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Default Games as atmospheric as The Witcher

November 19th, 2013, 08:40
Oh, yeah, I agree with that, especially ToEE

There's nothing quite like the atmosphere in the Moathouse. For whatever reason, it's the perfect place and music to take me right back to my PnP D&D days!

*edited embarassing mistake*
Last edited by DArtagnan; November 19th, 2013 at 08:52.
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November 19th, 2013, 08:44
And Hommlet! What an amazing track and location atmosphere.
But yeah the Moathouse was amazing (Almost bladerunesque synths at some points )
Now I had to listen them on Youtube

P.S I wonder if I can get my hands on some OST Flacs. They ought to sound awe inspiring on the new speakers…
Last edited by JonNik; November 19th, 2013 at 08:52. Reason: Added the links
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November 19th, 2013, 08:52
Moathouse, obviously! Sorry about that
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November 19th, 2013, 08:53
I get it mixed up myself, seeing it written on YT helped
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November 19th, 2013, 11:20
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
What do you mean by "athmospheric" ?
If it's what I think it is, then any survival horror will do, doesn't have to be RPG.

Toka Koka
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November 19th, 2013, 11:27
I guess I need to replay ToEE, because you guys are making it sound a lot better than I remember it actually being.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Mass Effect yet. I thought the original game in that series had some great atmosphere - mostly due to the BGM which was a perfect fit.

Also, the fact that nobody has mentioned Deus Ex yet is criminal.

Still, Gothic 1&2 will probably always be #1 in this category for me. The Witcher, VtMB, and SS2 all battle for my #2 spot. *Edit* Oh, and Fallout 3 as well.

For non-RPGs -> Dead Space, Half-Life 1&2, Blood, and of course Doom 1&2.
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November 19th, 2013, 11:30
Deus Ex has been mentioned

I never personally found it to be THAT atmospheric, and I think Human Revolution is quite a bit stronger in the atmosphere department.

Mass Effect and Dead Space are both excellent choices, though. I should have thought of them myself. Mass Effect (first one, obviously) ranks right up there with the best of them.
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November 19th, 2013, 11:37
Ah ok, I see JonNik mentioned Deus Ex. I missed that before, and I'm glad to see he knows which one is superior.
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November 19th, 2013, 12:07
Full disclosure time:
The original Deus X is probably the most embarrassing gaping hole in my gaming history (I played a bit of invisible war but never finished it)…

I need to fix that one of these days… I wonder if just after finishing HR is too soon…
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November 19th, 2013, 12:21
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
Full disclosure time:
The original Deus X is probably the most embarrassing gaping hole in my gaming history (I played a bit of invisible war but never finished it)…

I need to fix that one of these days… I wonder if just after finishing HR is too soon…
So you're saying it's one of the most atmospheric games you've played without actually having played it?
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November 19th, 2013, 12:26
:sigh: Original post fixed

I was kinda picking it up were you left it. Wasn't intending any confusion

How many hours playing time are we talking on the original btw?
I think I can squeeze it in between my IWD replay (that I picked up again as it fell over the wayside a couple of months ago) and my DS replay on Christmas vacation…
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November 19th, 2013, 12:30
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
:sigh: Original post fixed

I was kinda picking it up were you left it. Wasn't intending any confusion

How many hours playing time are we talking on the original btw?
I think I can squeeze it between my IWD replay (that I picked up again as it fell over the wayside a couple of months ago) and my DS replay on Christmas vacation…
Hehe, well - now that it's DX:HR - it makes a lot more sense, right JDR?

Hmm, playtime for DX.

It depends on your style, I'd say.

I believe my original playthrough was around 25-30 hours - but it can last significantly longer. It's definitely not a short game if you take your time and you enjoy exploring every nook and cranny.

I'd say that DX:HR exploration is more interesting, because it's not as sparse on detail. That said, there's more hacking fatigue in HR than the original - especially if you go all OCD on that aspect of the game.
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November 19th, 2013, 12:39
A bit of hacking fatigue, sure but only at the very end for me (and I had missing link too) so not a big issue imo.

30 hours, lets say 30-40 for a completist. That is certainly doable. I was actually wondering what to play after IWD (it was looking like a fallout or ToEE replay), nice.

I'll need to see if I feel like more cyberpunk so soon but I doubt its going to be a problem.
One more for the GoG hoard…
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November 19th, 2013, 15:00
1. System shock 2
2. Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption : Worse game than bloodlines but much more atmospheric - especially the beginning when you get turned and the story is much more epic
3. Fallout 1 : Authentic 1950's vision of an apocalyptic future

Favourite RPGs of all time: Wizardry 6, Ultima 7/7.2, Fallout2, Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 2+TOB, Jagged Alliance 2, Ravenloft: The stone prophet, Gothic 2, Realms of Arkania:Blade of destiny (not the HD version!!) and Secret of the Silver Blades.
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November 19th, 2013, 20:17
Games developed by Piranha Bytes. To me, no other games come close in terms of atmosphere.
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November 19th, 2013, 20:19
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
I'll need to see if I feel like more cyberpunk so soon but I doubt its going to be a problem.
One more for the GoG hoard…
On a positive note, you saved the best for last.

Grab the New Vision mod to update the textures before you play. I'll be interested in hearing your opinion.
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November 19th, 2013, 20:53
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
On a positive note, you saved the best for last.

Grab the New Vision mod to update the textures before you play. I'll be interested in hearing your opinion.
Ah thanks. I've been meaning to ask about just that (recommended mods).

Will do on the opinion.
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November 20th, 2013, 03:14
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
What do you mean by "athmospheric" ?
It's a tricky thing to describe - I think because it's something of a catch-all phrase.

Imagine a restaurant with incredible food and impeccable service but the restaurant itself is just a cinder block room where everyone sits on a bench and eats off paper plates. That would be a restaurant with 0 atmosphere.

I'm a bit less clear when it comes to RPGs. I think it means how effective the game is at living up to the setting. For instance, if you set up a marsh in the forest then you can't just plop down some water with trees around and call it good. You also need the sounds of birds, insects, frogs, and maybe the wind blowing. Footsteps should sound different depending on what is being stepped on, too. Waves on the water would add atmosphere, as would swaying trees and shadows that move as the sun moves. You can still tell a great story and do some fine roleplaying with solid-as-rock trees and a simple blue/green flat spot but adding all that other stuff will give the area a lot more atmosphere.

Games have been getting better atmospheres year after year, really, just because the machines have more capacity to blow on things like swaying trees and development teams have the tools/folks to put in different sounds for whatever you step on. Heck, even 4X strategy games are getting some now. Civ 5 certainly has far more atmosphere than, say, Ultima 3.
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November 20th, 2013, 07:45
Atmosphere is emotional impact through ambience.
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November 20th, 2013, 08:48
Indeed this is a good way to put it concisely, because for me it also highlights the meaning of the word atmosphere as inducing a particular "mood" in addition to enhancing the immersion aspects that zloth pointed out.

The technological improvements do help quite a bit, and creating a breathing living world goes a lot of way towards giving a scene/location/world a sense of "completeness" necessary to "transport" the player there (suspend disbelief and immerse). But they are hardly the end all be all of the tools available not only are they enough by themselves imo.
(or else we would not be listing so many older games in our lists )

Music is a particularly powerful tool and it can dictate as much as supplement a location's (or even an entire game's) mood. It boils down to a unified artistic vision and the talent of the composer and sound engineers to get it right in the end because it has to work closely with level design and even narrative or lore sometimes to work effectively.
(sometimes you even have to know when to turn it off and hand it over completely to ambience: enter Dark souls i.e)

Look how Kai Rosenkantz has matched every bit of location in the very dense two first Gothics with the appropriate music, to create the exact type of mood they wanted you to feel there: "Dont go into the forest on your own…" sing songs the guard on the bridge and when you go there the light dims, an appropriate somber, dangerous, oppressive music starts to play supplemented by the sounds of rustling and the grunts of beasts and orcs… And when night falls or when you cross to the orc lands…

or i.e. in gothic 2 how a simple beach with a couple of huts is transformed to something out of treasure island with a simple nostalgic maritime tune playing over it…

Another favorite and excellent example (that I am sure is very dear to the OP) is Vizima:
A suitably somber and ominous soundtrack supplemented by the ambience of humanity packed too closely together, the beggars the prostitutes and general poverty the overall layout, detail and even the palette used. Also little touches of realism, certainly, like npc schedules and reactivity (first and very well done in the Gothics too) help to really put you in the scene. Vizima was really powerful stuff for me, and the particular "feeling" the game exudes there sort of grabbed me by the throat the first time I experienced it (to get back to Dart's definition).

Not to mention the interlude in which the lore, setting, beauty of the location and excellently matched music make it seem like you stepped in a lyrical amalgam of Arthurian and dark Balkan fairytale. Arguably my favorite part of the game together with Vizima….

Ooops, got a bit carried away here. Apologies but this is a topic very dear to me.
When I think back to my favorites they are more like a "taste" and a collection of feeling to me rather than a set of features or systems at times.
Last edited by JonNik; November 20th, 2013 at 11:57. Reason: typo
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