Zero Punctuation: Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War

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Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Enemy Front and Valiant Hearts: The Great War.

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really? you are blaming school shootings on gun control?

A game about WWI? What an interesting twist. Maybe even interesting enough to be worth checking out. I think it even got a recommendation.

bobdole1979:
really? you are blaming school shootings on gun control?

No, he's saying that because people oppose gun control so violently, we haven't been able to effectively stop them.

Interesting. I've always wanted to see more of WWI in games. Not sure if I would like the minigame approach, though. I'll have to look into it some more.

Man, Yahtzee has been putting some thought into war as a concept. Long gone are the days of, "Chest-high walls are stupid," replaced with opinions on geopolitics, American gun control, and the nature of 20th century combat. He didn't even insert a photoshopped picture of a bum with an eye in the middle when he said, "But eye digress."

"Why do you keep calling it 'World War one?'"

"You'll see... you'll see"

---

Well... I imagine that this thread is going to be a pleasant and not at all incendiary exchange of ideas about US gun policy and foreign policy involving the Middle East...

Dragonheart57:
A game about WWI? What an interesting twist. Maybe even interesting enough to be worth checking out. I think it even got a recommendation.

bobdole1979:
really? you are blaming school shootings on gun control?

No, he's saying that because people oppose gun control so violently, we haven't been able to effectively stop them.

mental illness is the cause of the shootings.

I defenatly liked Vailant Hearths. Even it's minigamy stile approch to it all.
The only downside I would have given it, is that they where rather unsubtle at a point, about a DLC or a second part.

Ubisoft cant just tell a story in one round. Even if they deliver good ones, theres always gotto be "another one".

I'd actually like to see the DayZ survival concept applied to WWII. You could start off without any combat skills whatsoever in Minsk and have to evade the Wermacht as you try to escape past the front-line into the safer parts of the USSR across a huge, open-ended map full of villages and people you could team up with, help or just steal their stuff to survive. Kind of like a game version of the film Come and See.

bobdole1979:

Dragonheart57:
A game about WWI? What an interesting twist. Maybe even interesting enough to be worth checking out. I think it even got a recommendation.

bobdole1979:
really? you are blaming school shootings on gun control?

No, he's saying that because people oppose gun control so violently, we haven't been able to effectively stop them.

mental illness is the cause of the shootings.

Not for Columbine, which was teenagers trying to recreate Oklahoma City but without any bomb-making knowledge. Also if that's the cause why does America have hundreds of times more shootings than anywhere else?

Funniest ZP in a while. But I have to get this off my chest, and I don't care who disagrees with it:

The Nazis were bad and something had to be done about them. That's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it!

bobdole1979:

mental illness is the cause of the shootings.

Prove it.

Dragonheart57:

No, he's saying that because people oppose gun control so violently, we haven't been able to effectively stop them.

Going off what was actually said in the video, the issue he brought up is that the gun lobby has successfully made school shootings mundane.

Did "stopping" them ever even come up?

I think I heard crows or something making noise in the background at several points. It was kinda weird.

He raises an interesting point. Given that we have so many war games out there, why ISN'T the First World War depicted more often?

Blachman201:
I think I heard crows or something making noise in the background at several points. It was kinda weird.

Yeah I got this too, unless that was just the audio fucking up.

Well, I am now very interested in Valiant Hearts.

Even if Enemy Front is incredibly generic, at least World War II shooters are making some kind of a resurgence now. Now, AAA games industry, can you essentially remake CoD: World at War's gory gameplay with the horrifically grim and destructive atmosphere in shiny 2014 graphics and lighting? Please?

Blachman201:
I think I heard crows or something making noise in the background at several points. It was kinda weird.

I know, I was gonna say. What was with all the birds cawing in the background? That was really distracting. I was kind of hoping he'd mention it at the end in some contrived analogy (war=crows? I got nothing) but now I suspect it wasn't intentional.

So the conversation we're having about these two games is that they're two completely different games with different playstyles and narrative structure? I don't think there's any front that they can really be compared on, except that they both take place during a war. At the end you took to comparing them based on how well they accurately depict the atmosphere of the war they were based on, but this isn't the history channel and I sincerely doubt people would ever confuse either of the two as being a historic documentary.

This leads me to only one conclusion. Mr Croshaw, did you get halfway into reviewing Enemy Front before you realized it was another poorly done WW2 shooter with poor controls, poor graphics, poor plot, the same two-or-three weapons, and some stealth mechanics that don't work in practice? This rings to me as both a review and a desperate cry for help.

It's almost as if you played into the part of the game that has forced stealth sections, like I know every one of these crappy games have; before you looked at the game you were playing, came to the realization that it was rubbish, and immediately went to look for another game that at least looked interesting and was of a genre that you were interested in. And then you finished your already half-written review by interspersing sections of the more interesting game you had found.

Really, I can't blame you if this is the case, because just looking at Enemy Front's steam page is making me feel bored and unimpressed by mere visual osmosis.

ENEMY FRONT is the first truly modern WW2 FPS, featuring stunning visuals, open-ended levels and a richly interactive combat experience that breaks out of the standard model of highly linear scripted FPS experiences, giving the player full freedom to own their playing style.

Even the description, which hits every key marketing point while not outright stating that it is 'revolutionary', is boring me to tears. I'm not even sure I can find the motivation to finish this post and my train of thought anymore.

Blachman201:
I think I heard crows or something making noise in the background at several points. It was kinda weird.

It sounded to me like a mic is having feedback issues.

Uplay is the shit! And I do mean shit, as in "stop playing with it, and flush it down already, you scum".

Anyway, "hmm, yeah, I read a book once" cracked me up good.

bobdole1979:

Dragonheart57:
A game about WWI? What an interesting twist. Maybe even interesting enough to be worth checking out. I think it even got a recommendation.

bobdole1979:
really? you are blaming school shootings on gun control?

No, he's saying that because people oppose gun control so violently, we haven't been able to effectively stop them.

mental illness is the cause of the shootings.

Yes it is, but how easy it is to get a hold of a weapon and murder tons of people before getting stopped has nothing to do with how many massacres happen every other month here in the good old usa. Its odd how easy it is to get a gun and the united states has become high noon at the OK corral. The republicans idea to solve this problem? Keep throwing guns at it.

OT: Well the game Valiant hearts sounds like a good game but i wonder how much it costs.

bobdole1979:

mental illness is the cause of the shootings.

Not always. Also, the easy access to guns in America is the prime cause of school shootings. Hard to shoot up a school if you can't access a gun.

I see this thread ending badly.

thejboy88:
He raises an interesting point. Given that we have so many war games out there, why ISN'T the First World War depicted more often?

I would imagine it's due to the trench warfare employed so much during that war being too difficult to turn into entertaining gameplay. There's one of 2 scenarios: you man a machine gun and simply mow down people as they come out of the trenches, or you're on the other side, running through the onslaught, praying a bullet doesn't rearrange your brains.

bobdole1979:

Dragonheart57:
A game about WWI? What an interesting twist. Maybe even interesting enough to be worth checking out. I think it even got a recommendation.

bobdole1979:
really? you are blaming school shootings on gun control?

No, he's saying that because people oppose gun control so violently, we haven't been able to effectively stop them.

mental illness is the cause of the shootings.

So why not put restrictions on gun access for the mentally ill?

*NRA wackspin
"But that would encroach on the mentally ill's right to keep and bear arms"

Right, so we have established that there are people who frankly shouldn't ever have access to firearms, but you give them firearms regardless because of the 2nd amendment.

Great plan buster.

MrFalconfly:

bobdole1979:

Dragonheart57:
A game about WWI? What an interesting twist. Maybe even interesting enough to be worth checking out. I think it even got a recommendation.

No, he's saying that because people oppose gun control so violently, we haven't been able to effectively stop them.

mental illness is the cause of the shootings.

So why not put restrictions on gun access for the mentally ill?

*NRA wackspin
"But that would encroach on the mentally ill's right to keep and bear arms"

Right, so we have established that there are people who frankly shouldn't ever have access to firearms, but you give them firearms regardless because of the 2nd amendment.

Great plan buster.

when it comes to some people logic be damned

I think Yahtzee has discovered the best means of solving political strife against the immobile brick walls that are the out-of-touch elderly.

Explain the rudimentary logic at such a speed so that they have no choice but to nod their heads in agreement just to save face.

thejboy88:
He raises an interesting point. Given that we have so many war games out there, why ISN'T the First World War depicted more often?

I'd like to see some WWI games as well; and with all of the trenches and stuff they seem well-suited to the modern shooter genre. Although playing as a soldier caught in a mustard gas attack in the same style as that guy getting nuked in COD 4 sounds more horrifying than any monster in Dead Space.

OT: I think this is the first time I've ever heard Yahtzee use the word 'delightful' in relation to a game or gameplay mechanic. That alone makes me think I should pick up Valiant Hearts. Well, that and the fact that it's a game set during a war that's actually about people rather than the war.

And as far as the gun control, politics, and school shooting shitstorm this thread is likely to devolve into; I had a feeling this was going to happen after watching Yahtzee's Let's Drown Out this past weekend when he made some similar statements. I think I'll check back in about six hours to see what comments people end up getting banned/suspended over; that's probably my favorite part.

Good episode. Tied in the two games quite well and funny throughout.

Hey...Yahtzee has a murderous guy wearing a welding mask? Salty bear on a stick!

thejboy88:
He raises an interesting point. Given that we have so many war games out there, why ISN'T the First World War depicted more often?

I think it's partially what he said (there not being a true 'good side'), but mostl because of the combat of that time. Tanks were only just introduced, Airplanes didn't go too fast, and the infantry battles were such gloryless trench slaughter that the only way the commanders knew how to keep morale high was to execute any soldiers who even thought about deserting. The WWII shooter approach would not work with this setting. Which is why Valiant Hearts isn't, and I really want to play it (haven't got the gear to do so though).

Only seen a bit of Valiant Hearts but I liked how it took a more human and realistic approach. Rather than blind patriotism and chest thumping the characters think the war is stupid and just want to get back to their happy peaceful lives. They are dragged into the conflict whether they like it or not, the best they can do is try to survive and find their loved ones. There are some tonal inconsistencies but having some silly lighthearted bits to break up the very depressing setting.

varmintx:
I would imagine it's due to the trench warfare employed so much during that war being too difficult to turn into entertaining gameplay. There's one of 2 scenarios: you man a machine gun and simply mow down people as they come out of the trenches, or you're on the other side, running through the onslaught, praying a bullet doesn't rearrange your brains.

Is it bad that I read this as; "hey, you could make a bullet hell shooter set in World War I, someone should totally do that"?

Blachman201:
I think I heard crows or something making noise in the background at several points. It was kinda weird.

You mean I'm not crazy and the only one to notice that?

Seriously Yahtzee, find a different room or something to do your recordings in so we don't have any paranoia based background noises in the future.

MrFalconfly:

bobdole1979:

Dragonheart57:
A game about WWI? What an interesting twist. Maybe even interesting enough to be worth checking out. I think it even got a recommendation.

No, he's saying that because people oppose gun control so violently, we haven't been able to effectively stop them.

mental illness is the cause of the shootings.

So why not put restrictions on gun access for the mentally ill?

*NRA wackspin
"But that would encroach on the mentally ill's right to keep and bear arms"

Right, so we have established that there are people who frankly shouldn't ever have access to firearms, but you give them firearms regardless because of the 2nd amendment.

Great plan buster.

Have you ever actually heard this argument from the NRA? I highly doubt it.

No, the problem is that the USA has a shit history with regards to Mental Illness. You can't just say "anyone mentally ill can't have a firearm" because literally 25-30% of americans are mentally ill at some point during any given year. Most of those are never diagnosed, and most recover from their illness given time.

It takes a LOT of time and effort to prove someone is mentally ill and a danger to themselves and others. Time and effort that must come from the mentally ill persons' friends and family - which are far more likely to try and resolve the problem themselves - if they even notice it. We lack the fundamental foundations for even building a nation-wide mental health service; and an aversion to anything even resembling starting one.

There is a HUGE social stigma when it comes to mental health problems - and suggesting that someone should go see a shrink before they do something - say, like getting a driver's license (vital IMO) or buying a firearm (literally an enshrined right in the constitution) is considered little short of defamation of character. I had been hoping that this would begin to shift due to all the obviously crazy people causing harm - but no, all I see are people whining about how guns are killing people and how assault weapons (which have claimed only a tiny fraction of firearm fatalities in the US) need to be banned. I might even support that last one, even going against statistics, if "assault weapon" wasn't defined by how scary something looks.

This might be completely off-topic, but did anyone else hear a kind of low fainting grinding noise in the background? Like someone was turning the crank on an old style backpack radio or the like? I swear I did...

AdmiralCheez:
Interesting. I've always wanted to see more of WWI in games. Not sure if I would like the minigame approach, though. I'll have to look into it some more.

Well, if it helps you decide, the minigame rhythm sections are nearly impossible to fail, so they're pretty much just busy work. A good comparison point is the gameplay in Telltale's games, but without the illusion of choice, as the story is pretty much predetermined.

In its favour, that keeps the narrative snappy as its flow is never broken by getting stuck on a section, the story is pretty good, and the presentation is really top notch, what with its gorgeous cartoony visuals (don't let that fool you, the story is anything but "kiddy") and almost no dialogue aside from some expositional narrative interludes. It also contains a comprehensive archive on some historical key aspect of WWI.

Like Yahtzee says, it's a flawed game when it comes to the gamey stuff, and purposedly oversimple, but in my perspective, that does not detract from the experience at all.

Silk_Sk:

Blachman201:
I think I heard crows or something making noise in the background at several points. It was kinda weird.

I know, I was gonna say. What was with all the birds cawing in the background? That was really distracting. I was kind of hoping he'd mention it at the end in some contrived analogy (war=crows? I got nothing) but now I suspect it wasn't intentional.

Yeah, after the second watching, I had to turn up the volume to hear it better and yes, those were crows in the background.

varmintx:
I see this thread ending badly.

thejboy88:
He raises an interesting point. Given that we have so many war games out there, why ISN'T the First World War depicted more often?

I would imagine it's due to the trench warfare employed so much during that war being too difficult to turn into entertaining gameplay. There's one of 2 scenarios: you man a machine gun and simply mow down people as they come out of the trenches, or you're on the other side, running through the onslaught, praying a bullet doesn't rearrange your brains.

I recall there was a flight sim set in WWI a decade ago, showing off its lack of modern conveniences as "radar", "lock-on missiles", or "armor", but I don't think it was a huge success.
There was an alternate history WWI FPS (back when FPS's still had SOME imagination) set in the 1960's and WWI was STILL going on. I can see a Call of Duty game set in WWI arbitrarily killing off PC's in un-skippable cutscenes, as Yahtzee has shown us that series is fond of doing.

OT: I watched previews of Valiant Hearts at ubisoft's E3 presentation, and it looked gorgeous. It is refreshing to see a game set during a war that spotlights the humanity of the people caught up in it and has a glimmer of hope in it. Why don't we talk about any of our extended relatives who were in WWI? 4 or 5 of my great-grandparents fought in that , on the Allies' side, survived, came to America, and conceived my grandparents.

Well, there's a gun-control debate brewing in this thread and at the time I wrote this, Latest Content has another story about Snowden. Today's going to be one of THOSE days in the forums.

Gun control in America has been tried and every single time it has made gun violence in that area even worse. *cough*Chicago*cough* And you wonder why we oppose it?

We HAD stability in the middle east, just like we had stability in Vietnam. And then we decided to hand our victory over for no good reason (again) by leaving long before the region was able to take over for its own stabilization and we wonder why the region collapsed?

God, I hate hearing about politics here. It's not funny and it's generally inaccurate.

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