Yes, Josh is a munchkin. I guess that’s what makes him so… “lovable”?
I’ve been thinking more about the looting compulsion I experienced in this game. I’ve been playing through the game again, so a lot of this is coming back to me. I think I’ve identified a couple of bad spots that led to self-defeating behavior:
- Early in the game, I discovered the LIMB clinic sold Praxis kits for $5,000, and I had less than $2,000 at the time. This sent me a signal: There are level-ups available that you can’t afford. You’re in danger of missing them. The massive gap between what you have ($2k) and what you need ($10k) means you need to be bringing in a lot more money. Thus began the looting compulsion. This continued even after I had enough to buy the Praxis kits, because I never knew when more would show up, how many there would be, or how many the game would “expect” me to have.
- Later we have the long stretch through the Pangu, TYM, the ambush, and the Picus building where we have two different boss-type encounters without encountering a single shop. This sent me another signal: You never know when the next shop will show up, so you should always make sure to dump your inventory to the bare minimum before you go someplace new.
- This led to me making extra shop trips, and caused me to show up to the Malik fight with just a pistol and stunner. No grenades. Which means I didn’t have the means to bring down the robot, which means I really had no way to save Malik.
I’m not complaining that this fight was “too hard” or anything. Unlike the other set-piece encounters, this one gave you some freedom and didn’t feel like a lame cheat. You weren’t railroaded into acting like a dumbass, the bad guys just sucker-punched you. I showed up without the tools to win, and so I didn’t. Really, if I’d actually been playing my character I would have allowed ONE INVENTORY SLOT for holding EMP grenades or some other anti-bot tool.
I just find it interesting that the looting and shop mechanics had this unintended impact on my gameplay, and my attempt to make sure I didn’t miss out on Praxis points resulted in me not having enough murder mojo to save my pilot. I called Josh a munchkin in this episode, but I was being a munchkin in my own awkward way, and it led to my undoing. Well, Malik’s undoing.
And yes, saving her on my current play-through felt pretty good.
We’re not going to get the chance to cover it in the show, but I thought her death was a bit lame. You find her body (in pristine condition) in Tong’s chop shop. You can’t say anything to anyone about it. You don’t tell Pritchard. She’s just there, as a bit of room clutter.
Quakecon 2011 Keynote Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
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Back in 1999, I rode the dot-com bubble. Got rich. Worked hard. Went crazy. Turned poor. It was fun.
Spec Ops: The Line
A videogame that judges its audience, criticizes its genre, and hates its premise. How did this thing get made?
Push the Button!
Scenes from Half-Life 2:Episode 2, showing Gordon Freeman being a jerk.
The Truth About Piracy
What are publishers doing to fight piracy and why is it all wrong?