Hunted: The Demon's Forge will Suck

Matt Barton's picture

Ah, it's Tuesday, May 24th. Weather: unpleasant. News: funny, unless you were looking forward to Shunted: The Demon's Hemorrhoid. Let's go:

I guess you've probably heard by now that Duke Nukem Forever has gone gold. There's already a disclaimer: "Slow down, guy, the game's not out yet." I bet those folks who pre-ordered this back in 1975 are really glad it's finally rumored to almost be coming out eventually. The producers have a vision, though--if they can just stretch it out to October 21st, it won't matter anyway.

I know a lot of you folks are into e-readers. Barnes & Noble has just announced their new touch-enabled Nook for $139. It has 37 fewer buttons than the Kindle 3 and will let you use Facebook to brag to your friends that you just read a whole book for real on your Nook. After that, you can store it in a box in the closet. Who'd rather read than play Angry Birds--apparently, not even professional physicists, who have determined that the springs are unrealistic. Whew!!! I'm so glad that's finally resolved. Good job, physics!

Over at Gamasutra, Greg Costikyan has a great article called Unsocial 'Social Games', where he laments the current state of social gaming and how it doesn't exploit the social aspects that made games like M.U.L.E. so much fun back in the day (and yes, he does use that game in his article!). I have to note, though, that multiplayer isn't always fun. It depends so much on who you're playing with, and whether they have any stake in making you enjoy the experience. From what I've experienced playing WOW, most people don't give a damn. That's a far, far cry from playing M.U.L.E. with your family and friends. Artificially stupid enemies or not, at least the cleric never dropped my party after a wipe. Damnit, Sherry Turkle is right--I care more for my AI-driven characters than the arseholes I meet on WOW! Now I just need to do some serious brooding on this in a public place with lots of hot babes.

Anyone have doubts that Hunted: The Demon's Forge is going to suck? Just read this awful interview with Matt Findley. Here's the line that really kills me: "Well, you know, we analyzed the long history of video games. I think these games always wanted to be action games at their heart. I think all those old turn-based games, it's just that's all the technology would allow." Ugh, ugh, ugh. Ugh. Ugh. It's okay, Matt. I'm sure Hunted will be a wonderful game...for us to take turns pooping on!

Comments

Dinky Dana (not verified)
That quote about Demon's

That quote about Demon's Forge is the worst! Anyone who says that (and many do), they have no idea what RPG's are even about.

Anonymous (not verified)
Agreed
Dinky Dana wrote:

That quote about Demon's Forge is the worst! Anyone who says that (and many do), they have no idea what RPG's are even about.

QFT.
100%

Matt Barton
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Yeah, Dana, "analyzed the

Yeah, Dana, "analyzed the long history of videogames" my arse. I'm guessing by "long history" he means the PlayStation era and on. I mean, all we gamers care about is action and eyecandy, right? Of course! It all makes sense, now. All the classic CRPGs sucked because the tech sucked. Oh, man, if only they had the ability, they'd have made Hunted instead of Pool of Radiance and Wasteland.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
just read it all (hunted)

just read it all (hunted) and I think you guys are being a little harsh (thats my job!). I hate to agree, but you know if they could have done POR in a 3D way they would have.. back even then games where gravitting that way. The turned based, tile games where trying hard to fake 3D (from tiled POR unto fake 3D Wizardry/bards tale), once the faked 3D was established, they moved to Real time (Dungeon master/ EOB) and eventally got to Ultima Underworld real time (fake)3D. MOST (not all) felt this was a improvement. Much like turn based wargaming, there is a market for the tile/turn based stuff, but its much smaller than the faster action stuff, not a knock, just the way it is.

I dont think he means the spirit of turned base games was anything bad, its just, how do you put it, limited. You cant hide a arrow shooting orc a hundred feet above you in a tile based game, so that "where the heck is that arrow comming from" stuff is lost. Where the tile/turn based excel is the "thinking/strategy" part of the game. In a real time action game, you cant think and plan, so which is better? I think they both have there merits, but I gotta admit my 60 hour Warlords/MOM/MOO turn based games days ARE LONG gone. We have breed oursleves with to much instant gratification, old school is just that.

it gets to the age old debate. Is MegaMan, castlevania, old school save systems a BAD thing? games where alot harder (IMHO) in the past, and it wasnt becuase I had to hit 12 buttons and rotate a joystick at the correct time, it wasnt becuase a QT event caught me by suprise... it was all there in front of me, i just had to master it.

I cant see how a game like COD:BO that can be played and won without firing a shot is a good thing..

You mention tech =good mentality... I agree 100% with you.. the most fantastic looking/controling game is nothing if there is no gameplay attached. And the simplest graphics with solid gameplay can be excellent.

I look at minecraft, i love the game, its simple, its simple graphics, its fairly simple controls.. But I can see it being much more with refined controls, the addon packs that make better graphics do add to it IMHO.. but many will disagree and say the charm is lost when its BLINGED out...

Myslef Im looking forward to Hunted... but am under no illusions that it may not be good..

Charles (not verified)
RT existed anyway

Maybe that guy wasn't around back then, but the turn-based rpgs could very well have been real-time. Thinking back at Gauntlet, Autoduel, or heck, any old platformer it isn't hard to imagine them with RPG elements like leveling, stats, story & npc interaction. They wouldn't have been 3D just yet, but it seems to me turn-based was chosen gameplay.

Wait. Wasn't Zelda pretty close to an action RPG?

Maybe I haven't analyzed enough.

Matt Barton
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Gauntlet is just one example

Gauntlet is just one example of many action-based hybrid type games. There was also several from SSI including Gemstone Warrior from 1984. It's not like they were doing turn-based games because real-time wasn't an option. Indeed, usually when designers like Origin (Garriott) tried to add in action elements (Pagan, cough), the result was dismal. Computer gamers back then were too smart for that shite. If you wanted brainless twitching you went to the arcades or consoles.

I'd argue that during SSI's glory days, graphics were less of a concern than expansiveness. Fans of this stuff wanted really big worlds to explore, with sprawling maps and lots of variety. I'm not saying they didn't want the best graphics possible, but that was just window dressing.

I'd say it began to change in the late 80s with Dungeon Master and EOB, followed of course by Ultima Underworld and eventually Elder Scrolls. By the time you get to something like Morrowind, it's clearly all about the graphics and immersion in the game world.

It's funny, but when given a choice, players seem to want complexity. I was reminded of that recently watching some WoW videos where people have installed all kinds of add-ons to make the interface more sophisticated, usually emphasizing the numbers and stats much more than the default. Designers seem to want to hide the interface and numbers as much as possible, focusing your attention on their "amazing graphics." Players, on the other hand, quickly get over the graphics and want better access to what's going on gameplay-wise.

A game like Hunted is like a big-budget Hollywood movie. Everybody knows it's going to look and sound impressive, and there will probably be some nice touches. That's good enough for 90% of gamers, I suppose. The other 10% are arses like us who feel we "deserve" more than just mindless entertainment.

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clok1966
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Well i think that is the

Well i think that is the heart of the thing. Again I dont want to say turn based/tile is bad, it wasnt. But when you design a game you go balls out, and then decide what you can and cant do, its all limited by the tech of the day. Now I cant put words in his mouth and maybe you guys are 100% correclty interpting his comments. I seen them more as "we wanted it to be more imersive, more action, more involvment" Not the way you guys seem to interpet it" old games that where turn based sucked" (and maybe Im putting words in your mouths with that). Again maybe that is what he ment and Im wrong :)
Now you mention games that failed when they tried to add more action... I agree they did fail, but that like saying all hybred action rpgs would all fail. the first ones did. But that changed and not all failed, the kept at it and now the turn based games are almost gone. In fact the only ones left really are the "glitz" games Heroes of M&M , the new Kings Bounty, etc..

Right now the drooling masses are controling the market, and I AGREE with you guys 100% on that.. glitz is far more important than gameplay and its really starting to get ugly as far as new games are going. A short highly stylized movie like game seems to be the top sellers nowdays. And then the multi player shooters... I really do LOVE my FPS... but good god, cant you developers make anything but them? The Hunted is really just a FPS no matter how they try to RPG it up.. While I dont get so "up in arms" about his comments I do agree he should think a bit more.. The bashing (marginilzing) of Hexen and Hertic.... While it was just a FPS with magic, it was a change at the time, basicly a mask hiding a FPS tyring to tart it up as a RPG.. but it was differnt enough (back then) to warrent it being thought of as a differet game. His comments are rouhg and lacking in respect, but I dont take them as belittling its more a "we are thinking new thouhgts, and had them way back but couldnt use them" do i think he is.. no... but i just read it a bit differnt I guess.

Sadly for us old RPG people I dont think the games are failing us, are feelings are.. The first time I was attacked by 10-20 kobolds in Azure Bonds, WOW!!!! so many enemies, gotta get to a choke point so i can control the amount attacking me, oh , they are going around! that was so amazing then, and the graphics, while being Tile, where too.. that feeling of wonder. the first time I was in a 3D world I had to map out by hand (wizardry), and bards tale... there was a real exploring feeling, a real danger feeling.. Then when combat moved to real time it added to the desperate feeling (the actual combat was kinda dumbed down, but the rush of making sure you did the right things at the right time where increased).. those feelings where wonderfull and waht kept us comming back for more an more. But here is the kicker.. I play a RPG now, if it doesnthave some automap feature... eh.. Im not up to grid paper anymore.. it was fantastic back in the old days, but I'm not willing to do it anymore. The combat in SSI games. killing 20+ kobolds was Unreal back then, now its tedious, puase, click on each character, block, swing, rest, doing it 30 times for one battle stretching it to 20-40 minutes... it just doenst hold that same feeling anymore. Some of us are trying to relive that feeling and it just cant be done (i dont think) just like that first GF, first car, first days you are truly your own person... they are a one time thing and cant be recaptured and I think it can make some of us see stuff through rose colored glasses. I still look at EQ as the greatest MMORPG i played.. but going back... i have tried.. and tried.. I just cant do that anymore, and there was a part of my life where I would play it every spare second I had.

Funny little thing on gaunlet, it was designed by E Long, he also designed Asteroids.. it was said guantlet was orginally just Asteroids in a larger playfiled with barriers and they where going to have 4 differnt ships, and it mutated to guantlet (he also had a ahand in Centapide and Millapide... astoroids in a top down view so to speak). True or not? no idea

Rowdy Rob
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Modern "action" RPG's, and THE WITCHER
Matt Barton wrote:

A game like Hunted is like a big-budget Hollywood movie. Everybody knows it's going to look and sound impressive, and there will probably be some nice touches. That's good enough for 90% of gamers, I suppose. The other 10% are arses like us who feel we "deserve" more than just mindless entertainment.

Matt, I just saw (via the AA Twitter feed) that you purchased "The Witcher." I'm quite curious what you'll think of it. I've been playing it off and on for a couple of weeks, and I like it... BUT, I think it definitely fits in with the "modernisms" that many hardcore CRPG enthusiasts like yourself decry. Hence, it's relevant to discuss in this thread.

The Witcher is VERY cinematic, with lots of production values. Cinemas, numerous voice actors, high-end real-time graphics, etc., it's all there. The impression is somewhere between "Oblivion" and an Anime-inspired JRPG. The battle system is "real-time action," meaning you have to be quick with the mouse button.

I'm hesitant to voice my opinions, which might color your judgement of this game. Let's just say that the battle system doesn't concern itself much with tactical strategy, but how well you time your mouse clicks. The battle system seems to have much more in common with the "Tiger Woods PGA" golf swing "timing" mechanism than the tactical systems of old-school CRPG's, or even some of the modern Bioware ones! Plus, you have to aim your mouse pointer on an enemy to attack, which can get confusing with the rotating camera system when facing multiple enemies. Often, I find myself disoriented, clicking on nothing while my character is being assaulted on all sides!

The cinematic presentation does provide a very, uh, cinematic feel. It does indeed have a deep story, with great voice acting and characters to move things along and compel you to keep playing to the conclusion. While it does fall into the "Lord of the Rings" style fantasy motif (like EVERY OTHER FANTASY CRPG!!! Jeez, isn't there any other fantasy mythos besides LOTR to rip off?), "The Witcher" adds enough variations to the "fantasy" generic, er, genre to make the world seem somewhat fresh.

As you've probably heard, there is an "adult" angle to this game, which seems to consist primarily of occasional swearing and sex. The "sex" part of the game is not graphic, but I wonder what message it sends. Female characters seem to be provided so you can "collect" them. You'll see what I mean. At first I turned down (or didn't pursue) the women, thinking in "Paladin mode," "I must complete my mission in an honorable fashion." I then realized that my character was probably going to die a virgin if I continued playing this way, and plus I was curious to see what would happen if I pursued the women, so I changed course. It's.... interesting, and kind of fun, and I'm curious to see what kinds of consequences there are for playing a "stud." It could be a touch misogynistic for the game to portray women as "trophies," though.

The game, overall, is very entertaining, but it is definitely a different animal compared to the old-school stuff. "The Witcher" is more like an interactive movie, where even the player character is chosen for you. Everything is provided for you audio-visually, so no "fill-in-the-blanks" imagination required. I do wish the battle system was more tactical, though. Pretty much everything else is fairly conventional by modern CRPG standards.

But, the fact that it is different from older styles may be its selling point! And the strong story does keep me playing. But at the same time, I'm eager to get back to an "older school" CRPG after this one.

clok1966
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I found the WITCHER to be a

I found the WITCHER to be a nice change, in fact I would list it as one of the 10 best games of the last few years (at least in my books). Its a mix of alot of things. The combat is not quite so simple as timed clicks and aiming the mouse (but dang close) there is also the styels buttons (heavy, fast, or group). I actually like it, its a bit like the AOC MMORPG game and its not twitch, its timing and understandin that the heavy attack is doing nothing to that fast little guy and if you dont change it up you will die. I do find a few battles frustrating (I still think the Hound battle in the first chapter is the worst(hardest) in the entire game). I was actually playing it through a second time so I could start the new one (just in the last week). At first the "sex" cards seems 100% silly and ... .. But I like the art, and I am male so it appeals to that in me.. SO yes, on my second playthrough Im going to ... Aquire all the cards.

Now Im trying to force my way throuhg so i can start in Witcher2... tyring to slow donw and enjoy it, but I want the new one :)

Alos wondring what others think of Witcher.

Matt Barton
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Well, guys, everything you're

Well, guys, everything you're telling me about the Witcher makes me think I'm going to hate it. I mean a deep sort of belly hate, too, like a man begging for a Twinkie being accosted with a Ding Dong and told to like it.

Geez, now I'm hesitant to even try it...ugh. :P

You know, maybe playing it will give me that last little impetus I need to say "f#$@ it, I'm gonna design my own." I'm pretty sure I could make a CRPG of sorts using nothing but Gamemaker.

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