Trenched is not as novel as I have come to expect from DF

Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -

I just played the Trenched demo.

The mechs, or "trenches," are upgradable and customizable. In the first mission I unlocked a sniper rifle to use in the next. The basic weapons are two machine gun turrets, one one either side of the trench. They are mapped to the right and left trigger, respectively. It seems that a hard limit on ammo is not a consideration, but reloading is. Reloading takes time depending on the type of gun--it seems the sniper rifle takes longer to reload than the the machine guns, for example. Pressing down on the right stick zooms in slightly.

Enemies drop "scrap" which you can either walk over or hold down RB to activate a magnet that pulls the scrap in towards you. The scrap is then used to deploy, and upgrade, turrets. In the demo mission, you can use two different turret types: a shotgun one and a "damper" turret that slows down enemy movement. There are suggested turret emplacement points that are useful to use, but turrets can be set down anywhere.

The trenches move slow, but I am not sure if you can upgrade speed later on. It is useful to stay near the point you are protecting, though, because enemies will spawn from multiple locations so it is best to be able to cover as many angles as possible. I can already tell it would be quite easy to get overwhelmed, so this game is definitely designed for co-op.

The game has a mixture of a steampunk (the good guys) and a pulp sci-fi (the bad guys) aesthetic that is quite odd together. The dialogue is over the top and cheesy, in a sort of classic early 20th century way, but some of it is also humorous.

The demo showed several enemy types: resistors, which are the basic cannon fodder enemies that run it to get close, Tommies (now that's a turn-of-the-century British term for ya!) which are the basic ranged enemies. These generally seem set on attacking the point you are defending. Another enemy type (cannot recall the name) are easily identifiable by being a glowing red, and they target you specifically, kamikaze style. Destroying them close to each other will cause them to blow up other enemies. There was one boss that seemed intent on attacking your base rather than you, and it had a lot of HP. Other than that, it was not behaving much differently from the other enemies.

While it seems like a solid game, I'm not sure I can justify spending $15 on it. It has all the basics there, but it seems to lack a certain Double Fine charm that I cannot really quantify.

#1 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -

I just played the Trenched demo.

The mechs, or "trenches," are upgradable and customizable. In the first mission I unlocked a sniper rifle to use in the next. The basic weapons are two machine gun turrets, one one either side of the trench. They are mapped to the right and left trigger, respectively. It seems that a hard limit on ammo is not a consideration, but reloading is. Reloading takes time depending on the type of gun--it seems the sniper rifle takes longer to reload than the the machine guns, for example. Pressing down on the right stick zooms in slightly.

Enemies drop "scrap" which you can either walk over or hold down RB to activate a magnet that pulls the scrap in towards you. The scrap is then used to deploy, and upgrade, turrets. In the demo mission, you can use two different turret types: a shotgun one and a "damper" turret that slows down enemy movement. There are suggested turret emplacement points that are useful to use, but turrets can be set down anywhere.

The trenches move slow, but I am not sure if you can upgrade speed later on. It is useful to stay near the point you are protecting, though, because enemies will spawn from multiple locations so it is best to be able to cover as many angles as possible. I can already tell it would be quite easy to get overwhelmed, so this game is definitely designed for co-op.

The game has a mixture of a steampunk (the good guys) and a pulp sci-fi (the bad guys) aesthetic that is quite odd together. The dialogue is over the top and cheesy, in a sort of classic early 20th century way, but some of it is also humorous.

The demo showed several enemy types: resistors, which are the basic cannon fodder enemies that run it to get close, Tommies (now that's a turn-of-the-century British term for ya!) which are the basic ranged enemies. These generally seem set on attacking the point you are defending. Another enemy type (cannot recall the name) are easily identifiable by being a glowing red, and they target you specifically, kamikaze style. Destroying them close to each other will cause them to blow up other enemies. There was one boss that seemed intent on attacking your base rather than you, and it had a lot of HP. Other than that, it was not behaving much differently from the other enemies.

While it seems like a solid game, I'm not sure I can justify spending $15 on it. It has all the basics there, but it seems to lack a certain Double Fine charm that I cannot really quantify.

#2 Posted by buft (3317 posts) -

the game features a beautiful art style, a fully realized world, plenty of scope for strategy and customization and you shit all over it because its a 3rd person shooter with tower defence gameplay? 
 
Sure your not an doll that jumps into other dolls but its still an inspired game. 
 
Don't forget your monocle, top hat and cane on the way out Mr Artsy Fartsy

#3 Posted by DeeGee (2125 posts) -

Charm should never be a thing that makes you buy a game. It should be an additional bonus. If you enjoyed the game, buy it. If you did not enjoy it, don't buy it.

It can't get much simpler then that. If you didn't enjoy it but it had the Double Fine charm would you buy it? I hope not, because that sets a standard where they can make crap and people will still buy it.

#4 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@buft: I'm not "shitting all over it," duder.  It's possible for someone to express an opinion you don't agree with without them hating on something.
#5 Edited by Butler (384 posts) -
@buft: I Ironically enjoy playing Trenched while wearing a monocle, top hat, and cane.
#6 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@DeeGee said:

Charm should never be a thing that makes you buy a game. It should be an additional bonus. If you enjoyed the game, buy it. If you did not enjoy it, don't buy it.

It can't get much simpler then that. If you didn't enjoy it but it had the Double Fine charm would you buy it? I hope not, because that sets a standard where they can make crap and people will still buy it.

No, of course not, and that isn't what I said.  Obviously enjoyment trumps anything else with a game purchase.
#7 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@Butler said:
@buft: Ironically enjoy playing Trenched while wearing a monocle, top hat, and cane.
Maybe I was playing it wrong?
#8 Posted by IBurningStar (2173 posts) -

Looks pretty inspired to me. More than most games, for damn sure. On top of that, it is a solid mechanically. I get it, you have an idea of what a Double Fine game should be. How it should have this "charm" to it. But it is different, and doesn't fit your idea of a Double Fine product. I don't think it is uninspired.

#9 Posted by buft (3317 posts) -
@Nate_is_my_fake_name:  Im not hating on you bro, i'm just pointing out that beauty is more than skin deep, tried to be funny came out kinda Jerky i stand by it though. 
#10 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@buft: Fair enough.
#11 Posted by Gamer_152 (14078 posts) -

You know there is a review section of the site for posting your appraisals of games. As for this one what you've written seems pretty fair on the whole but I like a considerably longer review, something that really has the length to tell me not only about the game but really go into what does and doesn't work about the game and why, after all, as you say we're making a judgement on a $15 product here which may or may not be worth it. I'd also say that you never really gave us any idea of why the game seemed uninspired to you, you mentioned that the aesthetic styles didn't gel well together but that's not really the same thing. Anyway, I hope this helps, keep writing.

Moderator
#12 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@Gamer_152: I was actually just posting my demo impressions, not an actual review.
#13 Posted by Gamer_152 (14078 posts) -
@Nate_is_my_fake_name said:
@Gamer_152: I was actually just posting my demo impressions, not an actual review.
Sorry, I'm very tired right now. I'm still interested as to what seemed uninspired to you about about the game though.
Moderator
#14 Posted by Teran (877 posts) -
@Nate_is_my_fake_name said:
...  It has all the basics there, but it seems to lack a certain Double Fine charm that I cannot really quantify.
So you don't buy any games unless they have an un quantifiable Double Fine charm? 
 
I feel sorry for all the other dev teams in the world. 
 
I don't necessarily disagree with anything you said, but your reason for why the game isn't worth $15 is a little silly... unless you only own games developed by Double Fine.  This was the easiest $15 I've ever spent on an xbl arcade title.
#15 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I'm inclined to agree with OP actually. The game doesn't really seem to bring much that's new to the table.

#16 Posted by Loose (419 posts) -

  

#17 Posted by Evilsbane (4618 posts) -

I actually set here and wrote out some long response but that is like three threads today where people passed judgement on "a few minutes" and "I played the demo Meh" just fuck off already, play the game or move on.

#18 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@Evilsbane said:

I actually set here and wrote out some long response but that is like three threads today where people passed judgement on "a few minutes" and "I played the demo Meh" just fuck off already, play the game or move on.

Demos exist to let people try a game before purchasing.  I'm not reviewing the game, I'm not assigning it a rating based on a few minutes.  I'm simply posting my thoughts after having played the demo.  Chill out.
#19 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@Teran: I have several reasons for not buying the game at $15, one of which being that the game just didn't didn't feel particularly special to me.  I never said I only buy games with that "DF charm."  This game simply lacks a certain feel I get from other DF games.  That's all.
#20 Posted by Evilsbane (4618 posts) -

@Nate_is_my_fake_name said:

@Evilsbane said:

I actually set here and wrote out some long response but that is like three threads today where people passed judgement on "a few minutes" and "I played the demo Meh" just fuck off already, play the game or move on.

Demos exist to let people try a game before purchasing. I'm not reviewing the game, I'm not assigning it a rating based on a few minutes. I'm simply posting my thoughts after having played the demo. Chill out.

Than name the title "My Demo impressions of Treched" not

Trenched--Double Fine's Least Inspired Game to Date? kinda mean no?

#21 Posted by Zippedbinders (996 posts) -

The content of your post and the title for this thread are two very different things. I expected something that backed up your opinion about how creatively invested the team was for this game. Instead, you posted a few paragraphs about the core mechanics this game has.  None of which gave any weight to your statement, which you essentially only answered with "but it seems to lack a certain Double Fine charm that I cannot really quantify. " If you're going to make a thread about this sort of thing, you should probably understand what it is, otherwise its little more than trollbait.
 
What makes it lack the charm you're looking for? Is it a unique artstyle? It is a story book narrative? Is it based around entirely unique gameplay sequences? Are you even sure?

#22 Posted by Teran (877 posts) -
@Nate_is_my_fake_name: I was replying to your post.  You may have numerous reasons for not buying the game but you didn't list any of them beyond the one.  You said you were not going to buy this game because it lacked the DF charm, the implication being that you only buy games with the DF charm. 
 
You don't mention the crisp controls and seem to dislike the artistic style even though it's actually pretty good and one of the more unique looking games in recent memory.  The dialog is tongue in cheek though you make it sound more like it was bad writing.  After reading your post for the second time it sounds like you wanted to be disappointed, you wanted to dislike this game. 
 
Oh, on an unrelated side note the red enemies are called "blitzers".
#23 Posted by project343 (2825 posts) -

This game has more Double Fine charm than both Brutal Legend and Costume Quest combined.

#24 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@Evilsbane: Pretty sure there's no rules saying I can't name my blog post the way I want to.  The very first sentence of my post declares that this is from the demo.
#25 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@project343: That is certainly an opinion you are entitled to, as I am entitled to mine.
#26 Posted by Evilsbane (4618 posts) -

@Nate_is_my_fake_name said:

@Evilsbane: Pretty sure there's no rules saying I can't name my blog post the way I want to. The very first sentence of my post declares that this is from the demo.

Fine than I deem your opinion Moot and I move on good day sir.

#27 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@Zippedbinders said:
The content of your post and the title for this thread are two very different things. I expected something that backed up your opinion about how creatively invested the team was for this game. Instead, you posted a few paragraphs about the core mechanics this game has.  None of which gave any weight to your statement, which you essentially only answered with "but it seems to lack a certain Double Fine charm that I cannot really quantify. " If you're going to make a thread about this sort of thing, you should probably understand what it is, otherwise its little more than trollbait.   What makes it lack the charm you're looking for? Is it a unique artstyle? It is a story book narrative? Is it based around entirely unique gameplay sequences? Are you even sure?
Unique artstyle, funny and charming characters, funny writing.  I simply did not feel as impressed by this demo as I felt by the Stacking or Costume Quest demos, I just felt it was missing something that I felt when I played those other games.  I apologize if you felt the title was misleading.
#28 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@Evilsbane said:

@Nate_is_my_fake_name said:

@Evilsbane: Pretty sure there's no rules saying I can't name my blog post the way I want to. The very first sentence of my post declares that this is from the demo.

Fine than I deem your opinion Moot and I move on good day sir.

Really mature, man.
#29 Posted by Scotto (1184 posts) -

This game offline is decent, but this game online is a ton of fun. Definitely $15 worth of fun.

Working with three other people just makes the game better. The action is more frenetic, and you can actually customize your trench for a specific role, instead of having to equip certain items for certain maps, like you do offline.

The trenches themselves look cool, the depths to which you can customize them is great, and the writing is solid as usual. My only gripes are the shortness of the campaign, and the lack of a map randomizer, or "Horde Mode" to truly take your skills to the breaking point.

- Scott

#30 Posted by Jackel2072 (2261 posts) -

You see my friend i hate demos. They rarely show off what the actual game is all about. its either the first level of game (where not much happens) or some small part taken out of context from the main story. The best demo i can think of, was for infamous. it was over an hour long, gave you 3 missions and showed you how the powers will progress over the course of the game. Now with that said you might not like Trenched it just might not be your thing and thats fine. but i can tell you i feel the game has a lot of Charm. the descriptions for the items you can buy are detailed and tell you a brief story about what kind of crazy ass auto shotgun you have just unlocked.

In a not shell, this is a double fine game. it has wacky characters and there trade mark scene of humor. nothing about the full game at least seems half assed in any way, and customizing your trench can get pretty deep. again you have the right to your opinion and if this just isn't your bag. so be it. with that said, yes double fine made a tower defense game. but its a tower defense game made by double fine. charm,whit and humor all part of the package.

#31 Posted by Irvandus (2879 posts) -

Man they totally ripped off all those other ww2 mech games.

#32 Posted by Tesla (1923 posts) -

Double Fine's best game to date? Yes.

#33 Posted by Origina1Penguin (3501 posts) -

@Loose: I don't know why, but I keep watching that over and over and still find it funny. Thanks for posting.

#34 Posted by tangmcgame (79 posts) -

It sounds like you might be confusing "inspired" with "novel."  While Trenched might not be as novel as Double Fine's previous XBLA titles, it is still an inspired game.  In my book, taking the same old thing and finding a way to do it in a fresh, new, exciting way is quite inspired.  Arguably even more so than simply coming up with a quirky new title because you have to be able to see and fight through all the existing tropes.  The Trenched team did a fantastic job, and the result, if nothing else, is inspired.

#35 Posted by The_Drizzle (624 posts) -

This game is fucking fantastic regardless of vision or inspiration, it's pure fun. 

#36 Posted by Deusoma (3006 posts) -
@DeeGee said:

Charm should never be a thing that makes you buy a game. It should be an additional bonus. If you enjoyed the game, buy it. If you did not enjoy it, don't buy it.

It can't get much simpler then that. If you didn't enjoy it but it had the Double Fine charm would you buy it? I hope not, because that sets a standard where they can make crap and people will still buy it.

Let's be fair, charm was the real reason people bought Stacking. The puzzles in that game weren't so great, but the delightful doll aesthetic made you want to keep playing.
#37 Posted by capthavic (159 posts) -

Personally I liked it and already beat it and had a blast playing alone and with multiplayer. But I can understand how he feels, I played the demos for Costume Quest and Stacked and they just didn't appeal to me.

#38 Edited by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -

@Irvandus said:

Man they totally ripped off all those other ww1 mech games.

I think after you have watched some of the extensive GB coverage and play the demo you should have more than enough information whether this is a Double Fine ass Double Fine game; all I know is analog saluting is all the charm I need! But what does my opinion matter i'm from Europe.....

#39 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

Fake_Nate's least inspired post to date (and that's saying something). I didn't read the post, I just played the demo.

#40 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -

Holy shit.  Say something bad--not even bad--say something mediocre about a brand new indie game and people jump all over.  Heaven forbid someone has a different opinion.
 
Costume Quest and Stacking both grabbed me instantly, just from their demos.  This game did not. Fucking fanboys.

#41 Edited by tangmcgame (79 posts) -

So it's okay for you to give your opinion, but not for us to give ours?

#42 Posted by phish09 (1109 posts) -

Maybe it is "uninspired", but it also looks like their most fun game since Psychonauts. 

#43 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2687 posts) -

The answer to the topic question is no, it's absolutely not.

It's great.

#44 Posted by rmanthorp (3948 posts) -

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

The answer to the topic question is no, it's absolutely not.

It's great.

Moderator
#45 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@tangmcgame said:
So it's okay for you to give your opinion, but not for us to give ours?
Haha, that's an absurd and inaccurate question and you know it.  People are telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, my opinion is moot, or ridiculing my opinion on the game, just because I'm not instantly in love with it.  Yeah, I would say that's pretty much in line with what fanboys do.
#46 Posted by Nate_is_my_fake_name (133 posts) -
@tangmcgame said:
It sounds like you might be confusing "inspired" with "novel."  While Trenched might not be as novel as Double Fine's previous XBLA titles, it is still an inspired game.  In my book, taking the same old thing and finding a way to do it in a fresh, new, exciting way is quite inspired.  Arguably even more so than simply coming up with a quirky new title because you have to be able to see and fight through all the existing tropes.  The Trenched team did a fantastic job, and the result, if nothing else, is inspired.
That is a valid point.  Perhaps "novel" is the word I should have used.
#47 Posted by xxizzypop (577 posts) -

@Nate_is_my_fake_name said:

@tangmcgame said:
So it's okay for you to give your opinion, but not for us to give ours?
Haha, that's an absurd and inaccurate question and you know it. People are telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, my opinion is moot, or ridiculing my opinion on the game, just because I'm not instantly in love with it. Yeah, I would say that's pretty much in line with what fanboys do.

People are primarily taking issue with the inflammatory nature of the title and content that thus follows. The problem with the demo is that they can't showcase how fun that game truly is. The first level and, in turn, the demo mission, are a horrible way to represent Trenched. The game is all careful management of turrets and weapons, picking the proper mech chassis for weapon slots, picking the proper turrets to manage enemies, but in an interesting manner.

The game begins to challenge the player with a fairly good variety of enemies, each with their own attacks and weakness, to the point where the final defense level is crazy, if you are playing solo. However, the biggest draw is co-op. It's playing this game with friends, doing doofy things with your weapons, doing doofy things with your marine and saluting them like a mad man. It might not be everybody's thing, but I can say I've put at least ten hours in to this, and it's fantastic. I've got less enjoyment from some full retail games of recent past, and I feel like you might have got proper impressions of the game.

I will say the writing is perhaps not quite Double Fine, but it's also a simple downloadable game. They set up a quirky universe with a quirky concept with some interesting tower defense/mech shooting combination gameplay while invoking some loot lust and weapon stat balances a la Diablo.

It's just hard to understand how anyone could not enjoy this game, being so deep in to it.

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