up and gets a lot better.


I would strongly recommend going for Dark Souls. While Skyrim is incredible important in the history of game design, a lot of its importance comes from the role that mods and modders play in the game’s community.

By contrast, Dark Souls’ power comes from how it pushes the boundaries of interactive storytelling, using and inventing tools unique to the medium to engage the player in its themes, stories, emotions, and tropes at every level and in ways that would be impossible in an non-interactive medium.

Film critics question whether video games will ever have a work of art that legitimizes the genre. In another decade, culture will realize that Dark Souls and Bloodborne were amongst the Citizen Kanes of video games.

Speaking without hyperbole, I believe Dark Souls to be literature. Every time I return to it I find new themes and resonances, feel the same emotions I do when I re-read The Great Gatsby or Moby Dick. There is deep truth about the human condition worked into the text of the game.


Dark Souls is great and better than Skyrim and also has a very real Transphobioa problem so going in at least knowing about that even if you don’t dig into the details. It might even be worth skipping frankly depending on how you feel about voting with your dollar and all that


I am sorry, your sentence is a little confusing… which game features transphobia?


Dark Souls specifically


Skyrim… nah. If you played Breath of the Wild, you’ve already played a much, much better version of this game. It’s horrendously repetitive and trite, and if you’re really looking for a big open-world game, I’d honestly recommend just playing BotW again (or instead, if you haven’t played it yet).

Dark Souls, on the other hand, I would definitely get. If you haven’t played any of the Souls games, this is a really good way to understand what all the fuss is about. Of course, not knowing how it runs on the Switch, it’s hard to recommend blindly, but assuming the port runs reasonably well, it’s well worth your cash


Years later I still go back in dive into Skyrim here and there. It’s such a supremely accessible and enjoyable game to mess about with. The whole world and all of the quests are open to you pretty much from the very start so you don’t have to worry about playing for 20 hours before you start to actually get into it like some RPG’s. It’s stood the test of time (only seven years late but still) much better than Bethesda’s other games imo too.

The combat lacks depth, the main story is pretty bleh, but I’ll still defend it just for how much I like that world and some of the more interesting lore tidbits/environmental storytelling. I would give it a shot just so you know once and for all if it’s something you’re into, since you’ll just hear people compare stuff to it for the rest of human history anyways (likely the case for DS too I guess given the explosion of discourse around that series more recently)


Well I was looking for an excuse to do a hard-mode run of BotW so this is good news :wink:


Vulpes – I would be deeply appreciative if you could point me towards some good criticism on the transphobia in Dark Souls? Would like to be able to qualify / know what I’m talking about when I hype the game.