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    dkirschner's Carrion (PC)

    [December 1, 2020 10:04:32 AM]
    Semester from hell is over.

    1 month of Xbox Game Pass for PC is beginning.

    First game: Demon's Tilt, a satanic looking pinball game that I thought would be more of a spectacle than it was. Turns out I don't care about pinball PC games, no matter how neat they look. Lesson learned.

    Second game: Carrion.

    Verdict: Being the murderous alien lifeform escaping a science facility is awesome. You start out as a cute lil guy that can't do much besides fling a tentacle out to grab humans and bash them to death. Over the course of the game, you find bits of your DNA in containment, reabsorb them, grow, and gain new powers. I cannot stress how fun using powers is, especially when the levels become more puzzly later on.

    Your powers are tied to your three sizes (small, medium, and large, like a pizza). When small, you can shoot a web and become invisible for a short time. When medium, you CANNOT do the small things; instead, you can smash through objects and create spikes all over you that shred enemies. When large, you can pull things (basically a beefed up "smash things" except pulling lets you navigate to new areas) and you can create a super shield, which was useful to turn on and just tear through a room.

    So here's an example of how this might work. Enter a room and see a switch behind a permeable wall. You need to shoot a web at it. You're big, so you need to become small. Go find a pool and deposit some mass. Go back, shoot a web at the switch. A door opens. There are some humans with guns and flamethrowers. You have all these power options to either directly assault them, be more defensive in an assault, slink through some vents that are present and pick them off, and so on. One thing you can do later on is possess enemies. I often possessed enemies with guns and used them to kill everyone else in a room. You'll need to do this to access some switches and buttons too.

    One thing I liked about Carrion is that you are not a total badass all the time. When you are small, you are closer to death and feel vulnerable. When you are large, you have more health but lack invisibility and some other useful abilities. The times when you can rampage through rooms are awesome, but so are the times when you have to stop and consider what you are doing. Enemies are not limited to scientists and grunt soldiers. Some have electric shields, there are big mechs, turrets, mines, drones, and some other things that each are easier with some finesse. This actually makes the idea of the creature far scarier because the creature is sentient, like the player. It stops, thinks, and learns. Indeed, by the end of the game, you realize just how dangerous it is.

    There are two drawbacks to the game. One is the aiming control. As you get bigger, it becomes more difficult to aim your tentacles at small objects, to grab what you intend to grab. I'm not sure why it should become more difficult to do this (maybe that a big monster is supposed to be unwieldy, and if it's purposeful for this reason, then okay I guess). Moving while large can also become difficult when attempting to squeeze through small spaces. Somewhere in your writhing mass of flesh there is a "center" where the controller is mapped to, but when you get big, it is hard to tell where it is. So your body will slither to the right halfway through a vent, then you will push right on the analog stick, and you will actually go DOWN back out of the vent because the "center" of your body was still in the shaft not through the vent yet. This did get annoying.

    The second drawback to the game is that it can be difficult to navigate. There is no map and the game is sprawling and interconnected. As long as you remember what barriers have opened and pay close attention, it's not bad. But, at the very end of the game, before the very last area, I got SO turned around! I had to go to the internet and find user-created maps to figure out how in the world to get back to where I was supposed to be. It was like a 30-minute detour. So, if you make it to the end, DO NOT wander without a map! You can easily get even more turned around than I did.

    Overall, I loved Carrion. The concept is excellent and the execution nails it, with just a couple gripes. Visuals and music are phenomenal as well. Worth a play through for something different.

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    dkirschner's Carrion (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 29 November, 2020

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 1 December, 2020

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Being the science monster is awesome.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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