So after my Cyberpunk binge and running out of most things to do in Destiny 2 (although the new season starts in two weeks so likely some exotic acquisition grind fests resuming there :S) I've been playing some other things and two of my recent favourites are the recently released sequel hitman 3 and the early access title Dyson Sphere Program two games that are quite different from each other :D
Hitman 3 is basically more of that loveable heartless killing machine Agent 47 in what is essentially murder puzzle simulator 2021.
It's a stealth action game and unlike some of its contemporaries that have drifted more and more into the action stealth arena ( I'm looking at you assassins creed! ) this is still firmly stealth as the primary gameplay mechanic. Gun fights quickly become unwinnable you can't go in all guns blazing and hope to succeed. The environments are extensively detailed with huge numbers of npc's and varieties of different ways to achieve your goal. There's the usual array of murder implements and tools with guns knives and then more esoteric things like snowballs muffins and iceicles. Most items lying around can be picked up either for a specific function ie a screwdriver can mess with electrical sockets to setup an accidental death or be used as a weapon itself you can pick up coconuts or drinks cans for a non lethal throwing weapon and many others.
Each successive game has introduced refinements to the systems like hitman 2 adding npc's being able to see you in mirrors making sneaking up on them around mirrors tricky, accidental deaths like making floors slippery so people fall. Hitman 3 adds a few new tools and refinements like the banana a non lethal melee weapon that when thrown at a floor or just dropped essentially becomes a trip mine. It is mostly more of the same but with new sandbox environments to explore a few new additions like the camera which you can use to scan things in the environment for intel or hacking or other purposes.
Each of the environments offers a lot of possible paths and makes for quite a lot of replay value the game offers some curated approaches it guides you through to eliminate your targets and a variety of challenges you can undertake (only kill with x weapon or never be spotted or never change out of a certain disguise). I've played the first two levels (out of six) Dubai and Dartmoor. Dubai is set in a gleaming skyscraper with the default entry mode you parachuting in mission impossible style. Dartmoor is an old english house loaded with rich aristocrats and servants and an unsolved murder and one of the story paths is to solve the murder by interviewing witnesses and searching out clues which is a bit of a change from the normal sneak about bump people off gameplay.
One of the series strengths is hitman's detailed and sprawling levels and interlocking systems so they can easilly reuse the levels adding new options into them one of these is the escalation gameplay modes where you are tasked with killing a certain set of targets repeatedly but where the requirements and stakes gradually increase. So first round might be just kill these three people, then kill one with melee one with gun one with an accident, the the same again but dressed as a flamingo and so on. They also can completely retool the existing levels with new goals and missions something they did a few times in Hitman, and Hitman 2 reusing the Sapienza, Himapan, Hokkaido, and colorado levels for new missions in the Patient Zero dlc. They also have the elusive targets which are one off timed events where a specific target hidden somewhere in the level has to be killed and you get one go at it, in hitman 2 one of these was played by Sean Bean referred to as "The Undying" on account of his tendency to being killed off in films but keep coming back. People can even make their own missions and targets through the contracts system. Ioi have made a very extensive murder sandbox and there are lot of ways to then exploit that for fun and or profit :D
They are also offering people who own Hitman 1 or Hitman 2 the option to import the levels into Hitman 3 to be able to play all those missions using the newer version (they did basically the same thing with hitman 1 to hitman 2) with all it's little tweaks and keeping progress and unlocks. This hits a little snag on PC as Hitman 3 is an Epic exclusive and epic never sold hitman 2. Initially their work around for this this was saying you could buy the levels again at a discounted rate for the first few weeks. This went down like a lead balloon and they backtracked saying they would work out some mechanism for steam users to be able to get the Hitman 2 levels they owned into hitman 3 without paying again and offered Hitman 1 levels for free for some period of time. On consoles it should automatically work but who knows.
There is also a PSVR Hitman 3 mode, I've not played it as I don't feel like buying the game twice just for that game mode, there have been some rumors this mode will come to PC's at some point though with people examining the code to find oculus and valve index vr systems mentioned so maybe that will come at some point.
It's basically more of something I already really enjoy with some fresh new twists like the murder mystery part of the game so I'm looking forward to working my way through the levels.
Dyson Sphere Program (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1366540/Dyson_Sphere_Program/) - Factorio in SPAAAAAAAACCCCEEEEE (although factorio is already in space)
This popped up on my steam recommendations and i've been playing it quite a lot. It is a factory builder like factorio although in 3d so more satisfactory you harvest raw materials you put them through various chains of conversions via conveyor belts to make different more advanced materials it's all about logistics and planning you factory balancing inputs and outputs optimising supply chains and researching better and more sophisticated construction.
It's unique twist is that rather than the goal of launching a space ship (factorio) or filling a space elevator with stuff (satisfactory) it is building a dyson sphere. Indeed like the other two you do start on a single planet but unlike them you eventually unlock the ability to travel to other planets and you gradually build up and construct a dyson sphere around your local star.
It has quite polished colourful graphics each planet having distinct biome type looks with ice planets lava planets earth likes and so on. The main avatar being this little mech thing (which you can upgrade to get better capabilities like flight, then interplanetary flight,more storage ,faster construction etc) planets are relatively small and it uses that walking round a sphere type of setup ala mario galaxy. You start locally with belts and slowly get to things like, logistics robots to move resources around a planet and then interplanetary craft that can shuttle resources back and forth between different planets as like Astroneer each planet in you system has different resources with some rare or non existent on the starting planet.
I've so far just got to the interplanetary scale moving resources between two planets and have been launching solar harvesters into orbit of the star but not yet established the beginnings of my dyson sphere. There is fairly well done tutorials although I think the developer must be non native english speaker as the english it reads out is a little weird.
A lot of the planetary constructions are done in basically 2d elements getting laid down on grids mapped to the sphere of the planet. The third dimension comes into play for the conveyors with the ability to raise them up and down levels to allow routing. Conveyors can roll directly into and out of some buildings but for most part you have to use these sorter units that connect between conveyors and buildings moving items between them (a bit like inserters from factorio) these have the ability to filter what they move across.
It's fairly colourful and well put together for an early access there is a lot of content there I'm barely half way through the tech tree and there is still a lot of unlocks to get to and a dyson sphere to build.
If you like this sort of game it's another fun option that is similar to things like factorio and satisfactory but like those offers its own twists and unique features to make it compelling in its own right.