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View Full Version : Portal 2 has to be the best written game of all time.



TixyLixx
13-09-2012, 06:51 PM
It's just so amazing and I'm going to use this video as an example, there will be spoilers in it though.

http://youtu.be/afHt_1sVQ14?hd=1

It's just funny all the way through with some of the most memorable characters and I cannot look back and remember a game that touches Portal 2 in terms of story. I loved games like Final Fantasy 7 - 9 or Metal Gear Solid as a kid but they were so cheesy and poorly written, most Japanese games are the same, especially Resident Evil, god the new ones some how manage to be worse lol.

People always go on about Mass Effect for the story but there was never any depth to the characters, the writing was so bad and relationships felt so forced. Those games just felt like one cliche after another, I've said my hate for those games in the past, I think they're highly over rated and everything feels as wooden as Prometheus.

Valve put in so much effort with the animation of their characters, they're robots and yet you can always tell their mood or what they're really thinking just based on the animation, which is amazing for a sphere like Wheatley. Yet when you play say Mass Effect, there is no animation, the cutscenes are always shot reverse shot talking, it always feels like planks of wood are talking to each other. You cannot tell how the characters are feeling, they all look dead behind the eyes and their faces don't move, their mouths barely do too. I once was Shepard smile and it was the scariest looking thing ever lol. I just find it funny how the robots in Portal 2 feel more human to me than the cast of Mass Effect.

Portal 2 is just such an amazing game, it doesn't rely on cliches, it doesn't try to shoe horn in mediocre combat to try and make it appeal to the wider audience and that twist I never saw coming, one of the most epic gaming moments. Then you have the whole Cave Johnson stuff and he's never a character you get to see other than pictures, yet the writing for him was so amazing he felt real. You always get them recordings in games now that you pick up but I couldn't care less about them, they just feel generic and a cheap way to get some story in. The recordings of Cave Johnson were done in such a way where you slowly experience his downfall and that touches a nerve.

Saying that Monkey Island 2 comes pretty damn close lol.

gundato
13-09-2012, 06:58 PM
Oh this is going to end poorly...

And I think a lot of what you are talking about is voice acting. The actual dialogue is clever, but nothing amazing. But the voice actors (Particularly JK Simmons) beat the crap out of the lines they had.

Kaira-
13-09-2012, 07:02 PM
Portal 2 is just such an amazing game, it doesn't rely on cliches, [...] and that twist I never saw coming, one of the most epic gaming moments
http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/195/646/1320529223886.jpg

SirKicksalot
13-09-2012, 07:20 PM
Wheatley is one of the worst characters ever in my opinion. I hate his OTT neurotic antics. As for the jokes, well, it's Will Ferrel humour.

It's also the worst kind of sequel - the one that multiplies elements of the first one in a formulaic, linear fashion. Like ketchup on your fries? HERE'S A GALLON OF IT! Songs? MORE SONGS!!! Personality cores? LET'S MAKE ONE A MAIN CHARACTER!!! Glados? SHE TEAMS UP WITH YOU LOLOLO You liked the subtle plot of the first game? BACKSTORY FOR EVERYTHING MUTHAFUCKA People liked the cake? LET'S INVENT SOME MEMES OURSELVES!!!

LowKey
13-09-2012, 07:33 PM
Written yes? Planescape Torment says hello

Nalano
13-09-2012, 07:51 PM
Was it well-produced? Yes.

Did it characterize the characters well? Yes.

Is it a great story? Dude, have you read​ any great stories?

Patrick Swayze
13-09-2012, 08:08 PM
Maximum trolling

elephant god
13-09-2012, 08:45 PM
Most of Portal 2's appeal lies in it's delivery, which is based on an ingenious use of the source engine, simply perfect voice acting and smoothly accessible puzzles. It's all in the scenery, the setting, which is most of what AAA games are about these days.

Still, I have a lot of friends who mostly focus on a few games in a very hardcore fashion. While that might not be the RPS way (there's just too much good stuff out there), those people (yes, you are here, too, obv! see above.) quickly get bored by this sort of what they call "padding". I have a friend with whom I had quite some fun in Portal Co-op, but who cannot get into the single player because he just doesn't care. He's more of a hardcore competitive player.

Again, I think, my argument is: It's all subjective (wow. now, that's a tl,dr)

Safh
13-09-2012, 08:47 PM
It's no War and Peace, but it's still a great game, and it had me laughing along and very entertained :)

Finicky
13-09-2012, 08:48 PM
The coop was the most fun I've ever had in any game, and glados is still a charming character and the story surrounding her is bittersweet, but the whole wheatley aspect is just some lowest common denominator shit.

postinternetsyndrome
13-09-2012, 08:56 PM
Wheatley is all timing and no substance to be sure, but that's not neccesarily a bad thing. It doesn't really work on a second playthrough though. In general, I had a blast playing Portal 2 and I'd say it's definitely one of the better comedy games ever made. As a sequel to Portal, on the other hand, it falls short. It doesn't develop it's mechanics (and how could it, with so many!), and almost half the game is exposition and transition. I really did like the ending song that everyone else seemd to hate though.

EDIT: And yeah the coop was brilliant but I only realized halfway through that it actually had a story too. Too busy talking to my buddy to notice all the exposition glados was laying on us. Story and coop doesn't really work for me.

Scumbag
13-09-2012, 09:03 PM
Why make a blog when you can post blog like pieces on a forum with more traffic?

Drinking with Skeletons
13-09-2012, 09:24 PM
I'm not sure that there can be a best written game, since I've yet to encounter a game that didn't stumble in some regard. Let's take a look! NOTE: These are just some that I can think of, including games I've been playing recently. Think of games you think are well-written in some regard and then pick them apart. It's fun/heartbreaking!

1. Grim Fandango--Good: Dialogue, characters, humor, premise. Bad: Plot doesn't hold up to any kind of scrutiny.
2. Red Dead Redemption--Good: Main character, theme, ending. Bad: Plot is often insulting (your outlaw is in another castle), many side characters are underdeveloped.
3. Startopia--Good: Humor, VAL, Arona. Bad: No plot to speak of.
4. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together--Good: Intricate plotting, thematically forceful, very good use of branching plotlines. Bad: Weak characterization, over-reliance on generic fantasy names.
5. Witcher 2--Good: See Tactics Ogre, above. Bad: Plot is somewhat oblique and you can be forgiven for not seeing the point it's trying to make, some peculiar and out-of-place homophobia (no matter what choices you make, you will be faced with an antagonistic homosexual, one of whom is to be leered at and one of whom is to be mocked; still don't know quite what to say about this aspect of the game)
6. Dragon Age II--Good: Characters, unusual episodic structure. Bad: Episodic structure makes plot overall weak and unfocused, overly focused on one location which makes game seem very small compared with predecessor
7. Fallout: New Vegas--Good: Strong emphasis on a believable place, well-deployed humor. Bad: Few characters stand out, unfocused philosophizing (esp. in DLC expansions)
8. Final Fantasy IX--Good: Characters. Bad: Cliched plot.
9. Left 4 Dead 1/2--Good: Characters, intelligent use of visual storytelling and genre conventions. Bad: What plot?
10. Portal--Good: Humor, GlaD0s. Bad: Protagonist doesn't really have any personality.

Hypernetic
13-09-2012, 09:54 PM
I'm not sure that there can be a best written game, since I've yet to encounter a game that didn't stumble in some regard. Let's take a look! NOTE: These are just some that I can think of, including games I've been playing recently. Think of games you think are well-written in some regard and then pick them apart. It's fun/heartbreaking!

1. Grim Fandango--Good: Dialogue, characters, humor, premise. Bad: Plot doesn't hold up to any kind of scrutiny.
2. Red Dead Redemption--Good: Main character, theme, ending. Bad: Plot is often insulting (your outlaw is in another castle), many side characters are underdeveloped.
3. Startopia--Good: Humor, VAL, Arona. Bad: No plot to speak of.
4. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together--Good: Intricate plotting, thematically forceful, very good use of branching plotlines. Bad: Weak characterization, over-reliance on generic fantasy names.
5. Witcher 2--Good: See Tactics Ogre, above. Bad: Plot is somewhat oblique and you can be forgiven for not seeing the point it's trying to make, some peculiar and out-of-place homophobia (no matter what choices you make, you will be faced with an antagonistic homosexual, one of whom is to be leered at and one of whom is to be mocked; still don't know quite what to say about this aspect of the game)
6. Dragon Age II--Good: Characters, unusual episodic structure. Bad: Episodic structure makes plot overall weak and unfocused, overly focused on one location which makes game seem very small compared with predecessor
7. Fallout: New Vegas--Good: Strong emphasis on a believable place, well-deployed humor. Bad: Few characters stand out, unfocused philosophizing (esp. in DLC expansions)
8. Final Fantasy IX--Good: Characters. Bad: Cliched plot.
9. Left 4 Dead 1/2--Good: Characters, intelligent use of visual storytelling and genre conventions. Bad: What plot?
10. Portal--Good: Humor, GlaD0s. Bad: Protagonist doesn't really have any personality.


I think you are confusing the word "best" with the word "perfect".

For example, whichever team has the best record in baseball at the end of the regular season is the best team that year (in terms of win percentage anyway). That doesn't mean they had a perfect record and never lost a game, it just means they are the best relative to the competition.

byteCrunch
13-09-2012, 10:34 PM
10. Portal--Good: Humor, GlaD0s. Bad: Protagonist doesn't really have any personality.

I would argue the lack of character for Chell is intentional, it is the same as HL, you are Chell. Considering that the game refers to the player directly and you are never directly addressed as Chell, instead the game just says "You", or at least that is what I took away from both games.

Hypernetic
13-09-2012, 10:44 PM
I would argue the lack of character for Chell is intentional, it is the same as HL, you are Chell. Considering that the game refers to the player directly and you are never directly addressed as Chell, instead the game just says "You", or at least that is what I took away from both games.

Actually GlaDOS does refer to you as Chell in Portal 2 once or twice.

Nalano
13-09-2012, 10:45 PM
1. Grim Fandango--Good: Dialogue, characters, humor, premise. Bad: Plot doesn't hold up to any kind of scrutiny.

lolwut

10char

AgamemnonV1
13-09-2012, 10:46 PM
I would argue the lack of character for Chell is intentional, it is the same as HL, you are Chell. Considering that the game refers to the player directly and you are never directly addressed as Chell, instead the game just says "You", or at least that is what I took away from both games.
Valve has been using this excuse for two decades now and their fans are still eating it up. I will not disagree that Valve makes high-quality games with good voice acting and good design, but there is no "perfect" game; Valve gets a lot of things wrong just as well, like the fact that they recycle model, sound, and texture resources over and over. CS:GO is essentially a facelift of a facelift but everyone ate it up like chocolate pudding, while other developers that recycle the same concept and product over and over are chastised for this practice.

Things have progressed in the game genre. Protagonists are characters--the only thing you actually control are their movements, because no matter what you do, there is still a path you have to travel. You're railroaded to this destiny--some games try to offer "paths" but they all lead to the same finishing line. The fact that Valve still pretends that it's 1998 is all the more proof that their fanbase is like Nintendo's--they're okay with being resold their childhood memories with updated graphics.

This doesn't make Valve a "bad developer", but I'm tired of how the hivemind pretends the company does no wrong. This topic is proof of this. I have not played Portal 2--I never will. I played the first one--it was a two-hour tech demo with dry attempts of paltry humor that people proclaimed it was the offspring of Eddie Murphy and Louis C.K. It's not. It was an okay game, definitely not worth its stand-alone price at the time ($30 at release).

Nalano
13-09-2012, 10:50 PM
Valve has been using this excuse for two decades now and their fans are still eating it up.

Let's talk about the amazing characterization of Doom Marine.

AgamemnonV1
13-09-2012, 10:51 PM
Let's talk about the amazing characterization of Doom Marine.
Let's talk about how Doom 3 was critically acclaimed on the same measure as Portal was.

Nalano
13-09-2012, 10:52 PM
Let's talk about how Doom 3 was critically acclaimed on the same measure as Portal was.

Because we didn't get more backstory for Doom Marine, amirite?

byteCrunch
13-09-2012, 10:53 PM
Ranting wall of text.

Bit of rant?

Mostly irrelevant to what I said, I was simply giving my account of the game, but evidently I am just spouting what Valve have told me and I am incapable of forming my own opinion.

Finicky
13-09-2012, 11:34 PM
Valve has been using this excuse for two decades now and their fans are still eating it up. I will not disagree that Valve makes high-quality games with good voice acting and good design, but there is no "perfect" game; Valve gets a lot of things wrong just as well, like the fact that they recycle model, sound, and texture resources over and over. CS:GO is essentially a facelift of a facelift but everyone ate it up like chocolate pudding, while other developers that recycle the same concept and product over and over are chastised for this practice.

Things have progressed in the game genre. Protagonists are characters--the only thing you actually control are their movements, because no matter what you do, there is still a path you have to travel. You're railroaded to this destiny--some games try to offer "paths" but they all lead to the same finishing line. The fact that Valve still pretends that it's 1998 is all the more proof that their fanbase is like Nintendo's--they're okay with being resold their childhood memories with updated graphics.

This doesn't make Valve a "bad developer", but I'm tired of how the hivemind pretends the company does no wrong. This topic is proof of this. I have not played Portal 2--I never will. I played the first one--it was a two-hour tech demo with dry attempts of paltry humor that people proclaimed it was the offspring of Eddie Murphy and Louis C.K. It's not. It was an okay game, definitely not worth its stand-alone price at the time ($30 at release).

Noone ate up cs:go , except those 13 years late to the party who now see cs like some relic hipster bandwagon they would love to get on for cred.

Valve rightfully gets a lot of shit when they rehash games (l4d2... what was the point?, condition zero)

Also wut @ recycling with cs:go as example? They changed every model and every map and every texture...

The silent protagonist isn't an excuse, half life has tons of dialogue and character exposition for other characters.
The player being the protagonist works well and I hope they never change it.

People asked for a sequel to cs because css was shit and the original is really old now (new official maps, an engine update etc would have been nice).
Unlike EA and co valve also doesn't kill off their old games when they release new ones, cs 1.x is still very much alive (much more active than cs:go and still one of the top 3 most played games on steam).

The fact that you'd compare 3 cs games (let's ignore their pathetic attempt at the console market with cs:cz) in 13 years( the first of which was a mod and not even their work) to the yearly release schedule of the assassin's creeds, halos, call of duties and battlefields is absolutely hilarious.

I've access to hundreds of maps in any of the cs versions, I logged on to bf3 today for the first time since launch , the game isn't even a year old and they already split the community into 4 sub parts.
Again, don't compare such hilarious money grubbing to anything valve does.

I didn't buy l4d2 till i could get it for 5 euros in a sale, and with that being their biggest misstep ... it is nothing compared to ea/activison/microsoft

ReV VAdAUL
13-09-2012, 11:52 PM
I think my favourite story in a game has to be that of Homeworld. Sure it wasn't amazingly original but it told its' story well and was surprisingly engaging for a game where you never saw a single character's face. It did a great job of filling you in on the backstory via encounters you had through the game, such as learning the origins of the Gardens of Kadesh.

Prokroustis
14-09-2012, 12:14 AM
CS:GO is essentially a facelift of a facelift but everyone ate it up like chocolate pudding, while other developers that recycle the same concept and product over and over are chastised for this practice.

Because an 11 game that is (at least) a quite updated version of the previous one that came out 8 years ago is the same as a 60 one that is exactly the same as the ones that come out each year...


I have not played Portal 2--I never will.

Such resolve...

EBass
14-09-2012, 01:03 AM
1. Grim Fandango--Good: Dialogue, characters, humor, premise. Bad: Plot doesn't hold up to any kind of scrutiny.


Not saying its not true just wondering what exactly you're referring to when you say the plot doesn't hold?

Vizjerie
14-09-2012, 02:16 AM
Okay theres a repeating theme going on with the examples of games here... "i think my game has a better story, there for your example was the worst one ever"

Carra
14-09-2012, 10:59 AM
Written yes? Planescape Torment says hello

I was going to say that :(

Still, Portal 2 is the best written game of last year.

sonson
14-09-2012, 11:08 AM
Psychonauts wants a word with you

Kaira-
14-09-2012, 11:13 AM
Still, it's the best written game of last year.

Nah, that was Dark Souls

In my opinion, that is.

AgamemnonV1
14-09-2012, 06:32 PM
Because we didn't get more backstory for Doom Marine, amirite?
Oh yeah, we got tons of back story for the protagonist in Portal 1. When Glados replays a recording of her saying her name I was like, "omg, this is beautiful writing...she's Chell! I know all about her life now!"

I'm kind of getting the feeling you're the board's resident cynic. Maybe you should drop a few more snappy one-liners if we're to keep going back and forth in non-intelligent conversation. Here, let me help you. Your next response to me should be, "Well, when you have something intelligent to say, I will respond intelligently then". That's a good zinger, I think I got it out of 1001 Forum Troll Responses.


Bit of rant?

Mostly irrelevant to what I said, I was simply giving my account of the game, but evidently I am just spouting what Valve have told me and I am incapable of forming my own opinion.
Well, at least you now know.


Valve rightfully gets a lot of shit when they rehash games (l4d2... what was the point?, condition zero)
This is a joke, right? Everyone defended L4D2. Adam Sessler went from "I see nothing new" to "those boycotters are just a bunch of entitled jerks" in a matter of minutes.


Also wut @ recycling with cs:go as example? They changed every model and every map and every texture...
I suppose you think if you buffer a used car you'll consider it new?


Grr, EA/Activision/Microsoft
Ah yes, the ever-popular "but other people are worse!" argument. Lets give Valve a free pass because they mostly do it right. Steam launch, forgiven. Episodic content spiraling into development hell, forgiven. Black Box to Orange Box, forgiven. L4D2, forgiven. /LeeAdamaRant


Because an 11 game that is (at least) a quite updated version of the previous one that came out 8 years ago is the same as a 60 one that is exactly the same as the ones that come out each year...
Yep, there was something totally wrong with the old game so they just had to make a rehashed remake. You know what was wrong? The price tag. Now they can begin selling the same experience for that new-car pricing, except it's still a lemon.


Such resolve...
Aww, did this make you feel better too?

gundato
14-09-2012, 06:36 PM
This is a joke, right? Everyone defended L4D2. Adam Sessler went from "I see nothing new" to "those boycotters are just a bunch of entitled jerks" in a matter of minutes.
From my understanding of the debacle, most of the more level-headed people went from pissed that they were expected to buy a new game a year after the first one to "Well, I guess this is a worthwhile expansion pack. Valve are still dicks, but it is worth the money"

The complaints about entitled jerks were because a lot of people felt they deserved to get everything for free no matter what.

Honestly, that STILL leaves a sour taste in my mouth and I think Valve screwed the pooch. L4D2 should have been handled as an expansion pack (or, as we call them these days, "DLC" :p) so as not to split the userbase (even if that meant porting L4D1 to the new engine). But, so be it.

Carra
14-09-2012, 06:49 PM
Nah, that was Dark Souls.

Well, it was released on PC this year. So we can still agree to agree :)

Hypernetic
14-09-2012, 06:56 PM
From my understanding of the debacle, most of the more level-headed people went from pissed that they were expected to buy a new game a year after the first one to "Well, I guess this is a worthwhile expansion pack. Valve are still dicks, but it is worth the money"

The complaints about entitled jerks were because a lot of people felt they deserved to get everything for free no matter what.

Honestly, that STILL leaves a sour taste in my mouth and I think Valve screwed the pooch. L4D2 should have been handled as an expansion pack (or, as we call them these days, "DLC" :p) so as not to split the userbase (even if that meant porting L4D1 to the new engine). But, so be it.

Considering Valve's biggest "fault" is releasing a sequel to a game that improved on pretty much every aspect of the first (except the characters IMO) and selling said sequel for the price of a full game... I think they've done alright.

ado
14-09-2012, 07:02 PM
Best writing is a very tough thing to quantify because, well, every fucking story is different right? Different length, different setting, different tone, different set of characters and plot points etc. etc. I mean how does one even compare two good stories and says this is better than this?

Like how can you even compare the writing in say Portal 2 and Planescape: Torment? Or Gram Fandango? Could you name three more different games and narratives? Then you fucking throw in personal taste and you get a whole new layer of clusterfuck to deal with. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is one fucking pointless thread right here, and people arguing "no, this is better" don't even see that.

But then again it is amusing to read, so keep at it guys.

Also I'm gonna go with my go-to best game of all time as an example of best video-game writing ever - Portal.

gundato
14-09-2012, 07:02 PM
Considering Valve's biggest "fault" is releasing a sequel to a game that improved on pretty much every aspect of the first (except the characters IMO) and selling said sequel for the price of a full game... I think they've done alright.
So... they followed the EA Sports model?

Don't get me wrong, I think it was worth the cash (at least one was a discount title, right?) and L4D2 is definitely better, but they really followed the same model as Madden and FIFA and the like. Release a game with the same concepts but better graphics and maybe one or two improved mechanisms. Generally have worse characters (every new Madden game generally has at least one more rapist in it...), but people aren't playing for the characters anyway.

Like I said, my biggest complaint was them splitting the userbase. From another dev/publisher (Valve are magic :p) I would expect it, but Valve have a history of catering to the user. And splitting the userbase is never a good move.

Hypernetic
14-09-2012, 07:07 PM
So... they followed the EA Sports model?

Don't get me wrong, I think it was worth the cash (at least one was a discount title, right?) and L4D2 is definitely better, but they really followed the same model as Madden and FIFA and the like. Release a game with the same concepts but better graphics and maybe one or two improved mechanisms. Generally have worse characters (every new Madden game generally has at least one more rapist in it...), but people aren't playing for the characters anyway.

Like I said, my biggest complaint was them splitting the userbase. From another dev/publisher (Valve are magic :p) I would expect it, but Valve have a history of catering to the user. And splitting the userbase is never a good move.

I didn't say it was the greatest idea ever. I said if that's the biggest fault people can find with Valve, they are doing pretty well.

I doubt you will ever see that kind of thing happen from Valve again either, they like to experiment with things.

And to be fair, they did continue to update and ADD TO l4d1 long after L4D2 came out. EA doesn't do that shit with Madden. Valve is still adding free updates to L4D2 regularly 3 years later.

mizzu
14-09-2012, 08:40 PM
I don't get the whole "silent protagonist" thing in valve games, especially in half-life 2, and because this thread is slightly related I'm gonna leave my off-topic rant here.

I mean, they want me to feel immersed in the game and really make me feel like it's me who does all the things and not Gordon and therefore they want the player bring his own personality into the game, you know, like "You can do things YOUR way!" and then they don't let me do more than 1. walk around on a very linear path, 2. throw things around and 3. shoot guys?
I mean, what? That doesn't make any sense, does it? The game is terribly restrictive and only lets you do what the devs wanted you to do. I can't even shoot at some people! All the player's actions can be brought down into "He walked around and murdered people. Some times he pressed buttons and watched other people arguing out their problems."

I wouldn't have murdered all those cops/soldiers! Let's find a peaceful solution or just leave the place in some way! That's what I'd have done if I were actually in this situation!

Also, you gotta love how the game expects you to know everything that happened in that world (because Gordon knows it, right?) and therefore don't need to explain anything. I'm now 12 hours in (according to my steam library) and still no character didn't feel the need to let the unstoppable, people-murdering legendary Gordon Freeman know anything about what's going on.

Note: I haven't completed it yet, but that's my impression so far. I also didn't concentrate that much on the story and wouldn't mind someone explaining to me what's so great about hl2's storytelling and the whole "silent protagonist" thing.

E: To stay on topic: I didn't like Wheatley either.

Nalano
14-09-2012, 08:52 PM
"You can do things YOUR way!"

It's not really that so much as you can feel how you want to feel, you can react how you want to react. Duke Nukem has a very specific way he can feel, as evinced by his one-liners. This may bring some cognitive dissonance if you don't see things like Duke does, or if you simply don't like Duke. By removing that, Gordon Freeman's personality is entirely yours, because nothing ever contradicts the image you have in your head.

gundato
14-09-2012, 08:56 PM
I didn't say it was the greatest idea ever. I said if that's the biggest fault people can find with Valve, they are doing pretty well.

I doubt you will ever see that kind of thing happen from Valve again either, they like to experiment with things.

And to be fair, they did continue to update and ADD TO l4d1 long after L4D2 came out. EA doesn't do that shit with Madden. Valve is still adding free updates to L4D2 regularly 3 years later.
I think that was a pretty big fault which is why I still have the aforementioned sour taste. But, like you said, they probably won't do it again.

And do we have a list of what they are still adding? My understanding was that both got "The Crossing" and then Valve has been beta testing the same map for 3 years.

mizzu
14-09-2012, 09:40 PM
It's not really that so much as you can feel how you want to feel, you can react how you want to react. Duke Nukem has a very specific way he can feel, as evinced by his one-liners. This may bring some cognitive dissonance if you don't see things like Duke does, or if you simply don't like Duke. By removing that, Gordon Freeman's personality is entirely yours, because nothing ever contradicts the image you have in your head.
Well, yeah, okay. That makes sense to a certain degree. So there can be "bad" characters (entirely subjective, "I don't like Duke, he's a dick"), and "good" characters (entirely subjective again, "I like Duke, he is awesome bro") and then there are guys like Gordon, on whom nobody has an opinion on because there is nothing to have an opinion on. "No personality instead of a bad one. Can't please everybody, so let's please nobody!" Or re-formulated: "Let's not annoy somebody!"
I don't think I can like that, especially when I see that valve can do "personality design" really well (looking at the other half-life characters). I prefer a dick like Duke if he's well done.

Also I think a character and his personality also show in his actions. If you want to do it the way that valve do their personalities, you'd have to remove any interaction from the character what so ever (at which point things get silly) so people don't judge him based on his actions. You said, cognitive dissonance (I had to look that one up, btw) arises when I don't see things like duke does, but what if I don't do things like duke (or Gordon) does? Then his personality isn't mine anymore and I see myself distancing further and further away from the character (although he doesn't say anything the whole time!). I think that nails the issue I have with the game.

Like I said, removing interaction from the character to not have people judge them isn't an option, so "let's please nobody!" isn't an option anymore. How to please everybody, or at least as many people as possible? That's where giving freedom to the player kicks in. The more freedom you have in the game, the more will the character feel like you. The minecraft guy doesn't say anything either, but because I can choose everything he does I can identify with him even more than with Freeman and don't feel the "cognitive dissonance" I get with Gordon because the game forces me (or him) to do things which contradict my nature.

My head hurts.

E: Put in Nalanos Quote to ensure who I'm talking to. Does anybody fill out the "reason for Editing" field?

Also even more editing due to reformulating and stuff.

Hypernetic
14-09-2012, 09:43 PM
I think that was a pretty big fault which is why I still have the aforementioned sour taste. But, like you said, they probably won't do it again.

And do we have a list of what they are still adding? My understanding was that both got "The Crossing" and then Valve has been beta testing the same map for 3 years.

http://www.l4d.com/coldstream/ was in July.

TixyLixx
14-09-2012, 09:46 PM
I don't see why you have to hate having a silent protagonist or one that talks, you cannot say one way works better for every game. I mean Monkey Island would be quite crap if your character could talk and I'd feel that if Gordon Talked that it would need to take you out of your character, where how that game always keeps you in it is it's strength.

I'm purely talking about quality, I believe Portal 2 is the best written game of all time and the only other game that comes close is Monkey Island 2. GTA 4 is another game where the characters were written in such an amazing way, I just feel like the story arc dried out and became boring once you got to that second small Island. Then Packie came in and just made me laugh so much, whoever came up with him was a genius. GTA 4 and Mass Effect both do cutscenes in a similar way, yet in GTA 4 they're kinetic, it's all animated and it feels real apart from how bad the character faces look. Yet in Mass Effect characters don't move, it's like wood talking to each other lol.

Nalano
14-09-2012, 09:59 PM
My head hurts.

It's not like Valve invented this.

Gordon is just two steps away from your troperrific AFGNCAAP (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FeaturelessProtagonist?from=Main.AFGNCAAP).