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  1. #20801
    Sure. They've been fairly limited so far, though. Except for the zombies. Seriously, fuck 'em.

  2. #20802
    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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  3. #20803
    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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  4. #20804
    Lesser Hivemind Node Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    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.
    Unit variety is probably what I missed the most when I moved on from Rome. I never clicked with Medieval 2, but Empire, Nappy and Shogun 2 had some issues with cookie-cutter units. Am I right in expecting this to be better in Rome 2?

  5. #20805
    Obscure Node Trumgottist's Avatar
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    I'm playing Chaos Reborn (the prototype), and it's great fun!

    If you haven't done so already, read the RPS preview and head on over to Kickstarter and make a pledge! One of the most fun games I've ever played. (Yes, even in this pre-alpha state, complete with the occasional game-breaking bug.)
    Last edited by Trumgottist; 07-04-2014 at 12:21 AM.

  6. #20806
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wenz's Avatar
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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

    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!

    Yeah, tone changes depending on how many kills you got through the game but since it's a prequel it can't prevent deus ex from happening. More reasons the choice is useless in a subtle way (it's provided from youknowwho).
    Last edited by Wenz; 07-04-2014 at 07:09 AM.

  7. #20807
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    Long time no post in this thread. Since my last post I’ve got myself a new Gaming PC so I can play ALL THE SHINIES!

    First thing I thought I’d throw at it was Metro: Last Light as I hear it really pushes your system.

    It ran like balls, fire fights had the FPS dropping to 15 and i was a very sad PC gamer.
    With a fair bit a scepticism I thought I’d run the Geforce Experience Program that came with my OC 770 gtx and low and behold the game was fixed! I don't know what magical mysticism was cast over my system but it was ale to Run Metro: Last Light with no problems on max setting from then on. Wonderful

    So anyway, the game its self is an atmospheric corridor shooter. So much detail has gone into the game world to make it one of the most believable experiences I’ve had in a long while, from the detail of the environment to the subtle lighting and the conversations going on in the background the world of the Moscow Metro will immerse you in its post apocalyptic life wholly. I think the game recognises this off the bat and gives you the option to get rid of your HUD and make the game world more lethal with ‘Ranger mode’, which I jumped straight into and didn’t regret.

    The graphics are nearly top notch, the only complaint I have is that everything looks like its been smeared in 3 layers of Vaseline making it all very, very shiny and I’m not sure why that is. Everything else is fine, again it’s the details, I must have spent ages just watching the smoke and dust almost curl around objects and NPCs as they walked around.
    Gameplay wise I found it to be a linear shooter with some pretty good stealth sections. Gunplay is great and varied but opponents AI is mediocre at best, making the sections against humans feel less threatening than any sections with the many bloodcurdling mutant species. Sadly Metro: Last Light suffers from a lot of sections where the game takes complete control over your actions in a sort of ‘cut scene’. This with more than its fair share of ‘hit ‘E’ not to die quick time events’.

    The Plot is nothing to write home about, and seems to completely contradict the choices I made in Metro:2033. But roll with it, its pulpy nonsense that has nothing of the political tension the first game had. Characters are generally wooden and predictable, except for Pavel, who is fantastic.

    In short I think Metro: Last Light is a good game, maybe not as good as the original but I’m interested enough to carry on with the DLC because the game world is just so engaging.

  8. #20808
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    I've finished Vampire: Bloodlines as a Brujah.
    I loved it, except the sewers. God I hated the sewers.
    I feel like it's the game that gets closer to the "immersive sim" with the openness of the maps and freedom in the quests. Sadly it tends to focus too much on combat.
    The first place is terribly designed. A city with only two streets which are connected by... a parking lot. There are more parking spaces than houses and buildings in Santa Monica. It gets better fortunately.
    Stealth felt a bit broken later in the game. I had a high level and I could bump into people and they would get on alert but wouldn't attack me. I could go around them until I managed to stealth kill them, right next to a buddy and he wouldn't notice.

    I'm saving a Malkavian run for the future.

  9. #20809
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    Now that Human Revolution is crossed off the backlog, I'm delving into Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes from Liberty City. I'm tackling the Lost and Damned first, and, as expected, it's just more GTA4. Which is both a good and a bad thing.

  10. #20810
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    I loved it, except the sewers. God I hated the sewers.
    We all hate it.
    I'm saving a Malkavian run for the future.
    Ah. To be able to do it again... to play VTMB second time but first time as Malkavian. I envy you sir.

  11. #20811
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
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    Playing Malkavian is the sequel to that game, really.

  12. #20812
    Quote Originally Posted by postinternetsyndrome View Post
    Playing Malkavian is the sequel to that game, really.
    Indeed. The conversations are funny if it's the first time you're playing it, but becomes absolutely brilliant if you actually know what happens... later.

  13. #20813
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    We all hate it.
    Not to mention all the sewer levels ever made.

  14. #20814
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    AOW 3 has sucked me in despite me bouncing off it at first. I'm still at the fun stage where I'm playing to discover all the shiny toys and spell options you can get. Not sure the game will have value to me beyond that point since the AI seems to be somewhat brain dead even for a 4x game. There is rumor on the official forums that they will soon add extra races from the previous titles as DLC such as Undead, Lizardmen and those snow dudes with the Dire Penguins. That might be worth waiting for if you haven't bought this already.

    Have only played custom random maps so far. Story campaigns and 4x games do not mix well; I want to unlock all the toys in sandbox mode straight off and not have them doled out one by one like pet treats. Besides, it doesn't want to play ickle Elveses, no it doesn't, precious.

  15. #20815
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Not to mention all the sewer levels ever made.
    Dishonored's were pretty good. Half Life 2, too?

  16. #20816
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Mirror's edge had an ace sewer.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  17. #20817
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    Half Life 2's sewers weren't terrible, but still probably my least favourite part of the game. The original Deus Ex had some great sewer/underground sections.

  18. #20818
    Lesser Hivemind Node Similar's Avatar
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    Not sure if it's just that they can often be run windowed (my TV broke and I only have one monitor, so if I want to watch something while playing it has to be windowed), but I seem to be in a tower defense mood lately. After completing Super Sanctum TD I've been playing Kingdom Rush. It's not really the style I prefer, but I ended up quite enjoying it, except for the very last mission, Pandaemonium. That level is difficult, enough to get rather frustrating. It relies too much on you using the hero very actively, which isn't terribly easy nor very enjoyable.
    I think I've tried it over 25 times without luck.
    (Edit: It always helps to complain on the internet; I just completed that mission).

    I still feel like playing more TDs, but I'm not sure which one to play next. Defense Grid is definitely my all time favourite, but it might be a bit too soon to return to it (I don't think it'll work too well windowed either). I wish there were more 'pure' TDs, i.e. ones without powers or heroes, but I don't know of any aside from DG.
    Last edited by Similar; 07-04-2014 at 10:38 PM.

  19. #20819
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    Well I just done Deus Ex for the 2nd time in my miserable life and i forgot how good it really is. I also forgot how good the B-movie secret organisation and governments plots are. I mean I don't think we have had one of those in fucking years? The last one I remember is Half like 2. Nowadays its all zombies and survival shit. I went with the gun and run method because i'm too old with the silent approach. I mean used to tip toe into bed half drunk and the missus would none be the wiser, now? as soon as I open the door, i'm a drunken bastard and I should cast myself into the spare room. Anyway the point being I found it more enjoyable gunning everyone down, the level design while fucking massive, is a joy to behold, multiple paths which I seem to always find the exit too. Infact I think I got lost once and that was in Paris and that was no surprise. Much harder to kill someone when they are hiding and you can't find him.

    The voice acting is terrible but that just adds to the charm. The levels are all mostly set in the evening or night time and that sets the tone and mood. The music is all punchy and futuristic and I know there are loads of choices that I have probably missed. I'll tell you, they certainly don't make them like this gem anymore. I think the only regret is that I chose the wrong ending as I believe now that I chose that one already. AI.

  20. #20820
    Network Hub TheDreamlord's Avatar
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    After finishing Dark Souls, I switched back to Shadowrun Returns after a long absence so as to wrap it up and finish it as well. I haven't touched it since a few weeks after it was released and I quite like that they finally added a proper save mechanism.

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