Spider-Man: Homecoming

By Shamus
on Jul 26, 2017
Filed under:
Movies

Based on the reviews I see in my social media circles and favorite YouTube critics, Spider-Man: Homecoming seems to be getting a “pretty good, but not great” reception from people. I saw it this Saturday with by brother Dan. Not only did I like it, but I think it’s the best Spider-Man movie. Yes, even better than the Sam Raimi films. Yes, I realize that’s a terribly controversial opinion.

Let me explain where I’m coming from…

I probably got hooked on Spider-Man through the 1967 animated show. You know, the one with the theme song people are always referencingHomecoming actually gives it a nod at the start of the movie, featuring a drastic rearrangement of the famous theme.. Spidey’s first live-action appearanceUnless you want to count the educational bits in the Electric Company. was in the the television series that debuted in 1977. I was six, and had just started school.

I remember being really frustrated with the show. I couldn’t put it into words at the time, but I suppose my various child-like complaints could be summed up under the broad heading of “lack of production value”. Spidey didn’t fight anything that could remotely pass as a super villain. The eye holes in his costume looked like swim goggles crossed with horn-rimmed glasses. They didn’t really have the budget to depict his web-swinging, and the whole thing was very, very light on action.

Kids are pretty good at filling in the blanks with their imagination, but the cartoons had already showed me what a Spider-Man show should look like. This was a show with a 27 year old guy who looked 35 and pretend to be a 20 year old while spending 47 of the 50 minute run time wandering around office sets not dressed like Spider-Man. That was not what I expected from my Spider-Man based entertainment. I watched it every week, hoping that this week they would finally focus on the Spider-Man part of Spider-Man stories and not on all the boring “talking” stuff. Adorably, I didn’t understand how television budgets worked. I thought they just didn’t know any better.

Looking back as an adult, the show really was a mess. The writing seemed vaguely embarrassed of the source material, like the writer wanted to make something “for grownups”. At the same time, they took out both Uncle Ben and Aunt May, thus depriving the story of its richest source of drama and personal motivation. If there’s anything an adult audience should be able to sink their teeth into, it seems like “a hero looking for redemption after allowing his father figure to die because he didn’t respect the power that had been given to him” should be the most obvious thing to keep. Without the whole “great power, great responsibility” angle, the character is missing some of his most important building blocks.

So I was a Spider-fan, but I hadn’t fallen in love with the character yet. That didn’t happen until I got this:

My original copy was lost or destroyed, but I got another in the late 90`s. It`s still in very good condition today.

My original copy was lost or destroyed, but I got another in the late 90`s. It`s still in very good condition today.

This. This is what shaped my entire perception of what Spider-Man was and should be. The idea that getting super powers wouldn’t solve all your problems just gave the story so much… well, I didn’t know the word verisimilitude yet, but that’s what I wanted to explain to people in 1979. It didn’t feel like an empty fantasy. Peter’s struggles to be a hero and also please his friends and family felt so very genuine. Yes, there were a lot of contrivances in play to make sure that his superhero life kept intruding into his personal life, but kids are generally blind to contrivance. The story strung me along for all 127 pages, always leaving me wondering if Peter would ever find peace and stability. He usually won, but always at great cost to himself.

The book was a collection of 6 different stories, mostly from the early 70s. It featured fights with Rhino, Electro, and the Green Goblin. It also featured a fight against John Jameson, son of Peter’s infamous boss. (He was an astronaut that got moon-powers. It wasn’t very interestingIt also wasn’t the last time they would pull this trick. In this book, he gained strength to make him strong enough to jump around on Earth the way he was able to jump around on the moon. At some other point in the Spider-Man timeline, the moon turned him into a werewolf. He was two different supervillains, but was somehow still boring.) It ended with Peter kissing then-girlfriend Gwen Stacey and the author chiding the audience for thinking that Spidey never gets a happy ending. If I’d known that in the regular comic timeline she was already dead it would have broken my heart.

The thing is, I didn’t really buy Spider-Man comics after this point. I loved Spider-Man, but when given the choice between spending my allowance on Spider-Man or videogames, videogames always won. So my perception of the character was sort of frozen in time, forever trapped in the angst and melancholy of those early 70s comics. The next time I visited him, he’d married a supermodel and was swinging around town in a black costume made of space magic. The cultural shift we call “The 90s” actually hit Spider-Man kind of early, and the hipper, edgier, sexier, darker version of the character didn’t really resonate with me. I guess I should be grateful they didn’t have Peter grow a stupid mullet.

The Rhino story would be unimportant, save for the fact that it ends with the introduction of MJ.

The Rhino story would be unimportant, save for the fact that it ends with the introduction of MJ.

I admit it would be totally unreasonable to insist that a character remain hermetically sealed at a single point in their personal history. There’s only so many times you can re-tell the same story and hit the same character beats, and if you’re going to follow a character for decades then that character needs to go through some changes. A story with a fixed status quo will eventually fall into a rut. Worse, having a stable status quo tends to kill the tension and stretch credulity, because in real life people change along with their circumstances. I don’t object to the new versions of the character. I got my Spider-Man in 1979. That’s the one I needed, and the next generation of comic nerds can pick through these newer versions and see what suits them.

Having said that, I connected with Homecoming because it manages to hit that 1979 note for me in a way Sam Raimi never did. Sure, the story is pretty different. Peter is in high school instead of being an adult, his crush isn’t Gwen or MJ, his buddy Ned is from some other version of the character, rival Flash Thompson is a taunting prankster rather than a jock, and lots of other bits of established lore have been moved around. But it hits all the notes I’m looking for in a Spider-story.

Mild thematic spoilers from here on…

Lies. This particular thing never happens in the movie.

Lies. This particular thing never happens in the movie.

The movie does a really good job of merging smart-mouth Spider-Man with stammering Peter Parker, and I know that’s an incredibly hard trick to pull off. No other movie has done such a thorough job of making Peter powerless over his own life. He’s smart and he’s fast and he’s strong, but none of those can help him solve the problems that life keeps throwing his way. In the Raimi stories, I could feel the hand of the writer keeping Peter and MJ from being happy. It felt like they could work things out if the two of them could get their act together. But here in Homecoming the exact nature of the character is perfectly captured at the Homecoming dance: He can have literally everything he wants. All he has to do is give up being Spider-Man.

Sure, the movie doesn’t include his “origin story” in the sense of showing him getting bitten by the spider and watching Uncle Ben die, but it does include the moment where he dedicates himself fully to the job. The moment he walks out of the gymnasium is the moment he truly becomes a superhero.

It was also nice to see him taken down a notch or two, power-wise. Here we see a younger, more inexperienced Spider-Man.

Also, Michael Keaton is wonderful as the Vulture. I know Doctor Octopus was pretty good, but his character arc was “nice guy was suddenly driven evil by computer magic”. That’s not wrong, but it did deprive him of a little depth. The Vulture wasn’t computer-crazy. He was a completely relatable villain with clear motives and some great dialog. I love that his allies weren’t a bunch of dull thugs, but were interesting and funny in their own right.

I do have a few tiny gripes. I dislike how Aunt May is now about 25 years younger and extremely attractive, yet a couple of characters make jokes that only make sense if you know she’s supposed to be old and grey. I realize that it would be stupid to cram in yet ANOTHER rendition of Uncle Ben dying, but the story does feel like there’s a little something missing without at least alluding to it. The reveal that Zendaya‘s character Michelle is supposed to be Mary Jane Watson makes no sense, since she has literally nothing in common with that character in terms of looks, personality, behavior, or her role in the story. It’s like revealing that the Coach Wilson character is nicknamed “J.J.” and he runs the Daily Bugle. It’s just like the reveal that Benjamin Cumberbatch is actually Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness. It’s a reference that can only be meaningful to core fans, but it can’t work for core fans because it doesn’t make any sense.

But these are small gripes. This is the best movie I’ve seen in a while. I get that it didn’t really ignite the fanbase when it came out, but this is exactly what I wanted from a Spider-Man movie.

Also, the Captain America gags were worth the price of admission alone.


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This Dumb Industry: Free Advice Part 1

By Shamus
on Jul 25, 2017
Filed under:
Column

Last week I promised to give some advice to the leadership teams of of major game publishers, who will never read this. I doubt this advice will strike most of you as profound or novel, but I’m doing this anyway in order to drive the point home that the people in charge are making expensive mistakes despite their financial gains.

First, the really obvious stuff: Microsoft needs to ease off the push for more intrusive platforms and invasion of privacyI guess they kinda repented with the new Xbox, but I suspect they’ll try again. They didn’t have a change in company values, they just needed to deal with a PR disaster. and fix the Windows 10 Store before it does some damage. EA needs to stop treating their creative teams like a rental car. I don’t know what Ubisoft is trying to accomplish with Uplay, but whatever it is isn’t working and they should probably just stop. But this is stuff we’ve all heard dozens of times before and all of these are just symptoms of a larger problem.

A Long-Term Problem

Some people have trouble telling the difference between Wall Street and Vegas. (Hint: Vegas is the one with the tits.)

Some people have trouble telling the difference between Wall Street and Vegas. (Hint: Vegas is the one with the tits.)

As some have pointed out, if you’re a shareholder then you might be pretty happy with how these companies are being run. If your only goal is to keep pumping up the stock price and focusing on the short term, then the current crop of guys are doing their jobs. When EA bought Playfish it was a pretty good example of this behavior in action. To an outsider it probably seemed “bold” and “proactive”. Hey, casual games are a thing and EA just made a massive investment in casual games. This must be a good thing! It’s a move made by people who don’t understand the industry, intended to impress people who don’t understand the industry. Sure, it was a terrible move in the long run, but if you’re the kind of jumpy investor who buys and sells based on fads, feelings, and the latest gossip out of the news ticker, then you’re not making long-term judgments.

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Timely Game of Thrones Griping 2: The Wages of Adaptation

By Bob Case
on Jul 24, 2017
Filed under:
Television
This series analyzes the show, but sometimes references the books as well. If you read it, expect spoilers for both.

When last we saw our heroes, Team Dany was at the (conveniently empty) castle of Dragonstone about to plan an invasion, Euron was galivanting off to parts unknown to deliver an unknown gift to Cersei, Arya was off to kill Cersei, and the Hound and company were heading north to do… something or other. Sam is in Oldtown noticing conspicuously circled things in restricted books and nearly getting infected with greyscale (It’s transmitted through touch, Jorah. Keep your hands to yourself!). Jon, Sansa, and Littlefinger are at Winterfell, not really doing much so far. Bran is finally south of the wall. I think that pretty much covers everyone.

The Wages of Adaptation

We start at Dragonstone. The first part of the scene consists of Dany’s brain trust repeating things we already know. Among its other faults this show has a habit of repeating exposition two and three times. To me it feels like padding.

But the scene quickly improves. Dany confronts Varys about where his loyalties lie – in the show-continuity, he’s twice conspired against the King he was supposed to be serving, and Daenerys is understandably wary of his intentions in the future. Varys gets to give a good speech explaining his own actions. It one way, it clarifies the character. In another way, it muddles practically everything that’s happened so far.

This is one of those moments where I feel I have to bring in book knowledge, because it affects how I think this character is supposed to be viewed. To give you the reader’s digest version, in the books there’s another Targaryen: Aegon, a son of Rhaegar’s. Varys and Illyrio (the merchant who originally brokered the Daenerys-Drogo wedding in both books and show) have been keeping his existence secret for quite some time.He’s also probably not an actual Targaryen, but that’s a whole other story. Aegon, to Varys, is the perfect monarch: one who’s been trained since birth with not only the necessary skills, but also (Varys hopes) the necessary appreciation for his duty to the common people of Westeros.

In the books, Aegon’s existence is the revelation that makes many of Varys’ mysterious actions retroactively make sense. In the show, Aegon never appears. Not only that, but Varys also admits that it was him who sent the assassin after Daenerys. In the books the assassin was motivated by a public offer of a lordship for whoever killed her – a scheme thought up by Littlefinger, not Varys. Suddenly Varys has a whole lot of splainin to do, to both Daenerys and the audience.

TFW when your character`s primary motivation has been cut for time.

TFW when your character`s primary motivation has been cut for time.

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Autism?

By Shamus
on Jul 23, 2017
Filed under:
Personal

Back in October of last year this question arrived in the Diecast mailbag. A lot of people have asked me this same question over the years and so I figured it was probably worth answering. On the other hand it felt a little too long, involved, and focused-on-me for the podcast.

Dear Shamus,

As an autistic person myself, I couldn’t help but notice that the experiences you describe both on the diecast and in your life story series on the blog (especially regarding sensory rocessing disorder, such as your difficulty processing two auditory streams at once) are very similar to what is experienced by both myself and my neurosiblings in the autistic community. Have you ever considered whether you might be on the spectrum yourself, or possibly been evaluated as a child? (Autistic kids who learn to hide their symptoms to avoid bullying frequently slip through diagnosis.)

Edith

Edith is probably referring to the early chapters of the Autoblography. I won’t try to summarize all of that personal history here. If you’re curious, you’ll have to read the series. I certainly exhibited a lot of odd behaviors when I was young. And if I’m being honest, I’m still pretty eccentric at 45. In fact, there’s a lot of personal strangeness that I left out of the Autoblography because it would have taken too long to explain or would have been too personally embarrassing.

I began writing a response to Edith’s question months ago, but then forgot all about it until the topic popped up again on Twitter when someone said:

To which I responded:

On one hand, I know it’s really annoying when people go around diagnosing themselves with complex things that they don’t totally understand. On the other hand, when autistic people describe their struggles it sounds pretty familiar. So while I’m reluctant to go around claiming I was / am autistic, I can say fairly definitively that I had some sort of profound neurological dysfunction that greatly inhibited my social development. These days I would expect a kid behaving the way I did to end up diagnosed with something. My malfunctions were off-putting to the adults in my life and prevented me from forming stable relationships.

Whatever my problem is, I couldn’t have been diagnosed with autism because autism itself is a new-ish idea. Our current understanding of it didn’t solidify among academics until the 1970’s. Before this, it was lumped into schizophrenia, which seemed to be our catch-all term for “This person is strange and we don’t know why”. This was long before the internet, which means it took a couple of decades for that understanding to work its way out into the general public where it would be understood by parents and school systems. I didn’t hear the word “autism” until the 90’s or so, long after I’d become an adult.

I knew I was different, but I didn’t understand how I was different or where my problems came from. Just one example of countless memories in my life:

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Steam Backlog: Car Mechanic Simulator 2015

By Shamus
on Jul 21, 2017
Filed under:
Game Reviews

It’s exactly what it says on the tin. You’re a mechanic, and you run an auto repair shop. Customers call you up with car problems, and you can choose which repair jobs interest you. You open the hood, take the engine apart, find the bad bit, and then either repair or replace the damaged part. Then you put the car back together and move on to the next job.

This game was originally Kickstarted for $22,866, and it’s pretty good for a game developed on a budget of that size. By random chance, this review is going to appear on the same day as the launch of Car Mechanic Simulator 2018. This will be the first CMS game since 2015. For the last couple of years developer Play Way has been trying to branch off from cars by making similarThe trailers make them look similar. I haven’t actually played them. mechanic-style games about farm equipment, trucks, and trains. I don’t know enough about this series to comment on those, except to note that the Steam reviews aren’t particularly good for those spinoff titles. This review has nothing to do with any of that. Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 is just the game I decided to play this week.

This game is pretty janky and I have gripes with just about every aspect of it, but I got a good couple of days of entertainment out of it despite that. There are a lot of baffling design decisions here, but the core loop of tearing something apart and putting it back together is really satisfying.

This is the quietest and cleanest repair shop I`ve ever seen.

This is the quietest and cleanest repair shop I`ve ever seen.

The various cars are modeled with an almost fanatical attention to detail, with each car being made up of literally hundreds of parts, all modeled down to the individual bolts. Because of this, it takes some familiarity with the particular model of car to work on it efficiently. (The cars are all fictional. No licensed cars here. I think that’s a plus, since licensed cars always have annoying compromises imposed by image-oriented car companies.) Different engine layouts mean that some cars are easier to work on than others, and knowing what parts you’ll need to disassemble to get at the problem can make a lot of difference in how long it takes you to complete jobs. Beyond the engines, you can repair damaged bodywork, open the doors, check out the detailed interior, and even take the car for a test drive to look for problems.

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Borderlands Part 2: Borderlands is Dope[amine]

By Shamus
on Jul 20, 2017
Filed under:
Borderlands

Before talking about this madhouse of a game where you melt the faces off of psycho killers with shotguns that shoot acid and lightning, let’s talk about a bunch of dry technical stuff about what makes this game tick.

The Loot Loop

I`m going to use screenshots from Borderlands 2, because the interface is much easier to follow.

I`m going to use screenshots from Borderlands 2, because the interface is much easier to follow.

In Borderlands you kill dudes with firearmsAnd sometimes with melee attacks, grenades, and special abilities. But mostly firearms. Every firearm has a number of properties associated with it: Fire rate, damage output, accuracy, magazine capacity, reload speed, recoil. Then there are other properties that only apply in special situations: Elemental damage, bonus melee damage, extra critical damage, ammo regeneration, and scope zoom strength. These numbers are rolled randomly, but are based on the level and rarity of the item.

The loot in Borderlands is divided into several tiers of increasing rarity:

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Nan o’ War: Inter o’ Mission

By Rutskarn
on Jul 19, 2017
Filed under:
Lets Play

Considering that my computer’s in a cardboard box along with half the rest of my possessionsI’m moving. I haven’t been burglarized by Calvin., now seems like a time to spit on my hands, hoist the blag flag, and thoughtfully contemplate the future of this series.

In other words, naval gazing.
In other words, naval gazing.

I try to approach games I cover with one knuckle-duster labelled “HARSH” and the other “BUT FAIR.” I take this idea seriously, especially when documenting games basically no-one plays. I like to make it clear that all I’m sharing is my subjective, tractable, imperfect understanding of what the game promises and how it functions.

So I’d like to pause the narrative for a moment and tell you a true story.

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This Dumb Industry: A Lack of Vision and Leadership

By Shamus
on Jul 18, 2017
Filed under:
Column

In the past I’ve spent a lot of time criticizing the behavior of the big videogame publishers: EA, the Game Division of Microsoft, Ubisoft, and the rest. I’ve criticized their approach to staffing, scheduling game development, marketing and selling products, setting prices, fighting piracy, forging business relationships, and managing creative decisions. I see a lot of problems in all of these areas and I always hope that if I outline their shortcomings in enough detail, using clever enough metaphors, and using interesting enough stock photos, that eventually more people will follow my site and I’ll be able to complain to an even larger audience.

Well, let’s give it another go…

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Timely Game of Thrones Griping 1: This Is Already So Dumb I Can’t Even

By Bob Case
on Jul 17, 2017
Filed under:
Television
This series analyzes the show, but sometimes references the books as well. If you read it, expect spoilers for both.

For the first time, I’m going to attempt to complain about Game of Thrones in a timely manner.
This is a momentous occasion. In the past, I’ve griped about things that I had months to process – episodes that I was able to watch at least two times, episodes that I had time to digest afterwards. Now, I’m trying to gripe about something that just happened a few hours ago (as I’m writing this). So it may  be a bit sloppy, a bit undercooked. But never let it be said that rudimentary standards of quality got in the way of my can-do spirit. Here goes.

This Is Already So Dumb I Can’t Even

We start at the Twins. Walder Frey (not actually Walder Frey, it’s obviously Arya in disguise) is giving a speech to his assembled family. We can already tell that the murder of the real Walder Frey has gone undetected, as has the murder of two of his sons, as has the act of baking those two sons into a pie for Walder Frey to eat (or possibly just look at) before he died.

So while she wasn’t busy making two different disguises, murdering the Lord of a major house, killing his two sons, butchering them, and baking them into a pie, Arya also managed to find time to poison the wine of what looks to be at least twenty people without anyone noticing.

Hey, at least it wasn`t Merlot.

Hey, at least it wasn`t Merlot.

I’m tempted to ask all sorts of questions, like “how exactly did she pull this off?” and “how exactly DOES this whole face-swapping thing work, since that was never really explained,” and “seriously, how do the faces work, because Arya is clearly physically a much smaller person than Walder Frey,” and “how is she possibly going to get away with this, since presumably House Frey has guards, and she pulled her face-mask-thing off and admitted to her crime in front of a half-dozen (at least) witnesses, and she’s still inside the castle,” and other questions along those lines.

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STRAFE: The Lost Patch

By Shamus
on Jul 16, 2017
Filed under:
Game Reviews

Back in May, I mentioned that I was playing STRAFE, the procedurally generated FPS with permadeath. About that time, I got sick of the game and quit. I’d played 42 games, and the random number generator still hadn’t blessed me with the random drop required to begin the game in the second zone. Which means I had to play through the entire first zone every single time I started a new game. I was sick to death of the first zone and I just wanted to see what the later levels looked like. The typical game went like this:

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Game of Thrones Griping 14: Am I Watching This Show Wrong?

By Bob Case
on Jul 14, 2017
Filed under:
Television
This series analyzes the show, but sometimes references the books as well. If you read it, expect spoilers for both.

Picking up where we left off, the Great Sept of Baelor is now a pile of scorched rubble. The Queen, Margaery Tyrell, and her brother, Loras Tyrell, are both dead. So are Kevan Lannister (head of House Lannister) and Mace Tyrell (head of House Tyrell). So are Kevan’s son Lancel, small council member Grand Maester Pycelle, head of the Faith the High Sparrow, at least seven Septons and Septas who were to judge the trial, and dozens of nobles and other spectators. Oh, and then King Tommen jumps out of a window.

So that’s the King, the Queen, the heads of the two most powerful houses currently remaining in Westeros, both of their respective firstborn sons, the head of the continent’s dominant religion, and presumably a big chunk of both the religious and political leadership of King’s Landing, and, by extension, all of Westeros. All dead. Even by this show’s standards, that’s quite a butcher’s bill for one episode.

The most obvious suspect by far is Cersei Lannister, who was conspicuously not at her own trial shortly before it burst into flames, and whose son, the King, died in a highly suspicious way, with her giant murder-zombie as the only possible witness.

So the people of King’s Landing do the obvious thing and crown her queen.

In honor of the occasion, she wore her special evil shoulderpads.

In honor of the occasion, she wore her special evil shoulderpads.

The most common and plausible explanation for this turn of events I’ve seen given is that there’s no one left to challenge her. In a sense, that’s true – virtually every other named character in King’s Landing is now dead. But I’d always flattered the show’s world-building chops to assume that there are other non-named characters who, even if they’re not given specific personalities, would react to the destruction of almost the entire government with dismay.

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Borderlands Part 1: Welcome to Pandora, Kiddo

By Shamus
on Jul 13, 2017
Filed under:
Borderlands

I love the Borderlands series. Nothing else offers this unique blend of hyper violence, off-kilter humor, comic book art style, RPG leveling mechanics, shooter-based gameplay, cooperative multiplayer, and Skinner Box based reward systems. According to Steam, the Borderlands series has devoured about 1,200 hours of my life. That’s a lot of life, and I enjoyed most of those hours.

I’m going to spend a lot of time talking about the behind-the-scenes stuff that happened during the development of the first game. My source for all of this is a video from the GDC Vault entitled “Behind Borderlands’ 11th-hour style change”, which was a post-mortem style talk given in 2010 by the developers. I think it’s only available to people with GDC access, but you can read an overview of the talk here.

The FPS and RPG Had a Baby

Click to see the original trailer.

Click to see the original trailer.

Borderlands began as a fusion of two different gameplay genres: First-person shooters, and roleplaying games. Internally, the team called this “Diablo meets Halo”.

The concept makes a lot of sense, in a “Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?” kind of way. The two game styles operate on very different time scales. An RPG is good over the long haul: You level up, complete quests, and get new gear. These events are rewarding, but they only happen a few times an hourAnd if they happened more often, they wouldn’t feel so special.. Meanwhile an FPS usually has great moment-to-moment gameplay that’s viscerally satisfying, but gets to be a little monotonous over the long haul. By layering these two systems together, you could (in theory) make a single offspring genre that’s more consistently engaging than either of its parents.

The problem was that while the design was “Diablo meets Halo”, the art style was aiming for something that didn’t work with either of those: Brown, desaturated, and “realistic”. Internally the team called the style “Retro Future”. It was interesting in terms of the outlines of the models (the runner vehicles and the buildings in Fyrestone were both devised with this “retro future” style in mind) but the surface textures were gritty, dark, and industrial. This was during the Brown Age of AAA videogames, and the only thing worse than mindlessly copying fads is mindlessly copying terrible fads. Regardless of how they played, a lot of shooters of the time were visually dull and often indistinguishable from one another.

Worse still, the gritty realism was completely at odds with the madcap tone of the gameplay. This is a game where you blast a psycho killer in the face with a shotgun that shoots lightning and guns and money pop out of the exploding corpse while your character repeats one of their semi-charming one-liners for the 1,000th time. The team realized their mistake about 75% of the way through the development. At that point it was far too late to revamp the entire art style.

But they did it anyway.

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