Monday, September 13, 2010

Clarity

Alright, some catching up is in order.

Amnesia ended on Friday night, and while I could still see straight by the time I was done it did not help the ending make any more sense. After around six hours of build up there was pretty much no where left to go with the story, so the game end on a cheap 'chose you own adventure' of three possible, equally worthless, endings. I am okay with this because the story, while interesting, was never really the point. All of the diary entries and back story were just means to and end: creating more atmosphere and unnerving the player, and it always worked. Resolution was not important, as there was no good guy here. The last minute repentance of Daniel is rather pointless, as instead of using what he knows to stop the 'bad guys' he decides to wipe his own memory and then send his clueless future self back to do his dirty work. He screwed himself, then left little notes behind to make sure that he hated himself by the time he was done. It makes sense, in a horror story kind of way, which was good enough for me.

I know I complained about the monster design earlier, and I was mostly wrong. They do not show up very often, and when I opened a door in one of the last areas and two of them barrel out and dump me in a cell with no exit I would be lying if I said I wasn't pretty damn freaked out. They were always wandering around in the distance while I was skulking from one torture room to the next, adding just the right amount of terror between episodes of disgust. Some variety would have been nice, but not required for a game of this length. Speaking of length, did you know that Frictional games has all of five employees? And they do not even work together in the same building? Frictional has produced an excellent game at a reasonable price and they don't even sit down together to talk shit at lunch. The lesson here is that you do not need to spend X-million dollars to produce a quality experience. I hope Frictional makes a ton of profit on this, enough to avoid the evil acquisition claws of Activision and EA. They need to be left alone, release a new game every year or two, and I will be an fan for life.

I have forgotten most of the rest of my weekend (which is not really a good thing) but last night I dove into the grime of Kane and Lynch 2 and am a dirtier man for it. They were going for grimy realism here, and they have succeeded, and I do not think that it is nearly as bad as Zero Punctuation made it out to be. It is worthless people shooting and being shot at by other worthless people, proving that I do not need to care about anyone for an action game to me at least moderately entertaining. Io does get about a million negative points, though, for making me spend an incredibly uncomfortable level with two naked men running around in the streets of Shanghai. Not since Raiden ran around with his junk cupped in his girly little hands had I less a clue about what a designer was thinking. Realism? This is realism? Realism is me turning it off or skipping the chapter for want of not staring at some dudes ass from behind cover.

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