Why people give Obsidian a little to much credit (IMO)

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AntiChri5:

Doom972:
Obsidian gets much of that credit for the games its founders made as Black Isle: Fallout 1 & 2, Icewind Dale 1 & 2, and mostly for Planescape: Torment.

Personally, I enjoyed every Obsidian game I played so far. Even though they had buggy releases and unfinished content, they were still great. NWN 2 and KOTOR 2 were very buggy and have much missing content (KOTOR 2 at least got fixed by fans), while Alpha Protocol and New Vegas were very buggy, but got fixed. I think that they are on the right path.

I'm not hyped for Project Eternity though. I would've liked to see them make another non-fantasy RPG.

I wouldn't call New Vegas "fixed".

It's in a worse state now then it was at launch.

At launch, there were 500 extremely irritating/problematic bugs. Now, there is one bug that prevents me from playing entirely.

After a mere 30 hours on my latest file, the game can no longer load The Strip. You know, the most important location in the game.

From what i heard, this was caused by the last patch.

Are playing on a console by any chance? I haven't seen that bug on the PC. all games based on Bethesda's game engines tend to be buggy, but the community usually gets an unofficial patch mod out pretty quickly and updates it frequently. Not an excuse, just something to consider.

MetalDooley:

Couldn't agree more.People seem to have a tendancy to completely overexaggerate the smallest bugs in Obsidian games while other devs get a free pass for similar or worse stuff..You only have to look at Skyrim on PS3.That game was literally unplayable for lots of people yet people seemed to blame everyone but Bethesda for it.If Obsidian had released something that bad they would be absolutely crucified

Come now. Bethesda and Obsidian are often mentioned in the same breath when it comes to bugs. Bethesda fanboys make excuses for them while Obsidian fanboys make excuses for them.

ChupathingyX:
So, you want me to stop loving New Vegas and Obsidian for making it just because you didn't enjoy it?

Saviordd1:
(And don't give me that "Bethesda was QA" crap, Obsidian was the one who looked at the finished product and said to Bethesda "Yes, ship it")

Then explain to me why in the credits the "Director of Quality Assurance" works for Bethesda, the "QA Manager" works for Bethesda, the "QA Lead" works for Bethesda and why 69 of the 72 "QA Testers" and "Additional QA" all work for Bethesda?

I think we have a small case of "Didn't read full OP" here.
To quote my post
"Now, they don't have BAD games, not by any stretch of the imagination."

I never said you should stop liking, hell, even I like their games. That's not the point of my post at all.

Again, they might be the QA team but Obsidian is STILL the one who approved he final product, they looked at that buggy mess and said "Yup".

Zachary Amaranth:

Akichi Daikashima:

So, in short, (I presume), good writing and decent gameplay can both be blown completely out of proportion, and indeed they have, as a result, that's why Obsidian is regarded in such a manner: the same way that Bioware was seen as the exemplars of game writing, even though their moral choice malarkey was completely biased and was nowhere near the level of The Walking Dead(the game).

Bioware's stories aren't really all that great, either. They've coasted on the same rough formula for almost all of their games and a lot of their so-called depth of story comes through exposition dumps. That's not good storytelling, it's just...Homework.

I'd argue that Bioware aren't so much gifted story tellers (at least not anymore) as much as they are good world builders.

Use only stealth combat in Alpha Protocol and join the master race. I never encountered ANY bugs oddly enough......

They aren't really overrated given that the majority of gamers either doesn't pay them much attention, or consider their games buggy messes... a lot of people don't even know KOTOR 2 was developed by a different company for example.

Of course those guys who like them, reaaally like them... so you get this contrast.

Personally, i have some issues with their execution (for varied reasons) but i really appreciate their intent, what they mean to do with those games, even if they miss the mark at some point.
So even though their games don't mean automatic day 1 buy for me, i always pay (hopefull)attention to them.

Regarding KOTOR 2 being buggy, i don't think it is... at least on PC, it was released incomplete (the final stretch is sad)and there is some balancing issues on gameplay.

Same thing could be said about Alpha protocol, sure it has texture pop in... but the main issue is:
It just has terrible, awful, baffling mechanics.
But that's not a bug, that's a (horrible) design choice.

Saviordd1:

Zachary Amaranth:

Akichi Daikashima:

So, in short, (I presume), good writing and decent gameplay can both be blown completely out of proportion, and indeed they have, as a result, that's why Obsidian is regarded in such a manner: the same way that Bioware was seen as the exemplars of game writing, even though their moral choice malarkey was completely biased and was nowhere near the level of The Walking Dead(the game).

Bioware's stories aren't really all that great, either. They've coasted on the same rough formula for almost all of their games and a lot of their so-called depth of story comes through exposition dumps. That's not good storytelling, it's just...Homework.

I'd argue that Bioware aren't so much gifted story tellers (at least not anymore) as much as they are good world builders.

They make damn good memorable characters as well, don't forget. What people expect most from Bioware isn't some brilliant over-arcing plot that no one ever thought of before, they do "the hero's journey" plot every time. No, what people do expect from Bioware when they laud it's story-telling ability is the nitty-gritty of the script. The dialogue, the memorable moments, the set-pieces, the scenes, the world--all of these are what makes Bioware games a fantastic experience. People tend to just simplify it by saying they are great story-tellers.

Hmmm, I wonder if that chap that debates in list format and bold-emphasized text will make an appearance. This is usually his kind of thread.

Saviordd1:

ChupathingyX:
So, you want me to stop loving New Vegas and Obsidian for making it just because you didn't enjoy it?

Saviordd1:
(And don't give me that "Bethesda was QA" crap, Obsidian was the one who looked at the finished product and said to Bethesda "Yes, ship it")

Then explain to me why in the credits the "Director of Quality Assurance" works for Bethesda, the "QA Manager" works for Bethesda, the "QA Lead" works for Bethesda and why 69 of the 72 "QA Testers" and "Additional QA" all work for Bethesda?

I think we have a small case of "Didn't read full OP" here.
To quote my post
"Now, they don't have BAD games, not by any stretch of the imagination."

I never said you should stop liking, hell, even I like their games. That's not the point of my post at all.

Again, they might be the QA team but Obsidian is STILL the one who approved he final product, they looked at that buggy mess and said "Yup".

No, Obsidian DIDN'T approve the final product. They are given two choices when the publisher comes demanding the game early. Either "Fine, take it", and they ship a buggy game, or "It's not ready yet", and then get hit with EVERYTHING the publisher has for 'defaulting' on their contract.

I still find it incredibly ironic that people used to slam Obsidian for "ruining" games like KotOR II and NWN 2 and praising Bioware and saying Bioware should develop everything and now everyone is praising Obsidian and saying they should develop everything and slamming Bioware. Oh how the tables have turned.

Scow2:

Saviordd1:

ChupathingyX:
So, you want me to stop loving New Vegas and Obsidian for making it just because you didn't enjoy it?

Then explain to me why in the credits the "Director of Quality Assurance" works for Bethesda, the "QA Manager" works for Bethesda, the "QA Lead" works for Bethesda and why 69 of the 72 "QA Testers" and "Additional QA" all work for Bethesda?

I think we have a small case of "Didn't read full OP" here.
To quote my post
"Now, they don't have BAD games, not by any stretch of the imagination."

I never said you should stop liking, hell, even I like their games. That's not the point of my post at all.

Again, they might be the QA team but Obsidian is STILL the one who approved he final product, they looked at that buggy mess and said "Yup".

No, Obsidian DIDN'T approve the final product. They are given two choices when the publisher comes demanding the game early. Either "Fine, take it", and they ship a buggy game, or "It's not ready yet", and then get hit with EVERYTHING the publisher has for 'defaulting' on their contract.

See I'd say that's true except that when they ARE given all the time in the world (Alpha Protocol) The end result is still buggy and messy.

Zachary Amaranth:

MetalDooley:

Couldn't agree more.People seem to have a tendancy to completely overexaggerate the smallest bugs in Obsidian games while other devs get a free pass for similar or worse stuff..You only have to look at Skyrim on PS3.That game was literally unplayable for lots of people yet people seemed to blame everyone but Bethesda for it.If Obsidian had released something that bad they would be absolutely crucified

Come now. Bethesda and Obsidian are often mentioned in the same breath when it comes to bugs. Bethesda fanboys make excuses for them while Obsidian fanboys make excuses for them.

To be honest dude I've never seen Bethesda get anywhere near the same level of criticism that Obsidian get even though their games are just as buggy if not worse.Please feel free to correct me but I don't think Obsidian have ever released anything as broken as Skyrim on PS3 yet reading through this thread(and every thread people make about them)you would think that that's all they do

I'm not an Obsidian fanboy but I just don't like to see people get criticised heavily for the same stuff others seem to get a free pass for

This is why you cannot say anything bad about the Great "Obsidian", I love Bioware sooo much even I hated what they did in the ending... That's another forum. You do know that there are contracts in place Publisher says to Obsidian we want this game out by this time and we will give you money for it, Obsidian says OK not a problem then signs contract. It is not the publishers fault if they are to inept to deliver on time its called a DEADLINE.

I love Obsidian, they do characters, writing and gameplay better than anyone, and thats all i care about in a game really. only disappointment was DS III, AP was brilliant.

I like obsidian's outside of the box style approach that they have with a lot of their games.

While most other companies are sticking to tried and tested formula's, Obsidian does a 180, and gives us something new and entirely original (see Alpha Protocol). They also have possibly the greatest storywriters in the industry, and the people who work there are so passionate at what they are doing it seems like they only created games because they want to, not just for the financial gain. They also work with the gaming communities answering a lot of questions, and even releasing their own mods for Fallout New Vegas.

They are just awesome guys, and like CDProjeckt they actually get gamers. Rather than the other more mainstream companies that just totally rapes the wallets of every gamer for every single penny that they have.

Saviordd1:
See I'd say that's true except that when they ARE given all the time in the world (Alpha Protocol) The end result is still buggy and messy.

Once again, Alpha Protocol was subject to bizarre demands from Sega. Most notably, there was a large period of time when Obsidian was forbidden from working on the game despite the fact that it was months away from going gold, and Sega repeatedly prevented patches from going out (presumably due to the fee for patching console games).

Of course, there was also bad shit on Obsidian's end, like the project lead leaving the company half-way through the development of the game. Think I heard he went to work on The Old Republic or something.

And Dungeon Siege 3 was pretty much bug-free. It was also probably their worst game.

Jazoni89:

While most other companies are sticking to tried and tested formula's, Obsidian does a 360

Um...

SillyBear:
Fallout New Vegas is my favourite game of all time, but I still agree with you. All Obsidian did was polish. They didn't have to build much from the ground up.

Well they did all the story elements for FNV which is what made it a great game. It's like other companies can set but Obsidian spikes. There's nothing wrong with that.

Captcha: Do you shop at Canadian Tire? Captcha... are you watching me?

Doom972:

AntiChri5:

Doom972:
Obsidian gets much of that credit for the games its founders made as Black Isle: Fallout 1 & 2, Icewind Dale 1 & 2, and mostly for Planescape: Torment.

Personally, I enjoyed every Obsidian game I played so far. Even though they had buggy releases and unfinished content, they were still great. NWN 2 and KOTOR 2 were very buggy and have much missing content (KOTOR 2 at least got fixed by fans), while Alpha Protocol and New Vegas were very buggy, but got fixed. I think that they are on the right path.

I'm not hyped for Project Eternity though. I would've liked to see them make another non-fantasy RPG.

I wouldn't call New Vegas "fixed".

It's in a worse state now then it was at launch.

At launch, there were 500 extremely irritating/problematic bugs. Now, there is one bug that prevents me from playing entirely.

After a mere 30 hours on my latest file, the game can no longer load The Strip. You know, the most important location in the game.

From what i heard, this was caused by the last patch.

Are playing on a console by any chance? I haven't seen that bug on the PC. all games based on Bethesda's game engines tend to be buggy, but the community usually gets an unofficial patch mod out pretty quickly and updates it frequently. Not an excuse, just something to consider.

New Vegas was the reason i decided to never get a Bethesda or Obsidian game on the 360 ever again. Fan made patches are just too important.

Jazoni89:

While most other companies are sticking to tried and tested formula's, Obsidian does a 360

Um...

Um...? what is the matter with my post if you don't mind me asking?

The Madman:

glchicks:

Ill have to check out temple, Ive heard about that one on and off but never got around to it. Ive also heard a lot of good about mask of the betrayer, but my prejudice against nwn2 prevented me from trying it...maybe Ill give it a shot when I have time.

This is kind of random, but have you ever been to Toronto? I'd love to hear an Albertian opinion on Toronto. Im just weird and random like that. Is it true what they say, that everyone in canada hates toronto?

Both are worth giving a try, if for completely opposite reasons. Mask of the Betrayer is a fantastic story with mediocre gameplay and Temple of Elemental evil is a mediocre story with fantastic gameplay, both entertaining in their own way.

As for Toronto, that's a bit off topic but yes, I've been there. No, I don't hate it. Everywhere has its stereotypes though. People like to mock Toronto as the wannabe stuck up New York of Canada, meanwhile everyone in Toronto likes to mock Alberta in general as the wannabe hick Texas. BC are druggies, Newfies are weird, Montreal is rude, and no one lives in Saskatchewan except the former cast of Corner Gas. Meanwhile we all ride Polar Bear to work being lumberjacks, live in Igloo, have mounties, and eat syrup and 'Canadian bacon' all day every day.

Canadian stereotypes, gotta love em!

You forgot exceedingly nice ;-P

OT: I do think that Obsidian's reputation is a bit inflated, however I am a huge fan of RPG games (mostly western, but I've played some good JRPGs) and they are on my list of decent writers. When I am playing a RPG I want two things from it; An epic sweeping story line and customization of characters/skills/ect. I feel the same way about Bioware. I am extremely disappointed with both of them as of late though, so take it as you will.

As for people saying they get screwed over by the publishers... Well the issue is they have deadlines, and they know it. They work so hard at trying to pump all the content they can into a game, and forget the polish. That extra content often comes back to bite them on the ass as well, as it can feel bloated and unnecessary. That is actually one of my biggest gripes about RPGs in general; Side quests for the sake of side quests. It feels like they are just trying to artificially bloat the play time of the game (which is usually the case). I don't mind side quests when they fit with your character and story though.

Oh hey, I'm not the only one getting a ton of Canadian Tire captchas.

Jazoni89:

Jazoni89:

While most other companies are sticking to tried and tested formula's, Obsidian does a 360

Um...

Um...? what is the matter with my post if you don't mind me asking?

Well, doing a 360 puts you in exactly the same place as where you started...

Zachary Amaranth:

Akichi Daikashima:

So, in short, (I presume), good writing and decent gameplay can both be blown completely out of proportion, and indeed they have, as a result, that's why Obsidian is regarded in such a manner: the same way that Bioware was seen as the exemplars of game writing, even though their moral choice malarkey was completely biased and was nowhere near the level of The Walking Dead(the game).

Bioware's stories aren't really all that great, either. They've coasted on the same rough formula for almost all of their games and a lot of their so-called depth of story comes through exposition dumps. That's not good storytelling, it's just...Homework.

I know, right? When I first picked up Jade Empire, I called every single plot twist from the start of the game.

Christ, it's becoming as predictable as Scooby Doo.

I have yet to play an Obsidian game I've liked.

NWN2 was absolute garbage. Terrible engine. Terrible campaign. Much worse than the original (which was also garbage, but hey).

New Vegas was the brownest game I've ever played- easily the ugliest "AAA" game I've played lately, so it takes home an award at least. The gameplay bored the hell out of me though. Got about 50% through it and quit.

Basically, Obsidian rides high on credit that belongs to a handful of its people who worked for another studio more than a decade ago. Black Isle. They've done nothing in the last 10 years fit even to linger in the shadow of anything done prior.

Akichi Daikashima:

Zachary Amaranth:

Akichi Daikashima:

So, in short, (I presume), good writing and decent gameplay can both be blown completely out of proportion, and indeed they have, as a result, that's why Obsidian is regarded in such a manner: the same way that Bioware was seen as the exemplars of game writing, even though their moral choice malarkey was completely biased and was nowhere near the level of The Walking Dead(the game).

Bioware's stories aren't really all that great, either. They've coasted on the same rough formula for almost all of their games and a lot of their so-called depth of story comes through exposition dumps. That's not good storytelling, it's just...Homework.

I know, right? When I first picked up Jade Empire any BioWare game, I called every single plot twist from the start of the game.

Christ, it's becoming as predictable as Scooby Doo.

Fixed that for you. BioWare mostly have a story they do in new settings. Doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, though, what it means is that they shouldn't be praised for their originality.

I should mention that the Escapist is the first place I saw people that admitted being surprised by KOTOR's plot twist. I played it when I was 15, and I still saw it coming from quite far away.

I don't mind the bugs in Obsidian games for the most part.

If you have a great story, engaging characters, interesting gameplay and genuine inspiration fuelling it all, but perhaps shoddy or even negligent bug fixing, that's generally not as much a problem as it used to be, because bugs can be fixed. Fallout New Vegas is one of my favourite games ever, and we all know how that started, but the majority of the release problems have been fixed by now (In my own experience, admittadly, but still). It is still a problem, don't get me wrong, and it's something they should work on, but it's not a huge one to me, because Obsidian games are worth putting up with the bugs.

If, on the other hand, you look exclusively at the performance of the game, you may create something that runs beautifully, but if it comes at the expense of gameplay, characterization or writing, that can't be fixed (or at least, not without considerably more effort).

Does Obsidian deserve the flak it gets for its' bugs? Yes, honestly, but the rest of their work is so amazing that I just don't care. Project eternity is probably the game I anticipate the most of all ongoing game projects that I can think of off the top of my head.

DoPo:

Akichi Daikashima:

Zachary Amaranth:

Bioware's stories aren't really all that great, either. They've coasted on the same rough formula for almost all of their games and a lot of their so-called depth of story comes through exposition dumps. That's not good storytelling, it's just...Homework.

I know, right? When I first picked up Jade Empire any BioWare game, I called every single plot twist from the start of the game.

Christ, it's becoming as predictable as Scooby Doo.

Fixed that for you. BioWare mostly have a story they do in new settings. Doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, though, what it means is that they shouldn't be praised for their originality.

I should mention that the Escapist is the first place I saw people that admitted being surprised by KOTOR's plot twist. I played it when I was 15, and I still saw it coming from quite far away.

I didn't, but then again, it was my first Bioware game, in retrospect, Mass Effect is the only game that doesn't seem to follow their usual rigmarole.

I like Obsidian because they seem to be the only developers who seem to be making good old school styled RPG's with good stories, solid gameplay, and that old fashioned charm to them. A lot of RPG's now are just action games where you level up and don't feel like an RPG

veloper:

Ha, "they copied Mass Effect, only it's completely different!"

AP tried to be a variant on Deus Ex, not ME. There's many similarities with Dx, from the slow targeting reticule to the skillsets. Not so much with ME.

So AP didn't have original gameplay(if you know your games), but what shooter post ty 2000 really does? Shitty controls and dumb AI/level design really did it in for AP.

I dunno, the sequences of chest high-wall action/dialogue wheel made me think more of ME than anything else.

Olikar:

Traun:

Obsidian do not make their own gameplay, they just write stories. Admittedly, their stories are good for the video game market.

Your joking right? name one existing game company that makes RPGs that has better gameplay than Obisidan, hell name one that has even equal gameplay to Obsidian games.

I don't think you've read my post, I said that their games feel like reskins of other games. Planescape, NWN2, Icewind, Alpha Protocol all feel like reskinned versions of Bioware games, and if I remove the logos, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

I made no comment of the quality of the gameplay.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
snarf

Publishers are fucking over developers, that's nothing new, but Obsidian seem to be the only one who CAN'T adjust to the system.

Traun:
[

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
snarf

Publishers are fucking over developers, that's nothing new, but Obsidian seem to be the only one who CAN'T adjust to the system.

Because they're independent. Do you have any idea how much harder things become if you're an independent working in this industry? Especially one trying to develop lengthy, intricate RPGs as Obsidian are wont to do.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Traun:
[

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
snarf

Publishers are fucking over developers, that's nothing new, but Obsidian seem to be the only one who CAN'T adjust to the system.

Because they're independent. Do you have any idea how much harder things become if you're an independent working in this industry? Especially one trying to develop lengthy, intricate RPGs as Obsidian are wont to do.

No, no I don't. I just find them blaming everything on the publishers fishy.

Traun:

veloper:

Ha, "they copied Mass Effect, only it's completely different!"

AP tried to be a variant on Deus Ex, not ME. There's many similarities with Dx, from the slow targeting reticule to the skillsets. Not so much with ME.

So AP didn't have original gameplay(if you know your games), but what shooter post ty 2000 really does? Shitty controls and dumb AI/level design really did it in for AP.

I dunno, the sequences of chest high-wall action/dialogue wheel made me think more of ME than anything else.

You have played the games haven't you?
Mass Effect is little more than a third person cover shooter in between the talky scenes. There's some class-based abilities and some NPCs to order around, but that's ME in a nutshell. Completely straightforward shoot all the bad guys.

The original Deus Ex is mostly solitary and first person. Dx has stealth, non-lethal takedowns, hiding the bodies, messing with security systems, gadgets, character stats affecting your aim and ofcourse there's dialogue menus too.

Alpha protocol plays like an inferior Dx with an added cover mechanic, or like a transition between the old Dx and new Dx:HR.

Traun:

and if I remove the logos, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Actually I think I could, I would look for the one that actually implements roleplay features (that would be Obsidian's)

veloper:

Traun:

veloper:

Ha, "they copied Mass Effect, only it's completely different!"

AP tried to be a variant on Deus Ex, not ME. There's many similarities with Dx, from the slow targeting reticule to the skillsets. Not so much with ME.

So AP didn't have original gameplay(if you know your games), but what shooter post ty 2000 really does? Shitty controls and dumb AI/level design really did it in for AP.

I dunno, the sequences of chest high-wall action/dialogue wheel made me think more of ME than anything else.

You have played the games haven't you?
Mass Effect is little more than a third person cover shooter in between the talky scenes. There's some class-based abilities and some NPCs to order around, but that's ME in a nutshell. Completely straightforward shoot all the bad guys.

The original Deus Ex is mostly solitary and first person. Dx has stealth, non-lethal takedowns, hiding the bodies, messing with security systems, gadgets, character stats affecting your aim and ofcourse there's dialogue menus too.

Alpha protocol plays like an inferior Dx with an added cover mechanic, or like a transition between the old Dx and new Dx:HR.

I admit, you have a point.

recruit00:
I think when it comes to Obsidian, it is mainly an issue of publishing. They always seem to get pushed by the publisher to get stuff out faster which leads to the huge amounts of bugs in their games like AP and FNV.

That's the excuse I always see carted out when this topic comes out, and I'm just going to say what I always do:

Why is it EVERY publisher Obsidian works with? Also Why can other companies work with those publishers but Obsidian can't?

For myself, I'm really interested in Eternity, not because of the game, but because it will finally answer the question of whether it's been Obsidian all this time or if it really is the publishers.

Time will tell. In the end, time will tell.

Remember that NWN was advertised as primarily being a multiplayer centric 'replicate table-top D&D' platform, coupled with its toolset for modding. The campaign was, from what I remember reading, originally 4 separate "demo/example" modules that got mixed together. And it got a very active modding and multiplayer community out of it. To criticize NWN based on it and only ever playing it in single-player does both you and the game a great injustice.

How well that design and legacy was maintained in NWN2, well, I'll refrain from commenting as I don't have direct experience with it.

Also, NWN1 horses are evil.

glchicks:

This is kind of random, but have you ever been to Toronto? I'd love to hear an Albertian opinion on Toronto. Im just weird and random like that. Is it true what they say, that everyone in canada hates toronto?

And as someone who grew up in Toronto and lived in Edmonton for a couple years, it's pretty much jealousy - Toronto's just way better. ;)

For one thing, winter is not a PITA (assuming it didn't fall off from frostbite).

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