Backstory: I got a call on Tuesday, informing me that there was a problem with a project and my coder monkey minions couldn't get it fixed on their own. So I had to come in the rest of the week until it's fixed. Forcing me to actually get dressed into decent clothes for once and leave my nice comfy warm, almost 30 degree house (No I don't crank up my furnace, most of that heat is from my computers, stereo, monitors and TV). Reluctantly I drag myself out of bed today, drudge to the office in the -20 to -30 degree cold. And go into my office which I've not set foot into in easily a month (god I love working from home), where I happen to be happily and warmly right now). So I sit down, read all the frantic emails from the newbies and the calm and collected "dude, we're up shit creek without a paddle, can you bring us yours?" from some of my seniors. Now, I can't really complain about this, being a Team Lead / Programming "Director" for the company, I guess it's kinda my responsibility to fix this stuff, and well, my job, lol. As per usual, it only takes me a little while to find most of the root of the problem, and start developing a plan to get it fixed, with my seniors and one of the newbies.
Well, while I was working out a couple debug unit tests, our Animation Lead wanders into my office, "bored" and wanting a bit of a distraction and break. So he sits down on the sofa and pops a game into the ps3. Naturally, I pay little attention to this as he generally does this on a regular basis, and usually never distracts me. But this time it did, but only because I heard the sounds of annoyance and annoyed button mashing coming from the sofa. Normally he never gets annoyed or mashes buttons (he's fucking incredible at games, even ones he's never played before). I ask what he's playing and it's none other than Assassins Creed
Now, up until this point, I had not seen AC aside from a few SS's here and there. So I was rather intrigued. I hopped over my desk (a rather large and dangerous leap, but meh), and went over to the sofa to join him. Turns out it was his first time playing it as well. We had just gotten the copy back from the audio guys. I didn't even know we had a copy lol.
So, now that I've bored you, down to the point.
Charlie had just started playing the game, so it was going through the tutorials, and I gotta say, it looked pretty cool. But immediately I found some annoyances, like that Genes/DNA/Bio-Chem/Molecule shit that spatters all over the screen randomly. If you've played it, you know what I'm talking about, the strands of DNA, molecule diagrams, all that crap. It doesn't make it that hard to see, but it's kinda distracting, and well, annoying. I like to be able to see my games unobstructed, especially if you're going to make me sit through interactive scenes to teach me how to play the game. Now, don't get me wrong, being concussed or having blood spatter on your "face" (the camera) is fine, because it adds more to the experience of the game, but pointless shit is just annoying. Anyways, moving on.
So the tutorials are pretty good, they could use a bit of improvement, but that's a small piece, like a C level bug, if you will.
But here's the kicker, you can't SKIP the tutorials or ANY of the cut scenes.
W. ... T. ... F. ....
Like seriously, who the hell does that? So now if I want to play through it again, I have to go through all the cut scenes and the tutorial?!
No if's, and's or but's about it. You just don't
do that. Nothing annoys people more than not being able to skip cut scenes and/or tutorials. If you're not going to allow players to skip the tutorials, or skip the cut scenes from them, then make it a separate option on the menu. That way you don't have to deal with that shit right at the beginning of the game when you want to start playing it.
So after lots of light bitching and annoyed button mashing, we finally got through the tutorial. Thankfully I didn't have to pay much attention to it, so I let him listen and do, and then just bugged him later when I wanted to find out what each button did. :D
Sadly due to the length of the tutorial, we didn't have much time to play more of the game until we had to get back to work (Our Producer and some of the other "suits" as we call them, even though we've never once seen any
them wear a suit, didn't want us getting too far into the game and spoiling it for them. (They decided to pop in and laugh at us.))
So I can't give a full review of the game right now, but I felt like starting and getting some stuff out.
I will say this, it looked great, but because a certain company released a new trailer today, we also cut our play time short so we could watch it several times and go through it frame by frame to see how many borked things we could find (yes I just said "borked").
Assassin's Creed looked great, but was a little boring to start, and we couldn't skip any of the cut scenes, which put me off a bit. I hate not being able to skip cut scenes. Mainly as I like to just get right to the playing, and figure out buttons as I go, and do lots of exploring and stuff.
Schwiggy! That was a good trailer. I liked it. It had everything, hot girls, guns, hot girls, cars, hot girls, gangsters, ghetto black chicks, cars, stripper poles, cars, guns, bullets, cars, explosions, hot girls, great physics, hot girls, explosions, mobsters with awesome accents, car chase with accidents and collisions, a helicopter, and lots of shoostings.
I have to say (and just did) is <sproing>. I'm rather creamy right now. Not only does it look great, it has dynamic meshes, a real dynamic physics system that will allow for awesome car crashes, which means no more pre-created "damaged" models! huzzah! Now you'll (hopefully) never see the same half destroyed version of your car again. AND it will be progressively destroyed... ooh ooh. towel please.
I realize many people think "So what? No big deal". Well when you're someone who likes games with driving, and cars that can be damaged, and are sick of playing games that use the same 4 damaged versions of each vehicle. You start to long for dynamic "denting" as I like to call it. I love to just drive around and smash up cars. Now I truly can! :D
Anyways, while I go change pants, I'll leave you with some frames from the trailer that I think are über fun awesomeness.
And we're back.
Sadly though, I cannot say it was all cocks and balls, because there were, well, a few (I use that term very loosely) things wrong with the trailer that I could immediately spot, and of course, I found all the other flaws and screw-ups after reviewing the trailer frame by frame with some colleagues.
To start, have a look at the cop car smashing into the truck shown above. Well, if you go back and actually look at that car before it actually hits the truck, yo can see the dents are already in the front of the car, and once it hits the truck, they just get ever so slightly more pronounced
Next, look at the Ghetto-Bitches' hair. Now THAT's a lighting mess up if I've ever seen one. If the light is above their head, you should not be able to see the lighting shining through their hair in areas where you should be seeing scalp. Especially if it's on the side of the head. Also, her hair is -way- too shiny.
Motoring right along. The shoosting scene in the plymouth. (Hehehe, see what I did there? hehehe)
Talk about continuity errors. That white reflection on the side of the car, should be one continuous line. And it should flow properly from one door to the next. Not start thin at the right hand side of each door, and gradually get thicker. But I will give them credit for their efforts, and for the fact that they've done the reflections pretty well so far.
This scene looks fantastic..... Until you look at the trees. Those trees are fail. They look like they were grown using fertilizer that was rich in vitamin FAIL. And, as you can see, it looks like Rockstar still hasn't mastered the art of "making more than one tree". But they sure have mastered the art of making one tree and repeating it a billion times per city.
That's it for now, maybe I'll post more of them tomorrow or something.
In parting, I leave you with more funnies from the trailer:
*Zombie voice* "Aaaaaaaagh"
I Heart Honkers. :D
Full blown breasts anyone? Did I mention he's a man?
I swear, the first time I glanced at this frame, I thought he was a zombie with a gun.
(Full res photos below, click to enlarge) read