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Thread: The uncertain future of games like Deus Ex and Dishonored

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    Re: Parsers, interactive fiction and character interaction, there are have been a lot of interesting experiments in the indie space, like Facade. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa%C3%A7ade_(video_game)

    Personally what I also see areas to progress in are the more traditional values LGS used to pioneer, which would advance some with technology anyway. Physics, as they are oft still somewhat goofy. But also means of movement in a virtual 3d space. Shock and Underworld play clumsy now, being developed prior to established WASD+mouselook standards for movement. But the fact that you have almost flight-sim like number of commands (and buttons to push) to get the character to crouch, prone, lean all at different speeds and angles also belongs to that pursuit of "approaching virtual reality from a software perspective" that LGS used to pioneer in 3d action games, which oft felt (and still feel) arcade, "gamey" and twitchy even if they aim for somewhat more grounded, realistic stimuli.

    Despite the then advanced physic simulations, the default character speed in your average Source Engine game always took me hugely out of the experience, and playing Quake with a VR headset on for a prolonged period is probably quite an unpleasant, barf including experience, whereas Thief or the more recent Alien:Isolation are probably not. (On that front, it's probably a small touch and may not apply when playing with analog controllers, but I've always missed a button for "realistic" walking speeds in Dishonored, even Prey's default movement feels a bit "gamey" as well. That's something Human Revolution got surprisingly right for me, walking is walking and that's it).

    I've never played any part of Trespasser except for the demo back then. But it seems no surprise that behind Trespassers concepts were some Ex-LGSers: no HUD at all, no cutscenes taking you out of it, a (clunky) attempt at simulating control down to the level of a specific body part (your arm)... That sort of stuff. This extents to audio design as well. Whilst Thief was supposed to be that kind of game where sound was supposed to be as vital as what you get to see and "touch", the way you are able to anticipate movement and distances just by listening to the audio was phenomenal stuff, there's modern games that struggle here to this day.

    It also extents to all kinds of executions. I've put the tutorials off for Prey so don't know what they look like when playing. But I immensely enjoy that the game lets me discover how things interact by myself, down to wondering what the heck I am supposed to do with a crossbow firing rubber bolts, WTF. And no pop-up telling me to push x+y to trigger the almighty shock-wrench "one-two-punch" doing a bonus damage of x would appear.
    Last edited by samIamsad; 19th Aug 2017 at 19:38.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    I think icemann was replying to Jason Moyer instead of Abysmal or me?
    Yeah to Jason's post. Sorry should have quoted.

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Abysmal View Post
    ...the problem of OCD talking to every NPC in the area like a dumbass.
    I blame the designers for that. Deus Ex has a potentially important store on the first level that's literally just another Unatco soldier clone walking around. We act that way because the game designers intentionally trained us to act that way.

  4. #54
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Anybody watch last night's Halt and Catch Fire season premier & notice this quote, circa 1993:

    Quote Originally Posted by AV Club
    Cameron Howe, explaining why she wonít allow the company to include instructions with her newest game, the immersive, enigmatic Pilgrim, exclaims, ďThis isnít a game you play. Itís a game you live.Ē
    Makes her one of the early immersive sim pioneers, if only fictionally.

  5. #55
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London

  6. #56
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    Do they factor in the fact that Dishonoured 2 and Prey were financial bombs?

  7. #57
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    They're only considered bombs because they were made by large studios with huge budgets. The place Randy is working has a staff of 12.

  8. #58
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    (Thread Rez) State of the Immersive Sim, early 2019

    I started thinking about this thread on how things were looking for ImmSims just a year and a half ago. Prey, DXMD, and Dishonored 2 had gotten great reviews, but somewhat lacklustre sales and there was uncertainty about The Future Of The Rebirth Of The Immersive Sim.

    Now, early 2019, things are looking kinda bright I must say. Just from a quick scan of the internet and my own memories, here's what's around the corner:

    Consortium: The Tower
    Cyberpunk 2077
    The Outer Worlds
    Skin Deep
    System Shock Remake
    System Shock 3
    Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines 2
    Void Bastards

    Did I forget anything? I might be too generous with what I'm classifying as immersive sim here, some of these are perhaps merely first person RPGs. I look forward to your STRONG OPINIONS on why some of them don't count. There's also that The Occupation thing which just came out and some people are describing as an imm sim.

  9. #59
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Underworld Ascendant was released and it was broken, unfinished.

  10. #60
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Cyberpunk 2077 and The Outer Worlds are FPS RPGs from all appearances, not imsims with systems-level simulations.

    In any case, the legacy of the immersive sim isn't about a single game bearing standard predefined traits; this thread's more like the tombstone for a platonic ideal. What Deus Ex ushered in was the idea of the post-genre game, where simulated systems could collide to cause emergence - we already have bits of that DNA in games as different from each other as Heat Signature and Far Cry 2-5. Post-genre games are doing just fine, and will continue to do so for as long as the medium's around.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 23rd Mar 2019 at 11:19.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Here's the thing - we may be getting new games in the genre, but are they really true to the ethos if they don't push that design forward (and instead become further away from that ideal)? That certainly seems to be true of the Arkane games and new deus ex, and it doesnt sound like Ascendent is much different. All of this stuff - reviving system shock and bloodlines included - feels more like a nostalgic indulgence to me than a new frontier in emergent systems design.

  12. #62
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Void Bastards
    Are you drunk?

  13. #63
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    YES! THIS is what I wanted! Hurt me, ZylonBane! HURT ME!

    (I didn't look terribly closely at that one so maybe I'm way off)

  14. #64
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    If that's what you really want, show some commitment and put Sekiro on that list

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    And Prey's since released Mooncrash, which is immersive sim and rogue-lite put together. I prefer the main campaign, but it's certainly interesting and fun for a bit.

  16. #66
    While I'm not sure I'd say it's "great" because the game has thus fair failed to hold my interest, MGS V was interesting because it was more or less a Japanese take on that type of game. That isn't immediately obvious because it's got the "MGS" name and a lot of the tropes but in practice it's far more "emergent gameplay" than it is traditional Metal Gear. A lot of things in the game are simulated to a much higher level of detail than is readily apparent when first playing the game. It's the kind of game where more often than not you can get out of a tricky situation with a bit of quick thinking that isn't readily apparent. For example I found out that if you play the "toilet noises" tape soldiers will assume the person in the stall is having a really bad day and leave you alone.

  17. #67
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I can second what froghawk said, that current incarnations of imm-sims -- Dishonored, Prey -- are harking back to old nostolgic tropes without actually getting to the heart of what the genre is supposed to be about, simulating real world systems & immersing you in them.

    Of the games I've played recently, the one that's gotten to that level the most is Kingdom Come Deliverance, which does a great job of creating what looks like a sim of the real world, with real world systems you can be a part of, although it's still quite narrative driven. I can't say anything really bad about it. I love it so far. It's a bit buggy, but if the price of deeper simulation and worldbuilding is more bugginess, I'll take it over the alternative of a polished but superficial world.

    But actually the game that's had the most crazy world simulation and immerses you in it, and innovates on old models all over the place, has been Caves of Qud, which has Dwarf Fortress like systems for a single player adventure, like really old school Ultima. Like Dwarf Fortress it's an ascii game though, so still pretty niche.

    Edit Let me also take a moment to mention that for every game I just mentioned, Dishonored*, Prey, KCD, and Caves of Qud, I have an unreasonable affection for. I've loved playing all of them & being in their worlds. So the rumors of the death of immersive sims as a meaningful genre that draws people in has been greatly exaggerated.

    * Ok Dishonored 2 hasn't drawn me in as much as the first for some reason.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Edit2: Ok, on the topic of henke's question... The System Shock 3 trailer genuinely got me down. They don't have a real budget and the contrast to Prey really makes it noticeable. And I think it might make a difference not only with the look of the game, but with the systems and gameplay. Also the botched Ultima release doesn't give me much confidence. The trailer didn't really play up any of the RPG or sim aspects of it either. So I don't know what to expect of it. Like a lot of us here probably I recognize System Shock 2 as part of the holy trinity of golden era gaming, so of course I want to root for it. I just don't know what to make of it yet.

    Bloodlines 2's trailer also didn't play up any of the RPG or sim aspects, but it looked fantastic. And I'm less worried just because of what kind of game the original Bloodlines was. It was an RPG to its core, so I can't imagine them not having those kinds of systems and even bothering keeping the name (like I could for System Shock 3). So I'm optimistic for this one.

    Cyberpunk 2077 has given off all the right signals of a deep world and storytelling ... but almost too right, if you know what I mean. It's barreling down a hype train, so I don't know what to predict with it. I think it may be like Witcher 3, which was good, but not my favorite fantasy RPG by a ways.

    Outer Worlds looked paper thin from its trailer, for a supposedly open world game.

    I haven't looked into the others enough to have an opinion.
    Last edited by demagogue; 24th Mar 2019 at 00:56.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    One of the true tests of a immersive sim game, is in how well it holds up on a second play where you already know whats what, and Prey holds up for me.

  19. #69
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    YES! THIS is what I wanted! Hurt me, ZylonBane! HURT ME!

    (I didn't look terribly closely at that one so maybe I'm way off)
    Were you trying to paraphase Grey Fox from MGS1 just now?

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    Edit2: Ok, on the topic of henke's question... The System Shock 3 trailer genuinely got me down. They don't have a real budget and the contrast to Prey really makes it noticeable. And I think it might make a difference not only with the look of the game, but with the systems and gameplay.
    Thief and SS2 didn't look all that hot either, though.

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I recall the early reviews of SS2 being pretty good. First I heard of it was from ign, not being long before the demo came out. That inspired me to go download the demo soon after, and from there my love of SS2 began.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    I recall that when SS2 was released, some couldn't get past the low-poly models and level geometry. Others loved the game despite them.

    The SS3 teaser didn't impress me. I don't expect a small development team to blow me away with amazing graphics and a super-detailed world. I really don't need that to enjoy a game. I just don't like the look they're going for. But if there is good immsim-ish RPG gameplay I won't care too much.

    Anyway, gamers have been spoiled by jaw dropping graphical realism and big open worlds that take huge teams years to create. What Otherside is testing is whether there is a viable market for imm sims without AAA detail. Ascendant wasn't a proper test because it was unfinished and broken at release. So let's see what happens with SS3. If it turns out that the market doesn't want an imm sim without AAA detail, then I think we're screwed, because very few games in this genre can sell multiple million of units at release.

  23. #73
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Thief and SS2 didn't look all that hot either, though.
    Nor did Deus Ex, VtMB or Stalker. Prey is a real outlier in how polished and jank-free it was on release, while still being really complex. I'm not expecting System Shock 3 or any other immsim on an indie-budget to live up to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvaUnit02 View Post
    Were you trying to paraphase Grey Fox from MGS1 just now?
    No, I thought I was being original. Didn't realize I was ripping off the comedy stylings of Grey Fox.

  24. #74
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Nor did Deus Ex, VtMB or Stalker. Prey is a real outlier in how polished and jank-free it was on release, while still being really complex. I'm not expecting System Shock 3 or any other immsim on an indie-budget to live up to it.
    Deus Ex? Yes. Stalker and VtMB1 used graphically cutting edge engines for their time. Bloodlines 1 had better facial animations than a lot of games, even those from the 8th console gen.
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    No, I thought I was being original. Didn't realize I was ripping off the comedy stylings of Grey Fox.
    https://youtu.be/yIW_HG9bzn0?t=446

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Bloodlines came out on the same day as Half-Life 2 on the same engine and didn't look anywhere near as good...

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