To compare to Brad's opinions on the game as per the latest Bombcast, and elaborate a bit more of my earlier opinions: I pretty much agree with everything Brad said, except the atmosphere of the game kept me into it through most of the bullshit. And despite the clunk, the shitty half-assed ending, and the general feeling of this game being passed through a million different teams, I actually kind of liked it, and applaud it for trying something new. But yeah, if it was a big-box retail game (assuming it even could be, being all not-about-shooting-every-dude-you-see[-though-admittedly-most-of-them]), and its interesting and unique mechanics were fleshed out a bit and you were given a bit more of an open world to explore around (not saying that it should be Saints Row: The Third or anything, just, alternate paths, etc.), it would've been an amazing game. Instead, it's kind of bad, but interesting, and if that's your thing (it is for me), you'll find it at least somewhat enjoyable (I sure did).
takua108's forum posts
Sounds like a good ending to me...
Same here. I think that sounds fucking crazy and great. It's sort of like the Silent Hill: Shattered Memories ending just...not-ish.
Like I said, maybe it's because I've played Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, but from the outset I recognized the framing device and was 99% sure the guy was gonna end up dead. That's not the problem I have with the ending; I'd probably be disappointed if he ended up alive at the end. I just thought the last twenty minutes of the game was the most rushed, oh-shit-we're-out-of-time-here-quick-cobble-something-together portion of a video game I've ever played.
To me, you sound pretty pissed at the game. I bet I would to, had I played it for 6 hours straight on while sleep deficiency.
No! Well, maybe a little, but it's a game that I enjoyed overall! It's just, there's so much more potential with where they could've taken it, and the ending didn't feel like an ending at all. Rarely was I not enjoying myself playing it, save for when the credits started to roll.
Wait is the boat actually called U.S.S. Deus Ex Machina?
You're right though that ending does sound excessively lazy & useless on so many ways.
No BUT IT MIGHT AS WELL BE.
"Man, it sucks living in this post-apocalyptic shitshow remains of a west-coast American city, especially with all this toxic dust everywhere."
"Oh, player character, I'm getting transmissions on my radio from a boat that wants to come rescue survivors! But apparently somehow only us logical and sane ones and not just any random machete-wielding thug off the streets. Now, could you please be a dear and go into this beached ship that's somehow suspended a couple hundred feet in the air and occupied by all sorts of psychopathic scum and take the radio transmitter that I magically know is in there? Because once we have that, we can radio this magical ship, and it'll come and pick us up and solve all of our problems!"
I kept expecting it to be some plot twist, because, like, they mention that when The Event happened, they shipped the children away first. That sounds like a pretty good hook for some nefarious-ass shit right there, doesn't it? Especially since you're trying to get this mother and young child aboard it?
But, nope, the ship arrives at the end, and it's played absolutely straight as being a ship that will ferry them off to apparently the last place on Earth that's still actually inhabitable.
Why does a game have to end a specific way, or wrap up neatly or something to be considered good though?
Look at The Thing. That movie ends with a great big "who the fuck knows" and is an amazing end to the movie. I haven't played and beaten I Am Alive, so I can't comment specifically on the ending. It sounds though like you want everything to be wrapped up. You don't want any mysteries, any unanswered questions, any "fill in the blank on your own." But why does everything have to end so neatly and cleanly? Why do all of the questions have to be answered? Why is it half-assed for a writer to have an ending that doesn't put a neat little bow on everything? I'm not saying that the way they ended it is bad, I can't speak from experience if they pulled it off well or not, but that doesn't seem to be your main issue with the ending, but if I'm wrong and it is the way they executed it and not just that all of your questions weren't answered, I'd like to know that.
No, see, this is what I'm afraid people might take away from my rant. I fully expected the main character to die at the end from the get-go. I fully expected to not know what The Event actually entailed, and "oshit I wonder what happens next" is how pretty much every disaster movie ends, right (either that or "...and then they all died")?
What I hated about the story is how it sets you out to find your family, then almost completely forgets about that in favor of helping this other family, then, when it seems like it's going to get back to finding your dude's family, the game ends, and his family is shown to be fine, but he's implied to be dead, all within one minute.
Plus, if anything, the ending does wrap everything up; there's no blatant sequel hooks or anything. It's just that it "wraps it up" without telling you what happened in the final third of the story, but then shows you the end.
I think that, TC, you're actually burned of the game. You said it yourself, you haven't slept enough, so you're over sensitive. You also said you loved everything about the game, which means that, even though the ending displeases you, it's far from being a bad game either.
Reconsider your 3 out of 5 in a couple of days when you'll be better rested.
Nope, not really; I was torn between two and three, and gave it the three because I liked it.
The gameplay is pretty clunky and, like, holy shit, the pacing is so bad. One minute you're sneaking around in sewers avoiding little gangs of thugs and looking for water and food to survive (this takes maybe 15 minutes) and the next minute you're doing a thirty-minute skyscraper climb just to light some fireworks on top of it and then slide all the way back down, encountering a randomly Bible-thumping family living within along the way. You can steal their somehow-grown-up-in-this-skyscraper-even-though-this-family-has-been-living-here-for-plural-months tomatoes, and if you take too many, they get irritated at you. Then after that you wander around the hub city thing for the sixth time to get to what turns out to be the final level, wherein you lose your gun and just have your bow (which is actually pretty cool), but instead of making good on this temporary stealth mechanic, the level is over in five minutes. Then the level floods, oh noes!, and you strap this little girl to your back and you're all ready to heroically save her by jumping across these building rooftops... but then you do, in literally twenty seconds. Then the holocaust they call an ending happens immediately afterwards in the space of maybe three minutes.
In terms of "do I think you should go out and get this game and play it right now," the answer is "probably not, unless you're weird like me and liked Silent Hill: Homecoming because of the atmosphere."
Lost ended worse.
No way! Not even! Lost at least attempted to resolve everything, even if it pretty much failed in doing so. I AM Alive just goes "yeah... and then, your guy went on to do some stuff, maybe he succeeded in his goals, maybe not, I dunno, but anyways, at some point later on, he turned up dead, and his wife and/or daughter found his body, or at least all of his possessions, somehow, isn't that sad, THE END," in the space of like, sixty seconds.
It would be like if Mass Effect 3 never got made and instead Mass Effect 2 ended with "...and then Shepard went onto unite all the alien civilizations and they worked together to fend off the Reapers oh and by the way Shepard died THE END."
So I just played through this game in one sitting. My playtime clocked in at 5:53. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, visuals, sound, and even the gameplay, to a certain extent. The story, though... God, it's so lame.
Spoiler time ahead! I'm not going to bother marking them, as most of you won't play this game anyways, and, plus, it's basically the rest of this post.
Also, while we're listing disclaimers: I've slept like two hours in the past thirty-six. So... yeah.
So the game starts off with your character looking for his wife and daughter. About ten minutes in, he finds a little girl who he thinks is his daughter, but isn't. Then he spends the rest of the game reuniting her with her mother, and saving the two of them.
Meanwhile, periodically, the game keeps cutting back to someone watching the main character taping bits of the story on his camcorder. You know from the start that it's going to be a Silent Hill: Shattered Memories-style "twist," where, uh, it isn't the main character watching it, but his wife and/or daughter, because he's dead by the end of it.
After finding his house, the main character (I keep referring to him as such because I can't for the life of me remember his name) immediately forgets about finding his family in favor of helping out this other little girl and her mom. That's fine, as maybe the first and maybe second act of the story, but at some point you want to get back to the main character's story.
This never happens. The final scene of the game is on the camcorder, of main character-man saying goodbye to the little girl and her mother as they board the U.S.S. Deus Ex Machina to what's apparently a safe haven somewhere. He mentions how he still has to go find his wife and daughter, and also help out the wheelchair-bound ex-fireman who knows where they are but got kidnapped by bad guys at the last minute for no explained reason by an opposing force whose motives aren't really clear. Then, the camera pulls back, and it's a woman (presumably the main character's wife or [grown-up] daughter) watching the video on the camcorder. The camera (that you, the player is viewing, not the camcorder) pulls back, and you see all your guy's gear on a table, implying he died.
That's fucking it. Roll credits, score screen, bam, back to title screen.
What. The. Fucking. Shit.
I about had twelve heart attacks for how half-assed of an ending it was. I wasn't expecting, y'know, cinematic amazingness or anything, but man, for a game with such interesting mechanics and amazing atmosphere, it really deserved better.
Oh, and also, when you're in the kind of recurring hub-area-thing, you see a hunched-over zombie-like creature on an inaccessible(?) piece of land. When I first saw the thing, I was terrified, and kind of excited that it was going to turn out that the Event was some weird radioactive mutantmakery after all. But nope, as far as I could see, there was no way to get over there, and there were no other creatures like it anywhere else in the game. What. The. Fuck.
But yeah! The sound design is pretty good, if slightly repetitive, in terms of musical cues, the gameplay is interesting, if slightly clunky, and the graphics are atmospheric, if slightly... bad, upon close examination. The level design, visually, though, is amazing; whoever made all these levels really knows how to make torn-up-by-earthquakes-and-shit city buildings, because damn, they look great.
And now this is turning into a review or something, because I'm tired, angry at how the game ended, slightly hungry, and I have to use the restroom after sitting still for six consecutive hours. Did I mention I'm tired?
None of the above. Giant Bomb doesn't review games in percentages, and the scores they attach to their reviews only broadly cover how they feel about them, as outlined in the FAQ.
Also, Giant Bomb doesn't do zero stars.
My Top Ten Games of 2011
2011 was a weird year for games. A bunch of good ones came out near the end of the year, sure, but a bunch more were sprinkled throughout the year as well. But that's not to say that it was a bad year for games! It was actually pretty damn good, overall!
Anyways, here's my list for the Top Ten Games of 2011. These are games that I liked the most, and not games that I think are objectively the best or anything, so just know that going in.
I think the biggest bummer this year for me is the lack of indie games that were Top Ten-worthy. Whereas last year I had both LIMBO and Super Meat Boy hanging out alongside Mass Effect 2, Heavy Rain, and other big-budget games (not to mention having Art Style: light trax be my 2010 Game of the Year)... this year, other than Bastion being an obviously fantastic game, there wasn't a ton of indie stuff that really grabbed me. To the Moon is a fine story-told-in-something-resembling-game-mechanics, Terraria is also pretty neat, and yes, Minecraft was in fact released this year, but yeah, nothing else really stuck out this year. Here's to hoping 2012 is a better year for indie games.
|1. Dark Souls|
Yes, Dark Souls is my 2011 Game of the Year. And no, I'm not anywhere near finishing it. I'm giving Dark Souls the top spot because it was unlike anything I've ever played before. Yes, last year's Super Meat Boy was on my Top Ten list, but the two don't even compare; SMB has delicious, fantastic controls and then makes you use them in punishing situations. Dark Souls is something completely different. It forces you to take the game slowly and carefully, because you have absolutely no idea what the hell could be around the next corner when first scouting out a new area. Then you play that area literally dozens of times over and over as you keep dying, and eventually you have the position of every enemy memorized and you just fly through zones with ease. The bosses are similar; they're incredibly fucking hard to beat, and you have to trudge through 2-5 minutes of gameplay just to get back to them from a save point after dying, but man, after killing one, Goddamn it is the greatest feeling of accomplishment I've ever felt in a video game to date. Like I said, I'm nowhere near finishing the game, but I've logged 40 hours in already, and I plan on doing more once I'm in the mood.
When the Bulletstorm demo came out, I played it nonstop for a couple days. I loved the mechanics, the violence, and the idea for striving for a high score by killing as many dudes as possible creatively as possible in as short of a time as possible. I only got around to playing the game late December after it went on sale on Steam, and man, I was blown away by the campaign. They strike a perfect balance between over-the-top "you scared the dick off me" immature violence, profanity, and craziness, AND deconstruction of all of that. The game has a surprisingly solid story, and executes on it fantastically. The gameplay does drag here and there, but overall it's a great experience that had no right to be as good as it did based on its marketing. Oh, and also, Bulletstorm is freaking amazing-looking running at 60FPS on the PC. It's probably the most beautiful-looking game I've seen this year.
|3. Portal 2|
I really don't know what to say here. Portal 2 is obviously a great game, and you already know all of the reasons why. I liked it for all of the reasons you did, and reiterating all of them seems pointless. Portal 2 is a really good game, and playing it co-operatively with my friend, in the same room, our PCs back-to-back was an amazing experience. And yes, the part where you press your left mouse button at the end of the game is easily the most awesome thing to ever be in a video game to date. It wasn't as groundbreaking as Portal, and I think I still like the original better overall, but it's still a stellar game that everyone should play.
Like Portal 2, there's not much I can say about Bastion that hasn't already been said, especially here on Giant Bomb. Bastion is just a great combination of gameplay and atmosphere, straight-up. I really like that it's a video game-ass video game, while still being a fantastic vehicle for great storytelling and showing you amazing art, music, and voice acting. More than anything else on this list, it's just a really good video game, overall. It's what a video game should be.
|5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim|
I'm really conflicted about how I feel about Skyrim. The world of Skyrim is pretty much second-to-none, in terms of having tons of stuff to do in a gigantic world while still looking great. I'm taking a break from the game as I write this list in order to get other, shorter games finished up, but Skyrim is a great game to go back to again and again to just see more of the seemingly-infinite STUFF in that game. Despite having tons of stuff to do, though, the actual gameplay is still not great. The combat is not, like, actually satisfying to me. The game still has that unmistakable Bethesda Jank to it. I'm not trying to say Skyrim isn't a great game - it is number five on my Top Ten Games of 2011 list, after all - I'm just saying that it's not the best GAME. I had Super Meat Boy on my list last year entirely because of how good it FELT to play. Bethesda made great strides between Oblivion and the Fallout games and Skyrim, and I hope they put some work into improving the actual gameplay in future titles, too.
|6. Saints Row: The Third|
Saints Row: The Third is like a cross between Bulletstorm and Bastion, at least, as far as why I like it. It tops Bulletstorm in terms of over-the-top crazy-ass ridiculousness, and, like Bastion, it is just straight-up fun to play. The gameplay isn't perfect, but it's a joy to play. Holding RB and pressing Y to jump through the windshield of a moving vehicle to jack it is probably my favorite repeated gameplay action of 2011. Also, it has the fantastic thing where, when you press the "dive" button, you do a roll at the end if it's a short enough fall, but if you're diving from too high a place, it turns into a basejumping animation. It's glorious. It's just little touches like that that make Saints Row: The Third a fun game to play. Then you throw the stupid dumb awesome story on top of it, and some of the most genuinely funny moments in a video game that I've ever seen, and you have a game that really shouldn't be as great as it ends up being. I really can't recommend it enough.
|7. L.A. Noire|
Yes, L.A. Noire has a ton of shortcomings when you look at it in hindsight. Yes, the gameplay is incredibly repetitive, and yes, the parts where you shoot like twenty guys in five minutes are incredibly immersion-breaking. But man, when I was playing it at the time, I was having a blast. I opted immediately to play L.A. Noire in black-and-white, a decision I never regretted. The atmosphere and storytelling is fantastic, and the game is really good overall, even if I did think the very end of the game was pretty lame. Maybe I'll replay the game in color at some point, as if it was "Digitally Restored."
|8. Deus Ex: Human Revolution|
As someone who actually kind of liked Deus Ex: Invisible War and is too young to have played the original back in the day (but did eventually play it, years later), Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an amazing evolution of the series' formula. The game has a slick visual style, a great combination of RPG and FPS mechanics, and really incredible world-building. There was a reddit meme early on wherein the player is surprised that there is more than one city in the game; I can say that this was more or less true for me. I knew that there had to be more cities, but after spending several hours just wandering around the first one, doing all the side stuff and finding all the secret areas. I was stupid and played through the game basically as Solid Snake, opting to usually reload a save whenever I was detected, but I still had a blast doing so. The slightly retconny cyberpunk universe they built for the game is amazing, and I had a lot of fun spending time in it.
|9. Battlefield 3|
I'm not much of a competitive multiplayer guy, and when I am in the mood for shooting some dudes over the Internet, I usually just load up TF2. But Battlefield 3 on the PC ended up being an amazing multiplayer experience, and this is coming from a guy who played maybe like fifteen total minutes of Battlefield games in the past. There's not much to say here other than that it looks great, plays great, and is just fun to play. I've grown incredibly tired of Call of Duty's "scan your screen for guys, see a guy, pull the right trigger" gameplay, and this game offers so many more options and so much more craziness that I can't imagine going back to CoD anytime soon (not that I've played CoD multiplayer in about a year). I should also mention that a lot of the fun I had with Battlefield 3 was due to the Giant Bomb community being a generally awesome group of duders to play with. I should probably also mention that I played maybe two hours of the single-player campaign before giving up. It's not great. It looks very very nice, but it's basically a shooting gallery that happens to take place in the Middle East. Not really my thing, but it totally does not detract from the amazing multiplayer in any way.
|10. Sonic Generations|
So Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is my #1 most favorite video game of all time. It is the game that got me into games, and the game that I played more than anything else for the first ten years of my life. Sonic Generations... man. I've played some of the recent 3D Sonic games, and they're not great. I watched a good portion of a Let's Play of Sonic Unleashed, and the daytime levels looked amazing, and the nighttime levels looked like utter garbage. Well, Sonic Generations is those daytime levels, combined with nostalgia from every Sonic game ever. I mean, they have a super dope remix of Super Sonic Racing, for crying out loud. Which reminds me: even though this game plays pretty alright for a 3D Sonic game, I'm really giving it a Top Ten spot because of the music. It's fantastic across the board (except for the Modern remix of Chemical Plant Zone, which I don't care for at all).