I don't see why the idea that it's a stylistic choice is so absurd. I haven't played the game yet but from what I've seen and from what I'm hearing there's definitely both an aesthetic and a mechanical argument for it. And it's not like the developers are some random hacks. Even if we were to ignore that Mikami has made some of the best, most influential games of all time, and that he is by all accounts the type of director who passionately pursues a vision, are we really going to accuse the man who made God Hand of being obsessed with maximizing technical performance to the point of choosing to intentionally damage the experience over, say, lowering the polygon count a bit?
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I finished it today. It's easily one of the best games I've ever played. The sound design is by far the best I've seen in a video game, the visuals are out of this world (they've nailed the look of the movies: the lighting and the attention to detail are unbelievable, and the alien is intimidating as fuck), and it's relentlessly tense -- partly because of the presentation, but also because you're so vulnerable and because the enemies are so good at spotting you (for instance, unlike in many other stealth games, peeking around a corner is an actual risk as enemies can see your exposed head). It reminds me a bit of the Souls games in that there's nothing that's especially difficult: the game just forces you to be careful, take things slow and pay attention (to what you hear as much as to what you see), and has no qualms about immediately fucking you over if you start being the least bit careless. The AI works so well, too, and makes for some fantastic unscripted moments, like when human enemies attack you and the noise attracts the alien, who drops down out of a vent and takes them out as you're cowering under some table, hoping it won't find you as well. Or when you're sitting in a vent with your motion tracker out, waiting for the xenomorph to leave the area outside so you can exit, and then you hear some loud clanking and suddenly you're being pulled away by the alien, who heard the tracker's beeps and entered the vent to get you.
The only things that hurt the immersion are the cutscenes, the part where you play as the dude finding the alien ship (the part itself is good, it's just jarring to suddenly be pulled out of Amanda's perspective) and the HUD (it's minimal but never completely fades away). They should've gone with Dead Space's no-HUD, no cutscene approach.
Aside from that I can't really think of any complaints. It's a masterpiece.
Developers are continuing to make great games and people who are into games are continuing to play them. That, in the end, is what actually matters when it comes to the subject of video games. Everything else, whether it's lack of journalistic integrity, or people pushing their worthless political or moral views, or losers sending death threats or whatever, is secondary. The video game industry will continue unperturbed and in six months this ridiculous conflict (which will dissolve rather than resolve, because -- and this is fortunate -- there is quite frankly no possibility that either side will "win") will be forgotten.
This farce is ultimately neither interesting nor important and there is no good reason to waste one's time arguing with the clowns on either side (and it is a waste: if you think you will actually make a difference, you are every bit as deranged as whoever's sending syringes to journalists, or that self-confessed man-hater, or any of the other mentally unstable people involved in this spectacle -- take your pick) when one could be spending that time enjoying the excellent Alien: Isolation or one of the other cool games coming out right about now.
A prominent role of moral judgments in a review (of a game, or a movie, or a book etc.) is a sure sign that the critic is incapable of proper aesthetic judgments. "Bayonetta sucks because sexualizing women is wrong" is about as valuable a criticism as "Bayonetta sucks because it blasphemes against the church and our lord" or "Bayonetta sucks because it is fun, and worldly pleasures must be avoided" -- none of these have any place in quality criticism, and all of them should produce the same response in a sensible reader: namely laughter and ridicule.
Here's my question... What happens when 4k televisions become the standard? It's not that far off, in my opinion. What's more concerning is that these consoles are at the very beginning of their lifecycle, and their barely able to hit 1080. Are we going to have to suffer with an upscaled 900, or 1080? I feel like we've hit a wall with regards to the leap in console tech. Seeing some of the launch titles on 360, and ps3 compared to xbox, and ps2 was like night and day. I'm not seeing anything "amazing" with xone, or ps4.
Ideally, video games should ignore 4k completely. The constant increase in resolution makes sense for film and TV shows (and therefore for TV screens, since that's what they're mainly used for), but it's just about the last thing one should be concerned about when it comes to video game graphics. In film, there aren't really many other visual improvements to be made -- in video games, however, we have to think about things like frame rate, animations, textures, model quality etc. and all of these, as I see it, are way more important than resolution. Even the most technically impressive video games running in 4K look less "real" and natural than any live-action film being shown in 480p, and the disproportionate focus on resolution in video games only means it'll take longer to close that gap.
I'm not saying we should be playing games in 240p in 2014, but I'd be completely fine with 720p remaining the standard for the next decade at the very least. Not that that's going to happen.
I played through the whole game yesterday. It's gorgeous and pretty atmospheric with a handful of very cool sequences, but the solution to the mystery is cheap and disappointing. And there's nothing else to the game: the puzzles, which are few, are either based entirely around memorization or so small that they barely qualify as puzzles, and aside from that you just walk around and look at stuff.
It was definitely a bit disappointing. I enjoyed the game well enough and it's not like I expected it to be amazing, but I thought it would be better in terms of world design and mission variety. The world is small, empty, lifeless and homogeneous with absolutely nothing interesting going on, and the only good missions -- the ones involving orc captains or warchiefs -- are very repetitive. Since all of the warchiefs and captains are just regular orcs with more health and immunity to certain attacks, challenging one at the beginning of the game feels more or less the same as challenging one towards the end. Also, those final missions are pretty damn bad with all the awful QTE and stealth stuff.
And then we have the issues I actually expected, like the awkwardness of the Nemesis system (it's a great concept and I hope other developers will try similar things, but the way it's implemented with that lame menu that keeps popping out and pulling you out of the experience... it's not great) and the simplicity of the combat (visually it's excellent, with really fluid and brutal animations, great dramatic zooms and slow motion effects etc. but from a mechanical standpoint this Arkham combat system is just as mediocre as it's always been).
I mean, it's not a terrible game by any stretch of the imagination, but the demos I had seen certainly had me hoping for something better than what I actually got.
On average, about 22 people die in school shootings per year in the US. As far as I know there hasn't been a single terrorist attack against a US school. But sure, putting a soldier in each of the well over 100,000 schools in the country sounds like a great idea and not at all like something born out of extreme paranoia. And I'm sure those >100,000 soldiers will stop those not-quite-two-dozen deaths a year since the soldiers are bound to always be at the exact right place at the exact right time and stop any attack.
Now let's put a positive spin on this retarded idea so we can waste the tax-payers' money (not only on the worthless project itself, but also on the marketing for it) without getting too many complaints.
In roughly this order: The Evil Within, Scalebound, Bayonetta 2, Silent Hills, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Project Zero V, Bloodborne, Raiden V, Mirror's Edge 2, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, Final Fantasy XV, Cuphead, Devil's Third, Broken Age: Act 2.
It's worth noting that most gamers and video game developers (at least outside the "indie" community) don't give a shit about "Gamergate" and have just kept making and enjoying games as usual. The only people who take this conflict seriously are two-bit indie developers and professional video game journalists, who are a joke, and angry /v/ people, who are even more of a joke for obsessing over the journalists and the indies.