Critical Miss: Max Payne

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Max Payne

Emotional Payne and Suffering

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That... is quite bad yes.

Wait a minute... I thought it was set in Sao Paulo, not Rio!

But nevermind that, good comic. Imagine paying respects to your great grandparents and some guy with a shotgun is taking cover behind the gravestone. Funny, yet sad.

SLOW MOTION......grieving!

yeah...

She loved fishing,
and snow,
and PvP

*Reloads and dives behind nearest headstone*

I'm in the "It was made after 2005 so it sucks" camp.

Nah, but the graveyard thing is....WEIRD.

Zachary Amaranth:
I'm in the "It was made after 2005 so it sucks" camp.

Nah, but the graveyard thing is....WEIRD.

Dare I say.... Noir?
Bleakness in a Max Pain Game? HOW DARE THEY!?!

DVS BSTrD:

Zachary Amaranth:
I'm in the "It was made after 2005 so it sucks" camp.

Nah, but the graveyard thing is....WEIRD.

Dare I say.... Noir?
Bleakness in a Max Pain Game? HOW DARE THEY!?!

Shootouts in graveyards aren't particularly noir.

(Note to self...Rewrite climax of novel to exclude graveyard)

And there's "bleak," and then there's....This.

Zachary Amaranth:

DVS BSTrD:

Zachary Amaranth:
I'm in the "It was made after 2005 so it sucks" camp.

Nah, but the graveyard thing is....WEIRD.

Dare I say.... Noir?
Bleakness in a Max Pain Game? HOW DARE THEY!?!

Shootouts in graveyards aren't particularly noir.

(Note to self...Rewrite climax of novel to exclude graveyard)

And there's "bleak," and then there's....This.

It's compensation for including sunlight in the game

DVS BSTrD:

Zachary Amaranth:
I'm in the "It was made after 2005 so it sucks" camp.

Nah, but the graveyard thing is....WEIRD.

Dare I say.... Noir?
Bleakness in a Max Pain Game? HOW DARE THEY!?!

There is bleakness, and there is bad taste.

OT; Great strip, Mr Carter.

Meanwhile, in another part of the cemetary the shootout is over and Johnny Gat and the Saints' leader are still busy burying that Ronin guy alive.

DVS BSTrD:

It's compensation for including sunlight in the game

Touché, good sir, touché.

Otaku World Order:
Meanwhile, in another part of the cemetary the shootout is over and Johnny Gat and the Saints' leader are still busy burying that Ronin guy alive.

Bah, they've moved well past that.

"The Rio setting"

Uhh... it is São Paulo. And if you go and say "same thing" I'll hunt you down to the ends of the globe!

I jest. But really, I'm Brazillian, and so far as Brazillians are concerned Rio and São Paulo era the antithesis of each other. Rio is the tourist trap city. With its gorgeous beaches, beautiful women, hidden scars, landmarks, friendly attitude...

São Paulo is sometimes referred to as "New York... with all the good and neat stuff taken out". It is an industrial city of frightening scale, one of the largest in the world (easily surpassing NY), the scene at night is at complete odds with the scene at day, chaos and corruption reigns, crime ranges from all varieties from the lowly street kids scouting for the dealers to high corporate espionage and governmental fraud.

Heck, it is the freaking reason they picked Brazil. If it was Rio, I'd be just as angry as any other Max Payne "fan".

Actually, I'd be angrier.

Who would have thought a Counterstrike reference would titillate my sense of humor today? Anyone who still knows anything about Counterstrike is an emotionless husk with AIMBot instead of organs and AK-47s for fingers, right?

I agree though, my initial impulse of what I've seen and heard about this game are telling me to get the hell out of dodge, but I really want it to be good, so I'm going to suppress my instincts.

Is it wrong that I just looked down at the "Recently commented topics" bar, stared at the title of this thread and finally understood why this webcomic's called Critical Miss?

I mean, it only took me several months.

SandroTheMaster:
"The Rio setting"

Uhh... it is São Paulo. And if you go and say "same thing" I'll hunt you down to the ends of the globe!

I jest. But really, I'm Brazillian, and so far as Brazillians are concerned Rio and São Paulo era the antithesis of each other. Rio is the tourist trap city. With its gorgeous beaches, beautiful women, hidden scars, landmarks, friendly attitude...

São Paulo is sometimes referred to as "New York... with all the good and neat stuff taken out". It is an industrial city of frightening scale, one of the largest in the world (easily surpassing NY), the scene at night is at complete odds with the scene at day, chaos and corruption reigns, crime ranges from all varieties from the lowly street kids scouting for the dealers to high corporate espionage and governmental fraud.

Heck, it is the freaking reason they picked Brazil. If it was Rio, I'd be just as angry as any other Max Payne "fan".

Actually, I'd be angrier.

Oh shit, those are like... different places?

Anyway, typo be fixed. Or at least it should be.

Grey Carter:
but I'm going to reserve judgement until I've actually played the game

ooooh, now there's a novel idea.

SandroTheMaster:
"The Rio setting"

Uhh... it is São Paulo. And if you go and say "same thing" I'll hunt you down to the ends of the globe!

I jest. But really, I'm Brazillian, and so far as Brazillians are concerned Rio and São Paulo era the antithesis of each other. Rio is the tourist trap city. With its gorgeous beaches, beautiful women, hidden scars, landmarks, friendly attitude...

São Paulo is sometimes referred to as "New York... with all the good and neat stuff taken out". It is an industrial city of frightening scale, one of the largest in the world (easily surpassing NY), the scene at night is at complete odds with the scene at day, chaos and corruption reigns, crime ranges from all varieties from the lowly street kids scouting for the dealers to high corporate espionage and governmental fraud.

Heck, it is the freaking reason they picked Brazil. If it was Rio, I'd be just as angry as any other Max Payne "fan".

Actually, I'd be angrier.

Grey Carter:

Oh shit, those are like... different places?

Anyway, typo be fixed. Or at least it should be.

Trolling us brazilians? RACISTA!

I kid.

Anyway, it is good to see another brazilian city in a game. People here were nuts for the CoD which had a Rio level. Heck, I played it even not being a fan of FPS games.

"Of course the "everything is, and will always be, shit"-chorus have already dismissed it on the basis of Max not having enough hair, the game featuring daylight, or simply because it was made after 2005 and everything is terrible now because of regenerating health, casuals and Obama."

Ok. I've decided I like you. :D
Great comic!

I'm going to reserve judgement until I've actually played the game. I'm weird like that.

This is the internet, man. You can't just wait and reserve judgement until you've actually tried a game. Who the hell do you think you are?!

Ha! Have you every watched Spoiler Warning? You should know behind the affable exterior of Shamus Young lies a pent up storm of cynical, cynical criticism.

Ask him about ME2 sometime :D

I've said it before, I'll say it again, portly chest wearing Max is a good sign because it doesn't look like the sort of character designed to make us think; wow this is cool. It's a decision based on the story they're trying to tell and that's a heck of a good sign.

Now context is everything, if they were selling the game Kane & Lynch style Max would be the strongest repellant known to man. But they aren't. This is Max struggling with his life, not Max trying to attract the gangsta demographic like

What? Daylight? In a Max Payne game? It is an unholy betrayal of all the game ever was meant to be!!!
CURSE YOU, MAX PAYNE 3!!!

Oh Rydel-Carter, you read my mind and turn what would have been a pithy forum post into an awesome comic. Please stop doing that as you are stealing my intellectual property.

Everyone has already pointed out that MP3 (?) takes place in São Paulo and not in Rio, but as a man who actually lives near São Paulo, I'll say this: São Paulo is noir as shit.

BrotherRool:
Ha! Have you every watched Spoiler Warning? You should know behind the affable exterior of Shamus Young lies a pent up storm of cynical, cynical criticism.

Ask him about ME2 sometime :D

I've said it before, I'll say it again, portly chest wearing Max is a good sign because it doesn't look like the sort of character designed to make us think; wow this is cool. It's a decision based on the story they're trying to tell and that's a heck of a good sign.

Now context is everything, if they were selling the game Kane & Lynch style Max would be the strongest repellant known to man. But they aren't. This is Max struggling with his life, not Max trying to attract the gangsta demographic like

You said it all. At first I was really angry at the people who were dissing the sequel in its proto-form before anything just because Max didn't look well-kept. Saying they were trying to get in into the space-marine audience. Max first screenshots had him looking like he went through hell and didn't care anymore!

did anyone else have the max payne theme in their head until they got to the last panel?

the last 3 comics won't show up for me, and some images on the front page. clearing my cache/temp files does nothing. any help people?

I haven't kept up, but multiplayer and such a level?! Seems disgraceful.

BrotherRool:
Ha! Have you every watched Spoiler Warning? You should know behind the affable exterior of Shamus Young lies a pent up storm of cynical, cynical criticism.

Ask him about ME2 sometime :D

I've said it before, I'll say it again, portly chest wearing Max is a good sign because it doesn't look like the sort of character designed to make us think; wow this is cool. It's a decision based on the story they're trying to tell and that's a heck of a good sign.

Now context is everything, if they were selling the game Kane & Lynch style Max would be the strongest repellant known to man. But they aren't. This is Max struggling with his life, not Max trying to attract the gangsta demographic like

You know, I did look at the article he wrote on Mass Effect 2, then wrote an entire article about how he missed almost every plot point that closed what he thought were plot holes, it was a really terrible article.

That aside though, you know what would improve this game? Not calling it Max Payne for one, you don't need to use an already made hero, give us somebody else with his own backstory and name, that way people wouldn't be angry, they might be interested. This is the same problem as the new Devil May Cry game, and Diablo 3 to a lesser extent, you only call it part of a series so that it sells well, even if it makes the series worse as a whole.

Warachia:

BrotherRool:
Ha! Have you every watched Spoiler Warning? You should know behind the affable exterior of Shamus Young lies a pent up storm of cynical, cynical criticism.

Ask him about ME2 sometime :D

I've said it before, I'll say it again, portly chest wearing Max is a good sign because it doesn't look like the sort of character designed to make us think; wow this is cool. It's a decision based on the story they're trying to tell and that's a heck of a good sign.

Now context is everything, if they were selling the game Kane & Lynch style Max would be the strongest repellant known to man. But they aren't. This is Max struggling with his life, not Max trying to attract the gangsta demographic like

You know, I did look at the article he wrote on Mass Effect 2, then wrote an entire article about how he missed almost every plot point that closed what he thought were plot holes, it was a really terrible article.

That aside though, you know what would improve this game? Not calling it Max Payne for one, you don't need to use an already made hero, give us somebody else with his own backstory and name, that way people wouldn't be angry, they might be interested. This is the same problem as the new Devil May Cry game, and Diablo 3 to a lesser extent, you only call it part of a series so that it sells well, even if it makes the series worse as a whole.

Although when Shamus gets annoyed at something he does tend to miss/ignore a lot of the factual answers to his criticisms, I'm with him all the way in criticising ME2, particularly on the story. There wasn't even actually a story but a very very pretty and exciting (and this (and the vanguard class) is my sole concession to ME2 having any good features. The cinematography in the cutscenes was better than in almost any movie I've scene and I just wanted to watch them forever) trailer extended over 20 hours. The worst part though was the twist where your crew gets taken. Because I'd already finished every single mission I wanted to do and Miranda suddenly said 'i'm getting everyone into the shuttle for your next mission' and always I was thinking was 'No Miranda. This stupid and obviously a trap. I don't want to get in a shuttle, I don't want to do another mission. I'm fine where I am. I want to talk to the crew. Tell you what, don't put everyone in a shuttle and I'll just make sure everyone's prepared for the final mission before we actually do it.'

And then the game made me do it anyway and was like 'LOL IT WAS A TRAP HAHAHA YOU ARE STUPID> BET YOURE SHOCKEDABOUT THAT' [in exactly those words]

The other good thing about ME2 (I've been hating for so long I blanked out some of the good bits) were the excellent morale dilemnas. Only to beaten by the stupidity of the bad/good system they forced them into, the lack of actual consequence for the actions (I guess we're told to wait for the third game before having our choices rewarded) and the stupid stupid way the game interpreted your choice. In fact most of the time there was a perfectly sensible third option that the game wouldn't let you take. There was nothing stupider than the very final choice of the game and how people reacted to it. The entirety of ME1 and ME2 was spent harvesting alien technology for anything that could help against the reavers and suddenly it's wrong to carry on. And frankly it's not because we're giving it to the illusive man because there were so many ways around that. Just tell the freakin' council. Sure they wouldn't believe you, but all you'd have to do is give them a lift in your ship and not only would they believe you, but they'd believe you about everyone else and actually help in the fight. They hate cerberus, they aren't going to ignore this, even if they outwardly ignore it the Solarians would send the STG to find out. These people are supposed to be masters of the intelligence game. If Cerberus could sneak scientists onto that ship then the STG could at least confirm it was happening.

Heck even before then, with the dead Reaver you just need to give the council some co-ordinates and they'd check it out. In fact the council itself was a dull point of the game. I know it's a trope and a very popular one with Bioware to have a powerful group of politicians who refuse to believe whats in front of their eyes, but they took it too far and the only reason I can except it at all is that in my head all the council members are investigating the threat, but with their intelligence services and commandos, trying to minimise public outcry and make certain first.

ARGHH! The terrible thing is I've played through this game 3 times now and I'm going to be playing through it at least another 3 times but I frickin' hate the game. I hate the broken relationship system, the uber combat focus, the broken dialogue wheel, the get out of free conversations options, the lack of any real conversation intrigue and flexibility>>>?!?! but i won't stop playing it.

Yeah.

On a saner note, not calling it Max Payne 3 is an interesting idea. I don't really know what I think of it. On the one hand I thought Max was a good character and the game stood for a lot of good things and it'd be nice to have the legacy followed. Making it a sequel allows Rockstar to capitalise on it's name (because in all honesty, we know bitching on forums before release often doesn't amount to much. See L4D2 Boycott, Fallout 3 etc) and allows us to assume some things about the game.

On the other hand there's no reason they can't make a game that stands for all the things MP stood for without actually calling it MP. It could be a spiritual successor like Bioshock. I'm playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution and that game did not get the praise it deserved because all the fantastic reviews had to add on that it wasn't quite as good as Deus Ex, despite the fact there hasn't been a game as good as Deus Ex in most peoples eyes since Deus Ex. It hurt the marketing in a way games like Skyrim have managed to avoid (i'm becoming quite cynical to teh marketing game as a whole at the moment. I can believe Skyrim is a fantastic game, but considering that it's record breaking sales were before anyone actually played it we have to recognise that the reputation of a game is something much more complex than just the quality of the game itself, it's the story that goes with a games release)

So I'm not sure. In my heart I want a Max Payne 3 and I feel another game woudn't be quite the same, but I can't find a good reason why

BrotherRool:

Warachia:

BrotherRool:
Ha! Have you every watched Spoiler Warning? You should know behind the affable exterior of Shamus Young lies a pent up storm of cynical, cynical criticism.

Ask him about ME2 sometime :D

I've said it before, I'll say it again, portly chest wearing Max is a good sign because it doesn't look like the sort of character designed to make us think; wow this is cool. It's a decision based on the story they're trying to tell and that's a heck of a good sign.

Now context is everything, if they were selling the game Kane & Lynch style Max would be the strongest repellant known to man. But they aren't. This is Max struggling with his life, not Max trying to attract the gangsta demographic like

You know, I did look at the article he wrote on Mass Effect 2, then wrote an entire article about how he missed almost every plot point that closed what he thought were plot holes, it was a really terrible article.

That aside though, you know what would improve this game? Not calling it Max Payne for one, you don't need to use an already made hero, give us somebody else with his own backstory and name, that way people wouldn't be angry, they might be interested. This is the same problem as the new Devil May Cry game, and Diablo 3 to a lesser extent, you only call it part of a series so that it sells well, even if it makes the series worse as a whole.

Snip

See, you're having the same problem as Shamus in that you think of how you get around something, but you fail to take into account what other people will do about it. Do you really think that the illusive man would give away the collector station when he has the only way of getting there?
Incidentally the "trap" was less of a trap and more of an ambush, that crew not on the Normandy was contrived I'll admit, although I think it was better than you going on a mission than coming back to: "The crew are gone captain."
I will agree though that a good idea would have been to tell someone else about that dead reaper though, even though I completely disagree with your last statement, which I won't debate you on because that one clearly comes down to opinion, ME2 is in no way perfect, but I like it for all the story focus, good action, the aesthetics, and the fact the DLC is actually worth it, I'll look over that last one though because a game should not be held up by it's addons, but try any of the ME2 DLC, my favourite is overlord, and you'll most likely find everything you wanted in the game.

But back to Max Payne: "On the other hand there's no reason they can't make a game that stands for all the things MP stood for without actually calling it MP. It could be a spiritual successor like Bioshock."
Exactly my point, If you really like the series, you'll understand the games neatly wrapped themselves up without needing a sequel. A good reason the games won't feel the same is because the industry has changed, we no longer look, make and market games as we used to, so it's only inevitable that what we used to make those games is lost on us, and part of what makes those games unique now comes across as standard.

Also, to another almost unrelated point, recently I played through the original Dues Ex, and was surprised at how well it does not hold up. The game literally misread almost EVERY SINGLE THING I did to the point where I had to play through a section several times to get the desired result, also the story goes nuts partway through and I was not going to torture myself with it any longer, and now that I'm in the vast minority, why does Bethesda release half finished products?

Warachia:

See, you're having the same problem as Shamus in that you think of how you get around something, but you fail to take into account what other people will do about it. Do you really think that the illusive man would give away the collector station when he has the only way of getting there?
Incidentally the "trap" was less of a trap and more of an ambush, that crew not on the Normandy was contrived I'll admit, although I think it was better than you going on a mission than coming back to: "The crew are gone captain."
I will agree though that a good idea would have been to tell someone else about that dead reaper though, even though I completely disagree with your last statement, which I won't debate you on because that one clearly comes down to opinion, ME2 is in no way perfect, but I like it for all the story focus, good action, the aesthetics, and the fact the DLC is actually worth it, I'll look over that last one though because a game should not be held up by it's addons, but try any of the ME2 DLC, my favourite is overlord, and you'll most likely find everything you wanted in the game.

But back to Max Payne: "On the other hand there's no reason they can't make a game that stands for all the things MP stood for without actually calling it MP. It could be a spiritual successor like Bioshock."
Exactly my point, If you really like the series, you'll understand the games neatly wrapped themselves up without needing a sequel. A good reason the games won't feel the same is because the industry has changed, we no longer look, make and market games as we used to, so it's only inevitable that what we used to make those games is lost on us, and part of what makes those games unique now comes across as standard.

Also, to another almost unrelated point, recently I played through the original Dues Ex, and was surprised at how well it does not hold up. The game literally misread almost EVERY SINGLE THING I did to the point where I had to play through a section several times to get the desired result, also the story goes nuts partway through and I was not going to torture myself with it any longer, and now that I'm in the vast minority, why does Bethesda release half finished products?

Well you're factually wrong at the beginning there. I hate ME2 enough that I have considered at length how the Illusive Man would react and you're forgetting that all the evidence with seen, including the behaviour of Miranda and Edi especially after the end of the game and in trailers of ME3 suggests that actually Shepard remains in control of the Normandy despite the snubbing the illusive man. In fact the what Edi does is give you all the details she has about the Cerberus network so actually as Bioware have played it. You are the one with access to the tech and the Illusive Man may or may not have that access himself. So you're solution would be right but actually since the plot doesn't do that, another error on ME2's behalf.

Now I agree that's strange but that's another flaw with ME2 that you kindly pointed out. Why the heck doesn't the Illusive Man just flick the kill switch when Shepard gives her big, I'm breaking off speech? For that matter I never bought that he wouldn't install a killswitch on Shepherd herself. The best is that Illusive Man far from being all powerful is a bit delusional and genuinely believes that Shepard is more than the some of her parts and not just a symbol and an effective soldier. Because to be frank, placing a small bomb in Shepards brain should be possible without affecting said persons behaviour and it's just sensible if you're a chess-playing villain.

But again that's just the same thing with how on the one hand Cerberus is this all powerful all-knowing intelligence network and on the other hand _every_single_ operation they've ever conducted has gone rogue. This despite the fact that EDI says that he keeps the number of Cerberus operations low because he likes to micromanage all of them.

Even despite all that, say that it turns out in ME3 the first thing the Illusive Man does is steal back the Normandy. Even then we're talking about the friggin' STG here. The best intelligence services in the galaxy. They could find out about this and steal the information. They've got the resources for that. Cerberus are a small powerful but tiny cell. Apparently they only run 6-12 operations at a time and to be frank, most of them must have gone rogue again by now :D

The trap was a trap because the code was a trap. But I agree with you there, taking the crew members off the ship wasn't part of it and was more ambushy. But it was contrived and I hope you agree the appropriate response isn't to think 'well I can imagine a way in which this would be more contrived' (and to be frank I would have preferred it to take place when I was on a mission because then it would have felt justified) is for it just not to happen. I'm not saying it didn't happen the best way (I liked the Joker stuff, just not the context with it) I'm saying it shouldn't have frickin' happened at all. All it was there for was shock value and to give the last mission some weight and time urgency (which in itself is a bit jarring since the rest of the game they tell you you need to be urgent but don't mean it. I actually forgot on my second playthrough which warning I was meant to ignore and which one follow) and it didn't do either because I was expecting it and annoyed that the game was just punishing me for something I'd seen but the game had refused to let me be clever enough to prevent.

Heck if it happened when we were on a mission and the rest of the team had evacuated the ship sadly unable to save most of the crew but Joker refused to leave and fixed the situation, that would have felt a little better than what they did.

As for everything else, I hope we've come closer to agreeing with each other. I like the aesthetics I thought the DLC was good (although I don't care about DLC and woudln't have bought it if I'd had the opportunity). I liked the fact that they were trying to focus on story more than most games do, even if I feel they didn't actually have any narrative (a flaw exclusive to ME2 actually. ME1 and ME3 tie into the overall storyline and go somewhere. ME2 was a bit monster-of-the-week and to be frank not much would have changed about it. I thought the idea of the illusive man was really interesting but they ruined it but having a LOL HE@S EVIL NOW at the end of the story (those caps are basically how I feel about the level of sophistication of it in general) but he was a really interesting story element and despite the end and how he didn't really fit in with Cerberus from ME1 the game was better for him)

To be honest implementation was my biggest dislike. I enjoy talking in games and I've been spoilt by stuff like KotoR (and now Deus Ex: HR and Planescape) where talking really means something and you have choice and have to pick your words carefully. I was trying to play a nice essentially peaceful Shepard and I was horrified to find this meant I had to resolve all problems instantly without any effort. I didn't like the way you were forced into missions where you would have no choice, couldn't explore or talk to people only at the end. What I felt should be integrated was seperated, although it did fit the overall Sci-Fi feel. And most of all I hated the way you built relations with your crew. Here I really was spoilt by KotoR2. In Kotor2 your companions look at your actions and judge you by them and the way you talk to them. If they like you and feel they can trust you by their actions, they open up to you more and let you have a greater influence over them to the point where you have meaningful relationships, learn a lot about their past and maybe they'll trust you enough to let you teach them to be jedis.

In ME2 you talk to them at the end of every mission and listen to them, avoiding calling them a slag and if you're patient and check on them every mission, eventually they'll have sex with you. .

Final complaint (it's a silly one). Quarians looked so cool when I thought their eyes were just reflections off the glass. Having glowing eyes like that killed the design for me when I realised it and every time I see Tali I wish I could unsee them.

You've convinced me with Max Payne. Can't say on Deus Ex although it's interesting you didn't like it because I couldn't get past FPS shooter combat on a computer, it's one of those things I guess. And how Bethseda are for you Obsidian are for me but even more so. All the games I've loved most (barring FFX, Uncharted and MGS4) are their games jst why oh why oh why can't they actually release a game finished??

It's easy to make criticism seem nit-picky by picking out the most petty issues and putting them on display. The early promotional material for this game wasn't seen as blasphemous because Max Payne was bald. It had absolutely no trace of a Noir tone or setting, Max was completely reinvented as a character (to be the exact same character every other shooter had as the player character, btw) and all the game-play changes could be traced back to any cover-based shooter, which, at the time, most of us were pretty fucking sick of hearing about (as opposed to now, where most of us have accepted that gaming innovation is dead.) In other words, not only were they taking apart a perfectly good IP and leaving out what made it unique, they were actively transforming it into the same game we had played about 50 different times over the previous few years. These new promos are cool, but they don't retroactively prove that the earlier stuff was pretty scary. It's like a coated stranger pulling a gun on you, then giving you candy, then leave skipping, yelling "See? You never had anything to be afraid of!"

And for the record, not everyone has the luxury of building a career around playing video games, some of us have to judge games without buying them. So there's no need to condescendingly judge those of us who are trying to figure out if a game is worth paying for.

BrotherRool:

Warachia:

See, you're having the same problem as Shamus in that you think of how you get around something, but you fail to take into account what other people will do about it. Do you really think that the illusive man would give away the collector station when he has the only way of getting there?
Incidentally the "trap" was less of a trap and more of an ambush, that crew not on the Normandy was contrived I'll admit, although I think it was better than you going on a mission than coming back to: "The crew are gone captain."
I will agree though that a good idea would have been to tell someone else about that dead reaper though, even though I completely disagree with your last statement, which I won't debate you on because that one clearly comes down to opinion, ME2 is in no way perfect, but I like it for all the story focus, good action, the aesthetics, and the fact the DLC is actually worth it, I'll look over that last one though because a game should not be held up by it's addons, but try any of the ME2 DLC, my favourite is overlord, and you'll most likely find everything you wanted in the game.

But back to Max Payne: "On the other hand there's no reason they can't make a game that stands for all the things MP stood for without actually calling it MP. It could be a spiritual successor like Bioshock."
Exactly my point, If you really like the series, you'll understand the games neatly wrapped themselves up without needing a sequel. A good reason the games won't feel the same is because the industry has changed, we no longer look, make and market games as we used to, so it's only inevitable that what we used to make those games is lost on us, and part of what makes those games unique now comes across as standard.

Also, to another almost unrelated point, recently I played through the original Dues Ex, and was surprised at how well it does not hold up. The game literally misread almost EVERY SINGLE THING I did to the point where I had to play through a section several times to get the desired result, also the story goes nuts partway through and I was not going to torture myself with it any longer, and now that I'm in the vast minority, why does Bethesda release half finished products?

Well you're factually wrong at the beginning there. I hate ME2 enough that I have considered at length how the Illusive Man would react and you're forgetting that all the evidence with seen, including the behaviour of Miranda and Edi especially after the end of the game and in trailers of ME3 suggests that actually Shepard remains in control of the Normandy despite the snubbing the illusive man. In fact the what Edi does is give you all the details she has about the Cerberus network so actually as Bioware have played it. You are the one with access to the tech and the Illusive Man may or may not have that access himself. So you're solution would be right but actually since the plot doesn't do that, another error on ME2's behalf.

Now I agree that's strange but that's another flaw with ME2 that you kindly pointed out. Why the heck doesn't the Illusive Man just flick the kill switch when Shepard gives her big, I'm breaking off speech? For that matter I never bought that he wouldn't install a killswitch on Shepherd herself. The best is that Illusive Man far from being all powerful is a bit delusional and genuinely believes that Shepard is more than the some of her parts and not just a symbol and an effective soldier. Because to be frank, placing a small bomb in Shepards brain should be possible without affecting said persons behaviour and it's just sensible if you're a chess-playing villain.

But again that's just the same thing with how on the one hand Cerberus is this all powerful all-knowing intelligence network and on the other hand _every_single_ operation they've ever conducted has gone rogue. This despite the fact that EDI says that he keeps the number of Cerberus operations low because he likes to micromanage all of them.

Even despite all that, say that it turns out in ME3 the first thing the Illusive Man does is steal back the Normandy. Even then we're talking about the friggin' STG here. The best intelligence services in the galaxy. They could find out about this and steal the information. They've got the resources for that. Cerberus are a small powerful but tiny cell. Apparently they only run 6-12 operations at a time and to be frank, most of them must have gone rogue again by now :D

The trap was a trap because the code was a trap. But I agree with you there, taking the crew members off the ship wasn't part of it and was more ambushy. But it was contrived and I hope you agree the appropriate response isn't to think 'well I can imagine a way in which this would be more contrived' (and to be frank I would have preferred it to take place when I was on a mission because then it would have felt justified) is for it just not to happen. I'm not saying it didn't happen the best way (I liked the Joker stuff, just not the context with it) I'm saying it shouldn't have frickin' happened at all. All it was there for was shock value and to give the last mission some weight and time urgency (which in itself is a bit jarring since the rest of the game they tell you you need to be urgent but don't mean it. I actually forgot on my second playthrough which warning I was meant to ignore and which one follow) and it didn't do either because I was expecting it and annoyed that the game was just punishing me for something I'd seen but the game had refused to let me be clever enough to prevent.

Heck if it happened when we were on a mission and the rest of the team had evacuated the ship sadly unable to save most of the crew but Joker refused to leave and fixed the situation, that would have felt a little better than what they did.

As for everything else, I hope we've come closer to agreeing with each other. I like the aesthetics I thought the DLC was good (although I don't care about DLC and woudln't have bought it if I'd had the opportunity). I liked the fact that they were trying to focus on story more than most games do, even if I feel they didn't actually have any narrative (a flaw exclusive to ME2 actually. ME1 and ME3 tie into the overall storyline and go somewhere. ME2 was a bit monster-of-the-week and to be frank not much would have changed about it. I thought the idea of the illusive man was really interesting but they ruined it but having a LOL HE@S EVIL NOW at the end of the story (those caps are basically how I feel about the level of sophistication of it in general) but he was a really interesting story element and despite the end and how he didn't really fit in with Cerberus from ME1 the game was better for him)

To be honest implementation was my biggest dislike. I enjoy talking in games and I've been spoilt by stuff like KotoR (and now Deus Ex: HR and Planescape) where talking really means something and you have choice and have to pick your words carefully. I was trying to play a nice essentially peaceful Shepard and I was horrified to find this meant I had to resolve all problems instantly without any effort. I didn't like the way you were forced into missions where you would have no choice, couldn't explore or talk to people only at the end. What I felt should be integrated was seperated, although it did fit the overall Sci-Fi feel. And most of all I hated the way you built relations with your crew. Here I really was spoilt by KotoR2. In Kotor2 your companions look at your actions and judge you by them and the way you talk to them. If they like you and feel they can trust you by their actions, they open up to you more and let you have a greater influence over them to the point where you have meaningful relationships, learn a lot about their past and maybe they'll trust you enough to let you teach them to be jedis.

In ME2 you talk to them at the end of every mission and listen to them, avoiding calling them a slag and if you're patient and check on them every mission, eventually they'll have sex with you. .

Final complaint (it's a silly one). Quarians looked so cool when I thought their eyes were just reflections off the glass. Having glowing eyes like that killed the design for me when I realised it and every time I see Tali I wish I could unsee them.

You've convinced me with Max Payne. Can't say on Deus Ex although it's interesting you didn't like it because I couldn't get past FPS shooter combat on a computer, it's one of those things I guess. And how Bethseda are for you Obsidian are for me but even more so. All the games I've loved most (barring FFX, Uncharted and MGS4) are their games jst why oh why oh why can't they actually release a game finished??

I wouldn't say I'm Factually wrong on the first point as the AI still more ore less follows after the illusive man and she is the one with the code, sure she tells you almost everything about cerberus, but doesn't tell you anything that could be used to destroy them (aside from political ramifications).

Your second point I'll agree it is stupid to not give shepard a kill switch, I could make up arguments defending this but I'm not so much a fanboy that I can't see a plothole (funny how shamus never brought that one up though), it would be a neat sidequest getting the killswitch removed in some way. To be fair to cerberus, only about three to six of their projects have gone rogue, and while half of your employees dying isn't a good track record, I can see why they thought it would be worth it, and don't worry, I never hold up a flimsy argument by justifying it with something lesser, the crew capture was badly done, and your idea does sound better.

About that point that ME2 didn't so much have a story, I disagree, but I can see your point, most of it feels like build up, and the ending might as well have been the third game's trailer, but the fact that they focus on the story is what I like about Bioware so much, not to mention they do a much better job at making somebody else feel like you, take Obsidian for example, you don't really play as yourself, when you start you are somebody else with their own memories, backstory, people that recognize them, and the plot is set up to follow them, not you, which can work perfectly well (in Alpha Protocol it worked even if the gameplay was shit) but they need to focus on you making a character or shaping a character, you can't do both.

I can see why you didn't like the implementation though, I accepted it as there are actual situations where you wouldn't have a choice, and here's more where it comes down to opinion, you are right when you say that dynamic companions would be good, except the game has no way of implementing them aside from what they have, you can't shoot civilians, and you can't steal. Your crew disapproves when you choose renegade options that don't fit with what they like but they stick with you and I'm glad that is the case otherwise you would be forced to cut down on the roleplay if you wanted everyone happy, although these companions do open up to you the more you talk to them and help them out, I see it as more than talking to them at the end of every mission, because under that catalogue, I could say the same about KOTOR2 the difference being bring them along, do what they want, THEN talk to them when you're back on your ship, which as I've said messed the roleplaying a bit for me, my favourite system was in Dragon age two, where they swapped out the standard love hate meter for something new, and how they'd brush up on each other and would question what you did, changing the new meter.

On your minor point, I guess you never really put Tali in different armours in the first game, some have he fog so low you can see the whole face (The silhouette I mean) which tipped me off to the glowing eyes, also, how would her eyes reflect off the helmet if they didn't glow?

I agree with you on Bethesda and Obsidian, They are two developers whose finished products can be really good, but they are also the first two I'd eliminate the first chance I had simply because of their work ethic.

On another side note, let me give you a preview if the Duex Ex 1 experience: "you enter through a window, your buddy is dying and some people are trying to kill him, you kill the enemies, he says he's good now, so you leave back through the window because you think it's closest to your next objective, only to find your buddy dies." This is because it doesn't matter whether or not you save him, it only matters which door you leave through, window, he dies, front door, he lives. Easily the most overrated game I've ever played.

Warachia:

I wouldn't say I'm Factually wrong on the first point as the AI still more ore less follows after the illusive man and she is the one with the code, sure she tells you almost everything about cerberus, but doesn't tell you anything that could be used to destroy them (aside from political ramifications).

Your second point I'll agree it is stupid to not give shepard a kill switch, I could make up arguments defending this but I'm not so much a fanboy that I can't see a plothole (funny how shamus never brought that one up though), it would be a neat sidequest getting the killswitch removed in some way. To be fair to cerberus, only about three to six of their projects have gone rogue, and while half of your employees dying isn't a good track record, I can see why they thought it would be worth it, and don't worry, I never hold up a flimsy argument by justifying it with something lesser, the crew capture was badly done, and your idea does sound better.

About that point that ME2 didn't so much have a story, I disagree, but I can see your point, most of it feels like build up, and the ending might as well have been the third game's trailer, but the fact that they focus on the story is what I like about Bioware so much, not to mention they do a much better job at making somebody else feel like you, take Obsidian for example, you don't really play as yourself, when you start you are somebody else with their own memories, backstory, people that recognize them, and the plot is set up to follow them, not you, which can work perfectly well (in Alpha Protocol it worked even if the gameplay was shit) but they need to focus on you making a character or shaping a character, you can't do both.

I can see why you didn't like the implementation though, I accepted it as there are actual situations where you wouldn't have a choice, and here's more where it comes down to opinion, you are right when you say that dynamic companions would be good, except the game has no way of implementing them aside from what they have, you can't shoot civilians, and you can't steal. Your crew disapproves when you choose renegade options that don't fit with what they like but they stick with you and I'm glad that is the case otherwise you would be forced to cut down on the roleplay if you wanted everyone happy, although these companions do open up to you the more you talk to them and help them out, I see it as more than talking to them at the end of every mission, because under that catalogue, I could say the same about KOTOR2 the difference being bring them along, do what they want, THEN talk to them when you're back on your ship, which as I've said messed the roleplaying a bit for me, my favourite system was in Dragon age two, where they swapped out the standard love hate meter for something new, and how they'd brush up on each other and would question what you did, changing the new meter.

On your minor point, I guess you never really put Tali in different armours in the first game, some have he fog so low you can see the whole face (The silhouette I mean) which tipped me off to the glowing eyes, also, how would her eyes reflect off the helmet if they didn't glow?

I agree with you on Bethesda and Obsidian, They are two developers whose finished products can be really good, but they are also the first two I'd eliminate the first chance I had simply because of their work ethic.

On another side note, let me give you a preview if the Duex Ex 1 experience: "you enter through a window, your buddy is dying and some people are trying to kill him, you kill the enemies, he says he's good now, so you leave back through the window because you think it's closest to your next objective, only to find your buddy dies." This is because it doesn't matter whether or not you save him, it only matters which door you leave through, window, he dies, front door, he lives. Easily the most overrated game I've ever played.

I only said you were factually wrong because you said I hadn't thought about the Illusive Man would react :D I had factually thought about it. just maybe not drawn the right conclusion!

I even agree that AI would probably still be under the Man's control just I feel that that won't turn out to be the case in ME3. I'm actually quite interested to see if they go for another reset mechanic in ME3. I was impressed how the justified the change in character for 2 but I don't know if it would work for 3.

It's an interesting criticism of Obsidian, I often play my games detached so I guess I didn't pick up on it but I guess you're right, in the end they try to shuffle you into pre-defined characters rather than really letting you play your own but the set-up makes it feel like you're meant to do the latter. I suppose I didn't mind because I was happy with the characters they made and I actually enjoyed the way they'd reveal information in your dialogue as well as other peoples.

And I guess I do think Bioware are better at solving that problem in most games. But in all honesty, for all my complaints about ME2, the truth was I'd gone into the game with the idea of a character in mind and then the game wouldn't let me do it. In ME2 you can be a ruthless solider or a self-sacrificing soldier and I just didn't want to be a soldier. Not in profession but attitude. In ME2 you can choose what kinda badass you want to be (and they really fun badasses) but I didn't want to be a badass. If you try out the red/blue dialogue options, half the time they're actually the same sort of lines and sometimes exactly the same lines.

I'm not sure if I didn't come across it, but when they disapprove of renegade options it doesn't actually mean anything in terms of your relationship with them does it? Because they felt a bit arbitary (the worst one being Mordin recommending you save the tech because he's a pragmatist and then telling you off if you do exactly that). I can see what you mean about sacrificing roleplay to get good relationships with them but ideally they wouldn't leave you but it would change how they talked to you and reacted with you. To be blunt someone who is sickened by your every action shouldn't want to have sex with you and someone who hasn't seen you do anything praisworthy shouldn't be willing to share their secrets with you. It does limit choice and it will stop you getting a perfect game but it encourages you to build a bond with people by being more aware of them and how they react on a mission and I think good roleplay involves playing in a world that reacts to you and the ME relationship system doesn't react to you at all. It felt like I was roleplaying in spite of the game because they game wasn't balancing in my actions.

And on Tali I just meant that her design is better with no eyes at all. An one-way reflective sheet of glass looked so much cooler than having those emoting eyes. I can see why they thought they needed it, because it allows them to show Talis emotion but it didn't work with me and when I wasn't aware of it, part of the fun was trying to imagine how she was reacting.

I'm sad to here that about Deus Ex, I haven't finished the HR yet so I hope they managed to stop doing that kinda stuff

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