Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hail to the King? Is the King old hat?

With this new Duke Nukem Forever, I know people are complaining about long load times and screen tearing so bad even I can notice it, but they are doing one thing in this game that is light years ahead of oh, COD, Borderlands, BFBC2, Half Life 2, fully half the shooters out there…

If this was Half Life 2 – that would be a floating marker

Man I saw a lot of those doors in Portal 2 – I wonder how the Duke will open it…

Wha… he actually kicks it open – you mean he has feet!??

Hard to convey with a still – but he’s actually pressing individual buttons on that keypad, not many games go to the trouble to animate that – ever pull a lever in Portal 2? That’s telekinesis Kyle!

George Broussard probably can’t see his own feet but at least you can when you play this…

Getting off the ground and dusting himself off.

I know of exactly one FPS game to date with this level of immersion – Mirror’s Edge and once you got used to the controls it was a fantastic experience – you feel like you are this woman leaping around the joint.

Now I know that it's things like this that probably contributed to the colossal Dev time, but I don’t get how reviewers are calling the game a dated FPS when its doing something that 90% of today’s shooters can’t even handle.


  1. Mirror's Edge isn't unique in this regard, actually - Far Cry 2 and Crysis both feature that same level of physical awareness of the protaganist's body with animations highlighting it. And it doesn't make up for DNF's mediocre level design, shooting mechanics or lack of technical accomplishments.

  2. Oh absolutely, and thanks for reminding me about Far Cry 2 that was heavy on the immersion (haven't played the original Crysis though)

    I think to some degree the concentration on all this interaction in DNF has led to the actual basic shooting feeling underdeveloped, but I have to call out critics marking a game as dated when tonnes of other current shooters just make you a pair of floating arms.

    My sincere hope is that when Gearbox do the next game (and ALL versions of the next game rather than farming out console ports) it marries some of this immersion with better gameplay.

  3. Thief 3 and Chronicles of Riddick are two more examples of first person games in which your character actually has a body. Riddick is in my opinion the best implementation of it to date.

    It adds soooo much to the game over being just a floating camera that I've been dumbfounded for a decade that barely any one is doing it. Each year new FPSers are released with the developers proclaiming loudly at all of the graphical improvements that they've made this year in the name of immersion. And each year I'll be thinking "...and yet you're still just playing a floating camera... how am I meant to take your graphical improvements seriously if I'm still to play a floating camera?!"