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[PATV] Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - Extra Credits Season 5, Ep. 2: Spec Ops: The Line (Part 2)

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    wanderingbishopwanderingbishop Registered User regular
    Y'know, it's strange.... that dissonance you talk about, where you go "guning down all these random soldiers feels wrong".... I actually get that from more traditional shooters. I guess not playing FPS games regularly means you don't get inured to it or something

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    Faceless CowardFaceless Coward Registered User regular
    @chopper161, I too interpreted Walker's men as his conscience rather than actual people.

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    thewizardninjathewizardninja Registered User regular
    OMGBEES wrote: »
    @teknoarcanist

    I did not! Is there a way to reply, then, too? This weird half-forum makes zero sense to me.

    You have to be in the actual forum to do it rather than the comments section of the video. I don't know if there's a quicker way to get there but I just look for the topic manually. Once you do that it'll all make sense.

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    thewizardninjathewizardninja Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    mrandrewv wrote: »
    The point is that good writing should enable game designers to make games that are both engaging and meaningful.

    I think it's important to note the difference between "engaging" and "fun". The game is not fun but it is certainly engaging. It grips you with something else entirely - the desire to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. I didn't keep playing because I was enjoying myself (I was very much NOT enjoying myself), I kept playing because I wanted to know "the truth", just like Walker did, and I was prepared to continue to not enjoy myself in order to find it, just like Walker did. I was unable to take my hands off the keyboard because I had to see what was at the end, and I was punched a million times in the gut for it. The gunplay isn't very engaging, I'll give you that, but the fact that it's not particularly engaging is actually very important, because the purpose of the game is secretly to get you to realise that you should stop playing, which is at total odds with the desire to want to continue playing in order to find "the truth". Did you ever see a message pop up during a loading screen talking about "cognitive dissonance", where you hold two conflicting ideas at the same time? Yeah, that's what that was all about.

    thewizardninja on
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    UndeadpoolUndeadpool Registered User regular
    I too fired into the air and I too was absolutely delighted when it worked.

    And yeah, the personal Hell argument is apparently 100% correct. The head writer confirmed it in an interview with Gamespot. He points to billboards that have Konrad's face that apparently NO ONE noticed (or at least no one that posts on the internet...)

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    WraithfighterWraithfighter Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Here's a thought/question (and, yes, spoileriffic):

    For the WP scene, what if there was an in-game method to not do the bombing? Say that, tucked into the corner, never referenced by the characters, there is a ladder, and going down that ladder takes you to a cutscene where Walker and Co. fall back, head to the storm and either ARE slaughtered by helicopters (the reason Walker says that you can't go back) or make it to the Storm Wall and report back, as ordered, either way prompting a new ending for the game, which would be largely unsatisfying and ambiguous, maybe with Walker regretting walking away. Maybe something similar after the WP event, letting you walk away after killing all those people.

    Leaving aside continuity concerns (the En Medias Res opening, for example):

    1: On your first play through, without knowing what you do now, would you have even thought to LOOK for this hidden ladder? If you had, would you have taken the out, or replayed the game again if you had?

    2: Would its presence have changed the message for the worse? For the better?

    I've never been a fan of the "Just Stop Playing" notion as a valid story choice. You don't see that for movies or books or anything, but those aren't interactive, so maybe its not a valid analogy. It all depends on how you see an uncompleted game's story. But I do feel that its unfair, and maybe a bit lazy, to consider breaking the immersion of the game and walking away from the game to be the moral choice.

    Wraithfighter on
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    JibbaJibba Registered User regular
    gains wrote: »
    Headshots. The first sniper section has you making headshots on a half dozen guys. Each kicks up a little blood spray and they go down. In the second half of the game, headshots with the same Scout rifle make heads explode and a torrent of blood spews from the gory neck stump.

    These guys didn't miss a beat in depicting the narrative through gameplay.

    Another gruesome bit that's missing from most other war games (granted I skipped MW3, but I don't recall it from BO or MW2) is hitting someone directly with a grenade doesn't make them go flying (although indirect hits will.) It liquefies them. As in, a moment ago their model and the composite parts were there and then they just vanish into mist. It's kind of sickening.

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    thewizardninjathewizardninja Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    One thing I noticed as well that I thought was pretty interesting in regards to the whole "Lugo and Adams are representations of Walker's conflicting ideals" is that Lugo and Adams got along really well when "being a good soldier" and your desire to save civilians coincided, and they only started fighting when you had to choose between saving Gould (who they needed to save to "complete their mission") and saving civilians. I don't think they were both part of his imagination, because the game shows you what their reactions to Walker hallucinating were (although technically the whole thing isn't actually happening as we're seeing it so maybe that doesn't count?), but I do still think they were representations all the same.

    thewizardninja on
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    PugironPugiron Registered User regular
    No actual control as to whether or not you commit the crime = no real moral weight, just like watching a movie.

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    PugironPugiron Registered User regular
    Calling bullshit on all the "They used unimpressive gameplay as a metaphor". Bullshit, it's just another substandard shooter.

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    themocawthemocaw Registered User regular
    @pugiron: I certainly don't think the unimpressive gunplay was intentional, but I would hardly call the game another substandard shooter.

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    tygerttygert Registered User regular
    @Pugiron :

    "No actual control as to whether or not you commit the crime = no real moral weight, just like watching a movie."

    See, you say that, but I still felt emotionally drained and horrified when I saw that 'I' had killed 47 innocent people. Definitely orders of magnitude worse than any other shooter situation I've been in. I also want to note that the WP scene isn't necessarily the biggest emotional gut punch--in the moral choice that happens before the ending and after ****'s death, I didn't realize I had two options. By this point (helped majorly by the WP scene) I was inured to the idea of The Line making me kill innocents. So I got the 'Line Crossed' achievement and only then realized that, in a twisted way, the game had truly managed to equate me with Walker. That's probably the point when I was most shocked by what the game had made me do: It had managed to convince me to think and act like Walker.

    @Wraithfighter :

    'Would (the) presence (of another choice in the WP scene, to end the game there) have changed the message for the worse? For the better?'

    I don't think they did the WP scene wrong at all. It's a central and pivotal moment in Walker's development throughout the game (if you can call wholesale psychological destruction 'development') and while Walker is in many ways meant to be your avatar in that game he's well characterized in his own right. That was the big moment that everything started to crack apart for him, and if you have a choice about whether it happens then you choose whether Walker breaks or not. Walker's in a war zone. He doesn't have a choice about whether or not he's going to end up permanently damaged. He just WILL be. That's something the game developers even mentioned being a central theme (in an interview with PA's Ben Kuchera, no less). Every single character in the game is utterly damaged mentally from being in this situation by the time the credits roll. Ultimately, you are not in control about how events unfold in Dubai and the developers created a narrative which stays in place throughout your journey: People enter Dubai. They do horrible things. They go crazy. There is no 'do not do horrible things and go crazy' option. I think the analysis of this game done by Errant Signal (Youtube it) does an equally good job of analyzing this game as Extra Credits, on a related note.

    Lastly: Anyone else feel like this game is a terrific example of satire in video games? It embraces the tropes/cliches of the genre it wants to criticize and then indicts that genre using those tools.

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    WraithfighterWraithfighter Registered User regular
    @tygert : The problem is, though, that the game essentially blames you for it, for continuing to play and continuing to do all these terrible things.

    Its a bit of that "Trying to have one's cake and eat it too" problem. They're trying to say "How dare you do all these terrible things!" without giving an in-game way, no matter how buried, to agree. The only way to avoid being told "You're a monster!" by the game is to quit the game, and I'm just not sold on that being a viable story option.

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    GezzerGezzer Registered User regular
    Where are you guys streaming from? Outer Mongolia?
    Man, 3 free cell games and you still haven't hit half way on the downloaded bar.
    I know, I know, it's free. But still you better start feeding that gerbil better, he's barely moving.

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    thewizardninjathewizardninja Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    @tygert : The problem is, though, that the game essentially blames you for it, for continuing to play and continuing to do all these terrible things.

    Its a bit of that "Trying to have one's cake and eat it too" problem. They're trying to say "How dare you do all these terrible things!" without giving an in-game way, no matter how buried, to agree. The only way to avoid being told "You're a monster!" by the game is to quit the game, and I'm just not sold on that being a viable story option.
    I think you're kind of missing the point here. It's not about placing blame or calling the player a monster, it's getting you to realise just how little we think about the concept of choice when presented with it in video games. Walker fires the WP because he "doesn't have a choice", because he wants to get to the bottom of what's going on in Dubai. Similarly you also "don't have a choice" because you want to continue playing the game. But the thing is you BOTH have a choice - Walker can stop looking for answers he doesn't need to find and leave Dubai to report back, like he was damn well told to in his orders, and you can just stop playing. It's NOT a viable story option, but that's because it's not a story option at all - it's just a reminder that you ALWAYS had a choice and you didn't even realise it.

    thewizardninja on
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    Misc85Misc85 Registered User new member
    I don't understand how people think that a soldier has anymore choice of what he does than you do in the video game. If you don't fight you go to jail. They can say you put other soldier lives needlessly at risk by being dead weight.

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    thewizardninjathewizardninja Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    @Misc85
    The difference here is that he was making a choice to go against his orders by STAYING. He was told GO TO DUBAI, FIND THE DISTRESS BEACON AND DETERMINE IF THERE ARE ANY SURVIVORS, REPORT BACK SO WE CAN DEAL WITH IT. But no, Walker couldn't do that. He had to find Konrad, he had to save those civilians himself, he had to find answers, he had to do what he was told not to do because he didn't think just leaving was "right".

    Other military shooters pull this card a lot too, and all is forgiven because, hey, you saved the world or your country because you did what you thought was "right" even though you weren't told to do it. This game points out the absurdity of that line of events, that going against orders like that won't have any repercussions, however the repercussions aren't from being punished for disobeying orders like one would expect but from the fact that what he ends up doing in order to do what he thinks is "right" are things he doesn't think are "right" at all.

    And even then, it would still be a choice if you chose not to fight while in a real war. It's a choice with severe consequences for you and possibly for other people too but it is still very much a choice. Consequently the opposite is true as well - a soldier makes a choice to pull a trigger, his reasoning being if he doesn't then he or others will die. It's a completely understandable choice but it's still a choice.

    Some can't come to terms with the fact they made that choice, it's why so many come back bitter or with mental instabilities, people who did far less than killing civilians with white phosphorous. Walker chose to deal with it by denying that it was his fault, that he didn't make a choice, that Konrad FORCED him to do it and that they "brought it upon themselves". And that is what leads to his downfall as a sane human being.

    thewizardninja on
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    m25105m25105 Registered User regular
    Why doesn't the guy use his real voice? That fake geek robot like voice sounds annoying the first ten seconds and I can't listen to it at all.

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    insidiousinsidious Registered User regular
    That uhh.. Is his real voice.

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    motigistmotigist Registered User regular
    Considering the big "WP scene choice" debate - no, no, absolutely not, that wouldn't have been better.
    I, too, have always dismissed "you could have stopped playing" argument, but thing is - right here it's used brilliantly. Why?
    Brace yourself, it's gonna be a long one.

    In university, I've spent around 2 years trying to grip the concept of a "game". I studied sociology, there's quite a big conceptual apparatus in that field to explain pretty much anything. And we had our fair share of philosophy, so I was ready for that kind of language too.

    You know, I've found almost nothing good. Yeah, there's "Homo Ludens", which is a great book anthropologically (it throws a lot of stuff at you, and it digs deep), but analysis in it... well, there's almost no analysis at all.
    There actually exists 1 (one) very good and insightful book on the subject. I want to test if someone gets interested, so I won't give away it's name until asked.
    Anyway, what I figured out is - if you try to approach this subject from semantic viewpoint (in other words - just try to recall everything word 'game' or 'play' means), you'll find out that it pretty much means "a self-contained situation separated from the rest of the world". Think about it. Sports have rules that doesn't make any sense in broader context, and only interact with the world through concepts of "victory" and "loss". In plays (like - in theater), actors put themselves into a particular situation, disconnected from everything around them. And so on, I could go on for a couple of hours.

    We are talking about little worlds that are perfectly examplified by:
    - a streamlined FPS forcing you through pre-determined plot points
    and at the same time those little worlds looks very much like:
    - situations where soldiers either face kill-or-be-killed decisions, or direct orders from their superiors put them in a very narrow decision-making situations (kill-or-go-to-jail, as was already stated);
    - a mind of a schizophrenic Delta Force operative fixated on a single idea (or a single a man, who was the most capable psychoanalytic at the point when said operative's mental disorder surfaced back in Afghanistan);
    - a city in the desert surrounded by an incredibly absurd year-long sandstorm wall.

    Yeah, the game uses the same metaphor over and over and over again.
    Yeah, Walker doesn't even try to back off because he's a psycho. But Lugo and Adams go on with him too. It's just too damn difficult to disobey an order from your direct superior, ESPECIALLY when he's a fellow field operative standing right next to you.
    Remember that line from WP scene? "Is that an order?" "Yes, it is".

    The fact that YOU don't have an in-game choice not to use WP is pretty much the same as Lugo and Adams not having an "in-order" choice to do so, Walker not having an "in-psychosis" choice, and american soldiers not having an "in-sandstorm" choice to not act like a barbaric government.
    As someone have already said in this thread, Walker immediately proceeds to blame his actions on someone else. No second thoughts, not a second of doubt.
    It's the perfect setup for us to realize how "radio Konrad" comes to life, and why it's so easy to fall for that trick.
    Listen - you've watched (maybe even read?) Fight Club, right? How have you fallen for that trick a second time? Shouldn't you be able too see through plot twists like that by now?
    No-no, at that point, you really, REALLY wanted radio Konrad to be true.
    For Walker's sake, of course. You have developers to blame for the massacre that YOU caused.
    Ain't it sweet? Lugo and Adams have Walker, Walker has Konrad, Konrad has you and you have developers.

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    DXMageDXMage Registered User new member
    What about the Jacob's Ladder type of thing just living out a whole life in the last few seconds of it.

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    darkmage0707077darkmage0707077 Registered User regular
    PLEASE IGNORE THIS COMMENT.

    Was going to add something insightful, but like so many other articles and topics I've read and witnessed, I realized I had nothing insightful to say that hadn't already been said by smarter people...seriously, I feel like I need to comment here, to say something, anything, but I've got nothing worth anyone's time. So I'll just leave it at that.

    I'm sorry for wasting someone's time.

    The way of the Paladin:
    To Seek,
    To Learn,
    To Do.
    -QFG2

    If the speed of light is faster then the speed of sound, is that why people always appear bright until they speak? o_O
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    Brian N.Brian N. Registered User new member
    The critical commentary surrounding this game is very disappointing. As RatherDashing69 said in the previous thread, much of the hype surrounding it is not because it is in any way challenging to the people hyping it. It validates their views about the subjects it speaks on and their broader attitudes about games. A game which is deliberately not fun. A game which abuses its relationship with the player and beats them about the head with simplistic and trite didacticism. Messages which fit in with the prejudices of the critics.
    A vid on youtube articulated many of my feelings about the game quite well. Someone else has tried to post a link but they've had trouble so I'll just write the name:
    Spec Ops Criticism: An Emotional Cheap Shot

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    Android8675Android8675 Registered User regular
    I got this game per your recommendation and I just wanted to come back and say, THANK YOU! Seriously. Amazing game, I can't wait for Yager's next game. I hope they have as much freedom from their publisher next time around.

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    ShadowenShadowen Snores in the morning LoserdomRegistered User regular
    I would normally agree with the "stop playing" sentiment...but the game doesn't exist in a vacuum. It exists in an economy.

    When the only option for a "good ending", for your character to not
    accidentally commit mass murder
    , is to stop playing and reallize you just kissed sixty bucks goodbye for a game you couldn't even finish despite its already being short because the gameplay was boring and the story was more pretentious than a Terence Malick film, that suddenly seems like just another bad ending to me.

    Since the game is about breaking the fourth wall, I will break it right back. "All very well and good," I sneer at the developer, "to talk about the role of the player and the culture of soldier-worship and the weird disconnect between game and reality, but you do realize you took my money and gave me subpar entertainment in return so you could make your point, right?" Except wait I can't sneer at the developer for being a douche the way they sneer at me for being a psychopath, because I am the rube they have fleeced, and they are the artist handing down the gospel in an industry where "no refunds" is the rule for an unsatisfactory performance, even if I do stop halfway through.

    The alternative is to just be emotionally disconnected from the whole experience, at which point you realize that you're playing a shooter with weak mechanics and a condescending story that outright tells you to stop playing if you don't like it, thank you come again, we already have your money.

    A for effort, though. An important step on the road towards games being art. If only it didn't suck as an actual game. 8->

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    JibbaJibba Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    It's probably not a $60 game and PATV said that, as has most everyone else. And 2k agrees, because it hasn't been $60 since launch week. Have you actually played or bought the game?

    Again, back on the "weak" mechanics when they're really just standard. There's one too many actions bound to the cover button, but aside from that everything is tight unless you play on a console and need aid assist to do the work for you. If you took away the story, it would be just an average shooter, not a weak one. In fact, from the PC perspective, the mechanics are far better than the likes of Bioshock, Deadspace and even GoW. It's a proper PC game, without acceleration/negative acceleration, framerate issues or other common problems and everything outside aside from the clutter on LShift works well.

    The story isn't pretentious until the end because the narrator is still in denial up to that point and the player doesn't know any better until the final level. The game tells you the horrible things you're doing have a purpose, until the end when you find out they didn't.

    The game is about mass murder because that's simply what it is. I can assure you you're not getting a refund on an opened BluRay of Apocalypse Now or the crappy Malkovich Heart of Darkness either.

    /me thinks you never actually touched the game

    Jibba on
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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    Brian N. wrote: »
    The critical commentary surrounding this game is very disappointing. As RatherDashing69 said in the previous thread, much of the hype surrounding it is not because it is in any way challenging to the people hyping it. It validates their views about the subjects it speaks on and their broader attitudes about games. A game which is deliberately not fun. A game which abuses its relationship with the player and beats them about the head with simplistic and trite didacticism. Messages which fit in with the prejudices of the critics.
    A vid on youtube articulated many of my feelings about the game quite well. Someone else has tried to post a link but they've had trouble so I'll just write the name:
    Spec Ops Criticism: An Emotional Cheap Shot

    Though I still hold that it's not as risky a venture as people think it is, simply because the hardcore crowd already hates CoD, I don't agree with the views in that video because I think he's missing the point. If the point the devs wanted to get across was about war, I'd agree that they did so poorly and their point was misguided. But I don't think that's what it is. I'll compare it again to Bioshock--using insanity/mind control as a framing device to play with our conceptions of what's normal in a game.
    That's why I think the waves of arcadey enemies that you mow down, ridiculous numbers of them popping up like a shooting gallery, while you regenerate health, is intentional. Walker is interpreting events he sees, or perhaps remembering events he's already been through (if you go with the purgatory interpretation) according to the filter of his insanity. But we, like Walker, don't think there is anything weird about it. It's a great story device many books and movies use to convey insanity--getting you in the head of an insane character by tricking you into believing the same things they believe.
    In Bioshock, you blindly obey orders because that's what you do in video games. Then it's revealed that you did it because of conditioning--basically saying, "Didn't you think it was weird that you felt compelled to do what you were told?" In Spec Ops, you mow down waves of mindless enemies because that's how shooters work. Then at the end, they point out, "Didn't you think it was weird that you could kill so many enemies as a one-man army?" (er, three man one-y? three to one marny?) It's not making a comment on war because the mechanics are nothing like war. It's making a comment on shooters and how unlike war they are, and how blindly we accept that.

    A similar turning-on-head in a non-video game would be Inception. When Cobb is meeting Tom Hardy's character, the random chase scene that ensures seems a bit out of place, but they did say he was a wanted man and hey, it's an action movie, chase scenes just happen. But at the end Mal makes Cobb (and you) wonder, "Wasn't that chase scene kind of random? Could those have been projections, explaining their aimless desire to hunt Cobb down?" Now, obviously it's not so cut-and-dry in Inception because it's intentionally vague whether Mal was right or not, but it's a similar technique.

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    gah, internet screwy, double posted. :-/

    RatherDashing89 on
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    multiplexermultiplexer Registered User new member
    Call me biased because of my bad experiences with the PC port of this game, but I kind of have to disagree with the philosophical hype around the game. I honestly don't think you can properly engage players in a game that is essentially bad from a gameplay standpoint, no matter if this is deliberate or not. Praising mediocre mechanics as a way to show the player that there is some kind of disconnect between the game and player is just something I totally don't agree with.

    I believe that in order to engage the player, the game should, like all games, feel like an extension of the self. A tool. When you use a mouse and keyboard you don't operate the mouse and keyboard, but it feels like you are actually moving the pointer on the screen (though this is obviously not the case) and writing text on screen. The illusion of direct control, a proper tool, is created by for instance minimizing delay between the mouse registering movement and the cursor moving. Have you ever experienced just starting up a program, starting to type on your keyboard and nothing showing up on the screen, while a few moments later the letters you typed earlier slowly pop up? That's spec ops. Bad mechanics causing a disconnect between user and tool. It's as if you're trying to drive a nail into some wood with a hammer, but the hammer is suspended in mid-air.

    In order to create an appropriate feeling of disconnection, the disconnection should progress. At first, mechanics should be tight and engaging, but over time the disconnect should grow. Cues should show up that alert the player that yes, the game is still working properly and not broken, but some things should not feel right. Not right in a 'this is part of the story'-sense, not in a 'this is a fucking piece of shit game with a story somebody said was great'-sense.

    In order to create an appropriate feeling of disconnection, at first mowing down hordes of enemies with turrets should seem ridiculously satisfactory. Maybe at first it's really hard to kill just one person. Then as time progresses, it becomes easier and easier until you're (maybe literally) mowing down tens of soldiers a second. That creates a disconnect. Spec ops feels bad.

    Because let's face it: as gamers, especially hardcore gamers, we know our shit. We know that a certain 'feeling' in a game signifies an underlying technical problem. We already know we are playing a game, we are not by default engaged and willing to accept just anything as 'proper' mechanics. If the mouse feels weird in a game, it's probably mouse acceleration or auto-snapping, which is a broken feature needing to be repaired. Once that is fixed, we can feel properly immersed. We do not accept mediocre mechanics or control as some kind of plot device because frankly, they aren't and they shouldn't. A shooter locked at 30fps feels disconnected, certainly, but because it's broken.

    And that's my gripe with this game. Let's make something clear: I cannot comment on much of the content because I only played this game for maybe 30 minutes. 30 minutes preceded by more than an hour of trying to fix those parts of the port that made it unplayable for me, and not succeeding.

    Also, this text entry box is broken. It becomes like 15x as large as the actual text I'm typing. Is that a Chrome-specific bug?

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    I think in most games the game should feel like an extension of the self. Just like in most movies the cameraman should not be involved in the story and in most novels the author should maintain a neutral voice--ie not breaking down into poor grammar or swearing. That doesn't mean it has to be that way every time. You can tell a difference between a book "breaking the fourth wall" by changing grammar on purpose to provide atmosphere or be quirky, and when it does it out of poor writing. If a lot of movies acknowledged the cameraman it would lose any effectiveness for humor or irony. But every now and then it works.

    That said, I don't think people are trying to say the game's poor gameplay is a necessity. Would it be better with tighter gameplay? I'm sure. But when a game with truly good gameplay and a horrible story/little immersion/poor worldbuilding comes along, we excuse what it doesn't deliver based on what it does, and rightly so. Not every game will knock every aspect out of the park. So many people seem to think because the term is video "game" that good gameplay is the one thing that has to be the priority, all the time. But that's like saying cinematography is the only important thing in film. Story, acting, and characterization are just as important, and a film that shines in those three elements can be excused for poor pacing (ie Nolan movies) or bad camerawork (Bourne and Bourne-like movies). There are no perfect games or perfect movies. So just because one aspect of the game falls flat doesn't mean it's worth throwing out entirely.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Gezzer wrote: »
    Where are you guys streaming from? Outer Mongolia?
    Man, 3 free cell games and you still haven't hit half way on the downloaded bar.
    I know, I know, it's free. But still you better start feeding that gerbil better, he's barely moving.
    Think it's just your pipes dude. Or the CDN node near you. EC videos have always buffered in a very short time for me and my internet speed isn't that amazing. A bunch of still images with some sound are nice that way.
    insidious wrote: »
    That uhh.. Is his real voice.
    Technically it's his real voice but sped up a little bit.
    If I remember right way back when they used his normal voice but people thought it was kind of boring. So they sped it up a touch and more people liked it.

    steam_sig.png
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    GravedGraved Registered User new member
    Too bad localizations often filter most of the messages, early hints. I played Russian localization for a little bit, and it's good, but not as good as original :(

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    Lost TravelerLost Traveler Registered User new member
    It won't play!

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    TrancebamTrancebam Registered User new member
    That bit toward the end where you talked about options not explicitly laid out in front of you is probably the one thing that will make me want to play this game, and then replay it to explore other options. In any game where I'm given set options, I think about what my other options are with the tools available, and attempt to execute one of those alternatives. Nothing irritates me more or makes me criticize a game more harshly than being given those tools, but in every case the result is inevitable. That's not to say that in a game, if there were a few cases where no matter what you did the outcome was inevitable is a bad thing. However if there were, say 10 opportunities to take an alternative action and every single time the outcome was inevitable, it takes away part of the inherent "fun" for me. Which I do find that kind of gameplay "fun" rather than simply immersing. That sense of freedom and exploration, the actual morality involved that gives us a little insight into who we are in terms of ethics, is part of what I crave in every game I play.

    (that's all I really have to say on the matter, but the following is personal hopes and wishes for games I love)

    For instance, I'm a huge fan of the Assassin's Creed series. The story is extremely deep, and has the illusion of originality while actually providing a truly original gaming experience, especially concerning the multiplayer. The best thing they could do for the series is giving you a specific target, but then through story and the people you meet, getting involved in the politics and controversy within the game, you may be able to influence the story by assassinating figures that weren't on the agenda, and perhaps protecting the person you were told to assassinate but in a way that makes it feel like you're truly choosing this of your own accord, and it wasn't really the decision you were supposed to come to. It would increase replay value, immersion, and for gamers like myself in particular, "fun".

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    Carlos LuCarlos Lu Registered User new member
    I liked the game better when it was called Metal Gear Solid 2.

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    AppleguysnakeAppleguysnake Registered User regular
    @motigist

    I'm not sure how the comment system works here, so hopefully you see this.

    That's a nice writeup you did, but it isn't really accurate. Adams and Lugo had to do it because you said "that's an order"? Do I really need to bring up Nuremberg? If someone told you to brutally burn a mass of people alive, you'd just say "welp, he did say it's an order". They're both standing there with guns. They're not getting shot at, they know what they're about to do.

    As for the actual game mechanics, you don't have the choice to go down and try and go through the camp. You're just locked in a spot and can't go forward or back until you do the thing. Having people yelling about the 'choice' you have to make just emphasizes how broken that moment is.

    On the gamespot podcast Jeff Gerstmann talked about this with Walt Williams, the lead writer of Spec Ops. He pointed out that even once he started using the mortar, at one point you can see that theres a group of people who aren't moving, but if he stopped firing, he failed and had to go back to the checkpoint. You could say that "yeah, that's the point", but that's EXACTLY the opposite of what EC was saying is so great about those choices. The podcast is a good listen: http://www.gamespot.com/features/gamespot-gameplay-special-edition-spoilercast-spec-ops-the-line-6386587/

    And about those choices: I shot the snipers too at that first 'choice'. When I got to the end, they still flashed back to it as if I had killed them.

    I really love the idea of this episode and "mechanics as metaphor" but they talk about these games as if they execute perfectly on their concepts and they don't. Fantastic ideas there in both cases, but not well executed.

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    override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    I appreciate the analysis but I don't understand why everyone is so enthralled with a game made by people who obviously have such an extreme distaste for their customer base

    I played this for a few hours until I got to the part where the game threw infinite re spawning enemies (I killed HUNDREDS and could have continued forever) at me because I was supposed to use white phosphorous on the enemy.

    Eventually I acquiesced because you are literally not given a choice (the game might as well be a very long video you watch), kill everything with WP, and at the end notice the guys aren't shooting at me so I don't fire at them - a lone enemy Humvee kills me. I could have shot that Humvee with a rocket, or bullets, but for some reason I wasn't given any choice. No matter where on the screen you fire the mortar you commit a war crime

    Then the character is all "OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE" and I decided to quit. There's a difference between great storytelling and blatant emotional manipulation, and the only emotion this game made me feel was anger at the developers for thinking they'd pulled a fast one on me. It would have been an effective moment if I hadn't carefully picked my shots.

    The only thing of any deeper level I got from this game was at one point a pair of soldiers chatting with each other fired on me, I stunned both of them and went up desperately looking for a non lethal option to subdue them, but they got up and fired at me and I had to kill them. I realized the only reason I even stopped to try that was because I was killing Americans, and I will give them credit for being ballsy with the subject matter.

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    zombine3dzombine3d Registered User new member
    Hay, off topic, there is someone(or corp.) that ripped your style ( and a bit more) off on youtube without mentioning you. I tried to contact them but they just blocked me :\ , so much for reasonable talk.
    youtube . com/watch?v=uAm-kbzT7xw&list=UU12dwu45qHuoYmtllqWkrvQ&index=0&feature=plcp <--- the video.
    I think they must ask you for forgiveness.

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    zombine3dzombine3d Registered User new member
    BTW, this game is on par, for me, with Silent Hill 2

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    SeagzSeagz Registered User new member
    edited September 2012
    They need to make an ARG based on this idea, but direct it at 4chan overusers and internet bullies. The kinds of people who go after someone else "for the lulz" because it's "just the internet." I'm not a game designer and I'm certain I couldn't tell you how to do that, but it would be so great to see.

    I mean, they would go out of their way not to learn a thing from it, true to form, but just the fact that it would exist would be satisfying.

    Seagz on
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