I Beg Of You, Do Not Play The Line

  • 100 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
#51 Edited by Ares42 (2621 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

I take video games very VERY seriously. In fact, I'm working towards being a game designer and narratives are my primary interest. That's why I think that it's important to realize that making a game in which you criticize the player for doing things that you made them do is a design choice that needs a lot of discussion. In fact, this post really is more of a criticism of that design choice than an actual warning (though jeez, shit in that game is FUCKED UP).

And this is the core of the issue here. By holding a very unusual perspective you're making the game into something it's not. Just like in the spoilercast you're talking about stuff that only people like you will notice or really care about.You can talk about how important all these things are etc but in the end all they end up doing is making a story for themselves, not the average user.

It's just like artsy movies. You have all these critics and insiders talking about how great and amazing they are, but noone else cares.

#52 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

@nintendoeats said:

I take video games very VERY seriously. In fact, I'm working towards being a game designer and narratives are my primary interest. That's why I think that it's important to realize that making a game in which you criticize the player for doing things that you made them do is a design choice that needs a lot of discussion. In fact, this post really is more of a criticism of that design choice than an actual warning (though jeez, shit in that game is FUCKED UP).

And this is the core of the issue here. By holding a very unusual perspective you're making the game into something it's not. Just like in the spoilercast you're talking about stuff that only people like you will notice or really care about.You can talk about how important all these things are etc but in the end all they end up doing is making a story for themselves, not the average user.

Well, I have the same attitude that the developers want their audience to have. I think that makes my criticism valid, doesn't it?

#53 Posted by SmilingPig (1337 posts) -

Done!

#54 Posted by Ares42 (2621 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@Ares42 said:

@nintendoeats said:

I take video games very VERY seriously. In fact, I'm working towards being a game designer and narratives are my primary interest. That's why I think that it's important to realize that making a game in which you criticize the player for doing things that you made them do is a design choice that needs a lot of discussion. In fact, this post really is more of a criticism of that design choice than an actual warning (though jeez, shit in that game is FUCKED UP).

And this is the core of the issue here. By holding a very unusual perspective you're making the game into something it's not. Just like in the spoilercast you're talking about stuff that only people like you will notice or really care about.You can talk about how important all these things are etc but in the end all they end up doing is making a story for themselves, not the average user.

Well, I have the same attitude that the developers want their audience to have. I think that makes my criticism valid, doesn't it?

It doesn't really matter what kinda attitude the developers _want_ the audience to have, it's not gonna change the attitude they actually have.

#55 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

@nintendoeats said:

@Ares42 said:

@nintendoeats said:

I take video games very VERY seriously. In fact, I'm working towards being a game designer and narratives are my primary interest. That's why I think that it's important to realize that making a game in which you criticize the player for doing things that you made them do is a design choice that needs a lot of discussion. In fact, this post really is more of a criticism of that design choice than an actual warning (though jeez, shit in that game is FUCKED UP).

And this is the core of the issue here. By holding a very unusual perspective you're making the game into something it's not. Just like in the spoilercast you're talking about stuff that only people like you will notice or really care about.You can talk about how important all these things are etc but in the end all they end up doing is making a story for themselves, not the average user.

Well, I have the same attitude that the developers want their audience to have. I think that makes my criticism valid, doesn't it?

It doesn't really matter what kinda attitude the developers _want_ the audience to have, it's not gonna change the attitude they actually have.

Well I'm their audience, and I am interested in this stuff. If you don't then you aren't. It would be like me coming in and telling Madden players not to complain about gameplay tweaks.

#57 Posted by Vextroid (1389 posts) -

Nah. I'm still going to play it.

#58 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@rebgav said:

Nah, the developers don't seem to have their heads up their....

Don't most shooters have you kill hundreds of people in the spirit of a flimsy premise? The failure to criticize the player for their bloodlust is a poor design choice in every other shooter. Spec Ops: The Line is a corrective measure in that light.

Regardless, the game has some neat in-game storytelling mechanics which are good enough reasons for everyone to play it immediately.

A completely valid position. Aside from the first bit, that's uncalled for -_-

#60 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@nintendoeats: Aww, I was just teasing.

hrmmfrrmmm..ok :p

#61 Posted by YOUNGLINK (546 posts) -

Wha?

#62 Posted by Ares42 (2621 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@Ares42 said:

@nintendoeats said:

@Ares42 said:

@nintendoeats said:

I take video games very VERY seriously. In fact, I'm working towards being a game designer and narratives are my primary interest. That's why I think that it's important to realize that making a game in which you criticize the player for doing things that you made them do is a design choice that needs a lot of discussion. In fact, this post really is more of a criticism of that design choice than an actual warning (though jeez, shit in that game is FUCKED UP).

And this is the core of the issue here. By holding a very unusual perspective you're making the game into something it's not. Just like in the spoilercast you're talking about stuff that only people like you will notice or really care about.You can talk about how important all these things are etc but in the end all they end up doing is making a story for themselves, not the average user.

Well, I have the same attitude that the developers want their audience to have. I think that makes my criticism valid, doesn't it?

It doesn't really matter what kinda attitude the developers _want_ the audience to have, it's not gonna change the attitude they actually have.

Well I'm their audience, and I am interested in this stuff. If you don't then you aren't. It would be like me coming in and telling Madden players not to complain about gameplay tweaks.

Well, not really. It would be more like playing Madden for 10 minutes and then making a long list of things you think would improve the game. I'm not saying you shouldn't complain, I'm saying because of you're pretty unique perspective it has diminished value. I know you're not the only one with that kind of perspective, but for game design to continue down that path it just becomes more and more of an esoteric thing. And with the constant attitude of "we're making games into something superior" it just comes off as pretentious.

#63 Posted by sissylion (679 posts) -

YO BRO IT'S JUST A VIDEOGAME COME ON MAN NO PIECE OF MEDIA HAS EVER BEEN CREATED TO RELAY ANY SORT OF MESSAGE OR INSTILL A FEELING IN A SPECTATOR COME ON BRO LET'S SHOOT SOME DUDES

#64 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

it just comes off as pretentious.

People throwing paint on a canvas and claiming that it's an expression of their deepest emotions, then charging 500 grand for it is pretentious. If you think that exploring the limits of game narrative is pretentious, than I really don't care much what you think. I hate to be crude, but that's the long and the short of it. This is literally more important to me than what other people think. Except what they think about game narrative obviously, because arguing is handy for enhancing understanding and stuff.

#65 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I still don't understand whether you truly don't want us to play this game, or you truly do. Your message is obviously not coming across that clearly.

#66 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1726 posts) -

I'm glad that a mediocre shooter can have this effect on someone thanks to an unorthodox narrative. 

#67 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@PrivateIronTFU: My post is intended as a commentary on the games design choices. If you are really really interested in the deveoplment of video game narratives...well I guess you don't have a choice (I certainly didn't). If you just want a game to play, The Line is pretty much designed to make you miserable and you may as well just avoid it unless your really into self-loathing.

Of course if you don't care about story and narrative at all, it's also a basically competent shooter. It does not, however, present great value for money to that person.

#68 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

I'll just give this game the Joe Paterno treatment.

#69 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

I'll just give this game the Joe Paterno treatment.

that could mean that your going to ignore it, cut it down, or kick it very hard.

#70 Edited by Ares42 (2621 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@Ares42 said:

it just comes off as pretentious.

People throwing paint on a canvas and claiming that it's an expression of their deepest emotions, then charging 500 grand for it is pretentious. If you think that exploring the limits of game narrative is pretentious, than I really don't care much what you think. I hate to be crude, but that's the long and the short of it. This is literally more important to me than what other people think. Except what they think about game narrative obviously, because arguing is handy for enhancing understanding and stuff.

I just really think it's time to make the distinction between games and interactive experiences. If you want to make fun/exciting/thought-provoking interactive experiences I'm all for it, but once gameplay is involved there is such a major break of immersion that narrative has to change it's role. Ask any movie director or book author how important it is that they control every little detail and the pace of the story for it to work and you will realize why games is such a different beast. Just imagine how ruined your favorite movie would be if suddenly in the middle of it you would have to focus on some complex task and kept on failing and retrying for hours. Gameplay and story will just always fight each other in my experience. This doesn't mean there should be no narrative in games, but if narrative is really what you want to be the driving force of the experience you're just better off neutering or removing the gameplay.

#71 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7077 posts) -
@nintendoeats

@Kaiserhawk: The only way it could have been longer is if they gave you more upstanding American soldiers to murder.

They're fucking polygons and lines of code. Not real people, dude.
#72 Posted by Demoskinos (14763 posts) -

So yeah... the story was neat but...overraction much? I mean after all its still just a game.

#73 Posted by Turambar (6738 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan said:

You should listen to that spoiler-cast GameSpot did with Jeff Gerstmann and the guy who wrote the game.

Which podcast is that?
#74 Posted by CornBREDX (5098 posts) -
Online
#75 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

Well I kind of agree, but I can't shake the feeling that a hard rule is a bit close-minded. Some of the greatest fiction has blurred the lines of the characters within, but than again that's almost always aided by the viewer not actually being that person. I just think that's kind of sad if it's the case that proper character study can't really be carried out in games. Are we really going to just have power fantasies and Mary-Sues forever then? And will the rule of "They want to be Bruce Willis" always stand? It's making me kind of depressed just thinking about it. I think those two facts are really stunting the growth of games, but there could be just no way around it.

I haven't played Spec Ops though, and people seem to like it despite the facts that you brought to light. Maybe it is possible? I suppose I should play it! I'm pretty sure this thread has sold more copies than it has deterred...

#76 Posted by Baillie (4080 posts) -

If what you're saying is legitimate, then you're one of those people that go out of their way to kill people because they played violent video games. I guess the media didn't make it up, there are people like that out there.

I know you're joking though.

#77 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

I think the main problem is that your character is not given a chance to redeem himself. I can think of plenty of other very well regarded games that force you to make bad decisions but allow you to make up for them by the end.

#78 Posted by ShinyTan (43 posts) -

@Levio: Y'know, just like real lif-- OH WAIT

#79 Posted by CrazyBagMan (841 posts) -

Sounds like it may very well have accomplished what it was meant to.

#80 Posted by adam1808 (1448 posts) -

Compromising player agency is totally fine when it's in service of the plot, the game has a point and it makes it. Listen to the spoilercast on GS before you start writing angry indictments of The Line..

#81 Posted by emkeighcameron (1876 posts) -

ignore this madman - GOTY hands down - in fact GOTD, really

#82 Edited by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

I'll just give this game the Joe Paterno treatment.

that could mean that your going to ignore it, cut it down, or kick it very hard.

I'm turning the other way while childhood hopes get compromised. I've waited a long time for a proper gaming rendition of Heart of Darkness and this isn't it.

#83 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

I played it and thought the ending was great. 
The ending I got at first at least was great, didn't like the other one that much, too lovey dovey(even though that actually didn't happen) 
 
Gentlemen, welcome to dubai. 

#84 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7077 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@nintendoeats said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

I'll just give this game the Joe Paterno treatment.

that could mean that your going to ignore it, cut it down, or kick it very hard.

I'm turning the other way while childhood hopes get compromised. I've waited a long time for a proper gaming rendition of Heart of Darkness and this isn't it.

That may take awhile. The medium is still in the Michael Bay-phase of it's existence story-wise, for the most part.

#85 Posted by Karkarov (3068 posts) -

@Animasta said:

hope you didn't play Nier then

Somehow I suspect Neir is a far better game too. Other than a couple characters being poorly designed and too tropey it had a rather nice story.

#86 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

This is a game that needs to be played. One of my favorite experiences in gaming this year. Not so much as that I had the most fun but in that it caused me to think about and feel things that I typically don't in a video game. Reading and listening to the intent of the story made me appreciate it even more. While the gameplay itself was mediocre, there were also a number of things the game did that hasn't been done before but will most definitely be cribbed from in the future. Such as an evolving system of how enemies react to you and how you as the player change what you say when calling out to squad mates over the course of the game. While not everyone should finish the game (which as explained was always a valid option for the player the developers created), everyone should at least play it.

#87 Posted by StarvingGamer (8146 posts) -

I can't wait to buy this game when it hits $20 this holiday season.

#88 Edited by CaLe (3959 posts) -

You sound like someone who can be dangerously influenced by games. I recommend you don't play any games from now on.

#89 Posted by RenMcKormack (1074 posts) -

I thought the same thing about Super Mario Land. I murdered ALL OF THOSE TURTLES. OH MY GOD THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE SHELLS...Butter Bridge is my own personal Heart of Darkness.

#90 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

Don’t put the disc in your console. Don’t download the game from Steam. The only way to save Dubai, is not to play.

I love that the game was able to evoke such a strong reaction. From a purely financial standpoint, making people not want to play their game was an awful idea. But I don't think Spec Ops: The Line was ever intended to actually make any significant chunk of money. I think Yager completely and brilliantly succeeded in their goal to change how the player thinks about the games (s)he's playing.

The Line is an amazing game and I agree that people should probably not play it if they're happy with the mindset in which they currently enjoy games.

The only way it could have been longer is if they gave you more upstanding American soldiers to murder.

One of the endings actually does do that. And even then, you have to make a conscious decision to keep killing. I'd argue that putting the game down at any point and walking away is valid canon for the story, as well.

#91 Posted by Shookems (474 posts) -

Would you kindly?

#92 Posted by Zenogiasu (192 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

“Surely there must be a way around those things” you might say. “They can’t design a game that gives me the ability to commit terrible acts without at least giving me some choice. I have paid 60 (or maybe 30) dollars, why would Yager want to punish me and all of those innocent people for supporting their company?”

But there isn’t. There is not choice that you can make within the game that will prevent you from killing thousands of people needlessly. Whether this was to make a point, or to grab headlines, or merely out of sadistic pleasure, I don’t know. What I do know is that The Line traps you and forces you to do terrible things.

Yes, there is no choice within the game to avoid these options. But to argue that The Line "traps you and forces you to do terrible things" is very misleading. The game never, ever forces your hand. Every decision you make is your own. You are always free to turn off your console. I think it's unfair to ask people not to play this game at all. If people want to proceed (as both you and I did), then they should be free to. They should not be discouraged from playing just because you are scared of them committing the same acts you did. I would ask them to at least reach the white phosphorous scene, and make a decision from there.

Furthermore, a little bit of digging into Walt Williams' narrative intentions would quickly reveal the purpose of such an extreme story--a purpose that certainly has nothing to do with "sadistic pleasure".

#93 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

You know, that does sound like it does some interesting things with the narrative. I would ike to try to play this game some day.

#94 Posted by jillsandwich (762 posts) -

It sounds like according to the lead writer, the choice you are talking about is the most important one in the game.

#95 Posted by Milkman (16657 posts) -

Um, that's kind of the point. The game isn't trying to make you feel good.

#96 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1324 posts) -

Don't play this game cause it made you feel bad? I wanna play ALL that games that make me feel bad, cause evoking an emotion that's strong from something like a game is interesting to me and should be to everyone. I don't play games to get high scores or really to feed some sort of gaming itch, I play them to feel emotions man or to at least be immersed into some interesting atmospheric event (Alan Wake, or even immersed into Skyrim).

You say I kill innocent people in The Line? I say I've robbed Skyrim of millions of gold via the thieves guild quest line, served demonic lords wishes without thought of the consequences. What's the difference here, that you were more affected by The Line? Isn't that a good thing?

#97 Posted by Redbullet685 (6034 posts) -

@Kaiserhawk said:

I'm more offended by a 4-5 hour campaign.

4-5? I beat it in basically the same amount of time it takes to watch Apocalypse Now: Redux on normal. Great game though. Loved the ending.

#98 Posted by SharkEthic (1042 posts) -

@Kaiserhawk said:

I'm more offended by a 4-5 hour campaign.

The length of the game is perfect. It's a very standard cover based shooter, with a very good story. Furthermore the story's pacing is pretty much spot on, so why would you want to tag on another 5 hours of average-at-best gun play?

#99 Posted by SlasherMan (1725 posts) -

@emkeighcameron said:

ignore this madman - GOTY hands down - in fact GOTD, really

Game of the Day?

#100 Posted by thedj93 (1237 posts) -

@SharkEthic said:

@Kaiserhawk said:

I'm more offended by a 4-5 hour campaign.

The length of the game is perfect. It's a very standard cover based shooter, with a very good story. Furthermore the story's pacing is pretty much spot on, so why would you want to tag on another 5 hours of average-at-best gun play?

yeah it would be exhausting if it were any longer. game is pretty heady! then again i played it through in one sitting so my opinion prolly doesnt count

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.