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Leon Field's blog

5:47 PM on 09.02.2011

Why I love Deus Ex HR, and a tidbit about SKYRIM.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is many things, but it is not a game of total freedom. Though it would have you believe that it was completely up to you how to take on a situation its focus on stealth is shown in every pore of its gameplay.

Adam Jensen is a augmented human being, he has robot arms and legs both of which are accompanied by many other cybernetic implants designed to make him faster, smarter and more aware of his surroundings.

But Jensen is not super human, he can only take so much punishment and it is because of this that players are encouraged through the ineffectiveness of a head on approach to play through the majority of Deus Ex: HR from the shadows, a assassin (or pacifist in some cases) sneaking up on Jensen’s foes to stab them in the back or punch them in the face.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved Deus EX: HR. I also loved the first one, which I only played a week before they latest instalments release and I have to say I missed the box of toys that the first game in the series presented to me.

In Deus Ex you could play the whole game without killing anyone, you could play the entire game without shooting a bullet running around with melee weapons and laying the smack down on your foes; it was truly a game that thrust you into a environment, a situation and let YOU choose how to go about it one hundred percent.

Human Revolution is also home to flaws that the original did not happen, like interrupting your role-playing of a pacifist for “plot reasons” (I get why the boss fights are in the game, but why you have to kill them. Not so clear.) Or the lack of melee weapons outside of your takedowns. But this is made up by how HR improves on its base gameplay through the augmentation system. Each of the upgrades adding a new skill or layer to the game.

I do however believe that Deus EX: HR is a much better game; HR still provides a vast tool box to choose from it simply unifies every part of the tool box to augment the players experience, it provides a cloaking field so that Jensen can become invisible for short amounts of time a useful tool for those who don’t invest in hacking and wish to simply walk through the laser systems that sometimes cut off hallways.

You can get an augmentation to turn robotic foes against their allies or to allow Adam to punch through a wall knocking out (or killing) any foe who maybe on the other side. To put it short, I feel that Deus Ex: Human Revolutions tool box is geared around augmenting the player’s gameplay experience instead of providing more versatility to it like the original.

This is completely fine. Though strictly not open world I think many large scale rpg’s could learn from Deus Ex, it is a game that will allow you to approach a situation in any way you wish within certain limitations. If more Open World RPGs focused more on improving its elements instead of throwing MILLIONS of elements at the player we may see less open world games that are celebrated for 60% of its content.

Oh, and I can’t wait for SKYRIM.   read

1:48 PM on 02.15.2011

Guild Wars 2 Alpha and Beta coming 2011

Though I had almost forgotten about Guild Wars 2 with Star Wars the Old Republic dominating my MMO interest this year news has very recently come to light on its alpha and beta testing both of which will be coming in 2011.

That is all.

So are you guys excited for this no-monthly fee mmo sequel? I am at least a little interested, what do you think other MMO’s may need to do to compete, if they will have to change at all that is.

Source   read

5:36 PM on 02.06.2011

Oragami Killing: I Played Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain is the most story driven roleplaying game you didn’t play last year.

Note: This post is as spoiler free as I could make it.

Before I played Heavy Rain I had a lot of opinions thrown my way, most of it boiling down to “it’s more a movie then a video game” but when I played through its entirety, killing the origami killer and also saving the protagonists son I couldn’t help but think that these opinions where formed around an entirely different game.

Heavy Rain is the first game that I truly thought that my actions mattered, that they affected the outcome of the game. Don’t get me wrong I love all manners of roleplaying games from the less open JRPG classics like Final Fantasy 7 all the way to the more open and customizable experience Dragon Age. But Heavy Rain is something special.

Something that I came to appreciate within the first hour of the game I quickly found that Heavy Rain is much more game then movie, delighted by the choice I was present with to wander around the protagonists house watching TV and listening to music. I had essentially complete freedom to wander around the environments that the game dropped in me, my successes or failures not resulting in the game telling me try again but instead going with the flow and changing the outcomes of the scene or how things went.

As the game progressed I soon found myself faced with challenges that put the characters I controlled in mortal danger and this kept me on the edge of my seat as I knew to many mistakes would result in there timely death.

Though I never lost any of the four characters you are given control of during Heavy Rains 10-12 hour long story, I assume that the story instead of breaking without all apart from maybe the main protagonists existence would continue on its own.
This gave me a feeling of great control over the story and there were a few occasions where I almost decided to kill off a member of the cast I didn’t particularly care for in the stories plot of course in the end they all came out alive, the hero saving the day. But the choice was there and I could have taken it.

Calling Heavy Rain a roleplaying game maybe enough to raise a few eyebrows but I do have a justification for it. It is in a roleplaying games nature to allow you great control of a character whether in his creation or his actions and Heavy Rain gives you control in spades. Not only this but as you play as each of the four protagonists you come to know there thoughts and feelings in each situation.
This allowed me to grow particularly close to at least three of the four characters enjoying their thought and in turn having them effect my actions as I played.

Where Heavy Rain does come close to being a movie of course is in its portrayal of emotion, sometimes it comes across as a little melodramatic or cheesy but this doesn’t spoil the game for me but instead made me love it all the more.

The “acting” overall is brilliant and when you make choices or actively effect a scene or encounter the protagonists pull off the actions you choose nicely with no choice being particularly misleading like some roleplaying games (AKA Alpha Protocol).

I guess the main reason I wrote this in the end was to sum up what developers themselves can learn from a game like Heavy Rain in the hope that it will also affect my future games designs as I learn and also join the industry.

Here are the most important things that come to mind:
• Present players with choices often, with no right or wrong choice.
o These choices should change something whichever choice the player takes, whether it is subtle or big.
• The death of a companion or a major character should not always mean the end of the game, developer should have stories fit more with how the player affects the world.
• Not enough games allow the player to hear what the protagonist is thinking. This is a tool that could allow players to become closer or more invested in the characters they control.
• In a challenge, don’t create the option for failure, just different ways things can happen.
• It is possible to tell a good story without making a game linear in every way.

I hope you enjoyed my post and I would love to hear feedback below, or at my email [email protected]   read

8:28 PM on 09.25.2010

A Repost: The games industry is great!

I am reposting this here, from a thread on facepunch replying to the following orignal post.

What the fuck is happening? Remember back when consoles got along? People weren't screaming f*g** for using the scope on your rifle? Activision just released Tony Hawk's ProSkater 4? EA Just released Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2? There wasn't a whole process of typing in 10 codes just to verify you bought the game. Just go to the store and install the game and play? Now it's Kotick just saying Activision is the best game company ever, saying fans want a P2P MW2 and selling maps for 15 bucks. I've never payed for DLC unless it's like GTA 4's huge addons. Microsoft and Sony just making wiimakes of the wii. "PC Gaming is dead!" Fucking PC started gaming! Consoles are PCs with a custom OS really. Come on! Do you guys miss the old days of gaming? I do.

My Reply.

This thread seems to have been started on a misguided uninformed foot.

The games industry is doing brilliantly. Have you even looked at the next year of gaming? Portal 2, Yakuza, The Last Guardian, LBP2, Dragon Age 2, Dead Space 2, Batman: Arkham City, Motor storm Apocalypse and Bulletstorm.

And those are all in the future not too long ago we have had many also awesome games.
Sure there are and always will be assholes on online games but they are in fact in the minority, and tend to only be on those more popular games that are either re-hashes of old mechanics or a franchise that has got huge and has been marketed so well even a alien on Pluto probably knows about it and wants it.

Hell people here are complaining games are not made like they used to, but guess what you are looking through jaded glasses, the quality of games ahs only gotten better. Sure we have those few games series that are the same boring bollocks over and over again but guess what, those games should not be what you are basing your opinion of the industry as a whole on.

Gaming becoming a better accepted past time is nothing but a good thing, it means more sales which means more money and more great games. Hell a recent game that was incredibly fun and played on old tried and tested mechanics to create something fresh and fun was borderlands and that has gone platinum, do you think we are gonna see more great games from Gearbox? Hell fucking yes we will!

Activision may be the galactic empire of the galaxy right now but many companies have and will hold that title, EA used to be a horrible company but now they spend their time feeding money into great studios like Bioware and Visceral.

You say that we never had to enter ten codes to play our game, well we did. We have serial keys for PC games for such a long ti9me it was a natural involvement of the protection system for it to advance to consoles, do I like this? Not really, but it is something that has always effected pc gamers and is now just starting to effect console gamers.

If anything on the PC it is now easier to play games with amazing pieces of software like Steam and Impulse you can download and play a game with a matter of hours if you have a good enough internet connection.
The industry is changing and always will and right now certain things are changing in good ways and others in bad.

Developers like Valve, Gearbox, Visceral, Rocksteady, Team ICO, Bioware, Bethesda, Mojang Specifications, Media Molecule and many others.
The games industry is great right now, and like any industry it has its problems. But it isn't the shithole you make it out to be.

You do the millions of people who dedicate their lives to creating brilliant pieces of interacting entertainment a disservice, and I hope you will open your eyes.   read

1:49 PM on 07.24.2010

Play as Al-qaeda, Good.

If there is something I enjoy in video games, it is immersion in a setting that feels real, or that I can relate to the world we ourselves inhabit. 21 Hours ago at time of writing Hamza posted this article, commenting on EA's use of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group in their up and coming game Medal Of Honour, responses from the dtoid community have been, mixed at best, some screaming hypocrite like pre pubescent teens with a stick up their ass the size of a golf club.

But beside respect for Hamza's opinion, I got something complexly different from the article. When games are able to impact someone, even to the level that they no longer wish to play the game, that is when they leave the realms of poor entertainment and become actual art.

I don't know about you but the more I become immersed in a games setting and characters the more I enjoy the total experience and it effects me emotionally. When I played through the MW2 Airport level, I found the level horrifying in the actions it portrayed, but this did not make me stop playing. It made me think for just a moment, how it would feel to being in that position. My answer, utterly terrifying. And to be able to think about that put yourself in the shoes of a character and really think is a good thing.

I support games companies linking there games to real world activities because it is thought provoking when put alongside a narrative. If Al-Qaeda just turn out to be available in only multiplayer, then no real harm is done other a brilliant opportunity missed for a interactive narrative that could strike hard at the public and actually make them think about events that are for the most part, ignored and swept under the carpet.   read

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