Thursday, 10 April 2014

Long Time Away

Well, it's been quite some time since I posted here and in fact I didn't realize it had been so long.   Time just got away from me I suppose and then at other times I intended to write something but never got around to it.   Plus, I wanted to change the look of the Blog and since I have no HTML skills I need to use the supplied formats, which isn't that bad.

It seems my last post was about Tropical Skyrim, but I was sure I had posted some things since then.  Maybe my mind is playing tricks as I haven't even viewed my Blog for ages.   It's been a very long time since I used that mod because I removed it while waiting for updates that as far as I know haven't happened.

Anyway, I've pretty much given up on Skyrim and the rest of the TES series.   As far as Skyrim is concerned I'm sick of the bugs and the save corruption issues, but more than that the fact that it's just a shallow game without consequences or soul.  I've done a lot of complaining about the game on this Blog so I'm not going to add to it except to say if they use the same game engine for TES6 disguised as something else they won't get my money.   Suffice to say it's life didn't extend as far as Morrowind and Oblivion for me.

I still like Fallout:New Vegas though and will probably play it for awhile longer.  It at least has a decent story with branching quest lines, factions and other things that should be in a real RPG.

I recently purcheased THIEF (2014) and to say that is a train wreck of a game is an understatement.   For a game that's supposed to be primarily stealth based, the AI is absolutely stupid, it's virtually on rails and the sounds...oh! the sounds.   One of the most basic requirements of a stealth game is directional sound.  Being able to hear which direction an NPC is walking and talking, guards patrolling etc is fundamental to stealth.    That doesn't exist in this game.   Then there are mismatched subtitles, missing sounds and a plethora of other sound related issues.

Some of the sound bugs have been addressed in the latest patch (1.4 at time of writing,) but the biggest issue facing players at the moment is save looping which is causing the inability to progress, and has not been fixed satisfactorily.   A massive list of bugs, some game breaking can be found on the Eidos Forums:

I personally stopped playing at the end of the 1st Chapter and intend to wait until the game is fully patched or as much as the devs intend to before I play again, if I can find the desire by then.  I'm so disappointed as the THIEF series is one of my favourites.   

I paid $70 Australian for this game and once again players get shafted by AAA companies who ship their games to a static deadline, don't thoroughly test (ie the sound and crashing bugs) and forget that the PC is NOT a console.   I have nothing against consoles as such, I don't own one, but if developers can't program effectively for the PC then don't release games in a half done state.  There's not even a jump key for goodness sake, hence no free jumping, and there are several actions that rely on one key.

This video is a good description of the broken AI issues.   Stepping on broken glass does nothing as far as being detected, a sleeping guard doesn't wake when there's a furor going on right next to him, guards go back to their routines within 30 seconds as if nothing had happened.   Admittedly, this is in the 2nd chapter and some people say it gets better...BUT this is meant to be a first impression of the game, so to speak.  I wouldn't be expecting any better or wanting to play further if things are this bad so early.   Maybe some people don't have high expectations, but to be immersed in a stealth game, there needs to actually be stealth elements that in the earlier games of the series. 

I think it probably takes a heck of a lot for Gopher to be this angry and disappointed with a game and not continue playing or at least uploading videos of the game.

Players who want a real THIEF experience however might want to give The Dark Mod a try.  It's FREE and has all of the elements (and more) of the original games.  I downloaded it today but haven't got as far as playing, but I have watched some videos and it looks to be very good indeed.


Anyhow, at least I've found my gaming niche for the foreseeable future.  I'm playing Dark Souls again and totally enjoying it.    I am eagerly waiting for the 25th of April for Dark Souls 2, but I'll talk about those games in  their own post.