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Quick Look: Sunset

Alex and Austin sit back and ponder the deeper meanings behind macaroni and cheese.

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Jul. 1 2015

Cast: Alex, Austin

Posted by: Vinny

In This Episode:

Sunset

240 Comments

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reelife

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No Caption Provided

Me when seeing you guys where doing a quick look on Sunset.


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Accolade

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Been waiting to see something on this.

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BrianP

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Let's see how many ways Alex and Austin can dance around saying it's not a good game

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mashzapotato

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Edited By mashzapotato

I watched this video to try and understand why Austin is giving so much time and empathy to this particular developer. I get it now, but remain indifferent.

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Pillagerguy

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Edited By Pillagerguy

Yeah, I totally get where the criticism comes from. This game boils down to "Walk around this relatively small and simple apartment. We've given you two things you're supposed to click on. Or just don't even bother to click on them, whatever." I haven't played it, but I get the impression that the interesting surrounding details (your employer, the politics) never feature heavily or directly, so you're just left with boring routine. If there's two things a video game should never be, it's boring and routine, otherwise it completely negates their purpose as escapism. If I wanted the same experience, I'd just go make a sandwich. That's not why most people come to video games.

Okay, maybe my biggest observation is that this studio, in the past, made "interactive art" whereas here, it's very clear that they are trying and failing to make a game.

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RNiemeijer

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@brianp said:

Let's see how many ways Alex and Austin can dance around saying it's not a good game

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mak_wikus

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Edited By mak_wikus

It's not downloading :(

EDIT: Oh, it downloaded! ...14MB :/

EDIT2: Ok, seems to be working now.

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Phuturist

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@brianp said:

Let's see how many ways Alex and Austin can dance around saying it's not a good game

I hope I'm wrong, but yeah.

Also, even if there is no game in this game, and it's just trying to be artful and clever, let's say I doubt the devs have something clever to say.

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AlmostSwedish

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If there's two things a video game should never be, it's boring and routine

Not a fan of Papers, Please then?

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Sor_Eddie

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Edited By Sor_Eddie

Another piece of Sunset/Tale of Tales content on a gaming website; another piece that never once mentions the companies' ridiculous and incredibly offensive wave meltdown attacks they made in response to the reception of Sunset. Why am I not surprised?

Also,

>Austin: "This game is just so beautiful"

>Game literally looks like an uprezzed PS2 game, complete with awkward PS2-era walking animations that look like they're gliding and awful blankfaced character models, yet has higher system requirements than The Witcher 3.

Okay then.

@almostswedish said:
@pillagerguy said:

If there's two things a video game should never be, it's boring and routine

Not a fan of Papers, Please then?

Papers, Please is neither boring nor routine. There's political intrigue and meaningful choices to make in it, high stakes events happen to shake things up, and the rules about how to parse documents constantly change, as well as the groups of people you interact with and the ways you can side with groups or be an inside man or etc.

Not really a very apt comparison.

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Pillagerguy

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@almostswedish: That game went some really interesting places though, and I wouldn't say it was boring. There were mechanics which enhanced the story (increasing difficulty, frantically sorting through documents, interesting punishment for failure). It had a progression, and it had cool branching paths, and it was a lot more "present" in the message it was delivering, whereas this game seems at best a step removed from making an interesting point. In Papers, Please you were in the thick of a crisis. Here you're getting talked at a bit while slowly walking around an apartment.

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teaoverlord

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Pretty sure this isn't a real game. Totalbiscuit said so and he's never wrong.

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Pudge

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Edited By Pudge

@pillagerguy said:

If there's two things a video game should never be, it's boring and routine

Not a fan of Papers, Please then?

Papers, Please accomplishes something through its routine nature. It tests you as a person because you're not playing as a set character. You're embodying someone in that situation. This game doesn't have that luxury. It seems routine for realism's sake more than anything.

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expoof67

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Edited By expoof67

Would have loved Jeff or Dan doing this quick look, but I guess it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the east coast guys.

I might of missed them saying it, but just in case.. this game is $20. Let that sink in.

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Pillagerguy

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@sor_eddie: Sure, the game's not optimized, but I think it has styyyyyyyyyle. It reminds me of Luftrausers, which is objectively a very simple looking game, but definitely has "good" visuals.

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RyoRyan

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@almostswedish: Paper's Please had time limited spot the difference problems and satisfying document handling/stamping mechanics, It may not be everyone's cup of tea but I don't believe boring is the right word to use.

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Edited By Sor_Eddie

@pillagerguy: Not... really. The extent of the art design is just someone googled "Art Deco 1960s" and called it a day. There's no creativity or spark to the art design in the game, it's incredibly static, clinical, and sparse.

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cooljammer00

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Edited By cooljammer00

Y'all obviously don't listen to the BeastCast, because like word one out of @austin_walker's mouth about this game was "I don't like it". He's hardly an apologist.

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@strathy said:

Austin's language of prepetual caged apologisim on this is beginning to give me a sinking feeling...

I think that's just how he is. I don't know if you read his review on The Crew over at Paste, but it felt like he had a similar reaction to it. He acknowledged that it wasn't necessarily a good game, but that there was something there that could have, possibly, made for a much better and more interesting game. You just feel sorry that the game wasted its potential, you know?

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@almostswedish said:
@pillagerguy said:

If there's two things a video game should never be, it's boring and routine

Not a fan of Papers, Please then?

Papers, Please is neither boring nor routine. There's political intrigue and meaningful choices to make in it, high stakes events happen to shake things up, and the rules about how to parse documents constantly change, as well as the groups of people you interact with and the ways you can side with groups or be an inside man or etc.

Not really a very apt comparison.

To each his own. Papers, Please definitely felt like a boring routine to me. I still enjoyed it though, because of the subject matter and how it choose to tackle it.

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Edited By MeAuntieNora

the game area

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Strathy

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@strathy said:

Austin's language of prepetual caged apologisim on this is beginning to give me a sinking feeling...

I think that's just how he is. I don't know if you read his review on The Crew over at Paste, but it felt like he had a similar reaction to it. He acknowledged that it wasn't necessarily a good game, but that there was something there that could have, possibly, made for a much better and more interesting game. You just feel sorry that the game wasted its potential, you know?

I'd like to think so, but my gut says otherwise. I've heard this sort of thing time and time again, and it's effect is allways the same: Equality through homogenised mediocrity.

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Oni

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Edited By Oni

I feel like they're hesitant to speak their minds about this game because ToT just went out of business and they don't want to like, dance on their graves? (edit: okay, they clearly do. It's pretty clear they don't think this is very good. They just hedge a lot with their words.)

But I mean, this game looks shit. You choose between orange and blue? You don't even have to pay attention to Gabriel or the tasks you're supposed to perform, just pick Renegade or Paragon depending on the direction you want to go. There's no actual engagement with your character being a cleaner at all. It's an interesting idea that they didn't execute on at all, for whatever reason. Maybe they didn't have the money or w/e but as a player (or viewer, in this case) all I can do is judge what ended up on the screen. Between this QL and Campster's video, I have a pretty good idea of why this game sold abysmally: they made a bad game. Interesting and with good ideas, but lacking in execution in just about every way. Doesn't help that the writing is bad.

And let's be clear, I like walking sims. I love Gone Home, I thought Ethan Carter was great too (although the story was a bit disappointing in the end). This just looks like a very bad one of those.

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onarum

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Have something that's actually a game but just horribly bad like Raven's cry = riffing all the way

Then you have something that's not even a game and pathetically bad, but hey it has an artsy kick to it = apologetic bs

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Wow, some people don't want the game to be criticized so much as they want it to be crucified. They pretty much admit over the course of the quick look that the game's only redeeming quality is aesthetic, while the narrative and interactive environment are sorely lacking. But people want to see the game literally shit on in what I presume to be an emotionally vindictive proxy war with the admittedly foolish developers, forgetting that we rarely see that on this site.

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Edited By justicejanitor

I get what this game is trying to do. When it's done well, It's awesome. I enjoyed Gone Home, Dear Esther, Journey and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter but this... This just comes off as pretentious, heavy handed and amateurish.

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Humanity

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If this is their take on a more commercial game then maybe they really shouldn't make games apart from artsy non-profit projects.

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@luddite: No, the reasoning I think lies more in that this is still a ridiculously sugarcoated review; their negative criticism is so very couched and softened. If a game of this "quality" was released by another company, they wouldn't hesitate at all to outright call it "bad", "terrible", etc. Instead, they wrap it in a apologetic platitudes, like it's a friend they don't have the heart to give a totally honest critique of.

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@luddite: No, the reasoning I think lies more in that this is still a ridiculously sugarcoated review

Quick Looks are not reviews. They are just supposed to serve as a first glance at what a game is for the viewer.

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ripelivejam

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Mac n cheese rulz

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cikame

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I guess this is kind of a "philosophy game", here's a bunch of ideas we have and we want you to think about them too. It's presented in a dry manner but even if the game was fun to play, the philosophy parts would still either bum you out or get you reaching for your hipster pipe and joining in.
Gone Home had an inward story, you were combing through a very detailed environment learning secrets about people close to the main character, but Sunset is very outward, you seem to only be getting information about what's going on outside but you're stuck inside the Unity engine.
I'm with Bro Team on this one.

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jiggajoe14

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Let's not tempt fate when it comes to david lee roth making a ska album alex.

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fisk0

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Edited By fisk0  Moderator

@strathy said:

Whatever man - the game.

Austin's language of perpetual caged apologisim on this is beginning to give me a sinking feeling...

@rniemeijer said:
@brianp said:

Let's see how many ways Alex and Austin can dance around saying it's not a good game

Not sure what video you watched, because Austin says he didn't like it about two minutes in.

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planetfunksquad

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Edited By planetfunksquad

@fisk0: what they mean is "they didn't shit on this game in a totally unnecessary way and I find this unacceptable".

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@fisk0: what they mean is "they didn't shit on this game in a totally unnecessary way and I find this unacceptable".

Speaking only for myself, what I mean is that the problems this game has (incredibly poor performance, ineffectual story telling, lacking mechanics that help immerse you in the game world) would be grounds for other games to be taken a little more to task than this game is. This seems to get a lot of "this game is interesting" and "this isn't for me" and other ways to say the devs just made a clunker without actually just saying it might not be a good game. I definitely don't want them to shit all over it, but the application of these sort of kids gloves to this game makes me feel like they are trying to fit it in to the larger narrative of public funding for indie games/games as art, while they would be better off attaching their horse to another cart.

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I'M ANGRY ABOUT POSTMODERNISM

This game is a weird thing. I don't really want to play it, but I'm glad it exists.

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Homelessbird

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Man, the comments for this went bad fast.

@humanity: Yeah, I get the impression that they really thought they were making concessions to the general public with Sunset, too. But the stuff they chose to "concede" on is just crazy - like I'm pretty sure they talked about giving the game a "traditional three-act structure."

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Edited By IBurningStar

I think it looks...nice. Umm, yeah, that is about it. Nothing else here was even remotely interesting. There was no sense of exploration because everything was basically viewable from the get go, and what you were exploring seemed empty and artificial. The things you were doing in that environment also felt irrelevant. It vaguely gives task, but no context for the greater meaning. You can do things because the game says so, or not, whatever. I'm sure there is a narrative here, but I am willing to bet it is as unfulfilling as the gameplay seems to be. Everything is disconnected and aimless. But I like how it looks.

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Edited By abendlaender

I can see why this game didn't do so well. It just lacks some....punch. Gone Home or Stanley Parable had something interesting about them, this just seems....lackluster.

This is a video about the game, why does it have to mention anything about the developer? Should they review the Twitter feed of the developers first? It's about if this is a good game or not, not if the developers are assholes or not.

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BananasFoster

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Edited By BananasFoster

Pretentious "game design" is infuriating.

"You walk around this apartment doing repetitive stuff and you complain but you'll do repetitive stuff in a game about shooting people and you don't complain. Huh, why is that?!?" Well, because whatever the setup, shooting or not, the repetitive thing in an actual video game is supposed to be FUN. That's why people don't mind doing it repetitively.

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BananasFoster

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I can see why this game didn't do so well. It just lacks some....punch. Gone Home or Stanley Parable had something interesting about them, this just seems....lackluster.

I would argue that Gone Home achieves that "punch" by falsely creating a haunted house scenario around their mundane experience in order to propel you through an experience that is just as boring.

I mean, wouldn't this game be much more impressive if the house was supposed to be haunted?

I think Gone Home is terrible largely for this reason.

"My story is a coming of age vignette about a young girls chaste romantic and emotional awakening in a small town in the 90s. Do you want to hear it?" "No. That sounds terrible." "Oh, uh... also the house is haunted?"

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planetfunksquad

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@bananasfoster: at what point in any of Gone Homes marketing materials did they ever say the house was haunted? Curious.

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Edited By simkas
@onarum said:

Have something that's actually a game but just horribly bad like Raven's cry = riffing all the way

Then you have something that's not even a game and pathetically bad, but hey it has an artsy kick to it = apologetic bs

There is a difference between a game that's a really really typical generic bad game with a pretty boring and widely covered subject matter and a game that's bad, but at least tries to go for something different and has a unique setting. They at least tried to make a game that's different and is about something that games aren't usually made about. It's just that they did a pretty bad job on the "game" part of that.

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fisk0

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fisk0  Moderator

@brianp said:
@planetfunksquad said:

@fisk0: what they mean is "they didn't shit on this game in a totally unnecessary way and I find this unacceptable".

Speaking only for myself, what I mean is that the problems this game has (incredibly poor performance, ineffectual story telling, lacking mechanics that help immerse you in the game world) would be grounds for other games to be taken a little more to task than this game is. This seems to get a lot of "this game is interesting" and "this isn't for me" and other ways to say the devs just made a clunker without actually just saying it might not be a good game. I definitely don't want them to shit all over it, but the application of these sort of kids gloves to this game makes me feel like they are trying to fit it in to the larger narrative of public funding for indie games/games as art, while they would be better off attaching their horse to another cart.

I don't know, doesn't really come across as using kids goves any more than the Hatred quick look did to me, and I find their discussion about why both games failed at what they set out to do much more interesting than non-stop jokes at the game's expense or whatever people seem to have expected.