Wot I Think: Goodbye Deponia

By John Walker on November 11th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

Daedalic’s epic adventure reaches a conclusion with its biggest chapter, Goodbye Deponia. The first part looked like it might wander close to goodness, while the second was brief and disposable. So how does this third and final part fare? Urrrgghhh. Here’s wot I think:

Goodbye Deponia is a horrible game. As a graphic adventure it’s a very beautifully drawn, utterly enormous creation, with average to poor puzzles. As an experience, it’s remarkably unpleasant. The third part in the increasingly uncomfortable adventure, it takes what was once a mildly insulting tale to something very ugly.

All three games have been deliberately crass. The star, Rufus, is a defiantly unlikeable playable character, whose selfishness is his only motivation, and his offensiveness a source of glee to him alone. He’s clearly meant to be a form of anti-hero, and in the first game it was uncomfortable, but almost worked. By the second, brief and dreadful game, he had become outright repulsive. In this third and final chapter, he continues in the same vein, his unrelenting revolting attitude just a constant drain on the player.

But this game – a massive instalment, stretching on for about twice its welcome – sees that unpleasantness permeate into almost every aspect. Chapter two had the delightful revelation that a woman’s brain split into three results in a baby, a bitch, and another bitch. Chapter three makes that look forward thinking.

For example. Of the very few black characters in the game, one of them is being forced to be an organ grinder’s monkey. Yes, a monkey. A puzzle (of sorts) at that stage in the game is to first get rid of the organ grinder, and then to find a replacement monkey, so that Monkey – as it persists in calling him – can become the new grinder. The person you’re required to have become his new dancing monkey, by destroying her life until she has nothing left? The other black character.

And the way you get her to take the job? You literally sell her.

I want to assume that this isn’t a directly and deliberately racist statement, but rather the result of abject stupidity. But it remains what it is, and what it is, is plain grotesque. Meanwhile, there’s no mistaking the deliberate choice to offer a pathetic portrayal of a Chinese stereotype, complete with Ls swapped with Rs.

And then there’s the game’s grotesque representation and attitude toward women. Within the opening moments of the game, one character has already suggested that a female character’s mentally ill behaviour is because she’s on her period. Women are sex objects, lunatics, sluts or only identified as fat. Two women who’ve joined the resistance army are described as “dressing like men”, and laughed at for thinking they can have army titles. One is taking hormones to be acceptable. PMT jokes abound, and the female lead – Goal – improbably falls in love with the revolting main character despite every dreadful thing he’s done and said.

Beyond the obvious offensiveness (I really struggled to continue on after something quite so revolting as the “monkey” scene, the game’s permanent smugness now so tarnished that it makes me squirm to play), it’s infuriating, because developers Daedalic are clearly talented. In and amongst this game’s poor puzzles and clusters of crude mistakes, are flashes of inspiration. There are moments that make you wonder what could be made if the incredible love that’s gone into the backgrounds and character animations, combined with vocal casting and huge range of characters and locations, were put into something that wasn’t overtly hateful.

For instance, at one point the game goes incredibly meta. Not in the dreary “but we’re a game!” sense that has been done to death (and that this game resorts to far too often), but something far more sophisticated. The world itself is revealed to be something entirely different, and Rufus discovers some enormously shocking things about himself. I really believed that the game was about to pull the rug from under me, that it was going to reveal itself as something so much smarter. But no, five minutes later it impossibly reverts back to the norm, and the woeful writing of Rufus’s one-tone smugness isn’t changed one iota.

Oh wait, I forgot to mention the scene in which you deliberately lead children into a dark caravan inhabited by a paedophile. And then later create an ink rubbing of the paedophile’s penis to create a Rorschach test. Which you can then show to children.

As an adventure game, the recurring fault in all three chapters rules supreme here: one solved puzzle does not lead naturally to a clue for the next. So when you finally stumble on the solution for a situation, there’s never a sense of progression, of having achieved – instead the game either bends the plot to have your success be a failure, or it just ticks a mystery box and then leaves you equally lost. The game’s penultimate chapter – an absolutely enormous section – has you playing as three different characters, each in their own sprawling location, with an inventory that’s shared to ensure maximum confusion and dead-ends. Figuring out what to do next is a needle in a haystack, and so very often those needles are entirely nonsensical. And so, so many puzzles require you gather a bunch items without being given any clue why you’re after them – it’s such a huge failure of adventure design.

It’s all the more galling, since this is such an epic creation. So much time must have gone into its development, and once again Daedalic have put enormous effort into localisation. In this area this is the weakest of the three games in this series, with an awful lot of nonsense lines that clearly didn’t survive the journey from German to English, but even so it still remains a league ahead of most. The scale of ambition here… it just makes the crass, ugly story you’re forced to progress through all the more miserable.

Although it’s notable how that ambition starts to look more scarce toward the end of the game, where cutscenes start to make no sense, characters change personalities with no rationale, and everything begins to feel incredibly rushed. The ending itself is poor, but mostly because by this point the game had become so unwieldy that it had no chance of pulling anything together in a meaningful way.

I still maintain that Daedalic has it within them to make a properly great adventure. The closest they’ve gotten is The Whispered World, and I’ve yet to play their latest release, Journey Of A Roach, but Goodbye Deponia is both evidence that they have the artistic talent and ambition, but also that they are heavily impeded by their puzzle design, flow, and most of all, taste.

This is mostly a bland, overlong, and unamusing game. But that god-damned monkey scene, and the thick seam of misogyny that runs throughout, renders it an ugly, foul experience. Doubtless it is argued it is all done in the name of comedy, but since it’s almost never funny, and certainly not an attempt at satire, that – as with most other aspects of the game’s story – falls pretty damned flat.

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295 Comments »

  1. Scumbag says:

    Wait, they actually named the female character “Goal”? I’ve not played any of these yet, and this is a dumb question, but is that message as blatant as it looks?

    EDIT: Actually, screw it. Dumb question, shows how dumb I am.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Well, the box art of the game has her stripped to her underwear.

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      Gap Gen says:

      I’m guessing they were shooting for something like South Park calling their black character “Token” and missed.

      • The Random One says:

        I have the feeling that all of the offensive stuff in this game are failing miserably to get at South Park offensive-edgy refuge in audacity.

        • LionsPhil says:

          In that case, it probably also missed that South Park used its crassness not only for shock humour but for “smart” social commentary.

          • ramiz says:

            Well, for one, I think South Park’s humour is just as dumb and strained as it is offensive.

            Only played Deponia 1 though. Didn’t like the main character but quality adventure games are rare and that one was one of them. The kind of humour mentioned in the article seems too strong for me, too – but we have no place to deny that it was aimed as ironical…

            Let’s all just keep waiting for Broken Age! :D

          • danijami23 says:

            What makes South Park brilliant though, is the fact that it isn’t discriminatory in its crass and dumb humour.
            They take the piss out of everything, pointing out the absurdities in all walks of life, and (usually) how futile it is to get all righteous indignation about it.

            Deponia, however beautifully crafted, is made by a bunch of uneducated bigots, and this review accurately describes how i felt playing this game, almost verbatim!

  2. kwyjibo says:

    Just in case you thought the game wasn’t funny because it’s German, let Stewart Lee put those lazy stereotypes aside – http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/23/germany.features11

    The paedo-caravan does sound like a lot of fun though.

    • Sharza says:

      As a German I really enjoyed this read, thank you. I’ve made the experience that many English native speakers are surprised at how direct I am (we are?). I thoroughly enjoyed the example the author made, maybe because it is something I might say and find hilarious:

      “On my first night in Hannover I had gone out drinking with some young German actors. “You will notice there are no old buildings in Hannover,” one of them said. “That is because you bombed them all.” At the time I found this shocking and embarrassing. Now it seems like the funniest thing you could possibly say to a nervous English visitor”

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        Morlock says:

        I am German as well and completely agree with you. Fortunately most British I interact or work with seem to appreciate this directness which they interpret as a no-bs-attitude. I found the paragraph you quoted also as hilarious as informative.

        I must also admit that I find most British stage comedians not very funny at all. However, I do enjoy the more psychodelic, absurd and surreal aspects of British comedy culture.

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        Llewyn says:

        My experience over the last 20 years or so is that there’s a lot of commonality between German and English* (and Swedish) humour, varying of course by region and generation. I tend to think that the reason it’s assumed that there isn’t (particularly by the English) is that it’s harder for Germans and Swedes to make jokes in English than it is to appreciate them. And as for the idea of the English appreciating humour in German or Swedish…

        The Hannover joke doesn’t seem surprising to me at all – I’m sure more than one unfortunate German has heard something similar in Coventry. Personally I’ve never been to Hannover so I’m not sure if the appropriate response is “Well, at least you didn’t build Coventry” or “It looks like you could do with making another appointment”.

        *I’d argue there’s more similarity between English and German humour than between English and Scottish.

      • sophof says:

        Just to give it a bit of perspective, I am Dutch and live in Germany. I think the Dutch are seen as very direct as well, but I also have a bit of a problem understanding German humour. Although it is often more in the delivery than in the joke itself. It is so ‘straight-faced’. Basically what the writer says at the end of the piece. In the beginning I often didn’t even understand they made a joke!

        To be frank, I actually do think that comedy in Germany is rather ‘limited’, but then again, I’m not German…

        On a completely unrelated note, objectification is NOT misogyny. I think the RPS author would get a heart attack if he ever went to Germany and saw the kind of billboards we get here. A word loses a bit of its meaning and power everytime you misuse it (think terrorism).

      • Ny24 says:

        I live in Austria and although the article is profoundly written and excellent, it can’t be all language. That is because we have the same language and we don’t understand the german humor neither. Well, not me, because my mother is from germany, but you know… the rest here.

      • Acorino says:

        Most comedy on German TV feels forced and blunt. The “Heute Show” lacks the intelligence of its American inspiration “The Daily Show” and comes across as simply crude and lazy. Just compare Gernot Hassknecht with Lewis Black. Embarrassing! “Neues aus der Anstalt” is…lacking. “Game One” is a pretty funny and informative show about video games, though.

        • BenLeng says:

          I agree that the “Heute-Show” pales in comparison to the daily show, but what doesn’t? I was actually expecting it to be much worse. Although I totally agree about Hassknecht being an embarassingly bad Lewis Black-Knockoff at least they have Sonneborn.

    • LordOfPain says:

      Even if it’s a different sort of humour, they could at least be accurate with it. By which I mean, if it is true what John says about a Chinese character having Rs for Ls, it should be at least the other way around since L is a sound in Chinese and they’re clearly confusing it with Japanese where they have R sound but not L.
      I remember Alan Davies and Stephen Fry laughing on QI once how Asians get the Ls and Rs wrong, huh, huh, when it’s not like that at all!
      I always find that EXTREMELY ANNOYING.

      • ix says:

        Edit: ah no I see what you’re saying. Yes it’s R pronounced as L in Chinese. The lazy stereotype is that Ls are then also pronounced as Rs, which is not true of course.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I want to agree with this article, but to do so would be to condemn the classic “and in the game” refrain to “lesser” humour, and that’s just not a price I’m willing to pay.

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        jrodman says:

        Well.. the three-priests joke at the bottom of the article has a frame-changing aspect, so I don’t really buy that reframing isn’t okay with German comedy. I think the idea of just turning a sentence on its head is what doesn’t work.

        Which means reframing by a third party of “and in the game” can stay either way.

        *rubber stamp*

    • boats says:

      Thank you for the excellent read. Reading this review again after that article gave it a different light.

    • BenLeng says:

      As a german I have to disagree with the article. I do not think germanys lack of humour is primarily founded in the exactness of the german language. I wish this was the case but actually it is a wider cultural problem.
      For me the two biggest problems for german humour are the lack of irony and the disregard for popular culture. While anglo-saxons relish their pop-culture and use references liberally as a comedic tool this is completely lost on most german audiences. This probably harks back to a deep seated disregard for “lower” culture, institionalized by people like Horkheimer and Adorno.
      Irony, even in everyday life, is mostly met by blank stares in germany (believe me – I get my fair shares of those) much more than in anglo-saxon countries. This makes german audiences susceptible to only the bluntest forms of comedy (e.g. Mario Barth). Where this comes from, I am not sure. But one has to keep in mind, that any comedic tradition in germany (and there was one) was cut short in the 30s, when we killed or deported most of our cultural intellegentsia (as most of them were either jewish or communists or both). Yes. It always comes down to the Nazis. The Nazis killed fun.
      I personally get sick and tired of germans getting definsive about being called humourless. We are. Turn on the TV. Watch the fucking carnival. What is considered humour in this country is disgusting. Yes, there are exceptions. But as a whole, germany is where jokes go to die.

      • ninjapirate says:

        Correction: what the German mainstream media considers to be humor is disgusting. Don’t mistake that with an actual German’s sense of humor, which can be just as black as what we perceive to be typical British humor.

      • Acorino says:

        I second the obversation that popular culture is still somewhat looked down upon. Don’t agree with the rest, though.

    • Apocalypse says:

      Interesting read, guess I should be more careful with my humor than. I never would have thought that “because you bombed them all” could be taken as offensive at all.

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        jrodman says:

        Sure you knew it’s all in the delivery?

        What if you completely hate the british for their historical destruction of your country’s treasures and mean to accuse a visitor of boorishness and an heir to hollow triumph. You might use the exact same words entirely without humor in order to attack someone.

        It’s all in the rapport, timing, and delivery.

        • Apocalypse says:

          Not sure if you are now making fun of me or really taken my “never would have thought” literally.
          The whole idea of the joke is, that you state some dry fact that could have taken offensive in the right circumstances, and those circumstance do not apply to the situation when you are using it.

          In other words, you make fun about the fact that are there is still the slightly possibility that someone may even still be emotional effected by the bombings.And actually this make the joke itself offensive in the wrong circumstances. Which is ok, because even offensive jokes, can still be jokes.

          I need coffee, my brain seems not to work right, when I have the urge to explain jokes to random people in the internet.

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            jrodman says:

            In English “never would have thought” means that you find the idea surprising.

            I explained why you should not be surprised.

            Unless you’re trying to say that your expression of surprise was meant to be a joke? Sorry, if so, I didn’t notice, and .. well.. it’s not a good joke.

            I like dry humor and use it all the time. I even appreciate bleak, morbid humor quite a lot. That doesn’t mean I don’t see how it can be offensive with poor delivery, nor would I express surprise if people pointed out that it could be taken that way. I might employ sarcasm, but I would have to add a twist to make it funny.

          • Apocalypse says:

            Well both, I partly was joking, but it indeed surprises me that people who are not directly affect by the events of world war 2 are still offended by such a statement. It is out of my frame.

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            jrodman says:

            You seem .. unperceptive.

            One could easily use the same words to express xenophobia and/or jingoism. Do you not believe that these things exist? You don’t have to refer to modern times to cast negativity on a people.

          • Apocalypse says:

            Excuse me? I can not follow. What are you trying to say, I can not see how this is related.

  3. Totally heterosexual says:

    …wow that monkey scene. You have to have a pretty thick layer of irony trough the whole thing for something like that to pass.

    This seems terrible.

    • zin33 says:

      yes lets only make fun of things that dont affect anyone right?

      • Totally heterosexual says:

        Well if the only joke is “let’s do this racist thing” then it’s shit humor and you are a shit person for liking it.

        • zin33 says:

          i guess you dont like family guy or that type of humor?

          • Totally heterosexual says:

            Never watched that.

          • tormos says:

            There’s a reason why family guy is considered humor for middle schoolers. Well, several reasons, but the first is that “WE SET UP A SITUATION THAT MAKES REFERENCE TO A COMMON STEREOTYPE, HAHA” isn’t a good joke, and indeed, hardly a joke

          • Grygus says:

            If the whole joke is “ha ha that person is different,” it isn’t humor at all. It’s just meanness. We’re all mean on occasion but there’s no reason to celebrate it.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Family Guy is terrible–mostly for being boring rather than offensive–but not this terrible. It’s crude, but typically FG is laughing at the racists/bigots rather than with them. South Park is far more questionable in that regard.

            Damn you for making me defend terrible, terrible FG.

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    PikaBot says:

    I remember being intrigued by the promotional art for the first gem exactly long enough to watch the trailer and lose all interest in the face of the trite sexism on display. Good to see I’m not missing much.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      It really is a shame because the sexist part of the first one could’ve been a good setup to have Rufus change over the trilogy but he sadly doesn’t really change that much and the rest of the world just seems to get worse.

      The first was a decent adventure game with a nasty main character, but the world knew Rufus was an awful person and reacted to it logically. Sadly the sequels seem to paint his person in a more positive light, moatly by making everything else about the world even worse than him.

      I honestly think part of it just stems from cultural differences. I’m not saying the misogyny and other issues are right, just that they’re probably supposed to seen as more light-hearted than they come across to English speakers.

      I would love to see Daedalic’s art and design teams work under an English or American director/writer.

      • Acorino says:

        The problem as I see it that that the player is not merely controlling a rotten person, but that said person is also part of a rotten world. Hard to feel sympathy with anyone then. If everyone in the game behaves idiotic, then Rufus’s offensive behaviour doesn’t stand out and is relativized, maybe even okay in his world. Not a good message. I don’t think Rufus would need to change for this story to work, but his character should stand in contrast to the characters of the people he meets.

        Anyway, stopped playing the series after the second part failed to tickle my funny bone. The humor was too blunt and forced for me. “Typically German”, I guess.

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    RedViv says:

    Aye. I had gone through the earlier ones in the hopes that MAYBE this might all end in a “tale told by an idiot” meta thing, but no such luck, especially after doubling up with the spoiled baby/seductive bitch/aggressive bitch split.
    And of course the monkey scene. Hrrrrm.

    €: Now that I thought back on it, TWW was ruined by exactly one joke for me. One single bloody line that I’ll remember first when thinking of the game.
    That stupid freaking hearthstone joke.

    • Koozer says:

      Do tell!

    • The Random One says:

      Hmmm. Now I’m imagining an incredibly offensive game, but midway through it turns out you’re playing through the story as narrated by a complete tosser and then some other person starts narrating the same events, and while the gist of it remains the same, it’s obvious that the first character was drawing a lot of false conclusions based in his preconceptions and highly inflated opinion of himself and his. That would be some Nabokov shit right there.

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        Hypocee says:

        Or, indeed, O’Malley with Scott Pilgrim. I’ve read through the first volume and drifted away a few times without seeing anything special, so my primary interest is the knowledge that most of the story is not what anyone other than Scott sees. I imagine it must have been a bit of a punch to the crowd attracted by the preceding books.

  6. Swanny says:

    This got me thinking about the whole “games as art” discussion. At what point does sarcasm become offense? Where art becomes pornography? Why is South Park OK to many people, but this might not be? At what point might Poe’s Law start to apply to this game. Argh, I need more coffee…

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      RedViv says:

      South Park does it by poking holes into really everything, and in the end having something to say about what was poked at. But if the joke is just “Look at this stereotypical thing we have here oh boy look at it!”, then… it’s not much of a joke really.

      • Apocalypse says:

        Question is: Do you have to assume that your audience is a bunch of retards?

        From a german perspective south park is mostly offensive not because of what they show, but because how they present it. Not because of their intensive use of stereotypes and making fun about how stupid those stereotypes are, but because the whole thing assumes that it needs to be that blatant for the audience to get it. Each episode of southpark is an insult to its audience. At least that was my impression.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/23/germany.features11

        After reading a few comments here and the guardian article, maybe it is a successful attempt to translate german humor for english/american people.

        (Makes me wonder if most people will get that the last line was a joke as well …)

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I would say that it becomes unacceptable when the jokes marginalise groups of people. The humour behind Frankie Boyle’s joke about his ’5 yr old son asking why people wear burkas, and his not wanting to go into the politics of this so telling him that they are the ghosts of black people’ hinges on the controversy of mentioning skin colour and ethnic tradition in a joke, but to me does not position either Islam or BME groups as inferior.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      There is no thin line here, please do not pretend as such. It’s fine for a comedian or writer to play with the audience’s taboos and inhibitions (so that it’s fine to dissect and ridicule racism and misogyny and how ingrained and widespread it is, while it’s not funny to actually be those things and espouse such hatred) but it’s not fine to make fun of people for their gender or skin colour.

      And South Park never really “pulled this off” it just “brute forced” by way of (trying to) offend everything. That worked, amazingly, for all of ~six series. Now it’s just bad movie parodies and occasionally funny youth-culture setups where the generational gap is the butt of the joke. But then, even when South Park is at its least funny, it still manages to exhibit the perspective (most of the time) to put its more offensive jokes in a context where no viewer will ever have to feel devalued or excluded (aside from the occasional celebrity, which I still think is frequently unfortunate, and I would disagree with anyone who says this is the price of fame; but then dehumanizing celebs is probably the last vestige of the nasty brand of dehumanizing comedy that will hopefully die out sooner rather than later). Note that I’m not saying comedy or art or whatever is automatically duty-bound to provide context or explain itself, because that would be ridiculous. Just don’t expect everyone to think you’re brilliant when you repeat a racist joke, and moreover don’t be surprised if people call you out on it and the “just a joke” or “it’s ironic” excuse doesn’t seem to work. And then please don’t make it even worse by going “you [nationality] just don’t understand our brilliant [nationality] ironic and acerbic humour”.

      I don’t see what art/pornography has to do with anything; are you suggesting this is the equivalent of art which is somehow mistakenly being interpreted as the racist/misogynist equivalent of pornography? I’m not following your train of thought there, but this seems like a very crooked analogy. Art can be erotic and erotica can be art, it doesn’t stop being either when it dabbles in both. That’s about as far as that analogy can go, I think.

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        dahauns says:

        Interesting. Maybe it’s because I came late to SP and (thanks to southparkstudios.com) watched the episodes more or less back-to-front. But: IMO they did manage to pull it off, at least sometimes, but not until later seasons. I really don’t like most of the first 6-7 seasons exactly for the ‘brute-force’ aspect, too often simply crassness for crassnesses sake. Later on, while still often being hit-and-miss, they started to get a knack to use the exaggerated crassness for good satire (One good example: Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy).

        • Acorino says:

          My favorite South Park episode is “Cartman Joins NAMBLA”. Great satire, very funny, but also surely offensive for some and definitely crude and vulgar!
          Yeah, but often South Park is just crass and crude without any wit to back it up, especially early on.

      • Longtime Listener says:

        “There’s no thin line”

        Yes there is. If there wasn’t you wouldn’t be able to cross it.

        “For all of six seasons”

        Huh? I take it you don’t watch South Park. Its been getting more and more offensive and savage year on year. Just look at the recent World War Zimmerman episode. Or the “tumblr social justice warrior” mocking A Scause for Applause about white middle class people collecting social causes without actually working to do anything about them.

        By most reviews it didn’t peak until season 11 or 12.

  7. harbinger says:

    Games, like movies, books, TV series, music and any other entertainment medium out there aren’t meant to cater to your specific political views or act as propaganda for your social agenda.

    The games were fun and were also largely well received: http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/goodbye-deponia

    If you have a problem with them, you don’t have to buy them and well… it is your problem to have.
    I also wonder what reviews of game series like Simon the Sorcerer, Monkey Island, Kyrandia, Leisure Suit Larry or even Space Quest would look like today through the pink-colored lenses of social justice as written by yours truly, John Walker.

    The first Deponia, among a few of their other rather good games like “The Whispered World” with a delightfully pessimistic clown or “A New Beginning” an adventure game about ecology with a decidedly female protagonist are in the latest Humble Bundle Weekly by the way: https://www.humblebundle.com/weekly

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Except it isn’t just your problem to have, it is a problem for all the people that belong to the groups who are marginalised by the promotion of these attitudes. The only people who it isn’t a problem for are dickheads who think that because something isn’t harmful or problematic for them it means that no one else is harmed by it or has the right to complain.

    • DarkFarmer says:

      I am sure you aren’t debating the fact that critics ARE allowed to not like a game, movie, book or song based on their political views towards its content. John is doing his job by coloring his reviews with the “pink lenses” you mention. If it wasn’t for critical social justice, we would still be in the 80s where gay characters are invisible and the only mention of homosexuality is the hero calling somebody a f@#$%. Now we get Omar Little :)

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      Aerothorn says:

      Er…why are the lenses pink?

      Also, dude, you are not going to win any points by linking Metacritic at a site that doesn’t give scores. If you want to pick one of those reviews from a source you trust and link it, do so! Saying “JOHN IS WRONG BECAUSE NUMBERS” doesn’t cut it.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Sorry but there’s nothing niche social agenda about it. Deponia is offensive. And not in the good kind. And don’t bother the old “you just don’t understand german humor” – I’m Austrian, I understand their humor just fine.

      Deponia is not funny, but most of all it’s also not well meaning. It’s the opposite – it’s evil in it’s intent, cloaking insult in comic art style and the familiar tropes of mediocre adventure games.

      • dE says:

        Depending on which part of germany and which part of Austria you’re talking I’m either agreeing or disagreeing. If you pick some Friese and have him talk to a Wiener, it’s gonna be humour armageddon with the funlevel of a graveyard.
        Daedalic is situated in Hamburg which is pretty far up north. So chances are, no you don’t get the humour. And that’s fine. Doesn’t absolve the game of course.

        • MartinWisse says:

          It really doesn’t matter whether or not Deponia is unproblematic in Hamburg; once you release for an English language audience, you should know that making black people = monkeys jokes, satirical or not will be seen as racism.

          • dE says:

            And I have not said that. Nice of you to wilfuly ignore that, just so you can try to go for a jab.

    • Yglorba says:

      The problem is that the game is catering to a specific social view.

      It’s just doing it for a particularly loathsome one.

    • SRTie4k says:

      None of the games you listed had anything as overtly distasteful as what was discussed in this article.

    • KDR_11k says:

      I’m just annoyed because the second game of the series beat Spec Ops in a “German game of the year” prize thingy.

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        Oozo says:

        And lo’ and behold: This one is nominated for about a dozen awards this year again, including: “Best Game”, “Best Story”, and “Best Game For A Young Audience”.
        I’m not sure if this says more about the state of the German industry or the state of the award. Either way… we all merit better.

      • witzkawumme (wkw) says:

        yeah, because the prize is highly “politicized” (is this even an English word?)
        the German conservatives have criticized that Crysis 2 was nominated, because it is a killer game… (German article, first I found)
        http://www.golem.de/news/computerspielpreis-cdu-csu-kritisieren-nominierung-des-killerspiels-crysis-2-1204-91398.html

        considering the fact that the German arms industry is in the top 10 (or even 5?) of the world this is just ridiculous, especially since the conservatives (surprise, surprise) are very well “aligned” with the arms industry…

    • InternetBatman says:

      It’s not necessarily Walker’s view, but here’s what RPS had to say about the Leisure Suit Larry remake:


      Larry has never had much respect. Where people go wrong is to think of his adventures as sex games rather than comedies about sex, and even that makes them sound raunchier than they actually are…. Larry’s quest was typically about finding his One True Love rather than just scoring a casual shag from whoever.

      But the action is harmless and the humour usually good natured and properly contextualised rather than feeling like The New Adventures Of Captain Creepy. Hell, next to most modern comedies, it’s quaintly innocent fare.

      Also, it seems like you’re criticizing the writer for having a problem with the game, while acknowledging that he has the right to have a problem with the game.

      Sometimes you have to take a stand against something that is deliberately cruel and wrong; John took that stance and it sounds justified.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        Yeah it’s all in the construction.

        Larry, deep down, is actually a nice guy. It’s kind of strange that, while the LSL games sort of paint women as sex objects, the way they do it doesn’t come off quite as misogyny because, quite simply, Larry is looking for more than just sex.

        He sees beautiful women and is obviously attracted to them on a superficial level, but from the 3rd game onwards he’s found the woman he considers his true love and everything he does is a step to get by or win her affections. Even in LSL5 where he does sleep with multiple women, it’s part of a very sleazy job he’s obviously not terribly fond of. Larry is a bumbling buffoon with a heart of gold. He lives in a very misogynistic world, and yet it’s hard to call Larry himself a terrible misogynist since what he wants is love.

        Rufus on the other hand is a complete prick who literally sees Goal mostly as, well, a goal. Something to be owned. Though the few times we see intentional altruism from him is helping her, he’s still doing it in the context of “winning” her. He’s driven mostly by a desire to get rich and get on the paradise of Elysium and Goal is merely a stepping stone on that path.

        Rufus would be tolerable somewhat IF the world he was in really recognized him as the piece of shit that he is, but most of that treatment vanishes after the first game. In fact, the games in general seem to drop in quality after the first even outside of this: puzzles start making less sense and the writing takes quite a dive after the first one’s decent setup. I’m wondering if it would have turned out better had the overarching plot been restricted to a single game. It would’ve meant less diversions into the troublesome territory at least.

        • Baines says:

          The puzzles make less sense in the later games?

          I’d heard the translation messed up some puzzles and jokes in the first game.

      • sophof says:

        Tbh, not having played the game and seeing it is John Walker, I just assume the game is actually fine or at most mildly offensive. he hasn’t shown himself to be the most stable and rational on these kind of issues.
        I would have to play the game to know for sure, but seeing as most people read a WIT to see if they want to play a game, I don’t think the critique is entirely without merit.

        There is a sort of line a reviewer shouldn’t cross imo. That line is where the review is more about the reviewer’s sensibilities than about the game. But then again, if the game is a horrible offensive mess, such a thing should be mentioned. All I’d expect is that the reviewer keeps this in mind at least, and it doesn’t seem that John Walker does that. He is always very… absolute about these things.

      • LVX156 says:

        But “deliberately cruel and wrong” can’t be objectively defined. I’m a bisexual man, and I have no problem with fag and homo jokes, things that you can actually go to prison for in Sweden, if they are crude enough. I hate how politically correct our culture has become, where you can’t even open your mouth without offending someone.

        For instance, in Sweden we have an ice cream called Nogger, it’s a chocolate-covered ice cream with a nougat center, and it’s been called Nogger for decades. A few years ago, the company that makes said ice cream was reported to the Swedish Discrimination Ombudsman for being racist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_Ombudsman).

        In another case, there was a big controversy over a kindergarten not allowing kids to dress up as gingerbread men for St Lucia’s Day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucia%27s_Day), because that was obviously racist too, in their minds.

        I’ve never heard of the Deponia games, but I’m definitely going to try the first one.

    • CcDohl says:

      Thank you for linking the Metacritic for this game. I had not thought of that as a useful source for finding a gaming website in which the writers aren’t so wrapped up in trying to find racism and misogyny in games that they base entire reviews around those subjects.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Oh no…please dont go…please dont leave RPS and read the other websites…we’ll miss you so much.

        Pfft, pathetic. As if you’d never heard of metacritic, as if you couldn’t easily find a hundred other games websites that ignore the social context of gaming with one simple google search anytime you wanted. Why don’t you make an argument as to why gaming shouldn’t be reported in a social context rather than deluding yourself that anyone cares whether you read RPS or not.

        • CcDohl says:

          Why are you so mad? Maybe you should relax.

          You wrote an angry post about how nobody will be upset if I leave, but if that is true, why are you so angry?

          And, in a sense, what I have made with my comment is an argument. Keen observers will notice that I have implied that this website gets all wrapped up with the misogyny and racism stuff too often. It’s certainly not as bad as Kotaku, but I do find myself rolling my eyes fairly regularly.

          So in the same vein as your response, why don’t you make an argument to convince people that there is too much misogyny and/or racism in video games? I’d say that the burden of proof lies squarely on your shoulders, my angry little friend.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            Do you imagine that the facts presented in this review are false? If you do, then I don’t think we have much to discuss. However, if they’re true, then the argument has been already successfully made.

      • InternetBatman says:

        On metacritic you’ll find a significant minority of scores that say the exact same things.

    • I Got Pineapples says:

      I’m going to be honest here. I am far more uncomfortable with the idea a game is being judged as being good because of it’s politics or social attitudes than a game being judged as bad because of it’s politics or social attitudes.

      The latter seems like it’ll make games better but the former seems to encourage bland shit to get made, along with encouraging a notion of acceptable art.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        If we pan a game because it has a libertarian, socialist, or other political outlook, then surely we are responding to politicized content in a politicized way. A way that probably isn’t useful.

        If we box a game into those categories regularly whether it is really of that type naturally, then we’re going astray.

        But if a game involves selling black people into slavery as monkeys as some kind of intended humor, then I think it’s fair to say that the creators are awful.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Yeah, no. The thing about comedy where people are just supposed to ignore repugnantly offensive material as if taking offense is on them definitely cuts both ways: It is fine to say comedy has the freedom to offend, but only if you also grant audiences the freedom to be offended.

      As for how those games would look from today’s perspective; roughly the same (excluding some ageing of its puzzles probably). I haven’t played a Monkey Island in years but I’ve never encountered anything even remotely racist or misogynist in them. Stop pretending as if that’s the default state of things and like hindsight would reveal everything to be abrasively offensive.

      It seems like you want people to be tolerant of intolerance, and then also shut up. Doesn’t work that way.

      • harbinger says:

        Both Monkey Island and Simon the Sorcerer had the prototypical jerk protagonist with not exactly the most political correct views on much anything (they also sold extremely well in Germany and were some of the most loved Adventure games – to the point that AdventureSoft made several references to their continued success and possible failure with Simon 3D depending on those weird adventure-loving Germans), who would do bad stuff to people to get ahead and solve puzzles. I’d wager that Rufus is emulating the pattern and trying to tackle similar personalities. And Legend of Kyrandia also had Malcolm with Malcolm’s Revenge.

        If you think there wasn’t any “unpleasantness” (as some people would call it, I’d call them funny) in them then you need to look closer, there are dozens of stereotypes from jungle natives, voodoo priestesses, Jamaican Rasta’s with funny accents to making fun of characters with all kind of disabilities (people hard of hearing, people that can barely see, short people, people with limb prosthesis and similar that you sometimes have to take advantage of to solve some puzzles).

        You just need to be in the right state of mind and have your head lodged firmly and far enough between your butt cheeks to take all of that the wrong way and write an article like this.

        As for Larry, you just need to look at some of what passes off as “game reviews” nowadays in regards to its recent remake: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-07-22-leisure-suit-larry-reloaded-review
        Or PC PowerPlay’s “A vile, ugly, offensive and ignorant game that should have been left to rot in an old box of floppies. Why did this get Kickstarted?“
        The only reason the same thing didn’t happen to RPS is because a better person, someone other than John Walker, and someone with inherent knowledge of Adventure games, their mechanics and history reviewed them.

        Al Lowe put it rather well himself:
        http://i.imgur.com/cMln1ik.png
        It is indeed a sorry state.

        • Contrafibularity says:

          I’m sorry you feel comedy relies on what you call “unpleasantness” and what I call “bigotry”. I think we probably haven’t even played the same game from your description of Monkey Island; from my recollection it’s always been about wordplay and comedy, eye-watering hand-drawn environments, and complete adventure gamey kleptomania and “lateral thinking” set in a piratey fantasy region. None of the tropes you mention are malicious stereotypes no matter how hard you insist. Monkey Island manages to always be delightful in its writing, even during insult swordfighting.

          The character of Guybrush was never the “un-politically correct jerk” you make him out to be to prove he’s the same as Rufus. A loser, surely, a somewhat harmless character whose misadventures regularly see him “collecting” every item which could possibly be part of a puzzle, yes. A selfish jerk who is hateful and kicks everyone to the curb and insults people for fun and profit? No, that’s not Guybrush Threepwood you’re describing. And then there’s the fact that with Deponia this hatefulness doesn’t seem to be contained to the main character, but indeed permeates much of the game world and writing itself.

          So when games that you know, aren’t entirely set up as “ironically bigoted” suddenly start being called “propaganda vehicles for social justice” that sends alarm bells ringing for me. I wish I would’ve played Simon the Sorcerer and Space Quest just to know what you’re on about, and Leisure Suit Larry is, well, the less said the better, frankly.

          If those games were indeed as vile as this seems to be, I find it even more problematic that you’re reinforcing this attitude of “hey look at all these problematic old games, bigotry and misogyny never used to be a problem then so why should it be now?” to which the answer invariably is PROGRESS.

          I find it especially hard to believe that translation issues could be solely responsible for the “irony” of Deponia’s eagerness to insult and exclude being seemingly entirely lost. But I give the developers the benefit of the doubt, and I will assume the Deponia series to be the result of repeated stupidity and incredibly poor taste rather than malice as I’ve not played any of them and probably never will. I guess time will tell whether the developers will still be satisfied with their creations in a decade or two.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Monkey Island is constantly playing with stereotypes and making fun of them, like the stereotypical cannibals who are actually smart vegetarians, and the mystic voodoo witch is actually a self-aware fourth wall breaker. Basically, it takes on pirate trope and plays with it, loving it for its flaws.

        Having a black person be a monkey (something which people still use as a slur today) is nothing of the sort. It’s not even shock humor, it’s just racist.

      • pokinsson says:

        The June-Scene has an anti-racist agenda. When did “raising the topic of intolerance” became sysnonymous with “being intolerant”? Everybody here gets mad about the fact that there is a coloured girl in the game that is forced to dance like an ape. But nobody analysis what the context is. It is like calling “Schindler’s list” a facist movie on the basis that there have been Nazis in the trailer.

        Same goes for sexism, by the way.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          Two responses:

          * As a member of the modern world, you should know that selling black people into slavery to be called (explicitly) monkeys is not really anti-racist, no matter what framing you imagined for it.

          * As a creator of a creative work, blaming your audience for not understanding it properly is kind of bankrupt.

          • pokinsson says:

            Sorry. I am just shocked about some reactions here. As you can easily imagine, it is the worst thing to see my work being interpreted as racist. It’s not. I should know.

          • pokinsson says:

            thing is … you are implying that I want the player to side with the mean guy who is calling June an ape though he happens to look like an ape himself. It didn’t occur to me that anybody could read this scene like that.

            But I want to add: Any racist in this forum is officially invited to identify himself with a mean ape. I see no harm in that.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            No-one is questioning your intentions, no-one is calling your work racist. What most people here are saying is that you tried to be funny, and you ended up being offensive.

            Given that you deliberately included only two black people in your game who are both slaves and both forced to dance like monkeys, I am shocked that you are surprised. Surely you understood that this was controversial and would certainly alienate the non white section of your audience, many of whom get called monkey as an insult on a day to day basis?

          • Acorino says:

            The writer of Far Cry 3 also wanted to satirize violence in video games and popular culture overall, but instead unintentionally propagated it even more. Maybe, Poki, you’re just like him: a bad writer. You have to be careful when you play with fire.

          • pokinsson says:

            @Sheng-ji
            The Scene is not so much about being funny … there are lots of uncomfortable scenes in Deponia where a funny lightfooted sequence ends up uncomfortable, raising serious moral questions and leaving the player confronted with Rufus as an ugly, distorted mirror-image of yourself. This is one of them. It’s a motive spread throughout my games, using the interactivity of games as a mean to force the player to reflect his actions. If you just want to laugh these are not the games for you. But if you have played the series to this point you should know that already.

            @Acorino:
            Maybe you are right and I shouldn’t have listened to all these inferior reviewers, gamers and jurymen of german game awards that made a good job in the last half decade trying to convince me otherwise. But I hope you are wrong and my way to tell stories is just not matching your taste.

          • Acorino says:

            Now you’re putting words into my mouth. But I agree nevertheless: You shouldn’t judge yourself by other people’s standards, only by your own. Take this advice from a man who has achieved nothing of importance in his life (so far). ;)

            Also should repeat here that I actually haven’t played Deponia 3. Stopped at the beginning of Deponia 2.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            ” leaving the player confronted with Rufus as an ugly, distorted mirror-image of yourself.”

            I take issue with this – You haven’t programmed my actual response. The main character is not a mirror of the player because you have written the main character with his own distinctive personality and agenda. If you allowed me the freedom to act as I see fit and showed me the results of my actions, then you would have done something interesting. However you have made it so that your game cannot be completed any way but through your prescribed story. Either you click to make the main character to perform the ugly act, or you don’t click and watch a static scene until boredom sets in and you uninstall the game.

            “It’s a motive spread throughout my games, using the interactivity of games as a mean to force the player to reflect his actions.”

            So the only way to win is to not play. Which is what I believe many people, including John Walker are saying.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @pokinsson
            If Johns description of the monkey scene is accurate it is literally the most racist videogame scene I am aware of.

            I am unlikely to pay money to experience this for myself. Perhaps you can describe the scene in detail in your own words and explain what you were trying to achieve?

            Edit: I have now seen an explanation you have written elsewhere on this thread where you say its not racist because a white character also gets sold into slavery in the game. I am assuming that the white characters job is not to dance like a monkey. Why did you choose this image for the black character?

          • harbinger says:

            I’d wager barely any of the people commenting here you are discussing this with have even played *any* of your games, nor do they have any interest in doing so. But they’re listening to John Walker who has a history of News items like these and “trusting” him to present the “facts”:
            http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/04/25/the-silence-deep-silver-hiding-from-torsogate/
            http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/11/13/wot-i-think-chaos-on-deponia/

            Dicussing it under the pretense of this article will likely only fuel the fire further, since they are already “outraged” and are just looking for the right person to hang.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Well, I for one respect you for taking the time to engage with us, and it speaks a lot about you that you have. I for one have changed the way I think about you very much for the positive since I realised who you were. I’m yet to understand what you were trying to achieve with the game though.

            Harbinger, you are a self confessed troll – do you not understand that your support is toxic. The biggest favour you could do this dev is to state that you hate his game. When you told us all you were never coming back to this website, not one shit was given, which should tell you all that you need to know.

          • harbinger says:

            I really love it how everyone that disagrees with your specific views (more often than not not shared by anyone on the Internet outside of this very website, maybe some Tumblr Blogs) is a “troll”.

            “When you told us all you were never coming back to this website, not one shit was given, which should tell you all that you need to know.”
            I never said such a thing, do go on and provide a link or a quote to where I did? I guess it’s another case of selective cognition.

            It’s just simply that one can’t win with you people and the only way to handle you from an official standpoint is to ignore you (like Deep Silver did), they made the mistake to react and offer an apology for a tchotchke in the Collector’s Edition of one of their games in certain regions and they’re still being hounded over it by the staff of this site over a year later at every opportunity as if they commited some unspeakable felony.

            In comparison to you and a lot of the people so outraged over nothing I actually bought and played their games (even before they got on Steam) and found them very funny and pleasant and know of a thing called “context”.

            I’m not sure how it would be considered productive to argue finer points of your works with people that
            a) have no interest in your products and have no knowledge of them other than what the article above states because they want their dose of weekly outrage
            b) some of which are of the opinion that usual fantasy tropes like “elves vs. dwarfs” in RPGs are somehow contributing to racism and trying to normalize and idealize genocide and ethnic cleansing: http://i.imgur.com/jYE4Cn5.png
            http://i.imgur.com/HvulcAc.png

          • WrenBoy says:

            @harbinger
            When you write “facts” do you mean that the game doesn’t force you to sell a black woman as a slave in order for her to dance like a monkey?

            Or did you just mean facts?

          • Apocalypse says:

            Acorino wrote: “The writer of Far Cry 3 also wanted to satirize violence in video games and popular culture overall, but instead unintentionally propagated it even more.”

            Really? I think he was quite successful. You bring this up as it would be a fact, while the discussion alone about the game makes it successful with its agenda. Furthermore it is irritating that the audience is blaming the author for bad writing when the writing goes over their head. Has every writing to be accessible without critical thought?

            (Oh and before you accuse me for defending Deponia, I am not really a fan of the series)

          • Sheng-ji says:

            You know, I read your reply, and I though to myself, Oh Shit, I got the wrong person. I’m sure it was you a couple of days ago who wrote that you only come to RPS to troll. But you wouldn’t be so stupid as to write this just a few days later. I was full on planning my apology, with the caveat that I have only called you a troll, no-one else so your accusation that I call anyone a troll who disagrees with me is utterly false. I was going to make it a really nice apology too, linking to the post that I had mistakenly believed came from you, when I found the tattered remains of a thread, a thread expelled to single posts all at the bottom of a page because the post they were replying to had been deleted. This was the thread I was after and the self confessed troll has, recently it seems, deleted their post.

            So the jury’s out.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            You’re still suffering from the conceit that you can control the work after it’s been released to its audience.

            A black woman (the only one in the game) is sold into slavery to dance naked and be called a monkey.

            That’s just how it is. That’s racist.

            You might not have meant it that way. Too bad.

            if you don’t like that your work is racist, you’re just going to have to be more careful, considered, clever or what have you next time.

          • Apocalypse says:

            29 jrodman
            “A black woman (the only one in the game) is sold into slavery to dance naked and be called a monkey.

            That’s just how it is. That’s racist.”

            That is simply untrue. Racism needs context. Without context it can not be racism. It can encourage racism per accident, but it can not be racist in itself without context. And the writer of deponia himself mentions that a few minutes later rufus does something very similar to someone else.

            Besides that, even if you portrait a character as racist, it still does not make your work itself racist automatical. You may again attack the work in some cases for encouraging racism, you may actually be right in other cases and the work itself is racist, context matters.

            To get back to Deponia do you think Rufus would have acted any different if the person would have been straight male?

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            Your defense is that *Rufus* isn’t racist. The problem is that the work, via its choices, is.

          • Apocalypse says:

            Would you assume the author did chose intentional the black girl? The same argument does fit here as well. The author choose to let Rufus do the same thing to other characters as well. The color of June was not even in his frame before someone in his team noticed that the scene could be offensive to the audience.

            And btw, I am not trying to defend the scene, I just don´t like the angle of attack against it. As I said earlier, such a scene can encourage racism if not done very carefully and pokinsson seems not to be even aware of this problem.

            edit: I would bet If you make a study and test 100 colored females who played this scene right before your test, most will score lower than usual because of the negative impact on them.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            Now you argue that the *author* is not racist which is also not really a rebuttal at all. Is the publisher not-racist? What about the resellers? Any other irrelevant points to make?

            The work is still racist.

    • quijote3000 says:

      Agreed.

      That’s the problem with these kind of reviewers, specially John Walker, that seem too obsessed whether the game caters to his views of social justice, whether they are correct or not isn’t the point; not whether the game is actually good or bad.

      For me the best example to know if I can trust a reviewer, would be an opinion of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Some people would be too busy crying “Pedophile” than making an honest review of the book.

      Also, I wonder if John chooses the games to review trying to get offended. I mean, he actually reviewed Deadpool. What was he thinking?

      • Merry Hell says:

        But what if the reviewer’s opinion is ‘It’s a staggeringly beautiful novel about a pedophile trying to justify the fact that he’s raping a twelve-year-old. Holy shit, have you seen that Goodbye Deponia game? Racist or really fucking racist?’?

      • TheTingler says:

        Okay, read past the offensive stuff. You see the paragraphs where he says it doesn’t work as an adventure game? That the main character is terrible, the puzzles don’t flow, characters are badly written,and the story is poor?

    • Premium User Badge

      Hypocee says:

      Websites, like movies, books, TV series, music and any other entertainment medium out there aren’t meant to cater to your specific political views or act as propaganda for your social agenda.

      If you have a problem with them, you don’t have to read them and well… it is your problem to have.

      John Walker is one of the owners of RPS. It is his space, where he can say things that he wants to say.

  8. almostDead says:

    Man, Rufus is such a turd, I don’t want to play as him at all. I’ve never felt that way about a character. I jumped in at Chaos and missed the first one. I speed-watched a let’s play of it.

    Goal liking him makes no sense at all, as he doesn’t even try to be at all different around her than he deals with everyone else. In fact, he seems to revel in it. It’s star wars 1,2,3 levels of forced.

    And I’ve never understood how the Organon fit into any of this. Are they like Elysium’s police or something?

  9. brulleks says:

    If The Whispered World is the closest they’ve got to a decent adventure game, then I’m not at all convinced they have one in them.

    I’m playing through it at the moment and, after an interesting beginning with reasonably logical puzzles and an unorthodox premise (which hinted at something deeper than has yet emerged), it deteriorated into an irksome trudge through the developers’ increasingly ludicrous brainstorming sessions, in the company of the most annoying protagonist ever created and an all-too-frequently-referred-to walkthrough. I am utterly surprised that it received any positive reviews – the only thing it has going for it is the artwork.

    • Halfgild Wynac says:

      I’d say The Dark Eye is the closest they ever got to a decent adventure. OK, the character is rather forgettable and the story pointless, but at least the game had more or less flowing puzzle sequence and most of them are logical enough – that is, before you got to the fairy world. At that point, however, it becomes clear that in this world the logic itself is queer (“use perspective to make objects change size”), which makes a nice contrast. Besides, it was kind of funny trying to undestand how it all worked there.

  10. Didden says:

    Shame the game is like this, as it has a lovely art style which reminds me of the cartoons of my youth.

    • pokinsson says:

      Maybe you should get a second opinion. By far not everybody on the internet agrees with John. You could for example watch the first episodes of a walkthrough on youtube and see for yourself if you like the game.

  11. almostDead says:

    I gotta say though, that one puzzle in Chaos where you have to leave the immediate game. Now that was good, and I thought, never in a million years would I have ever thought of doing that.

    That kind of thing made me stop and just think about what could be possible in lateral thinking in games. Of course for me, nothing came to mind.

  12. GernauMorat says:

    In before the ‘your a bunch of pinko liberal pussies’ outrage crowd.

    Yeah, this sounds pretty awful, can’t see much of a defense really.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Also is it just me or does the main character look suspiciously like a Penny Arcade character?

      • LionsPhil says:

        He’s vaguely reminiscent of the apprentice from Oglaf.

        • Longtime Listener says:

          Also a brown haired Guybrush Threepwood who over the course of the original games
          Shangai’s a crew
          Kills many wild animals
          Releases multiple apocalypses in the pursuit of gold/glory
          Cheats
          Steals
          Mistreats his girlfriend (to the point they have a painful break up between one and two)
          Traps a guy in a coffin
          and has someone wrongly imprisoned to protect himself.

    • Koozer says:

      Too late!

    • tormos says:

      In after, as it turns out. After two of its members, no less

      • GernauMorat says:

        Damn, you’re right! What do you call it? Ninja-bigoting?

  13. hemmer says:

    I still maintain that Daedalic has it within them to make a properly great adventure. The closest they’ve gotten is The Whispered World,

    The closest they got was actually Edna & Harvey – The Breakout, in my opionion.
    I understand that the English localisation left something to be desired though, to put it mildly.

    • John Walker says:

      I’d love to have played a properly translated version of that game, because so many Germans have told me the native version was great fun. The version in English was such a dreadful mess, barely intelligible.

      • Zonker says:

        Which is quite a shame, really. I’ve played a good bunch of the Daedalic adventures and Edna & Harvey’s Breakout is – by far, in my opinion – the best. It’s incredibly funny and charming, albeit being a bit of a mess from a technical standpoint (e.g. first release version with ~6 GB of .wav files for dialogue and sound, clunky animations…).

        I easily prefer it to the first two Deponias, Whispering World and even Harvey’s New Eyes, especially because of the immense love for the little details put into the game. Combine just about anything with something else and you get an individual line from Edna / Harvey or even an optical change in an object, even if it’s completely irrelevant to puzzles in the game. I really keep my fingers crossed for all you non-Germans that Daedelic uses all that adventure money to do a proper translation for a new edition some day.

        (The only thing I never liked about Edna was the ending, which almost took a 180 in terms of general emotional tone. But I’m starting to believe the writers at Daedalic just aren’t made for consistent and satisfying stories. As you said, there’s a lot of potential, but I guess they still have to figure out how to direct this into reasonable narratives.)

      • kalirion says:

        Really? I played through Breakout recently, and while it’s obvious that many jokes / puns lost a lot in translation, others still were quite funny, and I hardly found the whole thing “unintelligible.” My main problem with the game was that I didn’t find either of the two endings very satisfying, but overall I thought it was a good experience.

    • TheTingler says:

      I personally loved both Night of the Rabbit (despite the story being rushed into a conclusion) and Memoria (despite Geron’s boringness). The Deponia series though…

  14. bit_crusherrr says:

    This game sounds hilarious. I think I might pick up the Humble Weekly Sale to try Deponia out.

  15. Ricc says:

    Personally I’m not surprised that a game as tone-deaf and offensive as you described can be released and even thrive on a German market. In my experience with German gaming-websites, we still have a lot of catching up to do in the “games are a boys club” and “offensive means funny, because satire?” -departments.

    I avoid 90% of German games coverage, because of stuff like female EICs defending the regular booth-babe galleries on their website as necessities, editors from rivaling publications starting flame wars in comments threads and video teams thinking sexism and harassment qualifies as a funny way to cover conventions. Just to name a few…

    Unfortunately that kind of behavior seems still to permeate German games-culture. That’s just my perspective, though. I might just be spoiled by websites like RPS with their no-nonsense policy. I really respect you for that.

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      I think the culture on the continent is a lot different to the UK and US. When I went to France there were billboards with bare breasts on. Not something you’d see in the UK without a massive backlash. A good example of the UK/US reacting badly to something meant for another market/culture was the PS Vita doubletits advert. Which in my opinion was a bit of a retarded advert but It was meant for France not the UK/US.

      • Focksbot says:

        There’ve been bare breasts on French billboards for donkey’s years. It’s arguably a better deal than what we’ve got over here – what’s so toxic about British/US culture is the hypocrisy of being, on the one hand, so prurient about actual nudity and overt sexual references, while on the other hand flooding all visual media with images of semi-naked photoshopped women posed provocatively.

        In contrast, a French advert for a product for women featuring a normal-looking woman with bare breasts would be pretty progressive.

        • bit_crusherrr says:

          A lot of the ourage over here is really misplaced I think. What’s more damaging for women, seeing a pretty girl on the front of Zoo or seeing “OMG THIS CELEBRITY HAS A SLIGHT IMPERFECTION WHAT A FAILURE!” in womens magazines?

          • Contrafibularity says:

            Or indeed implying a women in her thirties “still looks attractive”.

          • bit_crusherrr says:

            Yeah that “still looks attractive” line just sounds like “this womans is old and surprisingly doesn’t look like a bag of shit”. I think people need to see what’s actually contributing to poor body image instead of crusading against mens magazines when womens ones are just as bad if not worse.

          • Focksbot says:

            “What’s more damaging for women, seeing a pretty girl on the front of Zoo …”

            Seeing those kind of images everywhere, all the time, *is* damaging though, and our culture is flooded with them. Only blind people and recluses can avoid constant exposure. So I’m all for any measures to curb it. It doesn’t mean I’m a prude – I’m just fed up with all media everywhere making a desperate lunge for my hetero male libido to sell their stupid shit.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            I think the issue is women being judged for their appearance in aspects where appearance shouldn’t matter. A lot of male politicians are fat or old or just look like shit, but they rarely get flak for it. I’m not saying men aren’t judged for their appearance, but it’s not as pervasive as for women. Of course, this isn’t to say that the correct thing to do is make everyone wear burkas, and you correctly point out that a lot of media aimed at women is awful, but putting women out there as sex objects way above the number of men in similar settings is a problem. I also notice that a lot of men are instinctively quite homophobic – stuff like gay chicken assumes that touching another man is weird. So I suspect that a lot of people would be threatened by more sexualised images of men, but then fuck those people.

          • Longtime Listener says:

            “Wait! You don’t want to touch my dick? Dude that’s so homophobic”

        • malkav11 says:

          And yet, as far as I know, the British attitude towards sex and nudity is still substantially less repressive than the ridiculously Puritan US culture.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      This is unfortunately true. It’s no coincidence germans thrived in the entirely male dominated and generally toxic circles of competitive Dota and Counterstrike. The old “only children play videogames” is sadly more true in germany than anywhere else.
      The sexism is also worse than in the UK – but nowhere near as bad as in the more southern european regions.

      If you think Deponia is bad (and it IS), you’ll have a stroke if you see what happens in the Italian media landscape.

      • NathanH says:

        The only experience I have with Italian media is some Italian football channels, where their half-time analysis dispenses with the usual circle of ex-pros and prefers instead gorgeous leggy women wearing relatively little. Still, I imagine their analysis is more insightful than Andy Townsend’s.

    • almostDead says:

      One of my failings is my inability to imagine the unpleasantness of the written internet word as anything other than an English speaking phenomenon.

      Whenever I stumble across websites in languages I don’t speak, I see reams of internet comments and just wonder if they follow all the same arguments, like a well travelled road.

      • tormos says:

        Maybe they’ve come up with an argument so good that it solved them all, and have been so committed to peace, universal brotherhood, and pun threads that nobody’s had time to translate them yet.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        I know that twitter is still as vapid in French.

    • harbinger says:

      This has nothing to do with Germany specifically, you will find the same to be true in France, Italy, Spain and other parts of the civilized western world, with the entirety of Eastern Europe (CDProjekt telling RPS off was a hilarious high point), Russia, Japan, South Korea etc. that couldn’t give less of a crap about being offended over the sheer mention of breasts or “offensive jokes”, it starts showing in review scores too: http://i.imgur.com/8rbQQg8.jpg

      This sad state of newfound prudishness and lack of humour is a decidedly Anglo-American phenomenon with perhaps Australia thrown in for good measure.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        The “civilized western world?” What parts of the world, exactly, do you think are uncivilized?

      • Focksbot says:

        It’s a sorry state of affairs if you don’t understand the difference between prudishness and what JW finds abhorrent about this game.

        • womp says:

          Bingo.

        • Premium User Badge

          Gap Gen says:

          Indeed, something like Oglaf is very smutty but also quite progressive. I honestly don’t have a good handle on how other countries view things like gender or race, but this absolutely isn’t anglophones being more prudish. Being accepting of nudity doesn’t mean you’re not a bigot, after all.

      • Contrafibularity says:

        So taking offense at what is at best incredibly poor taste and at worst purposely offensive in a very malicious way is, to your mind, being prudish? Right… and you figure this, how? You want me to point you in the direction of an online dictionary or something?

        Oh, right, I GET IT NOW! It’s offensive and racist and misogynist and that’s THE JOKE and I SHOULDN’T BE OFFENDED BECAUSE THAT’S THE JOKE HAHAHAHA THAT IS SO FUNNY WOW YOU BLEW MY MIND. It’s amazing how I’ve been able to function all these years whilst being so *prudish* about racism and misogyny, foolishly imagining what it would be like for say a black woman to play this games (oh right I FORGOT they’re not part of the audience DUH).

        Ugh.

        Sigh.

    • Sharza says:

      I strongly agree that in Germany, there are mostly fairly poor and backwards magazines and websites covering games. One of the main reasons I look into English (language) websites only for my updates on what is going on in the industry and with games. It often is done more professionally, truly humorous, mature and consequently better in English and I really wonder why that is. Maybe part of the reason is that many of the most important magazines come from the same publishing house, http://www.computec.de/, and are directed at teenagers. It is time for a good German gaming magazine/website!

      Edited: had the wrong link for the publishing house

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Unfortunately it’s not contained to “games-culture”. There is a growing number of people in many European countries who hide their prejudices behind “satire” and “irony”, and in fact a lot of unfunny comedians with the mental age of a mayfly (or just perennially stuck in 1980s-style shit comedy) make a great living being incredibly offensive (not taking stereotypes head on or making fun of them but actually really employing them) seconds before taking it all “back” and saying “I kid I kid”, and basically shout down any audience member who thinks it’s not funny and label them as an “enemy of comedy”.

      But you know what, I think even the shittiest of shit comedians can say whatever they like, I just really fucking hate it that they act surprised when people are inevitably offended, and they claim the right to free speech but deny other people the right to feel offended.

      • witzkawumme (wkw) says:

        yeah, because they are “forced” due to political correctness, but instead of addressing the real issues and confront people they are just told to “shut up”, hence a lot of latent racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.
        I come from Austria, the rural areas, it is quite extreme what views are common for the “common man” and what is “allowed” at a “certain education level”. “Assholes” don’t become “nice” people but just reading a few books, they usually at all just become better being “assholes” in an indirect fashion…
        or to be a bit more extreme: censorship doesn’t work
        there is a clear difference between: we won’t tolerate certain views and behaviors in our community and confront you actively versus you can think what you want, but please don’t say it out loud or you will be labelled as bad (merely a passive stance).
        Hence people hide their views behind “irony” and “sarcasm” to such a degree that at a certain point they even forget what the think/feel…

  16. Assaf says:

    AdventureGamers gave it 4 stars and said it’s the high point of the series.
    http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/25607

  17. bitbot says:

    Hmm, I haven’t really considered playing these games even though I own the first one (from some bundle) but after reading this I think I’ll have to try it. I think it sounds funny, and suspect some people with no sense of humor are just looking to be offended. Reminds me of that Steve Hughes bit on being offended.

    • Acorino says:

      I’m sorry, but I don’t “look to be offended”. It’s not a conscious activity I intend to participate in. It’s something that happens reflexively, intuitively, because of the social values I carry within me.

  18. Siamese Almeida says:

    I was completely uninterested in this after The Whispered World turned out as boring as it did. Now I’m sold, I have to try this game out.

  19. Premium User Badge

    strangeloup says:

    I’m really wondering if Daedalic can do any good. I’ve got The Whispered World, which I picked up in a bundle (so I’m not overly fussed if it’s a bit shit), but paid Actual Proper Money for The Dark Eye: Chains of Sat-Nav. I’ve yet to play either, however, and if the Deponia games are at all representative of their work as a whole, I’m not sure I want to.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Actually, you’ve got two of their better works there. I enjoyed The Dark Eye more than I thought I would.

      • kekstee says:

        The Dark Eye is very nice. It builds on the lore that comes with that role-playing universe and delivers great atmosphere. I can’t say how it holds up after translation though.

    • TheTingler says:

      Chains of Satinav is actually quite good, although I prefer the sequel Memoria which just came out. I like how it’s not the typical fantasy story… but I won’t spoil things.

  20. zin33 says:

    somebodys missing a sense of humor? the fact that the main guy is as selfish as he is its kind of the point and funny thing about the whole series
    you make it seem like you were waiting till he became all “good” and what not? we got plenty of those already and theyre boring enough
    “And the way you get her to take the job? You literally sell her”
    “I forgot to mention the scene in which you deliberately lead children into a dark caravan inhabited by a paedophile.” man just remembering those scenes makes me chuckle. i dont get how you didnt find those funny but the moment you didnt you should have stopped playing altogether as it was obvious this game was not for you

    • Focksbot says:

      “somebodys missing a sense of humor?”

      Yeah – the developers.

    • Acorino says:

      John probably would have stopped playing if it weren’t his job to review it.

  21. Dannygeist says:

    I liked the first two games, they had a “this is going somewhere” vibe throughout! But this game… This game was horrendous and irredeemable. I felt it tried to build the story for interesting things, but ended up farting on my face every time. Until the end of course, where I was greeted not by the odorous gas I had accustomed myself to, but by a fully-fledged pile of feces.

    So yes, I didn’t think it was any good and it made me angry and sad :(

  22. Yugie says:

    Hello, long time reader, first time poster. While I feel like I share most of the RPS writers’ views(main reason why i visit this site. Well, that and the pun threads), I loved both of the older Deponia games. Rufus was always a horrible person and I never imagined there would be a moment where he actually become halfway decent after the first game. I always thought that was an interesting part of the story. As for the accusations of racism and sexism, it always felt to me like it came from Rufus, who is after all, a terrible person overall.

    Perhaps Goodbye Deponia is truly as crass as you say and will leave me disgusted, but the last 2 weren’t so bad. Guess what I’m saying is even if that review did put you off perhaps give the first Deponia a try before writing it off. It’s on the Humble Bundle Weekly sale right now after all.

    • yonsito says:

      Very interesting how opinions differ at times. I thought the first two games were hillarious. I even liked the protagonist.
      I think the games are a bit of a German’s idea of British humour.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      I think the issue is that if the game doesn’t react against the character, it’d seem like it was agreeing with what they said. A bit like if Breaking Bad had Walter White succeeding and retiring wealthy and happy, or if Downfall ended with Hitler taking his life to patriotic music and saluting guards. Antiheroes are fine, but the story has to emphasise the ‘anti’ part otherwise they just become a ‘hero for dicks’.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        Like I said above, the first game was REALLY good at reacting to how horrible a person Rufus was. Sadly that was almost completely dropped as of the second and it doesn’t sound like it factors at all into the 3rd.

        I really suspect the offensive bits are intended as satire, but unfortunately Daedalic doesn’t know how to do proper satire.

    • TheTingler says:

      I hated Deponia but I admit I didn’t see anything offensive about it. Goodbye Deponia on the other hand I thought was a slightly better game but massively more offensive. I didn’t even acknowledge the colour of the “monkey girl”‘s skin when I played it – Rufus sells a girl into slavery and she’s forced to dance basically-naked for money (money which doesn’t exist incidentally because Rufus stole it all).

  23. RiffRaff says:

    Beautifully drawn, poor to average puzzles, and characters that range from annoying to outright offensive?

    yep that’s a Daedalic game.

  24. A Dangerous Sloth says:

    It sounds like the average South Park episode to me

  25. vecordae says:

    I find this game to be offensive.

    Is that because I’m a bleeding heart liberal namby-pamby who is looking to be offended and annoyed? Not really. I’m just an old man who figured out if the punchline is “because he’s black!” or “She’s a woman!” or “Hes’ from France!” or something similar, it says something rather unpleasant about the teller of the joke. It says that “I find being black, being a woman, being French to be an inherently scorn-worthy trait.”

    And that’s it, really. I get to define the limits of what I, personally, find acceptable. If something crosses those lines, I have the right to voice my disapproval. I don’t have to justify that disapproval and no one else gets to tell me that I am wrong for feeling it. That’s just how grown ups act.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      Well said.

    • harbinger says:

      Unfortunately there will be a lot of people in this latest uptight “social justice” debate that won’t even understand the point he is trying to make.

      “I get to define the limits of what I, personally, find acceptable. If something crosses those lines, I have the right to voice my disapproval. I don’t have to justify that disapproval and no one else gets to tell me that I am wrong for feeling it. That’s just how grown ups act.”

      And that’s fine, nobody can forbid you from finding something acceptable or unacceptable or from being “offended” about something and you can show your disapproval. Nobody can force you to go watch a specific comedian or movie or play a specific game either.

      The problem is when you try to inject your opinion onto everybody else, claiming that you have the moral authority and tell them that they have to feel the same way or they are horrible people or use all of the “sexism”/”misogyny!”/”racism” shtick to label the studio or the people that worked on the game in the hope that they will feel shamed enough to “change”. That’s where we get a problem and that’s not how grown ups should act.

      Here’s an interview with a female game developer, who also worked on Deponia by the way on some of these “issues”: http://johncraft.tumblr.com/post/48796972563/english-translation-of-poly-morphs-view-on-feminism-in

      • vecordae says:

        You’ll notice I didn’t do any of those things. I said this is what I find acceptable. Not what was objectively right or wrong or moral or just. The guys working on Deponia have every right to make stupid, crass, racist, sexist jokes. You have every right to enjoy them. People have the right to think that being different is synonymous with being lesser. I did not say they didn’t. I’ve not advocated taking away anyone’s rights.

        Very simply, people have the power to say what they will, but they are not entitled to an audience. It doesn’t exempt them from criticism or disapproval. They can say whatever they wish, I’m not obligated to enjoy or support it. Unless your stating that I do, I really don’t understand why you’re arguing with me.

        • Horg says:

          ”I really don’t understand why you’re arguing with me.”

          Harbinger was one of many who, after the Penny Arcade post a few months ago, pledged to never read or post on RPS again. He’s still here. That should indirectly answer your question.

          • harbinger says:

            I was? It’s much too much fun to stick around and watch them destroy themselves and comment upon the increasing hypocrisy, surely you have a quote for that?

          • Horg says:

            You are blocked, fyi.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            “surely you have a quote for that?”

            I do, here goes:

            “It’s spelt hypocrisy”

            EDIT: For clarity, he’s corrected his spelling, he originally spelt it Hipocracy.

          • harbinger says:

            “You are blocked, fyi.”
            I’ll wear it proudly like a badge of honor coming from someone like you, not sure why you would point it out though?

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            Every time I see a blocked post by harbinger, I imagine it hides a GIF (like the peanut butter) of Q-bert emitting squiggly punctuation.

        • TheTingler says:

          What about the fact that the jokes aren’t funny?

    • pokinsson says:

      As the mentioned teller of the joke I can assure you that this wasn’t the punchline intended. Most of the humor of Deponia is supposed to unfold by reflecting about you relating to Rufus’ goals while being confronted with the unrelateable effects he is causing trying to achieve them. The punchline is: He is too ignorant to see these effects, you are not. So playing him you are constantly in a field of tension, wanting him to fail and not fail at the same time.

      I should also mention that I usually don’t engage in forum discussiuons. If you didn’t like the game I won’t be able to change that by explaining my intentions to you. I’m just astonished that in this thread there seems to be an unprecedented degree of agreement on the assumption that Deponia does not hit the mark. It makes me a little sad of course. I always thought that taking this risk of telling unusual stories is the price that I have to pay to add value to your experience playing the game rather than taking away something from it.

      Now to “that scene”:
      I thought a lot about the sequence centering around June. If anything, there is an anti-racist statement in the setup of this puzzle. Rufus’ ability to inflict mayhem on innocent bystanders is completely colourblind. In fact nobody in this forum managed to see that Rufus does the very same thing to Goon, the white boyfriend of June, “selling” him to the burrito lady in a parallel puzzle just one level above. Nobody complained about his fate. So what do you imply here? Is it okay for white people to suffer under Rufus’ failures but not for coloured people? Do you think they should be treated differently? When I showed a first version of that chapter to my team some first felt the same way like you. Somebody even mentioned that we should maybe change her colour. I was offended by that thought. Because that would have been racist.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        This is quite naive. You can’t ignore the context of history and claim that the situations are the same, or will be perceived the same way, or that the viewers who don’t perceive them the same way are being racist.

        That said, it’s still an interesting observation.

        • pokinsson says:

          It’s a very naive approach, I’ll give you that.
          I just hope that you appreciate my intentions.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        But you don’t deny that the only two black people in the game end up as slaves and have to dance like monkeys to a white organ grinder? And I’m racist because I noticed that?

        Perhaps your team, over whom you have power, sometimes say yes to you when they really think no.

        • pokinsson says:

          The ape is not black, I never thought of him like that and having written him I should know. He is just an ill-tempered guy that happens to look like an ape. And June is depicted as a positive character. She reflects about her situation. Neither the game nor Rufus is making fun of her. In contrary: It encourages you to feel uncomfortable and guilty to have initiated this chain of events that led to her being in that situation.

      • Acorino says:

        Symbols (as in words or pictures) have meaning. We as a society more or less agree what meaning we inhabit them with. A certain swimming bath called “Kristall” thought it to be a good idea to call an event it was hosting “Kristall Nacht”. Obviously, irrelevant of intentions, it was not, since the name of the event is also an euphemism for Progromnacht, the night of the 9th November 1938 in which nazis destroyed and burnt down buildings owned by jews, that was spread by the ministry for propaganda of the Third Reich.
        Similarly: if you portray a black woman as an ape and as being sold into slavery, you inevitably bring the long history of oppression of black people along with it, of black people being ridiculed and regarded as lesser human beings. Maybe, if you were a good writer, you would know how to use such an inherent racist image as part of an harrowing depiction of racism while criticizing racism at the same time. But apparently you didn’t manage that. You played with fire and got burned.

      • Taharqa says:

        Your defense is utterly absurd. Basically you are saying that your first impulse when creating a character who would be a slave AND act like a monkey was to create a black character and when one of your staff suggested changing the color of the person, you considered that to be the racist moment.

        In general, I think when a writer needs to explain what they meant, things have already gone horribly wrong. You created a juvenile game full of juvenile humor and your response to valid criticism is equally juvenile (“I am not the racist, you are the racist”).

        • pokinsson says:

          The topic of slavery is not describing the situation at all. June chooses to take the job to earn back an item she needs to rejoin with her boyfriend. She states that Rufus has “sold her” because he gets her first salary as a provision. She isn’t forced to take the job. As I repeatedly said, the whole point of this scene is to make Rufus (and the player) uncomfortable. To reflect on the topic of responsibility…. I understand you’re allready feeling uncomfortable with this scene. Well done. Why not try to jump to the “reflection” part?

      • John Walker says:

        I find this rationale absolutely astonishing. No, of course the two don’t directly compare.

        One involves yet another of your vile female characters, because women are either bitter, mentally ill or monsters in these games, using mind control over a man for no discernible reason. The other involves forcing a black woman to dance like a monkey while a crowd of white people jeer at her. How can you possibly believe one compares to the other? Although both appear to be deeply rooted in offensive bigotry, certainly.

        As far as I can tell your argument is, “I was being anti-racist by putting something abysmally racist into my game.” Presumably the Golden Dawn is a big anti-racism campaign that we’re all currently horribly misunderstanding?

        • pokinsson says:

          Seriously, John… you’re making no sense. You’re saying something like “putting a cannibal into your game makes you a supporter for cannibalsm”. June is portraied as a positive, amidable but slightly naive character who chooses to ignore the warnings of her boyfriend who is telling her that letting Rufus into her life will most certainly lead to evil. This “evil” is the situation you are talking about.

          And to your point how female characters are portraied in the game: the world of Deponia is inhabited by mostly strange characters, some of them just plain bizarre, some of them stupid, some of them crazy. There is a lot of stupid, crazy or bitter male characters but you are not talking about them. If anything there is a slighltly misballance in favour of female characters, because characters like Goal, Sgt Bambi and “bitter” Toni (btw: since when is being bitter a disrespectful feature for a character?) bear the morale superiority in most arguments.

          Finally: Where did you get “A crowd of white people jeering” from? The audience of Junes dance solely consists of the deposite witch, who finds her show demeaning and states her pitty for the poor girl.

          • Gringos says:

            I was honestly shocked when I read this review, especially after reading the local review of our most prominent and independant games magazine in Germany, Gamestar, who praised this game as “a worthy finish to the trilogy”, “even greater in size, humour and complexity” and “excellent”. At the same time, I immediately questioned my intention to buy the third part of the trilogy because I normally trust RPS.

            John had to be seeing things as he wanted to and not as they are, I told myself. And this seems to have been the case, when I read through this explaination by pokinsson. Trying to get agitated over questionable women in a world full of crazy and flawed characters, let alone making up a crowd of jeering white folk is another level of trying to prove a point. By reducing characters to gender and skin color, taking scenes as shallow when they are not, John made himself a hasty fool in my eyes.

  26. GoateeGamer says:

    This firestorm of misogyny and racism wouldn’t have anything to do with recent rumors of layoffs and bad times at RPS, would they?

    • almostDead says:

      ‘Firestorm’- No just another day on the internet where the clunky permanence of the written word makes conversations between otherwise rational people go silly at the drop of an inconsequential hat.

      And again, no, according to his answer on a reddit thread, LP was not fired for not towing the party line with respect to this issue.

      Try again with the baiting.

      • tormos says:

        Don’t worry, this is neither the first nor the last time that tin foil hat will be donned.

  27. Ketchua says:

    Daedalic are good hired guns – when they have strong creative leadership from outside the studio, like they had on The Whispered World and Night of The Rabbit, they (almost) shine. When they don’t, they make dreadful rubbish like Edna & Harvey and this gem right here.

    • pokinsson says:

      Both games were developed completely internally at Daedalic.

  28. tomimt says:

    Personally I’ve always thought Deadelics biggest problem is the bad character writing. They try to create these likeable looser kind of characters, but they never really have succeeded in that. I’ve found them either to be annoying or bland. Perhaps it really does stem from the “lost in translation” thing. German humour might be a difficult thing to translate, so perhaps there’s even lack of expertise there.

    Though on the same note, one of my favourite comic character is German Nick Knatterton. I’ve always liked the cartoon and the original comic strips that I’ve seen translated were funny.

  29. GigaCosmoShark says:

    RPS does it again!

  30. ChattyWhacker says:

    After finishing the entire trilogy of the Deponia series, I have to agree with this critique to a certain extent. Deponia, Chaos on Deponia, and Goodbye Deponia are all games that are crash, blunt, and despicable on many occasions…and I enjoyed it all in the end. True, the logic in the puzzles often made little to no sense and I often had to do a quick search on google or youtube to understand why I was at such a loss during the game. I also found myself despising Rufus for being such a cruel individual to the different characters you befriend during the series. Still, even with all of that, I in some ways fell in love with the series because of how it assaulted me with it’s juvenile dark humor. Even though it disgusted me, it made me want to find out the final resolve to the story. It made me want to get Goal back to her home no matter what. Still, I don’t disagree with anyone who would say that this is a bad game. It has a lot of negative qualities but I found myself enjoying it because of how wrong it felt.

    • mr.black says:

      I’d say (and I’ve written a bloody essay about it down below :rolls eyes:) a Simpsons effect. In the begining, all those years ago some Simpson characters (and Cartman, truth be told) were to me utterly obnoxious when I saw some first episodes of the show and I thought they’ll be a fad ranging at most to 3 seasons and then disappear. And later they got to me, I developed an emotional bond to them and started to like them. All their character flaws withstanding.. same with Deponia.

  31. imhotep says:

    I never noticed any particular sexism. Rufus’ nagging ex-girlfriend is displayed as generally superior to him (and she isn’t ugly) and Goal is not more sexist or less ironic than, say, Turanga Leela. But I also never noticed John Walker to pick up on finer distinctions if it doesn’t suit his diatribe. This is not restricted to this question, but generally to the assertion of the “bad humour” as opposed to more decent and amusing humour of any mildly ironic English game.

    • Halfgild Wynac says:

      Believe it or not, I didn’t even noticed that a person mistaken for a monkey was black. For me that was just a guy with large ears who kinda looks like a mokey. Then you offer his employer, the organ grinder, a banana, and the guy (the organ grinder, surprisingly) hops away like a gorilla. NOw, who is the monkey? OK, wasn’t much fun in game, but being black, brown or asian was inferior to a guy just having an ugly face and huge ears. The fact a girl above was black also was completely missed on me. Well, now that you say I recall she was black indeed :).

      It amazes me how many offensive jokes people sometimes find where there are just the unfunny ones. I suppose I already gave up in the first game at the point I saw baddies with mechanical beards. Still investigating how THAT was supposed to be funny – maybe, something lost in translation.

      Generally it is not a good idea to just have an urge to make a humorous game and start doing it (which did backfire with ‘Cargo’). It is quite hard to make jokes funny (and don’t overdo it) without much experience. For me… Deponia was an attempt, much like Psychonauts, to make an “intrinsically funny” game by making an absurdly weird world and spicing it up with jokes. Psychonauts, however, did this right, and when I think about it, there weren’t THAT many puns there. Just a lot of lunatics with personal quirks, yet taking themselves seriously. And, rarely – a joke. Deponia, IMO, tries too hard in the jokes department. Actually, I think the best moments were in the second game, with three Goals and a rebel leader speaking with a strange accent. Maybe a bit cliche, but that gave the characters involved certain contrasting features so that mere interactions were likely to produce jokes naturally. Unfortunately, in the rest of the trilogy the writers just come up with bland humour out of nowhere.

  32. John Walker says:

    Obviously some of people posting here are the regular trolls, and we’ll all live longer, happier lives for ignoring them. But others are asking genuine questions, so I’ll try to explain myself a bit better.

    I do not take issue with offensive humour, whether the goal is either to ridicule the offender, or indeed when the purpose is sheer shock value, without genuine bigotry behind it. (Although I recognise that this is a subject requiring lots of discussion, and I enjoy my shock from the vantage of a straight, white man.) For this reason I enjoy being horrified at Family Guy’s excesses. Sometimes it goes further than my tastes, and I take no issue with that. Things are allowed to be offensive, and I’ve no right to not be offended.

    (As an aside, conflating South Park with Family Guy and its ilk seems odd. South Park is puritanical and prudish in the extreme, outside of fart jokes, more often taking conservative positions over liberal. While I frequently disagree with its arguments, I also enjoy it a lot too.)

    This is not what I feel is on offer in Goodbye Deponia. My experience of it was that it was not outrageously racist or sexist to bait or provoke, nor trying to get laughs from shock value. If only that much thought had gone into it. Instead, to me it was seemingly beginning with what I perceived to be bigoted thoughts, rather than exploring them. Think of the difference between Family Guy playing off a racial stereotype to create gasps, and someone telling racist joke because he thinks it’s funny in and of itself, and then wondering why no one else laughed.

    That it’s a black person who’s mistaken for a monkey didn’t come across as intended as a shock joke. It just seems to be taken as a thing that might reasonably happen, none of the game’s characters surprised or disturbed by it. That you then are required to trick the only other black character in the game into performing as a monkey again isn’t done for shock. It feels like it’s done either out of abject stupidity in not having thought about the decades of wretched racism it invokes, or as a genuinely held belief that black people are no better than monkeys. I still cannot believe that these would be the values of Daedalic, and as such assume the former. But to be so crass, so stupid, and to fail to recognise the atrocities such a portrayal recalls, is horrendous. I repeat, it just doesn’t come across as a shock joke. Her race isn’t even mentioned. You just find yourself staring at a scene in which a black woman is forced to strip down to minimal clothing and dance, while white onlookers jeer at her to dance and call her a monkey. I still cannot believe it happened, and more cannot believe some other reviews ignored it. (Although I’d wager in some cases this may be because the game is incredibly long, and this occurs very near the end. It’s not always possible to finish a game before reviewing it.)

    Regarding the misogyny, this falls into two camps, and I could have been clearer in the review. There is certainly that which comes from Rufus, who is written as a nasty, stupid and ignorant arsehole. This accounts for endless tedious jibes about periods, PMT, and women being lesser than men. Yes, it’s his character, and it’s key to portraying him as the shit the game wanted him to be. So two things. 1) playing as that guy for three games in a row is deeply wearying, and the joke, weakly and dull as it begins, becomes a real chore to sit through. 2) Rufus doesn’t meet meaningful condemnations for these views at any point, and the writers chose to write his endless boring sexist shit. There is no take home message I could find other than that these views are considered to be hilarious in their own right. They’re welcome to write that. I’m welcome to criticise it.

    However, where I believe it becomes misogynistic is outside of Rufus, and as a game in total. This is a game where women are only weak, vulnerable, spiteful, stupid, vile or severely mentally ill. It’s not about Rufus’s interpretation or treatment of them, but simply how they’re written in their own right. Then Goal, who it seems they might have thought was the exception, becomes the most insidious of them all. From hell yes, the name, to how she is an unconscious object whose ownership is fought over in the first game, to her personality split in the second (baby, bitch and bitch), and then her inexplicable infatuation with the revolting Rufus in the third, she is the embodiment of some disturbingly twisted perceptions of women.

    I don’t care about the dreary “hur hur sounds good, I think I’ll play this” trolls. But I do hope this explains why this isn’t some “SRA”* sense of humour failure, but rather the calling out of something I found genuinely gross. The writers may well be horrified by my interpretation, and I strongly welcome their response if so.

    For the hard of thinking, no, I’m not calling for it to be banned. Because I’m not INSANE. I am, however, as entitled to condemn it as someone is to create it.

    And I want to absolutely distance myself from the imagined inference that some have suggested that I believe any of these issues are because the developers are German. Oddly enough I’m not employing sweeping stereotypes and xenophobia in my condemning of sweeping stereotypes and xenophobia. Who’d of thunk it.

    *By the way, being called a “social rights activist” is about as ineffective as an insult can get! Damn right I am.

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      I wish you wouldn’t call people with a different sense of humour to you “trolls”. You’re entitled to your opinion just as much others are to hold ones different to yours. Calling them trolls implies they are just pretending to have a different view to be funny, which probably isn’t the case.

      • John Walker says:

        I really don’t know how I could have been more clear, so I can only assume you’re deliberately ignoring what I wrote. Some people *are* trolls. Boringly familiar trolls. See immediately below (although I genuinely can’t figure out what way the insult is supposed to work.) Others are not, and disagreed with me, so I elaborated on my arguments in response.

        • WrenBoy says:

          For what its worth the review itself was very clear, the misogyny reasonably explained and the monkey scene was so blatant that any reviewer not mentioning it should be at the very least feeling embarrassed.

          The reason I am replying to you though is to remind you how the comment system works on your website. Posts immediately beneath you change over time ;)

    • Sharza says:

      Thank you for your evaluation. I would love to be able to say more about the game itself but I haven’t played the game. Neither in German nor in English. I also haven’t played any of its predecessors. I really want to comment on this though:

      “And I want to absolutely distance myself from the imagined inference that some have suggested that I believe any of these issues are because the developers are German.”

      I’m not sure if there was a misunderstanding there or not, maybe it’s not my place to talk about this anyway, but I think you might be referring to kwyjibo’s comment where he writes:

      “Just in case you thought the game wasn’t funny because it’s German, let Stewart Lee put those lazy stereotypes aside”

      If so there may simply be a misunderstanding because I read his comment as:

      “Just in case you thought the game wasn’t funny because the English have a different kind of humor than the Germans and our directness is sometimes being misunderstood, here is an article that elaborates on German humor.”

      I don’t think he insinuates that you think it is bad humor because it is German and thus that you are thinking in stereotypes. But maybe it would be best if he/she clarified that themselves. And maybe I’m just jumping to quick conclusions (if so, sorry).

      One thing that is important to me, personally, is that I would distance myself greatly from a title that treats stereotypes in a way as you discribe, John. My own comment was simply referring to the, by aforementioned user kwyjibo linked article, which I enjoyed a lot.

    • kalirion says:

      “(As an aside, conflating South Park with Family Guy and its ilk seems odd. South Park is puritanical and prudish in the extreme, outside of fart jokes, more often taking conservative positions over liberal. While I frequently disagree with its arguments, I also enjoy it a lot too.)”

      Wait, what? I missed the last 3 or 4 seasons of South Park, but has it really changed that much?

      • Consumatopia says:

        I have no idea what he means by prudish, I’m not sure how much more blasphemy and gross-out sex humor you can ask for on a basic cable show.

        It is true though that SP has a more right-leaning perspective than FG. They both mock all sides, but you can tell where their sympathies lie. In South Park’s America, the biggest problem seems to be hyper-sensitive politically correct would-be do-gooders. It’s a strange perspective to say the least–watching it always feels like a strange throwback to the Clinton-era, between the Cold War and the War on Terror, with a booming economy, a tight labor market, a tech sector that was basically promising us the singularity at any moment and political thinkers promising the “End of History”–the universal triumph of markets and democracy across the globe. Maybe in times like that, whiny activists and egotistical film stars really looked like the worst problems in the world. But it feels strange now.

    • tsff22 says:

      What about Toni? Based on what I’ve played of the first game, she seemed to be the only character thus far who isn’t insane/a jerk/stupid/etc.

      • John Walker says:

        Her only defining characteristic is that she’s bitter and angry.

        • pokinsson says:

          It’s not. Underneath her loathing of Rufus she is still supporting him. You can tell by the development of all the other supporting characters how people change in Rufus’ vicinity. It’s like a natural process. And how she fights with him shows a lot more affection than it shows on the hard shell one has to develop living with rufus. In the end she rescues his life when Rufus’ and Seagulls’ philosophies go into clinch. She’s a complex character.

          • Acorino says:

            Shouldn’t your work be sufficient to tell us that?

          • pokinsson says:

            You’re right. I’m just confused because this thread reads as if nobody has actually played the game and is just commenting on the article of John, who obiviously has started the game on the wrong foot. The reactions here are completely different from anything else I have read about my game.

      • Mr. Mister says:

        Making her go insane is a plot point.

        And convincing his poor terapist to recept her a suicide rope too.

    • Nick says:

      “South Park is puritanical and prudish in the extreme”

      I really don’t understand this statement. At all. I mean, this is a show where a man won a whore contest by inserting Paris Hilton up his anus.

    • boats says:

      “1) playing as that guy for three games in a row is deeply wearying, and the joke, weakly and dull as it begins, becomes a real chore to sit through. 2) Rufus doesn’t meet meaningful condemnations for these views at any point, and the writers chose to write his endless boring sexist shit. There is no take home message I could find other than that these views are considered to be hilarious in their own right.”

      Sounds like Cartman.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      It never crossed my mind that the “monkey” was black. He looks more arabic, but leaving that aside, he proceeds to imply that he’s worked as a pharmacs test subject, which completely justified his (actual) monkey resemblance.

      And yet, the final joke was that it was his partner, the completely white and beefy guy, who ended up jumping grabbing a banana and ewscaping via tubevines like a monkey, and not him.

      I didn’t give much thought to the fact that then you talked the black women into slavery. I mean, I had already separated her from her love (and had him brainwashed by a parasite), so that wasn’t the worse thing Rufus did to her. As to why I found it funny anyway… well, I found it funny because I sure wasn’t expecting to do that in the game.

      Sometimes, it’s better to forget for a moment that the game has been written by, well, writers: Not only did Rufus sell someone to (virtual) slavery, but he managed to do it in the most offensive way possible, and without vile intent. I found that quite funny.

  33. NoThankYou says:

    “and the female lead – Goal – improbably falls in love with the revolting main character despite every dreadful thing he’s done and said.”

    Must hit a bit close to home, huh, John.

  34. mr.black says:

    Well I, for one, understand from whence the arguments come, but I personally don’t agree with John’s assessment. I think most of it comes to the question – are you the main hero, or the Puppetmaster?
    Rufus is despicable, dumb, mysogenic, self absorbed, petty little jerk who can’t for the life of him (and whole of his planet, actually) turn away from pushing his ego to the stars and beyond, and still in the end has manages to have just a fraction of change of heart (seeing finale of the game, I don’t see how can the claim he didn’t change hold water…). But all in all in that process he angers, hurts, ignores or plainly screws with anyone who enters toxic radius of his nega-influence. And you know who else has a similar description? Homer Simpson!
    The question is do we want to be Rufus (or Homer)? Do we want, and how much, to identify with those characters, or do we want to see them funnilly get hurt guided by our ghostly Hand, or mouse cursor. (A point even more clearly signaled in some of Rufus’ 4th wall breaking comments when he doesn’t want to do something we point him to do.) We’re not Rufus and we don’t have to be. We are supposed to laugh at him, not with him!
    Will Homer ever be smart? Apart from some special halloween episode, not likely. And why does he do such a poor job as security technician in the plant – he’ll endanger lots of people and he doesn’t care at all! But (let’s for the purpose of this discussion ignore recent (last 7 years, as I’m concerned) decline in quality of the series) Homer has still got lots of people loving him as a character, quoting his quips, printing his T-shirts. Why would Homer be better than Rufus? Why don’t we demand Homer to be better husband and father, but take offense in Rufus’ egocentrism?
    Viewing the story as a sort of Simpsons+Futurama-on-a-dump-planet made me forget all the bad accusations and enjoy the overall hilarity of it all. I think most of the humor is subversive. Something which Rufus finds funny doesn’t have to be funny to us. Something which Rufus does we don’t have to approve. It’s Rufus, he is as he is and is true to the form and wanting more of him is missing the point, imo. Like that notorious scene with paedophile. Rufus is utterly oblivious to the danger (something which is actually explained in-canon in this game), goes into paedo’s shack to play with “furry little animals” and actually manages to hurt paedophile badly with his utter lack of care for other people and/or creatures. He is just – equally destructive to everyone and everything. No one is safe with him around. The closer you get to him, the more you’re screwed. He’s an uncontrollable maelstrom. He’s above and beyond standard human notions and scales of ethics and morality. He’s indestructible. He’s unstoppable. He’s an otherworldly figure.
    He’s a classic cartoon character.
    ..In largely straight, down to earth world.
    So no, I wasn’t offended by his actions and implied vile stuff. And in that process I managed to establish an emotional bond with him and managed to utterly enjoy the game. Many of John’s objections tend to disappear when viewed like that – the puzzles for me weren’t obfuscated and unclear – I just had to find the best way for Rufus to do the dumbest thing possible and the action would quickly get going. I had more problems in the (more straightforward) beginning phase of the game, cause I wasn’t fully immersed in the logic of the world.
    The music is (yet again) awesome. The graphic still top notch hand drawn, colorful and rich in detail. There are no technical problems – Daedalic honed its skill in the mean time. And yeah, I admit, the settings and characters have just gotten under my skin in these three parts.
    (tl,dr:) All in all, if you’re bothered, I can understand why you’d skip the series, but if that doesn’t pose a problem, do give it a chance, there a hell of a game apart from those few crass jokes!
    PS: Sorry for the space and all your base… effect!

    • maximiZe says:

      This is a really important point, not only regarding the Deponia series but how videogames are digested in general. In my (anecdotal) experience many players, be they reviewers, random forum posters or real friends, seem to default to the “I am the protagonist” POV – this becomes a problem as soon as you’re not given options to substantially influence the game’s narrative elements, which is actually true for the majority of them. If you’re not playing one of the few RPGs that get player agency right, i.e. aren’t glorified choose-your-own-adventure books, chances are, when it comes to the narrative, that you’re the puppetmaster. I really like that picture.

      The brilliant Spec Ops: The Line also had this misguided point of criticism levelled at it countless times, and it completely vanishes as soon as you realize that you’re not meant to be Walker.

      • John Walker says:

        You could also assume, based on my having directly stated it, that I’m entirely aware of this. Which is why I made two points regarding it. Firstly, the issues also exist in the wider game portrayed outside of Rufus’s perspective, and it was these that I most strongly condemned. And secondly, playing as such an overtly unpleasant, unlikeable and irredeemable character can be a wearying and unpleasant experience. That they did it on purpose, and of course they did, doesn’t mean it’s immune from criticism.

        • NoThankYou says:

          Literature and film are brimming with irredeemable and unlikeable protagonists. Brushing this off as a fault of the narrative comes off as both petty and childish.

          • Nevard says:

            The fact that other unlikeable characters exist doesn’t mean that some aren’t more grating and tedious than others and I am not quite sure why you think that makes the concept immune from criticism either. Surely the thing closer to what a child would do would be to just tacitly accept something because a lot of other people have done it, rather than question in?

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            If by “brimming” you mean they’re a small minority. Literature is full of flawed or tragic protagonists who are nonetheless meant to be sympathetic on some level, not intensely unlikeable ones. Macbeth may be an awful person, but we certainly don’t spend the whole play being disgusted with his every action.

          • The Random One says:

            You can have an irredemeable and unlikeable protagonist, but the story needs to be interesting despite that. You either need to portray that character in such a way that the audience will find a way to sympathize with their horrible ideas, or tell the story in such a way that it’s disconnected from such a protagonist’s viewpoint, so that we cheer when they are hurt and we frown when they are succesful. The problem with this game, I infer, isn’t so much that the protagonist is irredemeable and unlikeable, but that the game’s narration is.

          • Colej_uk says:

            It’s an interesting point. Scorsese’s films for example rarely feature likeable main characters.

            But I think there is quite a difference between film and games here. We as the audience don’t control Travis Bickle or Jake la Motta, where as in games we have at least some input in the main character’s actions.

            It doesn’t matter if the game presents us with a character who isn’t supposed to ‘be’ the player if it’s us controlling the character’s actions. Just by the interactive nature of videogames, our gameplay decisions become those of the character’s and a connection is forged though that. If you talk about/watch someone play a game, the gameplay character is always referred to as ‘me’ or ‘I’, and not the character’s name or ‘they’. If I’m playing Max Payne and soak up too many bullets, I don’t say “Max Payne died”, I say “I died”. That’s the connection being illustrated right there.

            This is why I think in games, unlike film, an unlikable lead character can be a problem to a lot of us.

          • Jack Mack says:

            The crucial thing is that the irredeemable and unlikable protagonist must be fun to hang around with. Even Humbert Humbet is an entertaining guy.

          • NoThankYou says:

            @Colej_uk
            While your logic applies to RPGs and to some extent, shooters where the protagonist has no voice or personality, such as Half-Life, many, many games put a very clearly boundary between the thoughts, actions and motivations of protagonist that separate them from the player controlling them. A fine example of this would be Walker from Spec Ops: The Line who’s actions and delusions are not something the player has any agency over. When you murder hundreds with white phosphorous or mow down legions of soldiers coming to your aid, it is nothing you have any control over.

            @The Random One
            That simply isn’t true. There are many pieces of fiction that place you right at the heart of an unlikeable character, allowing you to peer into the mind of the protagonist as the ugliness unfolds. American Psycho is a film that comes to mind. The viewer comes to know Patrick Bateman intimately, down to his innermost thoughts, but the narrative makes no attempt to paint him as anything less of the philandering sociopathic killer which he is.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Spec Ops: The Line is a terrible example. If you really don’t want the player to have any control over it, then make the white phosphorus bit into a cut scene. Don’t set up arbitrary mechanics (infinite waves of soldiers) that make it impossible for the world to “progress” without the player pulling the trigger. Yeah, then it wouldn’t be as SHOCKING (yawn) but it also wouldn’t be as stupid.

            In real life, if you decide not to commit a war crime, even if you get killed because of that choice, the world keeps on turning without you. In a single player video game, the simulation and narrative simply end. The player could say to themselves “well, I wouldn’t do this, but I paid $60 bucks for this and I want to see what happens and these people are all imaginary anyway”. It’s a cheap, dishonest mechanic for making the player take responsibility for the writer’s decisions. And you know what? This book did it better.

            Screw White Phosphorus. Screw No Russian.

          • NoThankYou says:

            @Consumatopia
            I’m struggling to see what any of this has to do with my point. I see you have an ax to grind in regard to these types of scenarios in video games, but this doesn’t really seem like the place for it.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Okay, let me try again. Read what Walt Williams, the writer of that game said in an RPS interview:

            http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/04/11/spec-ops-fc3-writers-on-art-treating-players-intelligently/

            That was something I brought up a lot when we were doing PR after the game came out. There comes a point in the game where the ultimate real choice of any video game is not the choice that we’ve given you in the game. It’s the choice of, “Do I want to play a game where I do these things, or do I not like to play that?” Turning off the game is a valid player choice. Some people got what I was saying. Some people did not. Some people said, “What are you talking about? What’s the point if I just stopped playing?”

            But it’s about looking at what you’re comfortable with doing and realizing that you’re simulating truly terrible acts. Even though they are simulated, even though they are not in the world that we are in, you are still choosing to do them over and over. Admitting to yourself that you’re not comfortable with that and that’s okay to be not comfortable with that. I don’t have to do this if I don’t want to. Totally valid, and it’s something that we need to begin accepting as valid.

            Under this logic, if you don’t want to be Walker, you shouldn’t play Spec Ops: The Line. The game’s indictment of Walker is intended to be an indictment of the player–you did terrible things in the simulation so that you could see the end of it–just like I as a toddler traumatized poor Grover so I could see the end of the book.

            It’s precisely the wrong example to invoke if you want to defend flawed protagonists in games.

          • NoThankYou says:

            @Consumatopia
            That’s a load of pretentious “meta” nonsense. The exact reasoning of why Spec Ops: The Line’s message fails so spectacularly is because there is such a stark disconnect between the player and Walker. Walker is a clearly defined character with his own feelings, actions, personality and delusions Saying “You could turn the game off!” is not a valid excuse for a lack of player agency. It is like saying (using American Psycho as an example once more) you had a choice to turn off the film at any point after Bateman started murdering people, you monster!

          • Consumatopia says:

            It might be meta nonsense, but it’s directly written into the story “None of this would’ve happened if you just stopped. …The truth, Walker, is that you’re here because you wanted to feel like something you’re not: A hero.”

            We might be misunderstanding each other, it seemed to me like you were holding Spec Ops up as a positive example.

        • pokinsson says:

          I like the comparison to Spec Ops: The Line. Just like Deponia, that game was celebrated in europe while it failed to hit a majority of the US audience. Is it possible that there is some kind of taboo, that you feel uncomfortable being faced with a character that thinks of himself as the hero when in fact he isn’t?

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            I think it’s fine to have characters who believe themselves the hero when they are not. I don’t think there’s any *taboo* about it either.

            I think the reaction you’re seeing is that it’s tedious to have an unlikeable, unfunny character take up center stage for a series of games. A character that you like despite knowing you shouldn’t — that’s genius. A character who abuses your trust, or one who tells you exactly how awful they are, but yet then gets you to forgive them and then shows what a fool you are for doing so. Those are narrative fascination.

            A character who’s just a jerk, and not interesting? Pass.

          • pokinsson says:

            My theory was based on the observation that half the world, including me, does indeed think that Rufus is a hilarious character. It’s not about being wrong or right. I was merely pondering over possible reasons for this gap.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Half the world? Maybe you mean half of your observable world, which does not represent the full gamut of the human race.

          • pokinsson says:

            Of course I mean half of the people who have played the Deponia series, which is still far from the 1 million mark. My observation is based on a statiscal approximation, having read over 50 reviews, as many blogs and thousands of commentaries. Nowhere in the internet you will find such a density of negative comentaries by people who have actually played the game than here. That is why I joined the discussion.

          • Acorino says:

            .

    • derbefrier says:

      Interesting. After reading this the only conclusion I can draw is that some people cannot seperate themselves from the main prtotagonist or compartmentalize things to seperate them from reality. It also probably depends on the subject. We can all seperate from the fact in most games were practiclly mass murders but on more touchy subjects we balk of the idea. Such as our character might be a bit racist, or not have the greatest respect for women. Its like my mom not being able to watch breaking bad because of how horrbile some of the characters are. Is it the same reaction here? And if so is that reaction multiplied because in a game because we tend to see ourselves as the main characterso we feel it on a more personal level? If so should developers take this into consiferation when designing a main character like this guy? Interesting questions I have no idea how to answer.

      • pokinsson says:

        Rufus is not racist at all. He is just a sociopathic troublemaker. He involuntarily throws an amidable female coloured character called June into a nightmarish situation – and yes: this nightmare conjures both sexual and racist connotations, to emphasize the degree of harm our protagonist has done to her. It is supposed to make you uncomfortable, feel guilty and ashamed – even sociopathic Rufus is showing that he knows that he has trodden over a line here (though he wouldn’t admit to her). There is neither a racist character nor is this scene propagating a racist view. It is just the most nightmarish situation for poor June I could come up with.

  35. googoogjoob says:

    “I’ve yet to play their latest release, Journey Of A Roach,” I think it’s important to note that Daedalic just published Journey of a Roach, rather than developing it, so hopefully it is devoid of all the scumminess.

    • kalirion says:

      From the little time I’ve spent so far with Journey of a Roach, it actually reminds me a bit of Machinarium. Maybe it’s the whole word bubbles containing pictures instead of words thing.

  36. Gwilym says:

    My attempt to add to the discussion ended up morphing into this. I think it was inevitable; this stuff seems to be happening more and more and it’s been building up inside me. Rail against any form of idiotic bigotry and your condemnation gets parsed as personal offence, which gets parsed as personal weakness. It doesn’t make any sense.

    For my part, I think the total opposite is true. This sort of uncynical honesty is the entire reason I read RPS. The games media (well, any media) loves parroting the zeitgeist, and on the rare occasion that it tackles anything problematic, it tiptoes around the issues and pulls punches in a way that [sentence abandoned due to mixed metaphors]. But I see so many people writing as if RPS were some kind of angry radicalised activist site, when it’s all just common sense and common decency. I’m sure the minimising behaviour shown elsewhere is a big part of why.

  37. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    In short, seems like the humour and the writing is shit.

  38. PampleMoose says:

    On a tangentially related side note – Google Translate, when working from German to English, seems to translate Deponia as ‘Mass Effect’. Any reason why that should be the case?

    • His Divine Shadow says:

      the way google translate works is actually quite interesting. apparently they don’t have any explicit semantic analysis, instead they just run massive amounts of pre-translated texts through a special pattern-detecting algorithm, and it figures out the matching ‘rules’ itself. so i guess it found that in some pre-translated pair ‘deponia’ corresponded to ‘mass effect’, and it stuck. at some point it was translating ‘crysis 3′ as ‘battlefield 3′, but looks like they fixed that.

  39. Sarah83 says:

    Hmm. On the one hand I agree that Deponia is a pretty bad adventure game series, that Rufus is unlikeable, and that a lot of what’s going on in the game is in bad taste. On the other hand I do believe Carsten that they are actually thinking they were doing the same as LucasArts did with Monkey Island when they were obviously not.

    I guess what bothers me a bit though is that RPS and especially John seem to only care about what could be considered offensive in any given game these days, and it won’t stop until every game is “politically correct”, probably meaning it features a female lead and all men are shown as week idiots or something.

    Don’t get me wrong, the discussion about sexism in video games and the video game industry in general has been long overdue but, personally, I find it annoying that almost everything is offensive to someone these days and games (as well as films) are supposed to be as “clean” as possible.

    What happens when people start considering shooting other people offensive? The video game industry calls it quits?

    • pokinsson says:

      In the contrary: Monkey Island is a straightforward good vs evil story, while Deponia is not. I think you are not able to enjoy Deponia when you expect Rufus to be a Guybrush Threepwood clone.

      Rufus is a selfish idiot. You’re supposed to question his views. He is just too ignorant to get that he is destined to be the loser – physically and morally – of every single conflict in the game as long as he doesn’t change. And tragically you don’t want him to – because sticking to his goals and being true to himself are the only good character treats he has.

      • dontmakemelaugh says:

        Hi Pokinsson,

        I’m not really sure if this comment will get to you. Trying to reply to your comments, but not really sure how this works.

        Anyway, i’ve read your comments on this thread, and i assume you’re the writer for Deponia?
        I’ve played all three installments and even started on the other games by Daedelic Entertainment because of Deponia. I’m sorry you have to receive lots of harsh comments on your game, and even harsher comments on your job as a writer.

        For what’s it is worth, i really enjoyed Deponia, all three! I’m not much of a gamer, but it really got me into trying out new games. As an asian girl, i didnt find it racist nor sexist. I thought it was funny! as they were meant as jokes, no? And Rufus isn’t suppose to be a role model in the game. You’ll always know he’ll do or say something stupid.

        I disagree with the article, but as many have stated, everyone is entitled to their opinions. I respect that. But i thought you should also hear a positive comment among these negativity too.

        looking forward to your new works! (:

        Sincerely,
        A fan of Deponia.

  40. TheTingler says:

    Thank you John. I was beginning to think I was one of the only reviewers in the world who actually thought the Deponia series was crap and Rufus was one of the most hateful main characters in gaming.

    You also forgot to mention him offhandedly getting at least two small children killed and eaten (which was sad, since before that it was one of the few funny scenes in the game with Rufus having them camp inside a monster’s mouth while accidentally making them ever-more delicious), and the bit that for me shows that Daedalic do not understand how basic jokes work, the electrocution of a child.

    Basically Rufus sets up a trap to electrocute a child to solve a puzzle. The child steps into the trap, flips the switch AS TOLD TO BY RUFUS, and gets electrocuted. As Rainier Wolfcastle once said, “that is the joke”. Basic Jokeology clearly states that the terrible plan here should backfire and Rufus be electrocuted instead, but no – much funnier when something happens exactly as it was supposed to.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      You make it sound like not working like it was supposed to is, in fact, how it was supposed to suppose to work.

      I laughed. I laughed at how influenciable the kid was, and at how mind-blowingly irresponsible Rufus was.

    • pokinsson says:

      Wait … what you are saying is, that this situation was “supposed to backfire” instead of just let it happen “as it was supposed to”? I don’t get it. Was it supposed to backfire or not? Was it supposed to meet your anticipation or to surprise you? Is it just funny when it is played by the rules written in your book of basic jokeology?

      • Sheng-ji says:

        A man pulls on a balaclava, produces an uzi from his black trench-coat pocket, slides in a clip, screws on a silencer and walks into a school. He stalks the corridors gunning down children silently, moving quickly. You can hear screams behind him, faintly. Eventually he walks into a pre school class. He proceeds to murder his own son before fatally wounding the teacher as she tries to wrestle the gun from him. She shits herself as she dies slowly. The man swallows a pill and dies, a smile on his face knowing that he has hurt his cheating wife in a way that she could never get over. At least he thinks she’s cheating.

        This is never going to be funny. Unless you are psychologically damaged.

        A man pulls on a balaclava, produces an uzi from his black trench-coat pocket, slides in a clip, screws on a silencer and walks into a school. He stalks the corridors but a group of school kids skipping class and listening to rap music see him. They all produce guns and and tell him to get off their turf. Kids come running out of every classroom carrying weapons, even the preschooler are waving knives.

        This can be funny. Do you see?

        • Apocalypse says:

          You know what is funny about this?
          It both falls into the psychologically damaged category imo. And that was with you trying to make a real strong and extragated example.

          Btw you seem to have issues with your wife.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            WORD SALAD!

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I’m a straight woman, so I have no wife to have issues with but thanks for making assumptions and stereotyping me on those assumptions, it always helps me to feel welcome in the video game world.

            That aside, I’ve just read you write “I never would have thought that “because you bombed them all” could be taken as offensive at all.” and so I have already decided to disregard anything you have to say on the subject of what makes a good joke. Clock it up to cultural differences or something. The second paragraph is poking fun at people who think all children are packing weapons and are genuinely scared of a group of kids because they read something in the Mail about happy slapping. I was bringing that scenario to life to highlight just how ludicrous it is, juxtaposing it against real life, in which 99.99999% of children are lovely.

            Incidental, why are my Jewish grandparents no longer alive?… Do you see?

          • Apocalypse says:

            “thanks for making assumptions and stereotyping me on those assumptions”. What shall I say? Guilty, I assumed a male and made a joke based on that.

            And indeed, I would have been surprised that someone would take offense about “you bombed them all” in a ‘normal’ context of adults who are young enough to never have known anyone who died in ww2. I am even more surprised about the amount of offense some people seem to take from my surprise alone.

            What surprises me as well, how your second example is not offensive. But maybe that is just my context, with a bad media representation of school violence in the usa and coming from a school were kids shot and stabbed each other, and some others burned themselves alive. I don´t think that using such a stereotype of violence in schools is funny either way.

            I don´t use now the joke a jewish friend of me told me to answer your rhetorical question, because you may become even more mad at me.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            So, you don’t see. That’s OK.

          • Apocalypse says:

            Than please make me see. I may not agree, but I would like to understand at least your frame.

        • Gundrea says:

          “At least he thinks she’s cheating.”

          I was going to say this made it a black comedy but now I realise I’m a racist.

        • Longtime Listener says:

          “This is never going to be funny”

          I beg to differ. Watch Solodonz superb “Happiness”. A film which includes our main character, a serial child rapist, taking an assault rifle into a crowded park and graphically gunning down a dozen happy smiling families.
          Watch the opening scene of the South Park episode “Dances With Smurfs” a protracted scene in which a deranged man breaks into the school to murder the 8 year old school announcer forcing him to suck the barrel of his gun first.
          Watch the crime episode of Brass Eye which is all about spree killings and violent crime.
          Play Super Columbine Massacre RPG (which I think sucks as a game to be honest) and appreciate the inherent humour of juxtaposing violent murder of defenseless children with cutesy graphics
          Read American Psycho with it’s laugh out loud serial killings.
          Heck if you want to make your (so called) impossibly dark scene funny just do what South Park did and make her “shit herself” with an explosive twenty second long buttock quivering PWAAARRRRRRRRRRRP that gently pushes her along the floor. Or cut to the next days news where the story is reduced to a ultra violent 15 second “Also in…” story with a freeze frame of the murder of his child, then the news anchor looks to the autocue puts on a broad smile and goes “Speaking of tragedies we have Miley Cyrus in the studio to discuss her recent wardrobe malfunction.”. Or have the whole spree killing fade out to a slightly wistful looking 8 year old kid sitting with his family eating dinner showing the whole thing was just the bored wandering of an idle mind.

          Heres the moral.
          “You don’t have to find something funny in order to make jokes about it” – George Carlin.
          I’ll take a radical stance and say that I think child rape is pretty bad. That doesn’t stop Lolita from being one of the funniest yet powerful books I’ve ever read.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            It was shakespeare who first realised the difference between comedy and dark humour, or at least is the first recorded play write who understood that the two were different. Now if you want to include dark humour, then fine, but it’s not funny, demonstrably, under an mri scanner. Think of the many different reasons why you cry. Now apply that to why you laugh. You don’t always cry because you are sad and you don’t always laugh because you find something funny.

            And, south park? really? Sure it’s funny but it’s funny because of the toilet humour not because of it’s graphic dark depictions of violence. You’re laughing at the poo, the rest could have been replaced by literally anything and you still would have laughed. That’s just proving that you’re still in touch with your adolescent side, which is by no means mean’t as a derogatory statement. Your only way to make what I wrote funny was to add stuff to it, change the style from a piece of written work to a cartoon, basically you can’t make what I wrote funny. So yes, if I could replace the whole piece of writing with anything, as long as someone does a quivering 20 second long poo, then I suggest that it’s the poo you find funny, not the murder. If I add a bunch of crap to it, then it’s the gag you find funny, that you added yourself, not what I wrote. And the game doesn’t have gags in it anyway – the author himself above has out and out stated that it is not meant to be funny. He has said, if you find Derponia funny, you are playing it wrong. Quote: “It is supposed to make you uncomfortable, feel guilty and ashamed – even sociopathic ” Notice the lack of the term amused.

            Nuff said I think.

          • Apocalypse says:

            Most germans are laughing about everything else except the poo.
            Toilet humor is not nearly as widespread as you seem to think.

          • Longtime Listener says:

            @ Sheng-ji
            I honestly don’t understand what you mean by the first paragraph. You think you can only find something funny if you laugh? You can find something funny that makes you cry (Happiness is a good example) or I can tickle you and make you laugh till you vomit. Humour is non binary, it’s not a little switch in your head that says “Funny or Sad”. Comedy can be bittersweet, poignant, soul crushing, it can make you wince, cry or shiver. It can leave you unaffected and still be funny with classic dry wit or perfectly pitched satire. I’ve never lol’ed reading Swift, he’s still one of the funniest author’s I’ve ever read.

            You can be funny and dark at the same time. Thats kind of the whole thing about dark comedy.
            Look at the prolonged gunfight at the end of Django Unchained. Incredibly, gratuitously, hilariously overblown graphic violence and it’s probably the funniest scene Tarantino has ever made. Or again any of the examples I gave.

            No the author said you shouldn’t agree with the actions of the protagonist. You can still laugh at them though, Again South Park is an excellent example in particular episodes centered around Cartman’s unhinged bigotry and manipulation. I want to stress that I happen to believe Jews shouldn’t be slaughtered, I can still laugh at his antisemitism and his idolatry of Hitler. Cartman scamming women into having abortions so he can sell the fetuses to stem cell research labs? Funny. Cartman playing match maker with the only two black kids in school because he believes they should be together because they’re both black? Hilarious because it’s played straight complete with soft focus and romantic music.

            You just don’t like dark humour. Or you haven’t tried it. If not I implore you to watch Happiness.

            (I’m not claiming that Deponia is funny as I haven’t played it. Though the dry description of the pedophile sequence did crack me up)

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I love dark humour – I just don’t understand how you find it even remotely similar to comedy. The only thing they share is the involuntary expulsion of air in a rhythmic pattern we call a laugh. It involves different neurons in the brain, it invokes a different sort of emotion and it feels fundamentally different.

            Go watch grave of the fireflies, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5YcIvtZJ2Y, as you’re so determined to bring this to the world of television. Then watch the south park episode where the Japanese are killing whales. Same subject matter, one is a funny comedy, one is a dark humour. When you have done this, get back to me and tell me how they are the same, even slightly.

          • Longtime Listener says:

            …. are you saying you laughed at Grave of the Fireflies? Jesus.

            Thats not a dark comedy, thats a bleak biopic of a war crime with an emphasis on horrendous physical and mental injuries of the guy who wrote it. That’s like laughing at holocaust footage. Speaking of which a better comparison would be Life is Beautiful by Benigni. A comedy where the humour exists because of the juxtaposition of what the child is shown and what we as the viewer knows is happening. Then we can compare that to Southpark where we have Cartman’s dream sequence as a series of traditional child fantasies ending with him as Hitler delivering a speech before showing him asleep with a broad smile on his face. In the first the humour is from the framing, from the juxtaposition, in the second it is a sudden curve ball gag about the character.

            One is a comedy that makes you laugh the other is a comedy that makes you cry. In both cases it’s the bleak context of the Nazis that makes it funny.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            So… you’re saying that you can’t just add a 20 second shit gag to just anything to make it comedy. I mean imagine if Seita, as she died shat her pants, in a vibrating messy, cartoony graphic southpark type way – surely this would make the film comedy gold.

            It’s almost like I was saying just that 10 hours ago and you begged to differ. You go on to say that the subject matter can be funny if you introduce an absurdity.. like I did 10 hours ago…. (Feels like 10 hours at any rate).

            Now that we wholeheartedly agree with each other, what were we talking about?

          • Longtime Listener says:

            No. I’m saying the exact opposite.
            I’m saying anything can be framed to be funny. Absurdity, juxtaposition, reframing, re-contextualizing or simply going until its funny. A child burning to ashes in an atomic blast isn’t funny. You could make it funny though.

            Again I have no idea what point you’re trying to make by calling Grave of the Fireflies a dark comedy and I’m not sure why your replies are turning hostile.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I’m not turning hostile, and I’m sorry if it’s coming across as that but you are now making the exact same argument that I made, and it really was 10 hours ago. Grave of the Fireflys is not a comedy. I baited you because I knew that you cannot find anything funny in that movie unless you are a sociopath. Sorry about that.

            I gave two examples of the same subject matter – one was a high school shooting spree, as was the other. One was my attempt at writing a graphic, dark story with no humour to it what-so-ever. I as the author of said piece stated that it was not written to be funny and that no-one could find it funny. I made the point that it was not due to it’s disturbing subject matter by writing a second story with an absurdity in it. I freely admitted that my writing was shit, but this was my best attempt at making it funny. My point, that it’s not the subject matter, it’s the story, the intention behind it and how it’s presented. Quite handily the author of the game confirmed this several times – he did not intend for his game to be funny. He uses light hearted moments to contrast with the dark moments. He wanted to hold a mirror to you and make you feel terrible.

            Let’s just put this to bed. Do you still beg to differ? Do you still think that you feel the opposite to me, that Grave of the Fireflies is a comedy, that my first story is a comedy and that Derponia is a comedy. Or do you feel the same as me, that my first story was a rubbish tragedy, that Grave of the Fireflies is a tragedy and that Derponia… resist… is a story about the worst of humanity.

          • Longtime Listener says:

            Which is what the author said Deponia is doing

            “pokinsson says:

            Most of the humor of Deponia is supposed to unfold by reflecting about you relating to Rufus’ goals while being confronted with the unrelateable effects he is causing trying to achieve them. The punchline is: He is too ignorant to see these effects, you are not. So playing him you are constantly in a field of tension, wanting him to fail and not fail at the same time.

            My theory was based on the observation that half the world, including me, does indeed think that Rufus is a hilarious character.”

            Again. He’s Cartman. Rufus’s jokes aren’t funny, the joke is that he’s so clue less he thinks the jokes are funny. Comedy can make you feel squeamish, or question yourself. You can hate everything a character does and still find his actions funny.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I don’t disagree, but we are, sorry, were talking about a specific scene in the game… have you played it – have you played this scene or have I actually been wasting my time?

          • Longtime Listener says:

            Have you?

            The joke in the scene is a Cartman joke. Rufus gets away with doing something outlandishly cruel without even realising it and the player laughs (fingers crossed) at the hero’s self satisfaction at getting what he wanted.

            And no I still don’t understand what you were talking about with neurons and how dark humour isn’t funny because it doesn’t fire the neurons off. Humans and humour are both non binary.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            That you sidestepped my question tells me all I need to know. Of course I played the game, that’s why I’m talking about it. Why are you? That’s a rhetorical question, I’m done. I’m out. I’m not coming back – we’re talking about D&D elsewhere and it’s a much more pleasant conversation.

          • Longtime Listener says:

            We were never talking about that specific scene, we were talking about your claim that you’re grim dark scene could never be funny. A claim you seem to have gone back on. In the previous comment you said you agree with me and the author that the humour lies in Rufus being an unself aware ass hole and that anything can be made funny with correct reworking. Or in that scene’s case simply stepping back and looking at your actions.

            So I guess I won anyway.

            Go me!

            For what its worth I genuinely enjoyed this debate.

          • Ich Will says:

            Win? No, no you didn’t. Oh and just for all who have witnessed this train wreck after the fact, do understand that Longtime Listener has been editing his posts back to try to make himself look better. For example, his second to last post merely read “Have You?” when shing-ji replied.

  41. ChattyWhacker says:

    I hate to say it, but I’ve been finding this comment section to be wonderfully amusing with the different examples of comedy. I honestly respect John and everyone else with finding Deponia’s writing, characters, and humor lacking. I actually enjoy shock humor because of how gut punching it can be but I cannot the awkward humor of drawn out situational comedy. However, I don’t think there should be a problem with everyone having different enjoyment of different types of comedy and those who don’t have the same enjoyment should be put down for it. No one needs to toughen up if they didn’t enjoy a presentation’s material. Observation and critiquing are personal endeavors and that’s a wondrous thing we can use to expand our knowledge and personal perspectives.

    You know, this whole discussion reminds me of how I played Goodbye Deponia right after playing through The Stanley Parable. A lot of the ideas about a conflict of story and player agency really spawned on me when thinking about the entire Deponia series. In the trilogy, there is a finite story path with finite solutions that were set by the creator. Even though there are better solutions possible in solving the different hurdles in the game, the creators dictated a set of solutions that would be found as deplorable and you as the puppet master would have to initiate to continue. It makes the player uncomfortable, sometimes even guilty and distraught, but that is in some ways a rare feeling to be found in games nowadays. Could the Deponia games have been done with better execution? Absolutely. Still, I found some value and admiration in how a game could make me feel so horrible for simply coexisting with Rufus.

    • Acorino says:

      Yet John likes shock humour, like it appears in Familiy Guy, too.

  42. dE says:

    As usual, I went through the comment section of a controversial topic, a few hours down the line and blocked all the idiots, trolls and passive aggressives of both sides. Cuts down posts considerably and almost feigns a civilized discussion.
    There’s something curious I’ve noticed in all the articles I’ve been doing this on though: It never takes away from all the other discussions on this site. But the second a controversial topic comes up, it’s an ocean of blocked people in reply with each other. So are they only ever posting on these topics?

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Please tell me if I’m being awful. I make an effort but maybe get carried away.

  43. Paracetamol says:

    Pretty late to the party but I wanted to add my 2 cents concerning the German computer humour topic: first, I agree on the uncomfortable humour reception in general media (and of course there are a lot of exceptions to the rule) which is – this has been noted as well – often linked to the “blunt” culture in general and cultural heritage in particular (the conflict of serious “high” culture as opposed to pop culture dates back centuries – also, Nazis).

    But second, more importantly, I’d like to point out the link to 90s PC/Amiga gaming scene which may not be linked to Germany in general but probably most European countries participating in this niche. I’d say that a lot of people working in the gaming industry are heavily influenced by this scene and it’s classics which weren’t written by writers but most often the programmers itself.

    You can get a good grip on this kind of uncomfortable joke writing by revisiting old advertisement games like Vision (sorry, this is for German speaking audiences only), which was dubbed as an ad game for a Home Loan and Savings Association but sports an outright psychedelic Science fiction story driven by absurd dialogues. Also, the traditionally different censorship motivated otherwise robust game mechanics to, well, take it as far as possible.

  44. kalirion says:

    So, I gotta ask: funny or not? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcbazH6aE2g

  45. sharklaser says:

    i played first two games and was looking forward to this game. i played it and i liked it to be honest. except child porn reference. that part of game is disgusting and i dont know law but this game could even be banned or fined at least.

  46. ALUMUTTI says:

    Appreciating all those worries about racism and misogyny i must say: english players go wrong.
    Playing the game in german, as a german, hearing the great and pointed dubbing gives the game a good humour. Famous german speakers lean their voices, Smudo of the “Fantastischen Vier” gives two great Raps and the Irony seems represented in the dialogues. If the irony didn’t survive the portation into the english language, it’s sad. The Deponia Trilogy still is a great contribution to the Point and Click Adventure Genre!