Braid Gameplay To Tide Us Over

By John Walker on August 7th, 2008 at 9:47 am.

He has to be the least appealing looking lead character in a platformer ever.

Braid is, of course, currently out on XBLA, but it’s heading to the PC soon too. When? Well, “soon”. But we’ve seen evidence of working PC code, so it can’t be too long. And to acknowledge this, and its phenomenally positive reviews on Xbox, here’s a video that should hopefully get you excited to play it soon. It’s also a far easier way of explaining the use of time travel in a 2D platformer than confuse-o-words ever could.

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39 Comments »

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  1. Ian says:

    Hm, looks interesting but it actually doesn’t look (based on that admittedly tiny bit of gameplay) as I’d thought it would.

    Will still give it a go though, provided the port is good.

  2. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I think the lead’s lack of appeal comes from a lack of identity, it seems to be a very cut and dry character. Of course, too much identity can backfire – see Bubsy, the “cool cat”, the “hip daddy-o”, which spawned one of the worst platformer/platformer lead combos ever.

    Still, the mechanics seem interesting. Hopefully it will make for some devious puzzles :)

  3. Lu-Tze says:

    It’s totally my GOTY, the puzzles are genuine brain scratchers and give a real sense of accomplishment, and the ending is simply amazing.

  4. Robert Yang says:

    Personally, I’m just really digging the music.

  5. RLacey says:

    That looks fun. And gives me a bizarre hankering to dust off Lode Runner

  6. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Yeah, it’s bloody good. I’ve only polished off World 2 so far, but even there you’ve got some rather inventive puzzling.

  7. Cedge says:

    I’ll probably pick it up if it’s on Steam, but I must remember to avoid reading any more of Johnathan Blow’s writings. I find his pretentiousness headache-inducing.

  8. Turin Turambar says:

    From what i read, the game it’s more a puzzle game in the framework of a platform game than a platform game with some puzzles. I just saying to not confuse people.

  9. gulag says:

    Wow. I read the review on Eurogamer for the 360 version, (Spoiler: 10/10) and thought to myself, ‘Get that on the PC pronto’. Having watched that demostration of gameplay, (Hint to the PR proles: We like that sort of thing.) all I can say is: Get that on the PC pronto-er!

  10. Tom Armitage says:

    I think the lead’s lack of appeal comes from a lack of identity, it seems to be a very cut and dry character.

    Actually, much of Tim’s appeal comes from the fact that a) he’s called Tim and b) his story – told not only in the gameplay mechanics, but also in little vignettes of text before each level – is so affecting.

  11. Lars BR says:

    I hurt my brain yesterday playing this…

    It’s got that Lemmings-vibe, where you simply can’t imagine you’ll ever solve the puzzle till you see the light (“is it really that obvious?!?”), spend another 20 attempts to actually do it, and finally complete it to bone-sagging relief.

    That or throwing the controller around.

    Just two pieces left on world 6 now…

  12. MeestaNob! says:

    This looks interesting, cant wait. Apparently a Steam release will happen “eventually”.

  13. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Tom Armitage:

    Was simply talking about the aesthetic or visual identity if you will, not whatever pathos may be in there, since I have not played the game (although I’m looking forward to).

  14. derFeef says:

    I played it and its a blast. So clever, so artistic, so much fun and very emotional. Just genious.

  15. Lu-Tze says:

    “Just two pieces left on world 6 now…”

    Christ, I can’t imagine burning through this game in a day. I spent at least a month chipping away at it bit by bit. Still, World 1 is amazing. Enjoy it ;)

  16. Tom Armitage says:

    @Diogo – sure – but I think a lot of people are commenting on the character purely based on how he looks, and really, there’s so much more to a character than appearance. Hence why I try to qualify my understanding of the character through, you know, playing the game, rather than screenshots and trailers.

    This isn’t a dig, Diogo – it’s just I’m beginning to tire of the trend (which is far worse in other corners of the web) for criticising something designed to be played without playing it. Braid is an experience that only works as a game – and games are designed to be played.

    I understand that the appeal of a character prior-to-playing is something that may or may not suck people in, totally. If anything, I’m finding it harder to understand people who say that Tim is boring having played the trial version. There’s enough in there to explain the character clearly, I think.

  17. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Tom Armitage:

    Oh, no worries even if it was a dig :) It’s possible that people are doing this, yes. As I’ve stated, I haven’t played the game but have followed it on and off for a while, hoping for a PC release.

    My initial comment was more of a response on the image description in the article – of him being, quote, “the least appealing looking lead character in a platformer ever” (just hover the mouse pointer over the image for a bit). It seemed obvious to me John was refering to the character’s visuals, hence my reply :) And visually, well, he doesn’t look to exciting – which isn’t to say the story or gameplay aren’t.

  18. suchchoices says:

    That Mr. Blow chap has linked some delightful essays regarding science, and in particular mathematics, from his web page.

  19. Arnulf says:

    I love it how the video shows the player indecisive and like he’s first time in that level. Although that jump behind the cannon was a good call, I took the long way round.

    I’m glad I brained through the entire game yesterday. When I look at videos today and even some screenshots they give away clues how to solve some puzzles. Wouldn’t be the same when playing the thing after watching that.

    The game is worth its 1200 points.

  20. Yhancik says:

    I like this idea of “the world moves when I move / when I move back, everything move back”… it looks to me like a good compromise between real time and turn-based (and bullet time :p). I can totally imagine this adapted to various kind of gameplay ;) It would also need a replay function that shows your “final” perfect path.

  21. Tom Armitage says:

    It would also need a replay function that shows your “final” perfect path.

    It doesn’t. It doesn’t, because it’s important that you realise that the path you take is all about the back-and-forthness of time; the bent, out-of-time path you take through the game is the final path. Certain objects are immune to the timeshifting; certain puzzles involve time travelling in different directions in different places. And the left/right mechanic is only in a single world, not the entire game.

    The point of the game’s story is that there is no perfect path, and that perhaps being able to rewind time isn’t the advantage it might be. At least, it is as far as I’ve got in it.

  22. Ocho says:

    Believe the hype, friends. This game is watershed.

  23. Mark Cook says:

    Knowing the “final, perfect path” would make the speed run achievements a wee bit uninteresting, I think.

  24. Deuteronomy says:

    So this is better than Eternity’s Child?

  25. Jon says:

    Game looks awesome. Want now.

  26. FngKestrel says:

    It’s a great game. The subtle mechanics of the time movement create a great array of puzzles.

  27. kadayi says:

    Looks good, certainly another to add to my Steam Catalog if that’s the route it chooses.

  28. Yhancik says:

    I didn’t mean especially in Braid, but rather about “other games” that could use the same idea ;)

    I don’t know.. something like a Max Payne, for example, but where the point isn’t to go through the level, from A to B, but to do it with style ;)
    You’d walk into a room, get shot. Rewind. Walk into the room, headshot the guy. But you prefer to keep it clean, so you rewind, walk into the room, shoot the weapon from his hand and knock him out. Of course the fun comes mostly from trying different solutions (and if I get the shelves to fall on hom?), but in the end you could have a replay of your perfect, final badass action (like racing games).

  29. Ging says:

    I quite like the fact that there’re boxes with WASD and Z on them in the bathroom of the world selection “screen” – it’s sort of a nice hint that it’ll hit the PC sooner rather than later.

  30. The Shed says:

    Got the game. It’s fantastic. As I titled on the blog; it treads the fine line between Portal (tiny, impeccable) and the Time Travellers Wife (romantic, time travelling novel) perfectly.

    @Diogo: “I think the lead’s lack of appeal comes from a lack of identity, it seems to be a very cut and dry character.”

    Oh, so painfully wrong. Tim is one of the best characters in a game I’ve seen. He never progresses much in gameplay; as the game’s levels are essentially symbolic representations of the games ‘time’ and relationship-related themes, but in the narrative segments at the start of each world, a real, deep character is explained to us in the few paragraphs we get. Visually he’s pretty dull, but that doesn’t matter.

    EDIT: Hot diggity it seems Tom ha already beaten me to this.

  31. Caiman says:

    Holy heck, it looks like Manic Miner crossed with Monty Mole updated with modern aesthetics! Me want.

  32. Leeks! says:

    On the subject of Tim’s aesthetic:

    I like it, specifically for the way that it interacts with the rest of the game. Also, this is such a brilliant, beautiful game that there’s absolutely no way it’s an accident. I’m convinced of it.

    The way that I’ve been describing Braid’s world to friends is: “The Mario universe, ending.” All the enemies are bizarre, twisted versions of platformer archetypes, moving sluggishly, jerkily, like wind up toys at the end of their charge. And here, in the middle of it, is a guy in a suit. I just finished world four, so I haven’t quite figured out Blow’s intent yet, but I’m reasonably certain it will be astonishingly clever.

  33. randomnine says:

    Played through this last night. The gameplay is merely decent, in that it does for space-time what Portal did for 3D space and is thus a competent enough puzzle platformer. The subtlety and poetry of the character piece that develops as you play along really sets it apart – if you’ve played expanded, story-less Portal levels and found the experience strangely lacking, you’ll understand that Tim’s as key to Braid as GlaDOS was to Portal. I admit I didn’t really feel that until I was near the ending and I certainly didn’t feel it from the demo, but World 1 neatly slid everything into perspective – it’s genuinely brilliant. After that I was off back down the corridors of earlier worlds, piecing the puzzle back together from the snippets here and there.

    This right here is good times.

  34. suchchoices says:

    I just bought a console game, so help me god. Tag-teamed my way through the first couple of worlds with my housemate (who handily owned the necessary 360). I reckon I’m going to be playing this into the wee hours of the morning. Summary so far:

    Delightful.

  35. Steven Hutton says:

    I am going to fucking cry.

    I am literally the only person in the world who doesn’t (or can’t) like Braid? It’s like living in some kind of terrible nightmare world where everyone keeps telling me how much they loved being water boarded and how I should try it because it’s so moving and every time the do I can feel my intestines writhing around inside me trying to throttle my heart so I can’t play any more.

  36. Steven Hutton says:

    Ok changed my mind, Braid has grown on me a bit. I still don’t see the towering pinacle of artistic majesty that all these reviewers are seeing but having finished it I do like it. It just didn’t move me like it did seemingly everyone else.

  37. Jonathan says:

    Reply to Steve Hutton

    Me suspects collective group refreshing art wank. Much like with Portal and Bioshock a game is released which has some originality and a unique asthetic. All the gamers gather around to shout how much better this is compared to all the tired games and genres around they have to play. These fans, including reviewers, then stoke each other up leading to inflated reviews and boosted expectations. As with anyother wank feelings of mild depression and disapointment will be along shortly for some people.

    I haven’t played the game yet, nay internet, so can’t comment on the game yet. But the thought that I’m essentially keeping money away from Jonathan Bollocky Blow is a pretty nice feeling of power.

  38. PleasingFungus says:

    Tried the demo on the 360 after I saw this post. It was lovely. Will buy it there or on PC, haven’t decided.

    Be positive, good fellows. Don’t feed trolls.

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