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Lies, Damned Lies and Videogame Previews


Harsin
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The videogame media machine is almost entirely built on salivating hype-based previews and it's not uncommon for what we eventually plops on our doorstep bears little resemblance to what we read about all those months ago be it due to overenthusisatic PR, tight deadlines or Peter Molyneux. In this thread we look back at what we expected and what we got.

I'll start with probably one of the most prominent examples, Halo 2. Obviously there was the infamous E3 2003 trailer that everyone remembers.

Here's a preview from PlayTM magazine.

http://play.tm/preview/651/halo-2/

Halo 2 will feature far more dynamic environments, landscapes that change and move based on the actions of the player, and in an unpredictable, non-scripted fashion.
Earth's moon serving as a low-gravity level
New control options and enhancements will feature, most notably the ability to look round corners and over ledges

I also remember in the run-up to Halo 2 them talking about you being able to destroy light sources so you could stealth round the levels and that enemies would use dynamic cover such as tipping over tables.

I don't remember that in Halo 2, hell I don't remember that in Halo 3.

For lols here's early Gordon Freeman, so changes aren't always for the worse.

1z6y5bt.jpg

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...being able to destroy light sources so you could stealth round the levels

Even Perfect Dark had that on N64 and to great effect too. I don't recall seeing that feature ever since in first-person shooters. Thank heavens it's coming to Arcade.

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I remember one particularly deceiving video preview of Mass Effect where they were boasting about the size of the explorable galaxy and to show this off the dev picked a "random" planet to explore. The planet he chose happened to be that one from near the end of the game where you drive your Space APC down a long river on a tropical type planet. In other words one of the main quest planets and not one of the usual variety which turned out to just consist of a palette swapped barren terrain with some identikit container box houses if you were lucky.

They also made a big deal about the natural dialogue system and how you could interrupt people and whatnot, which I believe they're putting back in the sequel.

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I remember one particularly deceiving video preview of Mass Effect where they were boasting about the size of the explorable galaxy and to show this off the dev picked a "random" planet to explore. The planet he chose happened to be that one from near the end of the game where you drive your Space APC down a long river on a tropical type planet. In other words one of the main quest planets and not one of the usual variety which turned out to just consist of a palette swapped barren terrain with some identikit container box houses if you were lucky.

I remember seeing the same thing with one of Oblivions' dungeons being demonstrated, it featured a boss fight with a giant enemy crab, and claims that every dungeon would have an epic boss fight at the end.

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Oblivion was particularly bad for this.

Remember the quest system? How you would pick up quests by overhearring other people talk about them, then enquire about them in conversations?

Or the totally not-at-all-scripted-in-the-least radiant AI system where NPCs had full, busy lives that involved archery practice and pet abuse, and not just spending 90% of the time staring at walls and talking about mudcrabs?

Me neither.

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/demo-dem...er-scrolls/7904

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Even Perfect Dark had that on N64 and to great effect too. I don't recall seeing that feature ever since in first-person shooters. Thank heavens it's coming to Arcade.

Didn't the first Syphon Filter game also use that? Never played any of the rest.

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The DC had it's fair share of overhyped tat; most notably Sonic Adventure and Shenmue.

Oh, and last-gen tech demos are always good for a laugh:

EDIT: and Unity/VLM/Space Giraffe - don't get me wrong, SG's a nice little game, but the amount of baseless "we don't know what it is but we're excited" babble in Edge was a bit silly.

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Oblivion was particularly bad for this.

Remember the quest system? How you would pick up quests by overhearring other people talk about them, then enquire about them in conversations?

That's a bit unfair - this definitely made it into the final game.

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"Not only does Core believe that Angel of Darkness will resurrect the Lara Croft franchise, they’ve gone so far as to announce that this title will actually comprise the first ten chapters of a videogame “book.” The book will then be played out over the next few years through various sequels. Core clearly believes that they’re on to something remarkable if they’re already declaring that we’ll be seeing lots of Lara before she even makes her comeback."

Well, we all remember how that panned out...

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There is always going to be amazing ideas in the Games Industry which have to be reigned in by Time, Money and Technology.

I remember hearing about the Fable stuff and thinking it was awesome and they have still not really integrated those ideas into Fable 2. Maybe 3 or 4 might do what they said. :facepalm:

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"Not only does Core believe that Angel of Darkness will resurrect the Lara Croft franchise, they’ve gone so far as to announce that this title will actually comprise the first ten chapters of a videogame “book.” The book will then be played out over the next few years through various sequels. Core clearly believes that they’re on to something remarkable if they’re already declaring that we’ll be seeing lots of Lara before she even makes her comeback."

Well, we all remember how that panned out...

On a similar note.

"Too Human, from when we started to work on the game for the 360, has been a trilogy. For the first game, the theme is discovery; the second game, the theme is revenge; the third game is enlightenment. We know exactly what's going to happen from beginning to end. It's planned out in such a way that there is without question a reason for the three parts. If there would have been a reason for four parts, we wouldn't call it a trilogy, we would call it a... canto, I guess."

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On a similar note.

"Too Human, from when we started to work on the game for the 360, has been a trilogy. For the first game, the theme is discovery; the second game, the theme is revenge; the third game is enlightenment. We know exactly what's going to happen from beginning to end. It's planned out in such a way that there is without question a reason for the three parts. If there would have been a reason for four parts, we wouldn't call it a trilogy, we would call it canned, I guess."

Fixed.

Harsh but fair.

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