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01-10-2013, 11:15 AM #17521
01-10-2013, 11:32 AM #17522I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom
You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0
01-10-2013, 11:37 AM #17523
Whereas in here, any such introspection is academic. I can ponder the motives behind my decisions all I like, try to justify it along the grounds that I tried to defend the civilians in the church, that I’m just getting by in a warzone, but it’s also undeniable that I have destroyed the means for civilians to make their medicine, ended a ceasefire in the civil war solely so that I wouldn’t be out of work, and killed a school teacher in spite of the fact that he is the only man who I have encountered with a gun who didn’t try and shoot me with it, because that was my job. It’s not meant to be a heart of darkness “suddenly I realised I had become the monster” deal, ala Far Cry 3. It calls bullshit on that.
You’re there to kill, you’re a hired gun, like everyone else you encounter there, there’s no slow transformation. You’re just one more faceless mindlessly violent individual. The incredibly intense AI is simply playing the scenario as most videogames require their player to act-kill everything that isn’t on your side without hesitation. Whether intentional or not their behaviour makes It sort of apparent how ludicrous the conceit of most videogames are, because it mirrors what many of them require you to do. Shoot someone as soon as you can see them. Chase them and shoot at them. Shoot at them from distance, shoot them up close, run them off the road, shoot them. For all their insane aggression, they're just playing the game like you do.
Honourable, moral people do not find themselves in the position of the FC 2 protagonist. The honourable people are those harbouring the refugees, the doctors, the priest, they’re there, in the same scenario as you, but without the violence. You’re there but in spite of whatever you might think about what you’re doing or why you’re doing it, unlike them you’re making no difference at all. You don’t even help refuges altruistically, you do it for something in return. Wherever you go people of all stripes suffer and die. That’s all the presence of someone like you in this scenario achieves. Because contrary to what videogames have implied over the years, violence does not bring closure or progress unless you're using it against someone who isn't capable of being violent back. In Far Cry 2 the enemies are just as pathologically murderous as you, that's all, and as a result everything is horrible.
You shouldn’t need NPC’s or the plot of a game to tell you in this scenario that what you are doing is Not Good or somehow necessary because the evidence is everywhere. Most games offer some form of crumb or comfort or justification for mindless violence. Far Cry 2 removes that and just leaves you with the consequence of your behaviour. It doesn’t preach or judge you explicitly, it is a coldly rational experiment in the ends of means. Go and blow up some medicine. No gasps about the fallout of that decision for innocents, no cut scenes of suffering villages, nothing. Do you really need them to know that you shouldn’t be doing something like that? Is a heavy handed emotive que necessary for you to stop and think "Fuck, this is horrible"?
And as for “the warring factions are not just deluding themselves in a quest to bring about similar ends, they're practically carbon copies of each other”-if this isn’ t intended as positive observation I can only assume you’re not very familiar with the incredibly sad tale of much of Africa post-independence. That detail of the game is painfully accurate.
Last edited by sonson; 01-10-2013 at 11:43 AM.
01-10-2013, 12:01 PM #17524
Not to mention that much as I value the ability of creative media to get the end user to fill in the blanks I basically think you're doing it too much here, whether it's because you're so won over by the setting or the themes or whatever - I felt absolutely nothing for any of the buddy characters, hated the voice acting, thought nothing of their dialogue or their mission design invested them with any personality worth caring about and I don't understand how you or anyone else could think any differently. Seriously. Their writing was terrible, they were a pointless addition to the game as far as mechanics went (I used mine maybe once, and I'm not a fan of that guy who wrote the playing-with-permadeath article, before you mention it) and when the Big Twist came up I literally burst out laughing at the idea I was actually supposed to give a damn. Then I got angry at how clumsily it was railroading me into making a choice. Then later on I got even angrier when the game refused to let me make another choice I would actually have appreciated being able to follow through with (I thought the Jackal's final deal was hammy and melodramatic, but oddly emotional and a much more appropriate way of conveying the game's themes, and then the game didn't let me take it. Jesus Christ, Hocking).
And I knew, knew, knew you were going to say "But that's how all the warring factions are in real life..." - I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. I'm happy for you if you can read it as a stark commentary on the evils of war, but to me they're just robots even before we get to the appallingly bad voice acting. There was nothing interesting about them, no fine detail, no quirks, nothing to latch on to - I'm not demanding something that justifies nailing my colours to one mast or another, I want something that actually lets me see them as people. Nice people, horrible people, whatever, just give me some evidence of humanity, even if it's humanity's capacity for doing awful things to each other. The game had virtually nothing of this - every NPC was a walking plot device and little else. The basic goons had far more life to them, not to mention weirdly much better voice acting for some reason.
I'm somewhat frustrated now since I'd love to play the damn thing again if only to be proven wrong or at least moderate my opinions - it's been ages since I beat it, you're mentioning things I don't remember at all and the game fascinates me, even with all its flaws. (In contrast I can pretty much guarantee I will never play Farcry 3 again. Ugh.) But it starts grinding into a slideshow right from the opening raid on the hotel, with hideously stuttering audio even on the lowest settings, leaving it about as close to unplayable as a PC game can get without crashing out altogether. I think it was something to do with AMD cards, but I never did find a fix. :-(
01-10-2013, 12:40 PM #17525
I think it was intended to be a commentary on violence and FPS’s first and the African stuff is very much secondary to that. It’s just a sad fact that one of the few realistic contexts that you can put the excessive violence and total moral bankruptcy disguised as amoral necessity required to kill hundreds of people ala any FPS is in a civil war in the developing world. I don’t doubt that there was more of a vision for further political commentary at the outset, but just because it wasn’t fully realised doesn’t mean it doesn’t make lots of points very strongly none the less.
As for the factions-“There was nothing interesting about them, no fine detail, no quirks, nothing to latch on to - I'm not demanding something that justifies nailing my colours to one mast or another, I want something that actually lets me see them as people.”
Why do you need this? You’re not there to work for a cause or to make friends. You’re there to earn money in a war. You do that by finding people who will pay you to do horrible shit, because in a war that’s how you make money, you profiteer on the back of corruption and suffering and violence. If you cared about why they wanted that you wouldn’t be doing it in the first place. It’s not a profession which allows that luxury.
It’s clear from the outset both sides want the country, they want power, they explicitly say that. Again, I can only assume you’re not acquainted with African history if you think that isn’t a sufficiently fleshed out reason for warlords to go after each other.
I am quite familiar with parts of the continent. My Uncle lived in Ivory Coast for 28 years, there were several civil wars while he was there and there was no clarity as to what it was about to anyone except those fighting in it. One of my best friends works in another country where she helped broker a peace between two factions who were using 15 years olds as soldiers against each other, to absolutely no monetary or territorial gain what so ever. I went to visit this summer, there were 12 murders the fortnight I was there, the majority of them kids caught in the crossfire. The violence was theoretically over drugs or some other form of control. It wasn’t in the name of any ideological goal though, no grand cause. It was just about naked power on both sides.
You don’t have to buy it in the game, that’s up to you, but when it comes down to things like this the ideological purposes of the figures involved are so much ivory tower finesse when it involves facilitating children shooting each other with glocks. They are as fucking bad as each other, and no good person would have anything to do with them out of choice.
01-10-2013, 01:00 PM #17526
Handymen on the other hand (no pun intended) are lethal if you don't have a good strategy to deal with them as well as tons of ammo. If encountered alone you can cheese them by attaching to a skyrail. As soon as they begin their skyrail shocking attack, let go of the rails and shoot at their weak spot. Repeat until defeated.
Concerning the Burial at Sea DLC, I wonder SPOILER how they are going to set up the relationship between the alternative Elisabeth and Booker. The trailer suggests are more classic film noir setting with a mysterious lady hiring a private eye to do some kind of job and these plots often involve a hint of romantic/erotic relationship between the characters. Which would be very odd in this case, to say the least. /SPOILER
Last edited by Squiz; 01-10-2013 at 01:03 PM.
01-10-2013, 01:13 PM #17527Their firing arc is easily avoided by running around corners and they are pretty slow.
It's not that I hate losing, either. I tolerate much more brutal games with great patience. It's the way in which it is brutal that leaves me cold. Especially since I enjoy the combat more generally. If the challenge provided uses handymen and patriots in no small number, then I'm out.
As to the spoiler ... nah. Doesn't bug me. I mean ... who knows how deep the rabbit hole goes? Maybe it isn't as weird as it would seem on the surface. After all ... this is a different Booker and a different Elizabeth. Constants and variables ... whose to say their specific connection is one of the constants? What if it's simply their tendency to overlap with one another that's constant and how and why and as whom is variable? It doesn't have to be weird.
And even if it is as weird as it seems on the surface ... well, it's not like alternate universe Booker and Elizabeth know what happened in the other universe and what their relationship was like there. I mean ... well Elizabeth COULD in theory, but whatever.
Also remember, there was this one lovely comment that the Lutece's made when you an Elizabeth are on the boat. Something about how events are set in motion. If you want to stop something ... you don't know where it started, where it ends or who is really to blame. It's like the sane version of the butterfly effect--i.e. step on all the butterflies you want, there are bigger things a-foot, but within the scope of those bigger things, you're not just working with discrete people and events but complicated patterns. Anywho ... food for thought.
Last edited by gwathdring; 01-10-2013 at 01:23 PM.I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom
You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0
01-10-2013, 01:30 PM #17528
Yeah, the whole alternative realities thing still keeps me thinking. Space/time paradoxes are not my strong point but they are interesting nontheless. :)
01-10-2013, 01:38 PM #17529
I don't have much to add but I'm really enjoying your FC2 discussion, and I mostly agree with sonson. When I think of it, FC2 was the last FPS I really *liked* - FC3 was a crushing disappointment and I couldn't play it for more than 1 hour (it's actually the game that got me to feel RPS let me down - I couldn't believe they endorsed that awful, stupid game like that. I should have listened to Alec Meer instead of the others!)
As for current games, other than a ton of Race 07 (and now I'm starting to get mods - I'm never going to stop!), I've been trying to get into Dark Souls for the umpteenth time. If I may use a completely inappropriate metaphor, Dark Souls is my gaming Moby Dick - I am terrible at it, it has all the gameplay elements that frustrate me (I don't normally enjoy difficult games that force you to replay long sections, etc.), I really should hate it but I'm inexplicably attracted to it and want to vanquish it. I probably won't.
Last edited by Faldrath; 01-10-2013 at 01:40 PM.
01-10-2013, 01:41 PM #17530
I really don't enjoy how Dark Souls feels to play. It sounded like exactly the kind of difficult game I could sink my teeth into (and be terrible at despite enjoying myself), but sadly I'm just not that into the feel of the mechanics. Moving and fighting just feels ... off to me.I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom
You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0
01-10-2013, 01:47 PM #17531
01-10-2013, 01:52 PM #17532
You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0
01-10-2013, 02:55 PM #17533
01-10-2013, 03:16 PM #17534
Gwath maybe try the 60fps mode? I cannot implore you any harder to keep going, I bounced off it originally but it's one of my favourite games ever now.steam: sketch
01-10-2013, 06:05 PM #17535
Playing a bit of Far Cry 2, partly to see if I really misremembered the quality of voice acting, but no, I still think it's very good, so the comments about it being appalling and such really puzzle me. The often urgent and somewhat slurred pronunciation fits perfectly, to me.
Aside from that, my current system can handle it a good bit better than when I played it in the past and it at least seems like there's a lot more vegetation now, which makes it rather more difficult to spot enemies.
Seems to default to DX9, though, which I only just noticed.
01-10-2013, 07:10 PM #17536
Sonson, I guessed from the way you phrased your comment that you had an interest and/or a personal connection to the region; I didn't mean to counter you with a WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN TO MEEEEE, etc. Sorry if my reply came across that way. It wouldn't be very hard to be more clued up about recent African history than I am, to be honest.
That said, I still disagree, I'm afraid. I get that you're in a better position to cast judgement, but at the same time, let me put it as crudely as I can; the main characters in Farcry 2, as far as I'm concerned, might as well be robots. No matter how much you dislike or despise people's ideologies, convictions etc. (or lack thereof) in real life, they typically do not come across like robots, unless they're mentally ill. (Or maybe just really, really boring people.) I get that mercenaries are ultimately concerned with getting paid, not with the rights and wrongs of whatever cause they're fighting for, but I'm pretty sure they still have inner lives, a sense of purpose, even if that purpose is largely to make a truckload of money, and get laid/wasted whenever they're not shooting people.
I wanted someone like Vaas, say - not because I liked him, not because I identified with him, but at least he was someone who actually felt like a person. A B-movie idea of what a deranged killer ought to be like, maybe - I wouldn't want every single named individual in any gameworld to be that far over the line - but Christ, even a fraction of that energy would have been something.
And I don't understand how anyone can not find fault with the voice acting for all the main characters. Real human beings do not habitually speak that fast in any language I've ever heard, much less English, and not in that expressionless monotone. Again, point me at a counter-example if I'm wrong - I freely admit I've never been anywhere close to South Africa. But I've never heard anything in any film, TV show, documentary, radio broadcast, anything to make me doubt it. I love the idea of the Jackal as a character, Conrad ripoff or not, and I liked a great deal of his dialogue and the audio tapes, but the actual voice acting is awful.
For all my complaining, nit-picking, what have you, I stress again I really did like Farcry 2. A lot. (It was a huge disappointment finding it won't work on my PC.) I thought despite all the flaws it still had a phenomenal sense of place, a feeling of weary futility few if any games measure up to, a marvellous feeling of exploration and discovery despite the world being so closed off in many respects, and some terrific gunplay despite the flawed AI and occasional nasty difficulty spikes. I complain because it hinted at being a masterpiece and fell painfully short, in my book, but it's still one of my most fondly remembered manshoots going. Farcry 3 doesn't come close, despite the shinier graphics, and the near-universal acclaim that game got regardless baffles me. (EDIT: As in I can see why people love Farcry 2, regardless of how heavily I come down on it, but with Farcry 3 I can't see anything there besides the production values that hasn't been done far better elsewhere already, even in the same franchise.)
Last edited by Eight Rooks; 01-10-2013 at 07:16 PM.
01-10-2013, 09:54 PM #17537
So after reading all the praise it has been given over at the PC Bargains thread, I decided to buy Receiver.
Holy freaking hell is this game tense. I don't think I'll ever get the 11 tapes, but even then, just the gun fiddling is quite interesting in and of itself. Pity it has such a limited selection (just 3 handguns).
01-10-2013, 10:09 PM #17538
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
So I'm new to Civ V, and I've only really played to the Middle Ages in a couple of games. Still figuring out what everything does. I like the way city states work- they're not players in their own right, but rather independent cities. They ask for things, based on a personality they have, and if you can do what they ask they can become friends or allies, and they'll give you stuff, depending on what type of city they are. Or you can just bully them for cash, or conquer them. It's neat, and characterful.
It also shows up how shallow your interaction with the other civs (the 'players') is. I'm hoping it changes later in the game, with the UN and ideologies and all that, but I really don't have much to do with the other civs, and they don't seem to need to pay much attention to me. We can't build that many cities, so space is less of a concern early on. There isn't that much to trade. We can make declarations which don't seem to mean a whole lot. We can compete for the affections of the city states, but that's all a bit hands off- it's hard for me to stymie their efforts or vice versa.
Are there any 4Xs in which you've enjoyed the diplomacy?
01-10-2013, 10:21 PM #17539
If I might try one last time to explain why the largely empty characters don't bother me-I totally get your frustration at their two dimensional nature, and am fully on the side of portraying people as humans irrespective of their behavior in most instances.
However, I can overlook the stereotypes on display here because I don't believe their purpose is really to represent fully realised human beings. As I said before, I think Far Cry 2 is very much a game first and simulation/political commentary second. The fundamental point of Far Cry 2 is to simulate and explore unrestricted violence and allow the disquiet and futility of the consequences of that to arise from playing the game, rather than following a story or having it exposited to you. The tension must arise from the player for this to work, meaning that pretty much every other component has to facilitate the experience and so play out smoothly. And it does. You don't even have to shoot people to kill them! Everything you can interact with is a weapon more or less.
The only things you either can't kill, or which don't try to kill you, are the civilians and the animals, those are the sort of mechanical bumps in the road which serve to highlight just how endlessly violent the rest of the game is, they create tension in being present and are somewhat exceptions to the laws of the game which otherwise dominate completely.
Now to me, a more realistic individual as the head of the APR or UFLL for example would similarly slow down the simulation like these items, if it implied or required me to consider why this guy is doing what he is and what his mother thinks about it. In a drama or novel, I would want those things, because otherwise you're just drawing a pulpy caricature rather than a person, and I want to be given pause to think about the moral issues, but in this game, it is essential that these men have to propel the violence forward because in the grand scheme of things that's what they're there for.
In short-The moral conflict does not come from what they're doing, but what you're doing, and so they must not distract from this and indeed must contribute to what you can do.
Were they any more rounded that would move the game towards more narrative territory which would be at odds with the otherwise overwhelming mechanical focus of the game. Everything pretty much has to work toward the game elements for it's message to come through, bar those elements as mentioned above which are explicitly there for contrast. I think that's also why the presence of a fully functional bus service and any number of quality jeeps and plentifully supplied arms dealers with exceedingly high quality weaponry available doesn't bother me. Taken in isolation these are not remotely realistic but they are mechanics which conspire to make a realistic point none the less.
That point being, I think, the futility of violence, and the moral destitution which endless killing requires. Where can you find a realistic representation of the attitudes require by an FPS, unthinking and uninhibited violence as a means of progress and empowerment? In a country which has been broken by tyrants and occupied by the sort of people who see it as a vocational or financial opportunity. In the saddest places in the world, basically.
Last edited by sonson; 01-10-2013 at 10:25 PM.
01-10-2013, 10:34 PM #17540
Played a round of the BF4 beta. I like a lot of the new tweaks (especially to the hud), and I think they heavily tweaked the RPG (or everyone in a tank is incompetent) as I scored quite a few AT kills.
Now off to TerrariaSteam: Gundato
If you want me on either service, I suggest PMing me here first to let me know who you are.