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December 27th, 2012, 17:30
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Sure, it's close to perfect if you like that particular sparse and barren feel with narrow gameplay (we're talking EXCLUSIVELY combat) and almost no lore. I guess you do, but I don't - not really.
Itīs combat AND exploration (and both reinforce each other).
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's like a serious blast from the past with strong visuals and a great combat system, but with similarly limited content and a one-trick pony delivery of what's there.
AND great level design, rewarding exploration, unique atmosphere.
I wouldnīt call tight design focus and weaving various gameīs facets into coherent, organic experience a "one-trick pony".
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You mean filling your world with opponents that can be overcome through skilled execution of combat abilities - and then putting in obvious over-sized obstacles as a means of gating content?
Yes. Boss fights, as designed in Dark Souls, can also be overcome through skilled execution of combat abilities and as such constitute a natural, honest way of gating content - once you reach these "gates" thereīs nothing artificial standing in your way of overcoming them (like, say, a massive damage resistance providing invulnerability against level 1 characters). In essence theyīre no different to other obstacles in the game, combat or non-combat.
Now, level scaled loot in Skyrim, thatīs the kind of gating that needs to go.
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Note that that's just my opinion. I'm sick and tired of facing a huge mean beastie at the end of whatever road, as it's so fucking predictable. I'd like an ending that was just a prolonged interactive story sequence or a cerebrally challenging/engaging experience, or maybe a very easy fight because I've gotten so very powerful.
Personally Iīm only finding this grating when itīs present in a game where Iīd consider it a design contradiction, or inconsistency. Like, for example, in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
In Dark Souls itīs in line with its design focus. Itīs not a game with major stealth or speech skill systems as one of its cores.
Btw, Iīve only seen it on youtube, but Iīm quite sure that the last boss in Demonīs Souls was designed to be truly pathetic and the last boss in Dark Souls happened to be a pushover in both of my playthroughs (though I donīt think this encounter was designed specifically as such, I probably just was very powerful ).
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I like combat to be about the experience of fighting with your arsenal and applying what you've learned throughout the game.
Thatīs how boss fights (bar those two exceptions Iīve mentioned earlier) in Dark Souls work.
Tying this back to the "gating" point - boss fights are one of the forms in which the game gives you a feedback about how much you (or your character) learned throughout the game.
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
As for Dark Souls, I admit I never got very far in it.
How typical .
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's almost like they have everything in place except the actual content - unless you consider endless fights and elusive bits of spooky spoken lore content.
The gameplay focus is on combat (which includes character building) and exploration and the content is built around that, with being challenging for players in mind.
Lore and a lot of story bits not being served on silver platter is consistent with the overall design philosophy behind the game and only reinforces the sense of the gameīs strong and consistent identity.
Itīs a game with narrower design focus than, say, Skyrim, but what it focuses on is largely of great quality, whereas in the case of Skyrim the majority of its facets fall flat and the only consistent quality is quantity.
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
We got the great combat and the wonderful world design - but where's the actual GAME? You know what I mean?
No, I really donīt.
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