Whenever anyone describes a game as being “like Skyrim” or “Skyrim but better” when the only thing it has in common with Skyrim is being open world and having a fantasy setting. If anyone apart from Bethesda has actually made a game that even tried to be an Elder Scrolls-style sandbox, let alone executed the formula better than Bethesda, I have yet to see it.
Complaints about Dishonored having consequences for going on murder sprees. It’s almost like unfettered violence not necessarily solving problems is a major theme of the game and the mechanics do an excellent job of reinforcing that. I genuinely think the comparatively lukewarm critical reactions to Dishonored and Prey versus the fairly rapturous reception of Deathloop proves that a large swath of the gaming critical class don’t actually care about “ludonarrarive dissonance” or actually want games to have choices that matter in meaningful ways.
Complaints about Red Dead Redemption 2 being slow and animation heavy and not prioritizing “fun” in its mechanics (see also: Death Stranding). You can dislike how it plays, certainly, but its mechanics are well considered for the type of game it is trying to be and far from a failure of design. It’s like going to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and complaining that it’s not a Bond movie, or Pig and complaining that it’s not like John Wick.
I always understood that the negative consequences for killing people in Dishonored games was meant to be a sort of theme for the franchise, but I strongly disagree with the idea that the mechanics reinforce that. In the first Dishonored game, the majority of the tools at your disposal are intended for lethal playthroughs. A pacifist run of Dishonored 1 is, to be blunt, fucking boring. Instead, players like me gravitated towards the playstyles that they found more fun and then the game slapped them on the wrist for it. It's like someone offering you ice cream and then berating you for eating something with little nutritional value. Dishonored 2 is a lot better about this but it's hardly good. If they wanted to reinforce the idea that violence isn't the best solution for any given problem, then they shouldn't have made violence the best solution for any given problem. I suppose here is where I should clarify that I still think Dishonored is a franchise deserving of far more recognition than it ever got, I just think the way it handled morality is a massive Achilles' heel.
...for Prey, though, I'm at a complete loss as to why that game didn't light the games journalism or whatever world on fire.
To actually answer the thread, though... I think the complaints about Doom Eternal "forcing" you to exploit enemy weaknesses all the time are way overblown. For one, there aren't actually that many enemy weaknesses in the game. For two, if you don't want to kill Cacodemons with the grenade launcher, you don't have to. You can happily blast it with rockets or the Super Shotgun or whatever, even on higher difficulties. Don't worry about ammo, you have essentially unlimited ammo, just find an imp or zombie and push the chainsaw button and you'll get a pinata of free ammo. You do have to change things up, you can't use just one gun the entire game, but you still have tons of room for doing your own thing.
Marauders still suck, however. They change up the gameplay in a way that highlights all of its weaknesses and kneecaps all of its impressive strengths. The DLC also introduces a bunch of mean and unfair encounters and enemy types for the sake of upping difficulty in a way that isn't fun at all. Fuck you, stone imps, and whoever came up with the cursed prowlers should be fired and never allowed to design anything in a video game ever again.
Log in to comment