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GoatLord

Gaming: Did you fall behind?

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Half-Life 2 literally came out 12 years ago. It's not a "modern game" by any stretch of the imagination.

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dethtoll said:

PC gaming was at its absolute nadir between 2003 and 2006. Talk shit about modern games all you want, but some of us still remember the stark difference between Deus Ex: Invisible War (2003) and Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011.)

No?

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, Temple of Elemental Evil, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Gothic 2 and 3, Far Cry, Painkiller, Silent Storm and its expansion, Night Watch, HoMM V, UT2K4, KotOR 2, Warcraft 3... there were plenty of great games during that three year span. Saying otherwise is wrong.

EDIT: Add Imperishable Night, GalCiv 2, Ys: The Oath in Felghanna, Ys Origin, Civ IV, and several games in the Geneforge and Avernum series to the list. That period was great.

DOUBLE EDIT: BTW, DX:HR was a bad game, 2 stars out of 5 at best.

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The majority of popular modern releases take themselves far too seriously and feature boring, lacklustre gameplay, but there's plenty of good stuff out there too. The past eras had their fair share of cash-grab trash too, we must remember.

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Cynical I was going to answer you but CoC DCotE and FarCry good DXHR bad ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

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Far Cry has some of the smartest level design in FPS history, and CoC: DCotE is brilliant no matter how you look at it.

DXHR is a fake RPG and a bad action game, with the shallowest implementation of nonlinearity this side of Oblivion. It's not even as good as the first Deus Ex (which is itself really overrated), much less the action RPGs that raised the bar since then such as VTM:B or the Gothic series.

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Gaming has become a huge, big industry nowadays, on a par with the movie or music industries. More importantly I think you can draw some good analogies with those industries. Just like how the pop music industry is about making money by churning out endless derivative songs, and the movie industry is about making money by churning out endless derivative movies (every year there's an array of new dumb action movies, etc.), the AAA games industry seems focused on churning out endless derivative video games.

Think about what a cliche the tactical shooter FPS has become for example, or that Call of Dooty Doom parody WAD that everyone's already seen. Dozens of these kinds of games come out every year, and there's never really anything particularly interesting or groundbreaking about them. Just like summer action movies, they're safe bets for the companies that develop them, targeting established demographics, and I dare say the gameplay is watered down to never be particularly challenging, so that the majority of people can have fun playing them without finding them frustrating.

In that sense I don't really follow modern gaming - the AAA side of it at least. I've found that far more interesting things are happening in the indie side of things, where it's often solo developers or small teams trying more interesting or experimental ideas. What interests me is trying new things, seeing gaming expand into new areas that it hasn't been in before. I'm not interested in playing the latest military/tactical shooter just because chances are it'll basically be a watered-down rehash of things I played in the '90s anyway.

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Well, Cynical, you certainly live up to your name, but holy shit.

DCotE had a strong opening but its systems were beyond broken and once you get to the truck ride you might as well uninstall because the game goes downhill from there in a rusty Walmart grocery cart and the hill is covered in rocks and stairs and is also a 75-degree angle.

FarCry's "smartest level design" though... did you mean the part with the boat? Or the part with the bunker? or the linear part with the goddamn gorilla mutants? Or the part with the assholes with rocket launchers? There isn't a single level in FC that wasn't shitty or annoying or both. Its "open" maps were essentially very large funnels to give the illusion of non-linearity -- and then they make you fucking run around in linear corridors anyway. Awful game.

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fraggle said:

Think about what a cliche the tactical shooter FPS has become for example, or that Call of Dooty Doom parody WAD that everyone's already seen. Dozens of these kinds of games come out every year, and there's never really anything particularly interesting or groundbreaking about them. Just like summer action movies, they're safe bets for the companies that develop them, targeting established demographics, and I dare say the gameplay is watered down to never be particularly challenging, so that the majority of people can have fun playing them without finding them frustrating.

In that sense I don't really follow modern gaming - the AAA side of it at least. I've found that far more interesting things are happening in the indie side of things, where it's often solo developers or small teams trying more interesting or experimental ideas.

How would you know that nothing interesting or groundbreaking is happening in the "modern shooter" genre if, by admission, you don't follow AAA modern gaming?

Advanced Warfare and Titanfall both had really interesting approaches to FPS mobility. Both were better and more interesting than any of the indie darlings.

As for difficulty, no one is buying those games for single player. And I have yet to encounter the multiplayer game that isn't harder to become competent at than any non-arcade commercially released single player game (or, more accurately, I have yet to encounter the single player game that's harder than being better than the majority of players in a multiplayer game, no matter the game. Recommended reading: http://www.learntocounter.com/debunking-the-cult-of-nintendo-hard/ ).

EDIT

Well, Cynical, you certainly live up to your name, but holy shit.

DCotE had a strong opening but its systems were beyond broken and once you get to the truck ride you might as well uninstall because the game goes downhill from there in a rusty Walmart grocery cart and the hill is covered in rocks and stairs and is also a 75-degree angle.

FarCry's "smartest level design" though... did you mean the part with the boat? Or the part with the bunker? or the linear part with the goddamn gorilla mutants? Or the part with the assholes with rocket launchers? There isn't a single level in FC that wasn't shitty or annoying or both. Its "open" maps were essentially very large funnels to give the illusion of non-linearity -- and then they make you fucking run around in linear corridors anyway. Awful game.

Genuinely curious, what system in DCotE is broken in any way? And the best levels in the game, the Marsh Refinery and R'lyeh both came after the truck ride.

The open maps in Far Cry weren't funnels at all. You can approach pretty much any fight from multiple angles, loads of fights can be skipped entirely, and there's tons of paths through most of them. With a bit of exploration, some of them can be almost entirely skipped, such as the night-time island level where the invisi-mutants are introduced.

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fraggle said:

Dozens of these kinds of games come out every year


The truth is, they really don't. Certainly not dozens as you claim. The market -- AAA and indie combined -- has diversified quite a bit, and CoD clones have been on the way out for some time.

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Cynical said:

Far Cry has some of the smartest level design in FPS history...


Far Cry had levels? Oh, you're trolling... hah! I see, ya got me. Good one.

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Cynical said:

Genuinely curious, what system in DCotE is broken in any way?


The inventory system and the damage system are fucking ridiculous, clunky, and make the truck ride a goddamn nightmare. If only the truck ride were the low point of the game. It isn't.

Cynical said:

The open maps in Far Cry weren't funnels at all. You can approach pretty much any fight from multiple angles, loads of fights can be skipped entirely, and there's tons of paths through most of them. With a bit of exploration, some of them can be almost entirely skipped, such as the night-time island level where the invisi-mutants are introduced.


A bunch of disparate enemy camps on a bunch of islands isn't really "smart" level design. Especially when the game's difficulty hinges on dealing with enemies that act like they're in a late-90s FPS.

In all honesty Pathologic is a better DCotE than DCotE could ever hope to have been.

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dethtoll said:

The inventory system and the damage system are fucking ridiculous, clunky, and make the truck ride a goddamn nightmare. If only the truck ride were the low point of the game. It isn't.

The fact that it's a bit clunky is intentional. You can't just heal yourself up conveniently whenever you like; you have to make sure you're safe first. Did you want your simulationist horror game to let you heal yourself completely for free?

A bunch of disparate enemy camps on a bunch of islands isn't really "smart" level design. Especially when the game's difficulty hinges on dealing with enemies that act like they're in a late-90s FPS.

Wait, so earlier it was "fake non-linear", now it's too open? Which is it?

Far Cry's approach is brilliant because it has just enough structure to give the encounters shape, something that got lost in its sequels. The enemy AI is perfectly serviceable, and was well above average in 2004 (the only thing I can think of that could compete with it in those days was Half-Life). Enemies do co-ordinated flanking maneuvers, use grenades to flus the player out of cover, and do a believable job at searching where they last saw him.

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DMGUYDZ64 said:

Some of modern games i played that don't actually suck :

* FIFA 16 .
* DOOM 3 BFG Edition, why not .

There's many more out there .


FIFA series is annual copy-paste nonsense and D3 BFG Edition is a travesty not only was the Doom 3 part made easier and brighter but the classic Doom games with it were butchered due to BS trademark and political nonsense.

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Glaice said:

the classic Doom games with it were butchered

Hardly "butchered". Two levels were admittedly completely ruined thematically and the redesign for the Medikit and Stimpack was shoddy, and the engine update itself is certainly inferior to almost any attempt at a source port, but to call the games "butchered"... o lawd.

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I´m 33. I fell off way back, back in 2000 I guess. I totally stopped playing computer (never played any consoles ever) games then, except for the occational Quake Live match now and then. I´ve sort of kept myself updated by watching youtube vids, but I´m never impressed by any new game. I guess stuff like Arma2/3 - DayZ mod and DayZ standalone kind of tingles my interest, but not enough by far to actually get me playing anything. I have other things to do in my spare time than playing games. I´m old. Which bringhs me to Doom...I dont have any time to work on the megawad Ive been "working" on for the last few years (lol...95% no work, 5% work each year, max) either. Too bad, really.

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BaronOfStuff said:

Hardly "butchered". Two levels were admittedly completely ruined thematically and the redesign for the Medikit and Stimpack was shoddy, and the engine update itself is certainly inferior to almost any attempt at a source port, but to call the games "butchered"... o lawd.

This is just one of Glaice's favorite topics to rant about. Personally I don't get the big deal either - they changed a few mainly inconsequential things for legal reasons - big deal.

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Cynical said:

The fact that it's a bit clunky is intentional. You can't just heal yourself up conveniently whenever you like; you have to make sure you're safe first. Did you want your simulationist horror game to let you heal yourself completely for free?


No. I want my simulationist horror game to have a system that wasn't a convoluted goddamn mess. Also, to not put me under withering, unavoidable fire with no cover that leaves you nearly dead because you can't heal yourself fast enough to not fucking die.

Go play Pathologic. That's how survivalist horror is done right.

Cynical said:

Wait, so earlier it was "fake non-linear", now it's too open? Which is it?

Far Cry's approach is brilliant because it has just enough structure to give the encounters shape, something that got lost in its sequels. The enemy AI is perfectly serviceable, and was well above average in 2004 (the only thing I can think of that could compete with it in those days was Half-Life). Enemies do co-ordinated flanking maneuvers, use grenades to flus the player out of cover, and do a believable job at searching where they last saw him.


I never said it was too open. The maps might be huge in terms of dimensions but you're still hopping from one featureless island to the next, assuming some asshole with a rocket launcher doesn't blow up your boat from a mile away.

That's not even counting the parts where the game turns into a featureless, ugly, frustrating corridor shooter.

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I like rocket league, boarderlands, and elder scrolls. After that I dont have money so that is what I kept up with and buy

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dethtoll said:

No. I want my simulationist horror game to have a system that wasn't a convoluted goddamn mess. Also, to not put me under withering, unavoidable fire with no cover that leaves you nearly dead because you can't heal yourself fast enough to not fucking die.

Morphine will get you through that spot easily. Use the tools available to you.

I never said it was too open. The maps might be huge in terms of dimensions but you're still hopping from one featureless island to the next, assuming some asshole with a rocket launcher doesn't blow up your boat from a mile away.

That describes one level in the entire game. Most of the large outdoor levels take place on one huge contiguous landmass, and aren't full of island hopping.

doomhuntress said:

holy shit, the BFG Edition was release 4 years ago?

Fun fact -- the gap between Doom 3 and today is longer than the gap between Doom II and Doom 3.

(If that doesn't make you feel old, I don't know what will.)

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I still keep up, there are many indie games that are quite fun. I am noticing more and more AAA games are just skinner boxes or renters though. The casualisation of gaming has really been a bitter pill to swallow though.

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HorrorMovieGuy said:

Oops, I meant to say Half-life 2.

Modern isn't a term used to describe how bad are things though, Besides, Half-life 2 Ep 2 was released back in 2007 , Half-life 2 kept what people loved about previous Half-life and additionally added extra stuff (driving, new weps), although they have removed gauss (which is bad) , if they ever decide to complete the unfinished Story of EP2, It would be great if they bring back gauss , But still, HL2EP2 is the only game i'd repeat like forever, I Just like the way alyx is programmed, really makes the game feel less boring .

The game doesn't run out of puzzles, you never finish a Chapter without solving puzzles (unless you want to do that Awkward back Hop "ABH" ) :P .

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Cynical said:

Morphine will get you through that spot easily. Use the tools available to you.


That spot shouldn't exist. It is bad game design. It pushes the game's already clunky systems to their limit, and then breaks them. I would argue that in a game full of bad design decisions, bugs, and other flaws, that one is perhaps the single worst one. Half the time I didn't even have morphine.

Go play Pathologic.

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Doomkid said:

The majority of popular modern releases take themselves far too seriously and feature boring, lacklustre gameplay, but there's plenty of good stuff out there too. The past eras had their fair share of cash-grab trash too, we must remember.


What Doomkid said.

Also if I fell behind, it's because I never cared about keeping up.

The things I miss in modern games is the lack of extras like the game manual in your hand. Even the skinny Quake 2 manual was neat to flip through. Now you're lucky if you get a digital manual. Then there's the lack of expansions and all we get now is some DLC that doesn't get used most of the time. :p

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Not so much 'fell behind' but 'stopped caring'.
Up until 2004 I frequently rented or bought new games, but the increasing focus on stuff I didn't need to have and the gradual abandonment of exciting long-lasting gameplay seriously started to put me off.

And then, when the DRM plague started with Half-Life 2 it was no longer possible to rent games and I haven't bothered ever since with the crap the industry tried to shove into my face. The price is just too high for what it has to offer - instead I occasionally buy some old stuff I've never played on GOG.

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dethtoll said:

Half the time I didn't even have morphine.

That's actually impossible; you start the game with an infinite supply.

I'm starting to seriously wonder how many of your issues with the game are simply faulty recollection.

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