Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bad romance

Yesterday I tried to convince everyone else that Bound By Flame was not terrible. I assume that I was unsuccessful because today I am trying to convince myself that the game is not terrible. This is why I make a terrible reviewer: my opinions on a game will swing wildly from one extreme to the other and everything gets better after I finish playing it. For example, in my head Ride to Hell wasn't all that bad. I also don't remember the pain of breaking my arm at a 30 degree angle as a child. The two are not unrelated.

I am on the opinion downswing today because of a vicious difficulty spike. Enemies look the same but suddenly have more health, do more damage, and have all of their friends there it back them up. The main character has slightly improved his sword and armor but still lacks the physical stamina to back up his boardroom conceived attitude.

In other words I died, a lot, most of the time to archers who hid behind larger enemies firing their arrows through their comrades. Now I know how the demons felt when I tuned on the NOCLIP cheat in Doom.

There are also options and sub-quests in the game that exist only because they have been used in other games. It steals from the best but doesn't bother to do the work. Example: Bioware has gone to great lengths to build actual romances between the player character and party members. I still feel just a little guilty about letting the Geth kill off all of Tali's people after she loaded up on anti-bacterial everything to spend some quality time with my Shepherd. She was a character that I cared about. Bound By Flame has trophies for seducing all four of the main NPCs. Bonus points for keeping this equal between the genders. Negative points for not giving any of them any personality. I don't care to get to know any of them in any sense, much less biblically.

A game can't just drop a character in and have romance options work without providing back story and a reason for things to get started. Without that it is just getting someone into bed for the achievement points, something that is just as bad in a game as it would be in real life.

Yup, still not happy that I went with that option.

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