Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/17/gears-of-war-5-is-the-most-yaw.html
Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/17/gears-of-war-5-is-the-most-yaw.html
If I reviewed any video game today it would read like this, but with “Gears” replaced by “video games”. I just don’t get gaming, other than table top gaming. It all seems the same to this non- gamer.
Killer Queen Black is new and fun, to me, but old like Joust.
Same. I’ve played a few chapters of Gears 1 but got bored. Downloaded Gears 4, because it’s free at the moment, got bored within the first chapter. So, probably won’t get 5, even though the Escape Mode looks fun.
Same, but I revisited it a few months later and really enjoyed it. Not much by way of using your brains to get through it - button mashing is accurate - but it was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. I felt Gears 2 was too similar, so I bailed out of the series at that point.
shooters are all the same. Too many people confuse ‘gaming’ with ‘playing shooters’.
There are loads of brilliant fun games. My current obsession is ‘baba is you’. Extremely clever.
The game itself is OK to play through with friends but is limited by a campaign mode that stops at 3 people. Fortnite lets very large groups of players play together. Fortnite is also more fun.
Not really a fair comparison because those are entirely different genres of games. That said if you like Fortnite better that’s still legitimate and it sounds like you just enjoy other types of game experiences more than Gears and similar types of titles. Personally i’ve never been a fan of it because it looked like a tryhard brodude generic kind of game. Halo is mildly more interesting but still not really for me.
I don’t care for Gears.
You certainly don’t have to find them worth the time; but describing games as ‘all seems the same’ arguably requires overlooking even more internal detail than describing movies as ‘all seems the same’(since games have interactive elements in addition to, at least sometimes, having a full set of movie features).
Even just within shooters, as @heh suggests, there’s a lot of variety; that should be evident at least by analogy if you are familiar with tabletop games: on the tabletop side you have everything from the fairly abstract symmetrical games of perfect information (Chess and pals) that take a relatively simple set of rules and then ruthlessly emphasize execution. You’ve got the ones (especially common with the various ‘legacy’ designs that actually modify cards and stuff in the giant box of bits) that are much more about exploration of the game environment, you’ve got the RPGs where a ruthless emphasis on execution tends to get you looked down on as a hideously tedious min/maxer who isn’t in the spirit of the game at all.
Gears is, to put it politely, not a good choice of starting points for finding the variety in video games(hey, at least it’s branched out a bit from the heavy ‘quake palette’ emphasis on browns and greys and added some color to the world!), as it’s the 5th entry in a series never terribly renowned for being groundbreaking, unless you count doing a lot to codify Kill Switch’s emphasis on cover mechanics(except literally, the locust are always bursting through the ground to ambush you, so astonishing amounts of ground have been broken over the course of the series); but the variety is there; even within shooters. A heavy cover shooter like Gears plays almost nothing like a more kinetic titles like Quake; and despite sharing cover mechanics and 3rd person perspective with, say, Hitman; there’s very, very, little in common between those two.
I played the first two Gears, and while I liked the visuals — even if they’re a bit cliched, it felt like the storyline was really dropping the ball in an obvious way.
Humans settled a seemingly unpopulated alien planet, built an 21at century world for perhaps a few hundred years, when suddenly the sentient aliens called the Locusts emerge from deep underground and wreck havoc on the surface causing humanity to retreat to a few places built on impenetrable rock.
I really wanted the game to lean into the legacy of colonization and how you can’t really decolonize a place after it’s been established for a generation, but at the same time acknowledge that it’s stealing another’s home. But instead it just came down to humans good, and those horrible natives need to be wiped out.
It’s really a missed opportunity.
I watch most modern games on youtube being edited down to only plot points. saves me the install space and having to get a computer that plays the latest and greatest.
as for Gears, has it ever been explained in lore why they wear subwoofers for chest plates? other than as a Bro-Tastic fashion statement? lol
I think, at least at this point, that the Locust are canonically humans mutated by less than OSHA-compliant exploitation of the local applied Phlebotonium.
Is that tacked on, and in the first couple of games they were actually sentient aliens; or is your disappointment with the fact that they took what could have been a xenopostcolonialism story and just made it about killing copious secret evil science project mutants?
Yeah, it almost shocks me that it’s so popular. It’s generic in the way a parody tough-guy shooter that you see for ten seconds in a movie would be. I played maybe three hours into the first one and got the impression I’d seen everything by then, and nothing’s changed that impression in the decade since.
Then maybe you aren’t the best person to review video games or comment on them?
“I hate food and don’t understand why people eat it, but this restaurant is just the worst.”
This is the first I heard of this. Like I said, I only played the first two games, and they were still thought to be aliens. So yeah, I’m doubly disappointed now. It’s just evil mutants instead of xenopostcolonialism, which sounds like a really interesting story.
I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t follow the XPC storyline. This would have attracted “controversy”, and cries of “political correctness”. Gamers just want to play Auschwitz Train Conductor in peace.
For a second there I thought that was a actual game
That is a nice game! I got frustrated after the first 20 or so puzzles and gave up, I should give it another go!
My favorite recent game that is different from what you’d expect is Snake Pass. A incredibly cute, challenging and fun game where you play as a snake. The controls are so different from what you are used to from games that learning how to control the snake is the biggest part of the entire learning curve of the game.
I haven’t really followed the story, so I’m not sure if the current Canon was always Canon or whether it has just succumbed to a case of Overconstrained Narrative Hypertrophy with Secondary Retconulitis, so common in games that just keep getting sequels; but as of now the Locust are apparently descendants of humans mutated by exposure to the ‘imulsion’ material(with some genetic contribution from non-sentient local fauna thanks to the unethical secret science experiment stuff); and fleeing the Lambent which are Locusts that are even more mutated; and them there is the ‘Swarm’, which is Locusts that were affected by the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon; but got better-ish because one of the games needed an antagonist.
The planet has a biosphere, and the ‘imulsion’ stuff is some sort of vaguely specified parasite thing; but the whole affair is more a bodyhorror labor relations/occupational hazard story than a colonial tale.
I’d be curious to know if the decision was deliberately to avoid potentially colonial themes(could be; but since, as you note, much of the target market would cheerfully play as the colonial jackboot forces I’m not sure they would have felt the need to bother avoiding the topic); whether it was the best available reason for why a human society of considerable size grew up without any awareness of local competition and then suddenly had a numerically superior and technologically reasonably sophisticated foe popping out of the ground(a convenient circumstance for your gravelly-voiced-last-chancer squad; but actually pretty hard to imagine working out in practice); or whether someone was justed handed the task of story-ing from the gameplay that was already decided on.
(Edit: regardless of the reason, Doom (2016) currently has a better colonialism setup. It’s not like the forces of hell are given a nuanced portrayal and complex inner lives or anything; but they are definitely waging war against the UAC, which did deliberately invade their realm to exploit their hell-energy for humanity…that’s not really impressive competition.)
Re: “Auschwitz Train Conductor”
I play these ultra-complicated socio-economic simulations from Paradox games. They model things down to creating factories for particular types of units, effects of ideologies, differing advisors in the cabinet, etc.
For their WWII games, Paradox felt it was necessary to state the following on its forum:
There will not be any gulags or deathcamps (including POW camps) to build in Hearts of Iron 3, nor will there be the ability to simulate the Holocaust or systematic ethnic purges, so I ask you not to discuss these topics as they are not related to this game. Thank You.
People modify the games all the time, and Paradox has to keep saying this. Too many assholes is the problem.
This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.