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Gatherings & Competitions

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19. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 4, 2013, 03:59 Jerykk
 
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.

I've never understood why people keep saying that the game doesn't have enough non-lethal options.

Non-lethal options:
1) Blink
2) Bend Time
3) Dark Vision
4) Tranquilizer Darts
5) Choke-outs
6) Possession
7) Using weapons to cause sounds to distract enemies

The most interesting abilities are equally useful whether you're being lethal or not. Yes, a few of the weapons are exclusively lethal (sword, pistol, grenade and razorwire) but those weapons aren't that interesting to begin with.

I guess it comes down to playstyle preference. I like to be stealthy so killing or even incapacitating people wasn't an option for me. When I play stealth games, I basically try to be a ghost and leave no traces of my existence behind. I find this tremendously satisfying. But I guess if you don't like playing stealthy and instead want to go around killing everyone in dramatic fashion, the slightly reduced choice of weapons and abilities could be irritating. That said, you shouldn't let a 1 minute ending dictate how you play a 20+ hour game. Play the way you want to play and accept whatever repercussions may result.

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.

There were two issues with their approach. Firstly, for the themes to have any impact, the game would require that I actually enjoy mowing down hordes of generic enemies. My only impetus to continue playing was the story, not the gameplay, so trying to make me question why I play shooters was kind of pointless. I don't even like military shooters or cover shooters. The story was literally the only reason I played Spec Ops. Secondly, the heavily linear and scripted nature of the game removed player agency. Without any meaningful control over the events of the game, it's difficult for me to feel invested in it. Sure, you occasionally got to make some morally ambiguous choices but most of the time, you were just along for the ride.

As for gameplay, they could have done much more interesting things than mimic every other third-person cover shooter. They could have made it an open-world survival game where you have to eat, drink and sleep and where resources play a vital role in the choices you make. It could have had a faction system where you get to choose your allies and enemies and decide the fate of Dubai yourself. There are plenty of interesting things they could have done. Claiming that they made a generic military shooter in order to reinforce the game's critique of military shooters doesn't really hold up.

I mean, I died a lot, but never felt stuck. I felt plenty of other games I played this year were harder.

The fact that you died at all makes the game harder than 99% of games these days.

This comment was edited on Jan 4, 2013, 04:11.
 
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18. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 2, 2013, 15:24 Creston
 
Flatline wrote on Jan 2, 2013, 13:32:

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.

It sounds very similar to what the Far Cry 3 writer said about his game. (That he's basically taking the piss at modern shooters and is being satirical, and is breaking down the fourth wall in order to talk to the player, not the character, etc.)

In my opinion, if I need to read a developer diary or an explanatory interview in order to "get" someone's story, they've failed at telling that story. (Full disclosure: haven't played either game yet)

Creston
 
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17. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 2, 2013, 13:41 Beamer
 
Am I the only one that didn't find Hotline Miami "wickedly difficult?"

I could do each level in about 10 minutes. Yeah, tons of trial and error, with error always being my fault and not cheap mechanics, but it loaded so quickly I never felt like it was being difficult. I don't think any room took me more than 10-20 tries, with the 15 being the extreme (the one where you walk in, kill a guy right at the door then walk past a wall of glass with two gunmen behind it took probably 20, maybe 30, but almost all those deaths happened within 5 seconds of starting the level so I could do 10 tries in a matter of minutes.)

I mean, I died a lot, but never felt stuck. I felt plenty of other games I played this year were harder.
 
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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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15. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 2, 2013, 11:17 Creston
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 2, 2013, 01:53:
Are you playing DA2 on Nightmare? Because if so, I don't see how you can call it anything but terrible. The fact that waves of enemies spawn out of thin air during combat (and usually right next to your squishiest companions) completely removes any joy from battles and turns them into a tedious grind. You can no longer plan ahead and strategize appropriately because you have no idea how many or what types of enemies you'll be facing. It's just awful. On the lower difficulties, it's less of an issue because enemies are basically just cannon fodder. But on Nightmare, when an enemy assassin can turn invisible and then kill your mages and rogues with one backstab, it's easily the biggest flaw with the game. Also, the fact that friendly fire is only enabled on Nightmare is utterly retarded. Friendly fire makes a huge difference in combat and removing it removes tons of depth because you don't have to worry about positioning or timing anymore. Just spam all your AOEs to your heart's content.

Whoever designed the combat encounters in DA2 should be fired. And then set on fire and thrown off a cliff.

I started on Nightmare, saw it was bullshit, and so just started playing on Normal. This way, battles are over in approximately 10 seconds, and I can move on with the sometimes interesting stories in missions. I switched the game back to Nightmare for the Arishok battle, but it made little difference. I just had to do two more "Mark of Death, Assassinate, Twin Strike" cycles.

I don't really feel the need to prove something by grinding my way through nightmare if it's retarded. Even on Normal there have been battles where 5 waves of "reinforcements" spawned and it was just ridiculous to keep slogging away.\

I did finally figure out how the routine for wave spawning works, though. It's a pretty simple routine:

10 Find Player Mages
20 Set Player Mages location = X
30 Spawn Enemies (0.0001m)X

So once you know that, you can deal with it. In fact, it's far better to just put your entire party on Hold all the time, so they stay in a nice cluster, and then let your rogue quickly go out and murder enemy mages. This way your own mages stay reasonably secure.

But like I said, some of the stories were pretty good and fun to play through, and I chuckled at quite a few of Hawke's jokes, to be honest.
All in all, I'd give it a 72 or so. It's a pathetic second entry in the DA series, but I've played far worse RPGs.

Creston
 
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14. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 2, 2013, 04:14 Jerykk
 
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.
 
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13. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 2, 2013, 04:00 Flatline
 
PropheT wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 20:01:
Pete wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 17:19:
The good parts overshadowed the bad in mass effect 3

I sure don't think so. Despite enjoying most of what led up to it, the ending is what stuck with me.

Gaming publications seemed to be jumping all over themselves to shit talk anyone who said something bad about it at the time, though, and have taken potshots at people who've complained about the ending ever since. It's not much of a surprise that they're giving it GOTY awards despite better games being available.


There were moments of extremely good writing and pacing and storytelling. Mordin probably was the high point of the game for me. I intentionally stopped playing before the stupid star child ending, and felt that the game half hit and half missed. It told some fantastic, actually moving stories (Seriously, the romance with Tali was satisfying), but missed big time on the "your choices make a difference in the end!" concept, which was the underlying feature of the ME series.

In the end... not GOTY material.

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.

Oddly enough, despite being pedestrian in gameplay, I found Spec Ops The Line to be the game *I* kept thinking about for months after my single playthrough. I almost don't want to go back and look for stuff I missed the first time. Whereas I enjoyed Bioshock playing gently with the idea of blindly following directions in a video game, The Line felt like a meditation on the modern day shooter genre in general, right down to the loading screens receiving real thought behind them. Superbly well written, with strong voice acting and some moving visuals, I think it *did* what it wanted to do better than most games this year, and I'd probably give it my art house GOTY award.

Oddly enough, or maybe appropriately enough, I didn't feel *good* at the end of The Line. I felt cathartic- sort of like how I felt after watching Saving Private Ryan for the first time, but I didn't feel *good* or *happy*.
 
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12. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 2, 2013, 01:53 Jerykk
 
Are you playing DA2 on Nightmare? Because if so, I don't see how you can call it anything but terrible. The fact that waves of enemies spawn out of thin air during combat (and usually right next to your squishiest companions) completely removes any joy from battles and turns them into a tedious grind. You can no longer plan ahead and strategize appropriately because you have no idea how many or what types of enemies you'll be facing. It's just awful. On the lower difficulties, it's less of an issue because enemies are basically just cannon fodder. But on Nightmare, when an enemy assassin can turn invisible and then kill your mages and rogues with one backstab, it's easily the biggest flaw with the game. Also, the fact that friendly fire is only enabled on Nightmare is utterly retarded. Friendly fire makes a huge difference in combat and removing it removes tons of depth because you don't have to worry about positioning or timing anymore. Just spam all your AOEs to your heart's content.

Whoever designed the combat encounters in DA2 should be fired. And then set on fire and thrown off a cliff.
 
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11. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 2, 2013, 00:30 Creston
 
Julio wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 17:50:
Fion wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 15:52:
Somewhat off subject, WTF is up with the train wreck that is Mass Effect 3 winning all these GotY titles? There were so many amazing games that completely overshadowed ME3.

It is PC Gamer after all. The same guys who gave a review in the high 90s to DA2. Take a look around their offices for big brown envelopes from Bioware.

Yep. A 94 score for Dragon Age 2 (which I'm currently playing, and while it isn't as terrible as some people make it out to be, it's so bog-standard and by the numbers that there's no way it should get higher than a low 70s score), picking ME3 as the game of the year, and on the same day, they ran an article openly mocking the entire concept of Kickstarter.

Does anyone really need more evidence that PC gamer is now basically a wholly owned and paid for subsidiary of EA?

Anyone putting faith in PC Gamer's "reviews" for an accurate insight to a game would be better off just reading the publisher's press release. At least that doesn't pretend to be unbiased and trustworthy.

Creston
 
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10. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 1, 2013, 20:01 PropheT
 
Pete wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 17:19:
The good parts overshadowed the bad in mass effect 3

I sure don't think so. Despite enjoying most of what led up to it, the ending is what stuck with me.

Gaming publications seemed to be jumping all over themselves to shit talk anyone who said something bad about it at the time, though, and have taken potshots at people who've complained about the ending ever since. It's not much of a surprise that they're giving it GOTY awards despite better games being available.

 
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9. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 1, 2013, 19:47 Dades
 
Julio wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 17:50:
Fion wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 15:52:
Somewhat off subject, WTF is up with the train wreck that is Mass Effect 3 winning all these GotY titles? There were so many amazing games that completely overshadowed ME3.

It is PC Gamer after all. The same guys who gave a review in the high 90s to DA2. Take a look around their offices for big brown envelopes from Bioware.

They didn't just give it a 90, they called Dragon Age 2 the RPG of the decade, seriously. The RPG of the DECADE. PC Gamer has no credibility whatsoever, they will take a sack of cash for any reason and smugly rub the communitys nose in it.

- DADES - This is a signature of my name, enjoy!
 
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8. PC games of 2013 Jan 1, 2013, 19:08 jdreyer
 
Wow. I didn't realize there was so much original IP coming out. That list was much more comprehensive than the best games. Good article by pc gamer. My hat is off to them.  
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7. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 1, 2013, 19:07 Muscular Beaver
 
Julio wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 17:50:
Fion wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 15:52:
Somewhat off subject, WTF is up with the train wreck that is Mass Effect 3 winning all these GotY titles? There were so many amazing games that completely overshadowed ME3.

It is PC Gamer after all. The same guys who gave a review in the high 90s to DA2. Take a look around their offices for big brown envelopes from Bioware.
Its rarely about money. Its about getting games early, so they can test them earlier (than others). If they would give bad ratings, they wouldnt get them anymore "in time".
Thats how most gaming sites work nowadays. Nobody wants to wait for the release date to start testing a game, because that would mean massive losses.
 
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6. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 1, 2013, 17:50 Julio
 
Fion wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 15:52:
Somewhat off subject, WTF is up with the train wreck that is Mass Effect 3 winning all these GotY titles? There were so many amazing games that completely overshadowed ME3.

It is PC Gamer after all. The same guys who gave a review in the high 90s to DA2. Take a look around their offices for big brown envelopes from Bioware.
 
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5. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 1, 2013, 17:19 Pete
 
The good parts overshadowed the bad in mass effect 3  
Doin' it Big
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4. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 1, 2013, 16:51 Asmodai
 
Fion wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 15:52:
Even if half of those are pushed back a year+, it will still be a good year for gaming next year. Cant wait for at least a dozen of the listed titles.

Somewhat off subject, WTF is up with the train wreck that is Mass Effect 3 winning all these GotY titles? There were so many amazing games that completely overshadowed ME3.

Even as an admittedly long term ME fanboi (I do love a good space opera even if some parts are formulaic as hell), and despite the terribad fumble over the ending initially, I still think it was an excellent game. The sheer scale of it, the characters (Mordin's part on Tuchanka was a tear jerker for me, such a well written and played character) etc all contributed to make one hell of an experience.

Debatable whether it's the GOTY but it's certainly worthy of being in the "best of 2012" collection.
 
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3. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 1, 2013, 16:19 dj LiTh
 
nin wrote on Jan 1, 2013, 14:01:
The best PC games of 2013 - PC Gamer.


Well, they didn't half ass it. Looks like a ton of good stuff next year.


Indeed, great list to look forward to, also really glad Limit Theory made their cut
 
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2. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 1, 2013, 15:52 Fion
 
Even if half of those are pushed back a year+, it will still be a good year for gaming next year. Cant wait for at least a dozen of the listed titles.

Somewhat off subject, WTF is up with the train wreck that is Mass Effect 3 winning all these GotY titles? There were so many amazing games that completely overshadowed ME3.
 
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1. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Jan 1, 2013, 14:01 nin
 
The best PC games of 2013 - PC Gamer.


Well, they didn't half ass it. Looks like a ton of good stuff next year.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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