Friday, September 23, 2016

Bigger is not always better

Jotun gets all sorts of points for trying. They tried, and sometimes succeeded, to impart a sense of scale rarely seen outside of Shadow of the Colossus. They tried, and came close, to bringing Vanillaware quality animation to said gigantic bosses. What they didn't do was package these things into a game that was all that enjoyable.

For starters, the gigantic worlds are mostly empty. There are interesting little animations in the background, such as a giant squirrel stopping to look at you as you ascend the world tree or blizzards that erode your life if you do not find cover, but there is not much else to do in them. Only one level has enemies to fight - dwarves that come at you in comically huge mobs - the rest are little more than boring exploration. Not that exploration itself is not its own reward, it would just be nice for there to be something to find.

I should not complain too much about the near total lack of combat apart from bosses. The main character's moveset is so limited it would not be very exciting anyway. Even the god powers unlocked by finding shrines do little to spice things up.

And then you get to a jotun and you forgive how boring the level was before it. At least the first time. Take this guy, for example:


Looks pretty good, right? He is very well animated as well, at least for the three different things that he does. Once he has jumped and swung his sword you have seen all there is to see.

Jotun suffers under its own desire for gigantic scale. They succeeded in making the bosses big but failed to give them much to do. The levels themselves are equally oversized but there is little for the player to do. I am happy to give points for trying. Those points are not worth as much as the ones I take away for poor execution.

...

I tried to play Carmageddon again and turned it off after ten minutes. It was a waste of time. I tried ti play the new Shadow Lords content in Killer Instinct but it would not let me play as the one character I knew so I got bored. I tried to play as Urien in Street Fighter V but I do not think he is for me.

That means that is is finally time to give No Man's Sky a shot. I will chronicle this attempt tonight as I did my one night's dalliance with Bloodborne. They will be alcohol involved so I make no promises regarding spelling, punctuation or grammar. 

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