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IMMORTALITY


bradigor
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42 minutes ago, Mogster said:

If you have an Nvidia card you can force it from the Nvidia settings per application 3D settings. This worked for me, and I assume there's an AMD equivalent.

 

Thanks, I'll give that a go. Somewhat annoying to have to manually fix stuff like this in a "10/10" game eh...

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Some initial impressions after playing for a few hours:

 

Spoiler

It's a lot like Her Story. You're piecing together the truth of someone's life through little backstage moments, and trying to make sense of it all in a similar way.

 

I've seen some of the other "stuff" as well though, which is not at all like Her Story.

 

I'm honestly not sure what to make of it so far. I can see how some people might be very taken by it, but I've seen better examples of using the interactive medium in clever, metatextual ways in something like Inscryption, and I've seen more whip smart and thought provoking writing in something like Disco Elysium.

 

I also just watched The Handmaiden recently, which has an amazing exploration of the destructive and the perverse at the expense of a performer and of the prisons erected around them. So I can't help but refer to better, more interesting adjacent film media as well.

 

What it does do it does well though, so I'm looking forward to exploring more of it.

 

But purely from the perspective of my initial reactions, it's left me a bit non plussed. I think if maybe my experience of all media was only ever playing videogames it might look like something really special, but unfortunately it can't help but sit awkwardly in my mind with how I left Her Story thinking "that was clever, I think. Now I'd like to read an actual story I don't have to piece together"

 

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12 hours ago, Mogster said:

If you have an Nvidia card you can force it from the Nvidia settings per application 3D settings. This worked for me, and I assume there's an AMD equivalent.

 

Thank you! I had noticed the same thing (very few things irk me more than screen tearing). Will check it out in the GeForce app before the next time I play. 

 

This game makes me wish I had a proper home theatre. It's absolutely begging to be played on a cinema screen with big subwoofers. 

 

I do own a 1080p projector but don't really have anywhere to set it up 😞

 

As for the game itself, it's obviously a masterpiece. Had me hooked from the description that popped up from the very first achievement I unlocked: 

 

Spoiler

10G - The Hessenbergs - Collected both Hessenbergs 

Spoiler

NO MATTER HOW MANY I KILL THERE ARE ALWAYS MORE

 

 

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3 hours ago, Rudderless said:

 

What self-congratulatory, supercilious claptrap. 

 

That was why I said my experience, as I can't account for how anyone else might feel about it. I can't help but compare it to a lot of other media by association, based on my personal experience, and I think reaction to this title will come down to whatever experience someone brings to it in their own mind, both positive and negative. I didn't mean it to come across like it may have sounded.

 

I don't for example understand a lot of the political references in Disco Elysium, and I feel I'm missing out on a lot of it because of that, so it works both ways.

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I think it also stands to reason that if a person only ever plays videogames, then their only other media frame of reference would be other videogames. But I'm not trying to say that's the reason other people have been really enjoying this game. I don't like the idea of "gatekeeping" at all in art - but I do like being able to look at a game critically and for that I will draw on my own experience to analyse what is or is not something I like in them.

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So I’m now fully finished with this.

 

As a game........there’s basically nothing to it.

 

As a film..........Worst film ever.

 

So how does it work? Well the human brain needs to make order out of chaos. That primal urge will keep driving you on until you reach a satisfying conclusion.

 

You are at its core, taking all these different clips/pieces and sorting them, until they start to form into something that makes sense. Until they start to create a bigger coherent picture. Does that describe anything? Yes it does.

 

You’re playing a glorified Jigsaw puzzle.

 

Having spent some more time with it though I’d say it’s a 5 or 6/10 for me, rather than a 3/10.  There’s a crazy amount of detail that’s gone into it. I didn’t enjoy any of it though whilst playing it. Piecing the narrative together afterwards was where the main pull came from.

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It's interesting. Not really a game, imo. More a visual experience. I played for about 5 hours, saw the credits, experienced most of what was on offer. Read the spoilers thread, went back and tried a few more things and was rewarded for it.

 

It's, pretty good really, an interesting experience and obviously very clever. An edge 10? Hmm... For it's technical accomplishments? Maybe. For it's gameplay? Definitely not. For it's story? For the unique way it is told? Maybe.

 

Well worth a go I think. 

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I think I'm starting to piece bits together now. Though I'm getting an overriding sense that

 

Spoiler

The creators of the movies in question are terrible film makers :lol:. I don't know if that's intentional, or if you're supposed to imagine they are some sort of respected auteurs, because the "script" within them is too poor for that.

 

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I think the visual quality of the film sequences themselves are really very good: they capture the look of the film stock of the respective time periods exceptionally well. But the actual dialogue within them unfortunately does not.

 

I think a lot of the time it's really wrestling with trying to be something more but all the constituent parts don't really add up for me.

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I don't think the movies are meant to be particularly great movies? Look at the list of writers on Immortality (Allan Scott (Queen’s Gambit and Don’t Look Now), Amelia Gray (Mr. Robot and Maniac), and Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart and Lost Highway). That seems like far too good a set of writers for me to think they've unknowingly written a load of old ham/schlock for the three fictional movies.

 

I am finding the movies entertaining though (Ambrosia less so than the other two, I am always a bit disappointed when a clip of that comes up rather than the other two). You wouldn't watch any of the three in order as a normal movie but that's not remotely the point.

 

I think this is rather fantastic although I am now getting to the point where I have a reasonably clear idea of the three movie's plots, if not a total understanding of beginning, middle and end, yet not really the faintest clue what went down behind the scenes to scupper them all with the minor exception of Minsk.

 

Looking forward to 'playing' more tomorrow though. And it's far too soon for me to jump into the spoiler thread just yet.

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Yep definitely folks don't dip into the spoiler thread until you've at least seen the end credits!

 

Although I didn't find the movies that compelling in themselves, I did enjoy piecing together the plots. Actually although like you I initially found Ambrosia the weakest, I found it a lot more compelling the more you unlock of it, and the acting and themes in it are great. Another thing I really liked was the way the game shows how actors and directors re-do scenes and what a big impact delivery and subtle differences can make to the impact of a scene in film/TV. It must have been very odd to write and film this game about making films. I do think that Barlow and his team do a great job in their games in sourcing relatively unknown actors (at least in Her Story and this, Telling Lies had more known actors) - who smash it out of the park. 

 

I've seen most of what the game has to offer now and I feel like for me its an 8 or 9 out of 10. I think its better than Telling Lies, but Her Story was so simple in its execution and had such a clever and tight plot its hard to beat. Even though this is miles ahead in production, exploration of themes and general wizardary. Its very unique and I think it does what it sets out to do very well. I think its less of a game than the other two in terms of the detective element, but makes up for it with its performances and interesting ideas, as well as some unforgettable moments. I still find myself thinking about the game when not playing it, which I also got from Her Story, and there's a lot of interesting themes and questions to discuss afterwards, which is always good. From a technical and narrative design point of view its an amazing achievement. Visualising, writing and constructing a game like this,as well as basically having to record hours of real film quality footage with actors is crazy - only made possible through Barlow and co's experience on their previous games. Can't wait to see what they do next.

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On 03/09/2022 at 01:11, Flanders said:

I was trying to figure out why I deviate so wildly between being gripped and completely bored by this, and I realised it was because anything that’s ‘off-screen’ is interesting but in between that you literally are just watching three deeply tedious films via clips that are out of order. 

 

I think this is oddly the experience I was having with it, but it's so intriguing I've already pumped hours into it and haven't seen the credits yet.

 

I keep veering between admiring the cleverness and effort that went into it and yet cursing how dreary the fake films are at the heart of it.

 

Spoiler

It feels like a lot of the points about art it is making are undermined by not having particularly good examples on screen. Or by dialogue by a certain person that is often muffled and slurred. Which I'm not sure if is an affectation, but subtitles helped.

 

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This is such an interesting game and like many others I'm strangely conflicted about it. I can absolutely see it as an Edge 10 while at the same time I understand why some people barely consider it a game. Many of its mechanics still seem obscure to me after getting to the end, playing for a long while and having pieced together the story. I have no real idea what the image grid was for, to be honest, and I never quite felt like I was playing it right... and at the same time I was totally gripped by it and find myself reflecting on it in a way most games never inspire me to. The craft and skill that's gone into the film pastiches and the use of rehearsal and raw footage is amazing and I was really quickly seduced into thinking that these three films could have existed. When you think about the way the game is structured it reminds me of the Dada/William Burroughs cut-up technique for novels: almost random but with the benefit of giving a really specific kind of agency to the reader/player.

 

I think the most interesting thing is where Barlow and this kind of game goes next. I think there might be a law of diminishing returns without a stronger gameplay spine and more refined or defined mechanics. But ultimately this is the most memorable game I've played in years, even if it's not 'the best'.

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I'd be interested to see this re-edited linearly as a fake documentary. It'd maybe not work but it'd be interesting to see.

 

I think the acting is very good. Everything about it in terms of the technical elements of making a film is great, I'm not sure how successful it is outside that.

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3 minutes ago, Stanley said:

The movies are deliberately a bit hammy and crap, that was my take. It’s actors plying actors, playing actors though, and then there are stories within stories, and the story. 

I think it’s less hammy and crap and more a really careful pastiche of quite specific films and forms. Ambrosio really could be a lost Ken Russell film. 

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7 hours ago, Benny said:

 

I think this is oddly the experience I was having with it, but it's so intriguing I've already pumped hours into it and haven't seen the credits yet.

 

I keep veering between admiring the cleverness and effort that went into it and yet cursing how dreary the fake films are at the heart of it.

 

  Hide contents

It feels like a lot of the points about art it is making are undermined by not having particularly good examples on screen. Or by dialogue by a certain person that is often muffled and slurred. Which I'm not sure if is an affectation, but subtitles helped.

 

But isn't that half the point? All of the things these people are putting themselves through, all the slightly terrible hammy a level art student bullshit they're spouting, and the films don't even look good. 

Spoiler

It really spoke to me as someone who has always been scared to actually make things in case they're crap. If one of the central ideas of the game is Immortalising yourself through art, imagine if the image you leave is in a load of two star shite no matter how pure your intentions are. 

As for the actual clips, I found them engaging enough, especially looking for subtext and where the actors are and how they've changed in each film. There's a clear nervousness to Marissa in the early clips of Ambrosio compared to how assured and arty she is in Minsky compared to how jaded and desperate she is in 2OE. I personally found loads to look for in the performances even around the fact that not all of the clips were 5 star thrillers. As someone who studied film and wanted to go into that world it's fun seeing people try and fail, and having those "Oh I see what they were going for there even if it doesn't quite work" moments.

 

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Let’s not forget, in the world of Immortality these movies never even had a commercial release, 2OE wasn’t even straight to video!

 

These days Netflix would snap them up no problem and make them into a six part mini series. Oh the irony. 

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1 hour ago, BitterToad said:

But isn't that half the point? All of the things these people are putting themselves through, all the slightly terrible hammy a level art student bullshit they're spouting, and the films don't even look good. 

  Hide contents

It really spoke to me as someone who has always been scared to actually make things in case they're crap. If one of the central ideas of the game is Immortalising yourself through art, imagine if the image you leave is in a load of two star shite no matter how pure your intentions are. 

As for the actual clips, I found them engaging enough, especially looking for subtext and where the actors are and how they've changed in each film. There's a clear nervousness to Marissa in the early clips of Ambrosio compared to how assured and arty she is in Minsky compared to how jaded and desperate she is in 2OE. I personally found loads to look for in the performances even around the fact that not all of the clips were 5 star thrillers. As someone who studied film and wanted to go into that world it's fun seeing people try and fail, and having those "Oh I see what they were going for there even if it doesn't quite work" moments.

 

 

Spoiler

Yeah there is the central theme of the suffering that can be created when trying to create art which is interesting. The pervasive and insidious idea that suffering is actually necessary to create great art is also of course bollocks, so I'm hoping once I've finished it that will be the general message. So far though a bit of the subtext in certain *bits* feels somewhat confused and wishy-washy at times though.

 

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Er, end spoiler

 

Spoiler

I got to what I assume would be the credits but it just froze with no actual credits with music playing endlessly on a loop. I can't even exit with the escape key. I'm assuming it's not intentional or have I missed something?

 

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No spoilers but I think I've finally come around to appreciating this for what it is. It's probably one of the most "interesting" interactive experiences out there. Certainly this year. I think it *is* flawed, and I'm not sure it's quite up to the breathless praise I've seen written about it, BUT I can completely understand where that praise is coming from.

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I feel a bit daft asking this after however many hours I've already put into the game, but here goes: 

 

How do you go back to the immediate last clip you were watching? 

 

Too often I'll click on someone or something that looks interesting, and then realise I hadn't actually watched the whole clip before leaving it behind. 

 

I know it all goes on the grid and I could presumably re-find it from there, but is there a quick way?

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I don't think there is unfortunately. I generally ended up filtering by the film it was in then just looking for the last frame I saw. If you filter by pictures taken you'll see your last taken image and can probably compare to the still of the clip you're looking for, as it saves where you were in the clip when you left it.

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