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16. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 2, 2013, 13:32 Flatline
Jerykk wrote on Jan 2, 2013, 04:14:
I wish I could give it to Dishonered, but binary moral decisions suck donkey balls. If they had ditched that completely, it'd be easily GOTY material.

Most the decisions in Dishonored weren't binary at all. Choosing between killing someone or having them abducted, head shaved, tongue cut out and sent to work in a mine for the rest of their life isn't exactly black & white. It's more like dark gray & pitch black. In most cases, the non-lethal options were more cruel than the lethal ones.

The only binary moral choices in the game were the ones where you can choose to rescue some random citizen or let them die.

As for Spec Ops, while the writing is definitely interesting, the gameplay is utterly uninspired and completely contradicts the themes the game is trying to convey. The game is supposed to make you question the ethics of war and violence, yet the gameplay is solely about mowing down hordes of cannon fodder.

Err... the game is supposed to make you question why you play modern war games. It has nothing to do with actual war, and everything to do with all the stereotypes of being the lone super gunman who goes in and saves the day after leaving a trail of corpses. Remember, your mission in The Line was to see if anyone was alive in Dubai. If so, you pull out and radio for help. In your first firefight you blow away that order, and it's so far gone by the end of the game that the loading screens point blank ask you if you remember the original goal of the game. Konrad is usually speaking directly to the player, it's just the main character who responds (in character) to keep things moving along.

I don't see how the game could have worked as a critique of modern shooters and the modern shooter fan without feeling somewhat generic.

If you read some of the dev notes for The Line, I promise you there is loads of detail they layered into it that reinforce all the themes of the game, to the point where there's a spooky amount of thought put into it. I don't think the slow-mo head pops on headshots and the point system was anything other than blatantly intentional.

I haven't played enough of Hotline Miami yet, it's wickedly difficult, to see if the story goes to the same places, so it might supercede The Line.

As for Dishonered, the game flat out in a loading screen says killing people = bad ending. It doesn't get much more binary than that. Would it have helped if they never said that "out of character"? Absolutely. But while I enjoyed the major characters' non-lethal falls (and will give them full credit for the inventiveness of them all), the tools you're given for a non-lethal or less-than-lethal game are sadly anemic compared to the utter artistry that you can engineer if you're going full lethal. Yhatzee has it right. Playing the game with minimal kills is boring as fuck, while playing the game with your whole tool kit is awesome sauce.

Otherwise the art direction, world building, and fluff text was beautiful and engaging- it's a world I want to explore more of actively. When I first read a physical description of just what the hell whales were in this world it was kind of freaky, because it sounds like they're half Cthulhu/half whale thing, which made me question pretty much all of the underpinnings of the world I was in. Good stuff.
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