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Portal 2 Co-op Trailer

This trailer shows off some of the co-op gameplay in Portal 2, with accompanying unscripted commentary by a couple of IGN editors. They show off some of the tools players have at their disposal to communicate their plans. Thanks Ant via VideoSift.

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15. Re: Portal 2 Co-op Trailer Apr 13, 2011, 02:49 Jerykk
It's your issue of the radial menu being a symptom of "consolitis"...but apparently you will contradict yourself if you feel it's "less of an issue" than some other game.

It's not contradictory. Radial menus are a sign of consolitis. Valve is developing Portal 2 for X360 and PS3 along with PC so there will obviously be concessions made to suit controllers. One of the devs has already stated that the game won't require twitch skills for any of the puzzles.

The question is how badly consolitis will affect the game on PC. In the case of Portal 2 co-op, the impact will be minimal and the game won't really suffer for it. But in other games that involve constant switching between many weapons, items and abilities, radial menus are slow, clunky and wholly inefficient. Take Dragon Age, for example. Even though DA2 was designed for consoles, Bioware thankfully put some effort into the PC port and redesigned the UI, replacing the radial menu with a hotbar. If they hadn't done that, it would have hurt the game. Unfortunately, they didn't redesign the tactical camera for PC and its gamepad-centric shortcomings were felt all too often when trying to micromanage your party on Nightmare difficulty.

There have been radial menu's used in PC games long before they were ever used in a console game. Quite honestly, I'm sick and tired of this "consolitis" bullshit argument that gets thrown around about every single cross platform game these days.

Yes, some old PC games (mainly Infinity Engine CRPGs) used radial menus. However, these games generally had horrible interfaces to begin with. There's a reason why radial menus were eventually replaced with hotbars and hotkeys.

As for consolitis, it's not bullshit at all. If a PC game is designed for consoles, it will suffer from consolitis. A mouse and keyboard are not the same as a gamepad. A monitor is not the same as a TV. An audience that has been playing shooters since Wolfenstein is not the same as an audience that has been playing shooters since Halo or CoD4. It is impossible to design a game that specifically caters to both PC and consoles. Compromises have to be made in terms of interface, hitbox size, movement & projectile speeds, aim assist, difficulty, complexity, etc. Unfortunately, 99% of multiplatform games are designed for consoles and the compromises are all made to the detriment of the PC version.

This is not to say that consolitis ruins games. I have enjoyed many a PC game designed for consoles. Hell, I thought Fallout: New Vegas was the best RPG made in years (though I did use mods to remedy the consolitic UI and balancing). However, you cannot honestly deny the existence of consolitis and the negative effects its had on PC games in general.

On a side note, you mentioned The Witcher 2. Based on what I've seen and read thus far, the game is already showing many symptoms of consolitis:

1) Quick Time Events and button mashing sequences (popularized by console games and generally loathed by PC gamers).
2) Circular button prompts (easy to pop in X360 and PS3 button icons).
3) Text-based list inventory (the first Witcher and most CRPGs use icon-based grid inventories that are quicker and more intuitive with mouse and keyboard).
4) Radial menu to switch between weapons and spells (analog-stick friendly but less intuitive and efficient than a hotbar).
5) Paraphrased dialogue options (small text is hard to read on a TV from 8 feet away and paraphrased dialogue options have proven increasingly popular amongst console games).
6) Manual combat instead of auto-combat (players must press the attack buttons each time they want to attack, unlike the first game where players just selected a target and occasionally clicked in order to continue auto-combat. Auto-combat is seen as far more acceptable on PC than on consoles).

Even though the console versions of Witcher 2 haven't yet been announced, it's pretty clear that CD Projekt is designing the game with console ports in mind. This is not to say that Witcher 2 will suck but the symptoms of consolitis are quite obvious.

This comment was edited on Apr 13, 2011, 03:12.
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