This game is truly significant.

#1 Posted by bibz (42 posts) -

I just completed the campaign and am in the same emptiness as the other posters here. I very rarely care about story in games. I want it to just be good enough and get out of the way of the gameplay. But this game blends it all together and really shakes any and all previous experiences the fuck up! I truly think its a unique and incredible experience.
To compare it to others in the genre and look at it technically misses the whole point. I personally don't see anything wrong with the graphics that aren't completely related to UE3. Welcome to game making this generation(spesh the pc ver I played). The setting is amazing and the story surrounding its current state is very well utilised. The combat is competent though I still dislike the peek-shoot-heal concept. Also the clunkiness in every third person cover based shooter. Weapons are great.
But the meat is in the entire campaign. The pacing, how its constantly spiralling and growing a world that amplifies the situation. And is seen in just about all aspects of the game. To say it has 'moral choices' might be accurate (in some cases) but not as it relates to games prior to this one. It's not a black and white choose your own adventure. It takes those concepts and ups the ante considerably. If I was in marketing I'd say it straddles 'the line' in the grey areas, feel free to email me job offers, 2k.
 It's hard to be clearer without spoilers, but all the nitpicking and technical issues you think this game has are miniscule compared to what it has going for it. IMO, it is a significant must play.

#2 Posted by CaLe (4538 posts) -

The choices are not significant. Not any of them. The game knows where it's going and you are just there for the ride, all the way to the overly obtuse ending. I'm glad it tried, but nothing about it was significant in my opinion.

#3 Edited by CornBREDX (7011 posts) -
@CaLe: I agree the game doesn't quite reach that focal point where your choices really matter, but what they tried to do with the story and how everything around the game play changes to reflect the characters mental state I thought was really fascinating and something more games could take a note from. 
Granted, I love story in my games so my opinion won't necessarily be shared (i'll slog through the worst of games if I like the story it's telling), but there isn't a lot of games that tell this kind of story. I will also grant you this story is heavier then the medium it's being portrayed in can hold up, but I felt the attempt alone made it pretty significant. Maybe if it does well another attempt can be made, and it can be done better and the choices can matter in a more profound way. 
Only time will tell, really. If history tells us anything, though, it probably won't mean much to gaming as a whole. I still felt like I'd have missed out if I hadn't played this game, and to me that's pretty significant. I rarely feel that way anymore about games I play.
#4 Posted by TeamJersey (388 posts) -

@bibz: Does the difficulty amp up to ridiculous proportions at the end?

I have read this was the case. Verify, please.

#5 Edited by CornBREDX (7011 posts) -
@TeamJersey: I was gonna say a bunch, but I decided not to because I was getting too philosophical for your question which didnt really ask for it =P 
In short, it gets more difficult towards the end but it's not insurmountable. 
Edit: I make to many grammatical mistakes before posting.
#6 Posted by Napalm (9230 posts) -

@TeamJersey said:

@bibz: Does the difficulty amp up to ridiculous proportions at the end?

Yes, the shootouts do amp up towards the end, but not to the point of absolute frustration. There are also external elements which make them harder as well, but if you play the game, you'll know what I'm talking about.

#7 Posted by AhmadMetallic (19302 posts) -

I really find it hard to believe that anyone can look past that terrible Gears clone gameplay. The best story ever can't warrant the fact that the gameplay of this video game is so bad. Not to mention the meh visuals and controls.

#8 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

I really find it hard to believe that anyone can look past that terrible Gears clone gameplay. The best story ever can't warrant the fact that the gameplay of this video game is so bad. Not to mention the meh visuals and controls.

More like meh visuals and ugh goddammit controls, based on my time with the demo.

#9 Posted by CornBREDX (7011 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic: I had no problems with the visuals or gameplay. They were just setting and tone and I've already gotten into on another post how game play mechanics dont matter to me if the story interests me enough. 
As for the graphics, I didn't have a problem with them, other than maybe a few hiccups, and occasional minor frame rate drops the game was fine.  
I also should add I played it on PC. I don't know if its different on consoles or what the demo was like. Take that as you will.
#10 Posted by Demoskinos (17103 posts) -

I played on hard mode and to me that is the ONLY way to play this game. It amps up the intensity dramatically. You'll really have to utilize squad takedowns and make wise decisions on what weapons you use and making every shot count. The last huge hurrah of the game was pretty damn intense but if you play it smart its still not nearly as hard as some other games I've played over the years. I would recommend everyone play on Hard it really helps amp up the atmosphere. I never really got frustrated either I died a lot but I always felt like it was my fault in one way or another. I wanna play on FUBAR now and I think I can do it. And I just generally wanna see the other outcomes of the choices.

#11 Posted by bibz (42 posts) -

Yeah it gets harder at the end. I flipped it down to easy mode to progress easier, puts less strain on the control system. It was also getting pretty late and I was into that 'I'm finishing this tonight!!' mode. I could totally see how the harder modes would amplify this game though.
I did try to explain that the choices themselves weren't that important but that the way they were implemented was different to other games. They're not stop and think moments, I just went with what felt right immediately. And the payoffs are great when experienced like that. Jeffs review is spot on, its hard to recommend the type of game it is, but the game itself is actually special. Which is why I wanted to post my thoughts. As a fairly jaded picky gamer, I found it to be quite something else.

#12 Posted by mosdl (3411 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic: Says the guy who enjoyed Postal 3 :)

I wish they had gone with more stealthy, survival-like gameplay though, ammo was low at first until they started dropping ammo filling boxes everywhere it seems. More environmental kills as well. The stealth possibilities in the game kinda sucked, it was just easier to shoot your way through.

I managed to kill a civilian early on by accident and then found myself making sure targets are actual enemies. Game had potential, and hopefully someone will take the concept further.

#13 Posted by rolanthas (259 posts) -

I find it very interesting that peeps just eat up any brown shooter they can get their hands on, but absolutely shit and pass on the single one that has a meaningful narration. I don't know, I can argue that a gamer this generation probably has the capacity to play more than one of the cover shooting franchises, and this is one product that'll worth their attention. This game's certainly not the pinnacle of storytelling in games, but it is a very, very successful step towards it.

I'll be looking forward to what this team does next. I heard the writer is the same guy that worked on The Darkness 2, he seems like someone who will provide further interesting twists on this media.

#14 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5037 posts) -

I need to know more about this game before I try it. What's so good about the plot? To me it looks like just another CoD/Tom Clancy clone with a dull CoD/Tom Clancy storyline, but I keep hearing good things about it! I'm so confused!

Is the plot good enough to put up with the stale gameplay?

#15 Edited by Frag_Maniac (123 posts) -

As some have said I give them credit for trying to make an emotional impact with this game, and for many it succeeded, even making them think about the effect of shooters in general on their psyche. For me it was the gameplay itself that was engaging, even if a bit clunky in it's movement and cover system controls.

As far as the story goes I think it's a great concept, though poorly conveyed and certainly not fleshed out as well as it could have been as far as choices and optional reactions. Though I think their score was a full point too low, I can best sum it up with what GameSpot said:

"Relentless killing overrides moral dilemmas"

...and that's just how it left me feeling. It pretty much takes the impact of the story away when you really have no option but to blaze in like Rambo. I do feel GameSpot and many others have belittled and misrepresented the gameplay though. Sure it is a bit generic and arcade, complete with a cover system, blind fire, and overly simplistic squad commands (actually command), but if you stick to that only on higher difficulty levels, you'll soon find you're better off getting creative where you can.

#16 Posted by Sean2206 (275 posts) -

I may have to try this game even if it does fail in it's attempts at an emotional story about the horrors of war. I'd still like to at least experience this as it seems like something unique and different, in terms of shooters at least.

#17 Posted by C0V3RT (1407 posts) -

I'm afraid to ask for details on this, but also don't want to get burned again. I remember people batting around similar buzz words to the opening 15 minutes of Homefront and when I eventually got around to it, was super underwhelmed and let down. I'm a sucker for story and story telling mechanics in games, but am also not willing to plop down X hours only to be let down. Arg. I guess I'll just wait for a $20 price point and hope for the best.

#18 Posted by NoRemnants (427 posts) -

@C0V3RT: It is head and shoulders above Homefront from a story standpoint. It's actually pretty incredible how well they pull it off.

#19 Edited by Sooty (8195 posts) -

No plot will make me sit through hours of bland, overdone cover based shooter gameplay.

Maybe if it was 2007, but even then I was just about through with third person shooters.

#20 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8504 posts) -

Or you could, you know, read Hearts of Darkness or failing that watch Apocalypse Now.

#21 Posted by ds8k (430 posts) -

Anyone have an estimated completion time for this game yet?

#22 Posted by BionicRadd (627 posts) -
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#23 Posted by Dogma (1006 posts) -

@ds8k said:

Anyone have an estimated completion time for this game yet?

I played only for the story so I played on easy and my playtrough landed somewhere between 6-7 hours I believe. I thought it was as long as an other Call of Duty game.

#24 Posted by BlatantNinja23 (931 posts) -

Don't understand why people think it's great. All shame on them for doing the helicopter scene twice.

#25 Posted by solidlife (902 posts) -

can anyone be kind enough to spoil the game for me and tell me what makes it harder at the end depending on your actions, As I have no intention to play it. Thanks!

#26 Posted by Mnemoidian (1011 posts) -

@BlatantNinja23: It's ok because they made a self-referential joke about it. Right? Right.

Personally, I'm extremely torn about this game. On the one hand, they did some things with the story that pushes the the craft of game development forward, with how dark and messy it is. On the other hand, the story itself has been done before, and the gameplay ranges from "competent" to "fucking mess".

I think that the 3 primarily faults I have with the game right now is that helicopter scene (with the stupid quip about how it had happened before), how they handle moments like the ambush at the start of the game... and that the "quiet moments" don't feel... right. Insincere and Artificial?

There is this moment early in the game where you come across a room where a lot of people have been massacred, with a mural of flamingos on the wall. I thought the contrast was very interesting - but it was probably the closest to a "quiet moment" as the game gets - and I'm not sure exactly if I think this actually qualifies as a "quiet moment", as it's building tension.

Either way, it's still a pretty powerful moment.(Powerful enough for me to take a screenshot, at least!)

*shrug* I'm trying to consolidate my feelings on the game. It think it's at least somewhat significant, in my opinion. But I can't really praise it for breaking new ground. It kind of delivers a kind of mature PTSD story.

#27 Posted by BlatantNinja23 (931 posts) -

@Mnemoidian: i felt like mother protecting her daughter they shown then and later was just extremely forced.

#28 Posted by Mnemoidian (1011 posts) -

@BlatantNinja23: Yeah, it felt like a powerful moment 'till they put too much emphasis on it.

Especially when they come back to it later, the amount of time they spend forcing you to stare at that scene the first time "makes sense" when you realize how much of their story-telling hinges on the player remembering that one moment.

Somehow, it all reminds me of something I read in an article about the Watchmen movie, how Nukes are no longer considered traumatic for the audience, and needs to be trumped to really get through to audiences.

#29 Posted by AltonBrown (974 posts) -

@Dogma: Really? My timer said three hours and forty nine minutes and I felt like I took my time...

On topic, I feel like the nicest thing I can say about Spec Ops is that it has competent writing. Certainly nothing outstanding, though.

#30 Posted by Mister_V (1848 posts) -

It's not the story that's impressive, but how it tells it.

#31 Posted by Frag_Maniac (123 posts) -


I've played through on Combat Ops, Suicide Mission and Fubar all with the same choices, each time selecting the combative option for more challenge. I'm about to play through on Easy just to get the 5 pieces of intel I'm missing and try the other choices just to see how it goes, but if any of them result in less combat it would just take away from the experience IMO.

#32 Posted by CJduke (862 posts) -

I see a lot of people calling the gameplay and visuals bland. To that I say 1. The game looks great on PC 2. If you don't play a shit ton of military shooters or games like gears in general then there is nothing wrong with the gameplay. I very rarely play games like this so I enjoyed it. I think its unfair to call the gameplay bad because it isn't its just nothing new.

#33 Edited by Frag_Maniac (123 posts) -

@CJduke said:

I think its unfair to call the gameplay bad because it isn't its just nothing new.

I'm sure a lot of the ones claiming the gameplay is bland also haven't even tried it on Fubar yet. It presents quite a challenge on that level and you can't just spam the cover and expect to do well.

That said, for some time I've been longing for a third person shooter that has a decent squad AI and command system. This one could use two more effective commands.

The game Freedom Fighters always comes to mind. It had an excellent Attack, Defend and Follow system that really worked well.

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