Page 1 of 1 [ 11 posts ] 

DuckHairback
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2021
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 722
Location: Dorset

08 Nov 2021, 6:17 am

Okay. I'm annoyed. What follows is the ranting of an aging gamer. I don't claim this is going to be interesting or entertaining to anyone but I need to get it out somewhere so I can make space in my brain.

Last week I bought Witcher 3 off Steam.

A little history. In my teens all I did was play computer games. This was 90s so I grew up playing the original Doom and Quake and stuff like that, right up to the first Half-Life and Quake 2. I was good at those games.

Around 20 years old I got a job, got into other things and gaming lost its interest for me. Over the next 20 years I only played four or five games with any seriousness. They were the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games, Minecraft, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild. That was it.

So in the last 2 years, what with lockdowns and everything, I've experienced a resurgence of interest in gaming. Those three Zelda games have all been since Covid. I love Breath of the Wild so much. I'm currently replaying it in master mode.

So I thought, 20 years of not gaming - there must be some pretty awesome games out there that I've missed in that time. I have a reasonable laptop but only a wii u console so I thought PC games was the way to go. I was looking for an open world experience because I love that about Minecraft and BOTW. I kept reading that the Witcher 3 was one of the best open-world games ever. Hell, it's fairly unanimously considered a masterpiece.

So it didn't seem like much of a risk to buy it. I kind of hate Steam because I grew up in a time of cover discs when you could try games out before you bought them but there's no option to do that with Steam, that I'm aware of.

So I bought it. And I tried. I really tried hard to like it. But I don't. It's rubbish. I can't believe the esteem this game is held in. It looks lovely, I'll give it that. But that's it.

Here are my issues:

1. The voice acting. It's awful. Really awful.
2. The dialogue. It's painful, actually painful to listen to. Who got paid for writing this crap?
3. The 'adult' content. Really? I can't believe videogames haven't matured at all. Are they written by 13 year old boys? Ooh look, a lady's bum in the first 5 minutes. Wow, he said 'f**k'. Haha, they're talking about having sex later! Jesus wept.
4. The character I have to play, a cookie cutter gruff, loner type with lots of mysterious scars. Yawn. He's not interesting.
5. Every NPC I've met so far is a cliche.

^^^ All this stuff is part of a major problem I have with the story and the writing. Why is there so much story and dialogue? It's endless. And it's not interesting. It's hacky, sub George RR Martin rubbish.

I keep hearing how the 'art' of videogames has been elevated and they now rival movies and television as the premier storytelling device. There are degree course now in writing for video games. If this the best they can do...I don't know, I'm depressed by it.

All of this would be ignorable, I guess, if the game was fun to play. But so far it's been nothing but a slog.

5. Combat is too complicated too soon. There's a tutorial, sure, but the game doesn't teach you how to play it. You get two swords and a load of witcher powers. I can't help but compare this tutorial section of the game to BOTW's Great Plateau - because that was how you teach a player how to play the game. Build up slow, give one ability at a time. Gradually introduce new concepts and master them before moving to the next without ever feeling like you're on a conveyer belt or just waiting for the real game to get started. In Witcher I get too much up front and I just end up spamming the strike button because I can't remember how to do anything else and the muscle memory isn't there yet.

6. The inventory and shop systems are bewildering. So many items for sale, no indication of what you need or what's important. I am totally lost in these menus.

7. The sense of control is not there. I never feel like the character I'm playing is directly responding to what I'm doing. The camera control is poor. Trying to get him to face something so I can examine or use it doesn't feel natural.

8. The camera is too close in. It feels claustrophobic.

9. The on-screen text is too small. I want to play on my TV but I can't read the text and you can't alter the size of it.

10. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

It was a toss up between this and Red Dead Redemption 2 which is the other game I considered and the other one that gets almost blanket adulation. Is that going to be the same? Is it going to be written by a kid who just saw a couple of spaghetti westerns and lifted every cliche they could find? Has BOTW just spoiled me rotten and nothing's ever going to compare? Yes I tried Genshin Impact, I couldn't handle Paimon's stupid voice.

Am I just too old? Probably.



Dox47
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,088
Location: Seattle-ish

09 Nov 2021, 3:44 am

You're too old and your expectation are out of whack, and I don't think RDR2 is going to be much better based on your objection to W3 (which I spent many enjoyable hours in myself). It's also super story heavy, and it's a slow story, plus they did this weird thing where they gamified ever single action, so even things like opening drawers to search them has to be done manually, as in open it, actually look inside, and manually pick up every single item you want, the whole game is built like that and the novelty wore off quickly for me. Maybe try Skyrim, it's cheap, relatively easy to get into, and heavily supported with mods to tailor it to your tastes if you like, just don't expect world class story and dialogue, it's really about creating your own adventure within a loose framework. Also, the deal with Steam is that you get 2 hours of gameplay to decide whether you want to keep the game or ask for a refund, after that you're stuck with it.


_________________
“The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental.”
-- Robert Anton Wilson


DuckHairback
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2021
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 722
Location: Dorset

09 Nov 2021, 5:22 am

Dox47 wrote:
You're too old


I know it. :(

Dox47 wrote:
Maybe try Skyrim, it's cheap, relatively easy to get into, and heavily supported with mods to tailor it to your tastes if you like, just don't expect world class story and dialogue, it's really about creating your own adventure within a loose framework.


Thankyou for the tip. I will look into it. Less story sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.

Dox47 wrote:
Also, the deal with Steam is that you get 2 hours of gameplay to decide whether you want to keep the game or ask for a refund, after that you're stuck with it.

Well I wish I'd known that before I persisted with W3. Thanks for the info, it makes me feel better about trying other games.



Dox47
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,088
Location: Seattle-ish

10 Nov 2021, 5:40 am

DuckHairback wrote:
Well I wish I'd known that before I persisted with W3. Thanks for the info, it makes me feel better about trying other games.


No problem, there is also Epic Games and Ubisoft with their own PC launchers and stores now, I'm not sure about returns, but Epic gives you a free game every week (sometimes newish AAA titles too) and Ubisoft lets you earn discounts with in game points that are fairly easy to earn, might be worth a look for you. They're less polished than Steam, but some games are also exclusive to them. If you try and like Skyrim, you might look for a deal on Fallout 4, or New Vegas if you can handle dated graphics, they all run on pretty much the same engine and if you like one of them, you'll probably like the others.

If you do decide to give Witcher 3 another shot, I'd suggest turning the difficulty way down until you get a feel for the combat, there's no penalty for changing it mid game, and just re-calibrating your expectations for the story and dialogue, they're actually pretty good for the genre, but you have to remember that they came from essentially a Polish bodice ripper series, so the uh, immature, element should be taken with more of a nudge and a wink to understand the intended tone. I'm 39 and enjoyed it, but I've been gaming regularly my whole life and have both the muscle memory and the expectations of someone with a pretty good idea of where the industry is at, it's not fine literature, but it's still pretty good as entertainment, and the story does pull things together in interesting ways later, a lot of your small decisions actually have pay offs.


_________________
“The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental.”
-- Robert Anton Wilson


Bradleigh
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 May 2008
Age: 31
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 6,665
Location: Brisbane, Australia

20 Nov 2021, 6:16 pm

Granted, as only as recent as Witcher 3 is, it has existed in a time where any "adult" stuff gets seen as not great, or what is put in is itself kind of immature. The game at least acknowledges things like sex, without making it too much of a forbidden topic to be mystified. But the maturity shows up in other things; where you have monsters that don't live up to a picturesque idea of them, some that do things like explicit child murder, and other times complexity where you might be expected to have sympathy for a monster or that a person was the real monster.

Geralt is more interesting the more you know about him. His general character journey is one about coming from an idea of "evil is evil" and taking a centrist view of not getting involved at all, just kill the the undeniably bad monsters, while other people might even see him as a monster. While having learned that the stance is bad, that situations can be grey, there be a lesser evil, as a hero he can destroy a destructive monster, but also empathise that might only be a monster from circumstance and means no active harm.


_________________
Through dream I travel, at lantern's call
To consume the flames of a kingdom's fall


AnomalousAspergian
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 18 Sep 2021
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 36

26 Nov 2021, 11:02 am

I never managed to complete the Witcher 3, nor did I complete Red Dead Redemption for that matter. I have a habit of getting too easily overwhelmed in these games, even though I enjoy the open world genre. I have only recently returned to Skyrim to see if I have the willpower to complete that. Weirdly I just suddenly get a bit bored and have to stop. Then I usually barely ever return to them. I wonder why? I did look up gaming fatigue so that may be the problem. Also, I find games generally are getting a bit boring and repetitive.



SabbraCadabra
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,418
Location: Michigan

29 Nov 2021, 8:59 pm

DuckHairback wrote:
I was looking for an open world experience because I love that about Minecraft and BOTW. I kept reading that the Witcher 3 was one of the best open-world games ever. Hell, it's fairly unanimously considered a masterpiece.

I don't know, I don't think you're going to find what you're looking for. I've always found "open world" games to have far too many flaws for me to fully enjoy, but BotW really took what made those games great, expanded upon it, and left out all (most?) of the bad parts.

Maybe Immortals Fenyx Rising? I haven't played it yet, but I watched some videos, and it looked decent enough. Certainly closer to BotW than Genshin Impact, at least. But you probably have to purchase the PC version through UbiSoft's client, and...eh...

DuckHairback wrote:
So it didn't seem like much of a risk to buy it. I kind of hate Steam because I grew up in a time of cover discs when you could try games out before you bought them but there's no option to do that with Steam, that I'm aware of.

I know it's too late now, but GoG is run by the same company as the Witcher games, and they constantly have great deals on them (I got the first two for $0).

DuckHairback wrote:
1. The voice acting. It's awful. Really awful.
2. The dialogue. It's painful, actually painful to listen to. Who got paid for writing this crap?

I don't know if the third game has this option, but in the first game, you can change the voices to their original Polish, and I left it that way for a few hours, just to check it out. Maybe that would help?

I actually kind of hate voice acting, I just want to speed-read the text and skip it when I'm done, especially for things like shopkeepers etc.

DuckHairback wrote:
Dox47 wrote:
Maybe try Skyrim, it's cheap, relatively easy to get into, and heavily supported with mods to tailor it to your tastes if you like, just don't expect world class story and dialogue, it's really about creating your own adventure within a loose framework.


Thankyou for the tip. I will look into it. Less story sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.

Oh boy. If you think Witcher 3 has bad voice acting, wait until you see Skyrim =)


_________________
he had a lot to say, he had a lot of nothing to say
we'll miss him


DuckHairback
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2021
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 722
Location: Dorset

30 Nov 2021, 9:23 am

Thanks for the responses all. To put a bow on this, I did actually get a refund from Steam despite being over the 2 hour limit. I was so relieved because I felt pressure to actually play it because I'd paid for it.

I bought Doom (2016) and, as someone who is old enough to have played Doom back in the 90s, was delighted to discover that this reboot retains the speed and mindless violence of the original.



Bradleigh
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 May 2008
Age: 31
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 6,665
Location: Brisbane, Australia

01 Dec 2021, 7:36 pm

DuckHairback wrote:
I bought Doom (2016) and, as someone who is old enough to have played Doom back in the 90s, was delighted to discover that this reboot retains the speed and mindless violence of the original.


The sequel, Doom Eternal, is even better.


_________________
Through dream I travel, at lantern's call
To consume the flames of a kingdom's fall


SabbraCadabra
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,418
Location: Michigan

02 Dec 2021, 8:36 am

Bradleigh wrote:
The sequel, Doom Eternal, is even better.

My GF doesn't like it, there's too much Metroid Prime style platforming, and not enough shooting.


_________________
he had a lot to say, he had a lot of nothing to say
we'll miss him


enz
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 26 Sep 2015
Posts: 994

02 Dec 2021, 2:58 pm

Maybe watch a “playthrough” of a game on YouTube before you buy it