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Orchid87

Marathon

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I keep hearing how this series is a gem of the shooter genre. It had some innovative things, like mouselook, rich (for a shooter) story, wall-mounted health dispensers... but hell, why the are Marathon games so damn ugly? My eyes almost bleed when I see those terrible sprites and textures. IMO even LameDuke has better texture work. Gameplay-wise the games are not bad, but far from the Doom, DN3D or Blood level of fun.

So, why do so many people name Marathon one of the best shooter ever made?

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If you're curious, there was a thread about this topic not more than a month or so ago. I think it eventually just fell into flaming/trolling/etc, but I don't recall it well enough to say.[/offtopic]

I think the story is given a lot of clout in Marathon because most games of the era/genre concentrated more on the gameplay rather than the story. I, personally, can't really get into the game, though I -have- tried, just because the level layouts are too confusing and are just frustrating. Marathon does have some very interesting features that no game had before it, though, so I wouldn't say to avoid checking it out. There's a windows port of it and everything.

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Fact: Every obscure old game has a fan base just as single-mindedly obsessed as we are with Doom.

Of course, we're the only ones who really know a good game when we see it. Doom is the one true way!

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Marathon is considered "one of the best" simply because it was the only FPS series for the Mac at the time. The Mac really didn't have the games that PCs did, so Marathon filled the void left by games such as Doom, which were completely missing from the Mac. Still, even with the number of superior PC offerings, I love Marathon. The game is second to none in terms of storytelling and atmosphere IMO, with only Doom and Blood rivaling it.

While I always liked Marathon's pacing, it suffers from the dreaded Bungie Level Design Syndrome: the levels often are either confusing, poorly structured, highly repetitive, or all of the above. That said, it's worth giving the series a go before dismissing it, and the level design improves vastly with each sequel, with Infinity having some of the best. There's definitely room for both Doom and Marathon in the FPS pantheon. :)

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I'd recommend Infinity, there's a few neat mods for it too. The second game has no music besides the fairly awesome title music, which dampens the experience, so I didn't like it.

Marathon definitely gets a lot of praise from the morons and kids in the Halo community. Many of them likely haven't played it but everything Bungie makes is holy and untouchable so automatic 5 from them.

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I played it over a friends house and hated it. Although its art design and story were actually pretty good, it just felt slow and clunky compared to Doom.

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Mr. Freeze said:

it just felt slow and clunky compared to Doom.


Isn't that a common element of Doom clones, ever since they appeared?

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I thought Marathon was interesting because of it's abstract level design. That and the enemy design stood out to me. If Bungie bothered expanding this rather than making Halo I would have been happy.

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Marathon Infinity is boss. M2 is pretty good too, though the first I'd definitely lump into the 'ugly' category (not that it's bad, mind you -- I'd still recommend it so long as you get the M1A1 conversion so you get the 'fixed' Colony Ship for Sale... ;). Story and atmosphere does have a lot do so with it, though, I'll admit. Doom's got it (and most everything else) beat in the 'fun' category. :P

Also, anyone else here played some of the big TC's for it? I love Rubicon X as much as Infinity and need to get around to finishing Eternal (which is pretty badass, too).

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well, as I said, marathon is one of the WORST games I have ever played.

It was boring, only constists of 1-6 colors, most being different shades of green.
The guns look retarded. You fight the same aliens over, and over, and over.

Maps are massive and you always wind up lost or running out of oxygen.
The screen is tiny, and the online play is an absolute joke.
(you are in a chat room, often left to waiting 10-15 minutes for a new match to start before able to join. Once you do, however, it feels short and the only gun anyone uses is the rocket launcher)


Its not even worth the money it doesnt cost it sucks so bad.

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Looked u some screenshots, and while the graphics look pretty nice, I can't tell just what the hell is going on. THere is this one, shotgun facing out, three guys in front, one is torching another and they look like the same sprite, while all these flashy colors are everywhere, and I can't even tell what anything really is except for the flamegun or whatver and the players gun. But on some other shots, like I said, it doesn't look bad (Graphically speaking).

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I bought Marathon 2 on XBLA (Titled Marathon: Durandal), as it was a classic 2D FPS.

Its very different to Doom, so much so its practically a first person puzzle game with combat. The movement is crazy too. Ive gotten lost so many times over the course of the game. All in all though, I enjoyed it.

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Marcaek said:

I'd recommend Infinity, there's a few neat mods for it too. The second game has no music besides the fairly awesome title music, which dampens the experience, so I didn't like it.

Oddly, that's the reason why I liked Marathon 2; not every game needs music to be enjoyable, and M2 has an excellent selection of ambient sounds to fill in the background.

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Gem? The game fucking sucks. Here's gameplay in a nutshell:

1. Wander around a massive labyrinth composed of similar looking rooms looking for a single switch for a couple of hours
2. Wander around the maze for a few more hours looking for the switch you started at
3. Repeat.

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Craigs said:

Gem? The game fucking sucks. Here's gameplay in a nutshell:

1. Wander around a massive labyrinth composed of similar looking rooms looking for a single switch for a couple of hours
2. Wander around the maze for a few more hours looking for the switch you started at
3. Repeat.

Sounds similar to the dungeon crawling in TES2 Daggerfall. :P

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Craigs said:

Gem? The game fucking sucks. Here's gameplay in a nutshell:

1. Wander around a massive labyrinth composed of similar looking rooms looking for a single switch for a couple of hours
2. Wander around the maze for a few more hours looking for the switch you started at
3. Repeat.


That's just the first game, and like one level in the third one. Two out of three good games is not bad, right?

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Craigs said:

Gem? The game fucking sucks. Here's gameplay in a nutshell:

1. Wander around a massive labyrinth composed of similar looking rooms looking for a single switch for a couple of hours
2. Wander around the maze for a few more hours looking for the switch you started at
3. Repeat.


Bah, you just suck at it then.

I'd have to say I love Marathon. True, it's not as fast paced as Doom, but that's kinda what makes it good. If you're trying to play it as if it were a fast paced shooter, and getting frustrated, then you're playing it wrong. Action isn't really it's main focus, the gameplay's fun lies in it's atmosphere, exploration, finding new areas, and surviving (not dominating, the enemies aren't weak creatures that are subject to the player's will like in Doom) ambushes and combat. It's not for everyone, I understand if these slow-paced things just aren't for you. But if it is your thing, Marathon will suck you right in.

I won't lie, I hated it at first, but when I forced myself to play through the first several levels, I became hooked, mostly because of the story. I had to know what happened next, and it was fun wandering the ship, seeing all the different environments.

One problem I had with it though, is who the fuck thought it was a good idea to build a ship out of Deimos? Wouldn't that cause Mars to go out of balance?

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Sodahollic said:

One problem I had with it though, is who the fuck thought it was a good idea to build a ship out of Deimos? Wouldn't that cause Mars to go out of balance?

Deimos and Phobos aren't anywhere near large enough to put a dent in Mars orbit like Earth's moon. They're only a few kilometers in length last I checked.

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Marathon was pretty homo, but it was the Mac's answer to Doom I guess

Until MacDoom came out.

Sodahollic said:

Bah, you just suck at it then.

I'd have to say I love Marathon. True, it's not as fast paced as Doom, but that's kinda what makes it good. If you're trying to play it as if it were a fast paced shooter, and getting frustrated, then you're playing it wrong.


Running around a labyrinth of horridly-textured rooms that give the impression that Sandy Petersen was the art director for the game while you're trying to find switches always hidden in the corner of the one room you didn't check way across the map does not a deep game make.

Action isn't really it's main focus, the gameplay's fun lies in it's atmosphere, exploration, finding new areas, and surviving (not dominating, the enemies aren't weak creatures that are subject to the player's will like in Doom) ambushes and combat.


Granted, but I personally found it rather difficult to "find new areas" when they all looked like the same abstract shape plastered with ridiculously mismatched textures that were oviously autoaligned across every surface and "survive" when there are so few enemies, and all of them look like old ladies trying to whack you with umbrellas.

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It sounds like you haven't played past the first level. You would be wishing you'd see the "umbrella guys" more often.

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To be honest, I like Marathon a lot than Doom. But yet again, I'm someone who loves to focus on stories in games a lot. Sure the graphics are not the best, but who the hell cares? Marathon 2: Durandal is one of my favorite games of all time, and so is Doom. However, neither of them beat Wolfenstein 3-D for sure.

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I played Marathon 2 for at least three levels, but, being an avid fan of game music, I, too, was frustrated by the empty void that was the game's audio. The gameplay was similarly not compelling, with levels that were very cumbersome to navigate.

And that game had a story? I obviously didn't give a hoot, as I don't remember an ounce of it.

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Craigs said:

Gem? The game fucking sucks. Here's gameplay in a nutshell:

1. Wander around a massive labyrinth composed of similar looking rooms looking for a single switch for a couple of hours
2. Wander around the maze for a few more hours looking for the switch you started at
3. Repeat.


Sounds just like KDIZD.

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if i wanted slower, goal-oriented gameplay in more defined sci-fi settings with a real plot, i wouldn't pretend marathon has them and go back to system shock. which is also 1994, btw.

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Orchid87 said:

I keep hearing how this series is a gem of the shooter genre. It had some innovative things, like mouselook, rich (for a shooter) story, wall-mounted health dispensers... but hell, why the are Marathon games so damn ugly? My eyes almost bleed when I see those terrible sprites and textures. IMO even LameDuke has better texture work. Gameplay-wise the games are not bad, but far from the Doom, DN3D or Blood level of fun.

So, why do so many people name Marathon one of the best shooter ever made?


In my opinion Marathon is far from the best fps, however it is also far from bad. My real problem with marathon is that I get bored with it very fast as it just isn't my kind of shooter.

As far as gameplay is concerned, nothing beats Blood >:D

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