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    jp's Void Bastards (PC)

    [October 10, 2022 06:03:50 PM]
    I had played this a while ago (IGF?) - but now I played it some more in the context of a rogue-like seminar I've been teaching this semester. While I enjoyed it the first time around, I think I have a much better understanding of the game now - mostly because I think I've got a feel for the game's meta-progression.

    I don't mean this as an indictment - but I think that some rogue-like games live/die based on their meta-progression when the core (a single run) is perhaps not quite there to encourage continued play. I think of this as a spectrum - some game's single run is not that compelling, but future runs are more compelling because of stuff from the meta-progression (unlocked options that make things more interesting), while others are super compelling as is - and might get even better with meta-progression.

    So, Void Bastards lies on the closer-to-individual runs being less compelling (they can get a bit repetitive), but become more interesting. The core run is ok - but I found I was getting a bit bored as I played, but then things got more interesting as I unlocked new/more weapons and found that some of them made it easier to play the game (it's pretty unforgiving) but also allowed me to better understand some of the different approaches (as you move from derelict to derelict).

    All of this lead to my biggest surprise - the game does really progress in terms of story/narrative. When you first start you need to get a few objects in order to achieve a goal. I was (on one run) able to get them - and this then unlocked a "level 2 depth" where you're now "deeper" into the game and if you die you don't have to start all the way from the beginning. Again you're after some new items - because the one's from the beginning didn't cut it (essentially more bureaucratic red tape corporate nonsense, which is part of the theme of the game).

    So, after some more in-depth play I can say that I've both enjoyed the game more and that I think I understand it much better. It also helped that I played it on my steam deck? I think. It downplays some of the FPS aspects - 'cause the game isn't really great as an FPS. So, I got better and running away, selectively choosing battles, and making better use of the weapons and items you unlock (grenade-types and so on).

    I'd like to get back to it and see if I can get all the way to the end - at least eventually, but we'll see. So little time and so many games!
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    jp's Void Bastards (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 17 September, 2022

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