Burnt Out: EPIC Edition.

Posted by Sweep (8859 posts) -

Eurgh. 

(Hungover)  

So yesterday I finished and submitted my 10,000 word university dissertation (Hence the hangover) on "The implementation, successes and failures of "Boss" design and encounters in Videogames." Now, I don't know how high y'all can count, but 10,000 words.... that a lot of words. It would normally be enough to make me not want to talk about videogames for a long. Time. But my name is Sweep (right?) and I'm going to keep talking about videogames. I'm just fucking mental like that. 
 

So... I totally traded my copy of Bulletstorm back into GAME.  

I'm pretty ashamed to admit it, but I actually bought that game for the Gears Of War 3 beta. 
 
I know, I know. Shaddap. 
 
About 2 days after I bought Bulletstorm it was announced that people who Pre-Ordered Gears 3 would also get into the early beta, only a week later than the Bulletstorm kids. So, I took advantage of the GAME trade-in deal and returned my £40 copy of Bulletstorm for £35 store credit which is going towards my copy of LA Noire when it eventually comes out. 
 

Bulletstorm is a pretty cool game. 

I really liked the skillshot stuff, it was an interesting take on heavily exhausted FPS genre. In the couple of weeks I had the game I completed the campaign and spent a bunch of time playing online. It wasn't bad.... but it wasn't particularly inspiring either. 
 

What irritated me the most was that, despite the goofy and downright crass marketing campaign, the fratboy-esque skillshot puns and general crude scripting, the game is painfully sincere. There were attempts to explain, even rationalise the nonsense which was taking place on my screen. The characters admitted to being able to see the "skillshots" and that it was a system implemented by the army as a "Survival of the fittest" training program where only the best soldiers would be resupplied at the drop-shops. Later in the story [Don't worry, this blog is spoiler free] there are times when the characters get all mushy and emotional and it just feels... awkward.
 
There's a fair amount of nonsense I'm prepared to accept in the name of videogames, but making such an obviously goofy product and then filling it with such sincerity was just plain weird. I would have preferred if they just accepted that the game was completely bananas and left is as pure obnoxiously rambling nonsense. When I completed the game I didn't even watch the final cinematic. There was a painful amount of candid conversation taking place and it just made me feel uncomfortable considering in the immediate run-up I had received a 300 point bonus for shooting a flare-gun up some dude's ass. The narrative in that game isn't bad, it's just handled poorly, and for all the dicking around (ha) the game suggests, to then impose such high moralities upon it's characters is a bizarre juxtaposition.  
 
If anything the atmospheric insanity is perfect for the multiplayer mode, a 4-man co-op arena in which players must mingle skillshots in order to progress - flying solo won't get you enough points. Unfortunately, many of the randoms on Xbox Live don't seem to understand this concept.  
 
Anyone surprised? No, I thought not.  

The result is that most players just run around killing enemies for their own personal gain. The game sporadically sends out enemies which require specific team skillshots for a bonus, but because most of the fucking monkeys online don't know what they are doing this usually results in all 4 players kicking the enemy back and forth like some weird school-yard terror ring until someone get's bored and leashes the mutant guy into a cactus. Or something.
 
Nominating Bulletstorm for "Best virtual inebriation" of the year.

 This blog is getting pretty negative, so I should probably point out that there are many things I did enjoy about Bulletstorm. The characters are pretty great and, weirdly, work best when they are just bantering about stupid goofy bullshit. There's a real commitment to Greyson Hunt being a moron which, as I mentioned earlier, clashes horribly with his moments of sincerity, but the general vibe is pretty entertaining. I particularly like pressing keypads in that game. Greyson hunt doesn't poke buttons with his finger, he get's the desired effect by mashing the keypad with a damn fist. Like a man.
 
I don't really want to talk about the antagonist, for obvious reasons, but suffice to say he is a complete cunt and the finale of the game is handled fairly well.
 

So yeah. Good times were had. 

However I'm a poor student and I can't really afford to spend money on games with no long-term playability right now so.... no more Bulletstorm! 
  
I also just spent £100 pre-ordering the EPIC edition of Gears Of War 3. It's the most money I have ever spent on a single game, ever. I don't even know what's in the EPIC edition, all I know is that I want it
 
Thanks For Reading 
Love Sweep 
Moderator
#1 Edited by Sweep (8859 posts) -

Eurgh. 

(Hungover)  

So yesterday I finished and submitted my 10,000 word university dissertation (Hence the hangover) on "The implementation, successes and failures of "Boss" design and encounters in Videogames." Now, I don't know how high y'all can count, but 10,000 words.... that a lot of words. It would normally be enough to make me not want to talk about videogames for a long. Time. But my name is Sweep (right?) and I'm going to keep talking about videogames. I'm just fucking mental like that. 
 

So... I totally traded my copy of Bulletstorm back into GAME.  

I'm pretty ashamed to admit it, but I actually bought that game for the Gears Of War 3 beta. 
 
I know, I know. Shaddap. 
 
About 2 days after I bought Bulletstorm it was announced that people who Pre-Ordered Gears 3 would also get into the early beta, only a week later than the Bulletstorm kids. So, I took advantage of the GAME trade-in deal and returned my £40 copy of Bulletstorm for £35 store credit which is going towards my copy of LA Noire when it eventually comes out. 
 

Bulletstorm is a pretty cool game. 

I really liked the skillshot stuff, it was an interesting take on heavily exhausted FPS genre. In the couple of weeks I had the game I completed the campaign and spent a bunch of time playing online. It wasn't bad.... but it wasn't particularly inspiring either. 
 

What irritated me the most was that, despite the goofy and downright crass marketing campaign, the fratboy-esque skillshot puns and general crude scripting, the game is painfully sincere. There were attempts to explain, even rationalise the nonsense which was taking place on my screen. The characters admitted to being able to see the "skillshots" and that it was a system implemented by the army as a "Survival of the fittest" training program where only the best soldiers would be resupplied at the drop-shops. Later in the story [Don't worry, this blog is spoiler free] there are times when the characters get all mushy and emotional and it just feels... awkward.
 
There's a fair amount of nonsense I'm prepared to accept in the name of videogames, but making such an obviously goofy product and then filling it with such sincerity was just plain weird. I would have preferred if they just accepted that the game was completely bananas and left is as pure obnoxiously rambling nonsense. When I completed the game I didn't even watch the final cinematic. There was a painful amount of candid conversation taking place and it just made me feel uncomfortable considering in the immediate run-up I had received a 300 point bonus for shooting a flare-gun up some dude's ass. The narrative in that game isn't bad, it's just handled poorly, and for all the dicking around (ha) the game suggests, to then impose such high moralities upon it's characters is a bizarre juxtaposition.  
 
If anything the atmospheric insanity is perfect for the multiplayer mode, a 4-man co-op arena in which players must mingle skillshots in order to progress - flying solo won't get you enough points. Unfortunately, many of the randoms on Xbox Live don't seem to understand this concept.  
 
Anyone surprised? No, I thought not.  

The result is that most players just run around killing enemies for their own personal gain. The game sporadically sends out enemies which require specific team skillshots for a bonus, but because most of the fucking monkeys online don't know what they are doing this usually results in all 4 players kicking the enemy back and forth like some weird school-yard terror ring until someone get's bored and leashes the mutant guy into a cactus. Or something.
 
Nominating Bulletstorm for "Best virtual inebriation" of the year.

 This blog is getting pretty negative, so I should probably point out that there are many things I did enjoy about Bulletstorm. The characters are pretty great and, weirdly, work best when they are just bantering about stupid goofy bullshit. There's a real commitment to Greyson Hunt being a moron which, as I mentioned earlier, clashes horribly with his moments of sincerity, but the general vibe is pretty entertaining. I particularly like pressing keypads in that game. Greyson hunt doesn't poke buttons with his finger, he get's the desired effect by mashing the keypad with a damn fist. Like a man.
 
I don't really want to talk about the antagonist, for obvious reasons, but suffice to say he is a complete cunt and the finale of the game is handled fairly well.
 

So yeah. Good times were had. 

However I'm a poor student and I can't really afford to spend money on games with no long-term playability right now so.... no more Bulletstorm! 
  
I also just spent £100 pre-ordering the EPIC edition of Gears Of War 3. It's the most money I have ever spent on a single game, ever. I don't even know what's in the EPIC edition, all I know is that I want it
 
Thanks For Reading 
Love Sweep 
Moderator
#2 Posted by Bollard (5547 posts) -

Nice review of Bulletstorm thar, but I'm actually more interested in reading your dissertation haha. But I'm pretty sure you don't wanna be posting that online ;) What games did you mention in the dissertation? Just curious which boss battles you talked about.

#3 Posted by jim_dandy (891 posts) -

That's sorta disturbing how much one of the Bulletstorm characters looks like me.

#4 Posted by Sweep (8859 posts) -
@Chavtheworld: I actually posted a little snippet on my blog already here. I'm thinking about releasing the rest in small chunks every few days or so to avoid the otherwise inevitable TL:DR situation :S
Moderator
#5 Edited by CaptainAntonius (14 posts) -

And here I was-thinking that I'm hard for writing an 1100 word essay! XD Good job on finishing that monster.

#6 Posted by Bollard (5547 posts) -
@Sweep: Oh awesome thanks! And I wasn't thinking you would get people TL;DR-ing, more that it might get plagiarised, but yeah actually thanks a point. I'll check it out. 
#7 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -
@Sweep said:
" @Chavtheworld: I actually posted a little snippet on my blog already here. I'm thinking about releasing the rest in small chunks every few days or so to avoid the otherwise inevitable TL:DR situation :S "
If people don't have the patience to read your dissertation in all its detail to fully understand what you are trying to discuss, they should just not read it at all.  People who actually care to understand the whole thing would take the time to read it all.  I would gladly read it in full as it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on Boss designs and encounter designs.
#8 Posted by Bollard (5547 posts) -
@ShiftyMagician said:
" @Sweep said:
" @Chavtheworld: I actually posted a little snippet on my blog already here. I'm thinking about releasing the rest in small chunks every few days or so to avoid the otherwise inevitable TL:DR situation :S "
If people don't have the patience to read your dissertation in all its detail to fully understand what you are trying to discuss, they should just not read it at all.  People who actually care to understand the whole thing would take the time to read it all.  I would gladly read it in full as it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on Boss designs and encounter designs. "
Exactly what I was thinking! Also I like your decision to include SotC Sweep, but (unless you touched on it elsewhere not in that blog) you missed an opportunity to talk about the morality that comes with murdering the Colossi, which I think is a real important part. Good stuff though!
#9 Edited by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -
@Sweep: Good breakdown of Bulletstorm, dude.  
 
Being a, similarly, poor student, I'm heavily debating putting the £60 down for DE:HR Augmented Edition (60 quid on a PC game of all things...). I just want it so badly. I need it.
 
At least your dissertation seemed interesting. I'm currently fighting with "A technical and philosophical examination of Godel's Incompleteness Theorems".  
 
11 Days till deadline and I have 2 other essays to finish before Monday. March has not been kind.
#10 Posted by fraser (478 posts) -

100 ENGLISH BONES? You mentalist.
 
What course are you doing that allows you to write a dissertation on bosses in videogames? SOUNDS BANGIN. I'm currently coming to the end of 12,000 words on "'There's My Arguement, Restrict Immigration: Ethnic Identity in the Marx Brothers Films". Can't fucking wait for summer.

#11 Posted by xyzygy (9988 posts) -
@jim_dandy said:
" That's sorta disturbing how much one of the Bulletstorm characters looks like me. "
pics or it didnt happen
#12 Posted by Sweep (8859 posts) -
@fraser: Computer Animation and Visualisation at Bournemouth. It's basically an excuse to watch Pixar movies and play videogames :D
Moderator
#13 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

Need to order that Epic Edition. Like you say, I don't know what it is but Gears is the only franchise worth caring about these days and I love paying extra for tat I never use.

#14 Posted by Red12b (9084 posts) -
@Sweep said:
" @fraser: Computer Animation and Visualisation at Bournemouth. It's basically an excuse to watch Pixar movies and play videogames :D "
.... 
school was never that good for me...what the fuck has happened in 7 years!
#15 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

10000 words? Shit. My ninja blog was only about 6000, and I think we all considered that long as hell.

#16 Posted by bybeach (4826 posts) -

Hope your dissertation reviews well and that looks like a fairly intelligent trade in. I'm going to get Bulletstorm when it drops in price for the pc, passed up one chance already. I don't care about Gears od War except the sp.
#17 Posted by dankempster (2253 posts) -

Congrats on finishing your dissertation, Sweep. My girlfriend also finished hers recently - a study of different ideologies regarding the black female body over the last 250 years. Makes me very happy that I don't have to chalk up one of those 10,000-word bad-boys. If there's one thing your unstoppable blog-train has proven, it's that you can write very articulately about video games, so I'm sure you'll get a great mark for it. I also look forward to seeing snippets emerge here in the coming weeks.

#18 Posted by buft (3317 posts) -
@Sweep: i had no idea you where in the UK, i also bought it for the gears beta.
#19 Posted by jakob187 (21670 posts) -

I can understand where one might look at the attempts of rationalizing stupid stuff in this game can be a bit off-putting, and how the few emotional types of moments that pop up can be a bit awkward.  At the same time, these are still human beings, and in the end, the entire reason that you are on this whole "mission" in the first place is because of the emotion of rage and anger, right?  The spoilery bits that you are trying to avoid talking about that involve specific emotional pieces are already a convoluted setup anyways.  If anything, you have to look at the game and realize very quickly that it's a game which is made by People Can Fly, features a four-barreled shotgun and a gun that shoots drill ammo, and there are skillshots called "Gang Bang" and "Homie Missile".  It can't be taken too seriously, but you can still take a bit of Gears-styled seriousness with the game. 
 
Speaking of which, I could care less about Gears on any given daily basis, but I still found some interest in Gears 2's multiplayer setup...and the storytelling was a bit better.  I still just hate how steroid-enhanced the meatheads are.  However, I'm finding myself pretty interested in Gears 3...and a lot of that is because of the amount of color that is being added to the advertising and the game in general.  Most of the stuff I've seen from that multiplayer stuff has a much better look to it, and if Bulletstorm is any indication, we can at least tell that UE3 is finally displaying some form of color that isn't black, grey, or slightly blackish grey. 
 
Great blog as usual, homie...missile.

#20 Posted by Virago (2486 posts) -

Fuuuuuuck 10,000 words? How many pages was that? Was it double spaced? Did you want to DIE? I would've. Sounds like a fabulous topic though. Also, 100 pounds for GoW3 sounds like A-Lot of money, especially since that converts to close to a bajillion US dollars. For a scientist, you are a craaazy mutherfucka.
<3 V

#21 Posted by Daveyo520 (6752 posts) -

You are addicted to Dears! I was going to say Gears, but I like that typo.

#22 Posted by Underachiever007 (2468 posts) -

I like that cover better than the Gears 2 cover.

#23 Posted by mfpantst (2574 posts) -

I was going to say something rude until you said you're a student and money is at a premium for buying games.  In which case- I got ya.  My feelings aren't the same but I understand.  I'm in a position to not trade in games- and getting to the point where I'm choosy about games (oddly the reasons you don't like bulletstorm I do/disagree on) so money is less of an obstacle.  Plus unlike other short games I actually like to play this game more than once.  Anyways- peace.

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