As a follow up to various questions and comments on my initial Prey post:
|The game really does use the Doom lighting system. This is a good thing. It’s like playing Doom3, except I can see stuff.|
Flexstyle asks, “How gory is it?” I’d have to say: Pretty freakin’ gory. What’s interesting is that for the most part the gore isn’t perpetrated by the player. Sure, you gun down bad guys and they do bleed, but it’s the scenery itself that’s most disturbing. The aliens in the game are harvesting people for food, and so in some parts of the game you’re pretty much exploring an alien meat-packing plant, where humans are meat. Not for the squeamish.
Several people pointed out that death in the game is fairly painless. I agree that this is one of the major things that keeps this game fun. No reloading. No reflexive auto-saving. No replaying the last five minutes because you took a bad step. When you die, you go to the spirit world for a minute and sort of fight your way back, which is a lot more fun than staring at a loading screen. Yes, it means you’re more or less immortal, but the same is true of any player armed with a save / load screen. The player is already unstoppable, it’s just that this way the game is less of a time sink. Note to game developers: More ideas like this, please.
I’m enjoying the puzzles more than anything else. I’m probably in the minority here, but I think it would be a blast to do the puzzles without the fighting. Not that the fighting is bad, but now I’m finding myself being drawn forward by the desire to get to the next puzzle. Fights are starting to feel like interruptions, instead of the heart of the game. I can’t say that’s ever happened to me in a FPS game before. If you removed all of the combat and made this a game where the player simply explores an alien ship Myst-style, I would really get into it.
|It’s gross! It’s strange! It’s a squirming example of nightmarish alien technology! Actually: It’s a machine gun. It even sounds like a machine gun.|
I don’t feel like I really know what the bad guys look like up close. So much detail goes into crafting these strange monsters, but as a player I only ever see them at a distance or through the haze of combat. Once it’s dead, it vanishes after a few seconds. For the primary foe in the game (the “hunters”) I can’t tell if the oblong shape is their heads, or if they are wearing helmets. Some artist probably spent days crafting that thing in exquisite detail, and I’d love to be able to appreciate their work. Doom fixed this by giving each creature a little 5-second cutscene the first time you meet it, as a way of seeing it up close. This was a great decision and I wish Prey had adopted this idea.
MMO Population Problems
Computers keep getting more powerful. So why do the population caps for massively multiplayer games stay about the same?
The Opportunity Crunch
No, brutal, soul-sucking, marriage-destroying crunch mode in game development isn't a privilege or an opportunity. It's idiocy.
What is this silly word, why did some people get so irritated by it, and why did it fall out of use?
So what happens when a SOFTWARE engineer tries to review hardware? This. This happens.
PC Gaming Golden Age
It's not a legend. It was real. There was a time before DLC. Before DRM. Before crappy ports. It was glorious.