Ben X

The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

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Bah, I was getting pretty far in this but it's crashing whenever I try to exit the Templar church, which is a necessary location to visit, so I'm having to give up on this. Possibly for the best as I scanned through a playthrough of the rest of the game and it doesn't seem to do much more. Pretty cool that it ends with JC Denton at the Statue Of Liberty though!

 

I've pretty much said everything about this game already - great design, some satisfying RPG stuff and non-linear design, but plateaus pretty quickly in terms of missions, story and weapons/mods.

 

So, onto Riddick!

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Which version of Riddick? The original or the Dark Athena rerelease with the additional campaign?

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Butcher Bay Directors Cut from disc. (EDIT: Apparently this just means the PC version of the original. Wikipedia says " Vivendi confirmed in July 2004 that a Windows port of Escape from Butcher Bay was in development, entitled "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay Director's Cut".[34] The game features a higher display resolution, additional cigarette packs, and new scenes where Riddick steals mechanized riot armor. It includes developer commentary which details the game's creation and design decisions.")

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It's proving difficult to get this running from the disc, possibly due to copy protection... Lots of patches and Nvidia muckabouts to try...

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I have the Dark Athena game, but wanted to complete Butcher Bay first. Never finished it though - that is one tough game. Lots of tricky stealth stuff, if I recall correctly. Good luck!

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On 4/28/2017 at 10:33 AM, Roderick said:

Lots of tricky stealth stuff

 

fffffuuuuuuuu

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Yeah I quit it something like an hour in because of a bunch of stupid linear stealth bullshit. I like stealth games like Splinter Cell, Thief, No One Lives Forever, etc. but I found Riddick too hard or fiddly or whatever. So I suspect its life expectancy in this thread is effectively nil.

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9 hours ago, TychoCelchuuu said:

Yeah I quit it something like an hour in because of a bunch of stupid linear stealth bullshit. I like stealth games like Splinter Cell, Thief, No One Lives Forever, etc. but I found Riddick too hard or fiddly or whatever. So I suspect its life expectancy in this thread is effectively nil.

 

I also only got about an hour in for similar reasons.  I'm not a huge fan of stealth games in general, especially first person ones.  I felt like Riddick has some cool ideas and I'm admit to actually liking the universe the movies/games occupy but I could never bring myself to enjoy Butcher Bay.

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You guys are bumming me out. I don't even like stealth games and even coming to it late I think Riddick is one of the best FPSes I've played (not the expansion though).

On 2017-04-29 at 4:38 PM, TychoCelchuuu said:

Yeah I quit it something like an hour in because of a bunch of stupid linear stealth bullshit. I like stealth games like Splinter Cell, Thief, No One Lives Forever, etc. but I found Riddick too hard or fiddly or whatever. So I suspect its life expectancy in this thread is effectively nil.

I think it's totally valid to quit any game an hour in if you're not enjoying it, but I will say that Riddick is a game that switches things up a lot in a Half-Life 2 like way. It's not a game where you play a little bit of it and are able to from that extract what the rest of the game will be like. That is one of the key strengths of its campaign. The pure stealth sections make up a quite small part of the game. How far did you get in terms of progression?

 

I would recommend perhaps playing it on easy though, mostly because of the mêlée combat, which I don't think it's balanced well. I do recall though that the difficulty can be switched at any time, so it's also possible to turn it down just for those segments.

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It's not like I quit because I wasn't having fun, I quit because I literally couldn't progress. The guards just kept shooting me to death.

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That's a shame Tycho :/

On 2017-04-28 at 0:00 AM, Ben X said:

Butcher Bay Directors Cut from disc. (EDIT: Apparently this just means the PC version of the original. Wikipedia says " Vivendi confirmed in July 2004 that a Windows port of Escape from Butcher Bay was in development, entitled "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay Director's Cut".[34] The game features a higher display resolution, additional cigarette packs, and new scenes where Riddick steals mechanized riot armor. It includes developer commentary which details the game's creation and design decisions.")

Yeah I think the "HD" version only comes when you buy Assault on Dark Athena, it's the 2009 release. If you can't get it running you can download my GoG version if you want (I mean you already bought it once).

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5 hours ago, eot said:

I would recommend perhaps playing it on easy though, mostly because of the mêlée combat, which I don't think it's balanced well. I do recall though that the difficulty can be switched at any time, so it's also possible to turn it down just for those segments.

 

That was also a reason I stopped.  I hate first person melee combat and Riddick didn't do anything to alleviate that, at least from what I remember.  I find first person melee really counter-intuitive no matter what the game and using guns in a Riddick themed thing just felt wrong.

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11 hours ago, eot said:

Yeah I think the "HD" version only comes when you buy Assault on Dark Athena, it's the 2009 release. If you can't get it running you can download my GoG version if you want (I mean you already bought it once).

 

Ah, well actually Dan bought it and gave me the disc during a clear-out ages ago! (That's where a fair few of these have come from, actually.)

 

However, as it's no longer available to buy and I do already have the disc version through legit means, which I'd be able to play if it weren't for bullshit DRM, I won't feel morally conflicted about taking you up on that if necessary. Thanks!

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Ok, I've started playing through the Dark Athena version of Butcher Bay. It looks pretty nice, though it's got tons of post-processing (motion blur when you look around, bloom) which, judging by comparison videos, make it look worse than the 2004 version - really smudgy. I'm going to try to turn them off. I also had to turn anti-aliasing way down to stop the game running like crap, but I'm hoping if I take the post-processing off I can turn the AA back up.

 

Apart from that, pretty slick presentation. The tutorial involves snapping your merc captor's neck then escaping down a convenient vent. It turns out to be Riddick dreaming while still cuffed up in the merc's ship, which was pretty funny. Then you get an on-rails walk into the prison, which is really nice and has a very similar feel to Arkham Asylum's intro a few years later. After some rather pointless super-linear RPG stuff and some very irritating melee combat, both of which admittedly help the prison feel of the game, I'm now sneaking about shooting guards. It's generally pretty fun and the atmosphere is great. Feels really grubby, and has lots of ace character actors like Michael Rooker and Joaquim De Almeida alongside name voice actors like John Di Maggio, and of course actors from the second movie including Diesel.

 

I've got it on easy so I'm managing to get through the rather unrefined melee combat and stealth. However, I'm currently stuck in a locked room with a guard in a mech suit. Don't seem to be able to shoot him, can't find any clever way out. The elevator button doesn't seem to do anything, which I suspect may be a bug, so I'm going to consult a walkthrough. 

 

EDIT: apparently the mech suit has a weak spot on it's back, which you need to shoot from the safety of some high crates. I'd already tried out these methods with no success; I guess it's one of those puzzles that are okay until they're unfairly combined with combat.

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I agree with all that you wrote. The opening "twist" is good, and a clever way to do the tutorial. One of the things I love about the game is how well it grounds you in the setting, and like you said I think the RPG sections do help with that. You mentioned the voice acting too, and that is one of the best aspects of the game. The voice work in Riddick honestly puts most other games to shame (Dark Athena is actually even better in that regard), and Riddick's one liners are quite endearing. Another thing is how unique everything feels, from the very wide FoV and laser pointer crosshair, to the weird mix of game systems. Sometimes it's nice to play something that so clearly doesn't follow a blueprint set by other games. Even when things aren't perfect they still feel very deliberately designed in a way that I appreciate.

 

Also, that mech mini-boss is bad I agree, I remember complaining about it too.

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Got past that guy, what bullshit that was. The crates aren't safe, there's nothing to tell you his back is his weak spot and it takes ages to get a good shot on him anyway.

 

This game is a mix of impressive polish and attention to detail, and lots of fiddly mechanics and oversights:

 

The shooting often feels a bit vague and unresponsive, but it can be fun.

Now I've got my eyes shined so I can see in the dark, the stealthy bits are pleasingly binary - turn off a light switch, make sure your visibility has flipped to 0, take off your goggles and break some guards' necks.

Due to the auto-save system (apparently quick-saves got removed for this version for some stupid reason), it's possible to dead-end yourself in a few places.

The atmosphere is great, full of lovely visual and audio design, and the UI is really clever, your health points doubling up as your visibility meter and colour tints giving you extra feedback.

It's varied, but this also includes trying its hand at DooM3 style mutant sections where you have to swap between flares and a shotgun, and the UI controls for that are far too fiddly for it to work.

I like the missions that lead you through the FPS sections, they give it a sense of propulsion.

However, I'm now in another RPG bit which would be fine if it didn't mostly consist of backtracking, characters who react to stuff you haven't done yet, and a sudden dump of missions with directions that are all far too vague (who the fuck are the blueskins?) or seemingly incorrect (the PPPs, whoever they are, aren't in rec area A like two separate missions insist). I do apparently have the option to fight my way up instead but, as every fight is a combination of long walks through the map to set them up and then some melee combat, I might check a walk-through to try and RPG my way out.

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I like the way it pulls back to 3rd person for certain actions to show off that muscly Vin-imation. That combined with the first person "body awareness" that mostly died with the evolutionary dead end of immersive sims* makes me happy. It tries hard to reinforce Riddick's presense as a dense meat man in a physical space.

 

There are also a decent few Riddickisms to enjoy with Vin's grumbly voice. 

 

The dark... are you afraid? I'm not; the dark is afraid of me.

 

*except not really, thanks to Arkane! I can't wait for Prey.

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Yeah, those are cool. It's also nice to have ladders that work properly.

 

However, fuck this game. After getting through the RPG bit I had a melee boss battle (which was made especially frustrating by the borked block move), then a great long stealth section that was basically impossible to do without getting seen that I had to do on two bars of health because of the autosave system. Then the level looped round and I couldn't figure out where to go. I could have trekked through the whole thing again if that didn't involve going through another impossible stealth section which I managed on full health but is impossible on one bar.

 

Basically: really nice atmosphere, but a load of really frustrating mechanics and not much to recommend it otherwise.

 

Onto Far Cry. I haven't had a lot of luck getting this running previously, but I've got the Steam version, and I'm hoping that there have been enough official and fan patches by now that I can get it working. I loved the demo of this, loved watching Dan play it, and really enjoyed Crysis, so I'll be very happy if it runs nicely.

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The body awareness, I remember that game called Project EDEN or Eden or E.D.E.N. that had you controlling a 4 man squad of police in a cyberpunk underbelly of a city. Besides letting you swap between em, you could, in first person, look down and see your torso/arms/legs too. I dunno if the game was any good.

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That was by Eidos or Core or whoever's follow-up to Tomb Raider iirc. I think the consensus was "quite good".

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Your ass is grass!

 

Far Cry was such an amazing game. So many small things I loved about it. The later game parts were bad though. I don't think I've ever played it with all settings turned up to max, my computer wasn't that great back in the day. Far Cry even had a special 64bit update patch I think? I remember seeing comparison screenshots.

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Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is one of my favourite games ever. Everything in it just clicked with me. The setting, the stealth, the fighting. I love stealth games, but EfBB managed to introduce a new twist on the genre I hadn't seen before: you could shoot out all the lights so a room would be pitch black. You couldn't see the baddies, and they couldn't see you. You'd only be able to determine their position by sound or if their body obscured a far-off light point. Made for some very tense sneaking bits. Later on of course you get the night-vision and it changes the dynamic of the stealth quite a bit. The story was great as well, and very well paced. There's some great sci-fi concepts and settings in there, like the container-storage-cells and the cryo-prison sequence. That latter one was a terrifying mindfuck as I kept messing up and passing out and wondering how many years were passing by in the outside-world while I was struggling in vain to escape. The Dark Athena chapter added later was decent enough, but EfBB is just about a perfect game. Shame it didn't click with you, Ben.

 

Re: Far Cry. Yeah it was a good one. Tho I think the main selling points was it's graphical oomph, sometimes-clever AI, and the ability to drive vehicles. All things which have been improved on by later games, so I dunno if it's all that special anymore. I liked it well enough until (SPOILERS) the silly mutants show up.

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giphy.gif

 

Far Cry worked with no issues, which I'm happy about. I've only played a tiny bit, but it's fun so far. I'm not sure exactly what play style I'm supposed to aim for, as you can stealth your way up to bases but then everything's out in the open, so I guess it's geared towards surprise raids.

I haven't checked to see if I need to patch the Steam version, but there are some further tweaks I can make with the Far Cry Configurator to draw distance and stuff. I remember Dan having to do that even back at release. I'm going to try to utterly max everything out, see what happens. For now it's not as gorgeous as I remember it looking, but it's already impressive in the amount of foliage and openness. It's really cool getting your objective marker, using binoculars to tag all the mercs, then plunging into the undergrowth and wading through rivers to sneak in from the side.

This is another game with autosave only. It's probably necessary to stop the player from save-spamming their way through and to properly consider their approach, but it does also serve to discourage being too careful because crawling prone through the jungle takes a while and you don't want to do that every time!

As for the gameplay change about halfway through, I remember it being really cool at first, with some great moments like realising the Trigens can jump across stairwells at you (which in fact I mentioned here, though I pretended it was me playing it, not Dan, for simplification), but the bigger bullet-sponge guys later on aren't so fun. I certainly don't expect to get to the end of this game!

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I think the very last patch for Far Cry introduced a really bad bug that results in the AI being able to see/shoot at you through walls, so unless there's a fan patch that fixes it, you might need to try to get the next to last version of the game to avoid having a bad time.

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