Zero Punctuation: Hellblade

Hellblade

This week, Yahtzee reviews Hellblade

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I'm not cool with the devs flat out lying about a certain mechanic in this game.

"Independent AAA"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Canadamus Prime:
"Independent AAA"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

So is Science Fiction but not enough people complain about that.

As for Hellblade it looks like no one is missing out on anything if they don't play it.

Jacked Assassin:

Canadamus Prime:
"Independent AAA"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

So is Science Fiction but not enough people complain about that.

As for Hellblade it looks like no one is missing out on anything if they don't play it.

Yeah but Science Fiction is a literary genre, while indi and AAA are sectors of the game industry and the AAA sector is rubbish.

darkrage6:
I'm not cool with the devs flat out lying about a certain mechanic in this game.

Well, yes and no.

As soon as I heard the perma-death thing I had to get the game ASAP, because the back of my head told me the possibility of them just bluffing to get the game attention and scrutiny from the "video games are art" crowd.

What I got is a hack and slash with masterful animations, especially Senua's face. It's no Silent Hill 2 levels of storytelling, but it certainly is unique.

Isn't the erase your save progress something they did for Nier as well once you got a certain ending? Odd that it's a punishment for this game rather than a "reward". It reminds me of ye olde games that only gave you so many continues before you're screwed or ye olde days of the arcades where you only had so many quarters in your possession.

Canadamus Prime:
"Independent AAA"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Sort of. The idea behind it was to make an independently developed and published game that looks and feels like a AAA title. So, with Senua it obviously looks very flashy and polished and plenty of money has been poured into it so it can stand among the bigger AAA releases rather than looking like most indie games (i.e. it doesn't look cheap it what Ninja Theory were getting at) but because it wasn't funded or marketed by a publisher Ninja Theory didn't have to deal with any executive meddling and could make their game about things most AAA publishers consider difficult to market, like mental illnesses and women as main characters.

Meh, I thought it was good.

Canadamus Prime:
"Independent AAA"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Only if you're a morron.

Independent - Is short-hand for Independently Published or self published. WHere the work is published without the aid of third parties or from larger studios. And yes that does Ironically make games like WoW, Overwatch and Hl2 Independent since the publisher is also the developer.

AAA - Is basically a marketing term that refers to the production Value of the game and the budget going in and labour.

Saying Independent AAA is disassociative or an oxymoron is like saying you can't be White and Short., Or Black and Skinny. Or RIch and Famous. The two terms are entirely unrelated. Some people jsut misassociate independent with retro pixel art.

Also is it just me or is Yahtzee been getting a little boring these last few reviews. I mean let's be honest. ...SPlatoon 2 wasn't a game that needed a review or commentary. Same for Pyre.

I watched some of the stream on the Escapist channel, and wow is she annoying. All she was doing was screaming uncontrollably and clawing at her face and arms for entire minutes at a time, and I couldn't tell if it was gameplay or not. It looked like a bunch of cutscenes playing out, with the occasional bit of walking to the next cutscene.

I watched Yahtzee play the game on Twitch, and the art style looked more Celtic than Norse too me. Eh, they might be mixing both for it. And Yahtzee's right, the game takes itself WAY to seriously, and the main character's face looks too, uh, weird. Did she have voices in her head? I thought I heard two different narrators talking about her.
As for the rune puzzles, they sound like these puzzles from Assassin's Creed III and IV, where Connor and Edward had to match these shapes to objects in the environment (rocks, tree stumps, what-have-you) to unlock some secret location. For Connor, it was a cavern on Oak Island to find that ring that made him almost bulletproof; Edward had to find these stones to open the chamber to the Mayan Armor in a pyramid in Tulum.

MonsterCrit:

Canadamus Prime:
"Independent AAA"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Only if you're a morron.

Independent - Is short-hand for Independently Published or self published. WHere the work is published without the aid of third parties or from larger studios. And yes that does Ironically make games like WoW, Overwatch and Hl2 Independent since the publisher is also the developer.

AAA - Is basically a marketing term that refers to the production Value of the game and the budget going in and labour.

Saying Independent AAA is disassociative or an oxymoron is like saying you can't be White and Short., Or Black and Skinny. Or RIch and Famous. The two terms are entirely unrelated. Some people jsut misassociate independent with retro pixel art.

Also is it just me or is Yahtzee been getting a little boring these last few reviews. I mean let's be honest. ...SPlatoon 2 wasn't a game that needed a review or commentary. Same for Pyre.

I don't count WoW as Independent, because it's DEVELOPED by Blizzard Entertainment, and PUBLISHED by Activision. By your logic, all Ubisoft games are Indie, too.

How Ninja pulled their "delete savegame"-PR-stunt makes we wish people would just torrent the shit out of them, just to show them 'if you mess with us, we mess with you'.

Of course I don't condone piracy, so I watch a Let's Play instead, if at all, since gameplay-wise there seems not much going on, anyway.

PS: 2nd worst PR-Stunt after 'GOG.com has shut down', IMHO.

darkrage6:
I'm not cool with the devs flat out lying about a certain mechanic in this game.

BloodRed Pixel:
How Ninja pulled their "delete savegame"-PR-stunt makes we wish people would just torrent the shit out of them, just to show them 'if you mess with us, we mess with you'.

Of course I don't condone piracy, so I watch a Let's Play instead, if at all, since gameplay-wise there seems not much going on, anyway.

PS: 2nd worst PR-Stunt after 'GOG.com has shut down', IMHO.

Shit, I dont like the game but I have to disagree on this, the game doesnt actually punish you for anything and the fear of loosing the save adds to the story, as in it actually makes sense to make you feel anxious.

Here, switch the bomb with the deletion of the save
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPFsuc_M_3E

So yeah, its called building tension.

BloodRed Pixel:
How Ninja pulled their "delete savegame"-PR-stunt makes we wish people would just torrent the shit out of them, just to show them 'if you mess with us, we mess with you'.

Of course I don't condone piracy, so I watch a Let's Play instead, if at all, since gameplay-wise there seems not much going on, anyway.

PS: 2nd worst PR-Stunt after 'GOG.com has shut down', IMHO.

*Rolls eyes*. A single mistruth that builds into the narrative and you want people to take the game without paying for it. (Except you backpedal five seconds later, because I guess you want bad things to happen to the devs but you want other people to do the dirty work.). Way to fight the stereotype of gamers being petty and spiteful.

Darth_Payn:
By your logic, all Ubisoft games are Indie, too.

I guess that depends on whether you consider subsidiaries to still be a part of the same company. But in simple terms: yes they would be.

Far Cry 3 was developed by Ubisoft Montreal, and then published by Ubisoft; the game was funded and published independently without having to rely on a third party.

erttheking:

BloodRed Pixel:
How Ninja pulled their "delete savegame"-PR-stunt makes we wish people would just torrent the shit out of them, just to show them 'if you mess with us, we mess with you'.

Of course I don't condone piracy, so I watch a Let's Play instead, if at all, since gameplay-wise there seems not much going on, anyway.

PS: 2nd worst PR-Stunt after 'GOG.com has shut down', IMHO.

*Rolls eyes*. A single mistruth that builds into the narrative and you want people to take the game without paying for it. (Except you backpedal five seconds later, because I guess you want bad things to happen to the devs but you want other people to do the dirty work.). Way to fight the stereotype of gamers being petty and spiteful.

You are familar with the conditional 'would'? Yes?
http://www.ef.edu/english-resources/english-grammar/conditional/

Rarely my wishes come true - for the better of everybody, LOL.

Ninja had all the respect but decided to cause a controversal in their audience, for the sake of a pointless PR-stunt because it's oh so important what they have to tell.
GOG.com did the right thing after they knew they fucked up - they apologized. Ninja - nothing. Way too much their head in their butts, IMHO. I wish them luck, they need it.

Anyway, we all move on to something else by next week. Just had to vent it, while it's hot.

Joke's on you Yahtz.

Yet another attempt by NT to work out their insecurities over being in the gaming industry. Weird how it's guys like them and David Cage whining about narrative in gaming, but having no clue how to write.

BloodRed Pixel:

erttheking:

BloodRed Pixel:
How Ninja pulled their "delete savegame"-PR-stunt makes we wish people would just torrent the shit out of them, just to show them 'if you mess with us, we mess with you'.

Of course I don't condone piracy, so I watch a Let's Play instead, if at all, since gameplay-wise there seems not much going on, anyway.

PS: 2nd worst PR-Stunt after 'GOG.com has shut down', IMHO.

*Rolls eyes*. A single mistruth that builds into the narrative and you want people to take the game without paying for it. (Except you backpedal five seconds later, because I guess you want bad things to happen to the devs but you want other people to do the dirty work.). Way to fight the stereotype of gamers being petty and spiteful.

You are familar with the conditional 'would'? Yes?
http://www.ef.edu/english-resources/english-grammar/conditional/

Rarely my wishes come true - for the better of everybody, LOL.

Ninja had all the respect but decided to cause a controversal in their audience, for the sake of a pointless PR-stunt because it's oh so important what they have to tell.
GOG.com did the right thing after they knew they fucked up - they apologized. Ninja - nothing. Way too much their head in their butts, IMHO. I wish them luck, they need it.

Anyway, we all move on to something else by next week. Just had to vent it, while it's hot.

Notice that the part where I said you back pedaled? Yeah...that's what I consider your move to be. A backpedal.

What controversy? There was no controversy, the perma death barely got any attention because the whole point of this game was that it didn't have much in the way of marketing. You're inventing malicious intent where there isn't any.

Why should they apologize? You are literally the only person I've seen be angry about this. People who actually played and liked the game, myself included, didn't have a problem with it. Hell, I felt like I had had the game spoiled for me when a friend told me there was no perma death. You're basically saying they should apologize because you didn't like something in a game you didn't buy and judging by your reaction to it, you were never going to buy in the first place.

Oh and if you think this is the worst gaming or stunt, even though it really wasn't, I suggest you get some perspective.

http://home.bt.com/games/games-features/10-of-the-best-and-worst-gaming-publicity-stunts-11363808574195

Hell, the Dark Souls pendant was more of a middle finger than this could ever be.

ToastyMozart:

Darth_Payn:
By your logic, all Ubisoft games are Indie, too.

I guess that depends on whether you consider subsidiaries to still be a part of the same company. But in simple terms: yes they would be.

Far Cry 3 was developed by Ubisoft Montreal, and then published by Ubisoft; the game was funded and published independently without having to rely on a third party.

y'know, instead of a semantics argument that results in the third biggest publisher categorised as 'indie', you should focus more on the things that differentiate indie development as a concept, stuff like having complete creative control over development, not needing to adhere to the whims of superiors and investors of publishers, smaller in scope, more personal or serving a specific niche, securing distribution and publishing deals mid development, or forego that and go the digital distribution route, being the opposite of risk averse, no pitches, no internal focus testing, poverty, and such

because by this asinine logic, every movie Disney makes is indie, because they own the production companies, distributors, music studios and whatever else they use to release their movies

shit, they should advertise their movies like that "Disney's Marvel's indie hit Avengers 3, independently distributed by independent distributor Buena Vista"

GamemasterAnthony:
Isn't the erase your save progress something they did for Nier as well once you got a certain ending? Odd that it's a punishment for this game rather than a "reward". It reminds me of ye olde games that only gave you so many continues before you're screwed or ye olde days of the arcades where you only had so many quarters in your possession.

Well in Nier it was because

But the game doesn't do it without warning. It explicitly tells you and asks if you want to proceed. To be honest thematically I think it would've been cool if the game did it without telling you. It would've resulted in a lot of pissed off players though.

EscapeGoat:

Canadamus Prime:
"Independent AAA"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Sort of. The idea behind it was to make an independently developed and published game that looks and feels like a AAA title. So, with Senua it obviously looks very flashy and polished and plenty of money has been poured into it so it can stand among the bigger AAA releases rather than looking like most indie games (i.e. it doesn't look cheap it what Ninja Theory were getting at) but because it wasn't funded or marketed by a publisher Ninja Theory didn't have to deal with any executive meddling and could make their game about things most AAA publishers consider difficult to market, like mental illnesses and women as main characters.

I was under the impression that it was the other way around. That it's from a major studio but it didn't have the budget of a normal AAA game and therefore doesn't have the same level of original content, so it's a smaller experience than something like Zelda or Halo. It's even got a $30 price tag. Someone up the thread mentioned Ubisoft games falling under this designation, and I'd say certain Ubi games like Valiant Hearts of Rayman Legends would kind of be in the same bin.

Darth_Payn:
I watched Yahtzee play the game on Twitch, and the art style looked more Celtic than Norse too me. Eh, they might be mixing both for it. And Yahtzee's right, the game takes itself WAY to seriously, and the main character's face looks too, uh, weird. Did she have voices in her head? I thought I heard two different narrators talking about her.
As for the rune puzzles, they sound like these puzzles from Assassin's Creed III and IV, where Connor and Edward had to match these shapes to objects in the environment (rocks, tree stumps, what-have-you) to unlock some secret location. For Connor, it was a cavern on Oak Island to find that ring that made him almost bulletproof; Edward had to find these stones to open the chamber to the Mayan Armor in a pyramid in Tulum.

MonsterCrit:

Canadamus Prime:
"Independent AAA"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Only if you're a morron.

Independent - Is short-hand for Independently Published or self published. WHere the work is published without the aid of third parties or from larger studios. And yes that does Ironically make games like WoW, Overwatch and Hl2 Independent since the publisher is also the developer.

AAA - Is basically a marketing term that refers to the production Value of the game and the budget going in and labour.

Saying Independent AAA is disassociative or an oxymoron is like saying you can't be White and Short., Or Black and Skinny. Or RIch and Famous. The two terms are entirely unrelated. Some people jsut misassociate independent with retro pixel art.

Also is it just me or is Yahtzee been getting a little boring these last few reviews. I mean let's be honest. ...SPlatoon 2 wasn't a game that needed a review or commentary. Same for Pyre.

I don't count WoW as Independent, because it's DEVELOPED by Blizzard Entertainment, and PUBLISHED by Activision. By your logic, all Ubisoft games are Indie, too.

Last I checked Blizzard and Activision have been essentially two branches of the same larger corporate entity. Musch like your left and right arms are distinct and independent they are not autonomous. Again it's a very sneaky trick larger studios do to create indie brands. Movie studios, publishing houses and music labels do it as well. They will acquire, partner with spin-off small studios as SBU's.

As said. the distinction between indie and partnered gets very muddy when you start following paper trails.

Johnny Novgorod:
Joke's on you Yahtz.

Well played, sir.

I really hope we actually get an Extra Punctuation article for this one. It feels like Yahtzee hasn't said as much as he can within a format best suited for it.

MC1980:

ToastyMozart:

Darth_Payn:
By your logic, all Ubisoft games are Indie, too.

I guess that depends on whether you consider subsidiaries to still be a part of the same company. But in simple terms: yes they would be.

Far Cry 3 was developed by Ubisoft Montreal, and then published by Ubisoft; the game was funded and published independently without having to rely on a third party.

y'know, instead of a semantics argument that results in the third biggest publisher categorised as 'indie', you should focus more on the things that differentiate indie development as a concept, stuff like having complete creative control over development, not needing to adhere to the whims of superiors and investors of publishers, smaller in scope, more personal or serving a specific niche, securing distribution and publishing deals mid development, or forego that and go the digital distribution route, being the opposite of risk averse, no pitches, no internal focus testing, poverty, and such

My apologies that the meaning of the term doesn't line up with unrelated concepts that you associate with it :\

ToastyMozart:

MC1980:

ToastyMozart:

I guess that depends on whether you consider subsidiaries to still be a part of the same company. But in simple terms: yes they would be.

Far Cry 3 was developed by Ubisoft Montreal, and then published by Ubisoft; the game was funded and published independently without having to rely on a third party.

y'know, instead of a semantics argument that results in the third biggest publisher categorised as 'indie', you should focus more on the things that differentiate indie development as a concept, stuff like having complete creative control over development, not needing to adhere to the whims of superiors and investors of publishers, smaller in scope, more personal or serving a specific niche, securing distribution and publishing deals mid development, or forego that and go the digital distribution route, being the opposite of risk averse, no pitches, no internal focus testing, poverty, and such

My apologies that the meaning of the term doesn't line up with unrelated concepts that you associate with it :\

Uh, guy, that's not me associating those things with indie. That's the goddamns descriptor for the thing everywhere, for fucks sake it's on wikipedia, with sources before you try pull a fast one on that one too. Aka the uni teacher in 2005 method.

You're the one who's trying to make a semantics case for things that are blatantly not 'indie' being indie, because despite them being billion dollar companies employing 1000s of people and being beholden to investors, they happen to own their production studios. Again, the Disney analogy destroys your semantics argument.

I mean at this point, it seems like you're the one who's not really aware of what being independent means. It's more defined for movies than for games, which is why I listed a bunch of qualities that come with being indie, to help you place the concept more precisely than a shallow argument about words that relies on lacking knowledge about how companies work.

Think about it for a second, what the singular fuck is the purpose of the term indie, when it applies to its conceptual polar opposite, ie huge publishers like Ubisoft. It's inane! C'mon, don't be like that. This is a thought process trap 12 year olds fall into, when they try to think about a topic that they lack knowledge about, and don't think about it nearly long enough.

erttheking:
(Except you backpedal five seconds later, because I guess you want bad things to happen to the devs but you want other people to do the dirty work.)

You have to backpedal because you can't admit doing illegalities on this site. For example I got to play this game by borrowing my friend's SSD that coincidentally had it installed.

Jacked Assassin:
So is Science Fiction but not enough people complain about that.

As for Hellblade it looks like no one is missing out on anything if they don't play it.

Meh, I was wary of it about a year or so in, but I have to say it's one of those perfect little display cases of "Games as Art", where the actual "game" component takes a bit of a backseat to display (or even expose) the strengths and weaknesses of game writing while bombarding the test subjects players customers with a bit of a sensory overload.

The game offers little more in actual, gamey interactivity than the original Dragon's Lair on laserdisc did, but the visuals are at times breathtaking (save for our heroine's at times very goofy monkey face) and the aggressive audio cues portraying her condition at times surpass the efforts of similarly themed movies, such as Das Weisse Rauschen. Not sure how the dubbed version The White Sound did it, but the original was quite alright.

It's also, quite evidently, a showcase of the studio's ability to capture motions and facial expressions, much like a demo reel turned actual product.

For what it is, it's quite alright. I just expected something different, maybe even an actual game.

AAA Indie but at least they did not go full monty and get a publisher like We Happy Few. They are true oxymorons, or is that oxy addicts?

 

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