Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 83
  1. #41
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    'Merica
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Except Homefront where you mortar your own troops by accident. Also with white phosphorus, amusingly.

    But since no devs were there to say "Yo, sit down and check this out" no one sat down and checked it out to make long posts on gaming forums later.
    Probably because the game then said, "Oh well, mistake made. Let's give you more bad guys to shoot now!" instead of trying to make it one of the points of the whole story.

    No one cares about it for the same reasons no one cares about the No Russian level in Modern Warfare 2 anymore - it was just theatrics.
    Virtual Pilot 3D™ NEVER NOT SCAM!

  2. #42
    When playing the game I had a feeling of watching a 6 hour movie, with every type of cliche possible. In reality, people that commit war crimes are not insane, they know exactly what they are doing, maybe they rationalize their actions saying that they were only trying to be heroes. The reality is alot more terrible, the killers do what they do, not because they are insane, but because they like to kill and feel the power over the life of others. Alot of people criticized the plot of Far Cry 3, but it is more effective in showing how the desire for power can turn someone into a monster. The problem of Modern Warfare ( wich this game failed to comment) it is not you trying to feel a hero helping others, but the idea that violence can be used to something good and is even desirable.

    I watched interviews with Vietnam veterans and all of them said the same thing: they liked to kill and they felt an experience almost as exciting as sex. Some of them even kept souvenirs of the enemy killed.They were crazy? No. They saw hallucinations and killed oher people because they didn't know what they were doing?No. They talked with a imaginary captain that said how bad they were? No.They are different than any other soldier in the world? No. This game made the same mistake alot of movies does, that people do evil shit because they are crazy, trying to be a hero, uninformed of the situation, and other excuses. It is the idea of violence as a positive thing that is the root of all evils, give a gun to someone (US soldier,German soldier, Russian soldier, doen't matter) and say to this guy that he has power over the life of other people who can't defend themselves, he is morally superior and all of his violence is justified, wait and see what happens. The game concentrated too much in narrative gimmicks copied from movies (Walker and Konrad scene), the plot was a confusing mess (only started to make sense at the end), the gameplay totally disconected from the story ( as someone said, you killed already 50 people before any bad decision that Walker takes), the game failed to show the humanity of the soldiers that you killed (I felt that are just faceless, clone soldiers, and didn't had any guilt in killing them).

  3. #43
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,277
    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    Probably because the game then said, "Oh well, mistake made. Let's give you more bad guys to shoot now!" instead of trying to make it one of the points of the whole story.

    No one cares about it for the same reasons no one cares about the No Russian level in Modern Warfare 2 anymore - it was just theatrics.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/helen-le...tions-conflict

    This is another good argument as to how the genre is poorly positioned to make worthwhile comments on war as well.

  4. #44
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,277
    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    But he really isn't getting it - he's stuck on the subject of the gameplay instead of the game's story which is the actual point of the game and the thread.

    It's not a commentary on how unrealistic modern war shooter games are, it's a commentary on the bravado "Let's be a hero!" attitude and how it would actually work out.
    Fair enough, if that's how you read it. In which case though that's hardly an impressive point to make, to me. No more impressive than playing a girtty mario which says "plumbers don't really jump around on mushrooms". I'm fully aware it's stupid and has no bearing whatsoever on reality, becuase plumbers don't do that and people in warzones aren't capable of killing hundreds of people while restoring their own health or rebirthing themselves. It's obviously a stupid fantasy and beyond the fact that such fanatsies occur in the "Real World" there is nothing to really suggest that they are remotley representative of any actual eventuality in the first place beyond the publishers and the narrative of the game saying so. The GAME itself, the thing you play, makes no pretense what so ever that there is anything remotley realisitc about what you're doing. Quite beyond the main mechanic of you being immortal and everyone else existing solely to die, guns don't load and fire like they do in these games, ammo dosen't make itself plentifully available in fortuitous locations, these sort of actions don't even happen that much in the first place.

    Sure, Spec Ops openly joins that chorus and says that War games aren't real and that war isn't like that, and that these games are stupid fantasies, but really, that's something I think most people already knew to be honest, and the main conceits it repeats are still the same, and wrong anyway.

    Basically-what's the point in saying something isn't what it says it is, when in the first place said object barely even makes such claims in the first place anyway? All it becomes is another war game which has nothing to do with war or violence, another game which uses violence meaninglessly. If you're point is that war games aren't represnetative of war and heroism in the real world, don't make a game to laugh and point, that's not clever. Make a game which shames them by actually meaning something instead.

    Spec Ops to me is a smug game which sneers and laughs at other games which don't have as much thought beyond them, but there is nothing that actually seperates what it actually is from the thing that it's pointing at other than the attitude it so loudly adopts. I'd rather be dumb and thoughtless than intelligent but wasteful and smarmy.
    Last edited by sonson; 04-01-2013 at 03:14 PM.

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5,331
    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    http://www.newstatesman.com/helen-le...tions-conflict

    This is another good argument as to how the genre is poorly positioned to make worthwhile comments on war as well.
    I disagree.

    That article basically boils down to "Having to sit and think about what you are doing is powerful. Fast-paced games aren't good for that". And that is true, but it ignores a big part.

    Before I elaborate, let me digress with the example of THe Witcher (1 and 2) VS Mass Effect. Mass Effect, love it or hate it, has some REALLY good decision points where you have to consider the consequences of your actions. But you generally know that it is a big decision and that your consequences will come up fairly quickly. The third game sort of played with this, but it was generally a case of "If you had 'good' consequences in the short term, you'll still have 'good' consequences in the long term." In The Witcher, you are given two (or more) options, both of which have tradeoffs. But both of which also will have ripple effects later on that may have VERY unforseen consequences. So for ME, you can think through and make an informed decision. For TW, you basically have to live with the consequences of what you do.

    It is similar in comparing the two approaches here. A fast paced action game lends to "shoot first, ask questions later", whereas a methodical text adventure makes you think through your actions. And both have their advantages. The former may result in you killing all the guys who came after you, only to "realize" later that they had families and that you might very well be perpetuating a cycle of violence. Or, you may have to kill someone who is coming after you, even though you really don't want to. Because regardless of your moral beliefs, the other guy is going to kill you if you don't act immediately. And people LOVE to say "I would never do that". But, in the heat of the moment, who knows? And the fast-paced approach comes (marginally) closer to dealing with the heat of the moment than the methodical text-based one.

    That article mentions a few times "Hug the insurgent" or "Why not just talk to him?". And those are very interesting takes on it. It also reminds me of the most recent Rambo movie where Darla and her missionary friends think they can save the world through preaching the "word of God", and Rambo and Charlie "Ladyboy Cunts" Cutter have to save them when reality ensues. Because if the other person is actively raising a gun to shoot at you, hugging and talking (especially if you don't share a language), might not be a good solution.

    Which takes less of the question of morality and philosophy off of the act of killing (arguably in self-defense at that point), and places it more on the big question "Why are you here? What do you hope to accomplish?".

    And I think that is what Spec Ops did well. It doesn't "hold you responsible" for what you do to survive. When someone is trying to kill you, it is "okay" to shoot back. Instead, it "holds you responsible" for the choices and decisions that led to you being in that situation in the first place.
    Even the horrifying WP-mortar sequence doesn't necessarily damn you for choosing to use the mortar. In fact, it goes out of its way to essentially show that you would have died if you didn't. But, as the voices say, you would never have been there if you had just stayed on mission and reported in the results of your reconnasaince.
    Steam: Gundato
    PSN: Gundato
    If you want me on either service, I suggest PMing me here first to let me know who you are.

  6. #46
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5,331
    Putting this in a seperate post:

    I also REALLY dislike those "serious games" that are meant to "teach a lesson". Because they are huge straw man arguments that exist to push the agenda of the maker, and nothing more. And when you do that, you don't convince anyone. You just get a bunch of people saying "Yes, I totally agree. They are visionaries" and a bunch of people saying "Ugh. Seriously?"

    Spec Ops might (arguably) fall into that category, but I don't think it does on the simple grounds that it is MUCH more subtle about it. At its core, it is still an enjoyable modern military manshoot in terms of gameplay. But it also makes you think while you do it. So it at least attempts to appeal to a broader audience, rather than just the people who are already drinking the appropriate type of kool-aid (I like Red Flavor-Aid personally).
    Steam: Gundato
    PSN: Gundato
    If you want me on either service, I suggest PMing me here first to let me know who you are.

  7. #47
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,277
    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Putting this in a seperate post:

    I also REALLY dislike those "serious games" that are meant to "teach a lesson". Because they are huge straw man arguments that exist to push the agenda of the maker, and nothing more. And when you do that, you don't convince anyone. You just get a bunch of people saying "Yes, I totally agree. They are visionaries" and a bunch of people saying "Ugh. Seriously?"

    Spec Ops might (arguably) fall into that category, but I don't think it does on the simple grounds that it is MUCH more subtle about it. At its core, it is still an enjoyable modern military manshoot in terms of gameplay. But it also makes you think while you do it. So it at least attempts to appeal to a broader audience, rather than just the people who are already drinking the appropriate type of kool-aid (I like Red Flavor-Aid personally).
    BIG POST

    Thanks for the reply Gundato. I don’t want to reply point by point as I don’t really take issue with what you’re saying really. I think what it comes down to is our interpretation of the ambition of Spec Ops.

    I won’t hesitate to argue that for it’s genre, and within the confines of the AAA sphere, Spec Ops is pretty clever. I’m not doubting that or refuting that at all. I am going to press on with my personal belief that it intends to do more than lampoon your average Warfighter clone. If that is it’s ambition, then it achieves it well, but it’s a pretty limited ambition to start with and hence unremarkable defined as such.

    As a war game however-I just think that when you have the ability to spot the tropes you’re lampooning, the intellect to spot the bigger issues, you should tackle them. You should go further. The AAA industry is usually criticised for it’s lack of ambition, it’s clichés, it’s sameness, and Spec Ops to me is constrained by this.

    Constrained in the message it tells, in my opinion, it is very much a message told rather than a message experienced. In which case, I would argue again, the point has been missed about why you make a game about the horrors of war at all.

    It’s interesting that it reminds you of that Darla episode, as I feel that’s quite analogous to the whole situation. What you’re saying is that it’s a game which makes you rethink your preconceptions in the face of a gun and your agency, and that’s to be applauded. And I do agree with that.

    What I’m saying though is that I wish it had had the courage to have come to the conclusion to try the hug or the talk instead anyway. It’s a more optimistic and radical approach sure, but what it does is suggest that there are bigger values that exist within war outwith an immediate contest of war and violence.

    Traditional shooter says that that context is dramatic, exciting, heroic, gets your adrenaline pumping. Spec ops says that it’s grim, and nasty, and compromising, and horrible.

    Either the way, the picture presented is the same-violent personal contest. One has a more action man feel to it, the other a grimdark character. But both are served up very much as a game, a winnable one, with aims, largely understandable, straight forward, coherent, telegraphed, orderly, progressive. They present war and battle as something comprehendible, largely sane and controlled. Something that soldiers do. Something political and sanitised. Grown up and adult and violent for sure, but something that grown ups are nonetheless perfectly equipped to do.

    They take your man holding a gun scenario and make responding to such in a similar fashion a neat, even fun, solution.

    When my reality tells me that violence only begats violence and that responding to aggressive confrontation with the same only leads to more bloodshed. To me, the horror of violence and domination is not just found on the battlefield, it’s not just seeing waterboarding, it’s not just summary execution of civilians or miscarriages of injustice. The horror of violence and domination is that it consumes humanity, so that a response to someone holding a gun is to seek to shoot them instead of reasoning with them and to pursue these actions in the first place. War is essentially the breakdown of all the rules we know and live by. It's not that women get shot by accident on occasion and that the perpetrators are haunted forever. It's that women and men and children get killed systematically on a daily basis and that they killed by people who allow it to happen or don't even care that it does. It's that people die on a massive scale and that that isn't enough to stop it from happening.

    Yet Modern wargames transpose you to a point where the inexplicable is not just explained, it has rules and is a game.

    I’m not saying don’t make games about war or anything-what I am saying is that because the subject is so unknowingly huge, either just use it as a gamey context, ala COH a thematic fiction based on non fiction, or have the commitment to try and tackle the issues you’re wanting to tackle properly. If you’re going to do the latter, you have to deal with the fact that you’re dealing with something which is pretty much impossible to make sense of in the first place. If you don’t or can’t say that in a game, then scale down your issues or talk about something else. If you’re going to make a point, really invest in that point, or otherwise don’t bother.

    The most horrible thing I have ever experienced which wasn’t tied to personal circumstances was a factual account of the Russian Advance on Berlin in WWII. While ostensibly a history of 1943-45 in the East, it was essentially several hundred pages of atrocities. Not because the author, a revered historian, was being sensationalist or graphic or gruesome. He was just stating what happened, what people saw and what they did to each other, and most of it was utterly horrifying, and just happened to be the norm at that point.

    The medium fitted this. Obviously it didn’t come close to being there or experiencing it yourself, but for the purpose of recounting what the war did to Eastern Germany it was wholly appropriate, and reverent, and terrifying, and powerful, and important.

    As it stands, in my experience, there is no device in gaming which would allows a similarly effective and mature commentary on war in this manner, because the key to games in my opinion is player agency and interactivity. I don’t *want* to interact with anything approaching verisimilitude with forest roads littered with piles of corpses twenty feet high, systematic rape, cannibalism, mass executions, the worst possible things people can do to each other. This is what war is in reality, so either have the honesty to stick with the fun Saturday playing soldiers wars, or recognise that for a game to properly tackle war will at some point require you even briefly to seek to make an interactive experience the worst things humans can do to each other.

    The root problem for me is that the current approach to war in games is so sanitised and so unthinking about what any of it actually means to those involved beyond how bodies react to bullets that doing what Spec Ops is doing in terms of commentary on the genre is about as prescient and damaging as a throw away satirical tweet on taxes. It looks and sounds clever but it doesn’t really touch on anything, because the subject is far too big and nuanced and messy for that approach to offer anything beyond itself.
    Last edited by sonson; 04-01-2013 at 05:28 PM.

  8. #48
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    'Merica
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    Sure, Spec Ops openly joins that chorus and says that War games aren't real and that war isn't like that, and that these games are stupid fantasies, but really, that's something I think most people already knew to be honest, and the main conceits it repeats are still the same, and wrong anyway.

    Basically-what's the point in saying something isn't what it says it is, when in the first place said object barely even makes such claims in the first place anyway? All it becomes is another war game which has nothing to do with war or violence, another game which uses violence meaninglessly. If you're point is that war games aren't represnetative of war and heroism in the real world, don't make a game to laugh and point, that's not clever. Make a game which shames them by actually meaning something instead.

    Spec Ops to me is a smug game which sneers and laughs at other games which don't have as much thought beyond them, but there is nothing that actually seperates what it actually is from the thing that it's pointing at other than the attitude it so loudly adopts. I'd rather be dumb and thoughtless than intelligent but wasteful and smarmy.
    Because that's basically how the arts work? By expressing a theme in some (not necessarily true) way.

    Look at this painting for instance.




    That surely wasn't at all how the Battle of the Pyramids looked at any point and time. It's an artist's rendition of it - they've taken an event that did happen and romanticized it.

    Did anyone ever make a claim that this was an accurate rendition of that historical event? There's no way for me to be sure, but I think it's very unlikely they did. Does that mean it's garbage? Should it be thrown into a landfill because it's not an answer to a question?

    Most modern shooters are doing very similar things - only they're taking completely fictional events most of the time and romanticizing them. Spec Ops just does the polar opposite - instead of watching the Russians/terrorists/bears/bears in top hats napalm innocent people to give players an excuse to not feel bad about the virtual genocide they're sent on, it makes its own rendition.

    It's got nothing to do with "This is not real, it's just entertainment" and everything to do with subverting people's expectations and the tropes of just about every shooter that ever came before it. Being smarmy is sometimes the best way to reach an audience - why do you think Jon Stewart is more popular than Edward R. Murrow was during his career? It's easier for more people to hear smart-assery than straightforwardness when it comes to some topics.
    Virtual Pilot 3D™ NEVER NOT SCAM!

  9. #49
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5,331
    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    I won’t hesitate to argue that for it’s genre, and within the confines of the AAA sphere, Spec Ops is pretty clever. I’m not doubting that or refuting that at all. I am going to press on with my personal belief that it intends to do more than lampoon your average Warfighter clone. If that is it’s ambition, then it achieves it well, but it’s a pretty limited ambition to start with and hence unremarkable defined as such.
    In the context of documentaries and philisophical discussions, probably (although, I think the interactivity scores it quite a few points)
    In the context of entertainment media, it is definitely remarkable. Especially considering that the theme of last year's E3 was basically "Gorn. Lots and lots of realistic looking gorn"

    Its the same difference between watching a deconstruction of the "Knight in shining armor" trope, and reading a study that discusses things like how young nobility were often punished/hazed if they DIDN'T take part in the rape and pillage afterward.

    As a war game however-I just think that when you have the ability to spot the tropes you’re lampooning, the intellect to spot the bigger issues, you should tackle them. You should go further. The AAA industry is usually criticised for it’s lack of ambition, it’s clichés, it’s sameness, and Spec Ops to me is constrained by this.
    Or, one can argue, it is strengthened by its use of the tropes and its subversion of them. That is, in fact, one of the key requirements of a deconstruction.


    What I’m saying though is that I wish it had had the courage to have come to the conclusion to try the hug or the talk instead anyway. It’s a more optimistic and radical approach sure, but what it does is suggest that there are bigger values that exist within war outwith an immediate contest of war and violence.
    Like the old joke: The green peace hippie what nots walks into the woods and finds a bear. Said hippie goes to hug the bear. Reality ensues, and the hippie is mauled to death. The end

    I am not saying that such a "game" might not be interesting, but it sure as hell wouldn't make sense in the context of the story. Due to a misunderstanding, Walker and his team are enemies of the Damned (and considering they almost immediately go to work for the guy the Damned thought they worked for, it isn't realy a misunderstanding). The Damned think they are murderers trying to kill more people and cause suffering (probably are) and are reacting as one would expect when you are dealing with people whose JOB it is to ambush and kill (special forces operators tend to not engage in stand up fights for obvious reasons). And if you stop, you will get killed too.

    And actually, they do try and talk things out at the start. Repeatedly. Negotiations fail, they have to defend themselves. What shows their descent is that they stop bothering to talk, and just start shooting.



    Either the way, the picture presented is the same-violent personal contest. One has a more action man feel to it, the other a grimdark character. But both are served up very much as a game, a winnable one, with aims, largely understandable, straight forward, coherent, telegraphed, orderly, progressive. They present war and battle as something comprehendible, largely sane and controlled. Something that soldiers do. Something political and sanitised. Grown up and adult and violent for sure, but something that grown ups are nonetheless perfectly equipped to do.
    Exactly. It puts the "message" in the same context as that which it is deconstructing.

    They take your man holding a gun scenario and make responding to such in a similar fashion a neat, even fun, solution.
    THat is actually what I think it did really well. I will admit, after the hellish level in the tower, I grinned a bit when I got the gatling gun. But as the battle went on, I had a nice "Holy crap this is messed up" moment, and I felt bad. And that is what is great. The game constantly used the tropes that we are used to saying "Holy crap I am a badass" in modern military manshoots while repeatedly making you feel bad for having that reaction.

    When my reality tells me that violence only begats violence and that responding to aggressive confrontation with the same only leads to more bloodshed. To me, the horror of violence and domination is not just found on the battlefield, it’s not just seeing waterboarding, it’s not just summary execution of civilians or miscarriages of injustice. The horror of violence and domination is that it consumes humanity, so that a response to someone holding a gun is to seek to shoot them instead of reasoning with them and to pursue these actions in the first place. War is essentially the breakdown of all the rules we know and live by. It's not that women get shot by accident on occasion and that the perpetrators are haunted forever. It's that women and men and children get killed systematically on a daily basis and that they killed by people who allow it to happen or don't even care that it does. It's that people die on a massive scale and that that isn't enough to stop it from happening.
    That's nice. Not the real message the game was trying to convey, but an interesting one none the less. I agree in theory, but personally also see that there are exceptions where the net "good" outweighs doing the bad. But it is definitely a slippery slope, and not one Spec Ops really was interested in.

    In a lot of ways, it is like Blackhawk Down (the movie version). It was a movie version of an account of a real incident during a battle that MANY people questioned "Why are we even there?". And it never once tried to justify the American presence in Mogadishu (in fact, it repeatedly asked "Why?"). But it wasn't ABOUT whether said actions were "righteous" or not. It was about the bond between brothers in arms and a showcase that, even in a horrible situation, people can do good things for each other. It was still biased as crap (consider the source material...), but it also conveyed a pretty powerful message.


    I’m not saying don’t make games about war or anything-what I am saying is that because the subject is so unknowingly huge, either just use it as a gamey context, ala COH a thematic fiction based on non fiction, or have the commitment to try and tackle the issues you’re wanting to tackle properly. If you’re going to do the latter, you have to deal with the fact that you’re dealing with something which is pretty much impossible to make sense of in the first place. If you don’t or can’t say that in a game, then scale down your issues or talk about something else. If you’re going to make a point, really invest in that point, or otherwise don’t bother.
    Which is why very few "real" games are about war. THey are almost always about the men and women who are in harm's way for whatever reason.

    Walker, Lugo, and the other guy definitely have their moments of heroism and do things that are admirable, and the only one of them that is ever villified is Walker. And not because of WHAT he did (outside of the WP-incident), but because of WHY he did it.

    The most horrible thing I have ever experienced which wasn’t tied to personal circumstances was a factual account of the Russian Advance on Berlin in WWII. While ostensibly a history of 1943-45 in the East, it was essentially several hundred pages of atrocities. Not because the author, a revered historian, was being sensationalist or graphic or gruesome. He was just stating what happened, what people saw and what they did to each other, and most of it was utterly horrifying, and just happened to be the norm at that point.

    The medium fitted this. Obviously it didn’t come close to being there or experiencing it yourself, but for the purpose of recounting what the war did to Eastern Germany it was wholly appropriate, and reverent, and terrifying, and powerful, and important.
    Which is, once more, the horrors of war in documentary form. Different goal, different medium, different message.

    If you want to argue that depicting the horrors of war in general in video game form is not possible: I still disagree, but you definitely have an argument. But this was a deconstruction of the Modern Military Manshooter trope and was about the consequences of the cowboy hero's actions. It touches on the horrors of war, but it is a much more personal take.

    It looks and sounds clever but it doesn’t really touch on anything, because the subject is far too big and nuanced and messy for that approach to offer anything beyond itself.
    No, it does touch on things. It just doesn't tackle the big picture.


    To me, a movie or a game or a book (art, really, as shoop gets into) is about making you think. It shouldn't necessarily ram the message down your throat, but it definitely makes you consider it. Even Spec Ops has room for counter-arguments to Walker being the villain. Considering how little water Dubai had left in the first place (two or three tankers full of it), Walker going back for help might have killed everyone anyway (travel time back to a place with reception, time it would take to organize a rescue, potential conflict between rescuers and Damned, etc). And Walker's continuing push was because he feared that the General was a true threat that he had to neutralize and that engaging in a full scale war would have hurt more civillians than a series of special forces raids.
    But, the rationale behind Walker's actions are DEFINITELY questionable. And that is all it is about. And even if everything he did was completely ethical and justified, it is still something that should rightfully cause a Heroic BSOD (as TV Tropes would put it).

    A documentary is about telling you what has already happened. Sadly, those are often written in horrifyingly biased fashions to push an agenda, but they tend to be very very direct. They don't ram the message down your throat, but they ram a metric crapton of supporting evidence to their argument down your throat. The really good ones try to be fair and balanced. The vast majority are "fair and balanced" :p

    And propaganda is something that just rams the message down your throat in whatever way it can. Almost all "serious games" are propaganda, and sadly many "documentaries" are too.
    Steam: Gundato
    PSN: Gundato
    If you want me on either service, I suggest PMing me here first to let me know who you are.

  10. #50
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,069
    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    Probably because the game then said, "Oh well, mistake made. Let's give you more bad guys to shoot now!" instead of trying to make it one of the points of the whole story.
    Oh, Spec Ops: The Line gave you plenty of people to shoot after that as well.

    Either way, this circles back to the "I expect to be a hero" nonsense: as if I expected the game to pat me on the back for dropping white phosphorus on people and congratulate me on the job well done, complete with scoreboard ranking. I didn't. I didn't either in Modern Warfare. Why would I? Why would anyone?

    Yeah, you get to see the damage you caused firsthand moments later, unlike MW. But really, so what? Didn't you know that this is exactly what will happen when you drop the white phosphorus on the enemy? Is that supposed to be so shocking?

    Whatever Spec Ops tries to do, it fails at it because it makes some unrealistic assumptions(and because you never make meaningful choices at the best moments).
    Last edited by Mohorovicic; 05-01-2013 at 06:41 PM.

  11. #51
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,583
    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Yeah, you get to see the damage you caused firsthand moments later, unlike MW. But really, so what? Didn't you know that this is exactly what will happen when you drop the white phosphorus on the enemy? Is that supposed to be so shocking?
    The fact that civilians, including children, are among the casualties is what's most important in that scene.
    The Medallion of the Imperial Psychopath, a Napoleon: Total War AAR
    For the Emperor!, a Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai AAR

  12. #52
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,621
    It didn't work for me because my first instinct was not to use the artillery on them because you know it's going to turn out bad. Not necessarily civilians but still. If the game had made it my first impulse for me to bomb them and then realise what I was doing maybe. The only time that is really effective is the executing the soldier one.

  13. #53
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    'Merica
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Oh, Spec Ops: The Line gave you plenty of people to shoot after that as well.
    But the game doesn't treat it like just a simple mistake that can be forgotten about. It becomes the point of no return for Walker, where he actually snaps as the ending shows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Either way, this circles back to the "I expect to be a hero" nonsense: as if I expected the game to pat me on the back for dropping white phosphorus on people and congratulate me on the job well done, complete with scoreboard ranking. I didn't. I didn't either in Modern Warfare. Why would I? Why would anyone?
    Because that's what they do anyway whether you want them to or not. They congratulate you with "Mission Accomplished" or whatever and move you forward without ever thinking about it ever again. Most of the time they make it perfectly acceptable by making the people you kill cartoonishly vicious. Having the protagonist do it because he thinks its the right thing to do is turning an age-old plot device on its head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Yeah, you get to see the damage you caused firsthand moments later, unlike MW. But really, so what? Didn't you know that this is exactly what will happen when you drop the white phosphorus on the enemy? Is that supposed to be so shocking?
    The point of that was who Walker killed with it, not what he killed them with. The devs probably chose phosphorus because it's considered a war crime by some to use it and because that image of a woman and a child burned to death is much more likely what you'd see in the aftermath of a bombing than just something like a blood-stained teddy bear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Whatever Spec Ops tries to do, it fails at it because it makes some unrealistic assumptions(and because you never make meaningful choices at the best moments).
    That's because it's not about the player's choice, it's about Walker's. The entire point of the game is that Walker makes a bad situation worse by wanting to be an action hero. The choices the player can make in the end actually don't mean anything, they're just there to give Walker the illusion he can make a right choice when he's already made too many bad ones to really make a difference anymore.
    Virtual Pilot 3D™ NEVER NOT SCAM!

  14. #54
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    3,534
    I haven't played it, but I feel that if the game gives you a binary moral choice sort of scenario in which you are either a) not pressured into either choice or b) you're threatened with more of a challenge (i.e. more interesting gameplay) if you do the "right" thing ... then players aren't really going to make the bad choice unless they're curious about what's going to happen if they do (a meta-level decision) or they're awful people (unlikely--most people are OK) or they like doing awful things in games just because they know it's fake and don't care about the fiction (in which case the game isn't proving anything).

    I think that if you want the player to do something bad and you want it to mean something ... you're sort of out of luck unless you're a mastermind of narrative and you either trick them into doing something awful by mistake or set them up to do something really awful and mean to. And that second one is a nasty thing to do to a player, if the designer is even capable of doing it in the first place. You have to recreate the Standford Prison experiment in video game form for an audience that is capable of utterly desensitizing themselves almost on command to certain types of situations as long as they recognize the situation as a game. That's a tall order.

    Which leaves us with what it sounds like Spec Ops did (however effectively): the character makes the decisions. The character has opportunities to change their path. The player just rides along and (hopefully) experiences a really good story with some dark turns that effect the player. I don't think the player needs to control the decision points to be moved--at the very least, I don't need to.

    I've only encountered one game that really made me do something I wished I hadn't, that made me explore something both at a meta-game and fictional level that didn't leave me feeling like I was just ticking off boxes to see what I'd missed down alternate routes. That would be the ending to Prince of Persia 2008. It started out meta-gamey ... "Is it not over? What happens next? There's credits rolling and everything ..." But then I put together what I was doing and I still didn't stop. That put me in a pretty bleak place for a moment. It was well done.

    P.S. I can feel just as distant from a situation in which I am given control of a decision point. Many times in RPGs with branching stories, I've ether been left cold by all of the options at my disposal or left cold by the set up for the situation I'm in. Sometimes, knowing that I can play the game again or reload the game has more of an effect on my decision than anything else. Sometimes I just get caught up in the meta-game and I'm trying to make the gameplay more interesting or achieve the optimum outcome and I lose sight of the character-level drama at work. So I don't think giving the player control over the decision making is necessarily a way to make the decisions and the fiction matter. That said, I'd be interested to see a Mass Effect style game create a perma-plot. Once you make a decision on a profile, it's locked in even if you reload. The next time you play that conversation other options are greyed out. Maybe it could even be a mechanic ... there are so many choices you can undo and it's tied into the game systems and the fictional set-up and whatnot.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 06-01-2013 at 12:32 AM.
    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 Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You. There’s lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context that’s cheating -bull0

  15. #55
    Lesser Hivemind Node
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    815

    Casting Stones from a Glass Balcony

    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    Fair enough, if that's how you read it. In which case though that's hardly an impressive point to make, to me. No more impressive than playing a girtty mario which says "plumbers don't really jump around on mushrooms". I'm fully aware it's stupid and has no bearing whatsoever on reality, becuase plumbers don't do that and people in warzones aren't capable of killing hundreds of people while restoring their own health or rebirthing themselves. It's obviously a stupid fantasy and beyond the fact that such fanatsies occur in the "Real World" there is nothing to really suggest that they are remotley representative of any actual eventuality in the first place beyond the publishers and the narrative of the game saying so. The GAME itself, the thing you play, makes no pretense what so ever that there is anything remotley realisitc about what you're doing. Quite beyond the main mechanic of you being immortal and everyone else existing solely to die, guns don't load and fire like they do in these games, ammo dosen't make itself plentifully available in fortuitous locations, these sort of actions don't even happen that much in the first place.

    Sure, Spec Ops openly joins that chorus and says that War games aren't real and that war isn't like that, and that these games are stupid fantasies, but really, that's something I think most people already knew to be honest, and the main conceits it repeats are still the same, and wrong anyway.

    Basically-what's the point in saying something isn't what it says it is, when in the first place said object barely even makes such claims in the first place anyway? All it becomes is another war game which has nothing to do with war or violence, another game which uses violence meaninglessly. If you're point is that war games aren't represnetative of war and heroism in the real world, don't make a game to laugh and point, that's not clever. Make a game which shames them by actually meaning something instead.

    Spec Ops to me is a smug game which sneers and laughs at other games which don't have as much thought beyond them, but there is nothing that actually seperates what it actually is from the thing that it's pointing at other than the attitude it so loudly adopts. I'd rather be dumb and thoughtless than intelligent but wasteful and smarmy.
    Well said. As I stop and think more and more about this game I have to say I agree. For the past week I have searched my soul for the difference between Spec Ops and the games it claims to smirk at. The ones it mocks.

    I can't find that difference.

    What else to say that was not said above? I feel this way about both Spec Ops and Far Cry 3 (still a good game, game play wise, I will admit.) If you want to "mock" the power fantasy played out in so many games, then do so the right way. By - as was said here - making a game with meaning. A game with a narrative that has something to say. Maybe take inspiration from DXHR or even the Witcher 2 (gritty world, with much to say, contextually, on being a 'hero.') But to make a game with the same tropes as those you are making fun of, burdened with the same mediocre game play as those games, it seems...juvenile. Or lazy. Almost like you couldn't think of anything better, didn't want to admit it and so claimed noble intentions for your own mediocrity.

    Which might well be the case.

  16. #56
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    'Merica
    Posts
    912
    Did you bother to read any of the counterpoints brought up to that particular post?
    Virtual Pilot 3D™ NEVER NOT SCAM!

  17. #57
    Could somebody please explain the ending to me? Are there actually multiple outcomes? In my playthrough the final choice was to either turn the gun on yourself or at the imagined Konrad. I did nothing, so it was Konrad who shot me as he counted to five. As I understand Conrad represented Walker's conscience at this point?

  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Lagoon West, Vermilion Sands
    Posts
    4,378
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Guardian View Post
    Could somebody please explain the ending to me? Are there actually multiple outcomes? In my playthrough the final choice was to either turn the gun on yourself or at the imagined Konrad. I did nothing, so it was Konrad who shot me as he counted to five. As I understand Conrad represented Walker's conscience at this point?
    There's also a post credits epilogue scene Gray assuming you shoot Conrad.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

    Tradition is the tyranny of dead men

    Steam:Kadayi Origin: Kadayi GFWL: Kadayi

    Probable Replicant

    *blush* I'm flattered by the attention boys, but please let's not make the thread about liddle old me


    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
    Gifmaster 4000 2014 Year of the Gif

  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    There's also a post credits epilogue scene Gray assuming you shoot Conrad.
    Damn, gotta play the final chapter again, I was about to watch the entire credtis as I usually do, but gaved up and hit 'skip' somwhere around the QA credits cause I was getting hungry. Strange, as the body of Conrad on the rooftop looks like it was dead for days.

  20. #60
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    'Merica
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Guardian View Post
    Could somebody please explain the ending to me? Are there actually multiple outcomes? In my playthrough the final choice was to either turn the gun on yourself or at the imagined Konrad. I did nothing, so it was Konrad who shot me as he counted to five. As I understand Conrad represented Walker's conscience at this point?
    Yes. Hence why it's Walker who shoots himself if you shoot his image or let Conrad shoot you.
    Virtual Pilot 3D™ NEVER NOT SCAM!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •