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Codex Review RPG Codex Review: The Long Journey Home

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Daedalic Entertainment; The Long Journey Home

    Daedalic Entertainment's The Long Journey Home was released just nine days ago, but with E3 coming up it already feels like a thing of the past. During its five or so days of fame, the game continued to be divisive, with a parade of harsh reviews criticizing it for overly difficult and repetitive gameplay. But it also found an audience of players who appreciated what it was trying to do. Among these was the Codex's own oasis789, whose enthusiasm for the game in the weeks leading up to its release made him an obvious choice to write our review. Here's his take on The Long Journey Home's mainstream reception - and how Daedalic chose to handle it:

    At this point it seems appropriate to mention complaints that the game is too hard and too much of a repetitive grind, so that the moments of fun are too few and far between. I will suggest here that 1) it is very easy to confuse playing a game badly with playing a bad game, and 2) it is precisely the degree and variety of challenges that make the game fun.

    Most of this criticism about difficulty and repetitiveness is directed at the space combat and lander minigames. In combat, you control the Daedalus from the top-down on a two-dimensional field, boosting away from enemy missiles, turning if your shields are down on one side, charging up the laser battery, and lining the ship up for a broadside shot. On planets, you control the lander on a side-scrolling landscape, firing top and bottom thrusters to land safely on points of interest, where you may drill for resources, scavenge shipwrecks, or capture wildlife. It is true that the combat in TLJH is not as elegant as more action-oriented titles like Starsector, and its focus on broadside maneuvering is awkward and takes a great deal of finesse to succeed in. But the Daedalus is not a warship, and TLJH is not about combat, which is almost always a bad idea and best to be avoided. Even if the shooting starts, a wise player beats a hasty retreat and does not stick around to shoot back unless absolutely necessary. It is also true that the lander is hard to control, especially when one has to struggle with gravity and strong winds, or under the pressure of limited fuel, scorching temperatures, bad weather or violent turbulence. But there are various ways of making the lander easier to handle and more resilient to hazardous conditions, and the wise player does not attempt to land on every planet either. So I can only interpret much of this criticism as being more revealing about the critic than that which is being critiqued.

    To give a concrete example, consider that players may, against the express advice given in the tutorial that refining is generally not as efficient as trade, opt to be a subsistence miner, landing on every planet and drilling and siphoning as much as possible, and refining the resources for repairs and fuel. Upon discovering that such an approach will cost more in damage to the lander and injuries to the pilot, the sane response is not to keep doing the same thing and expect different results, but to think carefully about which planets are safe to land on, and what resources are worth risking damage for. Then plan a course to systems where you are most likely to find such planets and resources. Then experiment to discover which aliens prefer which resources, that some types of resources are more valuable than others, and that the best trades do not involve anything that requires drilling or siphoning. Then adapt to change those plans when one only finds planets poor in riches or dangerous to approach or land on, or poor trading partners who do not take well to price negotiation. The game does not explicitly tell you how to do any of these things, but it does not seem unreasonable for players with common sense to figure it out for themselves.

    Consider combat. Players are very likely to be attacked by all sorts of enemies for all kinds of reasons, but fighting them all will only end up damaging the ship if not destroying it completely, and one generally does not gain much from victory either. Various approaches to this problem include staying far away and hoping they do not notice your presence in the system, and if they set a course to intercept you, you can boost away. If they do intercept you, you can do as they ask, maybe pay them off, and go about your business. Or you could run off without saying a word. Though the game is certainly much easier if you are good at combat, players who aren't or don't enjoy it have many options to avoid combat altogether.

    Since receiving this barrage of criticism, DSW has hastily patched in a new 'Story Mode' difficulty setting. This brings to mind the old saying 'be careful what you wish for, it might come true.' Veterans of Star Control II will recall that the combat and lander minigames there were certainly annoying, but both got trivialized once one got all the upgrades, making a large chunk of its gameplay just going through the motions. Analogously, 'Story Mode' may allow players to experience more of the Cobbett-written content more quickly than they would have otherwise, but it will also likely diminish much of their own player-driven emergent stories. Consider some of the toughest lander scenarios: Scans might have found rare gases on a gas giant, and you have to search through its layers for the gas pockets while fighting strong winds, using gravity to get through harsh turbulence swiftly, but not letting the lander fall too far and get crushed by pressure. Or you might have identified ruins on a fiery inferno, and rush to reach the temple entrance before the pilot is cooked in his own space suit. Or you might risk landing on an infested world, carefully avoiding getting too close to the ground while hovering over a volcanic vent. All of the above examples are generally Bad Ideas and Last Resorts, which is what makes them the highlights of a comeback story. If `Story Mode' prevents players from ever encountering such challenges, or removes the need to ever take them on, their long journey home will likely be a very short and uneventful one. DSW will probably then discover that complaints about difficulty swiftly transform into complaints about boredom.​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: The Long Journey Home
     
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  2. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Quick thoughts:

    (1) Fantastic review, by far the best that TLJH has gotten anywhere. If Daedelic sees it, I'm sure they'll plaster it everywhere they can.

    [EDIT: It begins!
    ]

    (2) Many people complain about RNGs in these kinds of games. I bet right now Overhype Studios is complaining about the RNG that gave them a Darth Roxor review and TLJH an oasis789 review. Sorry guys, life is iron man. :/

    (3) Ink blot tests worked because you match a set of expressed behavior (how you describe the ink blot) with underlying psychiatric conditions via correlation. I'm pretty sure the two behaviors described here would work for pinpointing someone on the autism spectrum. Not sure whether oasis789 is farther or less far along than the players he's criticizing...
    (4) Notwithstanding the wonderful writing, analysis, and knowledge that this review reveals, basically everything it says about Star Control II is ludicrous. The combat minigame was spectacular. If ever something was "more revealing about the critic than that which is being critiqued" and indicative of a failure to master a skill set, it's bitching about Super Melee. Even as a standalone game it was spectacular. Further, the notion that "most players would lose the game many times over before learning how best to win" doesn't jibe at all with my experience or anyone I've heard of, and smacks of substituting "most players" for "this author." (To be sure, players would "lose the game" in the sense of dying, but SC2 wasn't an iron man game and no one played it that way.) Nor was playing the game "highly repetitive," either in replaying or in playing, in part because it was so fun. Finally, the comparison misses the obvious point that SC2 had a breathtaking overarching narrative -- one of the all-time best space opera stories, if not the best, and I will tell you, in preparing for Star Captain back in the day I read 90+ space opera novels, watched every space opera movie and TV show, and played almost every space opera game -- one built around exploration and discovery. While it is true that when you replay the same content in Star Control II it will be repetitious, if you aren't (inexplicably) playing it like an iron man roguelike, the gameplay changes wildly over the course of the game -- each alien race presenting new obstacles (in combat and in diplomacy), the management of the starbase (and alliance) becoming more complex, the flagship going from a lumbering vulnerable cargo vessel to a warship, the variety of your fleet transforming, the sudden arrival of the Kohr-Ah and the resulting press of time, etc. Having not yet played TLJH I can't compare the two, but it seems to me that the review puts SC2 in its least-flattering posture in a way that is extraordinarily unpersuasive, at least to someone like me who views it as a GOAT game.

    (5) To reiterate the first point, the Codex has had a great string of content recently, and this is no exception.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
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  3. Vorark Savant

    Vorark
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    One of the many reasons why I enjoyed FTL so much. Even when a key crewmate ended up devoured by space spiders.

    Good review! :salute:
     
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  4. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Excellent review, man! Really makes me want to buy it not only because I really want to play it, but I want to support games like these in general. It's horrible this game got shit on by video game "journalists" for being difficult. I hope it doesn't discourage Daedalic from developing interesting and challenging games in the future. Is it worth the $40 price tag?
     
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  5. CWagner Scholar

    CWagner
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    Great review. Personally, I'll wait for a, hopefully coming, patch that improves the interface. When I looked at the game, those things worried me and the review confirms it. I can forgive a lot of things when the interface is great. An annoying interface prevents me from enjoying even an otherwise great game.
     
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  6. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
     
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  7. oasis789 Arcane

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    Diam donec adipiscing tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. Lacus luctus accumsan tortor posuere ac ut consequat. Urna id volutpat lacus laoreet non curabitur. Amet venenatis urna cursus eget nunc scelerisque. In fermentum et sollicitudin ac orci phasellus egestas tellus rutrum. Quam nulla porttitor massa id neque aliquam vestibulum morbi. Sit amet porttitor eget dolor morbi non arcu. Sed egestas egestas fringilla phasellus faucibus scelerisque eleifend. A lacus vestibulum sed arcu non odio euismod lacinia. Viverra suspendisse potenti nullam ac tortor vitae purus. Justo nec ultrices dui sapien eget mi. Faucibus in ornare quam viverra orci sagittis eu. Cursus in hac habitasse platea dictumst quisque sagittis purus sit. Bibendum enim facilisis gravida neque convallis a cras. Et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas maecenas pharetra.

    Amet nulla facilisi morbi tempus iaculis. Nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis magna etiam. Nunc sed blandit libero volutpat sed. Habitasse platea dictumst quisque sagittis purus sit amet volutpat. At tellus at urna condimentum mattis pellentesque. Diam vulputate ut pharetra sit amet aliquam id. Dolor magna eget est lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Iaculis at erat pellentesque adipiscing commodo elit. Laoreet non curabitur gravida arcu ac tortor. Egestas sed tempus urna et. Faucibus et molestie ac feugiat sed. Vivamus at augue eget arcu dictum varius duis at. Sit amet dictum sit amet justo donec enim diam. Feugiat scelerisque varius morbi enim nunc faucibus a pellentesque sit. Nisl pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium. Volutpat lacus laoreet non curabitur gravida. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Accumsan tortor posuere ac ut consequat semper viverra nam libero.

    Tempor id eu nisl nunc mi ipsum faucibus vitae. Senectus et netus et malesuada fames. Mauris rhoncus aenean vel elit. In ornare quam viverra orci sagittis eu volutpat odio. Dignissim cras tincidunt lobortis feugiat vivamus at augue. Nisi scelerisque eu ultrices vitae auctor eu augue ut. Nunc id cursus metus aliquam eleifend mi in. Diam ut venenatis tellus in metus vulputate eu scelerisque felis. Morbi tempus iaculis urna id volutpat lacus laoreet non. Nulla pharetra diam sit amet nisl suscipit adipiscing. Dignissim convallis aenean et tortor at risus viverra adipiscing at. Dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing.

    Id ornare arcu odio ut sem nulla pharetra diam sit. Sapien et ligula ullamcorper malesuada proin libero nunc. Est sit amet facilisis magna etiam. Posuere morbi leo urna molestie at elementum eu facilisis. Malesuada bibendum arcu vitae elementum curabitur vitae. Morbi tristique senectus et netus et. Nec ullamcorper sit amet risus nullam eget felis eget nunc. Ultrices dui sapien eget mi proin. Lobortis mattis aliquam faucibus purus. Accumsan sit amet nulla facilisi morbi. At ultrices mi tempus imperdiet nulla malesuada. Tortor dignissim convallis aenean et tortor at. Malesuada fames ac turpis egestas maecenas pharetra. Gravida in fermentum et sollicitudin ac orci phasellus egestas. Eu mi bibendum neque egestas congue. Risus nullam eget felis eget nunc lobortis mattis aliquam faucibus. A iaculis at erat pellentesque adipiscing commodo elit at imperdiet. Nulla aliquet enim tortor at auctor urna nunc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  8. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

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    gud articuru
     
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  9. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Just grabbed it from Greenman for $30, in case anyone else was looking for a discount.
     
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  10. Poos Arcane

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    Yeah good review that man three cheers hip hip...
     
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  11. Tao Learned

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    Thanks for the review. I'll give the game a try.
     
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  12. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

    J_C
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    The review go me intriqued, added the game to wishlist.
     
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  13. ArchAngel Magister

    ArchAngel
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    TLDR;
    It is a badly designed game. Got it. It can either be irritating or boring.
     
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  14. Kem0sabe Arcane

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    Richard Cobbet...

    :nocountryforshitposters:
     
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  15. Marten Broadcloak Learned

    Marten Broadcloak
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Everybody claims the game is terrible except the one guy the Codex chose to write the review "because he was very enthusiastic about the game". I wonder who's right.
     
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  16. Malpercio Arcane

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    I expected April Ryan and was disappointed.
     
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  17. Iluvcheezcake Learned

    Iluvcheezcake
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    Great review, nicely written, easy on the eyes.

    Will buy the game on GoG after it gets patched a bit tho
     
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  18. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    This. Also :salute: oasis789
     
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  19. Jrpgfan Savant

    Jrpgfan
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    This one slipped under my radar.

    Just sold one of my kidneys and bought it on steam.
     
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  20. Maxie Magister

    Maxie
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    not gonna buy it but I appreciate your writing a neutral-positive review

    :love:
     
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  21. Jedi Master Radek Arcane

    Jedi Master Radek
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    Great Job oasis789.:salute:
    You got me interested in the game.
     
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  22. oasis789 Arcane

    oasis789
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    Diam donec adipiscing tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. Lacus luctus accumsan tortor posuere ac ut consequat. Urna id volutpat lacus laoreet non curabitur. Amet venenatis urna cursus eget nunc scelerisque. In fermentum et sollicitudin ac orci phasellus egestas tellus rutrum. Quam nulla porttitor massa id neque aliquam vestibulum morbi. Sit amet porttitor eget dolor morbi non arcu. Sed egestas egestas fringilla phasellus faucibus scelerisque eleifend. A lacus vestibulum sed arcu non odio euismod lacinia. Viverra suspendisse potenti nullam ac tortor vitae purus. Justo nec ultrices dui sapien eget mi. Faucibus in ornare quam viverra orci sagittis eu. Cursus in hac habitasse platea dictumst quisque sagittis purus sit. Bibendum enim facilisis gravida neque convallis a cras. Et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas maecenas pharetra.

    Amet nulla facilisi morbi tempus iaculis. Nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis magna etiam. Nunc sed blandit libero volutpat sed. Habitasse platea dictumst quisque sagittis purus sit amet volutpat. At tellus at urna condimentum mattis pellentesque. Diam vulputate ut pharetra sit amet aliquam id. Dolor magna eget est lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Iaculis at erat pellentesque adipiscing commodo elit. Laoreet non curabitur gravida arcu ac tortor. Egestas sed tempus urna et. Faucibus et molestie ac feugiat sed. Vivamus at augue eget arcu dictum varius duis at. Sit amet dictum sit amet justo donec enim diam. Feugiat scelerisque varius morbi enim nunc faucibus a pellentesque sit. Nisl pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium. Volutpat lacus laoreet non curabitur gravida. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Accumsan tortor posuere ac ut consequat semper viverra nam libero.

    Tempor id eu nisl nunc mi ipsum faucibus vitae. Senectus et netus et malesuada fames. Mauris rhoncus aenean vel elit. In ornare quam viverra orci sagittis eu volutpat odio. Dignissim cras tincidunt lobortis feugiat vivamus at augue. Nisi scelerisque eu ultrices vitae auctor eu augue ut. Nunc id cursus metus aliquam eleifend mi in. Diam ut venenatis tellus in metus vulputate eu scelerisque felis. Morbi tempus iaculis urna id volutpat lacus laoreet non. Nulla pharetra diam sit amet nisl suscipit adipiscing. Dignissim convallis aenean et tortor at risus viverra adipiscing at. Dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing.

    Id ornare arcu odio ut sem nulla pharetra diam sit. Sapien et ligula ullamcorper malesuada proin libero nunc. Est sit amet facilisis magna etiam. Posuere morbi leo urna molestie at elementum eu facilisis. Malesuada bibendum arcu vitae elementum curabitur vitae. Morbi tristique senectus et netus et. Nec ullamcorper sit amet risus nullam eget felis eget nunc. Ultrices dui sapien eget mi proin. Lobortis mattis aliquam faucibus purus. Accumsan sit amet nulla facilisi morbi. At ultrices mi tempus imperdiet nulla malesuada. Tortor dignissim convallis aenean et tortor at. Malesuada fames ac turpis egestas maecenas pharetra. Gravida in fermentum et sollicitudin ac orci phasellus egestas. Eu mi bibendum neque egestas congue. Risus nullam eget felis eget nunc lobortis mattis aliquam faucibus. A iaculis at erat pellentesque adipiscing commodo elit at imperdiet. Nulla aliquet enim tortor at auctor urna nunc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  23. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    To use the jargon that I spend much of my life choking down, that's a pretty granular comment on the review. Suggests he read it carefully.
     
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  24. Wonderdog Neckbeard Shitlord's alt

    Unwanted
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    I can see now what ways it's like star control but unfortunately it sounds like shit.

    In star control you can make bank as a miner easily, the main problem is the danger of getting to the areas. There can be danger too but the danger is to lose crew. Having yet another 'economy' shitfest in a game is utter :negative:

    Since you only can fight with your main ship then the main good thing about SC is also thrown out - the amusing combat between the very different ship types.

    So really it sounds like there is no reason to want to play this game to be honest.
     
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