Why Not Just Call It Afterfall?

By Alec Meer on September 27th, 2011 at 11:49 am.

Grim dark grim dark grim dark grim dark grim dark grim dark grim

Oh dear, I really am very grumpy today. I fear for how misanthropic my posts will be come this day’s end. Let all quail before my bloodless semi-wrath! Next is Afterfall: InSanity, which we last posted about almost a year ago and which manages three notations in my Almanac of Cliche within seconds of watching its pre-launch trailer. Number 1! Forgettably meaningless Something: Subtitle naming structure. Number 2! Pointless grammatical abuSe in its title, usually intended to make the name stand out in write-ups (e.g. RAGE, F.E.A.R.). It is thus our job to only ever refer to it and similar offenders using standard sentence structure, and resist the foul case-mangling of these marketeers. Number 3! Random, insensible whispering as an attempt to induce terror.

The Polish-made, Unreal engine-based horror shooter has just had a November release date stuck to it, and features guns, screaming, the sounds of metal on flesh, heavy rock and some manner of robot. Doesn’t look like my kind of thing, because I am 32 years old. Perhaps it’s of more interest to you?

It’s set in the Afterfall universe – somebody’s hoping for a sequel! – which documents an alternate outcome of World War II in which nukes and mutants and you know. More details on the backstory are here.

Here’s another from E3 that we didn’t manage to post, probably because during that week we’d already posted so many trailers that we were praying for a swift death and an afterlife free from endlessly pasting in embed code.

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76 Comments »

  1. pkt-zer0 says:

    I remember when this game was supposed to be an isometric turn-based RPG in the style of Fallout.
    Goddammit, games are getting XCOMmed even before they’re finished. I really don’t get this belief in FPS being the One True Genre.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Agreed. Not every game needs to be a first person shooter.
      Just as bad in my opinion is when a game should be a first person shooter and they go and put in third person cover and other random third person sections for no good reason.

    • mejoff says:

      Yeah, that I hate more than just about any other consolitis symptom, Hell’s highway and DXHR being the two games where it’s annoyed me the most.

    • TailSwallower says:

      Am I completely mad, or was S.T.A.L.K.E.R. also supposed to be an isometric game in the vein of Fallout? I remember reading an article when it was very early on in it’s development, and whilst all the setting and survival elements seem to have stayed the same it became a FPS. I even remember an isometric screenshot showing a camp fire…

      There’s nothing on the wikipedia page about that stage of development, so I could indeed be mad.

    • coldvvvave says:

      S.T.A.L.K.E.R was supposed to be a scripted linear FPS with robots, miniguns and Mayan architecture.

    • Wilson says:

      I really liked the third person cover system in Deus Ex, same with Rainbox Six: Vegas. I like being able to see round corners without having to use a dodgy lean mechanic. Personally, when it’s done well (which it was in Deus Ex and Vegas IMO), I don’t mind that stuff being added in FPS games at all.

    • The Colonel says:

      I hate the kind of gameplay when you can see round corners and just wait for the right moment to swing round (ostensibly blindly) and one-shot kill enemies one at a time. The worst examples actually allow you to accurately aim BEFORE poking your head out of cover, making them criminally simple and repetitive.

      DX3 should’ve had leaning AND 3rd person cover in my opinion. There’s surely no real complexity to implement it?

    • Zenicetus says:

      I liked the 3rd person cover in DXHR. It’s not realistic because you can cheat and look around or over cover without actually being exposed, but the trade-off is better situational awareness. It’s also nice to get an external view of your character once in a while.

    • sidhellfire says:

      Red Orchestra does it very well. Anyways, First Person massive multiplayer survival cRPG (not hack&slash, actual role-playing game) is something I am hoping to see someday.

  2. brulleks says:

    Not that I wish to put myself in the path of the oncoming Meer-wrath, but F.E.A.R. was an acronym of First Encounter Assault Recon, to be fair.

    The name F3AR was, however, utter castrated bovines.

    • Alec Meer says:

      You actually think they worked out the name that way round?

    • The Colonel says:

      And my god, what a coincidence that that totally meaningful combination of words ALSO acronymatically spells out the word “fear”. A further coincidence is that the game is a horror game…

    • mejoff says:

      Nothing actually wrong with backronyms.

    • brulleks says:

      Precisely. It still isn’t grammatical abuse.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      What was S.T.A.L.K.E.R. supposed to stand for again? Yeah, “Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers, and Robbers”, every bit as rubbish as “First Encounter Assault Recon”.

      F.E.A.R. should have just been called Fear. It’s a harder-hitting title, that doesn’t dilute its intended meaning with pointless acronymic acrobatics.

      S.T.A.L.K.E.R. should have just been called Stalker.

      And this game should have just been called Afterfall.

    • Bull0 says:

      I quite liked the name F.E.A.R – at least it stood for something that actually had direct meaning in the game. Fthreear will go down in infamy though. But while we’re at it, Half-Life is actually H(lambda)lf-Life. What’s with that

      (edit: I know what’s with that, the lambda symbol is used in the formula describing some kind of atomic decay something something, it’s still marketing-driven nonsensical linguistic abuse)

      @Velvet My god, I never knew that about Stalker. That really is appalling. Although the word “Stalker” has really dodgy connotations, maybe they were trying to avoid that

    • Dozer says:

      I particularly like how the Semi-Automated Defense System (the world’s first production computer, I think) was rapidly renamed from SADS to SAGE for marketting reasons, despite there not being a particularly meaningful backronym for ‘SAGE’. Ended up being called “Semi-Automated Ground Environment”.

      @Bull0 – if i remember my physics A-level right, the lambda symbol is used for the half-life of a substance.

    • Bull0 says:

      it’s certainly used as the “decay constant” in the formula describing the half-life of a substance, by which logic it could just as easily have been htlf-life or halnf-life, but they aren’t as aesthetically pleasing. i’m not saying it’s inelegant, i’m saying they mangled the word for marketing kutzpah. you may be right though, in other circumstances it might be shorthand for the half-life of the substance, no idea. you probably are right.

      disclaimer: as may be obvious my knowledge of physics extends no further than “what goes up must come down” :D

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      You know, the lamda is actually denoting the time it takes for a radioactively decaying element to lose half its mass, called the half life, so the lambda as the a in Half-life is as appropriate as it gets, not concidering that it really should be the l in half life.

      Didn’t know what stalker stood for either, now i at least accept the stupid work it takes to write the name as intended by the dev.

    • Bull0 says:

      Actually Tusque we’d expressed it quite well, the lambda is the decay constant. The half-life itself is represented as t1/2.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_life

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decay_constant

      either way, if you think writing it as “hhalf-lifelf-life” is appropriate use of language, carry on sah! :P

      anyway, computer games!

    • hungrytales says:

      As it happenes I’ve got some insider info on this. Apparently the sole and only reason they didn’t stop at just “Afterfall” is that the game has been in development for a longer time and originally they started with an idea of making a postapocalyptic RPG in vein of Fallout – “Afterfall”. Then they changed their mind and came up with a completely original and never-before-conceived idea of making a FPS horror shooter instead, hence “Afterfal: Something”. Still methinks they were out of their mind on this.

      Interestingly they did manage to sell it to CDP so I still hang to hope it’s not that bad after(f)all (see what I did here! :) )

    • Johnny Lizard says:

      First Encounter Assault Recon is American military-speak for “shoot first and ask questions later”.

    • Oozo says:

      In all fairness, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. had a 800lb gorilla of cinematic history pounding its chest and claiming the name for itself, so GDC Gameworld might be forgiven for an understandable, albeit a bit misguided attempt to alter the name a little.

    • Berzee says:

      Spelling and Capitalization != Grammar. Gwarrrl!

    • Magnetude says:

      To be fair, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Half-Life written with a Lambda anywhere except on the box. It’s not like Valve send out press releases trying to force a particular spelling down our throats, like with Fear and Stalker. It’s like when films have a bullet hole represent an O on the poster, we’re not expected to call it Sm-bullet-kin Aces…

      If I was all journalists everywhere I would muster my collective stubbornness and refuse to ever capitalise words in a way that went against my graphological beliefs. Sadly, I am not even one journalist.

    • Bull0 says:

      box, ingame, loading screens, etc, but i get your point, there’s definitely a distinction there

    • Magnetude says:

      Indeed, it was a stylistic choice. Not, as Mr Meer points out, a crafty way of making the name jump out of boring press releases, which I’d never thought of before.

      I think it’s really odd how people on the internet, on fora and comment threads. write FEAR or even the full F.E.A.R. instead of just Fear. Really, really odd.

    • Bull0 says:

      I’d just take that as a sign that the advertising works as intended. It’s an evil/scary business

    • Anthile says:

      Rumour has it that they couldn’t name it just “Stalker” because there is already another game with that name.

  3. Bullwinkle says:

    You forgot to say something bad about Afterfall’s mum.

  4. arienette says:

    The editing in that trailer made me violently ill, I’m capable of focusing on something for more than a second, developers!

  5. battles_atlas says:

    I’m 30 and its not my thing either. Already they’ve lost 4% of the average lifespan to disinterest.

  6. Spinoza says:

    Me 37 and I love it !!!1!!! Kill Kill Killl , bagaboom ,,

  7. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    “It is thus our job to only ever refer to it and similar offenders using standard sentence structure, and resist the foul case-mangling of these marketeers.” – I love RPS <3

  8. The Mechanical Aggressor says:

    I transcend space and time and it’s not my thing either. No interest at all.

  9. drewski says:

    Hopefully there will be a great FPS crash some time.

  10. Maldomel says:

    While I agree about the title being too long for it’s own good, the game doesn’t look that bad.

    But hey, I can’t help it if I’m a youngster in my twenties right?

    • Askeladd says:

      I want to see gameplay. You can never really tell If you’d like to play that game otherwise.

    • Maldomel says:

      Well me too of course, me too. I’m pretty sure it won’t be a hit or a really really great game but it could be better than what they wants us to believe.

  11. coldvvvave says:

    Isn’t that the game that NMA made? Or at least some Polish wing of NMA community?

  12. Chaz says:

    I am on the otherhand 38 years old and this looks like my kind of thing. Perhaps Alec you are not quite yet old enough to just sit back and enjoy a bit of mindless shlock horror action for what it is, pure escapism.

    • Blain says:

      Wow. Ascribing differences of opinion to personality deficiencies… I hope your 38 years haven’t been as frustrating and lonely as that comment indicates.

  13. BobsLawnService says:

    Don’t be sad MR. Meer. You could be guzzling pain pills in an office with a groin hernia the size of a golf ball radiating molten magma pain and the surgeon only able to fix it on Thursday.

    Sadly I have nothing to add about the game.

  14. Cinek says:

    On the first screenshot – white text on red background – CHWAŁA – means “glory” in Polish.

    Nice, I guess one of dev team artists comes from here, hehehe :)

  15. MikoSquiz says:

    Why don’t you just call it Afterfall Colon Inessanity from now on?

  16. GallonOfAlan says:

    I blame MDK.

  17. g33kz0rd says:

    I call Dead Space.

  18. Anthile says:

    Actually, it’s spelled RⒶGE. Common typo.

  19. Skabooga says:

    They’re so sane they’re in sanity.

  20. Srethron says:

    Well, whoever is modeling their grimdark statues is good at making them most grimdark. Plus, the shoulder spikes on that monster are quite spiky. So they’ve got those two demographics cornered.

  21. flipd58 says:

    Looks fun. I think you should take a bath, chill out and never write about something you have decided to hate before giving it a try Alec. Also I think you are too old for vidya. Go work or do some other thing adults do.

    Seriously though, criticism is good and all but just hating on something because it has some capital letters on the title or because you are lol32years old gamer so deep4ugames is a bad move.

  22. Muzman says:

    I’m so old I can’t even work out what it is.
    It’s Whatsim-Heavy’s gun from TF2 wielded by the guy from Deadspace (minus creepily impractical headware) venturing in The Void as crossed with The Zone via Silent Hill (the movie). Is that it?

  23. RyuRanX says:

    Where’s the complex turn-based combat? RPG mechanics? Moral ambiguity? What the fuck happened to this game? Wasn’t Afterfall supposed to be a Fallout-style RPG?

    Goddamn! Another generic corredor-based third person shooter. (>.<)

    • Blain says:

      Yeah. It does look pretty generic. And the gameplay trailer doesn’t show any. So far it’s all flash and no substance. But time will tell.

  24. Shooop says:

    I have no idea what is going on in either of those videos. EA’s split-second teaser trailers for Battlefield 3 were more coherent.

    The official storyboards for them could fit on a cocktail napkin.

  25. Scandalon says:

    The trailers were a bit naff, but I have to say there’s something about…maybe just the sheer detail I saw? That part actually looks interesting. Perhaps the “world” will hold some of that, and hopefully the gameplay won’t completely drain it of any enjoyment.

    But I wouldn’t bet on it. I’m 33. (If you believe my birth certificate and my parents.)

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