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#1 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

I've spent the last few days playing Shadowrun Returns, and it is absolutely phenomenal. It is my game of the year at this point in time, but there is one key thing that the game does well that I feel like I deserves to be talked about in the games industry, and become part of the ongoing discussion on games creation.

Shadowrun returns features no cut-scenes, voice acting or motion capture of any kind.

People are going to read that and say "Oh, so you're saying it's cheap, poor quality game" and that, ultimately, is the topic I think bears discussion.

When it comes right down to it, video games, along with any form of media, is all about communicating information. In the case of fictional stories, information that is hopefully entertaining is delivered to the audience in a variety of ways. The way the information is delivered, the order in which it's delivered, and detail in which it's delivered is frequently known as "storytelling". The problem with the games industry is that it has become incredibly over-reliant on relying on images and sound to tell stories. There was a period of time where that was a fascinating new fronteir for story-telling, but it has become the defacto cliche at this point in time, and if a game/story does not tell itself with pictures and sound, it is somehow considered inferior. I feel like shadowrun returns overturns this concept in a few key ways.

1) The game engages the senses that most modern games completely leave out. Most modern games, which feature only images and sound, completely leave out the audiences other senses aside from seeing and hearing. Because Shadowrun delivers information almost entirely in text, other senses are engaged on the part of the player. For instance, an early morgue scene describes it's environment as smelling like dried blood and bleach. I now know what Shadowrun Returns smells like. I still have no idea what Rapture smells like, even though I know in great detail what it LOOKS like. And my sense of the place would probably change a great deal if I knew what Rapture smelled like. Shadowrun attempts to bring a sense of texture, smell, and atmosphere to the game that other, more expensively produced games do not and cannot. One of the reasons the movie Avatar, which relys on only sounds and pictures, creates such an authentic sense of place, is that James Cameron spent a great deal of time in the movie showing the audience what the planet tastes like (when the characters eat eat the fruit), feels like, smells like, etc. Shadow Run Returns does it more often, more accurately, and more efficiently through well-written text.

2)ShadowRun Returns lacks graphical detail, and as a result, it is a much more detailed world than other, more expensive games. Don't get me wrong, Skyrim is one of my favorite games of all time and I think it deserves to be considered one of the best games of all time. But, the game still features people who all look mostly the same, and a few voice actors providing the voices for an entire world. Shadowrun, and it's lack of voice actors, manage to create a much more distinct world, in my opinion, because in my head, all of the characters have unique, fitting voices for their characters. Awkward dialog doesn't seem awkward. Silly slang terms don't sound silly. Character interaction is much more nuanced. The bottom line is that motion capture is still a half dozen years away, I would guess, from being able to portray the nuance of characterization that Shadowrun manages to do with a few deft lines of text. There are a few key characters in Shadowrun who are only depicted via well painted character portraits, and yet the images combined with the well written text go on to create a lavish sense of who that character is that stiff motion capture and polygons simply could not.

My overall point is just this:

Gaming needs to get over the idea that making games like movies means they are better. In one fell swoop, I feel like ShadowRun Returns restates the point that The Longest Journey so eloquently made almost a decade ago: Text has a place in videogames. Spending more money on games does not make them better, and so much emphasis has been placed on communicating sounds and images to the audience that the other senses that should be involved in storytelling have been almost entirely abandoned in video games.

#2 Posted by Flacracker (1581 posts) -

We don't care that you got banned from NeoGAF.

Online
#3 Posted by Rowr (5474 posts) -

I can't speak for this game, but i agree entirely, though I think casual market that pays to keep most of this industry running don't always have to patience or mental fortitude for reading. In a AAA game

Morrowind and any bioware game before Mass Effect are two that spring to my mind. Honestly even if they just displayed the limited dialogue options instead of the wheel and had shepard be entirely mute that would probably be enough for me.

#4 Edited by ThunderSlash (1514 posts) -

[Insert opinion stated as universal fact here]

#5 Posted by buft (3300 posts) -

@flacracker: where did this come from ? wrong thread?

#6 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11423 posts) -

Play Planescape and tell me that Shadowrun does anything original in that regard. Or rather, if some background flavor text in a rather middling, hyper linear RPG campaign is enough to blow your mind, your head will probably explode when you play one with a novel's worth of text.

Online
#7 Posted by DarthOrange (3828 posts) -

We don't care that you got banned from NeoGAF.

lol really? Why? What happened @jazgalaxy?

#8 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@flacracker said:

We don't care that you got banned from NeoGAF.

lol really? Why? What happened @jazgalaxy?

I've never been to NeoGaf in my life. That guy is just being a tool.

#9 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

Play Planescape and tell me that Shadowrun does anything original in that regard. Or rather, if some background flavor text in a rather middling, hyper linear RPG campaign is enough to blow your mind, your head will probably explode when you play one with a novel's worth of text.

Oh, you're misunderstanding me. I don't think Shadowrun does anything new or unique. I think almost ALL games used to do what Shadowrun does. Shadowrun in only unique for doing it in 2013. It features one of the best stories of any game this year, and it is stronger for not having any voice acting or cinematics.

#10 Posted by DarthOrange (3828 posts) -

@darthorange said:
@flacracker said:

We don't care that you got banned from NeoGAF.

lol really? Why? What happened @jazgalaxy?

I've never been to NeoGaf in my life. That guy is just being a tool.

Oh I thought there was a super hilarious story about you venting your frustrations on these forums. I am disappoint :(

#11 Edited by Sanity (1890 posts) -

This is why people almost always say the book is better then the movie, fact is when the brain is left to fill in the blanks you create a much more vivid experience for the player. That said, it doesn't sell because most games of this style are very niche and most people dont want to sit and read half the experience, its not good gameplay.

Look at Skyrim, i bet very few people have actually sat and read even a fraction of the books in that game, im still amazed they do that at all as i cant imagine there catering to a large group at this point, but im glad they do as it adds a lot to those games. No one was going to read tons and tons of dialogue if it was in Bioshock, and that doesn't sell to the audience there catering to, plus gets bad press. The style is great when used in a game like Shadowrun and to some extent any RPG, but its hard to make a argument that it would help a FPS, those games are supposed to tell there story while the action is happening, not take you out of the game to read a bunch.

#12 Edited by Hailinel (23690 posts) -

@jazgalaxy said:

@darthorange said:
@flacracker said:

We don't care that you got banned from NeoGAF.

lol really? Why? What happened @jazgalaxy?

I've never been to NeoGaf in my life. That guy is just being a tool.

Oh I thought there was a super hilarious story about you venting your frustrations on these forums. I am disappoint :(

It was a joke. Someone else on the forums made a rather long-winded post that was split between Anita Sarkeesian commentary and frustration at being banned by NeoGAF.

#13 Edited by Sin4profit (2903 posts) -

I'm enjoying Shadowrun for the most part, but the save system is terrible. I usually do a mission and quit playing after each autosave as i don't know how long the next stretch will last before it autosaves again.

#14 Posted by Flacracker (1581 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@darthorange said:

@jazgalaxy said:

@darthorange said:
@flacracker said:

We don't care that you got banned from NeoGAF.

lol really? Why? What happened @jazgalaxy?

I've never been to NeoGaf in my life. That guy is just being a tool.

Oh I thought there was a super hilarious story about you venting your frustrations on these forums. I am disappoint :(

It was a joke. Someone else on the forums made a rather long-winded post that was split between Anita Sarkeesian commentary and frustration at being banned by NeoGAF.

Yeah it's just a dumb joke. I noticed that TC didn't have an avatar so at first I thought he was new... it's late alright?

Online
#15 Posted by DarthOrange (3828 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@darthorange said:

@jazgalaxy said:

@darthorange said:
@flacracker said:

We don't care that you got banned from NeoGAF.

lol really? Why? What happened @jazgalaxy?

I've never been to NeoGaf in my life. That guy is just being a tool.

Oh I thought there was a super hilarious story about you venting your frustrations on these forums. I am disappoint :(

It was a joke. Someone else on the forums made a rather long-winded post that was split between Anita Sarkeesian commentary and frustration at being banned by NeoGAF.

Yeah it's just a dumb joke. I noticed that TC didn't have an avatar so at first I thought he was new... it's late alright?

Where is that post?!?!?!? I would love to share in the shits and giggles.

#16 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@sanity said:

This is why people almost always say the book is better then the movie, fact is when the brain is left to fill in the blanks you create a much more vivid experience for the player. That said, it doesn't sell because most games of this style are very niche and most people dont want to sit and read half the experience, its not good gameplay.

Look at Skyrim, i bet very few people have actually sat and read even a fraction of the books in that game, im still amazed they do that at all as i cant imagine there catering to a large group at this point, but im glad they do as it adds a lot to those games. No one was going to read tons and tons of dialogue if it was in Bioshock, and that doesn't sell to the audience there catering to, plus gets bad press. The style is great when used in a game like Shadowrun and to some extent any RPG, but its hard to make a argument that it would help a FPS, those games are supposed to tell there story while the action is happening, not take you out of the game to read a bunch.

I think there could be creative ways to include text in games that don't allow for pure chunks of prose.

This has nothing to do with text, but one of the things that The Windwaker did so amazingly well was draw the wind on the screen. It goes back to the concept of communicating information that can't necessarily be communicated via realistic renderings of reality. I think a game that looked like, say, GTA, that would randomly weave text into the scenery like Splinter Cell did with it's credits and stuff would be fantastic.

#17 Edited by Hailinel (23690 posts) -
#18 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

I'm enjoying Shadowrun for the most part, but the save system is terrible. I usually do a mission and quit playing after each autosave as i don't know how long the next stretch will last before it autosaves again.

Yeah, the save system is a little bit baffling. I think porting the game to iOS was a huge consideration when they were designing the game, and thusly a lot of common PC game concepts are made more complicated than necessary.

#19 Edited by TheHT (10810 posts) -

The descriptive text has been an absolute delight, and I'd enjoy playing more modern games that played off your imagination like that.

I'll refrain from making any sweeping generalizations about gaming, because those often sound pretty dumb.

I don't know what you mean about the game lacking in graphical detail. The environments are fantastically detailed. The character models can look silly at times (only when way, way up close), but overall it's a great looking game. There's a consistent style to it all, and it all looks really damn cool.

Also, I dunno if you've played the Uncharted games for example, but motion capture can already convey nuance quite well. There isn't really anything about the textual characterizations in the game you couldn't easily get with facial animations, motion capture, or a few voice samples.

It's a refreshing change of pace, but it's not some diamond in the rough that's secretly still better than the latest tech. I am however seriously wondering what Rapture smelled like now. Probably fish and... soap, or something.

#20 Posted by DarthOrange (3828 posts) -
#21 Posted by bigjeffrey (4711 posts) -

Yeah, to many video games try to hard with graphics and all that shit. Just give me a game.

#22 Edited by casper_ (901 posts) -

interesting op.

i did enjoy the game but am feeling left kinda dissapointed overall. the campaign is well written and the basic mechanics work fine but there i think is certain amount of depth lacking in skills, classes, weapons, meaningful dialogue choices etc.

all this would be acceptable considering they only had a year to pump this out but im coming to realize that the editor for this game really doesnt do a lot to help the community solve any of these problems. i think that until someone gets the source code or something that most of the user content for this game is gonna be story scenarios working around the exact same rules that are in the main campaign. its like they released half a game and half an editor.

#23 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11423 posts) -

@arbitrarywater said:

Play Planescape and tell me that Shadowrun does anything original in that regard. Or rather, if some background flavor text in a rather middling, hyper linear RPG campaign is enough to blow your mind, your head will probably explode when you play one with a novel's worth of text.

Oh, you're misunderstanding me. I don't think Shadowrun does anything new or unique. I think almost ALL games used to do what Shadowrun does. Shadowrun in only unique for doing it in 2013. It features one of the best stories of any game this year, and it is stronger for not having any voice acting or cinematics.

What. Most of the writing is quite good, but maybe not as good as you seem to think it is. (Once again: Planescape or really any game made by Obsidian already exist, so I know what great RPG writing looks like and Shadowrun Returns isn't that.) "Bug spirits trying to take over the world under the guise of fake Scientology" isn't exactly Pulitzer, or even Hugo-winning material, but I digress from the topic at hand.

I'll agree with you inasmuch as the inclusion of voice acting and more cinematic storytelling have crippled the way RPGs can be written, and I'll agree that games are trying too hard to chase after movies, but I disagree that Shadowrun not having any of that makes it any better. Even the brief chirps of voice work in any given Infinity Engine game add a lot of personality to what are otherwise silent words.

Online
#24 Posted by Zeik (2195 posts) -

@sanity said:

Look at Skyrim, i bet very few people have actually sat and read even a fraction of the books in that game, im still amazed they do that at all as i cant imagine there catering to a large group at this point, but im glad they do as it adds a lot to those games.

The idea of reading books in Skyrim is great, but the books are kind of...boring. They don't have any real flavor to them and a lot of Skyrim's lore is pretty bland. I'd love to see that idea done better in a more interesting game though.

#25 Edited by Zeik (2195 posts) -

@arbitrarywater: I'm pretty sure neither Planescape or any game by Obsidian was released this year. You might want to reread what you quoted.

#26 Posted by dudeglove (7684 posts) -

I'm enjoying Shadowrun for the most part, but the save system is terrible.

#27 Edited by Rahf (126 posts) -

Remember, though, that more information supplied through text slows pacing. It works for RPGs, but it'd be jarring in anything moving at breakneck speed.

#28 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11423 posts) -

@zeik said:

@arbitrarywater: I'm pretty sure neither Planescape or any game by Obsidian was released this year. You might want to reread what you quoted.

Oh, then by those stringent standards, suuuuuuureeeeeeee.

Online
#29 Posted by Zeik (2195 posts) -

@arbitrarywater: I'm not really sure why you're having an attitude over this.

#30 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@rahf said:

Remember, though, that more information supplied through text slows pacing. It works for RPGs, but it'd be jarring in anything moving at breakneck speed.

I agree, to some extent. But most people can read faster than they can absorb information spoken audibly. I agree that text isn't necessary in every situation, and it's especially unuseful when the player is intended to be focusing on other things.

#31 Posted by Zygoatsalami (51 posts) -

We don't care that you got banned from NeoGAF.

oh so right. thanks for making me laugh.

#32 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11423 posts) -

@zeik said:

@arbitrarywater: I'm not really sure why you're having an attitude over this.

I apologize if I sound a bit snippy, but I guess I view this official campaign in comparison to the classics it draws inspiration from, a battle it cannot win. As far as games in 2013 are concerned, I enjoyed my time with it well enough, and if the module-making community hits off it may make a spot on my top 10. But RPGs of this kind are sparse enough that I don't think it particularly unfair to say "Fallout did it better 16 years ago"

Online
#33 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@jazgalaxy said:

@arbitrarywater said:

Play Planescape and tell me that Shadowrun does anything original in that regard. Or rather, if some background flavor text in a rather middling, hyper linear RPG campaign is enough to blow your mind, your head will probably explode when you play one with a novel's worth of text.

Oh, you're misunderstanding me. I don't think Shadowrun does anything new or unique. I think almost ALL games used to do what Shadowrun does. Shadowrun in only unique for doing it in 2013. It features one of the best stories of any game this year, and it is stronger for not having any voice acting or cinematics.

What. Most of the writing is quite good, but maybe not as good as you seem to think it is. (Once again: Planescape or really any game made by Obsidian already exist, so I know what great RPG writing looks like and Shadowrun Returns isn't that.) "Bug spirits trying to take over the world under the guise of fake Scientology" isn't exactly Pulitzer, or even Hugo-winning material, but I digress from the topic at hand.

I'll agree with you inasmuch as the inclusion of voice acting and more cinematic storytelling have crippled the way RPGs can be written, and I'll agree that games are trying too hard to chase after movies, but I disagree that Shadowrun not having any of that makes it any better. Even the brief chirps of voice work in any given Infinity Engine game add a lot of personality to what are otherwise silent words.

the plot point that you mention, I don't take to be the actual plot of ShadowRun Returns. I think you can clearly see the demarcation of "stretch goal content" in the game. The Dead Man's Switch story is the part that I think is firmly one of the best stories of this year. That story, I believe, ends when you solve the murder.

Part of the reason the reason the game's story is so great has little to do with the way it's told and much more to do with the story itself. Blame it on my reading "Save The Cat", the premeir screen writing book of the day, but the main reason the story works so well in ShadowRun Returns is because it contains irony. The plot goes: You are hired by and old friend via telephone to solve a mysterious murder. His own." Already, at the very top of the story, the audience is engaged because the brain is already starting to work out "how can a dead man hire someone to solve his murder?". This is in STARK CONTRAST to the multitude of modern RPG's where the plot of the game, or really any compelling reason to play the game at all, doesn't present itself for hours into the gameplay experience. And once the plot of ShadowRun starts, it really doesn't let up until the game is over. You keep getting fed answers to questions, but each answer brings with it a new question. It is an extremely well constructed murder mystery. Do I think the killer winds up being a little weak? Yes, I do. Do I think the whole thing borrows heavily from Ultima 7: The Black Gate? Yes, it seems to. But that doesn't stop it from being miles better than The All Story of every other game out there right now.

Plus, the characters in the Seamstresses Union are all utterly fantastic. I could easily see a Television show like Firefly taking place there.

#34 Posted by Morningstar (2128 posts) -

Game was good, if a bit underwhelming. Hoping the Berlin DLC is a lot better than the main campaign in terms of exploration and non-linearity. Game of the year, or very important, it is not.

#35 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11423 posts) -

@jazgalaxy: Alright, sorry. It's a bit late, and you're absolutely right. The first half of the game is much better from that angle, and it makes sense that the second half of the campaign was thrown in as a stretch goal partway through development. I still don't think the fact that it has good writing makes it important, but you've clearly backed up your opinion without giving into me being tired. Refer to my review if you want a more coherent, less hostile summation of what I think about this included campaign.

Online
#36 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@jazgalaxy said:

@arbitrarywater said:

Play Planescape and tell me that Shadowrun does anything original in that regard. Or rather, if some background flavor text in a rather middling, hyper linear RPG campaign is enough to blow your mind, your head will probably explode when you play one with a novel's worth of text.

Oh, you're misunderstanding me. I don't think Shadowrun does anything new or unique. I think almost ALL games used to do what Shadowrun does. Shadowrun in only unique for doing it in 2013. It features one of the best stories of any game this year, and it is stronger for not having any voice acting or cinematics.

What. Most of the writing is quite good, but maybe not as good as you seem to think it is. (Once again: Planescape or really any game made by Obsidian already exist, so I know what great RPG writing looks like and Shadowrun Returns isn't that.) "Bug spirits trying to take over the world under the guise of fake Scientology" isn't exactly Pulitzer, or even Hugo-winning material, but I digress from the topic at hand.

I'll agree with you inasmuch as the inclusion of voice acting and more cinematic storytelling have crippled the way RPGs can be written, and I'll agree that games are trying too hard to chase after movies, but I disagree that Shadowrun not having any of that makes it any better. Even the brief chirps of voice work in any given Infinity Engine game add a lot of personality to what are otherwise silent words.

I think you're rather intentionally missing my point.

Shadowrun Returns, in and of itself, is almost entirely beside the point I'm trying to make. I'm simply saying: Shadowrun Returns uses text to communicate information in a videogame that AAA titles cannot communicate due to the fact that they completely abandon the use of prose and text. Thusly, in my opinion, ShadowRun returns is the most important game this year.

The fact that you really like Planescape: Torment is irrelevant. If Planescape had come out this year, I would probably be saying the exact same thing about Torment.

I'm saying: I think games that use text to communicate story well should be lauded as much as games that use cutscenes to tell story well.

#37 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

A valid point, and one that oddly reverses the old picture being worth a thousand words idea. In gaming now, it would seem to be the opposite. The beefiest unreal engine is only just beginning to accurately render what could be described in text years ago.

That being said...

Let's not go overboard with this idea. Voice and visual storytelling are still king.

#38 Posted by Humanity (8722 posts) -

I agree but at the same time I don't think that Shadowrun is the greatest example of this. I'd probably say that the new X-COM is a better example of pure game mechanics prevailing over superficial flair.

Granted, I haven't played the new Shadowrun, but everything I hear from people that did actually enjoy it is that it's a bit light on systems and mechanics.

Online
#39 Posted by CheapPoison (716 posts) -

I feel it does invoke the feeling of pen and paper rpg quite well, but it has problems. And for a compelling rpg i feel that is where you have to go.

There are a lot of possilities if the community can expand on this. Like porting some old stories,rpg books, own stories.
I do feel the combat system is a bit too limited as does the skills that relate to social interactions. In a pen and paper rpg that is fine cause you have the interactions between 2 people (dm and the player) to make it dynamic, here you just get your 2 lines and you are done. Would require quite a bit too make it as dynamic as 2 real people talking but hey, one can dream.

#40 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@jazgalaxy: Alright, sorry. It's a bit late, and you're absolutely right. The first half of the game is much better from that angle, and it makes sense that the second half of the campaign was thrown in as a stretch goal partway through development. I still don't think the fact that it has good writing makes it important, but you've clearly backed up your opinion without giving into me being tired. Refer to my review if you want a more coherent, less hostile summation of what I think about this included campaign.

Sorry, this posted just before my last comment. At least we can definitely agree on what games are the classics. The Infinity Engine games being chief among them.

#41 Edited by Rahf (126 posts) -

@jazgalaxy said:

@rahf said:

Remember, though, that more information supplied through text slows pacing. It works for RPGs, but it'd be jarring in anything moving at breakneck speed.

I agree, to some extent. But most people can read faster than they can absorb information spoken audibly. I agree that text isn't necessary in every situation, and it's especially unuseful when the player is intended to be focusing on other things.

Sure, but you're still hampered in a dramatic sense. The player has to stop, look, process; before they can continue on. Stop dribbling and drop the ball; coach got something to tell us. Easily remedied by providing parsed snippets of text--requiring only a glance to process--but still a limited form of storytelling. In this case; the coach calls a time-out every time he communicates something, or he's shouting short phrases from the sidelines.

We all have different things that tickle our g-spot. I like to indulge in well-acted and well-written scenes; a rare premium in video games. As an example: you know the Wadjet Eye Games releases Primordia, Gemini Rue,and so on? Those are games with middling scripts and hit-and-miss dialogue for me. Jokes fall flat, or don't land at all. Contrast that with something like Dust: An Elysian Tail, which holds up ok--still not fantastic, but ok. Contrast it further with Mass Effect, and you're closing in on golden nuggets.

#42 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@rahf said:

@jazgalaxy said:

@rahf said:

Remember, though, that more information supplied through text slows pacing. It works for RPGs, but it'd be jarring in anything moving at breakneck speed.

I agree, to some extent. But most people can read faster than they can absorb information spoken audibly. I agree that text isn't necessary in every situation, and it's especially unuseful when the player is intended to be focusing on other things.

Sure, but you're still hampered in a dramatic sense. The player has to stop, look, process; before they can continue on. Stop dribbling and drop the ball; coach got something to tell us. Easily remedied by providing parsed snippets of text--requiring only a glance to process--but still a limited form of storytelling. In this case; the coach calls a time-out every time he communicates something, or he's shouting short phrases from the sidelines.

We all have different things that tickle our g-spot. I like to indulge in well-acted and well-written scenes; a rare premium in video games. As an example: you know the Wadjet Eye Games releases Primordia, Gemini Rue,and so on? Those are games with middling scripts and hit-and-miss dialogue for me. Jokes fall flat, or don't land at all. Contrast that with something like Dust: An Elysian Tail, which holds up ok--still not fantastic, but ok. Contrast it further with Mass Effect, and you're closing in on golden nuggets.

I would argue that frequently the reason jokes fall flat is due to poor voice acting and poor timing as a result of over-reliance on cut scenes. I can't tell you how many adventure games I played (Kings Quest 5, for example) that had middling to decent writing that became bottom of the barrel when poor voice acting was added.

The problem with comedy on video is that it has very little to do with the ability of the actors or the writers. It's a little-talked-about secret. Humor on video lies almost entirely with the video editor. He's in charge of timing, and comedy is almost entirely about timing. An unfunny editor can kill a hilarious scene, and a funny editor can take unfunny people and make them hilarious.

Videogames frequently have terribly unfunny video editors. Sometimes this is due to technology limitations (having to load scens and whatnot) and other times it's just due to the fact that the programmers aren't the comedy talent.

#43 Posted by Rahf (126 posts) -

Just look at the Primordia quick look and you'll get what I mean. Timing is key in comedy, sure, but not always.

#44 Edited by Juzie (167 posts) -

The most important game of they year is The Last of Us as it will probably shape the next gen as much as Metal Gear Solid 1 did. Shadowrun Returns is some pretty cool nostalgia but it's inferior to most of the older titles so calling it and calling it the most important game of the year is silly because whether you would like it or not (I like it too but these are the facts) text based games are probably behind sidescrollers in the line of coming back to AAA games....and sidescrollers are probably never coming back again.

It definitely takes the title for most important indie game of the year though.

#45 Edited by Animasta (14637 posts) -

I haven't beat it yet but the story was definitely not that unique. or all that great, ultimately.

Zeno Clash 2 if you want a great, unique story yo

#46 Posted by JasonR86 (9587 posts) -

lol

#47 Posted by Zeik (2195 posts) -

Someday people will learn to read past the topic title TC.

#48 Edited by Ares42 (2559 posts) -

1. The game doesn't "engage your other senses" because it has no voice-work or video. It does so because it uses a narrator in it's presentation.

2. The fake words are still cheesy as hell.

I'm not saying the presentation of the game is bad at all, but you could do exactly the same with cutscenes and voice-work and it would (in my opinion) be a better game. Just look at what Bastion did with it's voice-work.

Online
#49 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (1917 posts) -

I'll agree insofar as the heavy usage of text and lack of voice acting. That's important that games can still do that and be relatively successful. The only problem I have is I don't believe this game is very successful at being anything good, but that's another discussion altogether I think.

I've played, and will continue to play, computer games and tabletop games that share the flavor of SRR but do it much better. And you know what? It sucks for me to say that, because the Shadowrun universe is one of my personal favorites.

#50 Posted by mason20 (135 posts) -

I don't agree with the original post at all really. Sure there are some games which excel with no voice and such but to say that games would be benefit more with out seems to be a fallacy. Yes some games may work better but imagine trying to play a game like LA Noire with out all said practices and what would you have? Or scenes which get you more invested with the character (SR: 3 with the singing to the Sublime song, etc..).

To say games would benefit from a lack of voice, motion, and other such implementations and say that they don't have a scent or feel just seems like personal opinion and not very factual at all. The gaming media is evolving and is incorporating other mediums to tell there story regardless of the limitations that they had a decade or so ago. Would games like Halo, Hitman, The Last Of Us, Sleeping Dogs, Xcom Enemy Unknown or even the MGS franchise with out voice and simply text as cut scenes? Maybe but I would highly doubt it.

Also Avatar... really? I'll drop all the issues people are having with Shadowrun but Avatar? I'd rather watch A Serbian Movie a hundred times over... The only time I wanted my money back from watching a movie...