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  1. #20781
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Stop running, start flying. You using a 360 pad?
    I'd say the 360 controls are very elegant, something you notice alot in new game plus is everything Batman has is just one press away.
    Definitely one I'd recommend playing with a controller--and not because the keyboard controls are crappy and phoned-in either.

    Also, yes, gliding about with the grapnel boost was joyous. It was like hook-shot part of moving around in Just Cause 2 only all the time without the bits where you're just driving down the freeway. Whether that's a good or a bad thing is a matter of taste.
    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

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  2. #20782
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Potaytoe, potahtoe. The "larger level" was a few rooms connected by hallways with mooks in them, and the overall "final level" of HR also involved checking nooks and crannies to unlock a different ending. The only real difference was that, after all the forking, there was one final join. Which largely made it easier on people who were going to repeatedly re-load their saves to see all the endings anyway.
    Fair enough, but we do this for the fantasy don't we? Placing you in a room with three buttons saying "ending 1, ending 2, ending 3" is just about as blatant as it gets. At least wrap it up a bit more convincingly.

  3. #20783
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by postinternetsyndrome View Post
    Fair enough, but we do this for the fantasy don't we? Placing you in a room with three buttons saying "ending 1, ending 2, ending 3" is just about as blatant as it gets. At least wrap it up a bit more convincingly.
    True. your actions during the game should define what ending you get not four buttons.

  4. #20784
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    True. your actions during the game should define what ending you get not four buttons.
    Your actions DO define your ending to the extent of what Jensen's motivation is

    Anything beyond that would lead to people bitching about a disconnect or that it is too obfuscated and what not. Don't believe me? Look at Dishonored. Or even the Mass Effect games where having a team that knows how to work with you and a ready galaxy apparently has nothing to do with not getting wiped out.

    The advantage of the approach taken by HR is that it still makes your actions feel somewhat meaningful (to the extent of Jensen's monologue) while letting people reload and get whatever endings they want with ease.
    Last edited by gundato; 06-04-2014 at 03:41 PM.
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  5. #20785
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    Just like an ending machine you can't throw. Inevarasvavis

  6. #20786
    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Anything beyond that would lead to people bitching about a disconnect or that it is too obfuscated and what not. Don't believe me? Look at Dishonored. Or even the Mass Effect games where having a team that knows how to work with you and a ready galaxy apparently has nothing to do with not getting wiped out.
    The problem with both the chaos and loyalty systems was that they felt contrived. Did you kill no more than an arbitrary number of people/finish every sidequest? Everybody lives happily ever after/random rockets to the face won't kill your buddies.

    As for the readiness system... well, Mass Effect 3's ending had problems far beyond multiplayer grinding.

    Also, this:
    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    while letting people reload and get whatever endings they want with ease.
    ain't a good thing.

  7. #20787
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    So, Shogun: Total War 2.



    The campaign complete score showed me winning as of turn 117, which you'll note for the short campaign is 3 turns before the end. It could've ended sooner, but I needed to shore up defences which was a good thing; recently taken provinces had low public faith and revolts were inevitable, enemy clans were sending last ditch armies to take my low garrisoned fortifications (or more precisely, trying to retake what I'd just seized from them) and sudden armies appearing from somewhere needed to be fended off, but ultimately I won. The actual siege of Kyoto was an absolute breeze. My second army was completely unneeded and I lost only 500ish troops by the end of the battle, all of which were in my initial assault waves.

    So there you go, I am now the shogun of Japan.

    As for the game itself, it is absolutely a Total War game in how it plays. Some of the depth is nice, but it can also feel like a delay before you're able to get going. You could make an argument that it augments the momentum you'd have from initial army building anyhow, but at that point simply having a decent army will do enough before having to wait for "+10% ammunition in all fights", or whatever. There's a hell of a lot to keep tabs on and it's fairly easy to do so, but like all previous Total War games, I feel like negative consequences are minimal. So long as you save often, a surprise army attack can be repelled by reloading and making sure you're prepared and bad fights can be replayed until completed successfully.

    There are a few mechanical issues I still have, with the AI/pathing mostly being of issue. Fights can be excruciating waiting for hundreds of your troops to meander into position when all you've asked them to do is march forward. It can make some of the formations you build be really dumb that they don't stick to it and have to weave in and out. Then of course on the campaign map you can tell very quickly whether or not you're going to have any momentum simply based on whether or not you win your first battles, but I can't really think of a fun way to get around that.

    Whilst on the whole it's mechanically far more interesting than Medieval 2, the last TW game I played, I find myself enjoying that more. I think it's the fact that troops feel at least a little more varied in that given that different regions produce different units. There's obviously plenty of soldier variety in Shogun 2, but it can feel like many times it's the same units up against the same ones and the victor will be determined by who simply has more experience or come from a province with a unique advantage (ie. bonus armour). With M2 you do get things like crossbow men versus mounted archers versus longbows. And I'm not saying that isn't present in S2, but it's paid very little attention. Each faction in M2 feels like it is unique, whilst in S2 it's just a different colour. That is partly the point, but I don't think it makes it quite as exciting.

    Anyhow, it all makes for a great podcast game! I've listened to tons of Nerdist podcasts. So, next game up for backlog removal: Dead Space 3. I'm...not entirely excited for this one.

    EDIT: Regarding the discussion above, when I finished DE:HR I said that it was more "press button to finish game." I'm not even sure why those choices in any game are there at all.
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  8. #20788
    I'm surprised anyone would defend it, especially considering the sheer stupidity leading up to it. Zombies? An antagonist lifted straight out of a shitty JRPG? All in a cyperpunk/renaissance setting? Bleh.

    Edit: Let's not forget the final boss. What the fuck was that? I understand The Missing Link offers an explanation, but seriously, what the fuck?
    Last edited by wrestledwithgod; 06-04-2014 at 05:52 PM.

  9. #20789
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrestledwithgod View Post
    I'm surprised anyone would defend it, especially considering the sheer stupidity leading up to it. Zombies? An antagonist lifted straight out of a shitty JRPG? Ugh.
    Ehh, the hyron girl was an Icarus facet like Jensen, much like Sarif calling adam "son" and the crippled genius are to Dedalus.
    To augment the characters, you know. No pun

    Edit: Let's not forget the final boss. What the fuck was that? I understand The Missing Link offers an explanation, but seriously, what the fuck?
    Not a writer but i'd bet on mythical method applied to cyberpunk's story archetype. Also a reference to the first deus ex of sorts, not sure how the second one goes, only with more action
    Last edited by Wenz; 06-04-2014 at 06:14 PM.

  10. #20790
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrestledwithgod View Post
    Also, this:


    ain't a good thing.
    Why ever not?
    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

  11. #20791
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Why ever not?
    Because it renders the journey meaningless? The ending should be a natural culmination of everything you've done to bring you to that point. Not a choose your flavour of denouement toggleswitch.

  12. #20792
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Eh... Blowing everything up was fucking horrific dressed up as morality. Narked me off. I wanted blowing everything up to be a recognised as the monstrous act it was.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  13. #20793
    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Because it renders the journey meaningless? The ending should be a natural culmination of everything you've done to bring you to that point. Not a choose your flavour of denouement toggleswitch.
    Pretty much. The problem isn't end choices, it's condensing all of them into the final minutes of the game and asking the oh-so-special player exactly what resolution they want. It's contrived as fuck, and it rubs me the wrong way.

  14. #20794
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrestledwithgod View Post

    ain't a good thing.
    It is what basically everyone did with Deus Ex.

    If we are going to assume it was good level/game design back when the original came out, it still is. All HR did was avoid needing to jog back and forth across the same hallway five or six times. If the hallway is truly the important thing, they could have spread them out: Sort of like Mass Effect 3 did :p
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  15. #20795
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    A good game with divergent paths would have you come to an ending you've created through your time in playing it. Simply being able to reload the last save point and see a completely different ending that essentially negates/ignores what you've done beforehand reduces the divergent points to just one point, the ending. It's poor writing for anything establishing itself as providing alternatives throughout to make them redundant. Just because it was done in the original Deus Ex does not negate the fact that when I eventually come to play that game, I will find it as stupid as I did/do in HR.

    I'm also fairly sure the ending for Deus Ex was mercilessly mocked for having the ending it does.
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  16. #20796
    Well, God forgive me, but I've yet to play through Deus Ex. :P

    Can't really comment on its ending as such, but regardless, HR's sucked. Yo, do you agree with Darrow, Sarif, or Taggart? Well, who cares, because it's the final hour of the game and all we're going to give you is a shitty monologue over stock footage!

  17. #20797
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrestledwithgod View Post
    Well, God forgive me, but I've yet to play through Deus Ex. :P
    As someone who's currently playing through DE:HR for the first time, can we limit the spoilers please? Right now I'm skipping over whole posts in the fear that you'll ruin it for me. Thanks. :)

  18. #20798
    Sure. They've been fairly limited so far, though. Except for the zombies. Seriously, fuck 'em.

  19. #20799
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    A good game with divergent paths would have you come to an ending you've created through your time in playing it. Simply being able to reload the last save point and see a completely different ending that essentially negates/ignores what you've done beforehand reduces the divergent points to just one point, the ending. It's poor writing for anything establishing itself as providing alternatives throughout to make them redundant. Just because it was done in the original Deus Ex does not negate the fact that when I eventually come to play that game, I will find it as stupid as I did/do in HR.

    I'm also fairly sure the ending for Deus Ex was mercilessly mocked for having the ending it does.
    How is it any different to have a decision you make in the last five minutes impact the ending, as opposed to one you make in the first minute?

    And look at people's reaction to The Witcher 1 and 2. They get VERY pissed that you don't immediately see the consequences of your actions. For some, that is a selling point, but for many it just leads to annoyance.

    While I think the original and HR are VERY linear games that have largely been hyped up via the magic of rose tinted glasses, I also think HR had a good approach to the ending. Your actions throughout the game greatly shape it, but the final decision is an informed one. The fact that all the decisions happen in the same room is unfortunate, but seeing as how the alternative is just running through hallways and killing mooks, I don't really mind.
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  20. #20800
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Well let's break that down then.

    How is it any different to have a decision you make in the last five minutes impact the ending, as opposed to one you make in the first minute?


    You're relying on a few factors here, but a choice given in the ending has poor narrative design written all over it if the ending is where the narrative ends, ie. there's no known sequel or follow-up for consequences to be felt. A choice at the beginning of the game has, well, the chance to impact the entire rest of the game. That's a massive narrative risk but it can be done and has been successfully. It also immediately gives way for showing that the player has agency; you impact the game at the beginning! This is now your game! At the ending feels like a peace-offering from the designer to give artificial choice. When you can reload a game and within 5 minutes (if that...) get the new ending, it's not exactly clever design. There's no work for it, no effort involved, so player agency is minimal and the impact is lessened.

    If we're assuming here that the types of games we're discussing this regarding implement choices throughout, choices early on will have obvious ramifications for those following and so on and so forth. The more choices the more independent the system. A good example would be to look at games where choices aren't words (and indeed I feel like the best choice systems in games are actions, not words) such as FTL. FTL is almost a Choose Your Own Adventure book but with adding game-play. Do you buy a shield? Yes/No? If you don't buy a shield you can save money and perhaps get a shield down the line and use that money to upgrade systems or weapons. If you do, you might find on the next stop you encounter a ship that would've seriously damaged you without shields. If the only implementation of whether or not you get shields is at the very end of the game, it takes away their impact. "What would the game have been like if only I had the option to choose this early on?" You form a completely different narrative.

    And look at people's reaction to The Witcher 1 and 2. They get VERY pissed that you don't immediately see the consequences of your actions. For some, that is a selling point, but for many it just leads to annoyance.


    I certainly think there's an audience that wants choices that are immediately felt, but I also think that people have become so engrossed in instant gratification that they can't wait for something down the line. Given that wanting things instantly has become ingrained in game mechanics for several years now, it's not an unsurprising feeling. I would also say those people are not who The Witcher series is aimed at. You could also use Alpha Protocol which does a nice balancing act. Consequences vary in length before being felt, but the game, for the most part, plays out the same. Same locations, mostly the same actions, just a different context to them. That...severely underplays exactly what AP does well, but for the quick point, it again shows with careful writing you can achieve a lot.

    It's not without reason that people cite The Witcher and Alpha Protocol as some of the best written games of recent times. It isn't just in dialogue that writing is important, which I feel all too many developers don't get.

    I also think HR had a good approach to the ending. Your actions throughout the game greatly shape it, but the final decision is an informed one.


    I agree that the choice is an informed one (apart from the additional hidden one but that makes sense in context) but not too greatly; some you notice throughout the course of the game and some you get in that last hour or so. That said, imagine if you had decisions like that throughout the game? Choices that gave you an hour of context to base them on and so on. A lot in that game, I felt, were very split-second decisions. With The Witcher you have the context of the world you're in to try and make decisions, as well as talking to other people and working out agendas. Similarly with conversation in AP and reading the dossiers can help you make decisions.

    Again, that it comes to the ending where the impact is immediate and all can be viewed in minutes of each other means the overall impact of each one is reduced. I think if you were to play the games in a seriously role played way, that Adam Jensen is an extension of attitudes you've assigned, that the decisions can carry more weight. That they're in the same room or a corridor aside makes no difference.
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