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  1. #17521
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drayk View Post
    I would play that.

    We should pitch this to Ken Levine.
    What's the fella doing at the moment anyway? More DLC? Speaking of which, what do you think of the already available bit of extra challenges and the announced Burial at Sea DLC? I am thinking about buying the season pass, mostly for the new story arcs as I am not a big fan of achievements and leaderboards per se (but it's a nice bonus).

  2. #17522
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    He's off doing the Logans Run remake screenplay
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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  3. #17523
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    He's off doing the Logans Run remake screenplay
    Interesting. This reminds me that I need to get back to reading some more Sci-Fi (and more books in general, so many things that I still want to read). Not sure what to think of modern remakes of classic movies (or adaptations of novels for that matter), but I'll keep an eye on this.

  4. #17524
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrelfanatic View Post
    What's the fella doing at the moment anyway? More DLC? Speaking of which, what do you think of the already available bit of extra challenges and the announced Burial at Sea DLC? I am thinking about buying the season pass, mostly for the new story arcs as I am not a big fan of achievements and leaderboards per se (but it's a nice bonus).
    I'm curious about Clash In the Clouds, but pessimistic. I loved the combat mechanics but hated how difficulty was created in the game. Does CIC give you nice tactical arenas, varied enemies, and large groups over powerhouse units like Patriots and Handymen? Because I'd love challenging combat in Bioshock Infinite's engine but I hate the Patriots and Handymen. They're just obnoxiously large healthbars.
    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

  5. #17525
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    The "No-one knows who you are" plot device is a design crutch of the worst order that makes very little sense; the warring factions are not just deluding themselves in a quest to bring about similar ends, they're practically carbon copies of each other; none of the characters have any personality at all, never mind anything I could warm to or be repelled by; the game gives me no opportunity to do anything bar kill people who it's more or less spelt out deserve it, and on, and on, and on. On a visual and aural level the world is fantastic, but it's so blatantly a thing of rules and numbers ticking away the illusion simply doesn't hold up if you glance at it for more than a few seconds.
    Buddies are drawn with incredibly broad strokes but I have had reason to like some more than others, they’re all there for their own purpose. The American guy came across as a douche but I liked Flora who was for all intents and purposes a sort of militant hippie and I like my current buddy, the Haitian dude. There are throw away bits too, referencing wives or families, and when they die they all cry out something different. Just enough to make them individuals with an element of humanity about them, but no more. Most NPC’s are in games to provide context or narrative filler but they tend to perpetuate the myth of some sort of moral conflict or tension in doing so-that you’re murdering hundreds on accounts of protecting the innocent Elizabeth or mayor of such and such or what have you.

    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.

  6. #17526
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    *snip*
    Again, I take your meaning about not wanting to be hammered over the head with Bad Things, and I hate when I play games or read books or watch films or whatever that are explicitly telling me this is bad, and I should feel bad... but Ubisoft explicitly said in interviews they took out things like the ability to shoot civilians because they were worried about the backlash and I'm sorry, I find Farcry 2 feels like a game that's been fundamentally compromised on some level because the majority of the buying public simply wouldn't have wanted it the way it originally existed on the drawing board.

    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. :-(

  7. #17527
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #17528
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I'm curious about Clash In the Clouds, but pessimistic. I loved the combat mechanics but hated how difficulty was created in the game. Does CIC give you nice tactical arenas, varied enemies, and large groups over powerhouse units like Patriots and Handymen? Because I'd love challenging combat in Bioshock Infinite's engine but I hate the Patriots and Handymen. They're just obnoxiously large healthbars.
    After a while, and to my surprise, the Patriots didn't bother me so much anymore. Their firing arc is easily avoided by running around corners and they are pretty slow. More troublesome are the human enemies that often accompany the Patriots in the later stages of the game because you have to need to take those out first if you are planning to kite a lot.

    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.

  9. #17529
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Their firing arc is easily avoided by running around corners and they are pretty slow.
    I don't hate them because they kill me. I hate them becasue it's so hard for me to kill them and the payoff in between them showing up and ending up dead just isn't there for me. Same with Handymen. It's not that I can't kill them if I try ... it's that I don't want to try. It's not an enjoyable process for me.

    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

  10. #17530
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    Yeah, the whole alternative realities thing still keeps me thinking. Space/time paradoxes are not my strong point but they are interesting nontheless. :)

  11. #17531
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #17532
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    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

  13. #17533
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    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.
    Did you try the dsfix mod? I found things got rather more fluid after unlocking FPS and playing it at 60.

  14. #17534
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faldrath View Post
    Did you try the dsfix mod? I found things got rather more fluid after unlocking FPS and playing it at 60.
    Sure did. Thanks though.
    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

  15. #17535
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faldrath View Post
    I don't have much to add but I'm really enjoying your FC2 discussion.
    Me too! Your whole discussion has made me cast tempted glances at the collector's edition on the cupboard to my left. I should replay it soon, despite the large backlog I still have.

  16. #17536
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    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

  17. #17537
    Lesser Hivemind Node Similar's Avatar
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    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.

  18. #17538
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    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.

  19. #17539
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    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).

  20. #17540
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    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?

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