29 September 2019

Post Thoughts: Titanfall 2... (Part 2)

In the game as-designed, the space fold weapon has blown up this planet's moon. This is such a crazy and dangerous thing to do to the planet you are on... I have to believe that the writers/designers have no idea how this type of event would affect the planet.

While I do think Titanfall 2 is a very flawed game, I don't think it's a write-off. There are many good elements that can be used and tweaked to improve both the story and gameplay. For my thoughts on the game, see Part 1. Now, onto how I'd "fix" the game...

27 September 2019

Post Thoughts: TitanFall 2... (Part 1)

... and we all roll over and one falls out.

Back when Titanfall 2 launched, I heard a lot of good feedback about its singleplayer storyline - not just from critics but also from the playerbase as well. This was a welcome departure from the first installment which tied its storyline to the multiplayer matches and thus had to build the pieces semi-dynamically. I originally wrote most of this review back in January of 2018 but then replayed it recently in order to finish the review and see if the negative emotions caused by a (then recent) break-up affected my perception of the game... so if the review reads a bit more negatively than per usual, that's why. However, that only applies to the similies, metaphors and general text, not what I'm speaking about (I've made sure of this in my re-review). Good sci-fi is still lacking in gaming (in my opinion) so I thought I'd check out Titanfall 2 and see what all the fuss was about. This is what I think about the game...

As usual - thar be spoilers!

19 September 2019

Analyse This: The Concept of Health and Balance in Games (Part 3)

Last time I spent some time detailing what sorts of health systems you may run into within a game and the types of worlds that are implemented for games to control the player's progression in general. In Part 1 I spoke about balance in a more general sense. This time, I'm going to explore how all of those choices can result in less interesting gameplay.

18 September 2019

Analyse This: The Concept of Health and Balance in Games (Part 2)

Last time I started trying to talk about health systems in games but became side-tracked into a conversation about difficulty and balance in games. Ultimately, the two are interlinked as encounters need to be balanced around the health system in a game.

But back to the health systems of games and back to my premise:
Having a game system which requires no thought from the player or little management results in boring or uninteresting gameplay. Worse still, it results in multiple game systems feeding into that specific game system being unfocussed and underdeveloped because less thought is required for the whole thing to function.
People play games for many reasons but one of the reasons we play games instead of watching a movie or reading a book is that gaming allows us to make choices - whether we are aware of this aspect or not. The choice may be simple enough - a dialogue decision, exploration, who to shoot in combat or which weapon to use... how to solve a puzzle.

17 September 2019

Analyse This: The Concept of Health and Balance in Games (Part 1)

I touched on this topic very briefly around 9 years ago but, if I'm honest, it was never a huge topic for me until Bob Case got to his analytical break down of Baldur's Gate this past week and I realised my feelings on the subject were stronger than I anticipated.

The health system of any game is vitally important in order to balance all gameplay elements. While the concept of "health" can be more or less abstract across different genres (what is "health" in a card collecting game (CCG) or a real time strategy game (RTS), for example?), I'm going to focus on its place role playing games (RPGs) and first person shooters (FPSes)...