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Hewson

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Everything posted by Hewson

  1. Hahaha. Yep - it's not quite the palate cleanser after that experience, that's for sure.
  2. I've been playing this for a few hours now and it's all a bit awkward and I'm not sure what I should be doing really. Very aware that lots of people have said it's worth sticking with, though, so wondering if anyone had any tips for first few hours. Should I be focusing on building trust with the two camps so I can buy better weapons? I've upgraded my bike as much as I can so far and that's helping a bit...
  3. I promise I’ll drop this now, but I just don’t understand what you mean. The fact that the characters don’t discuss violence or Druckmann says it’s not ‘about’ violence doesn’t mean the game isn’t fundamentally about it and fascinated by it.There’s a real argument to be made that this is the most graphically violent entertainment of all time. It’s obviously cool for your response to that to be “I think that all the effort and care they put into realising gruesome violence absolutely worked.” But to behave as if it’s odd that violence is a core theme of the game and the creative effort seems perverse.
  4. Absolutely - I'm not arguing at any point that it hasn't. Just pointing out that saying it's 'weird' to question the violence when it's the focus of so much resource and lavish detail is a bit strange. It's obviously a legitimate point of view - just as it is to have personally no issue with it. And quite a few of the people who bought it have found that the portrayal of violence in it left them uncomfortable or was interestingly dissonant with some of what feel like the aims of the game. Relating to the first point, sure, but it's a sliding scale, not a binary one. 'Realistic violence' isn't always the best way to communicate the impact of violence. To be clear, I'm not questioning the value of the game or anyone's enjoyment - I just responded to the specific idea that criticising the violence was somehow weird. It's clearly legitimate.
  5. It's not a weird argument at all. I mean, this is an incredibly violent game and a huge amount of lavish resource has been spent on realising extremely violent actions, abuse, torture and death. It's not surprising that some people have found that questionable, especially in the wider context of the themes the game explores. Saying 'it's their art' basically renders any discussion of it moot. And it doesn't hold up. Lots of art is intended to be something specific but fails to meet the creators' goals or hits consumers in very different ways. The point here is that they chose to render violence in extremely graphic ways and that indisputably hasn't worked for quite a lot of people.
  6. I think it's difficult for Druckmann to claim that the game isn't trying to teach something about morality. Obviously different people react differently and have different feelings, but the game is incredibly specific and its structure is bent to a single aim: to illustrate different points of view and put you as the player in a tricky position. I agree that it's good that 'the reasons are present at least' as you say earlier, and I think your take on it trying to tease out ideas around closure and forgiveness is valid and interesting but for me it's absolutely overshadowed by the extreme violence. If his aim wasn't to make this about morality, the execution undercuts that ultimately. That's not to say I didn't think about some of those things throughout. As I said, I think it's really interesting in many, many ways. I'm not sure I'm making a point about ludonarrative dissonance. It's not necessarily about body count or narrative per se. For me it's all about some interesting clashes between what feels like the aims, the structure, the tone, the gratuitousness of the violence and some of the more thoughtful aspects of the whole thing. As I said at first, I think it's a really impressive creation and I'm glad they're trying to do interesting things. I just think that means its contradictions are thrown into deep relief. And I guess that's why it's provoking so many interesting conversations!
  7. Thanks for that - of course this game in particular seems to provoke very different responses so totally respect your view. From my side, the final confrontation and the build up to it of trying to build empathy for both sides through using them as your avatar is an explicit decision that separates this game out from what you do in games all the time. Of course there are games where you might not endorse the actions of your character, but this is a formal and intentional set up to provoke a certain kind of dissonance. It's explicitly asking you to question Ellie's (and your) actions. I'm not saying it's wrong or invalid. Just for me it's an alienation technique that seemed laboured. I didn't really connect with it emotionally - I felt like I was being consciously and pedantically taught a very obvious lesson: there are two sides to every story and beating someone to death is morally wrong. The second point isn't to draw a direct parallel between game creation and responding to abuse on social media. I just find it odd that someone so sensitive on so many levels - who'd automatically include trigger warnings on something like that - would create a game that in terms of violence and abuse is so extreme. It doesn't really matter that the point he's making in all good faith might be anti violence. I just think it's odd, and it's an oddness that sits throughout the game. It's really thoughtful in many ways and really thoughtless in others.
  8. Finished this yesterday and it's just fascinating. It's ambitious, technically astonishing, pleasingly diverse and thoughtful about character, scripted and performed at a level that no other video game can touch... it's basically the perfect execution of a really flawed concept. That very formal structure they impose really worked against the pacing for me. It's less about pure hours and more the fact that the structure intentionally disguises itself. So that last third comes as a real shock in particular, but basically I had almost no sense of how long was left at any given point and often had completely the wrong expectation. That at times left me feeling bored or restless, especially as the looting gameplay loop is such explicit busy work. It's obviously more accomplished in gameplay terms than the first, but the simplicity of the original's structure and the sense of a clear physical and emotional journey was a huge loss for me in comparison. Driving towards a gameplay moment where you don't want your protagonist to do something you have to do is an interesting idea, similar to alienation in Brechtian theatre, but it can't help but kill emotional investment. The idea is explicitly to make a point rather than tell a story or suspend disbelief. The reason I very likely won't play this game again, though, is the sheer level of violence. I really, really disliked it, especially towards the end. The prurient and loving rendition of really pointless savagery clashes horribly with the ambition of the game to question violent acts. Druckmann (rightly) uses trigger warnings when sharing abuse he's received on Twitter. But that seems a bit bizarre from a man who also drove a huge host of creatives to spend thousands of hours animating acts of graphic violence and abuse for the enjoyment of gamers. And yet despite all that I'm really glad it exists and it's clear that, even if I personally think it's quite contradictory and flawed, we at least have a very big game here that's genuinely trying to grapple with some really big ideas in ways that make you think carefully about what the medium can do. I wouldn't have missed it.
  9. That's the thing, though, isn't it? There's quite a sliding scale of commitment possible. On one hand I can completely applaud MS's huge effort. On the other it's absolutely not a selling point for me and I've very rarely touched older games on my One X. PersonallyI think Sony's approach sounds about right. I'd prefer the resource put into other things on the whole.
  10. I'm really interested that lots of people seem so underwhelmed by the focus both machines, but particularly PS5, have on loading times. I fell in love with consoles partly because they were so different from PCs and so utterly focused on gaming. The use of cartridges and the speed you could get into a game was a huge part of that for me. The simplicity and immediacy were wonderful. And being a parent, the sheer grind of swapping between games or loading a new one up is a huge waste of my very limited gaming time. I know it sounds prosaic, but I can't wait!
  11. Finally persuaded Diana to piss off yesterday after weeks of passive and not-so-passive aggression only to read a Eurogamer piece this morning that led me to discover she's currently the 7th 'most valuable' villager in the lunatic currency market that's broken out.
  12. Caroline blissfully unaware of the horror that stalks today's fishing tournament.
  13. Thanks ever so much @evil p. Really enjoyed seeing your island and really appreciated the turnip prices! Left a tip!
  14. Wild City is open again. My daughter is on at the moment but people are most welcome to visit. Code: 8BDBV
  15. Wild City - our shared family island - is open for a few hours. Native cherries and pansies but all the fruit. Bike and trike in Nook’s Cranny. Jester’s hat in the Able Sisters. Turnips at 105. We’ll be AFK most of the time, but visitors most welcome. Dodo: 3XWQ8
  16. Getting this old-school tape recorder inspired me to sit in bed last night and design the top belonging to the surveillance guy from the Lives of Others. My wife was baffled.
  17. Loving this thread as much as the game. I’m playing with my daughter being the main Islander, but if anyone fancies adding me up I’m on SW-0474-2520-6820
  18. Thanks, both. That's exactly what I feared. I'm really shocked - only had it a year.
  19. Anyone else had drift on their controller? My right stick seems to be registering an upward push that I can't correct. Never had that with a MS controller before.
  20. I have so enjoyed playing this game and while I have a bit of a mixed view about Gamepass in some ways, this is a brilliant example of it at its best. I wouldn't have played this otherwise and I'm really, really glad I have. It's such a rich and distinct world, something that's really lacking in the gaming landscape. It reminds me of The Witch or the Lighthouse because it's so bracingly different. I loved the relationship between the kids and the way it makes you feel protective of others - something that's again quite rare and often accompanied by irritating gameplay. I'd also recommend switching to the French audio.
  21. Picked this up in the Xbox sale and am only a few hours in but it’s really dragging me out of a gaming slump. Struggled to enjoy much this year and it’s giving me really pleasant Psi-Ops vibes combined with a really memorable location and a story that respects my time.
  22. Hewson

    Unable to kill

    This is such an interesting topic. I think a huge amount of it is about context and tone. There's no doubt that I've become less inclined to enjoy outright violence in games as I've got older, and there are some games I'd love to share with my kids that I just can't - Assassin's Creed stands out here, though they did a brilliant thing with the educational mode. But it's also true to say that one of my most enjoyed games of the last few years was Sniper Elite 4. In contrast, Tomb Raider has really stuck in my craw this gen and I think the issue there is that those games paint Lara Croft as having some kind of moral high ground which really jars with the extreme violence.
  23. I'm really struggling to get started with making levels. Is there a good guide somewhere? Found the pigeon videos fine but I feel like I don't fully understand the tools. Should I just jump in and blunder my way through?
  24. I also think it looks ropey - particularly the animation and the wookies - but I'm also getting a slight Psi-Ops vibe off it which is making me surprisingly optimistic.
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