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BioShock: The Shooter

The BioShock Q&A on IGN.AU talks with Jon Chey about Irrational's upcoming action/RPG, um, no wait, it's a shooter: "Actually, this is pretty simple: BioShock is a shooter. It's true that it is doing things that no other shooter has done before, and that gets people confused about what genre it is. It's funny how genres work. They certainly help people figure out what games are and help them decide whether or not to pick something up and try it out. But at the same time, they often act like straightjackets. Developers get lazy and just follow conventions. I mean, why does every shooter have to go in a straight line from where you enter the level to where you leave? GTA asked questions about what it means to be a driving game ("why do you have to go round and round a closed track?") and that turned the genre on its head. We're trying to do the same thing for the shooter genre by adding non-linear exploration, choice of tools, deeper interactions with AIs and so on. But at the end of the day, you've got to be able to aim and pull the trigger. This is a shooter."

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51 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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51. Re: Not so well said! May 7, 2007, 10:06 Ecthelion
 
"Ah X3 - which also used Starforce, so I was ehtically bound to boycot it."
Starforce has been removed. If that's all that was stopping you, you should give it a try. I actually played it from day one, and Starforce never caused any problems for me. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones.

 
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50. Re: Not so well said! May 6, 2007, 08:53 IQ
 
Ah X3 - which also used Starforce, so I was ehtically bound to boycot it.

 
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49. No subject May 2, 2007, 14:14 dryden555
 
the gamemakers were saying from the very start BioShock would be a "shooter." They made a point of using that word in every interview. I'm hoping it will be a fun game but its not gonna be an action-RPG that System Shock was. I'd wait for the reviews before we buy it.

 
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48. Re: Not so well said! May 1, 2007, 19:49 Creston
 
"Hrm, actually, I'd say that X3 was an RPG. A space-sim RPG, yeah, but an RPG nonetheless. You could play practically any role you wanted. You could be a mercenary, a pirate, a cop, you could align yourself with different factions, build a business empire, etc. Many, many choices, most of them high-level.


You stole the words right out of my mouth. X3 is definitely what I'd call an RPG"


Fair enough, those are actually good points. But you can at least dictate reasons for why it should be an RPG over "Well, you're playing a role."

To me, X3 is an empire builder, sort of like Sim City in space, and then in first person view. But obviously opinions will vary on that. I don't really see the "high-level choices" in X3. Basically your only choices are "Do I follow the plot or not?" and "Where do I build my fabs?"

The decision on whether to be a pirate / merc / khaak hunter / whatever has no noticeable effect on gameplay, apart from either raising or lowering your reputation with races. It's kind of laughable that you can waste 30 Argon traders in a row, loot their ships and cargo, sell them, and still be considered a "friend" to the Argon.

"I liked that part of the game too (although keeping him alive can be damn hard sometimes)."

Actually, in order to keep Paul alive, all you had to do was face the MiBs when they came for him. You could get shot within the first 5 seconds of that battle, and he'd still be alive. If you left through his apt window to save your own ass, that's when he died.

Btw, a really easy way to kill all the MiBs was to seed the hotel with gas and explosive mines. As soon as the dialogue with Paul advances to a certain point, the Unatco forces materialize inside the hotel, set off the mines, voila.

Creston

This comment was edited on May 1, 19:51.
 
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47. Re: Not so well said! May 1, 2007, 15:52 CJ_Parker
 
To me, a true role playing game is one in which you truly play a role.

Wow. Deep.



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46. Jump to Conclusions Mat May 1, 2007, 08:58 Buttercup
 
I don't think they're making any developmental changes based on things like, "well, we said we want to call this a 'shooter,' so we shouldn't have too many plasmids."

Call it whatever the hell you want. As long as they're making the marketing conform to the style of the game, and not the other way around, I plan to buy this because I'm interested in the style and design.

People can get a burger anywhere, but they come to Tchotchke's for the atmosphere and the attitude.

 
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45. Re: Not so well said! May 1, 2007, 08:40 Ecthelion
 
Hrm, actually, I'd say that X3 was an RPG. A space-sim RPG, yeah, but an RPG nonetheless. You could play practically any role you wanted. You could be a mercenary, a pirate, a cop, you could align yourself with different factions, build a business empire, etc. Many, many choices, most of them high-level.
You stole the words right out of my mouth. X3 is definitely what I'd call an RPG. It doesn't have stats-based character advancement in terms of the standard Strength, Constitution, etc, but your stats do change based on your actions. Aren't money, number of kills, size of empire, etc. all stats? In terms of choices, there are a lot of high and low-level ones. You don't even have to fight if you don't want to.

Even Deus Ex gave you some choices, not just about ending but you could choose to save your brother and then see him again, or you could let him die and he'd be gone.
I liked that part of the game too (although keeping him alive can be damn hard sometimes). But we know from the sequel that JC's brother lived. While there were many things I didn't like about the sequel, it's cool that they chose an optional minor outcome (that most people probably didn't see) from Deus Ex as the foundation of the game. The conversations were pretty good too. It's just the rest of the game that wasn't that great.

This comment was edited on May 1, 08:41.
 
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44. Re: PR May 1, 2007, 02:57 Kxmode
 
Just write on the box "Awesome First-Person Shooter, loaded with splosions!!!! (may contain RPG elements)"

Too many words. Just use random icons: skull, nuke mushroom cloud, starburst explosions, a couple thumbs up and we have a winner! That's money!

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43. Re: Not so well said! May 1, 2007, 00:42 Beamer
 
To me, a true role playing game is one in which you truly play a role.


Japanes RPGs fail this. You don't play a role, you just watch a role. You make menial day-to-day decisions like when to rest and what weapon to equip. But you just watch the plot unfold without any true interaction with it. You're watching the role, not playing it.

Oblivion was mostly the same way. You had some role to play, but not much. Make yourself a mage, warrior, or something in between and you're still doing the same missions the same way with the same outcome. Only difference was if you made yourself an archer, then you died. Often.

Planescape gave you enormous choices. You could do what you wanted. How you created and honed your character made enormous differences. Even Deus Ex gave you some choices, not just about ending but you could choose to save your brother and then see him again, or you could let him die and he'd be gone.

A small, simple touch. But one that actually gave you a choice that made a difference. So few games do that.



I think we'll see more. Molyneux keeps dreaming with Fable, a game in which you really can be good or evil and have consequences other than fines and/or jailtime. I'd like to see that branch into other genres. Games that react to how you play. And games that force you to make tough decisions, or quick decisions, and then live with them.

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42. Re: Not so well said! May 1, 2007, 00:26 Halo
 
I always thought an RPG meant you played the role of somebody YOU created. Playing the role of somebody else's creation is just playing.

Or if I wanted to be a dork you could call it a "ROLL playing game" because the game is based on rolls of dice. heh.

This comment was edited on May 1, 00:27.
 
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41. Re: Not so well said! Apr 30, 2007, 23:20 Jerykk
 
Hrm, actually, I'd say that X3 was an RPG. A space-sim RPG, yeah, but an RPG nonetheless. You could play practically any role you wanted. You could be a mercenary, a pirate, a cop, you could align yourself with different factions, build a business empire, etc. Many, many choices, most of them high-level.

 
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40. Re: Not so well said! Apr 30, 2007, 22:57 Creston
 
Say it with me, "A role playing game is a game where you play a role"

Asmodai, I'm sure you're a nice fellow, but that is the dumbest definition of a roleplaying game that's ever been invented (fortunately you didn't invent it, you're just parroting it.)

By your definition, FROGGER is a fucking RPG, right? Boulder Dash? Robin to the Rescue? The Last Ninja? (okay, this is all really old, let's get some new titles in here.)
Ehmmm... Populous? Black & White? Max Payne? X3? I mean, in ALL of these I'm playing a role. I'm playing a role in Marioworld.

Obviously, everyone will have a different definition of a roleplaying game. In my opinion, if a game has no character advancement, it's not a roleplaying game, so Stalker, which apparently doesn't have any, is not a roleplaying game.

I agree that Deus Ex's playability in a large part is based on the skills you take, but those skills exist almost entirely within the framework of a shooter. They let you navigate a level differently, or get some extra ammo, or do some extra damage, but in the end, you're applying those skills in the fashion of a shooter. Ie, you're shooting things. Or in case you're a sucker for punishment, you could slash things with a sword.

But to be a real RPG, a game has to be about MORE than just killing/shooting. Sadly, in most RPGs this means quests in which you are supposed to fetch something, but at least it's a deviation from combat/shooting/fighting.

Ofcourse, the reason Deus Ex was such a great game is because it really blurred the lines between the genres. I still say it's a shooter. But it's not an RPG because you "play a role."

Creston


 
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39. Re: DX anyone? Apr 30, 2007, 22:45 Creston
 
Deus Ex is a futuristic role-playing game that incorporates elements of first-person shooter and adventure games in a world designed to react to the player's actions.

You know, I think Deus Ex is the best game ever made. Ever. But it's a shooter with RPG elements. It's not a roleplaying game, really, imo. All your missions revolve around running through a level, hitting a switch (in various dressed up ways) and shooting things. Why is that not a shooter?

So for Bioshock to be called a shooter, shrug, I don't really see what the big deal is. You've got a crosshair in the middle of your screen, and if you hit the trigger, you shoot a weapon, or activate a power. Isn't that the definition of a shooter?

I mean, if we start applying strange definitions to this sort of game, then what was Jedi Knight? An adventure game? It was a shooter. Same for Deus Ex. Same for Bioshock, apparently. My bigger worry for the game is consolitis.

Creston

 
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38. PR Apr 30, 2007, 22:23 Lev Arris
 
Let's not forget. If you are a 18-24yr old Male who like's lots of splosions in movies, extreme sports, and constantly pushing the limit, you probably hate the idea of playing a nerdy RPG, let alone know what an RPG is.

If i was running the PR machine, there is no way i'd label my game as an RPG and potentially lose that heavy cash spending demographic.

Just write on the box "Awesome First-Person Shooter, loaded with splosions!!!! (may contain RPG elements)"

 
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37. Re: Not so well said! Apr 30, 2007, 22:01 Kxmode
 
Say it with me, "A role playing game is a game where you play a role".

Although it technically couldn't be called a game Second Life is a true role-playing game. You assume whatever role you want (e.g. robot, furry, toaster oven, Godzilla, ninja, volunteer helper, land baron, clothing designer, et all). Big or small the world changes based on the role you assume.

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36. Re: Not so well said! Apr 30, 2007, 21:53 Jerykk
 
Just because the stat system is simplified, how is it not a RPG?

To me, RPGs are about two things: The number of choices you can make and the types of choices you can make. The more choices you have, the more of an RPG it is. Then you have high level and low level choices. High-level choices include aligning yourself with a faction, moral choices and generally long-term choices that can affect the outcome of the game. In essence, choosing what objectives you want to complete. Low-level choices pertain to how you complete these chosen objectives. Do you use stealth, bribes, persuasion, force or distraction?

While low-level choices are always important, RPGs must be filled with high-level choices as well. This is why Deus Ex is not an RPG. It has many low-level choices but only a few high-level choices. It also has a linear level progression.

Say it with me, "A role playing game is a game where you play a role".

That describes just about every game in existence.

 
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35. Re: Oh really? Good for you... Apr 30, 2007, 21:51 Kxmode
 
1: Fun - Games that are fun.
2: Completed - Games that actually run well.
3: Interesting - Games with some story.

4: Neverending Story - MMORPGs

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34. Oh really? Good for you... Apr 30, 2007, 21:46 Halo
 
I like 3 different kinds of games.

1: Fun - Games that are fun.
2: Completed - Games that actually run well.
3: Interesting - Games with some story.

Don't really car about nit'picking the type of game it is. I guess some people need to make sure that everybody on the internet knows - that they know they're right. What ever.

 
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33. Not so well said! Apr 30, 2007, 21:16 Asmodai
 
I like what's being said in the dev interview here. I too hate how people are so god damn quick to call Deus Ex and System Shock "RPGs". Maybe I'm just too old and I remember when you needed more then an HP readout and a few lines of NPC dialog to be called an RPG...but the whole idea of calling these games RPGs just sickens me.

I remember RPG's used to be a pen and paper thing. Then they were a top down thing (gold box D&D, Ultima etc). Then there was some first person (Bard's Tale, Underword, EOTB etc), then there was all sorts (Wizardy 8, Might and Magic 9, Neverwinter Nights and yes, even Deus Ex).

I'd qualify DX as an RPG because how you build your character really sets up how you play the game. Hacking, swimming, gun skills, melee, non lethal vs lethal etc etc. Just because the stat system is simplified, how is it not a RPG?

I'm glad to see him just come out and say it. In the end, you still have to be able to aim and pull a trigger. Well said.

You know the hobby has gone downhill when games like Dark Messiah and Stalker are being called "RPGs".

In your opinion. In my opinion, games like Dark Messiah and hell, even GTA are role playing games. They are not classic D&D but you build a character, determine how the character will play and then execute. GTA even lets you choose between getting fat or buffing up, something you don't often see in any game...

Say it with me, "A role playing game is a game where you play a role". Quibbling over the depth of choice offered by the game before it qualifies is irrelevant. Depth of choice is what, subjectively, makes a game appeal to some people. DX was much better for me than DX:IW because the 2nd one cut down on the choices (OMIGOD, no SWIMMING SKILLZ!!!). Both are still "rpg's".

Bioshock has elements to make it qualify as an RPG even if it will be a lite version compared to SS2. I don't think we can throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. Wait till a week after release when the reviews are out and make your decisions then ; )


 
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32. Re: No subject Apr 30, 2007, 20:55 Beamer
 
The amount of overreacting in this thread has blown my brains.

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Doomriders: the first new band worth a signature - http://www.deathwishinc.com/
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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