Remember Me, Starbound, and Skyrim

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Dec 24, 2013

Filed under: Video Games 71 comments

Has it really been a week since my last post? I can’t remember the last time that happened. It feels wrong. I can’t even give an account of where the time is going. It’s just… holidays and goofing off, you know?

But since we didn’t do a Diecast this week, let’s talk about what I’m playing.

Remember Me


Like Dishonored last year, Remember Me is a game that looks interesting, gorgeous, and different, but ends up falling flat when you sit down to play it. It has a fresh premise. (Dystopian future where people can sell and trade memories.) New setting. (Future Paris, instead of future New York.) Solid protagonist. (A woman, instead of another glowering white dude.) Underused genre. (Cyberpunk. We just don’t get enough cyberpunk for my tastes.) It’s a cake with all the right ingredients that somehow ends up tasting like butts.

The problem here is kinaesthetics. This game just doesn’t feel good to play. It’s a beat-em-up that seems to be aspiring to a kind of Batman Arkham vibe, but it doesn’t work. The protagonist feels loose and floaty, her strikes don’t seem to carry any weight, the combos are complex without being interesting, and even the sounds are kind of flaccid. It’s like watching a movie with terrible wire fu and dodgy fight choreography. It just doesn’t feel like these characters are hitting each other.

If I gave out an award for “Game I really wished I could like”, this would be the 2013 winner.



I think I’m over Starbound at this point. I really regret buying the game as early as I did. There’s not enough content in the game to keep me interested at this point. I feel like I would have enjoyed this more if I had waited a few months. The game is updating every few days, and it’s really shaping up to be something interesting. But it’s not there yet, and I’m not such a huge fan of 2D side-scrolling platforming that I can enjoy the game in this raw state.

Skyrim: Dawnguard


After hearing everyone talk about Skyrim: Hearthfire on the Diecast last week, I decided to give it a try. I fired up Skyrim to find that I also got Dawnguard at some point. I dunno. I don’t remember buying it, but there you go.

Dawnguard is terrible. It spawns Vampire attacks in towns. I guess this is to sell the looming threat of vamps, but it just makes the bad guys seem really stupid. Since when do vampires prey on a town via frontal assault? I understand the DLC is probably designed for high-level characters, but the vampires attack even if you’re still in Riverwood at the start of the game and ill-equipped to deal with them.

This foolishness only exacerbates every stupid problem that Skyrim has with regards to NPCs. Why are characters that matter to the player (shopkeepers and trainers) mortal while the obnoxious assholes (quest characters) invincible? Why do unarmed peasant shopkeepers charge into a fight against a VAMPIRE LORD instead of running away and leaving it to the town guards? Why does the ENTIRE TOWN try to murder you if – in the process of frantically trying to save the lives of the suicidal shopkeepers – you accidentally tag an ally with your weapon? Why does everyone feel the need to repeat their combat taunts every five seconds?

The rest of Dawnguard isn’t much to get excited about. It’s typical Bethesda fare: Paper-thin characters, nonsense plot, stale dialog, vague bullshit prophesies as a justification for everything, and a double helping of quest-breaking bugs and glitches.

I suppose the crossbow weapon in Dawnguard is fun to use, but it’s not like there’s a shortage of overpowered user-made weapon mods floating around out there. And while the crossbow is free, nobody sells ammo for it, so I hope you’ve leveled crafting enough to make your own.

EDIT: Apparently someone in Dawnguard sells crossbow bolts and I missed it.

I uninstalled it. No even the voice work of Jennifer Hale could save this mess.

Skyrim: Hearthfire


Hearthfire is much better than Dawnguard, and is good enough that it revitalized my interest in Skyrim. It lets you purchase a plot of land and build a house on it. It begins as a simple cottage which you can eventually expand into a sprawling mansion, complete with all the tools and storage you could ever want. User-made mods have been adding stuff like this for ages, so it’s nice to see Bethesda give us an official version.

The house works really well as a long-term project in the game. It also provides a much-needed money sink. I can’t remember that last time I had to worry about cash in a Bethesda game.

It’s still glitchy, and I dislike how flat the lighting is in the houses, but overall it’s a great addition to Skyrim.


So yeah. That’s what I’m doing instead of making content. That, and eating my body weight in sugar. Because that’s always a good idea if you’re 42 years old and don’t get enough exercise.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday.


From The Archives:

71 thoughts on “Remember Me, Starbound, and Skyrim

  1. A. Hieronymus Bosch says:

    Everyone who owned Skyrim technically got Dawnguard for free during an update a few months ago that wasn’t supposed to happen.

    I thought that they went back and removed it from everyone who didn’t jump in ahead of time to copy the files, but evidently not.

    Didn’t (vanilla) Morrowind let you build a mansion near Balmora?

    1. Nathaniel says:

      Rising through the ranks of each of the 3 great houses in Morrowind eventually gets you a house somewhere. House Hlaalu gets you the one south of Balmora but there are 2 more I never got on my other characters.

      1. Chris says:

        House Redoran gets you one to the northeast of their main town, if I’m remembering right.

        Telvanni, meanwhile, gets one in the middle of nowhere in the Ashlands – meaning if you want to go there regularly, you’d best use your mark spell there, or else just mod in a ring to teleport you there. It’s a pity, too, because it was my favourite of the mansions by far.

        1. Volatar says:

          Redoran is the one in the middle of nowhere. Never did Telvanni myself though so not sure if that one is too.

          1. syal says:

            All of them are in the middle of nowhere.

            1. A. Hieronymus Bosch says:

              The one outside Balmora is a Hoptoad or two away with the Boots of Blinding Speed.

              1. Halceon says:

                Yeah, the Balmora one was a minute of a jog away at most. Though it did have that nasty thing that right across the river from it was an egg mine which you’re very likely to raid in the first hours of playing. If that gets raided, your advancement stops at a certain level.

              2. Decius says:

                ALL of them are a short trip if you make the Potion of Exploitative Speed. (By first brewing Potions of Exploitative Intelligence)

  2. StartRunning says:

    Happy holidays, everyone :)

  3. GiantRaven says:

    Everybody deserves some good time to just sit around and goof off. =)

    I hope you, and everyone else here, have good holidays. Happy festivities everybody!

  4. Fawstoar says:

    I’m sure you’re quite burned out on Skyrim by now, but I have to recommend Dragonborn. It has all the faults of Skyrim and it doesn’t do anything particularly novel compared to the main game, but I’m finding that the lore surrounding Solstheim is much more interesting and that the island has a bit more depth to it than I assumed on my first playthrough. Maybe I should just play Morrowind again…

    1. nerdpride says:

      I guess it is good that I never played TES past Morrowind. Of course the kinesthetics of the new games are better and honestly I think the stories are similar but the large number of books and dialogue was the best. I think there’s nothing quite like that mythology.

      Hermaeus Mora sounds really neat and unfortunately wasn’t anywhere in Morrowind AFAIK. Mods to the rescue!

  5. The Nick says:

    Happy holidays, eating sugar is great, and accidental free stuff that they let you keep is either really awesome or some lazy coder. I hope the former, myself…

  6. Adam says:

    Happy Holidays, Shamus, and I hope Christmas leads to you playing better thought-out, more entertaining software.

  7. Cat Skyfire says:

    Dawnguard: You could buy ammo for it IN castle Dawnguard.

  8. Andrew_C says:

    Pity about Remember Me. I haven’t seen much of it but what I’d seen looked interesting and slightly different, almost in a Mirrors Edge way.

    Happy Christmas for tomorrow :)

    1. Nyctef says:

      Remember Me is absolutely worth playing and I’ve been recommending it to everyone I can :)

      I found the gameplay largely enjoyable, although it does get a bit tedious in a couple of places, and the platforming is mostly just an excuse to look at the nice scenery rather than being interesting. Everything else about the game – the story, the art and the music in particular – is just fantastic.

    2. Torsten says:

      Remember Me and Mirror’s Edge have a lot in common, both have some fresh ideas but ultimately suffer from poor execution, mostly because they did not dare to be more new and experimenting enough. Still, they are games that deserve another change.

    3. Decius says:

      Every time I saw a trailer for Remember Me I thought it was a sequel to Mirror’s Edge.

  9. The Ground Aviator says:

    The thing about Dawnguard’s crossbow is that I don’t believe you can craft the ammo if you side with the vampires. I just remember getting all of the schematics from the Dawnguard side. (On a side note I think you should try out the Dragonborn DLC, its pretty cool as in it plays on a few interesting metaphors and what not. And you can also basically travel to Morrowind again, so that’s cool.)

  10. What about the story in “Remember Me”? No mention of that or the dialogue?

    Is the combat SO BAD that you never manage to appreciate the story?

    1. Shamus says:

      I haven’t gotten far enough to really judge it. Well, we begin with an amnesiac protagonist fighting against an eeeeevil corporation, and the characters seem pretty broad. So there’s not much that really tickled my fancy in the first hour, but there’s nothing stopping it from picking up once things get rolling.

    2. ET says:

      Honestly, the story is pretty generic.
      I’m glad I supported a AAA game with a female protagonist with my dollars;
      We desperately need more of those, or even just well-written female non-protagonists.
      Unfortunately, this wasn’t a game I could say I would be glad to support on its own merits.
      Still, I am looking forward to more (and hopefully well-written) female characters/protagonists in my games, in the future.

      1. Knut says:

        I rather enjoyed Remember Me. While not great, I found it a good experience overall, and I’m looking forward to playing more games from Dontnod (this was their first game)

        Some points:
        – I found the English voice acting to be a little lacking in some places (note: I’m Norwegian, but I know English very well), so I changed it to French (which I don’t speak) with English subtitles. Not sure if it’s actually better or just sounds like that to me, but it helped. I also think it matches the setting better.
        – The combat felt strange in the beginning. Nillin seemed very “ligth”, but after a while I got used to it. Not sure if this was intentional (she is much smaller than most oponents).
        – After getting out of the gutter in the beginning, the environments got better and better. Neo-Paris is really cool.
        – The mandated twist, while not very suprising, was at least a little unusual The final boss being your guide throughout the game, but it’s because different parts of it having different goals (it being an AI).
        – There were some potential for great question-asking there, but I don’t think it was explored enough.
        – It’s very linear. That’s fine, but don’t expect Valve-ness level of “hiding the rails”
        – One of the more interesting mechanics, remixing memories, could be used more. Still fun though.
        – And I agree with Shamus, we don’t have enough cyber punk games.

        Overall, I enjoyed it, though it’s by no means perfect.

        Happy holidays :)

        1. ET says:

          Actually, I probably should have been a bit easier on the game.
          I still think it’s a flawed game, but I should have said something like “I can’t recommend this game at it’s full $50.”
          On Steam, it’s half off, for $25, and at that price, I think it’s a lot better value.
          It’s not a horrible game, by any means, but it’s a bit grindy in some places, and the combat should have been reworked.

          As for the French, I think you’re probably right, that it sounds better.
          The website for DONTNOD Entertainment defaults to French, so I think it’s probably their native language.
          If I’d played with French audio, and English subtitles, I probably would have enjoyed this game a whole heck of a lot more.
          It’s like watching (most*) anime with English dubs…the voice actors they could afford just don’t do it justice.
          Hmm…maybe I should reinstall this game.
          I just wish that somebody would patch/mod the combat, for all the reasons which Shamus articulated so well.**

          * Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and one or two other “big” anime have gotten really good English dubs, since they had a budget to hire skilled actors who spoke English as a first language, or skilled enough that they sound like it’s their first language.
          I mean…they had Patrick freaking Stewart for that dub!
          Edward James Olmos, Tress MacNeille, Uma Thurman…this thing had a gosh-darn all-star English voice cast. :)

          ** The best I could have come up with is “Ugh. This fighting game feels weird. And the skills aren’t balanced. And…arg!”

  11. Cinebeast says:

    Dawnguard wouldn’t be exciting for PC gamers, I suppose, but for us console gamers it was a godsend. User-made mods probably nullify any good aspects of Bethesda-born DLC — in fact, I’m sure they do.

    *sigh* Sometimes I really wish I’d bought Skyrim for the PC.

  12. Rohit says:

    Did Jennifer Hale work on Dawnguard? Are you thinking of Laura Bailey instead?

    1. Shamus says:

      Hm. Really thought that was Hale as Serana. I’ve heard Bailey before (played games in her credits) but I’ve never “noticed” her before now.

      1. Michael says:

        Most of the time, when I hear her, I immediately recognize it as Alex Denton.

  13. Disc says:

    Jennifer Hale in Dawnguard? There’s Laura Bailey as Serana, but never did I hear Hale anywhere. Or did I miss something?

  14. MadTinkerer says:

    Dawnguard is awesome for this reason: When you get Serana as a companion, she’ll stay with you regardless of whatever other companions you have with you, only leaving once you make your way to the castle. Being an Expansion Companion, she is able to sit down and has many little comments based on where you travel. It’s plenty fun just to run around with a small army of your current summoned / undead minion(s), your regular companion, your dog, your horse, Serana, Serana’s current undead minion, and yourself. Now I know why the game limits you to one miscellaneous companion and one summoned creature until you get the double-summoning perk. Regardless of your other skills, it’s like easy mode! I don’t even worry about my horse unless it’s trying to take on two Frost Dragons at once by itself.

    Sadly, when she mentions the Elder Scrolls, there is no dialogue option to say “Hey, I’ve got one right here!” if you’ve gotten to that point in the main quest already.

    1. Just Passing Through says:

      At least if you already have an elder scroll you’ve already completed 1/3 of the pointless falmer themed time sink that is the majority of Dawnguard. Personally, that makes up for it.

  15. Brainbosh says:

    What you said about Starbound is precisely my problem with buying games at early access.
    There have been several games that I bought and played during their early access, and then stopped playing them well before they were ever “finished”. Some I was just done playing that game, and some the game had nothing to interest me.
    Do you think that some games are hurt by early access, or is it just some gamers that don’t work well with it?

    1. syal says:

      Can buying a game really hurt it?

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Seeing how early access is often more expensive,no it definitely doesnt hurt the games.

      1. SKD says:

        Is it? The only one I had ever noticed that set the early access price higher than the eventual release price was Planetary Annihilation ( When they made their initial Early Access release they set the price at $90 USD, which was ridiculous, and justified it by stating that that was what their Kisckstarter backers had paid.

        At that time (I haven’t kept close track of the trends for Early Access games) the normal Early Access model was to price somewhere between $10-$20 initially and increase the price as the game got closer to completion. PA started at $90 and has been reducing price as it gets closer to completion, and any time someone asks whether it is worth it everyone who feels the need to justify having purchased game themselves jumps in to defend the pricing model from nay-sayers.

        I liked the initial EA model as you were paying a small price for something which may never make it to completion. It allowed developers to receive infusions of cash and for interested purchasers to show their support in a more meaningful way than the Greenlight “I would purchase this/Not interested” buttons. I honestly have my doubts about how many greenlighters actually purchase any of the games that make it through the greenlighting process.

        To summarize: Early Access was supposed to start low and go high as they approach release, although most recent Early Access games seem to be entering the scene at full release price regardless of how playable they are or how close to release they are.

  16. Kalil says:

    Ugh. Dawnguard.
    The writing was like they took careful notes on all Shamus’ complaints about the Thieves Guild, and amped up every godawful plot device times 100.

    At least they gave you a less grindy source of souls for skilling up enchanting. But… Ugh. That plot.

    And no disrespect, but I didn’t particularly like Serana, if only because of how much she was deliberately engineered to try and make the (heterosexual male) player like her. “We’ll give her a healthy bit of cleavage, some Bioware-style whiny neediness and family issues, oh, and vampirism, so that there can be a badly fleshed out redemption with the Good End!” She’s also bugged so that if you go the vampire route with her in your party, your drain life spell is broken, making completion of the skill tree extremely difficult. Think happy thoughts.

    1. Disc says:

      Ignoring the plot, I thought the world building bits were pretty interesting for most parts. Namely the Moth Priests (not sure if they were established earlier, but I liked their concept), the Soul Cairn, the “Hidden Valley” and the fate of the Snow Elves plus the added Dwemer bits outside the main plot.

      It’s just further proof to me that Bethesda really should just hire better plot writers and it’d probably fix a lot of their problems right there.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        I guess you didn’t play Oblivion? The moth priests had indeed been previously established. (In oblivion, you have to infiltrate their temple to find some information about the elder scrolls during the thieves’ guild questline, IIRC)

        I haven’t played dawnguard, but I would be interesting in hearing more about the falmer and the dwemer, especially considering how little Skyrim really has to say about either of them (esp. compared to Morrowind, which I recently played. Extensively modded.)

        1. Disc says:

          Indeed I never played it. Been planning to but never got around to it.

          As to the lore, I was writing a lengthier post with some details explained with additional links out of boredom, but I lost it to a freaking blackout and I can’t be arsed to do it again, so here’s a few links that will hopefully fill you in.

          Contains most of the details, though it’s a bit spread out. The gist of it being there was a small group of Snow Elves who managed to avoid the Nords and enslavement to the Dwemer inside a hidden vale at the edges of Skyrim, which was something of a epicenter of their main religion, that being the worship of Auri-El, a Sun god in their own pantheon. There’s also some in-game books that might be of interest. To avoid link spam, I only linked to the list of books in the DLC.

          Books regarding Snow Elves:

          Touching the Sky
          The Betrayed
          Journal of Mirtil Angoth
          Diary of Faire Agarwen

          For the Dwemer, the new lore is about a specific timeline during the First Era referred to as the Aetherium Wars.

          In-game books:

          The Aetherium Wars
          Katria’s Journal

          What aetherium is:

          Summary of the wars:

          1. Phantom Hoover says:

            Please change your wiki links to UESP ones rather than feeding the scummy linkfarm that is Wikia.

            1. Disc says:

              Can’t edit so the damage is already one, whatever it’s supposed to mean.

              1. Rosseloh says:

                I’m not 100% sure on the details, but he’s leaning towards the fact that Wikia is/was always more about advertising profits than actually having decent content. Of course, being a wiki, its content is as good or bad as its contributors…but you never know.

                Regardless of your opinion of Wikia, there’s a much better Elder Scrolls wiki at It’s been an Elder Scrolls fansite since 1995, apparently, so it has some mileage. And I’ve had a few good wiki-crawls through it.

                1. Decius says:

                  Wikia steals content regularly and refuses to comply with polite requests at all, and complies with DMCA takedowns just long enough to say that another user put it back up.

    2. Macfeast says:

      Me, I couldn’t get over the fact that she was a vampire, and that I was just supposed to accept that. Ok, so you’re a vampire, huh… so, do you feed on people, like the rest of the vampires at your castle? What was that, you think your condition is a gift, and you won’t seek a cure for it? Oh ok, but what about feeding upon innocent people, did you do that before you were sealed in that coffin? Do you do that still? Did I miss some dialogue suggesting that you are a good, noble person, or are you just someone who I share an enemy with? Why am I being forced to put so much trust in you?

      It felt as if the writers had this character-concept that they thought would be cool, and then never bothered to think that someone might question the implications of her vampiric heritage. When I finally got a chance to convince her to cure herself (after the questline was finished), I just couldn’t be bothered to care about it.

      1. Alex says:

        It’s not like a vampire has to prey on the innocent. Even without drinking non-lethally like in Vampire: the Masquerade, there’s plenty of room in Skyrim for a Dexter vampire who only drinks the blood of bandits and necromancers.

        1. Macfeast says:

          Right, but that’s the kind of information that the game would need to share with me, letting me know that Serana is different. Had I been allowed to ask her “do you feed upon the innocent”, and she had answered “no”, then I would have been more trusting and sympathetic towards her; Ideally, I would have been allowed to ask that the second she asked for my help. Instead, I was given the choice between “Sure, I’ll help” and “Fine, but don’t get in my way”, with no immediate option to question her vampiric heritage or why I should trust her (never mind that she openly wonders whether or not she could trust me).

    3. Eldiran says:

      Friggin’ gosh-dang Serana. I agree the writing is terrible; Serana is the most Mary-Sue character I have seen in any game ever. The writers apparently forgot you meet her as a Vampire HUNTER. The player’s first instinct should be to murder her on sight, not coddle and babysit her. Of course none of the dialog options try to address this at all. And if you ask her why she has an Elder Scroll, THE MOST POWERFUL AND IMPORTANT ARTIFACT IN THE UNIVERSE, she gets upset at YOU! AUGGHHHH.

      I spent about an hour stabbing her right in her stupid immortal GMNPC face before quitting.

      1. kalil says:

        Shamus has talked a lot about the importance to immersion of not forcing the player to do transparently stupid things.
        Helping a vampire carry one of the most powerful artifacts in the world to the castle of her pretty clearly evil (by her vampiric standards!) father?
        Yah. I couldn’t see any sort of rationale, there. It was pretty much impossible to self-justify, so the connection between player and character was broken.

  17. Ravens Cry says:

    Merry Christmas, Shamus! All the best to you and yours for the holidays.:D

  18. Artur CalDazar says:

    I liked some of the lore parts of Dawnguard and the two entirely new areas to explore (the elf valley place and the soul cairn).
    But man those vampire attacks can really clear a village out. I get that some people like the emergent story stuff to it and I like that kinda stuff on occasion, but if the story for me ends with “and he left the town never to return because everyone that could die was dead” I’m a bit annoyed.

  19. GM says:

    Happy Christmass.

  20. Mersadeon says:

    àœà¼ach, Dawnguard, I really didn’t like it. So bad on every level – the only thing I liked where some of the unique art assets and the summonable horse. And oh Jiub, what have they done to you. Couldn’t they just leave you alone, a mysterious figure in the past, gone down in the records of history? Argh.

    Hearthfire would have been good, if the houses weren’t so terribly bland inside. I got bored halfway through building all the attachments, simply because it looked so vanilla. All of the non-Hearthfire houses have much nicer lighting and personality (except for Solitude I guess). The kids are odd and don’t add anything, and the “marriage” aspect is about as fleshed out as in the Fable series – so not at all.

    Overall, I really hope Dragonborn will be terrific once I get to it, because up until now the DLC has been a disappointment.

  21. Corpital says:

    Ugh. Dawnguard. After grinding enchanting to 100, there was an utterly ridiculous amount of weak crap to sell and the hard to reach wizard in Morthal was usually one of the trash bins, I threw all these rings of additional carryweight into. After finishing the quest with the vampires in Morthal, there apparently were a few surviving bloodsuckers and they were FURIOUS. Nearly a dozen vampire attacks (and, to be fair, two dragons) later, about every single killable person in the town was dead. Thanks, Dawnguard.

    Hearthfire? Love it! Dragonborn…was nice, even though it had it’s very fair share of problems and bad design decisions.

    Also, I’m (still) mad about the amount of games that makes you buy yourself into the alpha/beta. I can see the raisins behind it, but I guess I’m just not a gambling man.

    1. Daimbert says:

      I can see the raisins behind it, but I guess I'm just not a gambling man.

      It’s all a plot by the California Raisins. I knew it!

    2. Mersadeon says:

      While I like the idea of Early Access, I both have been burned by it AND I think it’s pretty unnecessary for individuals most of the time. I understand the desire to see a game grow and develop until it is finished, but you’re not gonna want that every time – at least I don’t. I get sick of seeing so many games I would probably enjoy, but then I have to say “maybe in a year or two, when it’s actually done”.

      The one I was burned by is Prison Architect – back then I didn’t really know how Early Access worked: I assumed it was like a beta, when in fact it can be anything from the earliest of unplayable alphas to the most polished betas. With Prison Architect I’ve paid money for a game that simply won’t be good anytime soon, and to be honest I feel a bit mislead by the pictures in the steam store, which implied that some kind of story mode was at least partially done.

  22. Mailbox says:

    It might still be early, but have you played The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 1 – All That Remains?

    1. Phantos says:

      I too am eager to hear Shamus and the Spoiler Warning crew’s take on that. I would be very surprised if it were not the subject of a SW season somewhere down the line. I am curious to know if I’m the only one who thinks it’s the “Dawnguard” of the franchise.

      (It’s funny how the show started off as a joke and slowly got better, whereas the game started off strong and then turned into a parody of itself.)

      1. Zukhramm says:

        I thought it was the best or at least one of the best out of the six (or seven with 400 Days) episodes so far.

  23. Alex says:

    On Dawnguard:
    I agree with you about the vampire attacks. It is the only reason why Skyrim plus DLC is not “strictly better” than Skyrim without DLC. If not for that, even if you don’t like the Dawnguard questline, you could just not go to the Dawnguard fortress and be no worse off than playing vanilla.

    I don’t agree with you about the questline. I liked it, and for the most part I really liked Serena. I liked that her follower AI made her feel more like a real companion and not just a thrall bound to your will.

    1. microwaviblerabbit says:

      While I agree the Dawnguard questline is terrible, you cannot actually avoid it. Even if you never go to their fortress, the game automatically starts the vampire attacks. It also destroys the headquarters of the Vigilants of Stendar. I think it does this at level 10.

      The art assets in Dawnguard seemed to be in a completely different league compared to the rest of the DLC. The Dawnguard fortress is beautiful, and makes sense strategically. Vampire island is silly, but is designed well. The moth cave, the hidden valley, the Snow Elf temple were all stunning. Even the armor sets (minus the horrible Skyrim helmet designs) were great. Weirdly, so was the dialogue for the minor characters. I wished I could have had the crazy Dawnguard Arkay guy as a follower.

      If Dawnguard had instead been about the Aetherium wars, and the minor dungeons such as the vampire drug den, and the mine mind controlled by a vampire, it would have been a lot better. Serena bothered me because she didn’t have her own opinions. I cannot avoid comparing her to the followers from Fallout New Vegas, who yelled at you or left if they didn’t agree with your actions. Even the followers from Fallout 3 were better, since they would refuse to join you if you have too low or high karma. Serena just follows. Also, her stupid cure quest pissed me off, when a few hours in I learned that she could not be cured since I had asked if she wanted to be before the end of the main quest.

      Finally, many of the ‘features’ of Dawnguard should have been a patch – smithing arrows, dragonbone weapons, and the werewolf skill tree.

  24. X2Eliah says:

    So, the take-away from this is that the next season of Spoiler Warning is gonna be “Remember Me”? Good on ya, if so. That game’s always been in that ‘interesting, but kinda too expensive’ field.

  25. Joey245 says:

    I respectfully disagree with you about Remember Me’s combat. True, Nilin does feel a bit floaty, and her attacks don’t seem to carry much weight…but I think that’s what I like best about the combat system! It’s somewhat implied by what the Enforcers say when you smack them that Nilin isn’t just hitting them – she’s doing something else (messing with their Sensen stuff, probably) to screw with them that’s making the fight easier for her, without having the brawn to back up her strikes. And once you start getting more and more tools, and start encountering more and more enemy varieties, and start fighting in more and more interesting encounters…the fun value of combat skyrockets.

    Just my opinion though. I can see why people would have problems with the combat, and I’m cool with that. And I agree with you on all the other praises – great protagonist, great setting, etc. But I, for one, think Remember Me was the most memorable game I played this year. It’s definitely one of my help I’m stuck in a pun factory favorite games of the year.

  26. Shamus, I can make you love Starbound again, even in its currently unfinished form for one reason:

    You can obtain a Reginald Cuftbert-style bonnet.

    Oh, sure, they call it “fancy hat,” but that’s just to keep Reginald from coming after them for trademark infringement. Also, they do what you’ve suggested other games do: You have an armor slot for what actual armor you want to use, and a clothing slot that lets you override how the armor makes your character look.

    1. aldowyn says:

      that’s exactly how terraria does cosmetic gear. Also at least one MMO I’ve played (lord of the rings online)

      1. I only mention it because it was kind of a sore spot on the Fallout New Vegas season of “Spoiler Warning,” where they lamented how few games let you have both effective armor/gear and a look you enjoyed.

        Glad to hear other games do that as well.

  27. Phantos says:

    I was going to get one of Shamus’ books for Xmas, but I got carried away with Steam sales.

    But I was interested to see that on Amazon, I could get “How I Learned” used for the low, low price of… $1,000.00?!

    1. To be fair, that’s $1,000 in Canadian Dollars, which works out to… only $930 dollars U.S., so it’s not that unreasonable, right?

  28. Alex Booth says:

    Do you think Starbound has come along much further? It does feel a bit like an abandoned project to be honest and the player count is dwindling

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Um,starbound has been released two years ago.And it got a dlc as well.

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