Seven: The Days Long Gone ruined all other RPGs for me

seven-days-long-gone-rpg

Truth be told, I really wasn’t sure what Seven: The Days Long Gone, a stealth-centric roleplaying game from a studio lead by ex-Witcher folk, was until I played it. Was it a traditional isometric RPG starring a sole rogue? Was it isometric Assassin’s Creed? Hell, was it sci-fi or was it fantasy? The answer turns out to be ‘all of the above’ – to the point that the new tools Seven adds to the cRPG lexicon are ones I’m not sure I could go without from hereon in.

I’m still mid-game but I should say up front that Seven is a deeply wonky affair. Performance is spotty and I can’t make it run above 30 frames per second even on a 1080 Ti (edit – this turns out to be because, entirely illogically, the framerate unlock setting is stuffed into ‘gameplay options’ rather than in the same place as all the other graphics settings); the faux-comic outline look isn’t anything like as charming as it thinks it is; the cockney-themed acting is enthusiastic but stilted and unconvincing; the controls are often fiddly and counter-intuitive. If you’ll forgive a theoretical deviation into the dark world of videogame scores, sometimes I sit there thinking Seven is a 4/10 game.

But other times I sit there thinking it’s a 9/10 game, and indeed every number in between those two. In practice, it’s best described as occupying a halfway house between something like Pillars of Eternity’s deep, free-roaming questing and conversation, and Diablo’s very light-touch, combat-heavy approach to roleplaying.

Chats don’t tend to be particularly involved or choice-packed (or, frankly, otherwise edifying), with their focus leaning heavily on shopping and MMO-style mission-taking, but, unlike an ARPG, there are a ton of people to interact with, take more quests from or with pockets to empty. Meanwhile, open fields of beast-slaying are replaced with skulking around heavily-monitored areas evading guards and cameras, backstabbing, swiping loot and pick-pocketing anyone with their back to you.

This is indeed an RPG all about being a rogue, and as such stealing and silent assassination are almost always an option, but as this is a sci-fi/fantasy mash-up, security systems and hacking are in the mix too.

Crucially, what it also does is introduce the key moves and manoeuvres of an Assassin’s Creed game into the more traditional RPG questing and talking and deciding and stabbing mix. That is to say, mantling, jumping, ziplining, lunging. A game that feels better on a gamepad because of these direct and reactive controls, but without ceasing to feel like an RPG in the process.

Not quite parkour, and not as elegantly-realised as an Asscreed or Mordor, but certainly it’s a giant step towards the idea of creating your own path across the map – vanishingly rare in RPGs, which for years have been content for us to trudge back and forth along prescribed routes. The thought, now, of playing a roleplaying game in the Baldur’s Gate, Fallout or even Mass Effect idiom in which I could not climb onto most any surface or hide in most any bush is very hard to countenance.

I could fire up the otherwise excellent Divinity: Original Sin 2 right now, and suddenly I would feel as though I was locked pointlessly inside a maze of small walls, a tiny toy prisoner who inexplicably could not do the most obvious things to escape his immediate environs. Or even, simply, to shortcut them. Not having to take the long way around a flight of steps to a higher level is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

This is not to say Seven is without limitations. It’s got a sandbox element for sure, but there are plenty of impassable windows, barbed-wire fences and ledges or rooftops out of reach, and most particularly its island-based setting means it’s rarely long before you encounter a precipitous drop into the great beyond.

On top of that, this is a resolutely stealth game. You’re free to fight whenever you want, but you’re unlikely to hold out for long. So, the need to sneak, involving both hiding behind things and stealing costumes, Hitman-style, effectively reinstates the restraints lost by introducing climbing and jumping. It’s uneven in a lot of ways, and there’s that the creeping sense that Seven just hasn’t enjoyed the extra couple of layers of lacquer that a bigger-name RPG might enjoy, but it is a genuine fusion of two disparate gaming styles.

God, even the memory of those long, boring runs along a rampart or up some stairs or to the next section of town in a DOS or a Pillars of Eternity or a Tides of Bananarama – how could I possibly go back to that?

88 Comments

  1. Meat Circus says:

    Oh, so *mandatory* stealth.

    That’s when my interest plummets.

    • Fraser Brown says:

      You can just fight through everything or use disguises. It’s a stealth game, sure, but it doesn’t force you into it.

      • Zombiwan Kenobi says:

        You can’t fight through all content since most tough tasks (unlocking teleportations for example) are done in highly secured bases full of endlessly respawning enemies – overpowered ones.

        As far as i’m concerned i was also thinking this game deserved a 4 one day and 9 the other day but in the end i chose the first option and uninstalled it. Between bad design, terrible gameplay and lots of bugs/unintuitive stuff, the game was more about frustration than actual fun. :/

      • poliovaccine says:

        Stealth tends to be an important element in stealth games – I see no reason to bill it as a jack of all trades kinda game, to me it’s obviously prioritizing stealth by design. I realize all trailers these days need to offer “choices!” but I see no need to defend this game on those terms. It’s like saying, of Hitman or Thief, “yeah you CAN be stealthy but you don’t have to, you can also play it like an FPS.” Like, that may be technically true, but it’s like when Postal 2 advertised that you didn’t have to commit violence to beat the game.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      I’m with you. I was reading this with interest until:

      “skulking around heavily-monitored areas evading guards and cameras, backstabbing, swiping loot and pick-pocketing anyone with their back to you”

      I am sick to frigging death of games that force you to hide. I find it fundamentally un-fun, outside of very limited contexts. And it’s been done so well in a few games (e.g. MGS:V on higher difficulty settings) that it’s unlikely that any new game is going to do it better or in a more interesting way.

      Plus, how much of reality involves people skulking around doing things in a secretive way?

      I think my main problem with it is that to me, video games are about being liberated to do anything you want, and stealth games inherently involve a big load of boring restrictions on player freedom.

      To me, stealth mechanics often imply that the game’s creators couldn’t come up with a fun way to make the game challenging, so they just fell back on “but no-one can see you doing it!” as a way to do this…

      • Vandelay says:

        Do you guys also go into articles about RTS games and say “Well, this sounded great until you said I was controlling an army rather than doing it myself”?

        You can’t really complain about a stealth game requiring stealth. It isn’t like the game hasn’t been marketed as one.

        • Raoul Duke says:

          Do you go into comment threads and find comments you disagree with and then think, “I agreed with this comment until the bit I disagreed with?” (Point being: if we all just think things are great and simply avoid things we don’t like rather than reacting to them then why have comment threads at all?)

          If you think it through, my comment was really about the proliferation of stealth as a mechanic. The fact that you refer to it as a standalone genre tends to reinforce that. I don’t think it’s an unreasonable observation to say “this game was really appealing until I learnt that it relies on stealth as a mechanic”.

      • The Crane says:

        “how much of reality involves people skulking around doing things in a secretive way?”

        We have no way of knowing for sure. It might be a lot.

      • Lieutenant_Scrotes says:

        “I think my main problem with it is that to me, video games are about being liberated to do anything you want, and stealth games inherently involve a big load of boring restrictions on player freedom.”

        So could you give some examples of games where there aren’t “boring restrictions on player freedom”?

        Because to me having to kill every character you meet in an FPS is an example of that. But I wouldn’t go into an article about COD WW2 complaining about not being able to open a dialogue with the Nazis.

        • Raoul Duke says:

          I really wouldn’t be surprised or critical if you commented on an article about an unimaginative FPS in that way.

          As for an example, I mentioned MGS:V above. In that you can choose stealth, or combat, or some mixture of the two. Or the original Deus Ex embraced a range of approaches. Or just about any decent RPG ever allows you to choose between ‘rogue’/stealth type play and a bunch of other options.

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        Phasma Felis says:

        Plus, how much of reality involves people skulking around doing things in a secretive way?

        How much of reality involves jumping from platform to platform, gunning down bloodthirsty monsters, dodging hundreds of bullets, or saving the world?

        This is such a bizarre complaint to level against a videogame.

    • Turin Turambar says:

      UGH. It requires *stealth* in a stealth/rpg game?

      Eww. What’s going to be next? Slaying monsters in a hack & slash game???!!

      Devs, will your reign of terror end one day??

    • Pyromanta says:

      Agreed. I think half the people replying to you are missing the point. Yes,its clearly designed to be a stealth game. However, there are those of us who don’t like stealth much. So when we read about an interesting new rpg that is focused on stealth, it’s disappointing. Especially when few games do stealth well and most think just forcing you to wait around a lot so you don’t get pancaked by OP enemies is engaging gameplay. I remember seeing this on an E3 preview video at some point and thinking it looked cool. Now I’m not so interested.

  2. Ivan Ulyanov says:

    So, 7/10?

    • durrbluh says:

      Ironically and somewhat accurately, yes.

      link to metacritic.com

      This’ll be a convenient thing if it catches on with more games.

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        Risingson says:

        From some years ago to now I prefer gammes that are around 70-80 in metacritic than games that are universally praised. The universally praised use to be boring to me.

        • Crafter says:

          I tend to try to ignore them.
          Sure 20% is generally a pretty bad sign but for example universally acclaimed games are often a tad overhyped.
          Sure, Breath of the Wild showed to all the asscreeds how to make an open world sandbox interesting to explore but :

          -the story and characters could not get any less under written. There is just nothing here
          -since you get most (all ?) your tools very early in the game, there is no mechanical progression. You no longer get a new tool in a dungeon that changes the way you see the game.

  3. Yglorba says:

    It’s odd that Divinity: OS 2 is your comparison for a game with less freedom-of-movement, since that game did offer a lot of options for teleportation that could be used to slip into areas via unusual means. (In particular, I recall you could skip a huge giant dungeon by slipping in the back door if you teleported in the right place.)

    One annoyance was that you had an entire party, so you’d have to plan a way to get all of them where you want to go, not just the nimble teleporting rogue. But the teleporter pyramids helped with that.

    • elevown says:

      Yup – OS2 is a bad example – you have the teleport pyramids, teleport gloves, telekinesis, teleport spells – I could almost always get to any other area / level I could see.

    • LexW1 says:

      I think you’re rather completely missing the point. In D:OS/2 you can elaborately teleport you and your party’s way into places, but it’s not a fast way to get around, it’s just a way to avoid certain, specific obstacles and challenges, and to slightly short-cut things (even though you’ll likely clear that content anyway). With Seven, you can actually get around quickly, something neither D:OS game is likely to ever be accused of (even with the Diablo-style portals).

      I mean, you say “the nimble teleporting rogue”, but I think you know that’s nonsense. You don’t need to be nor benefit from being a “nimble rogue” in doing what you describe, generally. You can be the “fat, lazy, oafish wizard who happens to know teleport” and do every bit as well.

  4. klops says:

    “The thought of playing a roleplaying game in the Baldur’s Gate, Fallout or even Mass Effect idiom in which I could not climb onto most any surface or hide in most any bush is very hard to countenance.”

    Ahh, finally a game that concentrates on this part.

    “God, even the memory of those long, boring runs along a rampart or up some stairs or to the next section of town ”
    Aaahhh! Excellent!

  5. Freud says:

    I like sneaking.

  6. KillahMate says:

    The thought, now, of playing a roleplaying game in the Baldur’s Gate, Fallout or even Mass Effect idiom in which I could not climb onto most any surface or hide in most any bush is very hard to countenance

    So, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?

    I mean, Cemu can run it pretty smoothly these days, that makes it a PC game right…?

    • Nelyeth says:

      “in the Baldur’s Gate, Fallout or even Mass Effect idiom”

      “So, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?”

      What an interesting train of thought.

      • Unclepauly says:

        I just spit on my screen thanks

      • KillahMate says:

        Breath of the Wild is a full-fledged open world RPG in most ways we would define that term today. It’s very close indeed to Mass Effect Andromeda, and even closer to Fallout 4 (1st/3rd person perspective notwithstanding).

        Out of all these listed games the outlier is actually Baldur’s Gate, which has no action-RPG elements and uses a completely different camera perspective, and has multiple player characters, etc etc.

        • Nelyeth says:

          First, you’re talking about Mass Effect Andromeda and Fallout 4. Alec’s talking about Mass Effect and Fallout. I doubt those have much in common, except for the name.

          Second, you say BotW is a “full fledged open-world RPG”. I say it’s an open-world action-adventure game with puzzle elements. You don’t get to play a role, you’re just a spectator to the way the game wants you to play through it. Then again, genres are pretty much subjective nowadays, but I fail to see how BotW is more of an RPG than say, DOOM.

          • KillahMate says:

            Well, the new DOOM has RPG elements… but I don’t consider it an RPG either. As for BotW –

            I say it’s an open-world action-adventure game with puzzle elements (…) you don’t get to play a role

            Unfortunately ‘playing a role’ isn’t really a requirement for many modern action-oriented RPGs – but BotW does have some roleplaying, including dialogue options etc. The character isn’t a blank slate, but neither is Geralt of Rivia. And they both have a limited range in which you can roleplay them, but it’s still roleplaying.

            You also have character attribute leveling, equipment, quests, all that good stuff. Swords with bigger numbers do more damage. Mounts. I mean, what would you say is missing? How is it less of an RPG than, say, any of the Final Fantasy games?

    • f0rmality says:

      BotW is like the antithesis of a those games lol, they’re all excellent but totally different ends of the RPG spectrum

      it’s like comparing DOOM and Arma 3. They’re both shooters yes but they’re not even slightly alike

  7. Someoldguy says:

    I like the occasional stealth-em-up but it doesn’t satisfy the itch for the more traditional RPG where you’re toting full plate and a sword or power armour and a minigun that doesn’t lend itself to scurrying silently across rooftops and sliding across a succession of remarkably conveniently placed washing lines or phone cables.

  8. Sargonite says:

    The thought, now, of playing a roleplaying game in the Baldur’s Gate, Fallout or even Mass Effect idiom in which I could not climb onto most any surface or hide in most any bush is very hard to countenance.

    This is one of my problems with just about every RPG, frankly, and has been essentially forever. Real humans, however badly, can climb up, over, and under stuff. I’m looking forward to playing Seven to see somebody maybe get it right!

    Somebody else here mentioned teleportation spells and such, but for me those don’t scratch the itch much at all, since the problem is more that my avatar can’t bodily do things they should be able to do.

    • aepervius says:

      Original sin 1 mocked that with a little puzzle where you had a *rope* drawn in your way at the dock and a treasure chest the other side. I think one of the character makes an off hand remark about being stopped by a rope :). B

      But yes, if it makes you feel better, replace mentally that pile of box standing in your way by a block of pure adamantine with vertical walls coated in teflon and greased. Can’t climb that.

  9. caff says:

    This sounds properly amazing.

  10. Darthus says:

    Alec: I was also in 30fps hell for a long time (with a GTX 1080). Incredibly counterintuitively, in the “Gameplay” section of the options, there is a “framerate” slider that for some reason defaults to 30. I set it to 150 (the max) and average between 120-144 fps.

  11. woodsey says:

    Do you know, I saw an advert for this on PCGamer and, for the first time in all the years that I’ve been using the internet, I actually looked into it. It’s now sitting in my Steam wishlist waiting for a little bit of polish.

    (Obviously I didn’t click on the actual ad; this isn’t some Mad Max scenario.)

  12. rusty says:

    It’s fun. The rustling bushes are excellent.

  13. Nolenthar says:

    At times, I’d really shoot Rockpapershotgun with the latter for being lazy asses who really, shouldn’t even be writing a piece before checking options.

    It’s impossible that this game runs at 30fps on 1080ti given it runs above 80FPS on epic (so max settings) at 3440×1440 resolution set at 150% resolution scaling (so technically 5160×2160 resolution) on my Titan X pascal 1st gen. Unless whoever wrote that piece didn’t turn off the 30 fps cap by default (this game has a FPS cap that is defined by the user, so it you want to cap it to 112 FPS, you can but when you launch the game it’s first set at 30 fps, and oddly, it’s not set in the graphical options but in the gameplay ones).

    link to 1drv.ms
    link to 1drv.ms
    link to 1drv.ms
    I bought the game straight away, without waiting for any review, so I’m not bothered by this lack of research, but gosh, some people might simply ignore the game because of those lies !

    • Dewal says:

      Darthus says:
      “Alec: I was also in 30fps hell for a long time (with a GTX 1080). Incredibly counterintuitively, in the “Gameplay” section of the options, there is a “framerate” slider that for some reason defaults to 30. I set it to 150 (the max) and average between 120-144 fps.”

      Look, Nolenthar ! Someone said the same things than you but while being polite ! Amazing, right ? Try some.

      • Nolenthar says:

        Yeah, I’d still expect journalists to do their job before bad moothing a game for being choppy in terms of performance when the solution sits just one game menu away ;). But it honestly lets me wonder ? A PC gamer is generally used to tinker with menu and such, so when a game runs at 30 FPS on a 1080TI, most PC gamer would react in such a way that they would either check the menu or even the ini files. I mean, we’re PC Gamers right ? that’s what we do ?

        So even though my piece definitely sounded a lot more agressive that I wanted to, and I dearly apologize for that, I still think this is a poor job of writing that without even trying to fix it.

        My bad for sounding harsher than I wanted to though !

      • Tigris says:

        The problem is being overly polite does not help at all. People often do not listen until you speak clear text. Also its better when more people mention such a grave journalistic error in the comments, because than the chances are bigger a misled reader will see it, or someone in charge will even fix this in the article.

        • Alec Meer says:

          The framerate option is placed in a bizarre place – I shall amend the very fleeting mention of it in the piece to reflect this.

          Rudeness is, however, the lowest-effort form of communication, and only serves to make those on the receiving end of it think ill of those who behave that way.

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          Phasma Felis says:

          It is perfectly possible to be polite and clear at the same time. As, indeed, someone else already had.

          • Nolenthar says:

            Well, clearly the original tone of my post was not well understood (something I’d blame entirely on me for not making the tone lighter) but even after all this talks, the article has only been edited in a way that puts all the blame on the developer (aka : they put it in the wrong place so it’s their mistake and not mine – and this somehow indicates that the developer made a wrong choice, which is arguably up for debate as Frame Per Seconds don’t influence the graphical quality the slightest bit, but just influence the feel of the game, so it would really be -and it certainly was in the developers office- up for debate whether it’s the right place or not. We can only easily agree this is not common to put it there, neither is it a very common option) and I think this ultimately sets the tone wrong, biased in a way. I personally thank the developer for going through the hassle of adding an option to set up an arbitrary FPS limit, and even though we can regret the decision of setting it to 30 by default, I don’t think this warrants to simply mention it as an illogical choice rather than what it is : an option offering far more choices than most games out there. And graphic wise, Seven is a true PC game, with great graphical option and this needs mentioning.

    • Prosper0_cz says:

      So,how is it?

  14. Throwback says:

    Ok, wtf is going on with RPS? For a month now they have posted tech articles, articles about new games and articles about DLC/patches – but very close to nothing about new indie titles.

    It sucks, and I’m searching for a new games review site.

    • Dewal says:

      They hired someone to talk only about tech things, so there’s more articles about tech things in between the usual articles. But if you actually look, you can see that they still talk about weird or unusual games every one or two days.

      • Premium User Badge

        Risingson says:

        I feel they are letting more things over their radar, but you know, that also has to do with the huge amount of “indie” games.

        I wish they had better choices for adventure game reviews though. Paradigm is fantastic and it is only mentioned here as being part of those “comedic” ones or so.

    • Landiss says:

      Interesting. The last 5 reviews on this site:

      Battle Chef Brigade Tom Sykes 30 Nov 2017
      Hyakki Castle Dominic Tarason 29 Nov 2017
      Tannenberg Fraser Brown 28 Nov 2017
      Tower 57 John Walker 23 Nov 2017
      Outcast: Second Contact Alyse Stanley 22 Nov 2017

      link to rockpapershotgun.com

      Although I have to say it’s a shame Unknown Pleasures seems to be discontinued.

      link to rockpapershotgun.com

      • Tigris says:

        Well the latest 5 reviews, but when considering the amount of articles here, these reviews are just a really small amount of actual content of this site. (These are 5 reviews in 3 weeks).
        Also often indy games article will be posted at a time where shortly after some other articles are posted, putting these other articles quite down a bit and, therefore, hard to find.

        And the sheer amount of “update” articles just floods the site.

        • Landiss says:

          It was always like this. There is no change, except that we don’t have any new reviews since a week (which happens rarely). And more typical month has more reviews than 5 per 3 weeks. November had 20 in total, that’s around 3 times more frequent than you suggest. Anyway, my point was that it is simply not true that the site is ignoring indy gaming “for a month”.

          Obviously there will always be more small posts about gaming news, simply because it takes a lot more time (and thus – money) to produce longer articles and reviews.

          For the record, personally I would completely get rid of hardware section in RPS, though it probably is profitable for them (I see no other reason to pursue that). Sad truth is that the quality of the hardware reviews is nowhere near the standards I’m used to from sites that focus on that, like techreview. But again, it’s nothing new, even though the author changed and there are a bit more articles now.

          • Tigris says:

            They even invented a new series to talk more about PUBG. They made 3 or 4 articles about the upcoming desert map in PUBG. (in a timeframe of less than a month and it is still not released!).

            You can’t tell me this was always the case.
            It may have started with overwatch (where they report about every single fart of a developer), but it got even worse with PUBG.

          • Landiss says:

            Of course it’s nothing new here. Check the “Mine The Gap” series about Minecraft, for example:

            link to rockpapershotgun.com

            Note the “despite still being in Alpha” in the first article of the series.

          • Tigris says:

            These were 5 short articles over 5 following days (still a bit unnecessary though). Maybe it is just a reception bias though.
            It may just be the fact that there are now more hardware stuff coupled with less reviews and the PUBG madness falling all together making it look more extreme.

          • Someoldguy says:

            There have always been a huge number of posts about whatever game is riding high or highly anticipated. I can only assume they get lots of clicks or they wouldn’t bother. It’s nice when it’s a game you’re interested in but maddening when you are not.

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        MajorLag says:

        Freeloaders went away when Unknown Pleasures came about too. That move alone probably wouldn’t be enough for me not to re-up my subscription, but things seem to keep getting more and more like a regular run-of-the-mill gaming site anyway.

    • Tigris says:

      Well thats pretty easy to explain:

      It is more lucrative to write 3 articles per week about PUBG than writing 3 about new indy games.

      First it is easier (they play the game anyway in their freetime and or they can just write down press releases almost 1 to 1 for an upcoming patch etc.) For an indy game they would have to actually find the game, and use some time reading about it or even playing it. So PUBG article number 30 is just less work.

      Second the chances that someone will google for PUBG is bigger than for indy games, and with RPS having relatively good google rankings, chances are good people are brought to this site, and clicks generate money.
      Especially if people come here to inform themselves about PUBG and then click on the link to buy it from here.

      • Nelyeth says:

        Hear, hear! The writers at RPS are a bunch of greedy goblins who… Wait, let me just check the frontpage before I start calling them names…

        Okay, nevermind.

        Seriously, what is it with you people? Every time I check the comments, there’s always a guy (if not many) calling them out on their articles and saying their only concern is money (and the related stuff like SEO).

        The way I see it, RPS has two types of articles: the ones they write because they want to, and the ones they write because they’re game journalists, and as such are expected to keep us up to date with the latest releases, patches, and DLCs. Take a look at the latest articles, and you’ll find lots of them.

        The latter are obviously less fun to read, but they’re mandatory. I don’t want to go to RPS to read nice, original articles about a gem I didn’t know existed, or an in-depth interview about a particular mechanic, then go to another site to get my more standard gaming news. I want it all in one place, and so do we all, I guess.

        But nah, it has to be money.

        • Premium User Badge

          MajorLag says:

          See, thing is I really don’t want the latter here, because I can get that pretty much anywhere else I care to look if I were interested. The former is much harder to find.

          • Nelyeth says:

            It all boils down to three things then :
            -Convenience: with the way RPS is now, there’s no need to go to other websites. If they got rid of all the purely informational articles, we’d have to go to other sites for them. Wouldn’t really be that bothering, except for the occasional duplicates, but it’s still less convenient that what we have here.

            -Number of articles. If they got rid of all these articles, we’d either have less content overall, or they’d have to compensate by writing more “RPS-style” articles, which I feel would diminish their quality since they’d have write about everything and anything to make up for it.

            -How they want their website to be. Sure, you might enjoy RPS more without the patches/DLCs/hardware fluff, but they’re the writers, and if they feel it’s their job to encompass everything PC-gaming related, then all power to them, I say.

          • Tigris says:

            Of course there is a need to go to other websites. If you want to get informed about new and interesting games, the need gets bigger and bigger.
            Also their purely informative stuff mostly is only about the biggest x games (and some of RPS favorite games).

            Websites like RPS gets less and less important for new game releases (and getting youtubers and streamers gets more important), and this flooding with farts from big guys is certainly not helping.

        • Tigris says:

          Sorry being a journalist is absolutely no excuse for picking the stuff which brings most money and flood your website with them. I would even say this makes you a lot of things but no journalist.

          There is a lot going on when it comes to games, you cannot post all things anyway, so there is also no reason to print every apologetic EA press release, and every update to the top 3 games, which all have their OWN websites posting about that. (And newsletters and game launchers etc.)

          Posting about big important changes on games, is understandable, but the bigger the game, the less important stuff gets posted.

          If you would really need to post about updates, because some “journalism” you could just make a weekly update article, about just all updates happening, but that would not generate as much clicks…

      • Megatron says:

        Tigris: accusations of RPS “doing things just for the money” are possibly the most BORING type of comment you can post. Take whatever sublimated anger-issue is gnawing at your soul and direct it elsewhere, please. I’m sick to death of reading this type of petulant, ungrateful hissy-fit, biting the hands that feed them, that don’t have a scrap of evidence behind them.

        You don’t even have the decency to suggest it as an option among alternatives, but state it baldly as your choice of motive. How the hell do you know? RPS is not like some of the over-commercialised web-sites out there. They’ve proven this time and again and don’t deserve this kind of baseless, damaging critique.

        Hope you enjoyed this piece of clear text that wasn’t overly polite. Maybe think before you speak next time, eh?

        • Landiss says:

          Plus – what’s wrong if a private business is trying to earn money, while giving out high quality content for free? It’s not like they are stealing children and sell their organs.

          • Megatron says:

            Couldn’t agree more.

            Let us know, Tigris, how your life goes without you doing anything “lucrative”.

          • Tigris says:

            Well there is hardly any high quality content left.

            Also the way people here act is “this is journalism” and they even call out bad business practice from game companies (it gets rarer but still).

            So the problem is the double morale. Either this site is journalism or just a company trying to make as much profit as possible. Decide and make it clear which of both it is.

          • Landiss says:

            I give up. It is obvious to me now that you are NOT a longtime reader, even though you are trying to make such impression. Anyway, if you don’t like this website, I’m sure you know what to do. I’m not going to continue trying to convince you that things are as they are.

        • Tigris says:

          Well then stop reading this stuff. You are the one wiht anger issues as it seems.

          Of course RPS is an overly commercialized website. They have one of the worst advertisements “Have you played this game…” (the type of aggressive advertisement they even made an article about).

          They post purchase links (from which they gain money).

          They being more and more apologetic to EA etc.

          They split sometimes big articles in smaller ones to generate more clicks.

          They post the steam chart to get more visibility.

          They started posting more hardware stuff to get profit from there.

          And well it is just the most logical reasoning why they would do this. Ockhams Razor.

          • Premium User Badge

            Graham Smith says:

            “Have You Played” isn’t an advert. It’s a post about a game we think is interesting.

            We do not have the worst adverts. We never use takeovers or obscure content like every other games site out there. We don’t have auto-play sound. We block any ad that is bothersome that a reader tells us about (we can’t always see everything ourselves). Etc, etc.

            Yes, we have affiliate links. We don’t include them in most posts, but the disclaimer is there on every post. And we only post stories and links when we think they’re interesting to readers.

            We are not being more apologetic to EA. We said Battlefront 2 was bad, was said NFS Payback was awful, we said CoDWW2’s multiplayer was bad, we were critical of lootboxes. Some people just aren’t happy unless we’re foaming at the mouth.

            We started posting more hardware stuff because it’s something RPS has always done but never been able to do robustly. Now we can provide a better service to readers, and it seems so far as if readers are really interested in the articles. And since we hired a new person to produce those articles, it hasn’t detracted from any of our other coverage. (We now regularly post around 17 stories a day where previously it was 13. This does strain the blog homepage format a bit. We’re thinking about it.)

            We post Steam Charts because, yeah, people read it. We fill it with silly joyful nonsense.

            I’m not denying that RPS is a business. If we’re spending a bunch of money to do something, we probably have to make that money back somehow, lest we have to close and go get proper jobs. But the driving force is always: what’s good for readers, and what’s entertaining to us. If it’s not, we won’t make any money anyway.

            We are currently in the process of making some changes to our editorial direction. That’s not to make more money or to stop writing about indie games or anything like that. Every time there’s ever been a big game RPS likes, we’ve written loads about it. And every time people have complained. It’s more about getting writers to focus in on what they’re really excited about, rather than skipping on to what’s new even when it’s less interesting. This has led to a greater number of posts about Plunkbat. It’s also led to a lot more posts about Opus Magnum.

            Everything is a work in progress. Everything is open to criticism. My email door is always open. But ranting and making accusations isn’t a cool way to go about it.

          • HothMonster says:

            I’d love to hear your theory on who is paying for Another World adverts in 2017.

          • Landiss says:

            I wasn’t going to write, but that is so ridiculous I have to comment. “Have you played…” is advert? Do you really think someone would pay RPS to advertise games from 10-20 years ago, which is (my guess) most of games described in that series? FFS, they had Another World in there recently…

          • Premium User Badge

            Phasma Felis says:

            Of course RPS is an overly commercialized website. They have one of the worst advertisements “Have you played this game…” (the type of aggressive advertisement they even made an article about).

            Like half of the “Have You Played” games predate the 21st century. You clearly haven’t read RPS much.

          • Tigris says:

            With the “have you played” I did not mean the articles, but the advertisement. Sorry thats my fault for not expressing myself better. I meant these “you have to be 18 to play these game” kind of advertisement which could be found below articles (not sure if this is still the case9.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      Also a big uptick in articles about cringey, player-infantilising Japanese games for some reason. There are ten million sites where people can read about childish RPGs with weirdly sexualised female characters designed for the emotionally illiterate.

      On the other hand, the number of articles about Hitman has dropped from ten per day to a couple per week, so swings and roundabouts I guess.

  15. Ghostwise says:

    I’d play a game called Tides of Bananarama, I suspect.

  16. zulnam says:

    Stealth? Mmmeh. Well, good for the stealth fans i guess.

  17. SparkyM says:

    First off, a RPG on a computer is a CRPG. A RPG is a game played with pencil and paper. Second, this is an ARPG in every sense of the word. A CRPG allows you take on many different roles to ultimately achieve the end goal. Not so in this game. The fact that you can’t even get the fundamentals of this genre of gaming right speaks volumes about this poor review. And cel shading sucks. It’s the reason it was so short lived, everyone hates it.

    And yes, you can move vertically in a lot of games like DOS2, et al. using teleport spells. Have you even played a CRPG before?

    • Nolenthar says:

      Oh, look, the eternal “what’s an RPG argument”.
      And why is it not a ACRPG, or a CARPG ? And is Planescape Torment a ARPG since you can’t really have different role in this game either ? I can only be the Nameless one, but then I guess I can be the nameless one and be a thief, or a fighter, so is that a role, or is being a nameless the role I’m playing ? And what is a role exactly ? Is my role in Pillars of Eternity is being a Watcher, or is that being whatever class I chose ?

      Gosh, this turns out to be a very complicated conversation, and sure, I think the very fact the author can’t understand the difference between a RPG, a CRPG and a ARPG is ultimately the reason why this review sucks.

      And what the fuck ? Cell Shading, gosh, what is this ? It sucks universally, we all know that, I mean, it’s written right there in the book of universal truth, and if you enjoy it, you must suck too.

      /sarcasm off

  18. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    Wow, this comments section is rough. Usually this kind of cesspool is saved for articles that mention race, sex, loot boxes or a negative opinion about a game.

    • Landiss says:

      Right. It’s fun, isn’t it? :D

    • Gurrlin says:

      I had the same thought. Usually my sprits are uplifted by reading other mature and socially adept comments and thoughts here on RPS which a major reason why I’m here to start with. Some people seemed to have taken a wrong turn on this one however.

  19. Neutrino says:

    “in which I could not climb onto most any surface”

    Is ‘almost’ not a word in American or something? Because obviously in normal English ‘most any’ is nonsense.

    • marmarta says:

      I’ve always thought it’s a good idea to check whether the grammar one’s criticizing is actually wrong, because there are few things as silly as a person throwing a tantrum over a phrase that is actually quite correct. See a bunch of references here: link to reddit.com . You could also google it and see that people who most certainly do Know Better approve of the phrase.

      • HothMonster says:

        Alec also isn’t American so why one would assume he writes in a American vernacular I don’t know.

        • Nelyeth says:

          Because sometimes, you read a thing, think “nice, I may want to use this one later”, and actually use this one later. And then you get called out on your grammar.

  20. Vasily R says:

    I actually didn’t enjoy this game very much. I really wanted to, as it does many things right. However, the game also has so many issues. I experienced many crashes, especially after dying. It was really hard to tell what was above you, resulting in constant jumps where I bumped my head into a ceiling. And it wasn’t always clear whether an objective was on your level, above you, or below you. It was difficult to tell where you could climb. Stealth was alright, and they gave you a lot of tools, but the combat simply wasn’t fun at all. I also found the story to be really bland.

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