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01-12-2012, 12:42 PM #10181
***********************BIG POST IN DEFENSE OF THE WITCHER***************
It's best to think of, and play, The Witcher series as primarily interactive fiction, albeit very violent and hands on interactive fiction. The intent of CDPR in both games is to tell a story through a game, not to make a game with a story, which is what the overwhelming majority of games do. The Witcher 2 achieves it to a far greater degree, to the point where I'd say it's the best and most important example of interactive narrative since Psychonauts in how it links it's narrative and it's mechanics. But The Witcher is still an excellent game where you can frequently see the roots that germinated into it's sublime successor.
I actually bought the game on the strength of the demo, so didn't have that much of a problem with the intro and first chapter, but it's fair to say that it's first two acts are much slower than the rest of the game. That's a trademark of CDPR though, they like to mess with gaming convention in order to work on better presenting scale and narrative scope. It's a slow start, but slow by design, and when you get to the middle of the game you know that it was the right choice as far as the whole is concerned.
The sex things-on the whole it's clearly pretty weak throughout the game, and I say that as a huge fan of the series. It's a classic example of a game projecting it's "maturity" by turning the inhabitants of a world into the attendees of a nihilistic fuck fest. At times I'd even say it was misogynistic. The Second game, to my relief, more or less neuters the sex entirely and actually becomes one of the best examples how to do sex in games-sparingly, with character, for a purpose, but incidental and unobtrusive. Contrast that with the Witcher where it is more a case of-every woman wants it, because..maturity?, every fucking where you look.
However if you pay attention to what's being said you don't have to have sex with anyone, ever, in either game. The example you give-there are two dialogue choices for you to make in the run up, in which time Triss talks about feeling like a teenager again, old feelings for Geralt coming flooding back. You are given the chance to give either a bluff or nervous "Yeah great, time to get going!" choice after both, or probe into those things she's saying. Where, in the bedroom, are conversations like that going to go with an old lover in a video game? Or, to be honest, the majority of media?
It's contrived and cliched certainly but to me at least I could still see what was coming a mile off when I first played the game, despite knowing nothing of the back-story or fiction.
The sad fact applies that in the first Witcher anything more than a compliment in a dialogue choice with a woman is basically a sexual overture, and it's disgusting frankly.
HOWEVER the tact and sensibility with which they dealt with other mature issues such as coming of age, racism, politics, relationships, war and morality, even gender actually, led me to give them the benefit of the doubt in the hope that their approach to sexuality was just a horrible accident or case of experimentation gone wrong. Turns out, if W2 is anything to buy, that's all it was.
But where the sexuality is a sledgehammer the majority of the rest of the game is subtle, rich, and markedly different if you give it the chance, like a good book. It's rare a classic novel achieves it's status on the basis of the first four chapters, it's about what it does as a whole, and that very much applies to The Witcher, it is, in spite of looking a bit creaky, still a BIG, ambitious and impressive game, very much a PC game. It's not about moment to moment thrills-although it's not bad on that when you get into Vizimia anyway-so it requires patience, but much like a good book give it time and you won't regret it. If you give ti time you will find a world which has been crafted to explore whilst also allowing for narrative propulsion. It's a game which is about places and people and lore, about the social tensions of towns and rural communities, the spaces both physical and cultural between them, and the way that war and politics brings it all together and threatens to dwarf them utterly. I studied Medieval Europe at University and I have never played a game which better recognises and portrays the rise of early modern ideals and existential forces pitted against folklore and tradition, which is what is really at the heart of this game. That probably sounds very ott but fuck it, it's what I got form it.
When making The Wire David Simon said he wanted to make a show that demanded hours of people's time to understand, and that he didn't care about who that alienated The Witcher is obviously nowhere near as impressive an accomplishment as said series but I think the intent was the same. It doesn't care if you don't want to give it time, but you'll be very glad if you did, because it's approach simply allows for experiences other games can't give without being similallry self-consciously challenging to get into.
To make it a more palatable experience visually there are some good texture mods
There is another mod, The full combat rebalance which make the combat a lot more challenging and akin to that of the Witcher 2 (requires patience, effort and tactical sense but with the pay off of dominating opponents if you do it properly, dying very quickly if not) not as advanced and well implemented as in the Witcher 2 but certainly done well enough for it to make a second play through satisfyingly different and more challenging. Better game play, but quite a bit harder.
There are many fine books on The Witcher in your local library (no there aren't).
Last edited by sonson; 01-12-2012 at 12:50 PM.
01-12-2012, 12:52 PM #10182
I finally got around playing Dishono(u)red. I have to say, after the first two missions, I'm a bit disappointed with it for now. Sure, the options presented to me to approach the missions are wide and escaping the Overseers by posessing a dog is awesome as heck but... I don't know. I'm not impressed with it. Maybe I'll give it a few more hours
01-12-2012, 01:45 PM #10183
I'm currently installing the Borderland 2 season pass (its 25% off at greenmangaming)
Gonna resume Borderlands 2 shenanigans hopefully this eve and for many eves to come!
Screenname is Tom4j on steam and i'm Level 35 true vault hunter. Feel free to add me!
In other news, spent an hour in the snail to trapdoor simulator that is Legend of Grimrock, and having a blast!
01-12-2012, 01:52 PM #10184
@sonson I'll give witcher another chance off the back of yourand others rps'ers commentary. Those mods should help bribe my eyes to forgive my brain.I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
01-12-2012, 02:33 PM #10185
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Damn i'm 100x better at Chivalry on small player servers, because my FPS is above 15 even during fights. Seriously there's so much detail (frames) lost at low FPS. I can't even score a stab on a moving target at 10 fps.
01-12-2012, 02:53 PM #10186
01-12-2012, 03:02 PM #10187
It's the first game by a ragtag crew of random people scattered throughout the world that have only ever met each other IRL once in their life. Which makes it's excellent gameplay all that much more impressive. But yeah, tech issues every freaking where. And the server browser is freaking horrible.
It's built on UE3 though so as far as performance goes it shouldn't be too hard to tweak, I imagine.
01-12-2012, 03:19 PM #10188
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
My system is old, admittedly, but the performance is really really bad even with fairly modest settings.
01-12-2012, 03:36 PM #10189
Are you playing with in-game VSync on? That setting alone outright crippled the performance.
01-12-2012, 03:41 PM #10190
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- Stockton-on-Tees, UK
This week I have played 30 hours of Fallen Enchantress. I feel sympathy for anyone who had to review this game. Even after 30 hours I don't feel really qualified to say whether it's good or not.Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.
01-12-2012, 03:57 PM #10191
01-12-2012, 05:52 PM #10192
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
01-12-2012, 05:59 PM #10193
- Join Date
- May 2012
Knocking out some items from my backlog that I started and never finished, like Hard Reset, 1000 Amps, Amnesia, Waveform, and English Country Tune All good games that I started and then never completed due to distractions.
Hard Reset gets better the more I play it, but that's will a clear understanding of what it is and what it isn't. It's very much a Doom clone, in that it's just firefight upon firefight, with little room for exposition. I'm really coming to enjoy the weapons though. There's a lot of room for trying out the various combinations of weapons for specific enemy types. It felt cheap at first, until I figured out that they game really wants you to switch up your weapons and use the environment. Play the game by just strafing and shooting, you'll die in a hurry.
Amnesia is, well, fantastic. No doubt about it. The only reason I've taken a break from it was frustration with some puzzles, and it's an emotionally draining game. Very tense, as you all know. So I need a break from it from time to time.
I really like 1000 Amps too, but I don't know that I'll finish it. It's a flash-based platformer, and it's very polished. But I simply HATE platformers with a keyboard. How you make a platformer these days without controller support is beyond my pea-brain. I respect the game's design, and the puzzles are unique and fun. But it just sucks platforming with a keyboard. Maybe I should look into one of those keyboard-to-mouse mapping programs...
Hope to spend more time in Chivalry, Vindictus, and The Secret World too, but who knows if I'll get there. Work projects interfere...
Oh, and if anyone is interested in playing through the Portal 2 co-op game, let me know. I missed that originally and want to go back and check it out.
01-12-2012, 06:46 PM #10194
Thanks agentorange, Casimir Effect and sonson for the replies. It looks like I should be soon past the boring part, so I will endure some more.
02-12-2012, 01:45 AM #10195
I do find it a very overhyped game by some people, so I'm with you on that. But I can kind of see where they're coming from. Where it fails as a game it could be said to make up as a unique experience. It does things other RPGs are scared to do.
For example, without giving anything away there's a quest to solve a murder which involves collecting clues and interviewing people. There's a number of witnesses and at any point, even when you have all the clues, you can accuse them. In a Bioware game (as the RPG standard example) when you find the 'extra' piece of evidence a magical new conversation option appears that makes everything better. In The Witcher there is no new option and if you accuse the wrong person you could piss them off, making them unreceptive for the rest of the game. So just because the option is there, doesn't mean you should take it; you're encouraged to read the info you've collected rather than let the game do it for you.
Stuff like that is what makes it stand out. And to some people that elevates the game to a whole new level, forgiving many of its sins like I do with Planescape Torment or FarCry 2, for example. And like I'm sure most other people do with their favourite games.
02-12-2012, 06:57 AM #10196
ETA: Syndicate is like the anti-Spec Ops: The Line
Last edited by F. Lynx Pardinus; 02-12-2012 at 07:00 AM.
02-12-2012, 07:13 AM #10197
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
So I finally gave Planetside 2 a go. As expected, it's basically Battlefield 2142: Meh edition.
- the art style in this game is seriously crap, everything looks like GI Joe
- the performance is pretty horrible despite the fact that the game looks surprisingly unimpressive, especially the textures in "hard to reach" places(hint: they're not hard to reach WITH A JETPACK)
- speaking of jetpack, when you make a soldier you're instantly pushed a) into a class, b) into a squad, and c) into an (almost) certain death in the current meatgrinder. Nice
- glitches, glitches everywhere
- The class division is weird, some classes seem weirdly OP/exceedingly useful(engineers, medics) and some mostly useless(Light assault - yay, jetpack, so you can surprise one enemy by jumping on a roof and then get instantly waxed by 20 of his buddies; or infiltrator with a sniper rifle that doesn't kill enemies even with a headshot)
- unlocks seem to fall into two categories: must-have(more health, etc.) and a lot, LOT of crap you'll never buy because what's the point, really(most weapons which all have almost identical stats, scopes, etc.)
The gameplay as mentioned is a meatgrinder. And sure there can be a lot of players at once, but it doesn't really automatically make the game better, it just makes it a bigger meatgrinder. I really see no difference between three people spamming grenades down a corridor on a Titan and thirty people standing on a hill taking potshots at enemies on the walkways. I had one situation just like this, where we took an enemy base by literally doing just that; for an hour it was hill vs. base(or house vs. base, or a slightly different hill vs. base) where no progress has been made, millions of rounds were fired, and when we finally managed to capture the damn thing it was the most unimpressive victory in my gaming career. It literally seemed as if the enemy simply got bored and just let us have it because jesus, a whole hour of spam(hour I've been there. Might've actually been longer).
Yeah, the map is huge, but you'll never see or use 90% of it. Sunderers(Because Galaxies fly, and there's ridiculous oversaturation of AA in the game) get conveniently placed next to every base, so all the buffer areas/midfield(to use a T:A term) never gets fought over. The map really could be simply cut into pieces of facility + some surrounding terrain and for 99% time you're playing it wouldn't make a slightest bit of difference.
But then it would quite literally be BF2142: Meh Edition. Minus Titans. And aircraft that you can actually fly for more than thirty seconds. And with better art style. And with better weapon selection. And...
02-12-2012, 07:41 AM #10198
I'm starting to get impressed with Dishono(u)red. That Golden Cat mission was great. I just figured causing an 'unfortunate accident' with the steamer is much more satisfying than breaking the door down and slicing the twin's throat.
02-12-2012, 08:07 AM #10199
02-12-2012, 08:36 AM #10200
Though I kind of liked my eventual approach as well: I blinked across the outer balconies, opened the door behind him, stabbed him through the spine and was gone before the hooker even realised anything had happened.
That's the only mission where I eliminated the targets lethally. Because I just can't stand Pendleton. Also because I wanted the contents of that safe.
I've just finished the mission where you encounter the assassins, and I did a lot more running away in that one because they don't have those annoying alarms. If a guard activates the alarm in one of the mission areas, you're pretty much screwed. But running and hiding is so much more tense than quickloading whenever you're discovered, so I wish I had done it more often.
Last edited by LTK; 02-12-2012 at 08:40 AM.