The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2022)



  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
    Answer #2 re: The game being delisted

    @Brannox

    To @DIPSET regarding The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay:
    1.) One thing I always think about when it comes to Hall of Greats, be it the Allies’ or ours, is if the presentation does a wonderful job to entice me to play, how simple would it be for me to get a copy. And as you demonstrate right at the end, physical appears to be the way to go with it being delisted. A cursory glance shows its originally for only OG Xbox and Windows, whereas it being bundled with Assault on Dark Athena brought it forward one generation. If one isn’t concerned about it being used, it’s pretty cheap to get, but new copies are much higher in cost. Do you think going through the effort of purchasing a copy (much like your own real world example of not available to rent, purchase only) for older platforms that many probably don’t own anymore is enough for this single game?

    To be totally fair, I only discovered this game was delisted pretty recently. I thought you could just pop into Steam or GOG and download it. I have to admit, it's a huge shame that you can't easily get it nowadays but what more could I expect from Atari and Starbreeze, two horribly mismanaged corporations with wonderful legacies they've left behind.

    I had to cut it for time, but you can still play the 2004 OG version via Windows PC or Xbox. Then you can play the Assault on Dark Athena remastered version via PC, PS3, or 360. If you can get yourself a used copy, I'd recommend getting Dark Athena because you get two games in one package. Do I think it's worth it—YES!

    I really think Escape From Butcher Bay is a cult classic for a reason. And like I said, Escape From Butcher Bay (along with it's peers) were a part of a strong movement in 2004 that brought us beautiful non-military FPS games for years to come. I bought it full price on a whim in 2009 with no knowledge or expectation of the series, gameplay, nothing, and it became and all-timer for me. Mileage may vary, but like any curious gamer, you won't know until you try it.

    Just don't break the bank. I think it's a shame people would price gouge due to it's delisted status and I don't agree with paying hundreds of dollars for a game that should be experienced by many.

    EDIT - Looks like you can buy the OG Xbox version pretty cheap. $27 CAD here: https://www.ebay.com/p/30047168

    So that's not nearly as bad as I thought. I also just noticed that the OG version is Vivendi (Universal Pictures) so my god Atari, Vivendi, and Starbreeze is a horrible cocktail for business mismanagement. Poor Riddick series and Starbreeze devs getting caught in the cross-fire.

    --

    Answer # 3 re: Do the graphics hold up?

    2.) You’ve said a lot of terms that appeal to me: “Stealth based,” “immersive-sim elements,” “simple dialogue trees,” and so on, and the foundational gameplay looks solid, but one thing I’m not able to get past (and yes, it is ENTIRELY subjective) is how it looks. Even with the remaster, everything looks in a way that’s hard to describe, but it clearly shows its age and it’s off putting to me, to the point there are games of the time (and older) that I feel do 3D models a lot better. In your opinion, do you think it graphically holds up, not just in today’s space, but against its contemporaries as well?

    I think it absolutely holds up! I don't want to get any yellow cards here, but I highly recommend you watch the relatively recent Digital Foundry video on the 2004 PC version of Escape From Butcher Bay. It's pretty clear that it looks like an older game, but the character models having a photorealistic look and high resolution textures coupled with complex lighting (a lot of source lighting/shadows) keeps the mood to this day. They do some really interesting special effects and little tricks in this game to provide a shadowy sci-fi atmosphere.

    I read a retrospective interview with the lead developers once they moved onto Machine Games talking about the development on the remaster and they have a lot of cool little tricks they did like hand painting a lot of the space shots and slightly animating details in After Effects as opposed to making full 3D environments for one-off shots in cutscenes. So some parts of it have this painterly effect.

    Another perfect example of the look/feel holding up is the post-processing on the stealth sections. With no HUD, the game has no issue conveying information to the player. When in stealth, the screen does a blue-ish purple-ish tinge over the screen to convey you are completely hidden. Unlike Spliter-Cell or MGS or Morrowind there is no guess work. You always know. Likewise, keeping ammo exclusively on the gun rather than an icon in the corner keeps your head in the world the whole time.

    In my opinion, both the 2004 version and the remaster hold up. I think the remaster maybe has a bit too much gloss like a lot of 2007-2009 video games do, but the character models, their performances, the animations, the textures, and the lighting hold up a lot better than fellow 2004 games like Half Life 2, GTA San Andreas, FarCry, or Halo 2. I'd argue it's a pretty graphically great game to this day.



  • Hey just a little PSA.

    As I stated before, a lot of the games we brought (except for mine sigh) are actually pretty accessible on Game Pass. I just checked Steam and What Remains of Edith Finch is suddenly -70% off! No idea where the sale came from or why today because it wasn't there yesterday, but I'm going to pick it up for $7 CAD to just get an idea of the gameplay like I've attempted for a few other nominees.

    God of War 2018 comes with every PS5 if you are subscribed to PS+.

    I think XCom Enemy Unknown was both a PS+ game AND a freebie on the Epic Games Store at various times so check your downloads because you might've already claimed it but never played.



  • @brannox said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2022):

    To @Oscillator regarding Star Fox 64:
    1.) To me, on-rails shooter is a genre that on its surface sounds restrictive in that most (but not all) of time you don’t fully have three-dimensional, 360 degree spherical movement, nor do you have the ability to explore outside of shooting targets and enemies. Does Star Fox 64 allow you any freedom to fly around many of the levels and take in the atmosphere?

    2.) In the two videos you’ve provided, something that jumped out to me is the camera is always behind you and in order to look/go behind, you must do a u-turn, but the camera quickly sticks back behind you again. Do you think it’s a hindrance to not have any expansive camera control during gameplay?

    1. Four of the levels are all-range mode arenas. One of them, Sector Z, is in the second video. These levels are sparser than the on-rails levels, with not much to explore, and have an objective to complete rather than an end boss. I feel the best of them is Fortuna, which is level 3 on the easy route. A few minutes into the level, the central base has a bomb planted in it, and you have to take out the enemy team Star Wolf before the bomb's timer runs out. There are a couple instances of on-rails levels having a fork you can take for some different enemy waves or a secret warp. Compared to overhead "shmups", Star Fox 64's levels move at a much gentler pace, giving you time to soak in the sounds and sights. Two space-based levels on the easy route, Sector X (from the first video) and Meteo, are especially slow paced and atmospheric.

    2. The limited camera movement in all-range mode does make it tough to spot enemies right next to or behind you, but it's part of the challenge, their ability to sneak up on you. You can brake, boost, and somersault to help negate their advantage. There is a cockpit view, though it makes things even harder to see, and is kind of a novelty.



  • @ffff0 said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2022):

    Question for @Shoulderguy about XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
    Strategy games have an aspect that some players, especially newcomers, find very difficult to deal with – you may suddenly realize that you’ve lost the game several hours ago and to fix that mistake you’ll have to replay a good chunk of the game (and you’re lucky if you’ve saved in separate slot close enough). You spoke about accessibility of XCOM: Enemy Unknown – how does it deal with that problem?

    That is a problem with some strategy games but I've played multiple playthroughs and never had any problems. You could reload a save if a battle doesn't go your way but even if you fail a mission, it's not the end of the game. You can make plenty of mistakes in XCOM Enemy Unknown and still overcome them. That's the big advantage it has over other strategy games.

    What your saying is true with Ironman mode but that's for people who want more of a rogue-like experience, where each playthrough is an opportunity to see how far you can make it before having to start over. I enjoy Ironman mode but I completely get why it's not for everybody. I wouldn't recommend it for first time players.


    @phbz said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2022):

    Question for @Shoulderguy about XCOM: Enemy Unknown
    My main issue with this proposal is that it becomes difficult to justify its entry when you have the 1994's UFO: Enemy Unknown game and then XCOM 2 improving upon XCOM. I love LOVE XCOM but being a Hall of Greats why pick this title over the others. Or in other words, how will you sell it to me who played the original why this should be the one in. And why XCOM and not XCOM 2.

    Unfortunately, I've never touched the 1994 game. I've heard good things about that game but looking at videos of it now, it's just not something I want to play. I did consider XCOM 2 for the Hall of Greats but I decided to go with XCOM Enemy Unknown because I believe it had a bigger impact on the strategy genre.

    When XCOM Enemy Unknown released on PC and consoles in 2012, it was a huge success and brought in many new fans. The smart UI elements and great controller support on console allowed more people to experience the series. It won GOTY from 21 different media outlets including GameTrailers, and that's impressive for a strategy game. https://www.gameawards.net/2020/09/2012.html


    @brannox said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2022):

    To @Shoulderguy regarding XCOM: Enemy Unknown:
    1.) You briefly touch on it in your presentation, but there appears to be a lot of things you need to manage to stay on top of things, and while you explicitly state a couple times this is one of the most approachable strategy games out there, that doesn’t mean the genre in itself is simple, nor many of the systems can be ignored. So a two parter: A.) Can you please explain the gameplay differences in these systems (to use your listed examples: Battles, new research, launching satellites and Monitoring monthly council reports) and B.) How integral they are to success/failure?
    2.) One of the most notorious things I’ve heard about XCOM (and I think you briefly vaguely reference it in the optional mode you discuss), is how you can have a high percentage chance of a hit at point-blank range and completely miss it due to RNG. How prevalent are these kinds of examples and further, how punishing/forgiving is the RNG overall?

    1.) I didn't go deep into any of the systems in my presentation because the game gradually teaches you everything and it's not overwhelming. All of your tasks are in their own separate part of the base and you'll be prompted to go there when a decision needs to be made. Also, you're not on a time limit so you can carefully plan out everything. This was my first ever XCOM game and after a few hours you know exactly what to do to have success thanks to the games early tutorials.

    2.) There is RNG but it's not surprise RNG. Before you take a shot at an enemy, you know what the percentage chance is to hit. It's your choice if you want to roll the dice on a low percentage shot or make a different action with your soldier. The enemies are also subject to the same RNG, so it all evens out in the end.

    There are plenty of weapons and abilities that are not RNG based. One of those weapons, the rocket launcher, comes standard with every heavy class soldier and it does a set amount of AOE damage.



  • @ffff0 regarding FORZA HORIZON 5

    1. I love FORZA HORIZON 5, but honestly I do feel as though it’s playing to the same tunes as its predecessors much of the time. I felt FORZA Horizon 4 was the peak of the series. What does FORZA HORIZON 5 do better than FORZA HORIZON 4 or any other racing game you’d played?

    2. Do you think the Mexican setting provides the same level of diversity as FORZA HORIZON 4’ Great Britain or FORZA HORIZON 3’s Australian outback?

    @Brannox regarding DOOM II

    1. You say every level is loaded with secrets and that they give (and I’m paraphrasing here) a badass alternative to running through the game normally. Are these secrets in level design the only big destructive string to Doom II’s bow?

    2. Do you think anything is missing from modern Doom games that Doom II specifically nails?

    @bruno_saurus regarding God of War 2018

    1. God of War has been heralded as one of the greatest games of the last generation. I think its praise is rather overblown in certain regards, especially the gameplay. What do you feel makes God of War stand above all other big hitters on the PS4?

    2. Do you feel that giving Kratos a modern facelift was the right move for the franchise?

    @DIPSET regarding The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay

    1. Do you think Escape From Butcher Bay languishes in the past two much to be any significant to the here and now?

    2. Is there anything from Butcher Bay that you feel today’s shooters could do with implementing?

    @Shoulderguy regarding X-COM: Enemy Unknown

    1. I suck at strategy games and I find many of them difficult to grasp and enjoy. How could you ease me into X-COM: Enemy Unknown without tuning out?

    2. Do you think X-COM: Enemy Unknown is largely overlooked for a great game?

    @Capnbobamous regarding The Outer Wilds

    1. Outer Wilds is a fascinating and enchanting experience, however I personally find it difficult to sink into. What do you think can ease players into experiencing it without any sense of obligation?

    2. Would you say Outer Wilds has a No Man’s Sky allure to it and do you feel it distinguishes itself enough to stand on its own?

    @Oscillator regarding Star Fox 64

    1. Do you feel that Star Fox 64 deserves more credit for what it has achieved considering your personal experiences with it?

    2. Looking at the footage, is it accurate to assume there’s too much going on at one time visuals that you could be distracted momentarily and your ship could careen into an obstruction?



  • Alright, home from work and now I'm able to answer what was posed to me:

    From @ffff0 regarding if a first-time new player today would highlight level design as a strength:

    In my opinion, yes, for two reasons:

    One - In terms of layout, both regarding the physical space and the art design. The physical space is never too cramped, giving you flexibility to move around at your pace to dodge enemy attacks and many levels (though not all, and I'll get to The Chasm [a.k.a. Level 24] in a moment), are able to guide you without simultaneously holding your hand. Since most are corridors with branching paths (and each branch holding something of value, be it health, armor, weapons, ammo, switch/keycard to progress, etc. without going to far before coming to an end, if not circling back to the main path), it's never too confusing because of the art design. Machinery, demonic carvings, doors, lights and the like are able to paint each area with a unique flair and it's through these unique icons which simultaneously serve as clear indicators of the game's secrets. You are correct there are no sound cues, but visually there are TONS, to which here are some examples:

    • A portion of the wall being a slightly different shade than the rest of said wall
    • The brick (or pattern) on the wall isn't lining up with the rest of said pattern
    • A weird eye/face/symbol/machinery that isn't present elsewhere on the wall or room.
    • An exploding barrel conspicuously by itself in an open area (and shooting it causing an explosion allows you to interact with the secret it was guarding).
    • The aforementioned light pressure pad I mention in my presentation is just one example of falling/running off a higher plane onto something that triggers a wall opening.

    And to be clear, not every secret has an indicator, but most do, if you're looking closely enough after you kill everything in whatever room you're in.

    Two - The themes of where you are as part of the campaign. After every boss level, you're given a brief text screen explaining where you're going, and it's pretty clear some levels are bases, some are in hell (both in a wasteland or demonic castles), there's one that's literally a city on earth with multiple story buildings, one that's an apartment that opens up and doubles back on itself, and of course the Wolfenstein secret levels. These different hooks stand out for both being memorable and engaging with what each tasks you to do.

    Which brings me to The Chasm. Often (and even with your question), the Chasm is often derided as the "worst" of the 30 levels in the game. As I said above in this post, most of the levels afford you the space to move around, so I get for this level being high atop the acid/lava floor on super thin walls is the anthesis of that playstyle, but why it works for me is that if you play to what the Chasm is asking of you (To carefully traverse the top of this wall to the other side), you find the exit soon after, and you're not playing the level for long. However, as is often the case for most (myself included), it's really easily to fall off, causing you to move FAST as you take damage looking for the teleporter (or a biosuit). This opens up the level to hold various secrets holding an assortment of goodies, if you're willing to pay the pound of flesh to reach them. There's also several teleporters in the level that put you back atop the level, so once you find just one of these, you can just sprint to that spot if you don't want to explore and/or minimize damage.

    The final thing regarding The Chasm is it's only one level AND towards the end. You'll play about 26-27 without looking for the other three-four secret levels, so this level might get its criticisms (and most rightfully deserved in addition to being so late in the campaign) but it isn't indicative to the rest of the time it takes to get there. Lastly, while I know I'm in the minority (as you say, with yourself and your family members all calling it quits at that moment), but this level never presented problems to me on where to go; just on getting to the end.

    To close, one thing I didn't touch on is the in-game map you can pull up if you do get lost. Since enemies don't respawn, if you clear out most of the level, you can open the vector graphic map, see your little icon and run around to portions of the map you haven't filled in (indicated by disconnected yellow lines signifying walls) without fear of something attacking you (Unless you run into an environmental hazard).


    From @Phbz regarding if DOOM II is enough of an improvement on having it in the Hall over the first DOOM:

    Yes, and while I tried to make my presentation a reflection of this very question, allow me to go a little more in-depth on some aspects I touched on that I elected not to for the focus on level design (To which, please see my above answer to @ffff0 why I think it's an improvement in that aspect). Let's talk Boss encounters, twice as many demons, and getting you weapons and quickly:

    • Boss Encounters - Bosses feel more like an event in DOOM II because in the original, it's pretty clear when you reach the "Boss Level" at the end of the campaigns. You know what to expect, the levels are short, and when you best them, you go to the exit and that's end. Congratulations. Campaign over. But in DOOM II, you don't know until you walk into a courtyard with four Mancubi (and other enemies as well) all simultaneously firing rockets at you, forcing you to think on your feet FAST, or perhaps opening many doors in a small circular room until you enter one, turn right, and see 20 Barons of Hell in front of a massive CyberDemon and if you don't have the BFG (which this example DOES give you in a different room), it's the fight of (and for) your life. Even when you start in a room with ALL the weapons and ammo with a teleporter taking you to a giant mechanized goat's head with a glowing weakspot as it yells at you is incredibly unique and memorable.

    • Demons - As I touched on, DOOM II introduces twice as many demons as in the original without sacrificing any of the enemies of old. Spider Masterminds, Mancubi, Archviles, Pain Elementals, Revenants and more all have their own strategies, both to kill you and for you to take them down. In addition, they're tougher the their DOOM 1 counterparts, so combat is livened up greatly (which is the core mechanic of DOOM), especially when you have the aforementioned BFG or Super Shotgun.

    • Getting you weapons quickly - As I tried to highlight in my first level example, the game WANTS you to have as many weapons as possible, as early as possible. In the first DOOM, the famous E1M1, the only additional weapon you can find in the first level is just the Shotgun to go with your pistol. In DOOM II, you not only can find the Shotgun, but the Chainsaw and Rocket Launcher as well. As I also state, it does a much easier job getting you the BFG. As long as you don't die and play smartly, you have these weapons permanently. To me, the original DOOM only sparsely awards you weapons as you complete levels, whereas by level 3 or 4 in DOOM II, with the exception of the BFG, you should be fully armed (especially if you go hunting for secrets).


    From @JDINCINERATOR regarding if the secrets are the "only big destructive string to DOOM II's bow:"

    Please forgive the brevity of this answer, because I feel as if I've actually answered this particular question above: It's not JUST the secrets that are so rewarding, but the diversity of demons, memorable and periodic boss fights, level themes, and other equipment as well all come together to make you feel awesome, no matter what you're doing.

    From @JDINCINERATOR regarding if DOOM II has something the modern DOOM reboots lack:

    Simply: No. This may be a detriment to DOOM II, but the modern DOOMs have the capacity (through both technological advancements and gameplay mechanics [see: Flamethrower generating armor, glory kills giving health, different types of grenades]) that something from the 90s just could never have. It's been said often by id that Eternal was to DOOM 2016 as DOOM II was to the first DOOM: Bigger, badder, more demons, more of a narrative, more weapons, more, More, MORE. But I do think it's incredibly awesome you can play both DOOM AND DOOM II in the Fortress (a hub being something else early games didn't really have) in Eternal. But honestly? DOOM II doesn't need all of that. It's nice to have, sure, and DOOM: Eternal is all the better for it, but there is something to the phrase "Beauty in the simplicity."



  • Response to @JDINCINERATOR questions about Forza Horizon 5’s differences from 4, location diversity and comparison to other racing games.

    Forza Horizon 4 is a great game and 5 doesn’t try to fix what wasn’t broken, so the sense of familiarity is not unwarranted. But at the same time, there’s more to Forza Horizon 5 than repletion of the same formula. Events Lab (custom tracks creator) is a brand-new feature, and if you’re interested in user-generated content, that’s a huge deal. Expeditions are also new, and I find this form of single-player progression much more engaging than accumulation of points to buy new festival’s location in prior games. There’s much more variety in missions and much more unique events, like driving a parade float. While the map in Forza Horizon 4 looked very similar throughout, in Forza Horizon 5 you don’t need to wait a week for season’s change to get new environments as raining forest is just 1-minute away from scorching desert. And this entry was developed for current gen, so visuals were improved significantly. On its own each of these additions may sound insignificant, but they all add up to much smoother and welcoming experience. Also, I feel like Forza Horizon 5 managed to capture completely new audiences (biggest Forza game launch ever sales wise despite being on Game Pass), which is another reason why I’m nomination this game over other entries in the series.

    As for comparison with other racing games, it’s a bit of “apples and oranges” since every series is doing its own thing. But I can highlight one advantage of Forza Horizon 5 – it doesn’t create a feeling of “playing wrong” even if you tuned the difficulty and assists to easily win every race. I mean, when I’m skipping qualification in F1 games and then get from last to first on the first lap, it doesn’t feel like a proper F1 experience. While in Forza Horizon 5 whatever and however I chose to do feels like intended way to play.



  • @jdincinerator said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2022):

    @Oscillator regarding Star Fox 64

    1. Do you feel that Star Fox 64 deserves more credit for what it has achieved considering your personal experiences with it?

    2. Looking at the footage, is it accurate to assume there’s too much going on at one time visuals that you could be distracted momentarily and your ship could careen into an obstruction?

    1. I think it's gotten all the credit it can, considering when it released, where it released, and where the series went. It released in close proximity to Super Mario 64 and Wave Race 64, which revolutionized 3D platforming and water physics respectively, then the next year Ocarina of Time became the platform's killer app by a country mile. It's similar to how Perfect Dark did so much, but not only struggled underneath Goldeneye's huge shadow, it was then overshadowed again by Halo a year-and-a-half later. And both Star Fox 64 and Perfect Dark then received total flops for sequels in Star Fox Adventures and Perfect Dark Zero, helping people forget even more easily. Still, Star Fox 64 is considered the definitive 3D on-rails shooter, easily a top 10 Nintendo 64 game, and a distinguished member of Nintendo's canon of classics. Its lack of broader notoriety is no knock whatsoever against its sheer level of quality and incredibly distinctive presentation.

    2. Star Fox 64 isn't really an obstacle course game. Things are occasionally put in your way, but there's almost always plenty of room to move. I recall hitting passing enemies way more often than parts of the map. The art style is also very clean and well defined, making both enemies and obstacles very prominent.



  • Question for @Capnbobamous

    How do you feel about the ships’ controls when the game asks you to be as stealthily moving as possible? One area that I had trouble with was one where you need to make as little sound as possible, but if you do make noise you basically need to restart the whole day over.

    Question for @Oscillator

    How do you feel Star Fox 64 stands against its predecessor (official) in Star Fox on the SNES besides the better graphics of course?

    Question for @ffff0
    Do you think the core tenants of Forza Horizon 5 are the best, as a whole, in the series?

    Question for @Brannox
    How do you feel about the level of difficulty ramping up through the game? Do you think it paces out well in that regard?

    Question for @DIPSET
    Does the gameplay evolve enough throughout the game in the way it handles stealth, or is it just sort of the same way to handle each situation?



  • This post is deleted!


  • Also, I am gonna try and answer my questions, as of right now, by tonight! As I'm going on a trip tomorrow and might not have ample enough time!



  • @bruno_saurus said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2022):

    Question for @Oscillator

    How do you feel Star Fox 64 stands against its predecessor (official) in Star Fox on the SNES besides the better graphics of course?

    I wouldn't say it's better graphics than it actually HAS graphics. :P Star Fox SNES is immensely primitive in comparison, with polygons you can just about count on both hands, painfully slow framerate, virtually no textures, gibberish for voices, and very basic gameplay. You shoot stuff, but you don't feel rewarded for it. Still, it's very impressive for the hardware, the ship and enemy designs are memorable, and the soundtrack is solid; it's a shame its themes weren't remixed for 64.

    Star Fox 64 is the full realization of what Star Fox SNES wanted to do. You actually feel like you're flying a space fighter rather than a distant, abstract representation.



  • Response to @bruno_saurus question about core tenants of Forza Horizon 5 being the best in the series.

    Sorry for my bad English, I don’t know what “tenants” mean in this context. I assumed it means “aspects”, but if I’m wrong, please correct me and I’ll re-answer this question.

    I’ve played only Forza Horizon 3, 4 and 5 and among those three the latest entry definitely feels the most polished and fun to play. I’m not an expert on racing games and I don’t have a driver license, so it hard for me to state something like “handling on mud is better here” or “track design is more competitive here”, but as a casual player I see no reasons to recommend any entry instead of Forza Horizon 5.



  • Questions for @Brannox :

    1. I haven't played Doom II in a very, very long time, so perhaps I just wasn't any good at it back then, but I feel like it was very difficult right off the bat, with just a couple waves of basic enemies making me desperate for health, and a larger enemy mowing me down mercilessly every time. Does Doom II ease you in or does it immediately assault you like I seem to remember?

    2. Have the pseudo-3D, heavily pixelated visuals harmed how it stands up against later entries in the genre, in particular id Software's very next major release, Quake?



  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay

    Answer # 4

    @JDINCINERATOR

    @DIPSET regarding The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
    Do you think Escape From Butcher Bay languishes in the past two much to be any significant to the here and now?

    While I think history and context is really important in analyzing older games, I think Escape From Butcher Bay is still relevant today both historically and from a game design standpoint. In terms of the here and now, we live in an era of pretty quality licensed video games.

    I feel like ambitious licensed games like Riddick walked so Batman Arkham Asylum can run. I guess Escape From Butcher Bay isn't at the top of most gamers heads when we talk about modern gaming, but I think it definitely paved the way for Machine Games to be successful and significant mainstream AAA developer.

    --

    Answer #5

    Is there anything from Butcher Bay that you feel today’s shooters could do with implementing?

    Escape With Butcher Bay was made with love and wasn't trend chasing. The game design compliments the source material to a tee. The premise of escaping from a prison compliments the film Pitch Black (the game used to be called Pitch Black FYI) where people needed to survive on an alien planet before all hell breaks loose. Take a core concept and go crazy with the game design.

    So if I have one takeaway, it's that not every shooter needs to worry about TTK and slide canceling. Riddick and it's contemporaries all had their own spin on the core gameplay being outside of just shooting. Riddick seamlessly blended stealth, melee, and gunplay.

    Modern games should really consider how hegemonized they've become with the same controls, same jump height, same ADS, same menu's. Devs should look to Escape From Butcher Bay and get creative with it and pave your own path.



  • @jdincinerator said in The EZA Forum Hall of Greats (September 2022):

    @Shoulderguy regarding X-COM: Enemy Unknown

    I suck at strategy games and I find many of them difficult to grasp and enjoy. How could you ease me into X-COM: Enemy Unknown without tuning out?

    Do you think X-COM: Enemy Unknown is largely overlooked for a great game?

    1.) I get that, I'm the same way but for fighting games. There are some strategy games like Total War that I'm hesitant to recommend to people who are new to the series. Though In my opinion, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of the friendliest to newcomers. I had never played an XCOM style game before this game and now I'm huge fan of them.

    2.) I don't think it's overlooked. When it released in 2012 it won many GOTY awards from different media outlets and received much praise from fans. Since that time, XCOM-like games have become more common. We have Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope releasing next month, Marvel's Midnight Suns releasing in December and there are more games in development. That style of strategy game existed before XCOM: Enemy Unknown but it's recognized by most people as the game that boosted their popularity.



  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay

    Answer #6

    @bruno_saurus

    Question for @DIPSET
    Does the gameplay evolve enough throughout the game in the way it handles stealth, or is it just sort of the same way to handle each situation?

    Without getting into spoiler territory, let's just say your stealth abilities dramatically improve in Act II after your escape kicks into gear. This means the Intro / Act I plays similar, but your power as a player has some limitations which get easier later on.

    I'd say the game pace overall sort of fluctuates what you're doing. If I had to pick ONE easy way of describing the game, think of it like an action-adventure. In, say, Uncharted, you aren't always in gunfights. Sometimes you are walking and talking, sometimes you're sneaking around, sometimes you are climbing. Escape From Butcher Bay is like that.

    Some of the stealth is Point A --> Point B sneaking around going from shadows and ledges above enemies or platforming around (kinda like Splinter Cell), but sometimes the stealth is active combat where you're closing the gap and trying to shank a guard in the back of his neck and dragging the bodies into shadows.

    Sometimes the Point A --> Point B has a lot of verticality and sometimes it's has seriously deadly mech suit guards all in a confined space on the same floor as you and sneaking is a tight squeeze.



  • @ffff0 regarding FORZA HORIZON 5

    I read your answer to @JDINCINERATOR so I hate to double down on this, but FH4 was my first Forza Horizon game in 2018. I put in around 40ish hours before moving on and completed a lot of the activities. Since you brough FH5, I figured I'd finally give it a try and I put a few hours in so far. And I have to say, I feel like I'm playing the exact same game that I played as recently as 2 years ago with no deviation.

    So my question is this - YOU are in charge for making Forza Horizon 6. What needs to be added or changed to make the series stay fresh?

    We need to get a racing game into our Hall of Greats and FH5 is genuinely a great candidate but I want to compare it to other potential great's as well. If we go back to the original racing festival video game series, Motorstorm, there is a distinct attention to thrilling track design. In FH5, the circuits are small and samey. The rally style tracks take place in the same open world that you drive around normally, but this time there are a few flag marker checkpoints. Nothing is bespoke.

    So my question is this - Is the lack of great or even good track design not a major knock against Forza Horizon 5? If not, what qualities do you think the game brings to table to nullify this shortcoming?

    --

    --

    @Brannox regarding DOOM II

    So I need to preface this by letting people know that if they have any questions about newcomers to DOOM II, I only played DOOM II for the first time in my life this weekend. It's my first DOOM game in the OG series and I am completely blown away by it. I have had more fun in the first hour of DOOM II than I did for the entirety of DOOM 2016. [RHETORICAL] Why do people not talk about OG DOOM series enough?! Haha

    I told some friends how I finally tried DOOM II and how blown away I was and they asked me which version I was playing. In which I replied, "Dunno — whatever is on Game Pass". In which they said, "The PSX version is way better and has a completely different tone, atmosphere, and music"

    So I looked up the PSX music and I was pretty shocked at how different it is. It makes the version I was playing feel cartoony and whimsical by comparison.

    So my question is this - Do the distinctions in the various versions of DOOM II make it hard to discuss the game as one whole? I ask because it seems like different people had dramatically different experiences with the same game.

    Tell me about the modding in DOOM II. On cursory research, it seems like this game has had community support for the entirety of my life. Some of these mods looks nuts. How does it impact your personal experience with the game?

    --

    Thanks to both of you!



  • FYI I know there's a lot going on in this thread right now, so I'll make an aggregation of all of the questions and answers before the end of the day.



  • Answering @ffff0's Question regarding the Single-Take Camera

    I personally love the One-Shot Take. I can see where you’re coming from with performance wise, but another game in around the same time frame, Horizon Zero Dawn a game I love, load times were pretty long. At least in regards to God of War, when you do have those interstitial moments of traveling between realms, you have a tad more engagement with Mimir talking and you’re walking with Atreus. And the areas of Yggdrasil, the life tree are wonderful looking.

    At least as well you have areas you can go. To and from with these doors, which are loading screens, but you do get interesting conversations with Mimir which I do appreciate. And early on without Mimir, you have talks with Atreus to at least showcase some stuff without silence in the tree.

    It also brings you closer to Kratos and see the emotions he’s having through that closeness which I highly appreciate after the Greek Mythology saga!