Ben X

The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

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15 hours ago, Ben X said:

Thanks! Better written or more accurate or more factual or..?

 

Better at making me interested in playing it. [Or at least the first level.] You made what is essentially horrible sound hilarious and self-aware.

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This video will probably give you an idea of what to expect from E.Y.E.

 

 

It's got spoilers, but they're marked.

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Hey, eot gifted me E.Y.E.! Thanks eot! Hopefully I won't find the RPG elements impenetrable...

 

Paul: I found a quote from someone (Randy Pickford?) saying that, but there are so many things that are so close to Doom 3 I find it hard to believe that engine's not in there. If it isn't, they've made a ton of bad design decisions.

 

I got past the infuriating boss fight, which as a final spit in the eye also demands that you find the right spot on the defeated boss to press E for a glory kill within a small amount of time otherwise it resets and you have to start again). Speaking of glory kills, mortally wounded regular enemies allow you to perform these in order to gain health back, preempting Doom '16 by 5 years!

 

Anyway, the game has picked up again. There was another fun miniaturised section in a burger joint, avoiding mouse-traps, using waffle toasters to get propelled to higher shelves, and running over dead staff members to avoid electrified waters, and a scavenger hunt in a strip club, the setting of which came off as pretty juvenile but was full of fun arcade games, especially a really solid air-hockey table. The other levels have felt very reminiscent of an American SouthWest Half-life 2, climbing a tentacle-choked tower then driving a monster truck along a highway stopping occasionally for some shooting and light puzzling. It's a damn shame that the shooting isn't up to much, because apart from a couple of ropey sections, this game steals from the best and so far has kept the variety and attention to detail high throughout.

 

 

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Yeah I think I stopped playing shortly after the tentacle-choked tower. I remember a roof-top section being more of a hassle than it was worth, and that was that.

 

I agree with your overall views on the game. Lots of fun details early on, and a good bit of variety. If only it had less gross bits and the shooting was actually fun it could've been great! Maybe if they'd had another 15 years to work on it they could've pulled it off, eh?

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Yeah, that rooftop section sucked, mainly because it was super-easy to get there low on ammo.

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Someone responded to my yearnings for a good first-person melee system with a suggestion of the Zeno Clash games. I thought that was in this thread, but apparently not. Anyway, I've just been gifted Zeno Clash 2, and it has some weapons in it so it's going on the list! It actually came out on the same day as Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon; I slotted it in before that game, as they're coming after Bioshock Infinite and I figure it'll be the more different of the two.

 

DNF has come to another of the relatively-open shooting bits that it's not very good at, so I'm taking a breather.

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Most people prefer Zeno Clash to Zeno Clash 2. I was going to gift it to you but it turns out I already gifted my extra copy to someone else a while ago. Someone else might have Zeno Clash lying around because it was in a Humble Bundle at one point.

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I like some stuff about Zeno Clash but it's one of the more frustrating games I've played. The melee combat never clicked for me, and even when I was doing well it wasn't satisfying. It's also very hard to keep track of multiple enemies at once, yet there are a lot of encounters designed around doing just that. The art direction saves kinda saves it, but it's closer to 'okay' than 'great' (will depend on what you value most in games though, for me the mechanics are usually the most important thing).

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I have a spare copy of Zeno Clash if you want to further extend your backlog, Ben. I remember quite enjoying the first once I got into it, but never played 2 so I can't compare them.

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Yes definitely play Zeno Clash instead of Zeno Clash 2. I can't exactly put a finger on why, but the sequel just felt soulless.

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Ok, thanks all, I'll give Zeno Clash a go, then. Thanks @Laco!

 

I'll keep Zeno Clash 2 on the list now I've got it, though; if nothing else it'll be interesting to compare and see if I agree with the consensus.

 

Meanwhile, I've given up on DNF. Too many crappy shooting sections, then the Battlelord (a giant version of one of the lizards) shows up again. You're stuck on a dam top fighting him, and it's rather dull, but at least there's vehicles for cover. Then you defeat him, successfully perform your glory kill, and he gets up and recharges anyway and you have to do the whole thing a second time except now he follows you around and stands on top of you shooting you. It is stupid and I couldn't be bothered to make 50 attempts at it until I got lucky with the AI and health recharge.

 

I scrubbed through a playthrough to see if I was missing anything after that, but it goes from this to: a corridor section where you turn valves to stop steam and push buttons to turn off fans (FPS tropes 1138 and 1139 respectively - although at one point you stop a massive fan by pushing a filing cabinet into it which is pretty cool); a platforming bit set in a giant clockwork bit which looks nice but knowing the sluggish movement of this game would be a pain in the arse; another miniaturised section (weird how often they go to this well considering it presents Duke as emasculated); a boss fight with the Octaking (a giant version of one of the octaliens); tons of concrete/canyon corridors; a forklift truck section (in which, amusingly, you smash through any crates and impale enemies); another boss-fight with the Octaking, except this time you're on a tiny platform; some incredibly clunky pop culture references ("There can be only one...king. You fuck."); a boss fight with a giant tentacle underwater where you need to repeatedly go to a pipe directly in its attack path to top up on air; another boss-fight with the Cycloid Emperor which now resets twice; and finally an interactive cutscene where a mushroom cloud goes off in the distance (I feel like this is becoming pretty standard too - COD:MW, FEAR, maybe one of the Crysis games?). So not missing much, really.

 

If someone got this for free, I'd probably recommend playing it through on easy until they got bored. The front half of the game is pretty stacked with detail and variety. It's just let down by the actual shooting and repetitive second half - it could probably be vastly improved by a fan mods with a few basic changes, but as it is it's impossible to call it a good game.

 

The long history of the game

All the trailers

A couple of scorching reviews

Forum thread (the one that coincides with the actual release, anyway) - which reminded me that @Denial was also at that launch party!

A quote from @Jake in another DNF thread on Nov 10th 2004: "seriously, anyone who genuinely thinks 3DR is going to close up shop without putting out a ridiculously fun and engrossing Duke Nukem Forever is a fool. It might take them another two, three, or ten years, but they will eventually put out a game, and it will be fun, and it will sell a zillion copies."

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I played a demo of DNF that was in some Canyon with some carts I think. I gave up after about 5 minutes of play because the shooting was so dull and never even thought of buying the full game.

 

I'd still love to play something based off of that 2001 E3 trailer.

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Yeah, that was the bit where I had to take a breather a few posts up. That's probably where I recommend people (who already own it) play up to on easy then quit at!

 

Laco has gifted me Zeno 1, so I'll jump back to that as my next game. I think my gaming pace is probably going to slow down again soon, so it may be a longer in between posts - I'll be 3DRealmsing it, basically.

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I remember really enjoying the first Zeno Clash, as weird as it is, then for whatever reason not getting at all excited about the sequel.

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12 hours ago, Ben X said:

seriously, anyone who genuinely thinks 3DR is going to close up shop without putting out a ridiculously fun and engrossing Duke Nukem Forever is a fool. It might take them another two, three, or ten years, but they will eventually put out a game, and it will be fun, and it will sell a zillion copies."

lolllll this is the most delicious shit for me to eat. Yum yum yum. 

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12 hours ago, Ben X said:

A quote from @Jake in another DNF thread on Nov 10th 2004: "seriously, anyone who genuinely thinks 3DR is going to close up shop without putting out a ridiculously fun and engrossing Duke Nukem Forever is a fool. It might take them another two, three, or ten years, but they will eventually put out a game, and it will be fun, and it will sell a zillion copies."

 

Omg, amazing

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Ha ha, glad you liked that - I went back and edited it in once I saw it!

 

I've played about half an hour of Zeno Clash and so far... it's pretty fucking awful. The art design is really nice, but the storytelling is incoherent, cod-pihlosophical tripe, there's a huge lack of polish (e.g. checkpoints just before cutscenes, having to press a key to reload after a fail with no prompt), the tutorial - delivered by a guy with a low growl in what is already a muddy audio balance - is very little help, levels which consist of a straight line of twenty or so spitting enemies, floaty character movement, and worst of all the fighting mechanics are incredibly fiddly with moves that don't work half the time, weapons that are useless to the point of being a hindrance, the same key for block and throw your weapon (which is very frustrating when fighting an enemy you need that weapon for who then stands on top of it so you can't get it). The block move is quite forgiving, though, so that's a plus!

 

I'm going to give it more time in case I somehow click with it, but I can't imagine I'll be playing this game for long...

 

I've come to realise that first person melee systems, much like with stealth systems, really need visualisations so the player can see hit radiuses, combo-building, block timing etc. Even if it's only in the tutorial or first couple of levels.

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I think a critical look at the mechanics and game design of Zeno Clash would end in a "don't play it" result. It's definitely an imperfect game, but what I value in Zeno Clash is its "outsiderness", it's a weird imperfect piece of art. 

 

Have you played any other ACE Team games? They kind of always have this problem, and this being their first I would imagine is the most egregious example.

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No I haven't. Taking a look, I guess Rock Of Ages is the other well-known one? Seems like you're right - it also has lovely design but I seem to remember as a game it received a fair amount of criticism...

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And Abyss Odyssey, which is like outsider metroidvania. I think it was discussed on Thumbs, maybe Danielle era?

 

I dig their games, because of their rough edges, as much as in spite of. They're also based in Chile, so a little off the front lines of software development.

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I gave Zeno Clash a little longer but have now quit. Great art design but rubbish everything else.

 

Forum thread

Contemporary review (as with a lot of these games, reviewers tend to forgive a lot for an interesting and well-realised setting)

A piece on the art design/tech by the Dead End Thrills guy

post-mortem

 

Next: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Director's Cut)

 

I've played a little of this, and it's generally cool. It's got a Robocop vibe with a smattering of Blade Runner (and apparently there are some fairly overt references to the former in the game). It certainly has a lot of Deus Ex trappings: sombre cutscenes and growly monotonous voice-acting; nice art design that is let down a little by certain tech issues; the option of stealth or shooting, without either being top-notch mechanically; secondary objectives but a sense of missing out on them due to crappy maps and notes (this time there is a full, auto-updating level map - hooray! - but it doesn't help you with secondary objectives and it controls really badly).

 

There's a cover-system now, but it's too underpowered to be very useful for stealth or shooting.

 

I'm only on the first level, which feels relatively linear, so I expect the game will open up a bit soon and also let me start augmenting to help the gameplay along.

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I found the game to be extremely linear and the choice between shooting or stealth is similar to dishonored. If you shoot bad people you are forever branded as a monster. I have up on stealth when after the first mission where i knocked out ever enemy except one that i killed some cop was yelling at me about being a murderer (Totally ignoring the fact that had the cops gone in many more on both sides would have died). After that I just said fuck it and killed my way through the game whenever i could. There are many forced stealth sections and the boss fights are forced shooting.

The ending is also IMO terrible, like Mass Effect 3 terrible.

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I should play the third Deus Ex on the Wii U before Miiverse dies, but I fear it will not happen in time since next Tuesday I'm flying to Japan until December and Miiverse dies in beginning of November.

 

I may need to play it during at least one evening to just see how the leaving of audiologs etc works.

 

Deus Ex HR DC was especially made first for Wii U and ported later for other platforms.

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I really like DX:HR. The director's cut did make a few big changes, most notably to the colour filter they put on everything :P

 

I really enjoyed the level/hub where you arrive in China. Exploring the detroit city level was also fun.

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