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Yahtzee decries supersoldiers and the genetically inferior generals who create them.

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I think rapture-style genetic modification gone out of control is a better gimmick anyway

When you phrase it like that, super soldiers in games do seem to make sense from a gameplay standpoint, but as you pointed out, there are alternatives that retain that benefit, but without the giant plot holes.

About gimmicks, though, I honestly half expected the Arkham Asylum review to be done in haiku.

I'd play a game about an old general with alzheimers! Atleast it's original

well i see the point, supersoldiers has been done to death, hung drawn and quatered, had it's limbs stitched to other game mechanics and has taken them over. Rinsed and repeated umpteen times.

The 'anything goes Olympics'- theres a sporting event I could get on board with

I don't dislike the supersoldier theme that much, as long as it's a bit more subtle, for example: making a drug that makes them fearless and immune to physical pain.
But I agree that genetic modification is kind of lame (especially when it involves mad scientists and megalomaniac generals).

Ben would have loved to see Fist of the North Star. It's a post-apocalyptic world with huge mutated bruisers that know deadly martial arts who beat each other to death in the most gruesome ways possible.

Heh I love it when he responds to fan comments which begs the questions, does he do it because he cares about his fans or because he's bored and has nothing else to do :P

I disgree. There is definitely a use for supersoldiers in peacetime. professional paintball teams, moving companies (heavy lifting, you know), and zoos could all use them. especially the zoos. Who else is equipped to wrassle the escaped grizzly back to his pen?

thats right. i said wrassle. fuck off XD

What about a game where you play a midget?

well i see the point, supersoldiers has been done to death, hung drawn and quatered, had it's limbs stitched to other game mechanics and has taken them over. Rinsed and repeated umpteen times.

i didnt realize rasputin was a supersoldier. makes sense though, considering he fought off a squad of guards, while drunk, using only his penis (not a joke)

I just played the first disc of Policenauts, and the protagonist observes exactly this flaw in creating supersoldiers by pointing out that their society has superior humans serving the inferior, normal ones, saying that such dynamic will never last.

I always prefer normal human enemies because then it can at least involve some psychological effect, if done right.. or at all. That or aliens.

The super mutant olympic idea was already done by Red Dwarf. Not saying it would not be fun to see in a game. As for the whole super soldier thing, I don't think bigger is the way to go. A bullet will cut through organs no matter how much muscle and bone surrounds it. Bigger soldiers just means bigger targets.

The truly terrifying super soldiers are 4-5 foot marathon runners who can shoot well and have no qualms about taking off your head in close combat. Unfortunatly the British Army has already employed them.

I'll play anything written by Yathzee, the Herculean exemplar that he is!
But without genetic tampering we wouldn't have Judge Dredd (bwahahahaha, sorry) and of course Resident Evil 0 to twenty-ish...

From a gameplay mechanic point of view it's logical to have super soldiers in the fray, like Yathzee said, so I don't see a problem every time. Just the 99 percent of times when the "creative" department phones it in and goes into the fetal position because coming up with original ideas is really hard. Next time that happens I hope they ring up Yathzee for inspiration, providing he isn't busy having sex with women on his yacht!

One redeeming feature would be ORIGINAL super soldier designs. Say hideous sub humans with exoskeletons capable of deflecting bullets for one.

Actually, I'd love to play the game with the aging general :P

"The super mutant olympic idea was already done by Red Dwarf."


Still, interesting observation and a nice thing to read while dining.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
...the Anything Goes Olympics, in which players can use as much drugs and body augmentation as they want...

Have you ever read Red Dwarf? The TV series is great, but you'll need the actual book for this, specifically Better Than Life. Look up the parts about GELFs (Genetically Engineered Life Forms) and GELF sport eradicating normal human sport. Crazy stuff like boxers who had their brains in their shorts so they could pummel each other for hours. [American] football linesmen who secreted a foul stench. [The rest of the world] football goalies who were nothing more than an 8 foot by 16 foot rectangle of flesh (though the team that fielded that goalie mysteriously lost.)

Ultimately they suffered the same fate you propose with these super soldiers. What do you do with them in the offseason? An entire revolt is staged as they fought for human rights. (Well, actually, GELFs were eventually engineered to replace just about everything, and a guy came home and shot his chair when he found it sleeping with his wife.) The enemies may be different, but the end result is the same.

About gimmicks, though, I honestly half expected the Arkham Asylum review to be done in haiku.

I was hoping for Petrarchan sonnet.

I'd play a game about an old general with alzheimers! Atleast it's original

Actually, I'd love to play the game with the aging general :P

MGS4? Pretty close anyway...

Here is an idea. Have all the super-soldiers that you want, but have them rebel so that the strongest, most lethal super-soldier ends up leading the villains. That way you have a story that makes sense, tougher enemies and an appropriate final boss. If the player-character is a super-soldier, make him the one that leads the other super-soldiers after the uprising; it would be better than most video game endings.

As for increasing the difficulty, using super-soldiers is just a cheap way of doing it that only reveals the laziness of the developpers.

You can seemlessly increase the difficulty using the same type of ennemies, only with smart level design, trickier ennemy placement and more ennemies, etc...

Call of Duty 4 is the perfect exemple of "how to increase the difficulty when using the same kind of soldiers" (I'm talking about the parts WITHOUT infinite respawn)

If the soldiers are slavishly loyal and willingly allow you to upgrade them, I can't really see the problem, other than the fact that they're still people and all this does is give you an edge in infantry combat.

Unless of course, you make the soldiers strong enough that they can throw cars at helicopters and chuck missles at tanks, etc.

The "anything goes Olympics" does sound like something "Bioshock" did before it went bonkers.

What about technology that augments the soldier's performance, but generally leaves their genetic make-up/psychological stability the same? "Shadowrun's" 'cyberware' or the cybernetic implants from the "Deus Ex" series is another idea. Actually, having a cyberpunk theme with something that messes with the psychological stability of people would be a pretty cool game. Imagine if some virus broke out that hacked into people's computer minds, turning them into the common crazies which have to be put down with a lead pipe in almost every game.

"...the video brought in more viewers, so I win."

Yahtzee 852, Detractors 0.

Super soldiers are indeed overdone, but they're overdone for a very good reason: it's a theme that works. Yahtzee poses that super soldiers would often turn on their creators, which makes an excellent plot theme, and are generally stronger/faster/tougher then the average human, thus ramping up the difficulty.


The only thing that really stood out for me in Wolfenstein was, ironically, the Nazi super soldiers. I feel like most games like this trot out at most three kinds of upper end baddies at only trot them out in special circumstances. Wolfenstein had Scribes, Elite Dominatrix looking dames, Heavy armored dudes with lasers, heavy armored dudes with flamethrowers, flying Nazis to bomb you back to the stone age, flaming skeleton undead nazis, and invisible cackling nazis that will slice you to ribbons in seconds. The thing is these suckers were everywhere by the end of the game.

Beyond that, yes, the game was pretty lack luster for me.


Actually, it was explained. The enrage was them testing a new plasmid which you can pick up during the game.

The splicers, explained by Tenenbaum, is that the splicing process is similar to that of people doing cocaine. Their bodies become so dependent on it that they want their "Adam" fix. So they do anything for it, but not everyone became that way. Some just became mild splicers and only when they needed to like for surgery or medical reasons and then there are some who didn't splice at all...according to BioShock 2 where we will meet people who are normal.

We dont need super soldiers in near future fantasy when you can simply build Big fuck off Robots.

No ethical dilemma as its no different than furniture with guns and chainsaws on. You can destroy them guilt free and the decision to make them would get past the religeous nuts.

Problem solved, we will never see super soldiers again.

They already made a game similar to the anything goes olympics. Mutant League football and hockey. Although granted they were mutated due to radiation or toxic waste.

As you said the super-soldier aspect is very flawed, with the "what are you going to do when the war is over?" thing, but that's probably why they're always killed.

While the supersoldier concept has certainly been done to death and is a poor idea for any sensible general to actually try to implement, i have to comment that it does sound exactly like something the Joker would do.

I don't get this whole spoilers thing?

It's a video game, not a book or movie where it has a proper and key story line. The story in a video game isn't important, it's just a glorified add on to attach to the real reason people play video games, the actual game play!

Yahtzee Croshaw: are you going to make them do your bidding, Mr. Small Fragile Human General?

The same way Mr. The-Wrong-Side-Of-Fifty With a Side-arm if He's Lucky makes a bunch of twenty-somethings with assault rifles do his?

Just an observation.

I think the Joker knew from moment 1 that Batman would stop him. My guess was that he was creating them to gauge Batman's limitations and fuck with him as much as possible.

But that is just a guess.

Either way I was thinking the same thing "It's bitch enough to get Bane doing your you have a bunch of psychopaths with lobotomies getting Titan Injections?"

I saw a seminar by the Monterey Institute that studied the strategic, tactical and military effectiveness of nuclear weapons in a global historical context (before you say "nuclear bombs didn't exist before 1945" well cities like Carthage were still destroyed to the same extent as nuclear bombs but by a large army).

Nuclear bombs are inflexible and mostly useless weapons, they never won any wars as it should be noted even after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, analysis of the minutes of the meeting where the Japanese high command where they finally decided on surrender it showed nuclear bombs was not their concern but the direct threat of invasion by the Americans but more importantly the Russians too that had just joined the war.

Nuclear weapons are useless against conventional armed forces or really any infantry based military. Nukes had only really been good at destroying cities and ports, in military terms that means attacking the infrastructure the families and support personnel of front line troops.

But super soldiers, or some scientific development that could quickly, efficiently and effectively create massive armies would be a far greater advantage than a nuclear weapon. Unlike a nuclear bomb, they won't just destroy a country, they can occupy it.

Current armies are constantly limited by how there are a finite number of men of fighting age, biologically it takes a long time to replace them and of even greater importance is the difficulty in TRAINING all of them to a high enough level.

If the process of making soldiers could be automated, it would be relatively easy to accelerate it. So even a relatively small country could quickly make a highly trained army of hundreds of thousands if not millions.

The Emperor of Star Wars could not have taken over the galaxy with super weapons like nuclear bombs or even the Death Star. The greatest asset he ever had and the only way he could have siezed power was with a massive clone army.

Yahtzee, you don't need a whip to enforce discipline in clone soldiers. You *are* "playing God" here so to speak so it would be possible through genetics or conditioning to have your clone soldier quite simply have unquestioning love and devotion to their leader, enough love to consciously give their life for him. No need for a whip, just ask them and like good little drones they will fight to the death and still be happy.

I suspect within out lifetime (assuming there are mostly young people on this forum) the next great "Weapon of Mass Destruction" will not be merely a bigger bomb or more toxic gas but a method of mass producing soldiers, the BEST soldiers, mass produced like AK47s and so much that any country could make them and yes, store them in a box (in stasis = low cost) to unleash at any moment.

Carthage was raised the the ground, an ancient city completely destroyed by an army following orders. Historically, man himself has always been the greatest weapon of mass destruction.

Nuclear Bombs destroy, but only armies can win wars, only armies can conquer. And nukes can't even prevent that.

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