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[PATV] Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - Extra Credits Season 5, Ep. 1: Spec Ops: The Line (Part 1)

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    @metroidkillah I guess I need to be careful about basing my assumptions about our gamer culture around Yahtzee and the people on ign and memebase ;) The loudest voice is the anti-American, antimilitary crowd, but that doesn't mean it's the majority. I've been around the internet long enough to know the loudest voice is almost never the majority.

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    metroidkillahmetroidkillah Local Bunman Free Country, USARegistered User regular
    @Jibba: It is probably true that Spec Ops took the best route to deliver the desired experience. Also, to clarify: what do you mean by "real"? I mean a scripted (though not necessarily blatant) choice the player makes while aware of his options. The interface doesn't need to be in dialogue with a list of possibilities, but the player does somehow need to know that viable alternatives exist. You make it sound like Spec Ops does this, but are you absolutely sure this is the case?

    And I agree that was a problem with Bioshock. Not only were the kill/rescue choices much more obvious in terms of benefit, but the whole "will you please" thing lacked force simply because the player had no choice but to do as instructed if he wanted to complete the game. Obviously, again, it was really the only way to present the narrative properly, but I wasn't particularly impressed when the other shoe finally dropped. A good twist, sure, but I felt very disconnected from it.

    I really, really wish I had never read that article.

    I'm not a nice guy, I just play one in real life.
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    JibbaJibba Registered User regular
    @metroidkillah
    The choices progress as you go further. The first one is very simple A or B, the next is A or B or I don't like these options, and after that the next couple are disguised a bit so that a non-decision is still a decision (you can literally walk away from one of them.) When I did the "holy crap" part I mentioned before, I wasn't aware that there were other options and I felt badly afterwards when I read what else I could've done if I'd been more patient or considerate. It also impressed me when I read posts by the people who did make the more considerate choices.

    The last big choice is the most obvious decision portion of the game. I won't say much about it until the spoiler episode next week. I will say that how players approach it is going to vary drastically. If you don't ever plan on playing the game, you can just check Youtube for how it ends.

    I guess I should add that even though I'm a huge fan of this game and in retrospect would've paid full price for it, I know most people aren't into stories as much as I am so when I recommend it to my friends, I tell them to wait for it at $15 or w/e. Like the episode said, in pure gameplay hours it's probably not worth $50, but you will spend more time thinking about it outside of the game.

    It is a shame that the gameplay and levels weren't tightened up more because it does do so many little things right. One of the things the Gamespot podcast talks about is how the character and allies' combat lines change as the game progresses, as you feel more ragged as a character and as the player. On paper it doesn't sound like much, but in the heat of battle and frustration of level reloads, when your guy shouts "FUCKING FINALLY" instead of a standard "enemy down!", it reflects how you feel.

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    MeowxMeowx Registered User new member
    Anyone else not able to load this episode? Black screen and spinning icon is all I get.

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    I think what Bioshock did with "would you kindly" was not so much trying to make you feel guilty as much as taking a necessary game mechanic (the fact that you have to complete objectives to progress) and making it make sense in the world. It was taking something we take for granted as mechanical and surprising us by making it part of the narrative.
    There's got to be a balance between player choice and gamemaker control. It's easy to say more choice is always better, but sometimes it's not possible and often it's not better. The Stanley Parable is a good illustration of that. If you do everything you're told, the story is hollow. But if you completely rebel you end up in an empty room. You may be free, but it's still an empty room.
    This comes up a lot in my tabletop games. We strive to have complete choice, something which a video game can never fully have. But there has to be a give and take. If a villager walks into the tavern pleading for help and offering a reward for someone to investigate the ratmen in his sewers, the player is free to ignore it and go home. But that would be an incredibly boring playsession, so the players usually throw the DM a bone by figuring out a reason their character would want to go on the adventure.
    Mass Effect doesn't have complete player choice. Yet you still feel as if you are helping write a story. Minecraft has full player choice, yet while you may end up with a story to tell about your game session, I doubt many could honestly say they ended up with a standalone story about their character from it. Assassin's Creed benefits from letting you have free roam but stopping you if you try to gut peasants left and right--because a story about a psychotic douche assassin wouldn't be that great a story (even if it sounds like it would).

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    metroidkillahmetroidkillah Local Bunman Free Country, USARegistered User regular
    @RatherDashing89: In reference to Bioshock, I wasn't talking about guilt, but simply player immersion and sympathy.

    I want to see a game where small choices actually add up to multiple completely different endings. Where are those games?

    I'm not a nice guy, I just play one in real life.
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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    To each his own I guess. I loved Mass Effect, but I'm the kind of guy who reads through a Choose Your Own Adventure a couple times then goes cover to cover to see if I missed anything. Since I don't really have time or discipline to play through 30-hour games eight times, I just feel like I'm missing out on most of the game. Consequence is good, but I don't like to be punished or miss out on content. If I want a world that's completely responsive to whatever I do, I play tabletop RPGs... ;)

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    Hipster MorganaHipster Morgana Registered User new member
    -MINOR SPOILER WARNING. I'M NOT MENTIONING ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR, BUT IF YOU WANT YOUR EXPERIENCE TO BE UNSCATHED, SKIP-


    The interesting point was that whatever choice you chose, you'd get the same overall outcome save for last mission when everything's done. The only, truly right thing to do would be to, in a sense, put down the fucking shooter (game) and play something else. But you can't, no matter how much you want to, because it grips you. So by the end, you just stop caring about what is right (I did), and, I'm not even going to try and cover it up by saying 'I was playing to get to the end to see what happens', though, that was part of it, rather, you're... just, apathetic about justice, and me? By the end, I just wanted to see everything die.

    There's this execute move I didn't use until the end, but by the end, everything was fair game, US soldier or not. I think this is the game working its magic. It pushes you closer and closer to a line, making you jump over it and back multiple times, until you break, and stop caring about the line, the only new one being when everything in that god forsaken city dies.

    At least, that's my experience.

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    JibbaJibba Registered User regular
    That's interesting because I went the opposite direction with the execute. At the beginning it's just "oh, i'll put them out of their misery" but by the end of the game the executions start getting really brutal and dark, and at that point I'd just fire an extra shot into them rather than doing the execute move.

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    Zeb364Zeb364 Registered User new member
    Amen guys. Ever since I got Spec Ops: The Line on launch day I've been evangelising it till I go hoarse. Sometimes I feel like I'm yelling at a brick wall so it's great to see that other people saw this game for the achievement it is.

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    multiplexermultiplexer Registered User new member
    I'm very sorry guys, I tried very hard to play this game but the PC port is just broken. First of all, it needs steam, so I need to run all kinds of shady hacks to even run it on my PC. Then there's something like 3 minutes worth of logos and intro stuff, including unskippable cutscenes that remove me from the gameplay entirely. Then as you start the game you're put into a helicopter scene where any chopper you appear to gun down seems to be killed by something else entirely (like running into cranes which then fall over), so I just decided to stop shooting entirely, which was sufficient to skip what is essentially a cutscene. Then more cutscenes. Then the actual shooter part of the game starts, and it's like looking through a paper roll: FOV is limited to what seems like 45 degrees and forced 16:9 with thick black bars on my 16:10 screen, half the screen is obscured by the protagonist. When you run, somebody in their eternal wisdom decided to reduce the FOV even further instead of (as usual) making it wider. What. The. Fuck. Running is a toggle key (which randomly decides not to work as a toggle anymore), cover is entirely useless (I just keep walking through levels, gunning down stuff in one hit what seemingly takes my teammates 50 bullets to complete). Teammates never seem to die and have infinite ammo, while I just have one small clip which always seems to run out. It is entirely unclear when enemies drop ammo and when they dont, or what is a drop anyway. There is no exploration, it's a corridor shooter at its finest. No detail around the corridor.

    I have tried to alleviate the most pressing issues (FOV, intro logo screens, immersion-breaking crap) but FOV doesn't seem to help. For some inexplicable reason there is actually an FOV option in the ini files, BUT THE CONFIGURATION FILES ARE ENCRYPTED. What. The. Hell.

    I'm sure it's an awesome story, but I keep getting pulled out of it, I can't see anything around me, I am actively discouraged to start the game up and play it and I am just totally done with it. I hope 2K games allow for youtube playthroughs, then I might be able to experience some of the story and 'get' what you mean on the show.

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    Arif_SOhaibArif_SOhaib Registered User regular
    I was laughing throughout this episode because I almost exactly what Spec Ops The Line was going to be like due to the trailers. I saw the first few trailers and knew that this was no ordinary military shooter. But I never expected it to do what it did as well as it did it and at some points I too was surprised at how did this get greenlit.
    And an even riskier thing they did was the ending which completely and properly ends the game, leaving no chance for a direct sequel, which is extremely rare in modern games.
    It is a huge shame how the reviewers(with the exception of people like Yahtzee) killed its sales.

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    Arif_SOhaibArif_SOhaib Registered User regular
    Also while this game actually does have reply value. But because of what it makes you do, most people will not want to replay this.

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    ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    Could some generous soul post the ending (in our fancy spoiler tags, of course) for those of us who will likely never get around to playing this?

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    ShadowenShadowen Snores in the morning LoserdomRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    @RatherDashing89: In reference to Bioshock, I wasn't talking about guilt, but simply player immersion and sympathy.

    I want to see a game where small choices actually add up to multiple completely different endings. Where are those games?

    There's one in my head.

    ...stop looking at my cranium while stroking that hacksaw.

    Shadowen on
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    eliphas8eliphas8 Registered User new member
    @ArbitraryDescriptor I'd just watch a Lets Play of it where the guy playing it doesnt talk over it. The ending really doesnt work unless you've played through the whole thing before.

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    Faceless CowardFaceless Coward Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I downloaded the demo on PSN when it was released but it kept crashing. Is the Playstation version stable?

    Faceless Coward on
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    OMGBEESOMGBEES Registered User regular
    I went out and got this for the 360 on your recommendation. I'm just after a... pretty major false choice, at the point where you get "the map". All I can say right now is... I hope something redeeming happens, and soon. I can see why you can make the argument that this game is some sort of postmodern deconstruction, but at this point, it falls so deeply to the imitative fallacy that it's honestly difficult to decide whether there is a message there at all.

    Very, seriously, deeply disappointed thus far.

    Also, I switched it to easy. Because holy Christ, the mechanics in this game are garbage.

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    ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    eliphas8 wrote: »
    @ArbitraryDescriptor I'd just watch a Lets Play of it where the guy playing it doesnt talk over it. The ending really doesnt work unless you've played through the whole thing before.

    I see! But if I had time for an LP, I'd have to time to "P". So I just dug up the wiki.

    And, done. Interesting, though the final choice of
    Opening fire on the rescue team??

    seems a little forced, but this may just be because the wiki write-up lacks some contextual subtleties.

    Still sounds interesting, overall.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    I'm very sorry guys, I tried very hard to play this game but the PC port is just broken. First of all, it needs steam, so I need to run all kinds of shady hacks to even run it on my PC.
    What the heck does this even mean?

    steam_sig.png
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    Arif_SOhaibArif_SOhaib Registered User regular
    @OMGBEES
    The mechanics are deliberately bad(this video mentions that this game is NOT fun). The actual game doesn't begin until the 8th chapter till then it is trying to make you think it is a Bad Company clone and putting you in a frame of mind where the thing in the 8th chapter will be most shocking.
    Also that is the point beyond which the developers deliberately do things in the story that should make you not want to play any further but you will force yourself to play anyway to see if your character can be redeemed.
    People who skipped the Modern Warfare 2 airport scene will not be be able to play beyond that.

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    JibbaJibba Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I don't see what the problem with the mechanics is, aside from too much stuff being on LShift. Why is it bad on console but not bad on PC? You don't have enough buttons or is there no autoaim or something?

    I was watching Gameradar play it on 360 and their aim was unbelievably awful. Is there no aim assist available?

    Jibba on
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    OMGBEESOMGBEES Registered User regular
    Okay, wow. Spec Ops took an abrupt left turn just after my stopping point and absolutely redeemed itself. That ending really does make up for that beginning.

    I just wish they had glued it on a somewhat better crafted game.

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    OMGBEESOMGBEES Registered User regular
    Jibba: There's no autoaim, so coupling that with the three-hit death makes things occasionally insanely hard. Additionally, both run and take cover are mapped to a, and you auto-cover from a run, but the run is very imprecise, so every now and then you go down a corridor doing your best impression of Spiderman when he's drunk. Additionally, getting out of cover, and especially getting out in a HURRY, is freaking painful.

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    OMGBEESOMGBEES Registered User regular
    Jibba: There's no autoaim, so coupling that with the three-hit death makes things occasionally insanely hard. Additionally, both run and take cover are mapped to a, and you auto-cover from a run, but the run is very imprecise, so every now and then you go down a corridor doing your best impression of Spiderman when he's drunk. Additionally, getting out of cover, and especially getting out in a HURRY, is freaking painful.

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    OMGBEESOMGBEES Registered User regular
    @Arif_SOhaib: They're not, they're badly designed. I get the no-fun part, I do. And that's fair. But, for instance, the stuff I listed below? I don't see how that plays into the message. Well, okay, the lack of auto-aim does, but the cover mechanics issues took me out of the game every. Single. Time. They are not "not fun" to push a message, they are just badly designed, I'm sorry.

    I DO wish that Extra Credits had been a little more precise about the Call of Duty ripoff time. It's not an hour or two, it's more like five or six. Literally, it is half the game or more spent playing a sub-part COD ripoff. And that makes it hard to recommend.

    A friend once was talking about Weird Al. He said, "I listen to Weird Al because I hate pop music, and I want someone to show how absurd it is. But then one day, I realized: I'm still listening to Michael Jackson, it's just the words are different." And this game has that issue.

    Also, statements like "people who skipped the Modern Warfare airport scene will be unable to play beyond this point" kind of suggest that you missed the point of the game. You're proud about this? You think you're some kind of super-hard badass now? Okay then.

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    JuggernutJuggernut Registered User regular
    Sigh... My blockbuster closed down...

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    JibbaJibba Registered User regular
    OMGBEES wrote: »
    Jibba: There's no autoaim, so coupling that with the three-hit death makes things occasionally insanely hard. Additionally, both run and take cover are mapped to a, and you auto-cover from a run, but the run is very imprecise, so every now and then you go down a corridor doing your best impression of Spiderman when he's drunk. Additionally, getting out of cover, and especially getting out in a HURRY, is freaking painful.
    Ah, fair enough. I never did that much sprinting so I was able to keep the cover problems to a minimum, but I agree that having two or three actions bound to the same key was a bad idea. My bigger problem was usually trying to go from cover spot to cover spot, or at least find the places I could do that.

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    VyseVyse Registered User new member
    edited August 2012
    @OMGBEES "I DO wish that Extra Credits had been a little more precise about the Call of Duty ripoff time. It's not an hour or two, it's more like five or six. Literally, it is half the game or more spent playing a sub-part COD ripoff. And that makes it hard to recommend."

    Warning for those who haven't played it yet: SPOILERS BELOW

    It is not. The game is like a Call of Duty Clone at the beginning to lure people who normally play these kinds of games in. But after the first 1-2 hours it stops gloryfieing and empowering the players through its gameplay and instead begins to disconnect the main character from you/reality more and more until you reach the end where all the things you questionend (or should have questioned) as you progressed are resolved.

    Again: CoD games are about making you feel powerful. Spec Ops is pretty much the opposite. That reflects in everything. Even the way the characters look, talk or perform maneuvers during the game (compare executions at the beginning of the game to executions towards the end of the game, or what Walker says when he kills an enemy at the beginning comapred to what he says towards the end)
    The gameplay remains a linear "meh" experience. That much is true and remains the same throughout the game. If that is what qualifies it as a CoD clone for you then I can't argue with it. Even that however is to point out how ridiculous it really is that a squad of three people doing the same routine over and over again can simply keep marching through enemy lines and literally obliberate hundrets of soldiers. Towards the end, your enemies are even afraid of you. Because through your actions and your desire to be a hero (instead of walking away and calling for backup like you should have) you become more and more the kind of villain you are trying to rid the city of.

    Also: War should NOT be fun! It is completely abnormal that games have us believe a game which is mainly about killing our fellow men should be fun!


    Maybe listen to this: http://www.gamespot.com/features/gamespot-gameplay-special-edition-spoilercast-spec-ops-the-line-6386587/ It's an interview with the writer of the game.

    Vyse on
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    KatKat Registered User new member
    edited August 2012
    @Vyse "The game is like a Call of Duty Clone at the beginning"

    No, it is not. The game shares nothing in common with any of the CoD games, other than being set in a realistic military setting. Simply being a shooter in a rather modern setting does NOT make a game a CoD clone. Your definition of what constitutes a clone of a game is thus skewed.

    SO:TL and CoD are apples and oranges. One’s a fairly generic FPS whereas the other is a tactical third person shooter with cover-based combat, squad mechanics and something akin to a moral choice system (though I’m hesitant to call it that). Gameplay is far more comparable to Gears of War, Ghost Recon, Mass Effect and Bionic Domain. Hell, I’d even be more inclined to compare it to Vanquish before I’d EVER even think about comparing it to CoD.

    The game also never glorifies or empowers the players through its gameplay. The game’s feel and expression of inglorious war echo that of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” from the very moment you first get a chance to fire your weapon. You kill the very first group of enemies over what is essentially a misunderstanding, not because they're your actual enemies (they aren't). The game makes you feel like crap for it, not proud of it. As a result of the confusion this causes, the narrative begins as a mystery story with some US military trappings more than anything else, then quickly turns into a fight for survival as the tone of the game gradually grows more disturbing to frame Walker’s PTSD and DID.

    Kat on
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    Wildcard608Wildcard608 Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I'm gonna have to raise a point here. The Multiplayer exists and according to you exists solely to have fun. If it is not fun than the reviewers were absolutely right to bash this mode and knock down a few points off the game as a whole. It is part of the game no matter how good the rest of it is. If they didn't have the time or the resources to make a good multiplayer than they shouldn't have bothered with one at all. I doubt any of the reviews were trying to say every game needs Multiplayer. Bioshock did fine with only a campaign.

    You are hurting the community your trying to build with this show by calling them crazy. You are also going after the wrong target if this was an editorial mandate by the developers bosses.

    Wildcard608 on
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    DriscolDriscol __BANNED USERS regular
    wildcard did you seriously just accuse them of having an editorial mandate by the developers of a game simply because they like a game you dislike? Do you realize how childish and obnoxious that is?
    Not every game needs multiplayer. If a game has great single player and horrid multiplayer, it can still be a great game, see san andreas for an example of that.

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    He wasn't saying EC had an editorial mandate. He was saying the developers of Spec Ops were forced by their publisher to do a multiplayer. Which is confirmed because the developer himself came out and said he never wanted to do multiplayer at all. Not only is it a pointless tackon, it undermines the entire message of the game delivered through story and mechanics.

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    Wildcard608Wildcard608 Registered User regular
    @Driscol: I read my comment again and it is pretty clear what I am saying. Please read the full comment and think before you post next time.

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    Wildcard608Wildcard608 Registered User regular
    @RatherDashing89: So yes. Instead of taking a simplistic view Extra Credits should've done the research and complained about developers mandating features the team can't provide. If they did it because they didn't think it could sell than why did they let the team get away with so many other risks?

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    DriscolDriscol __BANNED USERS regular
    @Wildcard608 I did read your comment. You seriously want to accuse me of not reading it or not thinking? You want to accuse me of not thinking, you predictable, useless little swine?
    Yeah you go ahead and do that. Next time read my post and maybe you will have something to respond with other than cheap insults.

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    dude...seriously....you obviously missed the intent of what he was saying, and now you're accusing him of not reading your post and responding with cheap insults when that is literally the entire content of your post.

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    Wildcard608Wildcard608 Registered User regular
    @Driscol: Please, just admit you made a mistake or ignore us. You either didn't read my post or didn't think about it enough to understand what I was saying. I did read your post and you called my childish for a point I didn't make and than restated a point I had already made, (that games can exist without multiplayer). Responding with insults isn't going to make me take what you say seriously.

    @RatherDashing89: Thank you for helping me in this matter. I do have a question though; Was that info about the mandate known before Extra Credits put up this episode? Or was it just something they didn't find while doing the research?

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    akula765akula765 Registered User regular
    Since when is white phosphorus controversial?

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    DriscolDriscol __BANNED USERS regular
    @wildcard608 I was about to apologize for my overreaction to your comment until I saw this. You sent a nice little private message to smooth things out, but here you again accuse me of not reading and not thinking. You sent me a private message saying you are sorry if it came off that way, and that this wasn't your intention, then here you post that same accusation.

    If you want to be a two faced little bitch, I have nothing to say to you on the subject.

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