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Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs by Frictional Games and Dear Esther devs

Discussion in 'Adventure Gaming' started by Wulfstand, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Creamy Muffin Augur

    Creamy Muffin
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    Nope. It's an electric lamp with unlimited juice.
     
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  2. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    Please tell me you're joking.
     
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  3. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    He ain't.

    You know it's bad when even the top sellout potato gaming mag gave it 2/6 saying that it's watered down crap with no scares (but obviously unlimited light and no inventory is a plus for them LOLOLO).

    Also, I love how this game kept getting delayed from the initial release date on Halloween 2012. What the fuck were they doing all that time? Adding another hour to the 3-hour-long corridor?
     
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  4. Creamy Muffin Augur

    Creamy Muffin
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    Nope, no joke. But hey, at least it flickers at times to telegraph that an enemy is nearby.
     
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  5. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Elwro Arcane

    Elwro
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    I feel so cheated.
     
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  7. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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  8. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    ghostdog
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    So the Dear Esther developers got involved and suddenly there's no interactivity... what a surprise !

    Those people are only good for environmental graphical design and that's it.
     
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  9. Elwro Arcane

    Elwro
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    Somehow I thought Frictional would be more involved in this.
     
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  10. Mortmal Arcane

    Mortmal
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    Glad i diddnt preorder, and god knows i like amnesia , but my recent experiences with predordering on steam left me a little butthurt. I am reading on forums that outlast is better , is it true ?
     
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  11. Creamy Muffin Augur

    Creamy Muffin
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    I played Outlast. It's not bad, but it's pretty much just like AMFP in a sense, just with a lot more jumpscares and QT events. If the asylum setting appeals to you, you might like it. I didn't find it's story to be very interesting though. Hope that helps.
     
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  12. The Vanished One Prophet

    The Vanished One
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    What a disappointment. I enjoyed Amnesia TDD; played it always past midnight in a dark room, didn't think too much about how easy it is, and it was a scary, atmospheric experience for me, but I have no interest in a watered down clone. The change of developer made me sceptical since the beginning, but I would've liked to be proven wrong on this.
     
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  13. Elwro Arcane

    Elwro
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    Well, the atmosphere is there, at times.

    ...and then you get a journal note saying basically "in case you haven't noticed, I gotta get out of here!".

    Got killed (?) for the first time. Turns out staying crouched in complete darkness isn't enough.
     
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  14. Cowboy Moment Arcane

    Cowboy Moment
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    There are actually people out there who apparently couldn't get into the first Amnesia because of its "tedious gameplay elements". Those people are applauding TCR for removing those elements and putting more emphasis on story.

    At this point I just don't know whether the problem is that they're mentally deficient, or if they just want to watch a movie instead of playing a game? Maybe if someone produced like a 4-6 episode TV miniseries with similar themes and aesthetics, they'd stop playing games altogether?
     
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  15. Elwro Arcane

    Elwro
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    Well, that's what The Walking Dead "game" is.
     
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  16. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    Most people just want to consume stimuli. The majority are no more video game enthusiasts than they are film enthusiasts. They just like what the like, or what they are told is likable.

    And then there are the artfags and the inferiority complexes of those who view video games as a culture and the people who play them as a community. For them, it's about artistic credibility and social approval. They will never be satisfied though. If people didn't "get it" when Ultima 4 came out, or 5, or Planescape, or Silent Hill 2 -honest games that were about honest human stuff- then I don't know what they think this new wave of artistic affectation is going to accomplish. Not to mention, gamey games are still more popular regardless of what these people and the Industry want us to think.
     
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  17. Marquess Cornwallis Cipher

    Marquess Cornwallis
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    I'm rather apprehensive even about Frictional by now. They seem to be moving steadily from Penumbra: Overture where the narrative and gameplay played off each other well although neither was exactly perfect, to more of a focus on storytelling first, with some light interactivity thrown in. Amnesia was still acceptable (but the trend was already worrying), but the "Justine" expansion was really weak (complete with a nonsensical no-save policy to make up for non-existent gameplay). The problem is of course (as has been said above), once you take the gameplay out of the equation, their whole storytelling medium changes into something much closer to a film or a book, and suddenly (even for people who are in theory willing to accept this) the demands on plot, sujet, writing and overall presentation are much higher. In my opinion at least, none of the previous Frictional titles could live up to such standards, because if you take away (most of) player agency, sense of threat, etc., the stories and writing are pretty mediocre.
     
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  18. Cabazone Educated

    Cabazone
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    You obviously haven't got what they were trying to do with Justine. Let me explain it to you.
    Basically, it's a game about ethical choice. The game is construct around three situations, which all have two solutions to pass through. One is bad but easy (you only save yourself), the other is good but a lot harder (you also save the other person). Of course, since the choices aren't ambiguous (one solution is always clearly the better one if you're not some random psychopath), the superior solution must be hard enough and enough pressure must be put on the player shoulder to make the inferior solution seems like an attractive possibility. The no-save policy is a way to maintain the pressure high and keep the choice meaningful. Without it, you could just quickload your way through the better end, which would defeat the purpose of the game.

    So, for recap. You have a short ironman game about choices which provide an actual challenge. Frictional still hasn't cross the rubicon to the evil side of the art game movement.
     
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  19. 7/10 Learned

    7/10
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    The next stage of evolution for the horror game genre is a procedurally generated corridor that emits creepy noises and spawns creepy monsters at random intervals. This way, the player is constantly being kept at the edge of his seat, because he has no idea when the next creepy noise is going to play. Actually, I think it has already been done...
     
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  20. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    They have in as much as they let their IP get turned into this shit.
     
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  21. Cowboy Moment Arcane

    Cowboy Moment
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    Yeah, Justine actually has better gameplay than vanilla Amnesia, as linear as it is - more difficult and clever puzzles, enemies who don't despawn after you run away (except for once at the very beginning I think?), situations with real rather than fake time pressure. Writing is also better, and the structure of the game (where you actually have a non-trivial choice) makes the obvious twist a lot more meaningful.

    Now that I think about it, it's kind of an anti-Bioshock twist, isn't it? In Bioshock the revelation is that you don't have any agency, but haven't even noticed it in your eagerness to do what you're told and follow the railroad. In Justine, you do have choices, and they feel meaningful, because doing the right thing is actually more difficult for a change, but the revelation is that they don't matter because you're literally playing a game, and can restart any time you wish and choose differently. So the player is actually the real Justine, a deranged psychopath toying with others for their own pleasure.
     
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  22. Admiral jimbob gay as all hell

    Admiral jimbob
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    Wasteland 2
    I liked The Walking Dead for what it was - the natural endpoint of the game that tries to be immersive and story-driven and emotionally engaging and what have you. It's not a game I want to see more than maybe one other game aping per year, and it's certainly not something I think represents the capabilities of the medium well. What it is is a really damn engaging story that makes you feel like you're genuinely taking part, and relies on you not prodding it too hard or... well, playing it more than once, to maintain that illusion. It was a fun ride once, but I don't think anything like it will hold my interest in future. The last thing I wanted was for Amnesia to follow in its footsteps. Frankly, given the reception this one's getting, I don't think I'll even bother playing it. I don't want to be frogmarched down a fucking haunted house ride and it's not going to be scary or interesting if that's all there is to it. Amnesia 1 kind of stood at a midpoint between Penumbra and Dear Esther as it was - here we seem to have something that's gone right off the deep end.

    Shame, but not really all that surprising. RIP
     
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  23. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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  24. Marquess Cornwallis Cipher

    Marquess Cornwallis
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    You obviously had a completely different reaction to Justine than I. I got the concept of the easy/hard solutions all right (I honestly can't imagine how someone could miss that, Cabazone), but I found the "hard solutions" very easy and underwhelming, making the progression feel completely mechanical.
    Show Spoiler
    (The first one involved stacking up boxes - a staple of Frictional titles - then using the only item available in the only manner thinkable, the second one consisted of matching perfectly clear picture descriptions to corresponding pictures, while the the third and final one can't even be called a puzzle, as it's a rather straightforward action sequence; see also below)
    Pick up an item, use it, proceed to next room. The rest of the game consists of taking in bits of the story, which in itself isn't too compelling at all, and the fact that the plot twist is obvious - as Cowboy Moment pointed out - doesn't help.

    The "ironman" only serves to make the whole thing worse than any of the Dark Corners of the Earth or Penumbra: Overture action sequences which you basically need to memorize by repeating the whole thing ad nauseam. This is precisely because there is such an action sequence at the end (granted, it's heavily scripted, but you don't know that in advance) and I'd say you are likely to fail at least once (if you want the "good" outcome, that is). No to mention that if you happen to need to leave the computer, you're out of luck, as there's no self-deleting save-on-exit file; an annoying case of overkill. (The game actually crashed on me with a visual c++ error both times I had to leave the computer and left it running to keep the progress.) The problem with this is that the puzzles are trivial but tedious,
    Show Spoiler
    (having to stack up all those crates all over again wasn't exactly fun)
    a very bad design for an "ironman" game, in my opinion, especially given the fact that you also need to basically wait out several enemy appearances. Puzzles should be difficult to work out but easy to solve once you already know the solution, not the other way around, and putting an action sequence that most likely needs several attempts to complete successfully at the very end of the game is just shameless.

    All in all, there's no accounting for taste, and I'm happy for anyone who enjoyed Justine, but I really think the gameplay/story ratio it offers is worse than Amnesia's, and what little gameplay it has is really rather weak. I certainly hope their future games aren't like that.
     
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  25. 1eyedking Erudite

    1eyedking
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    My god, this game is fucking awful.

    - Bad or non-existent music, what the goddamn hell happened in this department???
    - VERY bad voice-acting, for fuck's sake they couldn't even pull off a trademark creepy "Daddy, daddy!". They all sound sedated, it's Dragon Age all over again.
    - Bad horror, creatures aren't even scary, and are horribly slow
    - Bad writing. Using words like foetid, malodorous, mentioning Debussy, or just writing in a convoluted, pretentious way is no replacement for good, charged narrative. Most texts have no feeling whatsoever, they are merely empty descriptions.
    - TERRIBAD puzzles. Some of them can only be solved by reading the notes you write down (which often give light to things you couldn't know).

    Dear Esther was fucking shitty. It was also plagued by bad text which they tried to mask with words like cormorant, interim, and hebridean. Yeah, those words are really moody you know, they really get under my skin and stir dark thoughts and emotions that bring forth images of despair and abandonment. Hebridean...yeah...
    Some of the scenery was OK but overall it was plagued by this pretentious academic vibe that permeated everything. That, and it's supposed allegoric content and the LOLWUT YOURE A PIDGEON ending made it a highly vomitive experience.

    In all honesty I can't understand why Frictional Games hired them in the first place because they have absolutely no talent whatsoever; maybe something to do with FG's creative director going down a bad path of academic cock-sucking or something, judging from some of his recent blog posts.
     
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