The most tedious and stupid is that whenever you put the disc in it launches the installer, even if the game is already installed. Couple this with the fact that the game won’t run unless the disc is in the drive and you have a nice recipe for annoying the user every time they play the game.
|QUICK! Find the shape with the curvy top and the line with the pointy… oops! Time ran out! Now you have to start all over!|
Perhaps I just hate this game because I’m terrible at it, but this is exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about when I refer to DIAS gameplay.
The game was designed with a console controller in mind. This is a third-person game, and just as mouse & keyboard is ideal for first-person, the Playstation-style “Dual Shock” controller is just perfect for the third-person experience. The game supports the use of mouse & keyboard, but it feels clumsy to me. Once I plugged in my USB controller (which is a near identical copy of the Dual Shock) my enjoyment of the game went way up.
The controller issue wouldn’t be as much of a problem if not for the combat, which is another problem I have with the game. Yes, an adventure game with combat. I’m not a purist, and I enjoy this blending of genres. I like when first-person shooters offer a little adventure game style puzzling. I like when action games spice things up with a little RPG-style stats building. (You know, do X for a while and your attributes will go up, allowing you to do more and better X.) So, combat in an adventure game is not anathema to me. My issue with it is that the combat in this game feels… it feels exactly like a combat system designed by an adventure game designer.
|You can tell my trainer is a martial arts master because when she attacks she takes a step back, cocks her arm, then marches two steps forward and takes a heavy swing at my shoulder.|
- Speed up the fighting system so that it works like classic fighting games (Mortal Kombat) where movements happen so fast that the user will never get a chance to second-guess themselves. This would be very bad, because it will alienate a lot of adventure gamers. They often like adventure games because of the slow pace and the fact that you don’t need the reflexes of the thirteen year old boy to play them. Your fighting system will either bore the kids or be so fast that your core audience will be unable or unwilling to play it.
- Allow the user to alter their chosen action mid-move. So, if I’m about to deliver a strike I can suddenly change to a block. This will mitigate the problem, but is very, very difficult to implement. It would be a pain to animate, not to mention code. I wouldn’t want to try this.
My dueling system might be an interesting alternative to use in a game like this, although it would probably be too expensive in terms of development time.
At first the combat in Dreamfall semmed impossible and arbitrary. Then I locked on to a few tricks that made the whole thing easy enough that I was able to bully my way through the game. The big trick is:
- Get in close
- Wait until the foe begins to attack
- Step back and let them miss
- Hit them ONCE (don’t get greedy!)
The only time I get hit is whenever the #[email protected]& camera swings around on me and I end up stepping into my foe when I’m trying to step back. In any case, this isn’t exactly a chessmatch.
I have other nitpicks with the plot and such, but I’ll leave that for when I get to the end of the game.
Could Have Been Great
Here are four games that could have been much better with just a little more work.
PC Hardware is Toast
This is why shopping for graphics cards is so stupid and miserable.
Marvel's Civil War
Team Cap or Team Iron Man? More importantly, what basis would you use for making that decision?
A horrible, railroading, stupid, contrived, and painfully ill-conceived roleplaying campaign. All in good fun.
Deus Ex and The Treachery of Labels
Deus Ex Mankind Divided was a clumsy, tone-deaf allegory that thought it was clever, and it managed to annoy people of all political stripes.